Happy Birthday Baby

It was raining softly this morning as we all awoke and headed to the cemetery. It was damp and cool, but the weather just felt right—it matched my mood. Somehow, it is harder to cry when the sun is brightly shining. Tears streamed down my face as we walked toward her grave.

Another year has passed.

The pain is still there, but it is a dull distant ache. Six years have made certain things hard to remember. The once very sharp memories are fading. Certainly there are things I will never forget, but certain details of her brief life have left me. I once mourned the loss of these memories. Today I thank God for the gift of passing time.

We all placed flowers on her grave and we prayed. We asked for her intercession and we thanked God for the gifts of our healthy children. I will hug them all very tightly today, praising God for the gift of each precious life. I prayed silently for all mothers who have lost a child, and all families that are experiencing grief during this holiday season.

It is Thanksgiving week and we are all very busy readying our homes for family and other fun celebrations. I always feel a bit guilty to be grieving during this time of year. The end of November is always difficult, as I remember my baby and many emotions of the past come flooding back. Yet I am not alone in my grief.

There are many, many families grieving the loss of loved ones during this time of year. Cards, notes, phone calls, and prayers go a long way in healing their aching hearts. While we all sit around and plan our Thanksgiving, and soon Christmas, dinners let us also take a moment to plan how we can serve someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one. A small note, a dinner invitation, or simply taking the time to pray can go a long way toward healing hearts and building our church communities.

It is the Joy and the Sorrow that makes us Christian mothers. Today I am thanking God for Therese Joy, the baby girl who taught me both.


My prayers are with you and your family today, Red.

November 25, 2008 at 12:25 PM  

We'll be praying for your family this season, Red.

November 25, 2008 at 12:31 PM  

Red, absolutely beautiful in every way. Thank you for this post. God bless you all today.

November 25, 2008 at 12:59 PM  

What a beautiful photo and tribute to your little saint. May God bless you & your family today. And since November is the month of All Saints Day, it doesn't seem odd to me at all that you would spend it remembering yours.

November 25, 2008 at 1:08 PM  

Happy 6th Birthday in heaven, Therese Joy!

What a beautiful grave site for your little girl, Red, thank you so much for sharing this picture. Thank you also for reminding us to pray for all of the families who are experiencing grief during this holiday season.

Therese Joy, your little life has touched people all around the world. Praise God for your life, and for the loving way in which your parents have shared you with all of us!

November 25, 2008 at 2:27 PM  

Red, thoughts of you all and dear Therese abound today! I will always cherish memories of her beautiful face as we gathered that day in your hospital room.

In a way, I am grateful to have Thanksgiving so closely linked with her memory. Family is around, the mood is festive, and I am reminded to truly give thanks for the precious people in my life.

Baby Therese, pray for us! Hugs and prayers for you all throughout this season...

November 25, 2008 at 3:34 PM  

Red, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this special day with us. Therese is certainly praying for her mommy and her family, and so am I.

November 25, 2008 at 6:41 PM  

"Yet I am not alone in my grief". I lost my father earlier this year to a sudden heart attack. My faith has helped me tremendously, especially during those times when it all seems so unreal. Thank you for sharing your story. I go to Mass as often as I can and I find peace there, especially during the consecration. Yes, we are not alone in our grief. Jesus is here.

December 2, 2008 at 9:19 AM  

A little late here, but I wanted to thank you for posting this, Red. It was both heartwrenching and uplifing to read, as you made me revisit with such clarity the loss of our child. You have such a beautiful perspective of Therese Joy's role in your family's life and I am grateful for your reminder to view our own grief as a channel to easing the suffering and losses of those around us.

December 2, 2008 at 11:39 AM  

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