My name is Rita, I’ve been married for 35 years to my
husband Michael and we have 10 children. I’ve also had 5 miscarriages.
When we were in hospital, there was a quote I read often that said…. “Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises. Maybe it’s about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it”. Well my sweet little boy, you collected more scars than any of us in your short little life… You have showed up 100% and you have the proudest Mummy in the world.
As hard as I feared it would be, I knew that I wanted to say SOMETHING today. You are my baby… and for reasons I don’t yet know, you were given the hardest of all journeys. Today is one of the final times that I have the chance to brave another small scar of my own, and show up… for you.
There is so much I want to tell you…. So much I want you to know….
I want you to know that you were loved from day one… That you have the most amazing family…. That when we found out about your heart condition, when we were told you’d likely have down syndrome and that many people would choose to end the pregnancy knowing what we know… that we all agreed a chance at life was worth the risk… that you were worth it. And my goodness, I am so glad we did. Four little hands were pressed against my belly the day before I left to give birth to you. Four little hands wishing you a safe arrival, excitedly hoping for all that you could be regardless of the uncertainty. Faith at its best.
And you made it safely…. You were a ray of sunshine…. the sweetest little angel here on earth, with eyes that lit up the room and a smile from ear to ear. You were active and strong and perfect in every way. In fact I’m sure that God redefined perfection, the day that he made you. Eleven toes and a heart that was more holy than any of us knew…. but so truly perfect. You filled our lives with warmth and smiles and time and time again we were told that you were an old soul… that there was wisdom in those eyes. Maybe you knew something that I didn’t.
I don’t want to rehash your hospital journey too much, other than to say it was so horribly heartbreaking and unfair, yet scattered with the beauty of strangers who truly cared and gave their all for you and reached out to us in our time of need… Every day I stood by your bedside, holding your hand and stroking your head and hoping that somehow I could love you enough that you would become better… that God would see all the people praying for you, especially all those who had never prayed… but started just for you… and that that would make a difference for you… that maybe just maybe, you’d get the miracle you deserved… and that we would stop being that unlucky number…. stop taking the hits over and over again. Surely he could see how good you were, how you lit up this world, how loved and wanted and needed you were… It’d be cruel to take you away wouldn’t it? What about your siblings? Your Dad… Hadn’t we been through enough? Hadn’t we proved ourselves?
But sadly, the day came where we had to let you go, had to accept the reality that sometimes life just isn’t fair… That it doesn’t always matter how hard you try or how desperately you want something…. Sometimes things just happen that we can’t control and sometimes you are torn between two evils, with no good outcome, sometimes love just isn’t enough. The moment that I had feared all along, came… the moment I truly thought I couldn’t endure… But on that day, so many of our friends and family arrived to say Goodbye and tell you they loved you, and afterwards you finally got a cuddle with Mummy. We got to see your precious face free of tubes, your body free of lines… and your beautiful family who were so strong while you were in hospital, who all those months ago wished you a safe arrival…. your Dad, your big sister, your 3 brothers…. They were there for you again… On that day your beautiful family showed up for you. You left this world the same way that you arrived…. Surrounded by love and faith.
It is our turn to bear the pain, to wear the scars… and your turn to be free.
At long last you know the secrets that we don’t know… You have the answers that we don’t have, and I hope and pray that you have peace and joy, that now that you are in heaven everything makes sense… that you can fly high with the other little angels, but pause occasionally to look down with love on all of us left behind. Please, please know that if we could have had things any other way that we would, that in my arms, in our arms… is the only place we ever wanted you to be. You were the biggest blessing, so truly absolutely loved… and not a day will go by that you won’t be missed, in the deepest most profound sense of the word. In your short life you have left such an impact on so many. You are amazing. And Sammy, I will try my hardest to live every day that I must face without you, fully and completely, with as much joy and hope as I can muster… not despite of you….. but because of you. And I know that many others in this room will do the same…. all because of you.
You will forever be our sweet baby Sam. Thank you for choosing us to be your family, even if it was for but a while. We love you baby boy. Forever and always.