Thursday, June 11, 2015

I'll Fly Away

by Bethany Conkel

Our church was full, but I felt alone standing in my row as worship began. I struggled to focus on the music, overwhelmed with thoughts, feelings, and emotions. In less than 24 hours I would be meeting my son for the first time, and most likely be saying goodbye to him shortly after. I stood there; joyful anticipation holding one hand and extreme grief holding the other.

The music, which had been playing in the background, suddenly penetrated my thoughts -

Some glad morning when this life is o'er,
I'll fly away.

I couldn’t believe it… THIS song TODAY?!?! The day before my sweet boy will be born then, most likely “fly away”? My heart froze. Suddenly, “some glad morning” became, “tomorrow morning” and “when this life…” became “when HIS life is over, he’ll fly away”… hot tears streamed down my face.

I gazed at my belly. My heart poured out the words I couldn’t bring my lips to form: Sweet baby, I’m just not ready for you to fly away.

To that home on God's celestial shore,
I'll fly away.

Ohhh little boy, I know that will be your home and that it will be an amazing home for you, I just had really wanted your home to be MY home. I really wanted you to STAY. I never had planned for you to fly away.

I'll fly away, oh glory, I'll fly away.
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I'll fly away.

Is that what you will be singing little one? Will death be a Hallelujah moment for you? I know in that moment you will see our savior’s face and it will be wonderful, but, oh son, MY heart will break into tiny pieces when it happens. Do you really need to fly away?

When the shadows of this life have gone,
I’ll fly away

Sweetheart, I’m sorry you have had to spend your life in the shadows of my belly. I wish I could have introduced you to the light and beauty of this world, but I know you will soon see the beauty and light of your eternal home, I just wish it didn’t mean you will have to fly away.

Like a bird from prison bars has flown,
I’ll fly away

My love, soon you will be free. Free from the condition that has limited your life. Free from the potential pain and suffering of this life. I am glad you will be free but, my arms will ache for you once you fly away.

Just a few more weary days and then,
I'll fly away.

Oh, my precious boy, I hope the days have not been only weary for you. I know this journey has been long and difficult and you have heard the echo of my tears as they hit my belly, but son, I hope you have also heard my words of love and that those words reverberated through your being. I hope you felt the joy that you brought us and were able to sense the celebrations taking place around you as we embraced the time we had as you grew inside me. We truly tried to make the most of our time before you had to fly away.

To that land where joy will never end, I'll fly away.

My child, it brings me comfort to know that you will be in a land full of joy. Every momma wants their child to have a life full of joy. I just wish I could have experienced that joy with you. My heart will long to meet you there once it’s my turn to fly away.

I'll fly away, oh glory, I'll fly away.
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I'll fly away.

Son, how I wish I could sing Hallelujah with you, but sweetheart, I fear my heart just won’t be strong enough to do so as you fly away.

Oh I'll fly away, oh glory, I'll fly away in the morning
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I’ll fly away.

Ohhh my love, I stand here broken because the morning will come too soon. Before I know it I’ll kiss your cheek, hold your hand, and say goodbye as you take a piece of my heart and fly away…

~ ~ ~

Bethany Conkel lives in Ohio and is married to her wonderful husband, Eric. She is the mommy to two amazing children – one who is in heaven, the other here on earth. Bethany carried her precious son, Amalya Nathaniel (meaning: “work of the Lord”, “given by God”) to term after receiving the diagnosis of anencephaly when she was 11 weeks pregnant. Amalya lived for 1 hour and 20 minutes before taking hold of the Lord’s hand. After he passed, his liver, pancreas, and whole body were donated to scientific research. Bethany has since created a website about neonatal organ, tissue, and whole body donation called Purposeful Gift to help other families explore the option of donation. She is also a certified Birth and Bereavement Doula through and serves with Sufficient Grace Ministries.


Firefly said...

You wrote words that were in my heart, too. :'(

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