Friday, January 20, 2012
Sweet Dreams, Sweet Andrew
My heart is heavy today, after reading this morning that another anen mommy, Kelly, has had to let her baby go. Though I love all of my sister-mommies, I find myself connecting especially with certain mommies or sometimes certain babies.
Through the course of Baby Andrew's life, I couldn't help but relive my precious Gabriel's life too. Gabriel was born on June 10, Andrew born on January 10; they were their mothers' first born children; Gabriel was born at 3:19 PM, Andrew was born at 3:20; though anencephaly occurs more commonly in girls than in boys, both Gabriel and Andrew were struck by this defect; when Kelly brought Andrew home and was able to introduce him to his canine brother, I remembered the joy of introducing Gabriel to Gideon in a moment I thought would never come; like I did for Gabriel, Kelly prayed for Andrew's suffering to end though it would mean letting go.
Gabriel lived 10 days, passing on June 20 and Andrew lived 10 days too, passing on January 20. For those ten days, the world stopped its hustle and bustle to follow the progress of those little lives. Mommies who lost their babies much sooner lived vicariously through Kelly and me and I continue to be amazed by their genuine love and happiness for us even when their own time had been so short. Mommies and daddies of children of every kind -- healthy, disabled, living, deceased, boys, girls -- held their children a little closer in their arms or in their hearts, thanking God for their own blessings. That is part of the beauty of the life of the anencephalic baby: Their ability to bring glory to God, even amid sadness and despair.
I am ashamed to admit to my envy over the past ten days. I am but a human being, with a selfish heart at times. I thought so often in the last ten days about how much I wish I could live the ten days with my precious Gabriel, over again. Though I celebrated Kelly's joy and today mourn her loss with her, I am still consumed with longing for my son. How is it I have been given so very much to be grateful for, yet I still want more?
But even as I witness Kelly's love and strength on this day, I know that her pain is tremendous. And I know that many other mommies are celebrating the life of Baby Andrew, but also remembering their own babies' lives, all much too short. For it is never easy to let go of one's child. Whether we are 30 or 80, or our baby is born still, lives for minutes, hours, days or years, to watch them leave this earth before we do is unfair. And I think it must be the deepest hurt there is in this world.
Kelly, I thank you for your selfless example of love. Thank you for sharing your precious boy with us. Thank you for allowing me and so many others into your world, into your heart. Thank you for bringing back so many memories for me, though the scars from losing my own sweet boy are still raw and tender. Thank you Kelly, and all sister-mommies, for opening your hearts to God's will, and by your example, changing this world and making it a little bit better. That's what we are doing - Making this world better, one precious life at a time.
*The picture of Gabriel's hands was chosen for this entry after reading the following from Andrew's mommy: " I fell asleep and so did you holding my finger tightly." Sweet dreams, sweet Andrew.