Wednesday, December 4, 2013





GUIDEPOSTS, ‘FAITH IN FLIGHT,’ PART II: 

THE BIRTH OF MY SON


BY ANTOINETTE RAINONE

     I recently had the pleasure of working with the very lovely folks at Guideposts magazine who published my article about an epiphany my mother and I experienced together. You can read more about it in Guideposts, "Faith in Flight," December 2013. I would like to share how the epiphany played out later in life. 
     Let me set the stage. Mom and I were flying back from a trip that symbolized for both of us conquering our fears … at any age. 
     As Mom had conquered her lifelong fear of flying, I was in the process of conquering my fears of facing an unknown future. 
     During the red-eye flight back home, I had fallen asleep. Then, I felt an emphatic tapping on my shoulder.
    “Wake up! Wake up! You have to see this!” 
     I looked out the window. The sky was pitch black. It didn't look like anything spectacular. Then I saw it. A scintilla of light amidst the darkness. A yellow-orange dot with a golden crown, slowly growing bigger, more and more intense. 
     We were flying into the sunrise at 35,000 feet. 
     “Don’t you feel like you can reach out and touch the sun?” Mom mused.
     Witnessing the birth of this new day symbolized for both of us new horizons we were yet to encounter. It was a moment of faith. If Mom could fly in an airplane at 75, I knew that I, too, could accomplish anything ... at any age.
     Exactly one year after that flight, I met my future husband, Angelo – a wonderful, warm man from the same region of Italy where my grandfather was born.
     Two years after that flight, my Mom passed away. But not before she painted the sunrise we witnessed together. To this day, I look at her painting and realize that after every dark night comes the golden light of dawn, opening the path for more glorious days to come.
     On the night of Mom’s death, an overwhelming feeling swept over me. I wanted to be a mother. After decades of being a ‘career woman,’ the only thing that mattered was giving life to another human being. 
    Angelo wanted to be a father, too. But the clock was ticking. I was already in my late thirties. 
    Six years after that flight, it happened. At 42, I was about to give birth.
    But it would not be easy. There had been a lot of commotion – and many prayers – the morning my water broke. Although I had had a text-book pregnancy up until that point, and was ready to give birth, the doctors were unable to induce labor. My baby was “in distress.” An emergency C-section needed to be performed.
    I was scared. I didn’t care about the pain or the scars. I just wanted my son to be OK.
    Angelo walked into the operating room with a surgical cap and mask, and held my hand during the entire surgery. Then, I heard it. The most beautiful sound in the whole wide world. The cries of our baby boy. 
    The epiphany was complete. I had given birth to a son – eight days before his due date – on the eve of Mom’s birthday. 
    After my husband and family members left the hospital that first night, I lay on the bed holding my son to my chest.
    The hospital room was pitch black, except for a tiny light shining on a round, old-fashioned clock on the wall in front of me. There was complete silence, except for the ticking.
    As the minute hand ticked closer toward midnight, I began to cry. How I longed for Mom to share this amazing moment with me. 
    I wanted to tap on her shoulder: “Wake up! Wake up! You have to see this!” 
    Then I recalled what Mom whispered to me that early morning on the red-eye. Gazing into my newborn’s tiny face, and feeling his heart beat with mine, I discovered what it means to reach out and touch the sun. 
   Find your wings... at any age. 
   
   P.S. Check out Guideposts magazine website – www.guideposts.org, and the Guideposts Facebook page, www.facebook.com/guideposts. 


1 comment:

  1. Oh that was beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes.

    ReplyDelete