All this week leading up to mother’s day I will be posting on topics related to this most favorite of my subjects:  the delicious, demanding and high calling of motherhood. And on Friday I’ll invite you to link up your own answer to the question, “Moms matter because.” Feel free to share from the perspective of either parent or child.

I struggle to remember the names of the students in my husband’s class, but in a second I can recall the name of the night shift nurse on my mom’s floor eighteen years ago.

Nurse Tiny.

She looms large in my memory for one particular reason. She would warm up my mom’s blood. Before a transfusion, Nurse Tiny would tuck the bag of blood into the waistband of her sweater and carry it on rounds until it had reached body temperature. Only then would she would wake my mom.

I learned the most remarkable things about blood that year.

My mom spent hours observing it as it ran life back into her crippled system. We talked about its various shades. Dark purple, almost blue looking sometimes. Rich and royal. Full of white and red cells. Fighting infection, supplying the body oxygen. Removing waste. Cold as it enters the circulatory system.

The I.V. – a manmade umbilical cord – kept my mom with us for a desperate while longer.

It was not sad or scary to talk about blood with my mom. It was always redemptive. She showed me how blood was heroic. She offered her daily experience as a living parable for my teenage heart. How her transfusions stood in the gap of her own fallen bone marrow and supplied the life and health she needed to live.

Without blood we all die. There’s no way around it.

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:28

Eighteen years later and my mom’s blood still runs in my veins. Warm.

And I believe He stands in the gap for me like He did for her.

And we are both transfused with His life.

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