Beating for two

About a month ago, two cops were on their way to serve a warrant to a man on an attempted murder charge. They were both shot. One, a 43-year-old husband and father, was killed. Thankfully, the other survived, but the community was heartbroken over the entire event. Many spent hours at the site of the accident, placing flowers, holding signs of well-wishes for the family and police department. The news spread nationally and officers from all over the country came to the fallen’s funeral. “You never know if it could be you,” they would say.
Pat, at the time, was involved in “Mindfulness” seminars. He would go every Tuesday to Cave Creek, a small, kitschy, Western-themed town north of Phoenix and learn how to reduce stress, be more present in each day, master breathing exercises, etc. At the end of each session they would have a sharing circle where each one of them would talk about what was causing them stress, what was making them happy, anything good or bad or interesting that was filling their minds. It was a release for all of them and made them aware of what they needed to work on in the next week.
One woman there, Pat told me, worked in the police department. I don’t think she knew the officers, but she knows them as a whole, knows their lifestyle, their sacrifices, their nuances, personalities. The officer’s death hit her especially hard and that’s what she shared that week, that the only way she could cope was by putting her hand over her chest and being mindful of her heartbeat. Through all the pain she was feeling that was the only thing reminding her she was still here, she was still OK.
I heard my baby’s heartbeat for the first time today, Pat said after her. The woman started crying, telling Pat, a relative stranger, that hearing that made her heart the lightest it had been in what felt like a really dark week.
Our hearts are one of the first things to grow. Our baby’s created its heart around Valentine’s Day. I’ve never been that much of a sucker for the chocolate and roses, but maybe now it will hold a place in me, a reminder that life, despite how hard and painful it can be, is really a beautiful, amazing thing.

PS. This photo was taken about 3 weeks ago. I’ll be 12 weeks on Monday and that much closer to being a human garbage disposal, but I bet it beats the nausea.

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4 Responses to Beating for two

  1. Ms. Moon says:

    Oh, Rachel! I am JOYFUL at this news! Thank you for telling us!
    May all the best be yours and Pat’s and this baby’s who will be born knowing that he or she is loved and wanted and cherished.
    My heart feels lighter, too, as I think about the tiny heart beating somewhere so close to yours.

    • rachelvb says:

      Thank you so much, Mary! I’m so excited to see it next week! Excited to see how big it’s gotten, hoping everything is still well, although from the all-day-morning sickness, the hormones are all still doing their job. Who would have thought being sick was a good thing??? But Pat’s parents are here this week and his mom is taking good care of me. Thanks again for your note. Phoenix has been such a good move for us. So much has happened in a year and a half! xoxo

  2. Angella says:

    Rachel, how absolutely wonderful!! Oh you will be such a fabulous mother. I am so happy for that child who is choosing to come to you. Smart little tyke! Chills, the very best kind. <3

    • rachelvb says:

      Thanks, Angella! I hope so! I think Pat will be more the disciplinarian, but I’m ok with that 😉 He/she has made it a little hard for me today, but at least it’s Friday and I can sleep in tomorrow! xoxo

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