I have written this post in my head about a dozen times these past few weeks. It is difficult to say why I am having such trouble sitting down to write it. Maybe my problem is that it feels almost as if I have reached a last chance to share something so big, so miraculous, with anyone.
Not so very long ago, I was going through a sorrowful time. The dream and hope of another baby was gnawing away at me, dominating all my thoughts. Month after month passed, and I began to realize that, at age 40, the new-baby-phase of our lives might very well be over. (Hope this isn't sounding selfish or silly--it probably does, so please forgive me.)
One day, I was tidying the dining room--shifting clutter from one place to the other as usual--when I found a bag of religious articles purchased months ago. I smiled to see a handful of round flat coins depicting the Holy Family, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, St. Joseph, and others, remembering they had been meant for use in our miniature wayside shrine craft. Long forgotten, the pretty round coins had been left on the windowseat, awaiting a future "sort and rescue."
Among the coins was one image that interested me in particular. I could not remember it at all, though it did not surprise me that I would have purchased it. It was St. Padre Pio, smiling and holding the Christ Child on a little pillow. Having spent a great deal of time praying for a new baby through the intercession of St. Pio, this was significant to me. I had never before seen him shown with the Christ Child (St. Anthony, yes, but St. Pio, no), and I began musing to myself that it was as if he was presenting me with a baby on a pillow. Flipping the coin around, I read his familiar words of advice, "Pray, hope and don't worry!" It gave me such a warm feeling inside, a little gleam of hope and lightness.
Still clutching the coin in one hand, I moved into the kitchen. A great deal of noise was coming from the den, and I could hear Margaret calling to me, "Mom! Marie knocked your picture off the top of the cabinet!" Nothing about this was unusual--stuff is always being batted around in our house. I wouldn't have paid much attention to the report, except that Margaret charged into the kitchen with Marie at her heels to hand me the fallen picture. It was a small image of Padre Pio, his hands clasped in prayer. At this point I laughed outright, much to the confusion of Margaret and Marie. I offered a silent prayer to St. Padre Pio, once again asking his intercession for a new baby.
Now I know to some, these two nearly simultaneous occurrences might seem like a coincidence--and a minor coincidence at that--but they dispelled some of the gloom of my mood that afternoon, reminding me that there is always hope.
About two weeks later, we found out to our great joy and gratitude that we are indeed expecting our eighth child, a gift it would be impossible to describe in words. The first day I was able to test was May 25th:
St. Padre Pio's birthday.
So that is my news--we have a new baby on the way! Sorry it has taken so long to tell. Thank you to all the friends who were praying for us. [I was at the top of the list to the left for quite some time.] God is good!