I’ve always believed that babies have the power to heal families. My mom is living proof, since her own birth healed a rift between her daddy and his father-in-law on the day she was born in 1932. Her grandfather came to see his new granddaughter, and that was the first time her mother had seen her father in a year.
My second daughter, T, called me this morning as I was getting ready for work. I was surprised and a bit alarmed to see her name on the caller ID. She usually calls to chat during her evening commutes home from work, so my Mom Sense immediately kicked in.
“Hello … what’s wrong? Are you OK?” I asked.
“Oh yes, I’m fine, just on my way to work,” she said. But I know my girl. Her voice was a little shaky, so I knew something was up.
“Have you talked to S lately?” she asked.
S is her older sister, who is 9 months pregnant. By her choice, S is estranged from the family. She has had no contact with her sisters or brother since last September. I have seen her once since then, and I talk to her occasionally through text messages. But our relationship is strained.
This morning, it just so happened I had talked to S lately. I texted her last week and she sent me photos she had taken in this late stage of her pregnancy. She looked beautiful, soft and rosy, maternal and smiling. Seeing her that way was a comfort to me. My girl looked fine, safe and happy.
On Sunday she texted me again and told me the baby could arrive soon. Although she’s two weeks out from her due date, her body is already making strides toward the birth.
That’s what I told T this morning.
“Actually, yes, I have talked to her. She’s 3 centimeters dilated; the baby could come at any time.”
“Oh, OK!” she sounded relieved, as if an important question had been answered. “I keep dreaming about her. I guess that’s why.”
Since my daughters began having babies, we’ve often talked about the supernatural connection the four of us have during pregnancy and childbirth. I always forget about it, until one of the girls turns up pregnant again. For example, T and her family spent the weekend with us several months ago. She is pregnant, too, so I witnessed firsthand the cravings and discomfort she was experiencing.
After they left, I spent the next week suffering from horrible indigestion, the likes of which I have not felt since my own pregnancies several decades ago. Coincidence? I think not.
I believe the ties between mothers and daughters are strong. Perhaps hormones are to blame, or genetics, or both. Maybe it’s the phases of the moon or the alignment of planets. Along that line, I believe sisters are similarly connected. That’s why I was not surprised that T had been dreaming of S.
While both girls are stubborn, willful and righteous, resentful minds cannot control the heart. As S grows nearer to her child’s birth, she is no doubt longing for the comfort and understanding only her sisters and mother can provide. In return, T, in her own advanced stage of pregnancy, is longing for the same.
So while they are not on speaking terms, their hearts decided to meet on safer ground. In their dreams, they can comfort each other without confrontation or judgment.
T and I talked for a while this morning, about S and other family-related matters. When we said goodbye, she sounded better and I felt better, too. I’ve been praying for my family, not knowing what it will take to heal the rifts between us all.
But I’m hoping history will repeat itself. Just like my mom’s arrival in this world closed the chasm between her daddy and her grandpa, I’m believing my new granddaughter’s birth will make all our dreams come true.