Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Meredith's Birth Week - September 30

Jill started Vermont Angels to honor her twins in Heaven, Emma & Chase. Thank you, Jill, for these sweet name pictures.

This is one of my favorite poems and I also have it in Meredith's scrapbook. Thank you, Emalee,
Mommy to angel Kenner.

This pretty pebble was painted by Casey at Treasure Beans. Casey is an angel's mommy, too.
Thank you, Casey.
I feel so blessed that such talented people have helped honor Meredith's memory this week. But it is not only THIS week - I have received many lovely things for her in the past year or so. A lot of them are posted in her Gallery, but not all of them. They will be posted, I promise. I really appreciate everything that has been done for Meredith or me.
I wanted to mention that a sweet friend, Debby, has donated to Sufficient Grace Ministries for Women, and that is what we did, also. Thank you, Debby, so very much.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Meredith's Birthday Week - September 29

Meredith's name by Laura, Cara Angel's Mommy

I have had this for a few months. It was made by Lindsy, sweet Mommy to three boys and an angel daughter

Tiffany from Names on the Sidewalk drew a sweet rosebud along with the name. She is Genesis' Mommy and has two children on Earth

Jen, angel Lily's Mommy made this lovely picture. Lily also has a sweet little brother.

This sweet picture is from Sara, Mommy to a little girl and her children in Heaven, Gabriel Frank, Jr., and Angel Rose.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Meredith's Birthday Week - September 28

Cathrin, Mom to Angel children Devon, Feodora, & Serenity, made these two lovely pictures for our baby girl

Caroline, Mom to four Earthly children & two darling babies in Heaven, sent both of these lovely rose pictures to Meredith

Cathrin & Caroline - thank you for using your talents to warm our hearts! We appreciate it so much!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Meredith's Birthday Week, September 27

When Meredith was born and died in October of 1974, the funeral was the only "celebration" she had, and I can't remember 95% of the funeral. I am fairly certain it was not a celebration of life, though. It was rushed, I was rushed and didn't get to take the time I wanted with her. It was just a standard funeral. No one gave us cutesy little Christmas ornaments for her that year, no one bought a soft stuffed animal in memory of her, no one but us bought a poinsietta in memory of her at church. The only Christmas ornaments I have received for her came from YOU - the BLMs I have met online. I can't really tell you how much I appreciate any memento that has ever been sent for my baby.

Well, this year I have decided to have a Celebration Of Life for her birthday on October 3. My husband and I talked and he said I could. Our immediate family is going out to eat at Outback Steak House and then we are returning to our twin daughters' home to have birthday cake. In honoring Meredith, we will also be honoring our living children who brought us tremendous joy after her passing. I wouldn't be totally honest if I said that everyone is happy about this. There are a couple of people who think I am losing my marbles. It hurts to know that, after all I have been through over the years. I am totally sane, I assure you. I am not depressed. I feel better about my loss than I ever have.

I have been requesting things that other BLMs make for our darlings. I have saved the most recent things sent to post this week. If you would like to pray for us that day, send Meredith a picture for her blog, mail her a birthday card for her scrapbook, or do a random act of kindness in her memory, I would be honored. We will be donating to Sufficient Grace Ministries for Women in her memory. All I have ever wanted for Meredith since she couldn't stay on Earth, was for her to be loved and remembered. I will love her and remember her as long as I live, and then I hope Jesus meets me with her in His arms.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Mallory, Child of Heaven

