Monday, February 28, 2011

A Gift for Gracie

Please don’t go.

You can make a difference.


I understand if you usually come to skim a silly post, but I ask that today, you’ll stay and leave a gift for the birthday girl.

Today she’d be seven years old.




How does that even happen?  I sit here and wonder what that seven-year old brunette niece would look like with this crazy bunch.


How I wish I could replace those letters with her smile.

Our lives are happy.  We love and live with many blessings.  But it somehow feels like an empty flowerpot sitting on our kitchen counter.  Waiting for the bit of sunshine that really belongs there.

Seven years ago, my sister made the courageous choice to carry this little girl for as long as God would gift her to us.



We spent 25 precious hours with her, and it was worth the heartache of losing her.



Gracie touched our lives in ways that still echo seven years later.

And I would love if you would honor her with your time.

Before I shared about Gracie, I had no idea how many others had walked this same hard road.

It sucks.  It is hard, and it sucks.  But sharing her with you has been a healing of sorts – knowing that so many of you have opened up about your own losses.

I know what a kind word can do for someone who is grieving.  I would love if you wouldn’t mind leaving a comment for my sister.  A comment in memory of your own loved one.  A comment asking for prayer for your own family.

I know there are many more readers than comments.  And I’m asking a favor on Gracie’s behalf:

Please de-lurk.  Please stop in and leave a note.

For each comment on this post, we’ll give $1 to the Carenet Crisis Pregnancy Center.

I can tell you that one of the hardest things I ever did, was pack Gracie’s tiny new dresses and take them to the Crisis Pregnancy Center the week after she died.  As I carried them in my arms through the parking lot, the tears just wouldn’t stop.

A few weeks later, I saw a baby girl in one of her lilac dresses.

And I knew.  I knew we are meant to be a blessing to each other.  Even in 25 hours.

So please, even if you don’t know what to say, please just wish Gracie a Happy Birthday (I’m sure she’s having a pretty darn awesome one… I hear the venue is amazing).  We’d love to honor Gracie’s memory with as many dollars to families in need.  Thank you for helping us.


Happy birthday Baby Girl.


Dyann said...

Happy Birthday, sweet angel. Give my love to my nephew Adam who blessed his family, their friends, his doctors, and all those he touched during his 3 1/2 month stay in his broken body.

Fearless_Fabulous_Gayle said...

Happy Birthday Gracie!!
Bravo to your sister for carrying that beautiful baby girl to term, no matter the odds!
My sister had a similar experience. She was told early on to terminate because her child had a severe developmental problem (diaphragmatic hernia). They had contemplated "fetal surgery" but he wasn't a candidate. There was a very high chance he wouldn't make it, but she had to hope that he would. He was born looking perfect on the outside, 8 pounds, 21 inches... He lived for 1 day. They cherish that special day though, he was a gift from God.
He was born 10 years ago (this month), she never forgets his birthday either.
*In memory of your little Gracie, Jared Allen, and all the angle babies watching over us!!

*P.S. My 3 and 4 year old recently lost their Daddy (1/22/11). We could use some prayers as well.
Thank you for extending that offer!

Floortime Lite Mama said...

Heart breaking
Happy birthday sweet child
You will not be forgotten

Discovery School at First Baptist Heath said...

Happy Birthday Gracie!!! What a special joy that you get to be snuggled up in the arms of Jesus! Your parents were so brave and awesome to give you this life! Thank you for touching my life. And if ya see my babies that went to heaven before me, will ya give them a big hug from us?

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday Gracie, just a beautiful post and a great cause. My friends lost twin boys Chancellor and Jules at 2 days old.. too soon to be here, too little to fight.. and too beautiful to grace the earth.. many hugs to all who have lost little angels

Kmama said...

Of course I stayed. And read. And cried. And said a prayer.

Happy Birthday Gracie.

stephanie said...

Happy birthday sweet Gracie. This post moved me to tears and to snuggle my own little girl closer.

Brandi said...

Happy Birthday sweet Gracie. You have an amazing family. :)

Unknown said...

Happy happy birthday to a perfect little girl! May God bless your family for treasuring your life!

Michelle Pixie said...

Happy Birthday, Grace. Sending love to you and your beautiful family today and holding you all very close to my heart.

Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam & Dylan Too said...

Happy Birthday, Gracie!!! Sending my thoughts and prayers to your family today.

Anonymous said...

CareNet is the best!

Kelly said...

What a touching story. So many people have lost children, it breaks my heart.

The only comfort is knowing that someday we will know those babies that didn't make it.

My cousin went through this twice before having her tubes tied, because she didn't think she could do it a third time. If it helps to know that you are not alone, then I am here to tell you that "You are not alone" My heart aches for you and your family today.

Happy Birthday baby Gracie!

MrsMann said...

Oh Rach! Each year when this day comes, my heart breaks all over for your family.

Happy Birthday precious angel girl!

And hugs to your brave sister!

Jody said...

Happy Birthday Gracie!

