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 A Love So Pure

   Oh, how I miss my little son Travis Andrew. He was born with many medical needs, and remained helpless all of his earthly life. The bond between us grew very deep. He needed me so much, that a great need was created in me, for him. It was a great treasure, loving and caring for him. These long years later, each time I play a lullabye that I used to play for him, his face is still alive in my memory. I would stroke his soft skin, look into his big, dark brown eyes, and ruffle his curly hair. I would roll him over, because he could not roll himself. He responded to my love, the best he could. His eyes had such a sparkle! He could smile at me with his eyes, even when he was too sick to smile with his mouth. The sparkles he gave me, told me that he loved me.

   I love all my children, the ones still alive on this earth, and the ones who have gone on before me to the presence of God. There is a different bond in my heart for each one, as every human relationship is unique.

   This little son could give only smiles in return for my love. I loved him like a mother does a young baby, all of his life. It was one of the purest loves I have ever experienced, and showed me more about God's own love. He lived nearly nine years, and his life was a great blessing to me. Travis' health slowly deteriorated, as the years passed. During his last five years, he could not be allowed to cry because crying made him choke, become unable to breathe, and panic. I had to suction him quickly, and sometimes give him oxygen. Then he would be peaceful again.

   My other children helped me keep Travis from crying, by keeping an eye on him. During the day, when he wasn't in his wheelchair, he rested in a little handmade bed with castors, which fit through doorways. This way he could always be near me. It had a shelf beneath it, for his suction machine, and other medical supplies. My other children noticed his face every time they went by. If he so much as crinkled his soft little brow, someone was bound to call me. "Mamma, Travie needs you!" And indeed he did. I could make him comfortable before the tears came. This medical necessity gave an unexpected blessing to my other children. Every one of them developed a tender compassion far beyond their years. What a blessing to them! God used their dear brother to make their hearts gentle and caring. That is a gift that will bless them all of their lives.

   That large place in my life which was set aside for Travie, remains empty these many years later. The time, energy, and nursing skills which I used for him, are needed no more. I still need him, but he doesn't need me any more. He is safe in the arms of Jesus, and cannot suffer ever again. When I am reunited with him in Heaven, I will see him whole and well.

   God gave me a most particular honor, in leading me down the path of being Travis' mother.

    * Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psa 16:11

    * See that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently. 1Peter 1:22b

   There will probably always be a lonely place in my life, where my son filled my heart with joy. Travis needs me no more. But that place does serve to remind me of the place I hold in my Heavenly Father's heart. I want to live in such a way, that I give Him joy, as my child gave me. I want God to see through my heart and mind, how very much I love and need Him. I want to give Him joy, as He gave me through my little boy. This remains my prayer and supplication.

   As tenderly as I cared for my son Travis, it doesn't even touch the breathtaking depth of the love that God gives us.

   God's tender mercies are fathomless. His loving care far surpasses anything I could give, as a human mother. I love my Heavenly Father deeply and fully, but cannot be what I long to be. I fail again and again. Yet he never leaves or forsakes me. He never gives up on me, no matter how helpless I am to be what I wish I were. How great and pure, is God's love for His beloved children!

2005 Rosemary Gwaltney