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Birth.Day.

June 1, 2011

(Grace)

My heart is heavy this morning with a story that is not mine to tell; of a friend who is a wonderful mother to four children and of her third child who was born on this day.

(Grace)

I cannot do her story justice because it is not mine. But I need to share how it has affected me.

(Grace)

Each year, on the day of their birth, I go throughout my day remembering each twinge, each deep breath, each moment leading up to the birth of my four children. During the day I find myself giving my birthday child extra little hugs, pats and kisses when those moments from a day gone by, pass through my memory and my body. Remembering the pull of the contractions, the tightness, the good pain that each time has led to the addition of another beautiful child to our family; this brings me incredible joy.

(Grace)

On this day, eight years ago, before I knew my friend, when she was about to become a mother of three, my friend was not experiencing this joy.

(Grace)

Three days before she had felt her daughter stop moving inside her. The comfort and reassurance of feeling your unborn child stretching and preparing for their entrance stopped for my friend. I cannot speak to any of the rest of that time for her because it is not mine to speak of, nor do I possess anything but empathy as I thankfully, have not walked her path.

(Grace)

My friend uses her experience with this ultimate grief to the good of other parents who find themselves becoming members of this club that no one wants to belong to. Her daughter is present in all that she does for these families and in so much of her daily life. But. But Grace is not here. There is no little girl here to sing “Happy Birthday” to as another school year winds down and summer activities begin to fill the calendar. There is no little head to pass by and kiss as she remembers the stages of her labor and birth. And for all that and so much more, my heart aches deeply for my friend who is also a mother of four.

(Grace)

And so, on this day, I remember a little girl I never met. A little girl whose inexplicably brief time on earth has unexpectedly affected me to my core. A little girl whose name is not spoken aloud nearly enough. A little girl who brings light, love and understanding to many others her mother has the benefit of comforting.

(Grace)

But, darn it. I wish that I was getting my kids ready to go to her birthday party. I wish that when people see my friend and I together they were able to marvel at our eight children, rather than just the seven they see.

(Grace)

I am thankful and sad that I know Grace in this limited way. My arms and heart ache for my friend whose world was and is so completely changed by her third-born’s absence, but also by her presence.

(Grace)

Grace, you are missed. I missed you. I do miss you.

(Grace)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. MOM permalink
    June 1, 2011 5:08 pm

    This is a wonderful and powerful tribute to Grace. I saw the photo of her and Sarah and my heart fell a little. Sarah is a pretty incredible woman. I am proud to say I know her.
    Mom

  2. June 1, 2011 8:27 pm

    Thanks for this.

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