I actually snorted when I read "I hear the venue is amazing" btw.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Gracie... you got to eat dessert first, sweet girl. :<) And there are many folks who will be looking to you to show them around when they finally get to where you've been all along. I hope everybody down here gets together and has a FUN party... one in which your spirit is celebrated rather than mourned. And I love the fact that your name is the perfect one-word expression of WHY they can celebrate rather than grieve....
Blessings, prayers, and hugs...

Miss. Jinny said...

Happy Birthday Gracie!! :) You have a great birthday and today is actually my Daddies birthday as well and he passed away 7 years ago April 6th!!! I bet the two of you are have the best party together up in heaven!! :) :) :)

Buckeroomama said...

Happy birthday, sweet Gracie.

My friends just lost both their twins at 20+ days last week. It just breaks the heart to hear news like that. Then I have to pull myself together and remember that God has his reasons.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday sweet little angel.

Stacy said...

Happy birthday to your dear little Gracie.

There are no words that can truly make that kind of loss easier to handle, but hopefully some prayers will help in easing it.

Susan said...

Happy Birthday, Gracie. The love you received in your short time here was perfect and unending. May you always watch over your family and let them feel that God's arms were open and waiting to love you that much too. Prayers today for your mommy and daddy and siblings so that they will feel the peace you know.

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday, sweet little Gracie!

Bravo to you for embracing this opportunity to make a difference!

Amy said...

Happy Birthday Gracie!

Prayers of comfort and understanding to your wonderful family. Nothing I can say can take away the pain of your loss, but God can comfort you.

What you went through was so much more that what I did. My heart aches for you!

My husband and I lost our first gift from God very early in my pregnancy. I lost the baby at home, alone. It was painful both physically and mentally. Even though I knew the baby had passed prior to the actual miscarriage, I was not prepared for how I would feel during and after the process. I hear so many women say "I want my birth to be perfect. It's about me too, not just the baby".... they don't realize that I would have gone through a million c-sections just to get to told my baby, even for just a second. To see that face and study it. I really would give anything to hold Taylor in my arms. I can't wait to get to heaven to meet my child! Taylor is a 3 year old angle :-) Remember and cherish the precious time you had with Gracie.

The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.

Jenny said...

Happy Birthday Sweet Gracie!

NaomiG said...

Happy Birthday Gracie!

(Popped over from the lumberjack's wife today... and I'm so glad I did. Prayers for your family this day.)

mel @ the larson lingo said...

Happy Birthday Gracie!!!!
(I am here from jeanett's blog...I saw your comment & clicked over)
What your sister did is amazing & noble....I have so much respect for her. I am a volunteer photographer for NILMDTS and the parents who have to say goodbye to their baby are some of the strongest people I have ever met. My heart breaks for her and for every parent who has walked that road. Raising money for the Crisis Center is so are blessing people in the midst of your pain & God is being glorified through sweet Gracie's 25 hours on this Earth....praying for your family today as you remember & honor her!

Krulls in Haiti said...

Happy Birthday beautiful girl! Isn't it amazing how you, in all of your innocence and tiny-ness, have touched so many lives? Isn't it amazing how much you are loved?!

The picture of the three of you at the hospital is beautiful, heartbreakingly beautiful. I'm sure even seven years later, the pain of loss is still great.

I hope today brings joy instead of pain.

Saimi said...

Wow my heart goes out to your sister as well as the entire family. What a beautiful tribute and heartfelt story. Thank you for sharing it.

Happy Birthday little Gracie, remember you are loved!

Foursons said...

Happy Birthday to that sweet angel. I can't imagine the pain of losing a child because it is more than I can bear to think about. My heartfelt prayers for sweet memories on her special day.

Kara said...

Ooh, my heart.

Happy birthday, precious Gracie. This world is different because of you!

Jen said...

Happy birthday Gracie! Many prayers for your family! My son, Ryan, is up ther with you and he is still little, just over 5 months. Gracie, if you see him tell him his mommy thinks about him all the time and loves him so, so much!

Unknown said...

Oh the party that will be had when you will meet again...
Happy Birthday Gracie :)

joeks said...

Blessings to Gracie's mom and dad! Oh that more would follow their example and stand firm against advice to "terminate".

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

You all are so amazing!!! Thank you for sharing her with us. Happy Birthday, Gracie!!! You sure were blessed with incredible parents and an amazing family!!

Joanie said...

Well, my dear Gracie, you are so very loved and treasured. God bless you, and God bless your family!

HeatherOz said...

Happy Birthday Sweet Angel!
Big Bear Hugs to your family!

Shana Putnam said...

Happy Birthday Gracie. Also many prayers to Gracie's parents and you guys too. I just want you all to know I understand, as you know Rachel. I can't say a lot more because it brings up a lot of pain but I feel so blessed to be able to say I am praying for you all. God bless.

Emily said...

Happy Birthday Gracie!!
Thanks for sharing this story with us. I'll ask for prayers too that more would refuse to terminate. Also for healing for friends who gave birth to a perfectly sweet stillborn baby girl (named Anne Michelle) last summer. Also for healing for my niece (Rosemarie, 4 yrs old) who has cancer. I see such strength in my sister and brother-in-law but it's so hard to imagine a day where Rosemarie might not be with us. And finally for the intersession of St. Gianna Molla who herself died of complications at birth when she refused to abort. I'm sure St Gianna is partying it up with Gracie too- as her daughter survived and is still alive today! God bless!

