This is the letter I wrote and read at Grady's service on January 24, 2009.
Dear Sweet Baby Grady,
Where do I begin? I guess I should start by saying I love you, I miss you and I wish you were here. You are my third child, my little boy. You have a Mommy, Daddy and two big sisters who love and miss you so much. We had such hope for you to join our family. We were ready. Your nursery was ready, the diaper bag was packed, your clothes were washed and ready for you to wear. The bassinet was set up in our room and the car seat was in the car. You seemed happy, kicking and hiccuping - everything seemed fine. We were so excited about your arrival and suddenly you were gone, just two short days before you were to join us. What happened sweet boy? Why did you have to leave us so soon? We won't know those answers until we are with you again in heaven. And I do look forward to that day!
You were perfect as far as we could tell. I will never forget the first time I saw you. You were wearing the white smocked gown and you were absolutely beautiful! You looked like a perfect sleeping angel, which is what you are. I just kept hoping that you would wake up... I will never forget what it felt like to hold you and snuggle you on my chest under the blanket. I will never forget how soft your skin was, softer than the finest silk, I'm convinced. I will never forget your rosiest red lips. I will never forget your long fingers and big feet, just like your daddy! You looked like your sisters when they were born and your hair was the same color as theirs. You had your daddy's nose and my mouth. I would have loved to see your beautiful eyes open, but you looked so peaceful with them closed. You weighed 6lb. 11oz. You were big for your gestation. The important thing about these numbers is that you had weight in this world and you mattered. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't wonder what it would be like to have you in my arms. I tell your Daddy that I just want to hold you again. They physically ache for you at times. My heart has hurt deeper than I ever thought it could. You were an extension of me. You grew inside of me for 36 weeks and 5 days. I knew you like no one else. My scar constantly reminds me of where you were, and I'm proud of it. You will always be a part of my life, my heart and my soul. You will always be a memory - a memory that I love and love to think about, even if it hurts in the deepest part of my being that I never knew existed. Instead of feeling like I had a brief encounter with you, I feel like the world stood still.
We talk about you all the time, especially your sisters, and I can assure you that your memory will forever be alive in our family. I am determined to honor your life, to turn this tragedy into something positive, to not let your life be wasted or in vain. You were and you are too special for that. You have forever changed me and you've touched my life in a way that words cannot explain. Your life and death have opened my eyes to a whole new world of hurting people just like me. I thought I had a good perspective on life but I was wrong - you made it better. I promise that you will never be forgotten and that I will be your voice here on earth. God knew you were only going to live inside of me. It was never His intent for you to be born alive. Your days were numbered before you were ever conceived. God has a purpose for everyone's life and your purpose was fulfilled while you were inside of me. I recently realized that I am PRIVILEGED to be chosen as your Mommy. To be the one to give you life, if only for a short time. To be the one chosen by God to help Him fulfill your purpose. For that I feel blessed beyond belief. It will always be an honor to be your mommy. And if asked if I would do it again, knowing how it would turn out, I would honestly say yes. Because at least I had the chance to know you.
As much as I wanted, and still want, you here with me, one of the things that has brought me comfort the last 10 weeks has been that you will never experience any of the hurt and sin of this world. You went straight from being safe in my womb to safe in the arms of Jesus. I will do my best to keep your memory and light alive here on this earth, but I look forward to the day that we are together again. The day that you greet me in heaven and I get to hear you call me "Mommy" and I get to see how truly beautiful and alive you are.
I love you more than words can say. I will carry you in my heart forever.
To read the other parts of Grady's service, click here.