Honestly, my headline doesn’t do justice to this piece. Just drop everything and take the time to read this.
I can’t remember the last time a secular publication (in this case, the Des Moines Register) offered such a beautiful and inspiring story of Catholicism, told with a tone that is not only respectful, but actually reverent.
Anumeha Galloway was about to deliver her son Ezra in the earliest hour of Jan. 5. Ezra was dead, she knew. His regular movement stopped while she was having lunch with her husband, two days after the due date of the couple’s first child.
She was not crying. It was time. She looked at her husband, Ryan. He smiled. She was fuzzy from the painkillers and began to think she needed a coffee to wake up a bit, that she should brush her teeth to get ready for her baby — but, no, it was going to happen now, right now.
Joy came over her when he came into the world, an umbilical cord wrapped around his neck.
Ezra was beautiful. He had his father’s nose and his mother’s round face. They held him. They felt no anger or regret or pity.
The couple had planned to baptize Ezra Saturday night at St. Augustin Catholic Church in Des Moines, after the Easter Vigil ceremony to join the Catholic faith. They studied the faith for months, contemplated life’s mysteries and the everlasting. They had tried to convince their parents that Catholicism was the right choice, but couldn’t.
The whole reason for our faith, Ryan Galloway said, is that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead. Now, he could hold his son and smile because of that faith. It meant he could see his son again someday.
They could tell Ezra then that he gave them so much, which they were about to learn.
Keep reading. You’ll be glad you did. It’s a powerful, poignant, grace-besotted story that will leave you moved and, I think, profoundly grateful. Be sure to watch the accompanying videos, too.
Kudos to reporter Mike Klein, photographer Andrea Melendez, videographers Rodney White and Byron Houlgrave and the editors at the Des Moines Register.