Wednesday, July 2, 2008

at the end of all things

My friend The Wife is nearing the end of her pregnancy. Lo, not just NEARING, she's AT the end of her pregnancy and she's coming to terms with what it means. What it means to be transformed from Pregnant Woman to Mother - from couple to triad - from this other thing that she's been all her life to something we can never fully comprehend until we're holding that little person for the first time.

In times like these, I naturally turn to Lord of the Rings. There is a point when two of the main characters, Frodo and Sam, bloodied and beaten - their bodies and minds compressed to dust from the sheer effort it has taken to reach the end of their journey. They have fulfilled their quest, a job that no one should have been able to do, but they have done it. They are laying on the side of the mountain of fire with no hope of escape, finally at peace that their journey is over. Frodo is so glad to be there with Sam, at the end of all things. (And this is where The Wife comes in, as she is at The End...)

Sam and Frodo - it is at this point that they finally comprehend the job they had to do, and how they accepted it without a full understanding of it's difficulty or complexity. And even as those challenges and heartaches showed themselves along the journey, they never did give up or give in. They are weary. They are ready to succumb. But they are also purified. They are clear with their purpose. They are empty of any more confusion. They are at peace and it is finally okay to let go and accept their End. And this is when Gandalf appears with the eagles that sweep them up up up into the clear blue sky - above the dirt and the ashes and the fire - taking them to a place of unutterable beauty.

I think of The Wife, how she is now comprehending the job she and The Husband have been doing, and how they accepted it without a full understanding of it's difficulty or complexity. And I'm so damn proud of them - that even as they have faced challenges and heartaches they have pushed forward so bravely. I know that The Wife is weary. And as she faces childbirth (in whatever form it may take), I know that she will reach a point when she lets go in faith and puts her trust in Heavenly Father - and she will succumb to whatever fate awaits her. I know that at that moment, when everything else is burned away, she will look to this child with his fierce beauty and rise above the dirt and the ashes and the fire.

Here, at the End of All Things, it's also the Beginning.


The Wife said...

Don't mind me, I'm just sitting at my desk and CRYING. Thank you, Friend. For understanding how I feel right now. For not being condescending like everyone else and playing the "Oh just you wait" card.

I know that it's an End but it's also a Beginning. I know that. I know that the coming days and weeks are also going to be hard, but a different kind of hard. And I know that having survived this experience that we can survive those days and weeks as well.

I love you dearly. My silence over the past weeks and months haven't changed that. Still. It's really good to know you're here with the end of all things.

artemisia said...

This is so beautiful. The Wife is so very blessed to have you in her life!

angelalois said...

this is such a great analogy... really. being swept away on the wings of eagles is probably the same euphoric feeling a seeing your little one for the first time.