Love Times Three

Love Times Three

From Chicken Soup for the Grandparent's Soul

Love Times Three

Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.

Bernice Johnson Reagan

The morning had passed slowly as I tried to busy myself to keep my mind off my youngest daughter Jenny. She thought she was pregnant, had been experiencing some problems, and was out to the hospital for an ultrasound. Jen, the youngest of my five children, was twenty-three, and yet to me she was still my baby! It was hard to believe that she might soon be a mother herself.

A short time later I was sitting at the table across from Jen and her husband. Both were unusually quiet. The suspense was killing me. “So, are you pregnant or not?”

Jen looked at Scott, then calmly answered, “Yes . . . with three . . . I am going to have three babies!”

At first I thought this was some crazy joke of theirs to get a reaction from me, but as we sat there a little longer, I knew it was the truth. Jennifer was carrying three babies! She was going to have triplets! I was ecstatic. I had never seen triplets, and now I was going to have some for grandchildren. Wow! I had always believed that a new baby is like the beginning of all things—wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities. In a world that is cutting down its trees to build highways, losing its earth to concrete . . . babies are almost the only remaining link with nature, with the natural world of living things from which we spring. Three babies . . . In the next hour I called everyone I had ever known, and maybe a few that I had just met in passing! I wanted to tell the world about these babies.

The weeks passed and because of the multiple embryos, the doctor did an ultrasound every few weeks and had a copy made of the video. At first there were only three little pockets, or sacs, then later we could see three little heartbeats. They were called babies A, B, and C, which seemed so common for something so phenomenal—these were my grandchildren, not A, B, and C! Call them what they may, but those little heartbeats belonged to three very precious little human beings. As I watched them growing inside my daughter, like so often in the past, in still another way, my belief in God was reinforced.

Then somewhere near the end of the sixth month, my daughter started having some serious problems. The doctor put her on complete bedrest, and we prayed and waited. . . . I can’t remember ever praying any harder. But for some reason we might never know, God decided to take my grandbabies home. Joey, Michael and Bradley died shortly after birth.

No heartache can compare with the death of one small child, and the pain was indeed tripled with the boys. They were so tiny, so adorable, so perfect in every way. They were so precious and soft, ten little fingers and toes. Sadly, we would never know the color of their eyes. . . . To see my beautiful daughter laying there with her three lifeless sons was the closest to hell I have ever been. I couldn’t imagine her pain. With tear-filled eyes, my daughter took my hand and whispered to me, “Maybe God is tired of calling the aged, Mom, so he picked my three little rosebuds before they could grow old. Can you imagine how much more beautiful heaven will be with my babies there?” Then we cried together.

A short time later the doctor asked me if I wanted to hold the babies, and at first I said, “No.” But he reminded me that once they took them away I would most likely never get another chance to hold triplets. I thought about it and decided I would try. He wrapped the three of them together in a little blue blanket and led me to a room where there was a wooden rocking chair. I sat down, and he handed me the babies. “Take as long as you need.”

I rocked the babies and talked to them, and told them that I would come someday to heaven to find them. Although the human part of them was gone, I somehow felt I was bonding with their three little spirits . . . in fact, three little angels.

When a nurse finally returned to take my grandsons away, once again I began to cry, for surely the saddest word that mankind knows will always be “good-bye.”

A friend of the family who runs a funeral home donated one little casket, and the boys were all buried together. Our pastor had a beautiful service at the cemetery. Like before, to see the pain in my daughter’s heart was the hardest thing I had ever been through, and yet there was nothing to be said or done. She had done her best to carry her babies, and now all she had left was a sheet of paper filled with statistics, a certificate with smudged footprints and three tiny bracelets marked “Boy/Leighton.” People who came to the service mopped their eyes and told us that they knew how we felt, but they couldn’t know, because we didn’t feel—not yet.

The story isn’t ended yet. One year to the month after losing the triplets, Jennifer gave birth to Scott Edward. Scottie is the joy of her life. Since then she also gave Scottie a little brother, Brandon Michael, and after five boys, she is going to have a little girl! Nothing can ever replace the triplets, but we believe they came into our lives for a reason and stayed just long enough to make us appreciate life and the little people more.

Occasionally, we might look for too big a reason for something we don’t comprehend in our lives. Often the reason may seem small but have big consequences. Mostly, we don’t see the results. Sometimes, we have to accept these heartbreaking things with faith.

I have four incurable diseases. Sometimes when things get really tough, I find peace in knowing that there are three special angels in heaven helping me get through the day. There is a real sense of contentment in knowing that someday, once again, I will hold my three little grandsons and complete our talk. . . . For certain, our first one was entirely too short.

Barbara Jeanne Fisher

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