On June 12th, 2012, I have a very important date. This is the day that I will get to meet my daughter, Annie Rose, and also the day that I will most likely be saying good-bye to her. I am joyful and anxious, excited and sad; the day will be bittersweet. It will be a big day for Annie – she will get to meet her daddy, her big brother and sisters, her Oma and Opa, and many wonderful friends who will make the trip to meet her. She will meet the team of medical and palliative care professionals who have been so thoughtful in helping us to prepare for her birth. They have valued her life and shown great compassion to us, her family.
Most importantly, Annie will be surrounded by a cloud of prayer on the day of her birth. These prayer warriors will be near and far, and they have been supporting us all for the past several months since Annie’s diagnosis. Their earnest prayers, along with the intercession of Our Blessed Mother, have protected us from despair, strengthened us when difficult decisions have had to be made, and allowed us to love Annie as a precious gift to our family from our loving Father.
I am anticipating many things about the day of Annie’s birth. I know that the presence of loved ones will strengthen and encourage our family, and that the prayers of those not physically present, but just as truly present as far as I’m concerned, will affect many miracles for us on that day. I have explained to our children, who have been praying for a miracle, that God works many unexpected wonders in our lives, ones that we never even knew to ask for. He may not work a miracle of healing, but I have no doubt that He will surprise us in many other ways, just as He did when Lucy was born.
I am anticipating that saying good-bye to Annie, and watching our children say their good-byes, will be terribly difficult. I also know that great sorrow and great joy are two sides of the same coin, and that in our grief we will catch a glimpse of the eternal in a way that we never have before. We have cried many tears over the past few months, but we have also cherished our blessings and experienced joy in new and unexpected ways. We know that there will be tough times ahead, but we also trust that there will be many wonderful ones as well.
There is much more to write, but it is late and my pregnant brain is moving slowly Please continue to pray for us, for our children, and for Annie Rose. We will take many pictures on the day of her birth, and will share them when the time is right. Mary, Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for us!