Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Mother's Letter

*UPDATE*
We hit 100 comments, and $100 in donations at 8pm tonight. Only 400 more to go! Please help us reach our goal of giving $500 to this much-needed ministry!

~



I've shown you bits and pieces of our little Gracie.


Today, I am grateful that my sister herself has agreed to share her sweet girl with you.

Hers is the story of a little miracle and a mother who fought to give her a chance.

The silly side you see to my sister, the pictures of goofy faces and cake frosting fights... are the moments that give you a snapshot of her childhood personality.

The other side is one that will never truly "get over" the fact that she is a mother to a child in Heaven.

A bit to know about my sister, Ju.

She is a severe juvenile diabetic. She lives with an insulin pump - and doctors have watched her blood sugars go from record lows, to record highs.

These extremes come with a price.

After a healthy delivery with a strawberry-blonde Little Jo; two years later, we were celebrating news of another pregnancy.

In one devastating day, an ultrasound changed our world.

The yet-to-be-named baby had several severe problems, but the worst concerned her heart. The words fell like rocks.



Incompatible with life.

As my father broke the news to me, I had never seen a more brokenhearted man.
Our family wept, we hugged, we asked questions, we prayed, we begged.

With each doctor visit, my sister would be strongly urged to "terminate" her pregnancy. There was no hope for this baby. If she were born, she would be deformed, deaf, blind, unable to walk.


And we watched God perform miracle after miracle... with each ultrasound.
Bones that were missing, suddenly would grow into place. Organs that couldn't be found, would suddenly appear on the monitor the next week.

The day my sister named her little girl - was a day I joyfully prayed over our little Gracie. She was a person, a creation that God took delight in. Not a mistake or a regret. But somehow... a little life kicking with gusto inside of a mother who desperately wanted her.

My sister didn't "terminate". She didn't abort. She had a choice. And she chose life for however long her Creator would lend Gracie to us.

We celebrated, we gathered to pray. Gracie's baby shower - a day before her birth, is something I will never forget. Her mother, 8 months pregnant, and a room full of family and friends praying blessings for this little girl. Even Little Jo prayed for her little sister.



Little Miss Gracie was born around 4 in the afternoon the next day. Her eyes were open and she was breathing on her own.


And my gosh, she was a beauty.

A button nose and sweetheart lips. A head of soft dark hair. I was in love.

We took turns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, whispering around her bassinet, slipping our fingers into her tiny hands, caressing her cheeks.
She laid flat under a light in only a little diaper, hooked up to a machine that forced tiny breaths into her lungs.

The hours passed and her body began to struggle. Her heart and lungs had no way to exchange oxygen. There were no earthly miracles left.

The staff began to allow more visitors.  As parents of other sick babies looked at us in sadness, I realized that they knew.

A sweet sound filled the small sterile room. My mother harmonizing with her sister as we sang acapella.


Amazing Grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost
But now am found
Was blind but now I see


We had 25 hours with this precious girl.

Our hearts broke as she spent her last few breaths in her parents' arms for the first time.




I share this with you, because our family is incomplete without mentioning Gracie. She is present in our thoughts at each birthday party, each Christmas, each Mother's Day, every day.

I share the pictures because I want to put a face and a name to these children and the families who grieve them. And to give my sister a chance to share her heart for her baby girl.

As we walked through the hospital doors to the world outside, carrying a box instead of a baby - it felt like everything was moving except us. In looking back, I wonder how many grieving parents I meet without even knowing it.

Please read, in my sister's own words - her goodbye letter. Written in an empty hospital room while newborns cried down the hall. Her strength amazes me.



Photobucket


Friends, thank you for reading this. I know it is not easy or comfortable... but I hope you'll help us make a difference.

I've been in touch with Sufficient Grace Ministries - a group of women who have experienced this kind of loss and are reaching out to grieving families. They offer memory baskets, books, bears, burial gowns, and bereavement resources.

I can tell you firsthand... it was more sweet than bitter - to go through Gracie's memory box today and see her footprints and gown. These small things can be so meaningful when they are the only things a mother will take home with her from the hospital.

Like MckMama, I want to encourage you to leave a comment on this post. For each comment, we will give $1 to Sufficient Grace Ministries. I know there are usually more hits than comments on this site - could you please come out of hiding to help a worthy cause?
Can I challenge you to tell your friends and help us hit 500 comments? We've never had even 50, so I know this is a tall order... but God can do it. The post will stay open for a week or until 500 comments.
Please help make a difference with your comments and your prayers.

In loving memory of our sweet Baby Gracie.

280 comments:

1 – 200 of 280   Newer›   Newest»
Lees said...

