Friday, July 9, 2010

A million tears.

I can hold what I believe of God and Jesus and religion in a thimble.  And still have room for my finger.  But last week, I was given a chance to understand what God does for people.   And really understand a little about His power myself.  Here’s a letter I wrote to a friend about our vacation…  since I don’t think I can write much more than I have already.

…On our second day in Baltimore, we had a great time. Went on this pirate ship tour of the inner harbor and the kids and family all had a blast. Later that night, though, my sister-in-law went to the hospital because she felt something was wrong. She ended up losing her baby that night and had to deliver it the next day. Six weeks from her due date. The cord had tangled and cut off support to the baby.
Needless to say, the holiday was cut short by this devastating accident and we all kind of took our places huddled around Jed's brother and his wife as they grieved and as we grieved.
We managed to steal away to VA to see my sister and her two kids for a few nights. Mostly to finally meet her husband and kids since I hadn't seen her since my dad's funeral ten years ago...but also to give Ian and Elaine their house back for a few nights.
Nobody went to sleep with a dry eye during the rest of my trip.  A million tears.
And then there was a memorial. Ian, Elaine and Jed's parents had all been able to hold little Amelia after her delivery. We all touched a plaster cast footprint- tiny and HUGE all at the same time. We sat huddled together in clumps on hard pews in a tiny chapel. Our individual families mixed up and comforting one another. Jed tried to get through a letter he wrote to Amelia, and I had to come to his aid so it could be read in its entirety. Words never tasted like those. Never sounded like those.
I've heard of babies dying, but after this baby was conceived (years in the works), it was my baby, too. It was Jed's and Jenny's and Jeff's and ours. And our tears were different from theirs, but they came from the same bottomless place of sadness and hurt and confusion.
You know me, I'm not a religious person. But I can see how those who are can be comforted by a higher power in charge. Someone's decision and purpose that's deeper than we can understand here on earth.
I don't believe in Jesus saving my soul. I don't believe God has any intentions for me. But on July 2nd, 2010... I believed, if only for a moment, that HE was wrapping himself around this tiny baby and keeping her safe. Because it's the very least I could do- to believe for her sake.
I'm so sad, Nicole. Why does this happen to people?
Hope you're okay.


Cadence asked me why we keep talking about baby Amelia if it makes us so sad.  The only thing I can think to tell her is that we have to talk about her.  Not because there’s a danger of ever forgetting her, but because we just have to. For us.   And because she was here. 

{this is a re-post: this one’s for the people who blinked and missed it the first time. i wanted to get my brother-in-law’s blessing to publish. thanks for the sweet emails and comments, those of you who happened to catch it the first time.}


MaryAnne said...

This happened to my best friend from high school. Unspeakably sad. So sorry for your sister-in-law, and your entire family.

Octohawk said...

That is terrible to read. I can't even fathom how it feels to experience. My deepest condolences.

Will Burke said...

That was really hard to read, especially when I got to the plaster footprints part. My heart's going out to you and your family.

l'ananas said...

Once again, my heart goes out to your family. I only knew our little one for 8 weeks. I can't fathom the pain involved with 8 months...or with burying a child at any point.

Mandy said...

More tears just reading this. You never stop worrying about babies. You worry while they're in the womb. You worry while they're sleeping in their crib and check to make sure they're still breathing. You worry when they cross the street. This is the deepest heartbreak I can fathom.

Stephanie Meade Gresham said...

Thanks to everyone for the emails and comments about Amelia and my sister and brother-in-law.

Maybe now I'll be ready to get back to bloggin-as-usual. I just keep clicking on my link and seeing the title of this post... not easy to write "over".

Thanks again for your kindness.

Mme Paulita said...

oh my xoxoxox

Christine--RHP said...

So sad. So sorry for your sister inlaw, and the rest of the family.
My brother and his wife their first child at 34 weeks to fetal hydrops. Very similar, although baby Melissa lived for a few hours after delivery. The feelings of terror, hope, helplessness, powerlessness, confusion and frustration at not being able to do anything at all...and then grief and sorrow and emptiness.....
Somehow, I imagine your presence there was a blessing. My heart goes out to your family.

Anonymous said...

Aww. I did miss it the first time and I am crying some of those million tears with you now, literally. So sad. Your letter was so beautiful. I'm so so sorry for your loss.

anymommy said...

Oh. That takes all the breath and light away. I am so sorry.

Molly said...

So so sad.
I noticed this disappeared from my reader before I got to it.
It's easy to forget how fragile life is. Especially having a new baby myself my heart goes out to your family.