They held hands through the overwhelming news that the once pulsing red line was now a tiny little dash separating the dream that was into the unwelcome reality that now is. Her little life was short-lived but her tiny dash had made an impressive mark on the hearts of so many, including mine!
Those precious little pink lines of hope transferred into thin red lines of life as her heart beat its little way into the lives of her beautiful mother, father, brother and sisters. This precious life, each day growing inside of her mother, and each day impacting the lives of those who share the same vital fluid that kept her little heart beating. Life, her little life was growing faster than what was realized. Hope, hopes of so many milestones yet to be accomplished. Time, seconds, days, weeks, and months of deep love, gratitude, wonder and planning. Love, oh this deep love that cannot be matched by anything in the natural realm.
I had the honor of meeting this little girl who was planted as a seed of hope in her family. Before I walked in with my camera to capture these very sacred moments, I said a prayer as I always do. I prayed that the family I was about to meet would be able to see Jesus during this most difficult time in their lives. As I walked into the room and observed this sweet family, there was one thing that was very clear to me; peace. Peace, the kind that is unexplainable, covered them. Although there were tears of grief I could see their HOPE, hope of restoration and hope that somehow beauty would be made out of the ashes. They held their baby girl’s lifeless body as she carried a piece of their hearts with her to heaven that day.
I can’t help but think of the heart beats that surrounded her. The impact they will have on the world around them! ‘Hope to the hopeless’ is what God is going to bring with her little story, her little life, her little tiny feet as they left their imprints on the hearts that held her that day. God is going to use her story! I know many who need it. Many whom I have not written about due to confidentiality. I can assure you that there are many who need this HOPE and Peace! Thank you Hannah and Clay for being open with your grief and healing process. So many will be touched with HOPE and will see the light of Jesus through you and your sweet baby girl. Happy Mother’s Day Hannah!
If you would like, please view sweet Selah’s service here. It is very powerful:
My friend Stephanie (Baylee’s Momma):
We had never met before, but when I found out that her son had died from heart complications I had to connect with her. I had written her a few times after he had passed because the grief that she must have been feeling overwhelmed me. I could not imagine the pain losing my child. She was pregnant with her sweet Baylee Faith around the same time I was pregnant with my Molly so if nothing else, I was so excited for her and her family. I was a stranger at her baby shower but I had to go and celebrate her sweet baby girl!
We shared the same name, we were both due in May and were both expecting girls! Over the next couple of years, we would both become mommas to girls and life as we knew it was full of glitter and PINK, all things PINK and Purple and bows and lots of tutus!!! This past year was devastating for my friend Stephanie as she found out that her little girl would face neuroblastoma head on! Watching her little body battle such a BIG disease was heartbreaking. One thing I have always been thankful was the openness to share. Stephanie was so open with her grief. She never hesitated to share her anger, pain, love, hopelessness, strength, fear, and confusion with all who came in contact with her. She has always been REAL and that is one thing that I have always admired about her. I believe too many times people are afraid to share their real grief in fear of what others might say or think. NOT STEPH!!! She has walked through this as a CHAMPION just like Baylee was a CHAMPION…that sweet girl got that gift of strength from her momma and of course she got it from Jesus!
Now my friend Stephanie is using what she has gone through to raise awareness of the very thing that is killing many children. She wants a cure! She wants to help others as they face their darkest days. She wants to spread hope and healing. The fire that I have seen in her during this time of losing not one but two babies is a miracle in itself. Although a part of her was also released to heaven with her children I can say that she brings a piece of heaven to earth as she champions for LOVE and support for the hopeless. Happy Mother’s Day Stephanie!
Stephanie, thank you for being who you are and thank you for loving so deep! Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus after the STORM. You are going to bring so much peace to so many lives through Baylee’s house.
Please support this precious family by attending their yearly events, and giving to the Baylee House mission of helping others who have to walk through childhood cancer.
Shannon Robinson (Landry’s Momma)
Recently I attended the service of a little girl named Landry! Landry was diagnosed with brain cancer at such a young age. She was so brave and fought an amazing fight for many years until she was laid to rest in the arms of Jesus this year surrounded by her loving family.
This precious momma is so sweet and really carries the peace of God as well! She is a teacher by trade and that most certainly fits her because she teaches the fruits of the spirit to many by simply existing. Her grace and tenderness create a place of warmth to those around her. Here are her words this past Mother’s Day “I want to thank all of you who’ve sent me a special message or texted me today. I do want to say, though, that I am thankful that God made me a mom 18 years ago, and I am grateful today as I am every Mother’s Day (and EVERY day, for that matter!) for both of my children no matter where they are, in Heaven or here on this earth!”
WOW! She is shining and making a difference! I know she and every momma listed here wish their babies were here to experience life with them. I know that she also desires to do something good with Landry’s story! Landry taught everyone a new word in the quote that she became famous for and that is “God is Fablious”! He sure is! So is this momma! My prayer is that she knows how much she and her family have touched so many lives during this long journey. My prayer is that she continues to carry the spirit of sweet Landry in her own legacy. What a precious, precious family. Happy Mother’s Day Shannon.
