I never met him. I never held him or felt his small weight in my arms.

He was, for me, a baby in a small white casket, the small person whose short life made St. Patrick’s Day into a reference point.  He was a hitch in my understanding of life, a tripping point for how life was supposed to work.

On March 16, I can’t help it: I think of Logan. I remember getting the phone call from my mother-in-law (who was, at the time, just my boyfriend’s mom), telling me that Susan’s pregnancy would not be ending well.  I remember hearing that Susan’s doctor didn’t want to see her until after she had the abortion.  I remember praying with everything I had and believing that those prayers would make a difference.  (They did make a difference, though I didn’t get the answer I wanted.)

The days are getting longer this time of year, and I always have a certain excitement underlying everyday.  The sun might just come out or the crocus might just bloom.  There’s possibility in spring as there is at no other time in the year…and there is also this memory of Logan.

It’s appropriate, as we journey toward Easter, that I look to Logan.  Eight years ago, he was given a chance to live.  Eight years ago, his parents made a hard decision and chose life.  Eight years ago, the family gathered and mourned.

In our mourning, there was also the seeds of joy.  It was at the funeral, in the back pew with a strong man crying beside me, that I first saw that joy does not equal happiness.  You can be devastated and still see joy.  You can be certain of grace but still screaming at God.

What better lesson and assurance of the resurrection than this baby? He did not have to suffer in this life; he knew only his mother’s love while he was safe inside her womb.  He was held first by Mother Mary.  He was whisked away, to pray for us directly to our Heavenly Father.

I wonder if Allen is hugging him in a special way today, now that they’re together in heaven.

My tears, today, will be for the pain we feel on this earth.  After eight years, it is still there.  This year, it’s been compounded by the death of Logan’s dad.

When I say my rosary today, I’ll be holding Mary’s hand with a special tightness.  I’ll be thinking of the many blessings that are possible from tragedy, of the many graces that come in the midst of suffering, of the beauty that can exist wherever we open ourselves to God.  I’ll also be asking Logan to pray for us, because our grief is especially large this year.

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