Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Brother Timothy

If you know me well, you are probably wondering why I never told you I had a brother named Timothy. Well, finally, today I am telling you. Here is the story, told in brief images supplied by the memories of an event that occurred fifteen years ago.

The bathroom door was firmly closed. From inside, my mother's shaky voice reached my five-year-old ears:

"Carissa, I need you to call papa or the midwife."

Was she crying? Clueless and concerned, trying to find the "yellow paper with Joyce's name on it"; wondering how one called people on the phone....

Mama's voice, more desperate this time.

Finally getting someone called, proceeding to run frantically back and forth. Bathroom, front door. Front door, bathroom.

"Mama? Are you okay? What's wrong?"

Vague, crying, unsatisfactory answers. Knowing something was wrong; unsure of what it was.

What did it all mean? Would papa ever get home?

My two year old sister, Hannah; mimicking my nervous running-- only she thought it a game.

My baby brother Josiah, pulling baby wipes out on to the floor, happily making a mess with them.

Finally, papa came. And the midwife.

[My memory is fuzzy here... I imagine they went in with mama and helped her and then she went to bed. Some other people may have come over at this point as well.]

Later on, learning the baby came too soon. It was already dead.

What does dead mean?

It was dark and cold, and someone was carrying mama outside. Something was wrong with her: why wasn't she doing anything? Was she asleep? Would she be okay?

Mrs. Mc. coming and helping us clean up and trying to explain things. I found a spot of blood-- concerned, but curious--and wanting to help--I wiped it up.

She put us to bed. And gave me a spanking. A hard one. Apparently I was being naughty... what a surprise. :P (Around there it was not uncommon for parents to spank each other's children...)

Later on, another day: a family burial out in the woods.

A very deep hole: don't fall in!

Papa being gone a long, long time and returning with a gorgeous wildflower bouquet.

Josiah, too little to know better, throwing rocks and sticks in the hole for baby. Finding that amusing, and even mama smiling a little.

Picking pretty little flowers and tossing them in with Hannah...

The check box with the mountains on the lid; a soft bed of cotton balls inside and the smallest blanket ever, cut from mama's pink and white and gray plaid hospital gown. Written on in mama's neat, grown up handwriting: "Timothy Mann" "xoxoxoxoxo" (One xo from each of us. I made sure mama got that right.) with a permanent marker.

And in between the cotton balls and blanket--mama let us look-- the most intricate, tiny, perfect, still baby.

Unbelievably small fingers and toes, with such perfect little nails... a funny head with a cute little nose and closed eyes, ("mama, why are his eyes closed?") thin lips, legs, arms, teeny ribs covered with almost transparent skin... what a miracle.

Even at five--or maybe because I was five--I was very curious and amazed. There was absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the bitty form laying on the cotton balls was a baby.

We sang some hymns, and mama cried: we wanted to know why. Papa was quiet. Very quiet.

We put baby Timothy in--way down--in the big hole. (when you are five, holes like that are enormous.) We all helped put lots of dirt on top so no nasty coyotes would dig up the precious little box.

Much later on, I learned that our brother went to be with Jesus when he was around three months old.

That is when most babies are aborted.

You have no idea what that does to me, knowing how a baby looks at that age, remembering the amazing details of my little brother, knowing that people kill babies exactly like him.

I would be saddened and horrified enough by abortion without having seen a baby at that stage in development-- the utter injustice of killing a completely defenseless, innocent human being in what should be the safest place for it! is enough to sicken and infuriate me---but having seen a real baby of that age!!

This evil must be stopped.

Who knows but that God has appointed us for such a time as this!

Tomorrow [Monday, February 14th], my sister Hannah and I will be fasting for lunch and praying for the end of abortion. A small step, perhaps-- if going directly to the One who controls the universe can be called a small step--but it's a start.

Join us and the many others nationwide who will be participating!


  1. Thank you, Carissa.

    I am crying right now, not only because I have many very similar memories (although I didn't get to see my little sister or my little brother), but because this is my same heart cry.

    I will pray.

  2. Wow. This is amazing.

    I would say I'm crying too (because I'm sure if I was a distinctly emotional person I would be), but I'm not. So I'll just say I'm crying in my heart. Does that count?

    I will be praying as well.

  3. Thank you for sharing Carissa. I think you may have told me this testimony before, I'm not sure. What a powerful testimony to the preciousness of life.

    My mom had a miscarriage between Karen & I.... I've always thought about how exciting it will be to meet my sibling for the first time when I get to heaven.

    It breaks my heart as well to think of each of those little children... I will be praying.

  4. Jay: You're welcome!

    You all had two miscarriages? So then we are tied in numbers. Except our ninth is still living. *nods* Right. Thank you for praying!

    Rebeka: Yes, it is. :)

    Yup, that counts, because I do the same exact thing.

    Thank you for praying!

    Allison: You are welcome! Yes indeed. :)

    Yes, I think about that too.

    It is very sad. Thank you for praying!