I am speechless. What a wonderful letter from a mom who is showing what it really means to be a parent... loving a child and wanting the best for her even when that means letting go here on earth. I will pray for your sister and her family!

Nicole said...

Wow! Your family is precious. Gracie must be very proud of you all.

Rachel said...

Ju -
You already know this... but I am so proud to be your sister.

Proud of the way you loved Gracie enough to give her a chance - and to carry her so we all could meet her.

I know it wasn't easy - and if it's one of the hardest things for me - I know it is infinitely more for you.

I love you, muchly.

Erin said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, it really does touch a mother's heart.

He And Me + 3 said...

Rachel,

Thank you so much for sharing your sisters story and Gracie with us. Wow what an amazing sister you have.
When I started this post I didn't know I would need a box of kleenexes. My goodness what a precious letter.
I hope that you are able to make it to 500 comments.
What an awesome thing you are doing.
Hugs,
Mimi

Mr. Daddy said...

How can I not fall in love with you more each and every day? your love and commitment to family and what is right never ceases to amaze me....


"As you wish"

MossyOakPrincess said...

What an amazing story, and an even more amazing letter. Your sister is an amazing woman. As much as it hurt her to not have her here, to let her go knowing that it's what was best for her. I admire her strength. Thank you for sharing her story, and the gift.

Heather said...

Forgive me as I wipe my tears off my keyboard...

Wow. What a story. The picture of the three of them just sent me over the edge. And then the letter. Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing that with us... or for your sister for allowing you to share it. What a miracle baby to make it all the way to delivery.

Thank you Rachel!

shmode said...

Little did I know that starting this post would have me in tears. What a heart wrenching story.

Thank you for sharing it.

chicamom85 said...

I have never been so moved by anything I have read before. First I see the beautiful face of your little boy and move on to read a heartwarming and I know sad story. The hope and faith through this story is amazing. None of you ever gave up and Gracie is at peace knowing how much she is loved even for only 25 hours. God Bless you and I wish you luck with your quest. I will come back 400 times if it helps.

Anne

Lisa said...

What an amazing story. Stories I will never understand on this side of Heaven, nor will anyone.

chicamom85 said...

I hope you don't mind but I mentioned this on my blog and to friends who I follow in order to bring comments in. I hope it helps.
God bless you. Anne

Liz (Loving Mom 2 Boys) said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us Rachel. I can only imagine how you all must ache for Gracie. What a beautiful thing you are doing in her name!!

Brooke said...

You are doing an amazing thing by sharing this story and raising money for Sufficient Grace Ministries. Best wishes with reaching your goal.

dmelen said...

What an amazing post! You and your sister and family are in our prayers. Little Gracie is a beautiful little angel.
Dawn

megan said...

What a amazing tribute to both your sister and baby Gracie. Blessings to you

C. said...

Thank you for sharing Gracie's story with us. Beautiful Girl.

wife.mom.nurse said...

What a beautiful letter...a beautiful family.

You have touched my heart...AGAIN!

I love your little Gracie too.

Gracie's life is now making a difference for other families... through her story, through her short life...through you.

What a blessing.

Mallory said...

Found your blog through MckMama's BlogFrog community...

What a story. I'm pretty speechless right now.

Julia said...

what a touching story. i've never been to your blog before. this story made me cry. What an ordeal for your sister to have to go thru. but praise God little Gracie is dancing with the angels now!

thank you for supporting Sufficient Grace. I pray you reach your 500 comments. If you don't mind, I am going to put a link up to your blog on my blog in hopes that you can touch more lives.

Random said...

What a beautiful girl. I hope you get all the comments you need and more.

Shanda said...

Tears are falling as I write. I really never knew how very many parents experience this until I began blogging. I've known one in my own "real life." It was both heartbreaking and beautiful because they too were a strong Christian family.

This is why I have the "String of Pearls" button on my page. They too minister to families with a terminal diagnosis and walk with them throughout and after the birth and homegoing.

You are right to be so proud of your sister.

May God heal your families hearts and minds and accomplish His amazing purposes in all that has been allowed. No doubt He is close to you all. He is close to the broken hearted and binds up all of their wounds.

Blessings & Peace!

Shanda

Amy B said...

Thank you for the wonderful blessing today of getting to know your sister and the blessing of meeting angel Gracie..What a beautiful story and a beautiful baby.
I am going to blog about this ..and will invite my followers to come visit here and read your beautiful tribute .

momof3darlings said...

Oh I am in tears....what a beautiful, touching post. What an amazing family you have...

KK said...

