Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Celebrating Life

I had a very sweet experience yesterday, and wanted to share it. But, some background will be needed first. There was a two year period in my ward when 5 separate families lost babies, as well as a sweet couple who lost their granddaughter. The whole ward rallied around these families, served them, prayed for them, and prayed for them some more. We loved each one of these little ones, and loved their families who were left behind. Miracles were promised in blessings, and miracles were seen; however, not the ones that were expected or desired. All of these little angel babies died, each one from a different disease or birth defect. After one of our (that’s what we called them ‘our’) babies had passed away, my son asked, “Why do all the babies die that we pray for?” It was the question on everyone’s mind and heart, and one that was difficult to answer. The Spirit gave me a little insight, and I responded to his heart broken question, “I’m not sure of all the reasons, but Heavenly Father knew he could send those precious spirits to our ward for their brief life. He knew that we would love and take care of all the families who suffer because of their loss. What a blessing from heaven that we were able to pray for each baby, and see Heavenly Father’s hand in so many ways.” We talked about all the tender mercies and miracles that had come throughout those two years. Our ward truly grew in charity and love. Yesterday was the birth/death day of one sweet baby named Suzy. She didn’t have kidney’s and only lived a few hours. Her parents chose to celebrate Suzy’s life with a party. Of course, they mourned, but tried to concentrate on the blessing of her receiving a physical body. They invited many of the ward members, as well as friends and family to gather at Suzy’s grave to celebrate the anniversary of Suzy’s life. Nearly sixty people stood in a large circle around the little headstone, while the immediate family stood together inside the circle. It seemed symbolic to have the family surrounded by friends and neighbors, the ones that had surrounded them during the difficult time of Suzy’s prenatal diagnosis and subsequent delivery and death. My heart cheered them on for their bravery on this day. Each person present held a pink balloon with a small tag attached to it. On the tags, we were invited to write down something we were celebrating as a gift to Suzy. On mine, I wrote the words, “resurrection and perfect body”, knowing that on that day of resurrection, Suzy would gain a perfected physical body. As a group, we sang “I Am a Child of God” and “Families Can Be Together Forever”. Then, after singing “Happy Birthday” to Suzy, we all released the balloons. It must have been an awesome sight. Everyone seemed to hold their breath as they watched all the balloons ascend. Following this, we all went to the house of the grandparents for birthday cake and ice cream. It was such a precious experience, and reminded me of the sweetness and love of God. So many tragedies happen in this world, so many heartbreaks, so many tears, but Father in Heaven doesn’t leave us without comfort as we turn to him in our need. I am so grateful for his loving care, and for his plan that allows us to love and care for one another.


Melanie said...

That is a beautiful story. What a blessing that little spirit has been to her family and the ward family. Thank you for sharing this story of love, faith, and courage.

Lesta said...

I remember you telling about those babies either on stage at TOFW or in your book, I can't remember which it was. What a sweet story. Thank you for sharing it.