Jeannett said...

Happy Birthday sweet girl. Your mama loves and misses you. Say hi to the others for us. Take good care of the littles, will you?

Good work mama. Beautiful.

Aunt Crazy said...

Happy Birthday Gracie!!!

robin said...

Happy Birthday Gracie!

How quickly time flies - you are so close to the hearts of those who love you! P & PTs to her mom and's hard on days like these (moreso than other days.)

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday sweet Gracie! I pray that, as you celebrate with Jesus, your family is comforted by the same Wonderful Councilor and Healer. And give a hug to my sister's child, who was called home before we even knew they existed.

kc said...

Rachel...what an enormously hard post for me to read right now. Everyone feels the pain differently, but even as the pain eases to an ache it is still, please let your sister know I am sending a prayer for her up and long distance hugs to your entire family.

It's a very generous thing you are doing...thank you!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Gracie!!!

Catalina said...

Happy Birthday sweet child. Prayer for "my boys". And MY boys.

Shannon said...

Happy Birthday sweet baby. Your 25 hours were more of a blessing then some are able to carry out in their entire lives. I will pray the your story continues to touch and move people

kc said...

Hey Rach --- I forgot yesterday, but if you let me know I will match your donation and send it to the Crisis Pregnancy Center for all of those people who have been through miscarriages and lost a child......and of course for Grace

"Acts of love bring peace to your life" -- I said it once, I'll say it again: Rachel you are amazing!!!!

Tami said...

Happy Birthday Day baby girl! I am fighting back the tears. Best wishes to her family.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Gracie!

Meg said...

Happy birthday Gracie!

My 3yr old is called Grace. I am so grateful that she was born healthy and well.

Kristin said...

Happy Birthday, Gracie. Hugs to all of you.

Jules said...

There is no better birthday parties in all the world like there is in heaven. Happy Birthday Gracie girl!!!
Love and comfort to your beautiful and strong mommy and daddy.

Sandy said...

I'm a little late in seeing this, but I'm still praying for the family.

Anonymous said...

Awwww... It pulls my heart strings every time I hear about Grace. Happy birthday, and you are very loved.

Caryl said...

Happy Birthday Gracie!

Faith said...

Happy Birthday Gracie!

Mom Of Many said...

Friends lost their daughter as she was being born, in fact they almost lost momma too. Her name was Samantha and she would be 10. Every year {when we were pastoring there} we would go early in the morning to the cemetary and leave an age appropriate gift...honoring the little girl who lives with Jesus. Just think - Gracie and Samantha are playing together at the feet of Jesus. Sorrow for those left behind, but at least comforting to know that Gracie, Samantha, John, Andrea, Megan and Timothy {etc} are all safe in the arms of Jesus...

We celebrate your all-too-brief life Gracie...

Julie said...

What a beautiful post. Happy Birthday Gracie.

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday, Gracie! You have apparently touched many lives in your short one.

ωάίωάίℓℓ said...

dear gracie, happy belated birthday! your so loved by people around the world, your memory will always be a treasure. here's a little flower for you!


natalee said...

Happy Birthday sweet Baby girl.. my heart aches for your parents and for your amazing aunt... hugs love and prayers

Unknown said...

What a beautiful way to cherish her memory. Babies are matter how long they are with us.
Keep up the God work.

trooppetrie said...

when we lost our baby on november 5, 1998, almost fourteen years ago someone gave
me a card with this poem and it has meant more to me that anything. so i
thought i would share it. the scripture on the front is Job 1:21 and inside
it says:
" I was thinking abut what's ahead for the baby. Can you imagine-it will be
taking its first steps on the streets of Heaven! Hannah was a mother who
certainly knows how special a little baby is. Perhaps she'll be the one who
will let it hold her finger as it takes those first staggering steps; and
maybe she will be the one to coax it into taking it first steps alone!
Perhaps Dorcas will see to it that its hems get let out, and that the
buttons are sewn on that growing child. And Joshua! Just think what it would
be like for a child to climb into his lap and hear-first hand- about the
battle of jericho!..
Maybe Petrer will take it fishing someday! It will never fall out of tree or
breaks it's leg, for there is no pain or tears there! It won;t be afraid of
the dark for there is no darkness there. The King of Kings, the Lord of
Lords, he is the very one who said, "let the little children come to me." I
expect there will be many a time when he himself will take that baby in his
lap and let it know a love that makes all other loves seem puny by contrast.
I wouldn't be surprised if the Heavenly Father keeps a few lollipops handy
for just such occasions....
And one day, you will be greeted with a " Hi Dad and Mom! I've got some of
the neatest things to show you; and some really fantastic people i can't
wait for you to meet."


Unknown said...

I'm just catching up on everything friend. You are a beautiful person and an amazing sister. My heart aches for you and your sister and the rest of your family. Remembering Gracie with you.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Grace.

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