CLICK HERE to Light a Candle for Gracie and Any Other Soul in Need
Light as many as you would like - as often as you would like.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Another Angel

I have been away from this blog for a month, simply because of time constraints, and now I have two posts for the same day.  I have been walking around for about 2 1/2 weeks with a post brewing in my head, but for the last 10 days that post has been completely erased and I have been walking around with new words in my head.

For the last 13 months, Jeff and I have said to many people that we sincerely hope that no one that we know will ever experience the kind of loss that we have experienced, and that no one we know will ever truly be able to understand this kind of pain.  We can no longer say that. 

We no longer subscribe to the local newspaper, because of issues with the delivery person, so we usually read most of the paper online.  At the end of his shift August 31st into September 1st, Jeff picked up a paper to get one of the sale fliers that was inside.  He read the paper when he got home from work, and then came to bed and told me that someone I had worked with in college had lost a baby.  I was half asleep, so I wasn't really sure what he was talking about at first.

There was an obituary in the paper for an infant.  I browse through the obituaries online everyday, but the way this particular obituary was written probably would not have grabbed my attention, and I probably would have never opened it to read then entire thing online.  The baby was the son of a girl that I life guarded with for 4 years during high school and college.  She now lives about 3 hours away from here, and I have not seen her in 10 years or more.  We were never really close, but we were certainly friendly enough for the news to break my heart and have quite an impact on me. 

It is my understanding (based on conversation that Jeff had with the baby's grandfather) that baby Alex was born at full term after an uncomplicated pregnancy, but quickly developed substantial breathing issues.  He had a diapragmatic hernia, and was whisked away to the NICU immediately.  He underwent several surgeries and was actually doing a bit better until taking a sudden turn for the worse.  Ultimately, he spent 16 days in the NICU before becoming an angel and joining all of our little ones. 

I have not been able to get baby Alex and his family out of my head for the last week and a half.  I keep thinking about how shitty it is, and how their lives will never be the same.  It has taken me back to the first days of our journey with Gracie, and it has given me a whole new perspective of how Gracie's death impacted our friend Debbie and her easily it probably kicked them back into the early days of losing their daughter Sophie. 

Please keep baby Alex in your prayers as he settles in with all of our little ones.  Please keep his parents, brother and family in your prayers as they adjust to life within the unexpected new normal that we all now know so well as everyday life. 

New Sites, Thank Yous, Thoughts and Reflection

If you haven't already checked them out (I am a little behind the 8 ball...), I urge you to check out two new sites launched by Malroy from Every Life Has a Story.  Her new sites are Keeping Their Memory Alive and Butterfly Footprints.   Keeping Their Memory Alive is dedicated to hosting angel videos created by parents and family members; Butterfly Footprints is dedicated to making beautiful butterfly prints from the footprints of angels.  I would like to thank Mal for the honor of having Gracie included as part of the Butterfly Footprints site, and also thank her for creating such beautiful prints with Gracie's footprints.

I would also like to thank Angela at RockaBYEbaby for doing such fantastic photos of Gracie's name

I want to send out warmest thoughts to the family of my friend, Debbie, as loss strikes so very close to home again. 

To close out this post, I will spend just one moment reflecting on this particular day and the impact that it has had on so many people over the last 9 years.  I can't speak for every part of the country, but today's weather in PA is almost identical to the weather on that horrible day...simply a perfect fall day.  Just as our parents (well, maybe not all of our parents, depending on how old all of us are...) remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when JFK was shot and his death was confirmed, few of us will ever forget where we were or what we were doing on that otherwise beautiful morning.  Those of us who watched the live television broadcasts as the second plane struck the second tower...and those of us who watched the live television broadcasts as each of the towers collapsed will forever have those images burned into our minds (of course the marvels of modern media make it hard to forget anything these days).  Nine years ago, it was something that most of us just watched in horror and awe.  Now, most of us in this community can think about it with a different that we have all lost a child.  We certainly have no idea what it is like to lose an adult child, but we can certainly better understand the loss of so many of the surviving parents.  Just as my heart goes out to Debbie's family, it continues to go out to the families of each and every 9.11.01 victim.