The Poem of Erma Bombeck
Who is Erma Bombeck?
According to Wikipedia:
“Erma Louise Bombeck (February 21, 1927 – April 22, 1996) was an American humorist who achieved great popularity for her newspaper column that described suburban home life from the mid-1960s until the late 1990s. Bombeck also published 15 books, most of which became bestsellers.”
Since I came across this poem, I read it and read it all over again, and I want to share with you.
Following is Erma Bombeck’s poem:
HOW GOD PICKS A MOTHER FOR A HANDICAPPED CHILD
Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures and a couple by habit.
This year, nearly 100.000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen?
Somehow, I visualize God hovering over earth, selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.
“Amstrong , Beth, son. Patron saint Matthew.
Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, patron saint, Cecelia.
Rudledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint …. Give her Gerard. He’s used to profanity.”
Finally, He passes a name to an angel and smiles, “Give her a handicap child.”
The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She’s so happy.”
“Exactly”, smiles God. “Could I give a handicapped child a mother who doesn’t know laughter? That would be cruel.”
“But has she patience?” asks the angel.
“I don’t want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she’ll handle it.
I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I’m going to give her has his own world. She has to make it live in her world and that’s not going to be easy. ”
” But, Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you. ”
God smiles.” No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness. ”
The angel gasps,” Selfishness? Is that a virtue? ”
God nods.” If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she’ll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn’t realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never consider a “step” ordinary. When her child says “Momma” for the first time she will be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations.
I will permit her to see clearly the things I see….. ignorance, cruelty, prejudice….. and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side. ”
” And what about her patron saint?” asks the angel, his pen poised in mid-air.”
“A mirror will suffice.”. ”