Treasured Memories

Newborn baby

Mary the Mother of Jesus can be credited for the Christmas story that will be told in churches around the globe over the next few days.

It was Mary who gave Luke the Apostle the details of Jesus’ birth – from her startling visit by the angel Gabriel, to Jesus’ arrival in the unlikely town of Bethlehem, and then the unexpected arrival of some shepherds with their crazy story about angels singing out in the fields. You can read the story in the Bible in Luke 1 and 2.

Luke made a few small editorial comments in this passage. One of them is this gem:

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19 (NIV)

Mothers do that. We remember and we ponder. Details of each child’s birth are kept stored away, and these are not only thought about, but they are treasured.

While Jesus’ birth story is well known, public declarations of a birth story are not the usual thing. We mothers hold these details very closely to our hearts. I am thinking that often we hold it all just a little too closely, especially the painful memories. It is good, and often very freeing, to release those details for others to know.

The reason I know this? Because I lost my mum when I was only 16, it meant I didn’t have a conversation with her about my birth – apart from one snippet of information passed on to me when I was little (read what happened HERE). That’s all. And I would love to have known more about her experience.

So, what happened when your children were born? What about those who you ache for who were with us for a very short time, or didn’t even see the light of day?

Let me encourage you to take the time to record what happened at the time of birth for each of your children. Even the stories of those no longer with us. Your family will appreciate knowing what you know.

Your story or stories could take the form of a letter, story, poem, a series of dot points, or even a voice recording. If you are musical, perhaps you could compose a song; or if that way inclined, record a video. It is important to let them know the experience was costly. Tell whatever you are comfortable telling, maybe even the bad stuff, with or without the unpleasant details.

You may decide to deliver this information to a specific person straight away. Or to keep it for a birthday or anniversary, or on the eve of your grandchildren being born. Whichever way you choose to pass on the information, writing down your child’s birth story is a lovely affirmation and declaration of your love.

Your record of their birth story will become a treasured memory. And there may be a hidden bonus, because it could very well be a healing process for you too.

Have you ever told your daughter the details and circumstances of her birth? Have you ever told your son? What happened? If now isn’t the right time to tell them, how about writing it down for a special moment one day?