Today is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day. The whole month of October is dedicated to those that have lost babies through miscarriage, premature birth, SIDS, etc. We had more losses than you could count on one hand. And the month of October is also the month that we lost our baby nineteen years ago.
I don't want to stir up feelings or solicit sympathies or make a mockery over loss. I just want to say that each and every time we get to this time of year, I feel a small emptiness in my heart that only she could fill.
Today I was in a decorating store. I saw a little saying about someone I love being in heaven and that is why we want to keep a little heaven in our home or something like that. I stood there looking at it and my eyes welled up with tears. Grief is weird like that. It was a normal morning. I had a few errands to run and was looking for a certain thing. And there was this little plaque. And here came my sorrow. For our little baby that died.
Most of you know, little Amara Kay was born at 24 weeks back in 1996. She struggled with all she had for three days and the bleeding on the brain was too much. Her daddy and I wanted her so. She had grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins all eagerly awaiting her arrival. We held her tiny little hand. We watched her struggle in the moist warmth of the incubator. We studied her little face for familiar features and we saw them. But life was too much for her premature body and she died.
I didn't know her really, but I loved her. I dreamt about what she would be like when I carried her. I felt her move within. I couldn't wait to be her mommy. But really, I didn't know her personality or her likes or dislikes. But one thing is so completely certain. I loved her and I still do.
The gifts of our subsequent children have filled nearly all the gaps. We were completely blessed with our daughter, then our son, then another daughter. We were completely blessed with having our family grow in a unique way of international adoption, domestic adoption, and then by birth. I give thanks every day for these souls that are now housed in teenage bodies. Yes, we are blessed.
Then there's an experience like this morning when I felt that gap. A little plaque with a saying about knowing someone I love is in heaven. We were assured of that at her funeral. She never sinned and so her soul is safe. But then it hit me once again that I am a mother of a baby that died. She never got to live life and experience all the wonders and emotions and love that life can offer. And she will never have to deal with the sorrows of life either. It is His will and not ours.
Little Amara gave me some gifts. She taught me that life is precious. She taught me to value the children we do have. She taught me that I was stronger than I ever thought I could be. She taught me that her father is in incredible and thoughtful man. And she taught me that heaven isn't so far away.
So we continue on in our journey of life. We count our blessings. We give thanks for friends and family that held us up when we could not do it ourselves. We stop and are overcome with sadness on an ordinary day. And we give thanks for a wee little baby girl that was given and then taken back again so very quickly.