It is the most bittersweet story of our family.
My sister and her husband – expecting their second baby girl.
I was eight years into being involuntarily childless – and I threw myself into being the Fun Aunt.
And then a radiology technician took a little too long.
And got quiet.
And your entire life turns upside down.
I’ve shared about Gracie before.
And you guys have been so loving, so compassionate.
Today is her birthday.
And instead of a party with her third-grade classmates, she is probably playing Guitar Hero with Moses and eating Cheetos with Jesus.
I wanted to let my sister share her with you.
So you can read in her own words what Gracie means to her.
Her gift with words. I felt suckerpunched when I read it and the loss was immediately so new again.
But do you get it?
That is real motherhood.
To sacrifice for your child.
To refuse to see only sadness, but to DELIGHT in your baby girl.
To allow yourself to fall in love because
THAT PRECIOUS GIFT IS YOURS.
It matters not that Gracie has a heavenly zipcode – her momma’s heart is every bit devoted to her.
I’m reminded again, the incredible mix of emotions I saw on my sister’s face as we stood around Gracie’s tiny NICU bed.
It felt like holy ground, knowing that her time was short and we desperately wanted her to feel how much she meant to us.
Completely and utterly loved.
My heart breaks at the picture of my sister and her husband holding her for the first time.
She was already dying.
And in the moments before she was gone, she loved like only she could.
We left the next day. With tiny clothes and pictures.
Pushing the hospital doors out into a windy spring day with masses of people moving in every direction – going on with their everyday lives.
And it felt so wrong.
With a box instead of a baby. And no one stopped. No one knew we were leaving our hearts on a floor high above street level. Nothing had changed for them.
But we were changed.