Preemie Poems

Time


To realize the value of one year:
Ask a student who has failed a final exam.


To realize the value of one month:
Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.


To realize the value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of one hour:
Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet


To realize the value of one minute:
Ask the person who has missed the train, bus or plane.


To realize the value of one-second:
Ask a person who has survived an accident.


To realize the value of one-hundreth of a second:
Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.


Time waits for no one. Treasure every moment you have.
You will treasure it even more when you can share it with someone special.


How Preemie Moms Are Chosen -- Erma Bombeck

Did you ever wonder how the mothers of premature babies are chosen?


Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger. 

"Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew.  Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia.  Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint...give her Gerard. He's used to profanity."


Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles.


"Give her a preemie." The angel is curious. "Why this one, God?  She's so happy."


"Exactly," smiles God.


"Could I give a premature baby a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel."


"But does she have the patience?" asks the angel.


"I don't want her to have too much patience, or she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair.  Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it.  I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother.  You see, the child I'm going to give her has a world of its own.  She has to make it live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."


"But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."


God smiles. "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect.  She has just the right amount of selfishness."


The angel gasps, "Selfishness?! Is that a virtue?"


God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive.  Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. 

She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied.


She will never take for granted a spoken word.


She will never consider a step ordinary.


When her child says momma for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it.


I will permit her to see clearly the things I see -- ignorance, cruelty, prejudice -- and allow her to rise above them.


She will never be alone.  I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."


"And what about her Patron Saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.


God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."


 
Welcome to Holland


When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, Michelangelo's David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.


After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later the plane lands and the stewardess comes on and says, "Welcome to Holland." "HOLLAND?" you say. "What do you mean Holland? I was signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy! All of my life I have dreamed of going to Italy!" But there has been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.


So now you must go out and buy a new guidebook. And you must now learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would otherwise never have met. It's just a different place. It is slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you have been here awhile and you catch your breath, you look around and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, and Holland even has Rembrandts.


But everyone you know is coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned." The pain of that will never, ever go away because the loss of that dream is very significant. But if you spend your whole life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the special and very lovely things about Holland.