Of Stars, Prayers and Dreams… by Sara A. Clement

“Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight…I wish I may, I wish I might…have the wish I wish tonight.  I wish…”  


Those were words I uttered many a time as a child and young teen.  Looking into the heavens to make my dreams come true was such a common occurrence, it might have seemed to an unknowing onlooker that I had an abundance of wishes and was a somewhat greedy child.   Perhaps I really was greedy, but the wish I had was simple.  I asked for it time and time again, but when it didn’t come true, I assumed it wasn’t meant to be.  I assumed I wasn’t worthy of my hopes and dreams.  I believed I wasn’t being given my wish simply because I didn’t deserve it.

It never really occurred to me that wishing on a star might not be the most effective way to make a dream come true. It was easier to believe that I was somehow defective.

At some point, I must have stopped wishing on stars in exchange for prayer.  Prayer became the place wherein I would ask God to fulfill my hopes…my dreams.  With all my heart, I would reach to the heavens with tears in my eyes just begging to be heard.  At times, I simply lived in the faith that I was being heard, but that my prayers were simply not meant to be answered.  I knew my life was good.  Full.  Beautiful.  In all honesty, I hadn’t met a person with as many blessings as I’d been given, and yet… I yearned.

I yearned for the innermost pain in my core to be removed.  I dreamed of a morning wherein I would awake and find that I was beloved by the people who brought me here.  I prayed that they would love me.

It can seem shocking to those of us who have known the pain of loss to understand that there are children out there who do not feel loved. How could a parent deny love to their child when there are so many who have had their opportunity to love ripped from their lives?  It seems unspeakable.  And yet, I was not loved.  I knew it.  I felt it.  I breathed it.

It was all I’d ever wanted.  And…it was only a dream.

I’ve lost as many babies as I’ve been honored to birth into life.  My tears have been so bountiful, I am confident I could have supported a farm’s water supply for several years into abundant harvest.  When I discovered last year that I was pregnant with a little girl after losing my twin sons, the bedrock that I’d always stood on felt shaky.  A little girl?  How could I have a little girl?  My babies had all been boys.  I had five living sons.  I’d parented my brothers when my own parents failed to be present.  I understood boys.  But most importantly, I knew that I hadn’t been wanted or loved because I was a girl.  And now, I was pregnant with a little girl.

My dreams became littered with memories of the past and fears for the future.  My anxiety levels peaked and I found myself turning to stars for comfort once more.  Under the big sky ofMontanawhere I live, stars are found in an abundance I’ve known in no other place.  There is a particular star…the wishing star…that isn’t a star at all; it is a planet. Venus.  The morning and evening star is the third brightest light in the sky, only after the moon and sun.  Its bright light gave me direction as I walked miles with my husband and dog…talking out my fears…expressing my journey through loss and the healing I hoped would follow.

I was having a daughter.  The implications of that filled my heart with an unknowing joy along with a dense awareness of what I could lose should she not make it into my arms safely.  The full impact of this didn’t hit me fully until she was lying on my breast, warm and moist from a precarious birth wherein her cord of life attempted to strangle the breath from her being—almost as if life was wagging it’s forked tongue in my face.  Even so, my wish had finally come true.  My dream had manifested.  The love I’d craved as a daughter…the adoration I’d asked the stars for…the tenderness I’d prayed to feel…it was here.  As I cradled my rainbow baby in my arms I felt a bizarre sense of irony surround me.  Only now, as the mother of a daughter, after mounds of tears, loss, and devastation, only now could I truly appreciate every tiny detail, every hair on her head.  Only after all the pain and questioning and worry could my dreams really come true.  Not as the daughter, but as the mother.


Author Bio:

Sara Clement resides and hikes in the beautiful mountains of Missoula, Montana with her inspiring husband, humorous children and a menagerie of beloved pets.  She has a background in pre-medical psychology and spends her day’s freelancing as a writer, editor and consultant.  She enjoys home-schooling the three youngest of her five sons, cuddling with her rainbow baby girl, and experimenting in the lost art of intuitive cooking.  Sara lost twin sons to stillbirth in the spring of 2009; leading her to Exhale as a regular contributor and copy editor.  You can follow Sara’s reflections through life on her blog Reflections of a Butterfly


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