FOOD FOR THE SOUL
If you have been blessed in your life, you will have crossed paths with people who have left a mark on your heart forever. I have been blessed in this way, and this blog is dedicated to a couple who have done just that. We have been neighbors with Dave and Kathy since we have moved into this house over 20 years ago. My oldest daughter used to babysit with their kids when she was a teenager, so our lives have been intertwined for a long time. On July 2, 1996 I had a routine sonogram, with my 3 children in the room with me, that showed that my baby would be born without a brain. I sat in stunned silence with my children surrounding me, as my midwife gave me the news as gently as she could. Mary, my midwife, had been by my side through the birth of my 3 children and held my hand when I suffered 3 miscarriages, so I knew it hurt her deeply to share this news. I drove home with the car being completely silent for the 30 minute ride home. I stopped at my parents home on the way and for the first time since receiving the news, I broke down and cried.
We knew that this child would only live a minute or two after birth, and we needed to prepare for not only the babies birth, but also his imminent death. There were so many questions, and along with the shock of this news, it was hard to figure out what to do. I was trying to “hold it together” for the sake of the children I had at home. They were 15, 13, and 8, so they were well aware of what was happening. The first phone call made was to our minister. I needed to be sure that when this child was born, he would go to heaven, since there wouldn’t be a baptism, so to speak. Thinking back now, I wonder if it is strange that of all of the questions I had, why this one was weighing heavily on my heart. I knew that God was handing me a huge challenge, and I wanted to be sure that I didn’t fail in His eyes. I remember how upset my grandmother was when we didn’t baptise Rick until he was about 18 months of age. She would tell me that if something happened to him, we needed assurance that he would remain safe in the arms of Jesus. I needed to do the same for this unborn child.
When the day of his birth was approaching, we needed to make arrangements for his burial. Where do you begin? I had never had to plan a funeral before, plus I wasn’t really able to think clearly at this point. This is when our friends Dave and Kathy really came into our lives. Dave is a funeral director and Kathy had spent many years working in the business. It was a beautiful summer day when they came over and we began the planning. We have a nook in our kitchen that, at that time, had a table and 2 benches in it. We sat it there in the early evening, Bill and I on one side and Kathy and Dave on the other and began making arrangements for what would be one of the saddest days of our lives. They knew just what to say, and where to guide us. By the end of the evening we had everything planned, with them making most of the decisions, and a deep and forever bond was forged between the four of us. I gave birth to Jonathan Patrick on July 12th at Northwest Memorial Hospital, and he was cristened by the hospital chaplin as I held him while he took a few final breaths. Jonathan was buried on a sunny warm day in July, in a tiny white casket, with the most wonderful breeze gently blowing through the pine trees in our church cemetery in the country. Friends, family and co-workers were there to share in our grief, and right beside us were Dave and Kathy.
Fast forward to 1999, and I find myself 40 years old and about to be blessed with a soon-to-be new member of our family. Everything is going well, and it looks like I will end my child-bearing years on a good note. The woman who held my hand at one of the darkest moments in my life has stepped forward and was going to host a wonderful baby shower for us. We spent the evening with friends and family rejoicing the wonderful blessing that had been sent to us. Kathy again steps in the night Madison is born. It is late in the evening, and she has volunteered to be the chauffeur, bringing my kids to the hospital to see their new sister. They are let into the room to see her shortly after midnight, and our eyes meet across the room, only filled with happiness at this point. I had never in my wildest dreams thought that this day would come. Two months later Madison Faith is baptized with Dave and Kathy as her sponsors, beautifully dressed in a christening dress given to her by her sponsors.
I don’t remember hating God or asking “why me” when faced with the loss of Jonathan. I am comforted with the belief that everything in your life, be it good or bad, happens for a reason. I also remind myself that when bad things happen to you, it will make you a stronger person. Don’t get me wrong, I spent many days just going to my room and laying on top of the bed crying until there were no tears left. But a person can either choose to hold their head up and move on, or can become crippled and angry for the rest of their lives. I firmly believe that when God does challenge you with adversity, he sends angels to help you get through it. My angels live across the street, and will always have a very special place in my heart. I thank you Dave and Kathy forever and ever ♥