poetry • art • marriage • momhood • faith

Dear Lightning Bug

May 28, 2013


Dear Lightning Bug,


Three days have passed since I have learned I am your mommy. Precious little jelly-bean baby, how my heart lept with the surprise of that second pink line!  I don’t know if God told you before He sent you to me and Daddy, but I have prayed and hoped for you for about two years now.  But in a tangle of prudence versus heart-aching desire, waiting to try to conceive you won out month after month.  We don’t know yet where you will sleep or how we will pay the hospital bills, but we do know you will know love. You are loved.  You were made through love, by love.   And isn’t that what matters in the end?


Little One, it has been less than three weeks since you were conceived. You are about the size of a poppy seed right now.  And already, you have changed my life forever, just as each of your siblings before have and continue to do. Your biggest brother just turned nine, and your second-oldest brother is rounding out his seventh year. Your almost four-year-old brother will have the hardest time when you demand my attention.  For now, though, I will let him be my “Klingon” (cling+on) a little longer.


Your tiniest brother will always be that. He was born and returned to God in December of 2010. I’m afraid I will always feel I wasn’t the best mom for him.  I let fear of the details invade the joy of my days with him.  I hadn’t considered how numbered those days would be, Lightning Bug. He was only 20 weeks and less than 10 ounces when he was born.


I never want you to think you’re a “replacement” for your brother, Lightning Bug.  No person could ever fill the hole I was left with when your tiny brother died.  Only God can heal that wound and fill that hole.  Yet while you’re no replacement baby, I do feel you are a kind of redemption: You are my chance and challenge to accept and treasure motherhood from the very beginning. We’ll see how I fare when morning sickness and heartburn and backaches plague me. But right now, I cannot think of you without being overwhelmed with joy.  Not financial concerns, not high-risk pregnancy concerns, not exhaustion.  Joy.


I came home from the grocery store this evening at twilight, and the front lawn was sparkling with lightning bugs.  It looked as if God was sprinkling glitter throughout the neighborhood!  Oh, how it made me feel light and full of wonder!  And I knew “Lightning Bug” would be your in utero name… because I am filled with awe at the magnificent gift of being able to carry you in my womb.  I am filled with the joy of the sparkle you have brought into my life.  And while I hope and pray this will be a sparkle that lasts many, many years, I am trusting God in His timing, knowing my time to hold you could be as quick as lightning. I am going to cherish every moment, like a child cupping a lighting bug in her hands.


I will do my best to not hold you too tightly.


I will let you fly when you’re ready.  Lightning bugs are most beautiful in flight.


I love you little one.



  1. Joyce Ledgerwood Joyce Ledgerwood
    June 16, 2013    

    Julie, this is beautiful! You, once again, touched my heart. Love you Lots, Mom

  2. Leslie Leslie
    June 19, 2013    

    And JOY you so deserve, dear Julie! Very happy to return from travel to your wonderful news. Love, blessings and a big (but gentle!) hug for the Lightning Bug’s mommy next time I see you. Congratulations to you and Jonathan … may the beautiful journey to January 29, 2014 be paved with joy and more joy. 🙂

  3. June 19, 2013    

    Beautiful letter, Julie. What a lucky little Lightning Bug to be coming into this world through you, your eyes and your family.

  4. Aunt Linda Aunt Linda
    July 1, 2013    

    My note to Rebecca June 11th:

    Saw my first lightning bug of the season yesterday! It must be summer.

    And then, driving to your Mom’s house, at just the right time, June 26th, I came upon fields of luminescent jewels hovering above the grass. …Love that time of lightning bug evening! And then your Mom directed me to this “Dear Lightening Bug” entry.

    ….PURE JOY! That’s what lightning bugs are! May your little Lightning Bug bring you fields of joy.

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torch bearing quietly

I will not act out, will not
yell or curse or slam doors,
will not make a scene -- you
do not deserve such a chance
to make an example out of me
to be proven right since you
are not. Instead, I'll stand
at this street corner, raise
my hand high and clench that
light which yet remains. It
will burn brightly, quietly,
fiercely before fading as I.

Then I'll be gone but found.

©JAC 2005

Poetry by Julie Ann Cook!

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Love Like Weeds
by Julie Ann Cook
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