Any of the posts you write about your family show the absolute love and devotion you have for your family...and this is no exception. Sadly,Miss Gracie may not be here with us on Earth...but her story sure is touching people and she's making a difference. God is good all the time...All the time, God is good! His plans NEVER fail.

Sarah said...

Here's one more comment to get you one closer to 500 :)

BluRayn said...

Thank for writing this and sharing Gracie with us. What a beautiful story!

MamaB said...

What a beautiful story!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing.

Laura said...

What a beautiful and touching story. My heart and prayers go out to your family.

Shana said...

I cried so much from reading that. Losing a child is so hard and I am praying for you guys and hope this charity survives and thrives.

Pam said...

Rachel,
Thank you for again sharing Gracie with us. Your sister was so generous to allow you to use her own written words to her sweet baby girl.

As I've told you before, Gracie's an absolutely beautiful little angel who was delivered to the perfect family.

Though we see all of the crazy pictures of Ju, I know that she is still hurting over Gracie's loss and that is something that will stay with her til she sees her again one day. I'm just thankful that she actually got to meet her.

Thank YOU for sharing and for making such a generous donation to Sufficient Grace. You know you can count on me to spread the word!

Love to you :-)
Pam

Stacy said...

Oh, the tears. My heart breaks for your sister...I can't imagine losing a child she barely got to hold. She is a strong woman and that letter definitely shows that. Bless you for giving to that charity. It sounds like a worthy one.

Mama M. said...

What a heartbreaking story. What always amazes me is that rather than blaming God, people strengthen their faith in God in horribly difficult times. May God Bless Gracie, her parents and sister, you and the rest of your family. I am so sorry for your loss of Gracie.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. My prayers are with your family.

Brenda

Stephanie said...

As I struggle with my own high risk pregnancy (one twin has already passed away, the other is said to have a survival rate of 25%), thank you for sharing.

I hope you reach above & beyond the 500 comments, what an awesome thing to do.

JenniferNe said...

God Bless you and your family!

Courtney Kay said...

sweet Gracie

Elaine at Matters of the Heart) said...

Oh Rachel, this is so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this.

And to your sister, what an incredible journey you have been through, thank you for sharing it to make a difference in others lives.

I am sobbing, but so grateful that I had a chance to read this. What a wonderful story of God's love working through an amazing family.

You guys really are the best. I pray the comments keep coming, and this heartfelt story, blesses so many.

Blessings,

Elaine

Stacy said...

Thank you for sharing that amazing story!

cosby2 said...

What a sweet letter to Gracie. God must have needed a sweet little angel to brighten up the heavens.

Sunny Sweet Pea said...

I hope you reach you're 500 comments :)

Tomara said...

May God continue to bless you as I see He already has! This is such a beautiful story - sad but so honoring to God and Gracie.

binda66 said...

Thank you for being so open and honest. One of the reasons I love to follow your blog.

McCrakensx4 said...

What an amazing family you have, strong and the love of Jesus just shines through. Thank you for sharing your sister and Gracie's story with us. It touched my heart and made me kiss my kids and hold them a little tighter. I pray a peace over you and your family. And I hope that you will reach your goal. What a great thing you are doing. May God continue to bless you.

Queen Mommy said...

In just a matter of weeks we will be celebrating my nephews 6th birthday with Jesus, he was born in Jesus arms.
I am proud of my brother and his wife for remembering that God knew they could handle this. They have not let their daughters forget the big brother that they never knew.

I hope you reach your goal of 500!
God Bless

Patrice said...

Wow stories like this are so miraculous & beautiful. Thank you for sharing something so intimate between you and your family for such a great cause. I hope you reach your goal and then some!

hostagirl said...

God Bless you and Gracie. What a beautiful story you have shared with all of us. Thank you

Krissy said...

Thank you. <3

Brandy said...

WHAT A BEAUTIFUL WAY TO HONOR PRECIOUS LITTLE GRACIE. MAY GOD BE WITH YOUR FAMILY AND WRAP YOU IN HIS ARMS WHEN YOU NEED IT MOST.

Anonymous said...

couldn't quite finish reading as I'm at work and probably shouldn't cry too hard here...

what a beautiful story and a wonderful way to give back.

Rachel V.

Alicia W. said...

OMG! I'm literally picking myself up off the floor. That just breaks my heart in two and I so appreciate you opening up and sharing that story with us. Just beautiful.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you and your family. Know that one day you will all be with sweet Gracie again.
Sufficient Grace Ministries was of great comfort to me during the loss of my own sweet daughter.

Tracy S.

Anonymous said...

What a blessing of a story and what a great ministry! My prayers are with you both!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us! Thank you also for helping out my friend Kelly at Sufficient Grace Ministries.

chicamom85 said...

