It’s time for another poem from Mom! So I’ll remind you of the introduction to this monthly series and hand the microphone directly to my mother. Enjoy!
In early 2011 a precious baby girl was born to our son Brent and his wife, Carolyn. Terrifying blood sugar crashes over the next months led to a frightening diagnosis. Jasmine had hypopituitarism, an incurable, life-threatening congenital condition.
This poem was born on a woodland walk in early May when I felt a desperate need to hear from God. I tossed my questions to the skies and tramped my fears into the forest floor. At my feet the spring blossoms were bursting through the mulch of years past. Poetry is for me a process of discovery, not a pronouncement of pat answers. In the work of God’s fingers I hear whispers of His ways and glimpse parables of His power. On this morning I again sensed God communing with me in the garden of His creative handiwork.
JASMINE: OUR BLOSSOM
At this time
Of trilliums and violets
Spring beauties and baby leaves
When eternity in our heart grieves
For everything exquisite and beautiful in its time
Whose time is so brief
Leaving behind fading fragrance
Beneath fronds of ferns
In springtime full-leaf—
At this time
Must we alone
In receiving stone for bread,
Who wished himself dead,
Who had asked only to be just and merciful
Until he felt the full-force blow of physical
Loss and anguish?
Must we also
Face this puzzle too powerful
For that perfect and upright man?
Like Job who prayed for his children,
For this child’s coming too we prayed,
And open-hearted thanked you for the gift.
Each trillium opens pure and perfect to our sight.
So why at this time this blight,
This tiny hidden deadly flaw
Within this delicate blossom
This cherished child we received with awe?
I pace the wooded paths and ask:
How can You so distant and non-physical
Ethereal and other
Immense and grandiose of plan
Comprehend our weight?
Until I look beneath my feet—
You who find purpose in this brief
Exquisite woodland extravagance,
Each baby leaf,
What have you given us, bereft—
A stone? Or gift?
This we do know,
Whatever life may deny or grant her,
Your love will be her constant shelter,
Till past all brevity
And all disaster,
For all eternity in perfect beauty
Our Jasmine will bloom
Radiant with laughter
Happily forever after.
—Elaine Gingrich, May 12, 2011
Four years have passed since my woodland walk, and our “grand-blossom” is still blooming, exquisite and vibrant, hardy and full of life. Despite heart-stopping 911 calls and anxious hospital stays God has graciously preserved Jasmine’s life. Specialists at Sick Kid’s Hospital, a fine-tuned, carefully scheduled regimen of hormones, funding for the incredibly expensive growth hormone, many miracles, and the constant vigilance of loving parents have been God’s gifts to Jasmine’s health.
As with all flowers, we have to learn how to hold such a delicate life in our hands without crushing it, to delight in today with no demands on tomorrow. Must I know God’s purposes before I accept what He sends? Can I joy in the beauty of today and find His grace for any attending pain and for the uncertainty of tomorrow?
Jasmine revels in life—in each moment of it. True, she hates needles, but she loves people and runs laughing to meet life, with arms wide open, eyes sparkling and her voice full of laughter. She is learning to cast a line so she can go fishing with her big brothers. She has crammed a lot of living into four years, and her energy and delight seem boundless. As her grandma, I hold each moment with her in a special place in my heart, and I rest in knowing God holds both of us in His.
If you enjoyed this poem, leave a comment here for Mom, or send her an email at . Thanks!
PS: You might also enjoy Mom’s poem about one of Jasmine’s big brothers, my nephew Curtis.