One of the surprises of having you as our son has been how open strangers or near-strangers become with us when they hear about you. We would expect and hope that close friends and family would cry with us, or be open with us, but strangers? German strangers? We didn't expect them to be so moved by hearing about you that they would also share in our pain. Here are a few of the people whose eyes have gotten tear-y and red as they talk with us about you:
- The lady who lost multiple loved ones in the last year.
- A midwife when she talked about the strangeness of experiencing new life and death within a few hours.
- A childless lady who told of weeping upon seeing strollers after finding out she'd have no babies of her own.
- The older couple who told us their third child was stillborn many years ago; he died two days before they met him.
- The coworker who told Dad how he still chokes up remembering how his daughter nearly died when she was six weeks old.
- The doctor whose eyes got wet when she heard your diagnosis.
- The local mom with a baby like you who sat on the sofa and cried with Mom even though they had only known each other for an hour. Her husband who met Dad for coffee and whose eyes got shiny listening to Dad share.
We feel honoured particularly that people who hardly know us would somehow enter into our suffering. Their openness is a precious gift.
Given the choice, of course, we still would choose to be the ones with a happy baby story and not a sad baby story. To be the ones whom people smile (not cry) upon seeing. But if we're going to be the ones with a sad story, we're glad for so many open hearts to share it with. Their tears and stories remind us that everyone goes through hard times, and that talking openly about those hard times makes the load a little lighter.
(Now, if we can just take care of the nosy cashier-stranger at the corner store, who pesters Mom with questions and pregnancy advice.... Thankfully there's only one of her, and many other kind strangers.)
You are beyond special, Nahum, and we're not the only ones who think so. You open strangers' hearts.