Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Happy birthday St. Leo

It truly is amazing to me when I look back and see how God was preparing me for Lily. Different moms who have all experienced the loss of a child have been interwoven in my life since I moved here. In the past five years I have attended the funeral of a 19 year old, a five year old, a one year old, and a young mother

I have been in awe of each of these mothers who have experienced these losses. I admired their strength, their courage, mostly their faith. From my eyes, they completely abandoned their selves to God. They put their families right in God's hands. They didn't understand, but they trusted. They believed. 

But there was one mom in particular that really tugged at my heart. I was and still am in complete awe of her. Her sweet son Leo prepared me for Lily before I even knew I needed to prepare. I had never met his mom, but to me, she was the kind of mother I aspired to be. 

I had just learned that I was pregnant again...excited and scared, nervous and full of joy to be doing it all over again. My dear friend shared in our Women's group about another mom from our church that knew already her child would not survive. Her child had anencephaly and his brain and skull had not formed properly. He was not expected to live for long, if he survived birth at all. I honestly think I gasped in disbelief that anyone would have to go through this. 

I have been Pro-Life my whole life, but that belief had never been tested. I observed from afar what it truly meant to respect the dignity of all life. 

My dear friend shared on her blog about the shower she hosted for Leo's mom. Again, I was in awe of this woman. How was she doing this? How would she get through pregnancy and labor knowing she did not get to keep her son? I was mesmerized by her strength and courage, all the time oblivious to what I was about to face.

This is the comment I posted on my friend's blog post, just six weeks before Lily's diagnosis:

"Such a beautiful testament of her courage and faith and of your servant hood. Thank you for sharing this. I'm in complete awe of a mother willing to love her child so selflessly. I know it's all of our goals, but we fall short so often. She is truly living up to self-sacrificing love. Continuing to pray for mom and baby."

Leo was born sleeping just a few weeks later. I didn't know him, but he forever left an imprint on my heart. Because of Leo, my doctor didn't have to be a "doctor" and explain what was happening, she could just hold my hand and let me cry. 

Shortly after Lily's diagnosis, I met Leo's mom for the first time. If you know me, you know I'm not much of a hugger, but the moment I met Leo's mom we hugged and both cried. She knew my aching heart better than anyone. She told me that the morning before she learned of Lily, she had a dream about Leo. It's been almost a year and she still says it was her only dream of him. She said Leo woke her up in her dream and told her she needs to pray for Lily. Just one month after she lost her sweet Leo, she offered to walk with us on this journey. That alone gave me hope, and I was able to start picking myself up from the despair. I am still in awe of this woman and I am eternally grateful for her "yes" to Leo and her "yes" to me. 

Today is Leo's feast day. I think of Leo and Lily every day, but especially today. I can see  them perfectly...dancing together, forever in the Resurrection. Happy feast day, sweet Leo, give your momma an extra kiss and whisper from Heaven today.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful faith emerging from sorrow! May God bless you & yours (Leo's family, too).