Grandma and Grandchild

"O God, O why have You not yet released her?
O why do You continue to diminish her?
She has lived long and boldly and proudly.
Why must this be her end: to linger senselessly?"
What am I to say to comfort them?
What comfort is there in a proud woman
Hardly living, trapped in her worn out body,
Unsightly, messy, unpleasant, grotesque?
Her water breaks -- what a mess!
Now she squats, legs apart, pushing and pushing --
In sweat, blood, and tears, a new life is born.
She thinks, "Grandma will be so happy!"
As a new life is given us,
  so we midwife another into the next life.
What beauty then in the lingering?
  The beauty of grandma and grandchild.
  The beauty of care giving to a life well-lived.
  The beauty of the rhythm of life.
  The beauty of hope for eternity.
The beauty of God in our living and our dying.

©2007 John A. Mills