God Bless You and your beautiful family

Anne

Chris said...

Thank you for helping promote my sister, Kelly, at Sufficient Grace Ministries. Each of these stories brings back memories that I can't fathom.

Also, glad to see you put a cap on the comments. Did you see what happened to MckMama?

Anonymous said...

An amazing story of God's awesome power. Only He can get you (and others) through this-how blessed we are to have Him for our Rock! SG ministries is amazing and doing His work. Thank you for assisting them financially-all will be blessed by it.

Spud31 said...

Thank you so much for being a blessing to Sufficient Grace. Your story was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.

Holly said...

Reading these brought tears to my eyes and to my heart. It brought back emotions that I felt when I carried and lost my Carleigh. She, too, was "incompatible with life" but we carried her to term despite what anybody thought.

Gracie is absolutely beautiful and the letter was so moving and heartfelt. I feel a deep purpose to reach out to other families and to women who are hurting. This is just one of the reasons why I support Kelly and Sufficient Grace Ministries. Thank you for doing this! I am praying God sends many people your way and you can reach 500 comments.

Anonymous said...

Sufficient Grace ministries is wonderful and is a blessing to many families.

Monica @ Writer Chic said...

Tomorrow will mark our one-month mileston since our Duncan was born to heaven. I am thankful every day for Kelly and the SG minitries team. Thank you for opening up your blog in this way.

Meghan said...

What a beautiful story! And what a tribute to Gracie, and all of the babies that are deemed "incompatible with life". These babies are very compatable with life, and are living life eternal with Jesus in heaven. Their earthly legacy lives on in the hearts of their families, and in the ministries that these families bless others in similar circumstances with.

Rocky Creek Scottie Adventures said...

Gracie's mom is showing us what the unconditional love of God is all about.

((((HUGS))))to your family.
Lynn

Beth said...

I don't know what to say, but I wanted to comment. Sorry for your loss seems too I don't know. But good luck.. You are all so brave. x

Sara said...

BEAUTIFUL

This post was beautiful on all accounts....beautiful baby, mother, sister, love.....

Grace said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing. My namesake too. How precious.

Checkers said...

we are sobbing at the beauty of this post.

Jess :) said...

Absolutely incredible. Gracie most definitely was and always will be a gift from God. Thank you for sharing that letter with all of us!

Continued prayers

Jaime said...

Wow, what do you say after reading a post like that. I am crying as I type this. I think the first comment says exactly what I was thinking. What a love that can want the best even when it's not the preferred course. Thank you for sharing.

What a neat ministry, too.

The Tolf family said...

What a sweet, sweet story. I cried through it all, thank you for sharing baby Gracie with us. Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for wanting to minister to other families through Sufficient Grace Ministries. Blessings to you!

ashleyjnc said...

Beautiful, I wish that no one else would have to know that pain.

Martha Basset said...

We have been directed over here from another blog and would certainly want to add to your comments.
This was, as you said, a most difficult post to read.
Can anything in life be more difficult than the death of a child.
Memory boxes are so important and we wish you well.
xxxxx

Anonymous said...

I am a lost for words but I can tell you that it touched my heart so much and I am trying buckets over here in PA

Vera said...

Bless you for reaching out to Sufficient Grace - SUCH a worthwhile cause! - and for sharing sweet baby Gracie with all of us.

Rochelle said...

Beautiful and heart breaking. Thanks for sharing.

Shannon said...

Love, prayers, and hugs.

amy (metz) walker said...

What a powerful letter...it made me cry! Thank you for sharing your story.

Marlene said...

What a beautiful family. I feel so blessed to have had 2 years 5 months and 3 days with my precious angel before he went home to heaven. Kelly is a dear friend of mine so I thank you for help her ministry.

PunkRockChic said...

I literally choked back tears while reading this. The picture of your sister, Gracie and her daddy are what opened the flood gates. Thank you for sharing Gracie's story. She and your sister are truly an inspiration. They are proof that God has a reason for everything.

Mindi said...

Peace, Love, and Happiness be with you

Leslie said...

I'm sorry, I just couldn't finish reading your sister's letter to Gracie. It was too hard for me. I'm participating in Walking With You over at Sufficient Grace Ministries. Thank you for what you are doing here! What a blessing you are!

Moonprysm said...

It is so sad to be ABLE to note to something like this, to be able to say I know the pain. Although I have never made it as far as giving birth to a baby in the hospital that I couldn't take home, I know what it feels like to pray for my babies in Heaven. May our Heavenly Father bring peace to your family.

Toni said...

What a beautiful website you have! Thank you for mentioning Sufficient Grace Ministries and for your generous support. It couldn't go to a more deserving cause!

