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Sunlight Burning at Midnight a memoir by Jessica Ronne


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Just some random, irrelevant, humorous, and hopefully inspiring musings on life, love, faith, widowhood, remarriage, adoption, blended families, caring for a handicapped child, mothering seven children, chickens, cooking, grief, over-coming grief, and everything else in between. Just Keep Livin!!

The Day That Changed It All

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Ronne Recap will be later this week highlighting all of the chaos and joy called our life. I haven’t had much free time lately allowing me to put something coherent together with the official move inching closer and closer and with my internet pretty much non-existent at the new house... well, you get the point. So, instead y’all (practicing my drawl before I actually move) get an excerpt from the book I’ve been working on. It started as Luke’s story 8 years ago and has reluctantly progressed into my story. I always wanted Luke to be the “star” of the book, but when I was asked recently to name the common thread that ran throughout the story, I had to admit that it was not Luke but me. It’s my story with the pregnancy and raising Luke, it’s my story with Jason’s cancer diagnosis and how I handled it as a wife and mother, and it’s my story in this new life I’m in. I’ve recently met with a few people in the publishing industry and they have had some helpful suggestions for cleaning up the manuscript, adding chapters, and finally formulating a book proposal. Slowly but surely I have faith that it will come together in God’s time.

This excerpt describes a day in 2004 when I discovered how dire my unborn baby’s situation truly was.

May 8, 2004

A little more than a month ago I was writing about how blessed we are as a family. And we are, but yesterday I heard the most heartbreaking news. Our baby has hydrocephalus, a term completely unknown to me until yesterday. It’s water on the brain – too much water in the ventricles, and a small cerebellum, which breaks down into almost certain brain damage and death. I’m heart broken and hopeful. I feel like I’m processing the information, I’ve gone to the worst case scenario and dealt with it. Now we have four months and our motto has become, “When God heals this baby.” We are believing and praying for a miracle and believing that “God’s not finished knitting this baby together yet.” We’re claiming verse after verse, “All things are possible to him who believes, Ask and these things shall be given to you, By his stripes we are healed” I’m truly learning what it means to pray without ceasing. We are claiming victory over Satan, and we believe that we will have a testimony to shout to the world. That being said, I’m going for a second opinion on May 20. The doctors will be amazed at the progress of this baby. The baby kicks me often signaling strength and determination and that gives me strength. We have a huge army of prayer partners and by faith we will overcome this.

When I went for a second opinion it turned out to be one of the worst days of my life. I don’t know if I was in denial of how bad the initial prognosis was but however my thoughts unraveled, I went alone. I remember driving to the appointment with butterflies in my stomach; which I tried to dismiss as nerves. I remember trying to pray but the prayers became stuck in my throat and upon arrival, I recall stepping into the elevator and feeling like I was trapped within a coffin, slowly suffocating me to death. I remember looking around the waiting room at the pregnant women with concerned looks on their faces and thinking, why do they all look so sad? Do they all have problems with their babies? I remember walking into the ultrasound room and feeling the coldness, a big white board in the center of freshly painted gray walls and not seeing any representation of warmth - a picture of a mother holding a child or a beautiful sunset view - something symbolic to remind people of the beauty held within the world. I remember feeling a large, heavy set woman poking and prodding with her stubby fingers at my thin, slightly pregnant body and thinking, “You’re a doctor, why are you so overweight? Shouldn’t you take better care of yourself?” I lay there, completely still, as she spoke in hushed tones with the nurse and the gravity of the situation began to descend down upon me. Hot, confused tears started to flow uncontrollably and when the doctor glanced at me and noticed, she nonchalantly asked, “Where’s your husband? He should be here for this news.” I explained, blubbering through words, that we hadn't realized the severity of the situation, and he remained home with our other son. Ironically those exact words, “Where’s your husband” would be spoken by Jason years later as he took his final breaths while witnessing a vision of my life with a new husband.

The obese doctor then started drawing circles on the white board, one circle after another, assumedly a simple depiction of how she viewed my baby’s predicament. I sat there feeling like a child who was failing miserably with a particular subject in school, but the subject I was in jeopardy of failing was that of being pregnant. She resumed the role of a disappointed teacher, drawing a big head representing the fluid that had accumulated and then continued to draw repetitive circles around that big head, signifying what was going to happen month by month as the fluid continued to build. I half expected her to finally draw a big BOOM with scribbles and chaos as the head ultimately exploded, and then she said, “If I were you, I would take care of it and try again. You are a healthy young girl and you won’t have any problems getting pregnant. In fact you will be doing this baby a favor because these kinds of fetuses have a way of spontaneously aborting because they are not supposed to make it. It’s just nature’s way.”

That’s a glimpse into Luke’s story. As always…

Just keep livin!!

  • Guest
    Cathy Stabile Monday, July 15, 2013

    Speechless and full of tears. God Bless you - wait, I'm certain He has. Sending the warmest hugs I can.

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