While recovery was not easy, I had realized I did not want
to lose my husband along with my daughter. Being alone was my
constant fear. Could my husband and I reconcile our feelings,
return to the closeness we once had enjoyed? Could I find some
meaning in Christie’s death? Could I reach acceptance?
Then God sent a pastor to my door, and the Holy Spirit led
me back to church.
NIV: Pss. 38:/9 All my longings lie open before you, O
Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you/. 10 /My heart pounds,
my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes/.
11 /My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
my neighbors stay far away/.During my two months of church
attendance, I still struggled to understand and accept God’s
will. I knew I’d feel that all too familiar hollowness when
mothers were recognized during the Mother’s Day service.
NIV: Job 30:28 / I// go about blackened, but not by the
sun; I stand up
in the assembly and cry for help/.
A woman comforted me. With my tears purged and my pain
unveiled, I felt unburdened, as if I had begun my
NIV: Isa. 60:20 /Your// sun will never set again, and your
moon will wane no more; the LORD will be your everlasting
light, and your days of sorrow will end/.
As Mother’s Day
wound down and our guests prepared to leave, my husband spied
two ducks on the sidewalk. A stately mallard, his emerald
shrouded head and neck flashing in the waning afternoon light,
guarded his less colorful mate as she sipped sprinkler run-off
water from the gutter.
“The golf course lake must be dry,” someone said,
As our guests were leaving, my husband tossed a handful of
breadcrumbs near the ducks, who fearlessly scarfed down the
handout. After another sip of water, the pair waddled off
leaving webbed prints on the sidewalk.
Throwing an arm around my shoulders, my husband walked me
into the house.
“Just a couple of old ducks.” I laughed, feeling equally
protected by my mate. “I wonder if they had any
“Maybe they left the nest,” my husband said.
Days later, I noticed the mallard duck couple sunning
together in my neighbor’s yard. I watched them for some time
before an unknown urge drew them aloft. Like two precision jet
aircrafts, the couple soared low along the street, gained
altitude, and disappeared beyond the horizon. Not only did
their silent communication fascinate me but also their
decision to brave the hot pavement for a rest on a parched
lawn in suburbia. With or without offspring, the mallard
couple was devoted to each other. Curious about their habits,
I discovered that mallards mated for life. Perhaps they had
raised their duckling family and now enjoyed exploring new
territories together. Perhaps God had sent them to me on
Mother’s Day—to remember . . . to encourage . . . to
Like the mallards, my husband and I remain mated for life
despite the loss of our child. With my life-long mate, I am
free to explore other territories. I might never understand
God’s plan, but I know His shining light banished loneliness
from my life. The ducks never returned, but I think of them
together, honking their happiness up above. I too look forward
to soaring and to surviving another Mother’s Day.
BIO: Debbie Fox, a freelance writer,
has had essays published in Sasee Magazine, The Fellowship
Link Writing Well, A Guide to English 101 at College of the
Canyons, and Women on Writing. She lives with her husband in
southern California and just completed, Living in My Skin, a