I was having a hard time going to sleep the other night and Mallory's face popped into my mind. I couldn't stop thinking about her. I was present when Mallory went to Heaven and what an impact she left on me! Mallory was the granddaughter of a friend we met in Bible study several years ago. I will call the friend "Mary." Mary was a divorced mother and she had little or no help from her ex-husband in raising her daughter, "Katie." Katie was the same age as our twin girls, and Mary raised her in church and in a Christian home. Katie married young and had 3 children by the time she was 20. Mallory was the middle child. Sadly, Katie and her husband made lots of wrong choices. They followed the wrong crowd. Abuses - physical, emotional, and chemical - began to enter the picture. Thefts occurred. The young couple went to jail, and then to prison. Mary was left to raise their three children. The baby was about a year old. He is now 10, and Katie is still in prison. So many years wasted....
In August of 2003 Mallory started pre-school and her sister started kindergarten. About a year before, Mary had taken the children for their yearly check-ups and Mallory was immediately hospitalized with severe insulin dependent juvenile onset diabetes. She was stabilized but had to go back to the hospital many times after that. Mallory had the worst diabetes that I have ever known of personally. Her grandmother measured every bite she ate, checked her sugar levels regularly, and administered her shots as needed. One Friday shortly after school started, Mallory felt bad all day and suffered a seizure that night. The ambulance was called and Mallory was stabilized and talking. That was the last time Mary saw her conscious. She was transported to the hospital, but when Mary arrived, Mallory was in a coma and on a respirator.
Because Mallory had fallen while playing days earlier and had a small bruise on her forehead, the hospital accused Mary of abusing Mallory. Her other two grandchildren were put in foster care. The lady who had kept Mallory that day while Mary worked was accused of not being vigilant and maybe letting Mallory get into her medicines, one of which was a strong painkiller. This was not the case as the toxicology tests later showed. Mallory was in a coma for 10 days. The medical staff, after ordering a multitude of tests, realized that Mallory was not abused. She had suffered brain damage from her diabetes. Mary was totally innocent of wrongdoing. However, the state child protective agency was not convinced and would not release the other two children.
The ethics committee had met and talked to Mary about letting Mallory go on to Heaven. She had no brain function and a machine was breathing for her. After consulting with her pastors and friends, Mary made the agonizing decision to turn off the respirator. A date and time were set and Mary honored us by inviting us to be there. Mallory loved us and we loved her. We had tried to help out with Mary's grandchildren by buying clothes for them and toys at Christmas. The children enjoyed going shopping to pick out Easter and Christmas clothes, especially Mallory. She was a little strawberry blonde sweetheart, always loving and kind.
The evening arrived and Amanda (our daughter), my husband, and I went to the hospital. I had visited Mallory before and she was in an open section of the PICU. That night she was in a large room with plenty of chairs. The nurses had braided her hair and put cute barrettes in her braids. Her favorite blanket covered her. Cheery balloons floated in a corner. The room was full of people who wanted to say goodbye to Mallory. The hospital chaplain was there, as well as Mallory's pastor. We hugged her and said what we had to say before the machine was disconnected. After that we could hold her, talk to her, hug her, touch her hand. It was sad that a child was dying, but the presence of God was in that room. I never got to hold and comfort my Meredith, but I could comfort Mallory and her grandmother.
Mallory didn't hold on for long. She was finally at peace. When Mary had told us of her decision earlier, we had taken her to the mall so she could pick out Mallory's funeral outfit and we could pay for it. We were sorrowful, yes, but it felt right for us to buy this outfit for a little girl who loved to dress up and look pretty. Later on, we were blessed financially with a windfall and we were able to purchase her marker. Mary's church furnished the funeral.
My daughters and I made a wreath for Mallory and Amanda took pictures at the funeral, with Mary's permission. We made photo albums for Mary and her daughter (who didn't get to come to the funeral). Over the years I have written to Katie and tried to help her with her grief. Even though she is the one who is responsible for being in prison, I cannot imagine the pain she felt, knowing her daughter was dying and she couldn't go to her.
Mary was officially cleared of any wrongdoing and the grandchildren were returned, but a distrust had grown in those small children. Their young lives had already been upturned by their parents' actions. They last saw their sister being loaded into an ambulance, then they are taken away from their grandmother, and they come home to find their sister gone. Many hours of counseling have been needed to help undo the damage.
I just like to think that our experience with Meredith helped us to minister to Mallory's family. This month she would have been 12. She has been with Jesus for 7 years. Mallory, we love you! Please hold our Meredith in Heaven for us.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Memorial Collages From Franchesca

Franchesca began Abiding Hope Collages in honor of her sweet Jenna Belle who flew to Heaven too soon. She made Meredith's personal collage several months ago. For the first anniversary of this mission, Franchesca asked for names to be included for this memorial collage. I asked for Meredith's name to be added, as well as some other family members who passed away as babies:

James Calvin Barton, my Dad's brother

Janet Susan Barton, my sister

Joshua Gregory Myers, my great - nephew

Cason Ray Adams, my cousin

James Calvin died in 1921, shortly after my Dad's father was killed by lightning. I can only imagine the sorrow of my grandmother, who lost her husband and child so closely together.

My sister Janet was stillborn on October 7, 1941. She was buried on the same day, and Meredith was buried on October 7, 1974. Joshua was a preemie and Cason died at 6 weeks of age. All of these babies' deaths left big holes in their loved ones' hearts.

I was looking at the Abiding Hope site tonight, looking at new collages of babies who passed away in 2010. In a few months it will be 2011 and we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if the Lord does not return first, there will be collages for babies made who left for Heaven in 2011. I wish it were not true, but those are the facts. We can pray, give to March of Dimes and other research groups, but there is no easy overnight fix for the infant mortality rate in this country. The county I live in has one of the highest rates in the country. I appreciate Franchesca and other BLMs who do things to ease the hearts of those who have said goodbye to children.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Roses from Danielle

Danielle sent these to Meredith. What a surprise I received when I opened that email!
She is a very talented young woman. Danielle is the mommy to three living children and a baby boy in Heaven, Wyatt Nathaniel. Her story is told on her blog "Letting Go and Letting God." Thank you so much, Danielle, for remembering my baby!