Toni said...

This one's for Faith...

Toni said...

This one's for Grace...

Toni said...

This one's for Thomas...

Toni said...

Three precious angels... countless blessings!

Maranatha said...

I am so sorry for your loss and so thankful for this precious 6 month old I have nursing in my arms this very minute. My grandma lost her 1st baby at 3 days old and i know she will never stop missing her sweet little Becky.

Brian and Lori Wright said...

Our prayers are with you! God Bless

Timmy's Girl @ Luv My Quiver Full Of Arrows said...

May God bless you for your kind heart towards Sufficient Grace Ministries and ability to share your story.

xoxo, Veronica in CA

WendyFL said...

A very touching story, with a powerful impact. Hugs and prayers for all of you!

Jennifer said...

What a beautiful precious story...of a precious little girl! Thank you so much for sharing your lives and your heart...the story of Gracie with all of us! Praying that God will continue to give you comfort and that Gracie's story will continue to impact everyone that has the privilege to read this post!

Your pictures are precious!!

MrsMann said...

Hugs to your entire family! Such a sweet little girl, living in Heaven as an angel!

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. It is admirable to continue to do what you can to help others. I wish you the best for the ministry and peace for your heart.

Tweedles -- that's me... said...

I know it was very hard to share this story. It was very special and and thank you for sharring.
Little Gracie is being held by angels right now, and this story is in the hands of God
tweedles

sue said...

I am almost 50 years old and my mother had a still born boy two years after I was born. I never really gave it much thought that I had a brother that did not live. At Mom's funeral her sister said to me. Now she gets to hold little Mikey. He was always just a stone in the cemetary to me. I never understood the loss that she must have felt. Now I feel for both of you.

The Dortenzos said...

Thank you for sharing your story and what a wonderful blessing you must be to your sister! I too lost a baby, she was stillborn and Kelly's ministry is SO very important! You are supporting a WONDERFUL ministry and woman who is being led by our heavenly Father!

Erika said...

How amazingly strong your family is. Thank you for sharing. I pray you all are able to always remember your Gracie and feel peace in your hearts!

Anonymous said...

This made me cry.

Bless you and your family.

i hope you get all the comments you need and then some!

-Juno

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. You seem to be such a strong family. *hugs*

Lynnette Kraft said...

That story was very touching. Gracie was blessed to have such a loving family and is blessed to have Jesus to live with forever.

I'm leaving a comment here because I love Kelly and her ministry and am so grateful for her tender heart that's so willing to help others.

Blessings to you for doing this.
Lynnette

Megan said...

This was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever read. My heart goes out to you and your family. I truly hope you reach your goal of 500 comments.

Take care and God bless.

TangledEutopia said...

I knew by entering the world of mommy bloggers I would be faced with these kinds of stories, these kinds of emotions. Every time I read another blog of someone who lost a baby my heart aches a little more. I'm so sorry your family has had to endure this kind of reality. God has a plan and a reason for everything, so take comfort in your ministry and the greatness you are doing for the world!!!

aleshia said...

I am so sad that mothers and fathers have to go through this, but I am so thankful for these kinds of ministries who help them in their grief.

Susan said...

Rachel, thank you for sharing this story. It's identical to my daughter's story, except for the outcome. She made the same choice not to take the doctors' advice to terminate her second pregnancy after being diagnosed as a Juvenile Diabetic ten weeks into it--with a blood sugar of 742. By some miracle--and there's no other way to think of it--my grandson was born on my 50th birthday, and none of the anticipated severe physical and mental problems were realized. He is perfectly healthy, a blessing we struggle to explain after all the dire predictions from the doctors. I cried when I read your sister's story and the letter she wrote to her precious Gracie. It is heartbreaking to me that she didn't have the same joyful surprise that my daughter had. She gave her daughter a chance to "be" and then had to give her back to God too soon. I will always remember the story of darling Gracie, and will keep your sister in my prayers. How lucky she is to have such a beloved sister, and what a wonderful cause to honor her second daughter.

Nighty said...

This at once breaks my heart and bolsters it. I lost my angel 4 years ago, and while it hurts, and I wish I could have kept her, I know that being in God's arms was what was better for her. She knows no pain, no regret. I admire the courage you have for this cause. More mothers have lost than most people realize.

Anonymous said...

Warm loving hugs!May God bless your family :)

saoirse said...

what a touching story. Thank you for sharing this story with everyone so that they might relate to it, and to your situation. What a beauty she was - and I am glad you got to spend those special moments with her.

MissingLandan said...

