On Monday morning I am doing a reading at my nephew's funeral. Words that are so sad I hoped I would never say them.
My sister-in-law & brother-in-law were expecting their baby to arrive in March; but sadly the wee one was plagued with problems. They found out the baby had Downs Syndrome, which is sad but of course it is a challenge that just has to be met. Unfortunately there were other problems with the baby's heart - including a calcium build up in the left ventricle (which is usually only present in the right ventricle) of the heart (or I may have gotten left & right mixed up). This was only documented 4 times in the US & Canada. Most likely this baby would need an immediate heart transplant upon his birth. If the pregnancy went full term. There was also the potential for brain damage - something that could not be determined during pregnancy.
Sadly, it did not.
The baby was born on Saturday, October 23rd. 23 weeks (I think?). He was named Owen & he lived for only an hour & 40 minutes. He was baptized & his parents were able to hold & cuddle him for that time. He was perfect & beautiful. His heart gave out & he left this world. It was very peaceful.
My heart breaks for his parents. I cannot imagine going through that. I am glad that his passing was peaceful & he didn't have to go through multiple very risky operations, but that doesn't erase the pain of losing a child.
So, we go to the funeral on Monday. To share our love & support; to hug & cry.
And through this all, I hold my own two HEALTHY (if somewhat spirited & sleep challenged) children very very close. I've never hugged anyone so close as these two & smothered them daily with kisses. Yes, indeed, I have a lot to be grateful for.