Mama, You Have Oatmeal in Your Hair

Mama, You Have Oatmeal in Your Hair


Sophie and Bella amused themselves brushing my hair after I’d brushed and braided theirs after their bath. Ouch!

As she tugged and tangled it, she announced to me that I had oatmeal in my hair. (She pronounces it eeo.) Bella added that I had peaches in my hair.

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  • Melanie, this is breath-taking and beautiful and sad and mystical. I am glad you posted it and plan to print it out for my journal.

    God’s plan is often mysterious yet always loving. Having lost four infants to miscarriage, I take much comfort in knowing that we are eternal beings. We are made to be with Him.

  • These are beautiful thoughts, Melanie.

    One thing that gives me great comfort is the thought that God knows how to save us. I once read a word from St. Gregory the Theologian who said that the death of infants, both in the womb and soon after birth, is a mystery that we cannot understand. But he went on to say that God desires the salvation of all and with the foreknowledge that something worse would befall the infant, something that would jeopardize their salvation, He takes them before their time, out of mercy for the one He saves and a special love that He has for someone in that child’s family. And while they have not had the opportunity to struggle to conquer the passions and grow in virtue, He still gives them the opportunity to come into union with Him. His mercy is beyond measure.

    Without a doubt, this is one of the most difficult aspects of the Fall.

    With love in Christ,

  • Geez, Melanie! Do you have any idea what horrible thought first entered my head when I read your title! Thank God it wasn’t the case.

    That said, your reflection was beautiful and I’m glad you posted it too. (just wish it had a different title.)

  • Thank you all.

    When I first wrote this it was not in response to my own loss or to that of someone I knew. It was as a stranger. I had been asked to pray for a woman I did not know who had experienced a loss. These words came but I didn’t feel quite right publishing them as they almost seemed to take advantage of someone else’s pain.

    Yet when I was drawn to re-read this post I realized something more. These words were a gift to me, a consolation offered not for my own loss but through me for someone else’s loss. They were not mine to keep. And so I send them out, knowing the Spirit of Him who gave them to me will see that they reach the hearts of those to whom He wishes to bestow His consolation.

    Mary, Thank you for sharing those words from St Gregory. Truly a beautiful reflection and much comfort there.

    Katherine, Oh no! I am so sorry I was the occasion of any alarm. Especially since you are still on edge after Elizabeth’s fall. I promise that if I ever have to announce sad news I will never do so in such a brutal way.

  • Melanie, it did occur to me after the fact that if, God forbid, you had any news so sad you would not title it so. I do really think Elizabeth’s fall this past weekend has put me on a kind of “high alert.” I will work on coming down from DEFCON 2 this week.

  • What a beautiful poem.  Thank you.

    This is so fitting for the brief life of my grandson, Tyler, who died at age 2 1/2 of pontine glioma, a brain stem cancer.

  • Melanie, I read this poem in AFTER MISCARRIAGE. It expresses my recent experience with miscarriage so precisely. Yes, I am sad, but I’ve been blessed with a sense of peace and acceptance very early. I’m amazed that this is not written from personal experience, but I realize it need not be. Your understanding does not necessitate your experiencing this pain. I am so grateful that your words are allowing me to feel what I need to feel, and let that be okay. I hope it’s all right that I’ve shared this poem on my blog (, linking both to this page and the book. If not, I’ll take it down right away. Either way, thank you.

  • I just want you to know I have this written in my grief journal. And it means much to me. And I am glad you have had the chance to share these consoling words with mothers.