Tears have filled my eyes, what a beautiful little angel & beautiful letter from her sweet mommy. I lost my 3yr old son, almost 3yrs ago from Meningitis. The letter was very touching for me to read, I could have almost written the letter myself. I pray that you reach your $500 goal.

-Lacey-
http://missinglandan0306.blogspot.com/

mel said...

Thank you for sharing about sweet Gracie. What a beautiful girl & beautiful letter. It brought tears to my eyes. I hope you reach your goal!

Anonymous said...

What a touching story. It really touched my soul.

Charmaine said...

A beautiful but heartbreaking story. How wonderful that you have taken your heartbreak and loss and have turned it into something positive for other families that are suffering the same loss. Where God closes a door he opens a window, I am sure that Little Gracie is so proud of you and her family for doing God's work here on earth.

myra said...

I feel for you and your family my sister went though much the same thing she lost one of her twins a few hours after his birth.

Tina said...

Rachel:

Prayers for your sister, her husband and daughter. Also for your entire family for the loss of Sweet Baby Grace....

~Bless you all~

robsfarmgirl said...

May you continue to touch others lives by sharing your story.

Best wishes to you Kelly and your ministry. God is using you in a might way.
Julie

The Tylers said...

Just came across your blog via Writer Chic.... count in a dollar for me! :)

Hollie Ann said...

Best wishes to your ministry. You are doing a wonderful thing. Praying God's blessings on your ministry!

Anonymous said...

How sad...yet so sweet. May God Bless you and your misitry.
Ashley

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting your story and for your dedication to raise money to help those like your sister who have gone through the hardship of losing a baby!

Amy Genn said...

I’ll Lend You For A Little Time


"I’ll lend you for a little time,

a child of mine", He said.

For you to love the while he lives

and mourn for when he’s dead.

It may be six or seven years,

or twenty two or three,

But will you, till I call him home,

take care of him for me?

He’ll bring his charms to gladden you,

and should his stay be brief,

You’ll have his lovely memories,

as solace for your grief.

I can not promise he will stay,

since all from earth return,

But there are lessons taught down there,

I want this child to learn.

I’ve looked the wide world over,

in my search for teachers true,

and from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes,

I have selected you!

Now will you give him all your love?

nor think the labor vain.

Nor hate me when I come to call,

to take him home again?

I fancied that I heard them say;

"Dear Lord they will be done,

For all the joy the child shall bring,

The risk of grief we’ll run.

We’ll shelter him with tenderness,

we’ll love him while we may,

and for the happiness we’ve known,

forever grateful stay."

But should the angels call him much sooner than we’ve planned,

we’ll have the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.

~ Edgar A. Guest ~

Linda said...

Thank you for sharing all of this. It is such a beautiful letter. Yes, precious Gracie is in the arms of Jesus,...and what a comfort that is.

My daughter Lynnette Kraft has written a book that tells the story of her journey through grief. She has lost two infant sons and her 6 year old daughter. This is an encouraging story of how they got through it all through God's strength and by His grace, and how she now lives joyfully with her husband and her six living children.

You might think about ordering this book for your sweet sister to help her in her grieving process.

It is called,..."In Faithfulness He Afflicted Me". By Lynnette Kraft,... And it is for sale on amazon.com

My prayers are with you all.

Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

Tiffany Lockette said...

Thank you so much for sharing Gracie's story with all of us. My you find some relief in your pain and may your memory never, ever fade. Hold that love for little Gracie throughout eternity. My prayers for you are heart felt.

Angie Babcock said...

Thank you for sharing your story of your family and their Angel. This is such a great place for people to come and start the healing process.

Loni said...

What a great ministry to serve! And what a precious baby!

Jessica said...

May your healing begin and tears dry! What a beautiful letter. Gracie is a blessing in every way! Please know my heart goes out to all family and God bless =]

simplebeauty said...

Please know that I am touched and moved to tears by this story. Thank you for sharing this little one with meand enriching my life for the better!

God's blessings to you!

Marybeth said...

So sorry for your sisters loss and for yours. What a beautiful baby. No mommy should have to experience this type of loss.

RoseRed said...

What a beautiful story!

elainaann said...

Thank you so much for sharing this story. I'm sure it wasn't an easy thing. I love that in your family's time of loss, you look for ways to help others who have also lost. May God bless your family.

Anonymous said...

Jesus loves you all. Hang in there. He's got surprises in His Kingdom, that we all will never understand until He comes in the clouds to take us all Home with Him. One day, you will hold your Gracie in your arms again, and laugh and praise God for His wisdom and mercy. God has given you strength for this time. What a miracle in itself. Remember He loves you very much.

Jennifer Ross said...