Beth Copelin (Kaitlin’s Momma):
She worked with my children at our church in the summer club program. She was so fun and amazing and the girls loved her so much. She was only 16 years old when she became ill. It was sudden and devastated her sweet family so quickly. At her service there were countless stories of how she jumped, loved and hugged her way into the hearts of everyone she met. She was so young and had so much life to live. There was not a dry eye in the service that day as memories were counted and goodbyes were shared. This precious girl really did have a contagious spirit and could light up an entire room with her smile! I watched as this mother and father buried their only child that day. Their strength amazed me and there were so many things I wanted to say but couldn’t find the right words. As my pastor says there are never any words that are right during the time of such great loss! Just comfort in the HOPE of Jesus! It was evident that Kaitlin was dancing with her father in heaven that day.
I am grateful that her sweet momma and daddy taught her serve. Her heart towards my children “and many others” was so sweet. They told me about her hugs. I did not know her on a personal level but I knew her through the halls and through my children. My sweet girls wanted to attend her service because they wanted to say goodbye to a sweet touch of kindness in their lives. When we walked into the service my daughter, just 7 years old at the time, asked me if we would get to see Miss. Kaitlin again. During those moments I struggled to tell her that we would not see her in the physical but that we could allow her memory to live on in us and through us and also through her parents. I told her that we can remember Miss Kaitlin when we see a sweet smile or when we walk the halls of church. My heart ached not only for my children and their loss of a mentor but also for her parents Beth and Bobby and their loss of a life with their only child. It is just not fair! We are not supposed to go before our children.
I ran into these sweet parents one day while at lunch and gave them a hug. I was so grateful to run into them because they reminded me that God is in control and they also reminded me of what true peace and hope really looks like. God is using them to encourage others through their journey of loss as well. Happy Mother’s Day Beth!
Jumping into our hearts (minute 10:30)
I have walked with countless parents as they have lost their children or loved ones! One of the most heart-breaking things is the way the enemy tries to steal the heart of a mother by robbing her of her child/children. I have found myself being grateful that each one of these mommas were able to feel the LOVE of motherhood because so many do not know that love. I know all of them want their babies back and that they each I am so happy that the LORD heals and restores! I am also thankful that through these little girls I have been reminded that life is but a vapor. One day we are here and the next we are gone. There are no guarantees to how long we have here on earth. One thing that I do know is that life is too short to be bitter. Even if death comes, we can still find joy and HOPE.
With all of that being said I would like to say a few things to our girls:
Dear Beloved Daughters,
I cannot believe how fast you are growing up! Today I have decided to write something that has been stirring in my heart for quite some time. I have a deep desire to see each of you grow into beautiful young women with love, peace, confidence, and joy in your hearts! I am not always the best with words and am sure to fail you at times, but that does not mean that my love for you is absent, it simply means I am human and make mistakes. I also realize that you are human and will make mistakes along this beaten path as well. At times, I am aware that I will be forced to reevaluate how I parent you over and over (there is no rule book for this parenting gig so please forgive me as I practice). None the less I need you to know a few key things so that you can understand my view in life and have a little grace with me too.
One thing I need you to understand is that my number one goal in this motherhood thing has been to love you and to guard your hearts while keeping you safe. I am pretty tough and if something comes in my home or our lives that threatens your innocence I will challenge it and I will not back down unless I know that you are safe. Oh, sweet girls I need you to understand that I know this will probably be the characteristic that you least like about me. I am okay with that. I know I will not be able to keep you “grounded” forever but please understand that you will fly soon enough. My hope for you is that you will be ready to fly and face the storms of life as each storm threatens your safety and causes you to reevaluate which direction you will fly.
It is no surprise to me that we will face hard things in life like heartache, disappointments, failure, difficult decisions, more heartache, questions regarding faith, death, and even anger and fear. You will be faced with a decision to allow yourself to become bitter and angry at the world or choose to persevere and try to see something good derive from it or better yet, do something good with the circumstances.
I am also very excited for your journey because, given the gift of time, you will have the amazing opportunity to experience beautiful things in life like faith, hope, best friends, fun trips, grandparents, more best friends, boyfriends (can this really be beautiful? YES), pets, camps, sleep overs, birthday parties, swimming, skating, mission trips, movies, fun family nights, sunrises and sunsets, art galleries, rain showers (dancing in the rain), daddy daughter dates, having new electronics, shopping, going to three different restaurants in one night, and laughter…LOTS OF LAUGHTER! You will be so happy that you cry at times in your lives! You will also be filled with so much joy at other times!
I so badly want to be there for each moment, to hold you and to laugh with you, whatever the time calls for. I had a rough childhood and have struggled to learn trust and love. You dear ones have taught me that these things are rooted in relationship. Despite my shortcomings in the past I desire to simply live life with you to the fullest. I want you to know that I am here for you. I am so proud of you and love you so deeply.
I want to thank you simply for being you and for loving me through the tough lessons that we both must learn from in life. Thank you for loving me even when I do not always deserve it. Thank you for loving each other and choosing forgiveness for any failures. Thank you for the pounds of glitter over the years and the PINK, for all things PINK and Purple and bows and thank you for all of the tutus! Thank you for laughing with me and for being silly with me. Thank you for being messy and limitless. Thank you for daring to be brave and full of adventure. I do not know what I would ever do without any of you. I love you so deep!
I know you have heard this song for many years but I wrote it for you and want to share it with you now in case you need it! I love you so much sweet girls. Please know that you are my always and forever. There is nothing that could EVER steal my love for you. My biggest prayer for you as your mom is that you would love like Jesus!
Love Always -Mom
P.S. I will probably add more to this as time goes by! Until then, I love you.