In blog 71: Zani blurts out that when she thinks of Brandon’s birth, all she can see is one huge word in flickering red neon lights: Pain. She needs Vee to offer her a new perspective on this fear.
“Oh, Vee, I have so much to tell you and don’t quite know where to start. Remember Sky?”
She nods as she pulls out a chair and settles me into it.
“Well, she and Seth invited us to brunch yesterday. What an experience!”
“What made it so?” she asks, taking small sips of her soup.
She laughs and asks if I could be a bit more specific. I try.
“Their home is so different from what I know, and their garden! Amazing. But rather than me telling you about it, why don’t we visit her one day and then you can see for yourself?”
“That sounds like a splendid idea!”
So while we tuck into the soup, I start telling her about how Sky and Seth met, the cathedral, the poem, the Camino, Shadowlands, the lot.
“That’s an amazing story, isn’t it? It’s as though a Higher Hand was guiding Sky to get one confirmation after the other about her life purpose. Sounds a bit like something I read in The Alchemist: the universe conspires to make me happy, but my head is too small to fit the idea of the universe into it, and it seems impersonal – my way of saying it would be more like God was guiding her to find her way. Wonderful.” She is glowing. “But,” she goes on cautiously, “I have a suspicion that that’s not why you’re here.”
Again, the space. The pause. Vee is a master in the art of communication, listening more than she talks.
“You’re amazing, Vee,” I laugh, which makes her beam. “You’re right. I’m here to talk about pain.”
I said it.
I can’t go back now.
“And I guess Jake borrowing the Marais book and me giving you the Unborn Child book didn’t help?” she says, reaching for my hand.
“No, Vee, I suppose not – not that I’ve even read them, of course. But what flipped my lid was Sky pouring her heart out about babies battling to feed, children battling to learn, adults battling with all facets of relationships, an absolute disdain for the state the earth is in, and I have roses when I should have planted herbs and vegetables!”
“Slow down, Zani, slow down. What’s the real problem?”
“I have to give birth to Brandon without pain relief or I am a bad, bad mom and he’ll have problems.”
“Oh, Zani, that’s a very heavy weight on your shoulders. I had no idea you felt that way.” She pats my hand. “As you know, sadly I do not have first-hand experience of childbirth, but I have read a lot about pain, because there was a time when I was confused by the seeming incompatibility of an all-loving God and the amount of pain a person has to endure, the amount of pain on earth. I needed to understand what pain was for, because I believe everything that is natural was created for a reason, has a role to play.