This story put me in tears. I lost my little boy almost a year ago, and it is the hardest thing that I have had to face. With God... I get through each day. Thank you for helping out The Beauty Of Sufficient Grace. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I know Kelly of Sufficient Grace and she has a true and wonderful spirit and gift to help others. I'm praying for God to Bless you and your family for this wonderful gift to this ministry. Take care and God Bless, Becki B., guest

chicamom85 said...

It looks like the comments are climbing , you will get there I know it. I have mentioned you on my blogs, I hope that helped a little. God bless you Anne

Gene and Annie said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing the story of your sweet little Gracie!

Sherry said...

Thank you for sharing.

New Mom said...

I'm a first-time mom to a 6-month old and this just breaks my heart. I can't even begin to imagine what your sister has gone through. Many thoughts and prayers to your family.

Joye @ The Joyeful Journey said...

Oh that letter just spoke to my heart! And how my heart goes out to your sister!! Thank you for giving to this wonderful ministry--God is doing a mighty work, isn't he??

Blessings!

hannah m said...

Moved to my core - thank you for sharing about your family's beautiful Gracie.

croleyc69 said...

What a touching post so nice of you to share it. Praying for you & Lots of HUGS :) Caroline

Anonymous said...

This family will be in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Good luck reaching your goal. I hope you make it.

City girl turned Country Girl said...

Wow, I am here from Amy's blog...She posted your link to Gracie's story. It has struck a huge cord with me today..My SIL found out only about 3 short weeks ago that she was pregnant with a baby girl. She was already 19 weeks when she found out, but was having some issues and for the last couple of weeks has really struggled hard to keep her baby healthy. The ending of her story was too a sad one. Today she died in her mommy's womb, and I cry as I know her pain...I hope and pray that she will see that her baby is with our sweet Jesus but I think that will be a while in coming...So thank you for sharing and please tell your sister thank you for sharing her precious Gracie with us as well..

God bless you and all of your family...

Anonymous said...

God Bless

Sara said...

God bless you, your family & all the families that have lost children much too soon.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story, I will never take my kids for granted again

Anonymous said...

God Bless you all

Kelli said...

Thank you for sharing the story of sweet baby Gracie. God bless your family.

Meredith said...

Just came over from Lynette's blog. Tears, prayers, and God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Prayers for your sister. I come in honor of my niece and in honor of my friend and in memory of her stillborn daughter. Thank you for doing this.

Danielle said...

God Bless your family.

gottaluvboyz said...

God Bless you and so many other families. Thank you so much for sharing.

Kendra said...

May God bless you and your family!!!!

Jill said...

Thank you for sharing your story.

Christy said...

From the mama of 5 angels in heaven and one miracle on earth....thanks for what you do to help others. God Bless!

Karen said...

Thanks for sharing Gracie's story. Just losing my baby Faith back in October, I can relate to this story. Thanks for being so generous to this ministry.

Blessings,
Karen

Alex and Jill said...

This breaks my heart. Your family is in my prayers.

Blessings,
Jill A.

Lynn said...

May your faith continue to receive the Lord's strength, peace and comfort.

K said...

Thank you for sharing this. My prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

First time here...the word is out. Blessings!

Anonymous said...

How sweet to see Gracies little sister with her head down and hands folded in prayer. That is the sweetest picture ever. It reminded me of John John saluting his father, JFK. I bet this picture will have special meaning to her when she grows up. Faith is everything! Thank you for sharing your life with us. I never cried so hard!
Love and prayers to your family!

Joyce said...

Tears come easily, but my heart is full of hope. Many are being blessed by these very personal thoughts and the work of Sufficient Grace. Thank you!

brian said...

Wow...

Rachel, I do not get "goose bumps" easily, but this post did it.

What a coincidence: A couple of days ago my wife happened to show me a working draft of her upcoming post, which tells a similar story from a nurse's persepctive.

As you can tell by reading my wife's blog, she is a strong advocate of women carrying to term if at all possible--for this exact reason! How great was it your sister got to hold, love, and care for her precious daughter, if only for a little while on this side of Heaven!

Talk about Grace...

Amazing

Anonymous said...

Sending many prayers and good vibes your way. You are amazing!!!

Jenny.Lee said...

God bless you all.

Donna said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. It is a reminder of how precious our children are.

Team Clancy said...

Thank you for sharing this touching story. What a wonderful ministry this is!

DMetz said...

Wonderful story...thank you for sharing and giving us this opportunity to help support a great cause.

Debbie said...

So heartbreaking. And this is such a worthy cause. Thank you for doing it.

Anonymous said...

amazing. just amazing . . .

Anonymous said...

amazing. just amazing . . .

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story.

Lynn W said...

