When there’s no baby

When there’s no baby

35162078_10214873928894596_3158134378106716160_o.jpgNote: I’ll be on Relevant Radio’s Morning Air program to chat about this article on Monday, June 18 between 6:15 a.m.-6:30 a.m. ET / 3:15 a.m.-3:30 a.m. (!!!) PT. If it’s any good, I’ll post the link here. ūüėČ

For so many years, I‚Äôve been in the thick of things ‚ÄĒ up past my neck ‚ÄĒ submerged in the tiny army that God and my husband and I created and is slowly destroying me in the most painful and beautiful ways, one blow-out diaper and temper tantrum at a time.

I was so overwhelmed by the chaos and the noise and the sheer exhaustion that I couldn’t see this moment coming.

The moment when the eldest is jonesing to get her drivers permit. When the second is a freshly-minted teenager in her own right. When the third is on the cusp of double-digits and the fourth doesn’t need much help keeping up with the eldest three.

And then there’s the fifth. Goodness, the fifth. The one child with whom I’ve been privileged and blessed to be at home. For whom I’ve been on hand to experience every milestone even if I was lousy at documenting it for posterity. Everything about this last child is etched within me; it resides in a place that is at once tender and raw and grateful and strong.

And this fifth child cannot wait to go off to the big school with the big kids. I don’t take it personally.

A part of me is elated and relieved and bursting with pride and giddy anticipation for what comes next. And another, deeper part of me is just plain … bursting. Unraveling. Overcome and undone by it all.

Read the rest here

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St. Miriam Angelica + how to help

St. Miriam Angelica + how to help

Baby Miriam and MomFriends, it is with geat sorrow that I report sweet baby Miriam Angelica Ho went home to be with the LORD the day after her birth. I first posted about our prayer efforts on behalf of baby Miriam here.

Countless members of the online community didn’t hesitate to pray for the miraculous healing of this beautiful new life, but it wasn’t meant to be.

On May 23, Miriam’s father, Erik, provided this heartbreaking update via Facebook:

With a heavy heart I would like to tell everyone who has been offering their thoughts and prayers that at 12 pm today (5.23) our little Miriam passed away. She was with all of us while the NICU staff removed her breathing tube and we were able to be alone with her as she died. Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers. Saint Miriam is with our Lord and our Lady now praying for all of us.”

Later that evening,¬†Miriam’s mother, Cassandra, wrote the following message:

Our dear, sweet baby girl Miriam Angelica has left this world. We now have a Saint in heaven praying for all of us, after all the prayers and masses said for her over the past 30 or so hours.

We are overwhelmed by all the prayers, kind thoughts, and offers of help from friends and family near and far. It is amazing how small and intimate the world becomes in a time of tragedy. Miriam’s short time with us has touched so many hearts, we could not have asked for more. We will go home with empty hands, but very full hearts.

It has been really helpful and comforting to know how quickly and widespread our news and needs for prayers has spread.

In times of great sorrow and loss, it can be difficult to know what to do to help a grieving family. Writer Laura Fanucci, who is walking the path of life after loss, provides excellent suggestions for practical and spiritual help. She has a lot of powerful, well-written entries about grief (and other things, too), as has Writer Tommy Tighe, whose son, Luke, died shortly after birth.

Specifically, there are particular ways that you, in your charity, may assist Cassandra and Erik Ho and their children during this extraordinarily difficult time.

1. Material support via gift cards

While local friends are helping with a meal train, the family has asked for gift cards to cover general expenses (ie groceries, restaurants, Costco, Amazon, etc.).

Any gifts may be mailed to:

The Ho Family
c/o Bronson Family
2126 Peaceful Garden Way
Rescue, CA 95672

2. Spiritual support via prayers and sacrifices

The Blessed is She sisterhood is gathering a spiritual bouquet¬†for the Ho Family. Your offering of prayers, sacrifices, Masses, etc.¬†for their consolation and peace is greatly appreciated. You may contribute to the bouquet by commenting on the original Facebook thread. If you don’t have a Facebook account, please feel free to leave a comment below, and I will gladly add your offering to the bouquet that will be presented to the family in the near future.

And, finally, if you live near the Ho Family in California,¬†please consider joining them in prayer for Miriam Angelica’s funeral Mass. Here are the details from Miriam’s parents:

Next Thursday, June 1, at 10am, we would like to invite all who can come to a Mass of the Angels for our daughter Miriam. There will be a reception afterwards. If you are wanting to offer any assistance of any kind for the reception or anything else, please feel free to contact Sarina Bronson at 530-503-7474 via text or call, or she can be reached at sarina@bronsons.net.

Thank you, dear readers, for your prayers and support. Let’s lift this family up and remind them that the Body of Christ, the Church Militant, is alive and well. Let’s be Jesus’s hands and feet for¬†them in their time of need.

image credit: Lena Flores

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Bury the dead: an opportunity to help

Bury the dead: an opportunity to help

mary-lenaburg-father-in-law-don-lenaburg-family-1024x1024I can only imagine what it’s like to grieve the death of a¬†close family member during the holidays. But two family members? That just seems like cruel and unusual punishment. And yet that’s exactly what’s happening to my friends Mary and Jerry Lenaburg right now.

As if burying their beloved daughter Courtney two years ago wasn’t enough, the Lenaburgs¬†recently returned home from visiting Jerry’s parents in Oklahoma only to hear that Jerry’s father passed away suddenly last night.

One of the Corporal Works of Mercy is to bury the dead, and that’s exactly what Mary and Jerry would like to do.¬†Unfortunately, with their most recent trip to Oklahoma, they’re tapped and don’t have the funds¬†to return for the funeral.

This is where you come in, friends. Can you help? I know it’s a crazy time of year to be asking. But I also think it’s crazy to think that my friends might not be able to go to their father’s funeral because of money. I firmly believe that we serve a mighty God Who is capable of far more than we can possibly imagine. But we have to cooperate with His generosity to make this whole thing happen.

Will you join me in helping the Lenaburg Family?

For more information about these crazy circumstances, please read Mary’s post.¬†There’s a link at the end of the post to donate toward ¬†the considerable travel expenses from Viriginia to Oklahoma, but if you don’t have time to read the whole thing, here’s the link¬†to donate for your convenience.

Thank you so much for¬†generously donating as you’re able, but I know the Lenaburgs are especially grateful for your prayers. As I grieve with my friends, I also have great anticipation of what Our LORD will do amidst¬†these challenging circumstances. May He be praised now and forevermore.

God bless y’all,

heather

Photo (c) Mary Lenaburg. Used with permission.

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