My Momma and Me

I began to take note of the numbers 926 about 13 years ago.  It struck me as funny that these seemingly random numbers 9-2-6 began to appear everywhere…on the clock in the morning and the evening, on time stamped messages, on receipts, license plates, addresses, phone numbers and room numbers.

It got to the point where I felt like God was intentionally opening my eyes to something.  Being the optimist that I am, I was sure He was preparing me for something incredibleBreathtaking.

9/26.  Perhaps the date would reveal something exceptional.

On the morning of 9/26/01 I was busily preparing the day for my third grade students.  When my dear teaching friend Abby popped her head in I remember telling her, “Something BIG is going to happen today.”

To say that I was unprepared for what followed would be the most monumental understatement of my life.  That afternoon at school I got a call from my mom, my world.  She had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Breathtaking indeed.

I began to detest 926.  I blocked it out, not wanting to see it or be reminded of something so awful.

My Beautiful Mom

A little less than 3 years later we had to say our final good-byes to the most amazing woman I’ve ever known.  I had no idea how I would live one more day of my life without her.

It didn’t start back up right away, or perhaps I wasn’t yet open or ready to acknowledge it.  That’s grief.  Eventually, in the year after my mom’s death, I began to see it again.  Everywhere.  926.  And somehow it didn’t hurt so much.  It felt more like my mom was with me.

Over time, 926 became a source of comfort for me.  I remember crying in the car one day, feeling like I’d never be the kind of mom for my kids that my mom was for me.  I felt her there then.  And of course when I glanced at the clock it was 9:26.

From that moment forward, every time I was with my kids and we saw that it was 9:26 I would say, “Grandma Paula loves you.”  These love reminders transformed me.  They made me face my sorrow and open my heart.

4 years ago today I had a 37-week prenatal appointment for my third baby.  I had intentionally scheduled it for 9/26 because by this time it was clear…whenever there was 926, my mom was present in her own special way.

At my appointment everything seemed routine, but while listening to the baby’s heartbeat my doctor became concerned about a “blip” he had heard.  He set me up for monitoring and announced a short time later that he could not in good conscience send me home not knowing for sure what was going on.  His main concern was cord compression.  He said, “Looks like you’re going to have a baby today.”

I was monitored in Labor & Delivery all throughout the day.  I was filling out papers and forms and the date was everywhere.  It was a 926-FEST.  I felt surrounded by love and lifted up.  I knew 2 truths that day:

  1. As worried as I was, everything was going to be okay.
  2. As much as I wanted my mom physically present in my hospital room, she was there all the same.

I was anxious about the C-section procedure, having had my first 2 children this way.  I was also nervous about getting my IV because traditionally I have to be turned into a human pin cushion to get it just right.  Ugh.

Enter my nurse, Madonna.  I kid you not.  Madonna, the very epitome of mother.  We had an instant connection.  She inserted the IV with ease.  Later we bonded, and she shared the story of losing her daughter to cancer.  I was goose-bumped and speechless.

Madonna spent a lot of time with me that day and was such a comfort as I waited for my husband Adam to arrive.  He was home with our other two kids and quite surprised to hear that my routine appointment was going to result in a baby within a few hours.  He had about a million details to tend to before he could come hold my hand.  I was appreciative that Madonna was so willing to sit with me.

My doctor was on duty and ready to perform the C-section that evening, but in the meantime I was being monitored by a different doctor.  I had just enough experience with this doctor to know that I didn’t feel at ease with her.  So when she came in, briefly glanced at my read-outs, and proclaimed that there didn’t appear to be any problem whatsoever and I could go home, I thought in my mind, “Um, no.  It’s 9/26, my mom is clearly with me, my husband is on his way, I trust my doctor implicitly, and he heard something odd.  I’m having this baby today thank you very much.”

That night, our sweet and spunky Finnigan Henry was born.  The cord was

Welcoming Finnigan

indeed wrapped around his neck, though thankfully he was fine.  Perfect.  I won’t even let myself think about what could’ve happened if I’d simply decided to go home.  But why would I have done that?  It was 9/26, the perfect day to welcome a baby into our family.

And now we have the gift of days like today.  We get to celebrate Finn’s birth, faith, our connection to my mom, and God’s blessings.  Our eyes and hearts are open to the wonder.


** Word count: 926 (of course) **

29 responses to “926

  1. Hi Beth,

    I love how God puts people in our lives. We never know why, but I feel it’s just to be able to share today.

    When I lost my brother 16 years ago, his hockey numbers began to show up. 922 When Grandma had a heart attack, she was in room 922. When my dad had his heart attack years later. He was in room 922. When we were at the doctors waiting on word from the doctor. Yes, it was 9:22. Sometimes it’s the 22 alone, which is the hockey number i see the most. The kids and my husband have picked up on it, too. I know it’s God’s way of saying He’s here and always will be. I know my brother is watching us from above and that helps me get through the lonely moments.

    A lovely lady, who’s a dear friend now, has 922 in her phone number. I know everything happens for a reason. She’s a true inspiration to me ❤

    Thanks for sharing ❤
    Denise of Ingleside, PEI

  2. Beth, this post is extraordinary. My eyes are full of tears! My own “9” date is coming up in two days – 929 – the day my father passed away. But I have the same feelings of his presence as you have with your mom. Our loved ones never leave is, and in fact, the love grows stronger.

    Congratulations on your new blog!

  3. Beth,
    You have a gift. You are a beautiful writer. Thank you for sharing your heart. I’m so glad you started this blog. Good for you! I can’t wait to read more. God bless you.

  4. Your loving heart and amazing gift for caring shows up throughout this post…your mom was a fabulous person, and I know she is so incredibly proud of you. And Finn is a firecracker–so glad you listened to your “messages” and not that doctor!!

  5. I know this is just one of many amazing sorties you have to share and I can’t wait to see all that unfolds for you in the future. Way to go on following your dreams and making things happen, you are a wonderful inspiration!! Much love to you!!

  6. Hi Beth…lovely to meet you…discovered your post on 12×12 FB. 🙂
    Thank you so much for sharing this moving story…I’m so glad you are sensitive to your mom’s presence and that you are able to draw strength, courage and joy from it. 🙂 I’d love to follow your blog!

  7. What a BEAUTIFUL story, Beth. It must have been so difficult to lose you momma, and yet you have found comfort in all the connections. Your baby, now a “big boy”, will continue to shine and shine.

  8. Wonderful writing… My older brother died last December and my younger brother and I have noticed 103 popping up all the time (the house number where we grew up)… It feels comforting and occurs when I’m not expecting it..

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