Okay, I finally figured out how to leave a comment. Why is 56 years old so dumb in the blogger world?
Dearest Rachael and Mr. Daddy, I have been following ya'll around ever since you posted on Sara (without an H's) site. AKA...lurker. Quite frankly you both crack me up and we all can use lots of laughter in our lives.
Your sister's letter and the post brought me to my knees and I know it did lots of others as well. And that's not a bad thing, the view from there is humbling and we all need a dose of that as well. My two older sisters lost their baby boys in their last month of pregnancy and had to 'wait' before delivering them. There are lots of kinds of 'Hell on Earth' but your sister's loss and my sister's loss has to be the hardest.
Angel Gracie is in good company. Heartfelt prayers for her Mom and Dad and Aunt and Uncle and cousin.
Hugs and Love and Prayers from Arkansas,
Lynn
PS. I want the blue spiked hair back. ; ) He is adorable!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for supporting a ministry that really shows God's love to people that are hurting. Thank you for sharing your story.

chicamom85 said...

God bless you all.

Anne

Lynn said...

Angels with Gracie:
Latest: my sister Lea, the baby sister died April 12, Easter Sunday. We had gone away for the weekend and came home and found her dead in her chair with her remote in her hand. She had an aneurysum four years ago behind her right eye. It took the eye and she wore a 'Patch Pal' patch on her glasses and greated all her customers at Kroger with a smile.
They put a stent in to fix it. They think that was what claimed her. More hugs, Lynn

chroniclesofraw said...

What a beautiful post. And what a wonderful thing to do!! Thinking about you and your family!!

maddie/cadesmimi said...

This was a heart-wrenching, but beautiful story. I hope you meet your goal of 500 comments. What a tribute to Gracie(and her mom)

Matt said...

Crying my eyes out. Thank you for sharing your story. My God bring peace and comfort.

K said...

Speechless
And tearful

Nicola said...

What a beautiful but horribly sad story. Good luck attaining your goal.

Sharon said...

Rachel,
I am touched by you and the courage your sister has for sharing such a personel and heart breaking piece of her life. I will keep you all in my prayers.
Sharon (Mom to Liz, Loving Mom 2 Boys)

pamela said...

Thanks for sharing your story-
May GOD bless you and your family

Kate said...

Thank you so much for supporting Kelly, and her ministry!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for doing this! I know you will reach your goal.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. What a touching story.

peter said...

What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Your story is one of faith and amazing strength.

Anonymous said...

Blessings.

Anonymous said...

(((hugs)))

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. ((HUGS))

Erin Fae said...

Here is my contribution!

McCrakensx4 said...

You are an amazing servant of our Lord and your sister is blessed to have you! What a great thing you are doing! May God bless your efforts!

Anonymous said...

I got to you from Sara at Think Pink. Hugs to you all!

Pam D said...

Rachel.. I read this late (LATE) last night (this morning!) and had tears flooding down my face.. no little trickle after this post. It truly is possible for something to be awful and beautiful at the same time; and it also is possible for God to change the awfulness into something precious, if we let him. By giving up your privacy and letting us all see the wound in your heart, and then by using that clarity of vision to provide hope for others.. THAT is what He meant when He said that all things work together for good... for those who love Him. It's all about love; always was.. always is, and always will be. I still have tears.. because I got to hold my sweet great nephew and have the very real hope of watching him grow up. While you... had to watch your sister and her husband carry out a box of memories, instead of a precious baby girl. My prayers and thoughts and tears are with you; and may I say this? I do pray that God will allow me, if the natural order of things comes to pass, to be witness to the moment that your sister walks through those gates and gets to hold her sweet girl again. I can only imagine....
I've missed you, dear friend.. our wanderings are over for a few days, then camp for four days, and then blessed NOTHING, at least for a while. There certainly are times when a rut looks appealing..

BenLand said...

wow...what a story....and what a letter....i'm so glad you shared with us.....sometimes we forget about the little ones that leave us too soon.....i admire your faith....i'm so not as gracious as you all are...we lost our 6 month old niece, Emily, in a fire 2 yrs ago and it really changed my view of life....i'm still so mad about it....
anyway, here's to you....strong, brave, faithful family....i know you'll get those 500 comments....i just know it.

Gabriel and Penelope's Mama said...

My eyes are full of tears and I just want to thank you for sharing Baby Gracie with the world. Your family will be in my prayers.

Rachel

Anonymous said...

What a heartbreaking story. So sorry for your family's loss.

Mominin said...

I'm in tears. Your whole family is in my prayers.

Valerie said...

No family should ever have to go through something like that, but if they must - then I'm glad that there are places and people to support them when they need it.

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