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A STORY OF BIRTH

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I have this ritual - (if I am awake) at 1:30 am on 7/27 I sit on the floor and light a candle. And thank God for Light in Darkness. Tuesday 7/27 is my 40th birthday. My birthday has always been a difficult day. I was 28 years old when I learned the details that I had ached to know. My divorced single mother of 2 others had conceived this baby with a married man who never knew the child had formed and a man she never named. She hid her pregnancy for nearly 9 months. In that time she had planned to travel to the big city of Cincinnati to give birth and relenquish the child and no one she knew would know. The labor however came early and she had no sooner broken the knews to her mother than the eagerness of this child coupled with Gods providence took over. In paniced grief her mother, who exactly 3 years to the day had received the news of her own sons death, took her to the neighbors house in the middle of the night struggling to figure out a solution to this "problem". In this small rural town, In the darkness of the night at what they guessed to be 1:30 a.m on the wooden floor of the neighbors attic Peggy Scotts third baby was pulled from her body wrapped in a towel and laid aside. No one told the baby's mother if the baby was a girl or a boy. No one was allowed to hold the child for fear they'd "get attached". they needed time to deal with "this problem"

More than 8 hours later - Peggy and her unnamed, unwanted, unloved baby were driven to General Hospital where they were admitted in separate rooms - Some of her first words were asking to speak to someone about giving away the baby. The baby was kept in isolation for 7 days because she had been born in "unsterile conditions". THe social worker took notes that the baby reads occasionally still today.. . trying to come to peace with it. . trying to make some sense of it. She gathers little pieces that the baby holds on to. . .brown eyes, "big boned", large but attractive (love that one!), She implies hopelessness, she hints that she wishes that she didnt have to do this, She finds out many hours later that this child is a girl.. . her second girl. Peggy went home the next day, the nurses named "infant girl scott" - Marie. Marie was sent to a childrens home.

Several weeks later a couple arrived to pick up this baby for she had been unable to conceive a child of her own. The child was raised in a legalistic, fundamental graceless church but not a christian home. The child was warm, and comfortable, with lots of toys and a beautiful bedroom. But she was called "the adopted". She ached to look into brown eyes. No one who shared her family had blonde hair. As she grew older birthdays became more painful. As an adult she found herself spending most of the day in bed - just wanting the day to pass. She never could understand how a woman can hand over a child. THe pain even worsened when she gave birth to her own children. A pressing thought in her mind as she held each of her own babies was "how could she do it". No parties please!

God loved the little girl.

Peggy Scott disappeared. She abandoned her other 2 children. She lived a life on the run and was declared legally dead in the 70s. I pieced together the random pieces when I was pregnant with my 3rd high risk pregnancy (through the encouragment of an awesome woman OB). I found my brother over 10 years ago because he was looking for the same woman and our paths had crossed on the search. The grandmother who delivered me died while still searching for her missing daughter. (I missed meeting her by just 1 year).

Peggy Scott did not die. She spent over 30 years answering NO to the question "do you have any children". Peggy scott is alive and living lies still in Florida. My brother found her about 6 years ago. She finally admitted having 2 children but not 3. In his own fear of losing his mother my brother will not tell me where she is or what her new name is. He does however give her pictures and contact info of her third baby and her grandchildren. And still today - lays them aside.

But my brother - gives me pieces of peace. He gave my a suitcase with 5 generations of photos in them. He gave me a strong german identity much differen than the irish appalachian experience of my youth. He gave me a niece that looks just like me! He looks in my eyes with eyes that look just like mine and says " God you look like grandma!" He gave me a picture of my mother taken 3 weeks before my birth. She hid me well.

Years later there were people who called this baby girl - Pastor. And the pastor was asked to be part of a birth in a home. The girl pastor walked into a living room where a woman was twisted with pain. But she walked in with a determination that this woman would be comforted, that this life would be celebrated. Oh the beauty of everything that happened in the room! But few could fully understand the tears of girl pastor as she held this baby. The baby was surrounded by women in the church who all laid hands around him and sang - "praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise Him all creatures here below, praise Him above ye heavenly hosts, praise father son and holy ghost - amen". That the baby born in the attic would bless a baby born in a living room - Oh how God loved that little girl! The baby boy was born with his sac intact . . . the midwives say it is a sign of a prophet.

A few years later, the girl pastor was called on a holiday weekend July 3. The same day the picture of her mother was taken. The phone call was from a tearful woman who called her pastor - God had given them a child. A woman had come to the hospital in cincinnati to hand over her baby, Her little girl. She was early and the woman didnt know what else to do. The girl pastor drove the 40 miles to the NICU frequently. She would sign the book as "baby girls" pastor. And she would stand with her hand through the hole in the incubator, caress the small bare back of Laura Grace and pray and cry and pray and cry. God please let her know she is loved. Please let her know she is wanted. In october the girl pastor held the baby girl in the midst of a few hundred "family members" and touched to her head the waters of baptism. That the baby born in the attic would bless the baby abandoned in the hospital. - O how God loved that little girl!

Tuesday 2/27 is my 40th birthday.

I cant remember ever having a birthday party or a cake or even the desire for any of it. But Tonite I opened the doors of my house and laughed and celebrated with many of those that I love most, Pictures posted over there - . . .

My husband, my children, (minus the younest who is at camp and I miss desperateately, friends old and new and of course Laura Grace was there

Oh how God loved that little girl

I have this ritual - (if I am awake) at 1:30 am on 7/27 I sit on the floor and light a candle. And thank God for Light in Darkness.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004 | Permalink

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Comments

i could not love this story more!
god bless you tammy jo!
i pray you have the best day ever.

Posted by: jen lemen | July 27, 2004 01:13 AM

happy birthday tammy jo, girl pastor, beloved of god. this is a story of redemption. it is beautiful. i'm lighting a candle for you today too. thank you for sharing it with us.

Posted by: bobbie | July 27, 2004 07:12 AM

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