Let’s talk about the GRACE others have shown us through our experience with Eva. There is no possible way to remember every single person that graced us. And that in itself is mind blowing.
The grace of our parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, distant relatives all over the country, so many great friends, dear friends, sister friends, former teachers, doctors, nurses, ultrasound technicians, valet attendants at the hospital… A fellow lissencephaly mama I met through a Facebook group that sent a whole box of preemie clothes with photos her children drew of Eva. A loss mom who sent me her comforting and inspiring book. Strangers with such compassion. Cards, texts, private messages, comments from so, so many that lifted us up on really rough days. The people who loved us and never turned away. Who showed up with food, and flowers, and presents for our boy. Who gracefully sat with us in our darkest moments of despair. Our beloved sister who stayed with our boy in the middle of the night while we went to say goodbye to his sister. The last photo taken of my family of four by a nurse who suggested it, who made an adorable sign for Eva’s door, who stayed with her as she entered back to the spirit world. Many strangers all over the world with MDS babies like Eva who let me ask them difficult questions. And the dear women I’m close with now who are there to listen when the loss of our daughters gets to be too much. The grace of our parents to give us their best, even though they are in pain too. My cousin who said Eva would always be a part of our family tree. Our doula helping Max make a bracelet for his sister and himself, that I now keep near. Heading from the airport to the hospital after birth to make sure we had special photographs of Eva and us as a family. Handmade truffles with a homemade dinner from a friend I rarely see. Invites to get me out of the house. Offering me grace when I keep declining. Booking a sailboat adventure. Going on walks. Letting me not be okay. Sweet tokens to remember Eva with. Having a favorite artist sign a significant print. Having a star named in Eva’s honor so our twinkle star can shine on. The numerous dreams of Eva friends and family have shared with me. Money for food at the hospital, and a pizza and beer when we returned. Donations to a wreath fundraiser from friends and strangers. The hearing test woman at the hospital that caught us at a really bad time—when we weren’t showing much grace—and she listened to us, knew someone else with a daughter who had lissencephaly that wrote a book, and sent us a card after Eva passed away. The doctors and nurses who sat with us while my tears fell on my life-limited girl as we considered doing major surgery, they showed us SO much grace. The vegetarian social worker who bought us burgers and fries from the stand I grew up with, that reminded me of my Granny. The palliative care doctor who always spoke to Eva too, and held conversations about outside topics that got my mind of things. My midwives who couldn’t continue my care, but offered to be there if I wanted them. The specialist office that delivered Eva sent me a necklace after she passed. Max’s pediatrician who was concerned for him, when I was just calling to get his name on paperwork for Eva. And then he asked me with genuine concern how I was doing.
I COULD GO ON
I now have tears streaming down my face from this act. The grace we have experienced from others fills me up inside. When people get bogged down with the news, go through a tragedy and I promise some faith in humanity will be restored. My hope is I can offer the same kind of grace we have received to others going forward. Thank you, each and every one of you, your grace has been noticed.