My face is red.  My eyes are swollen. And it has been 21 years.
 
I cried an ocean of tears 21 year ago.  The day she died in my arms.  That day the hospital had arranged for us to have a room all to ourselves.  We were going to remove all the tubes and monitors…the doctors said she might survive a few days or weeks on her on. 
 
We were going to move her to the hospital close to our home.  That way, it wouldn’t be such a trek to spend some time with her.
 
John, Andy (he was only 4), my parents, one of my sisters, one of John’s sisters, a niece, a few very close friends and me…all gathered in this small room to celebrate the life of this tiny baby girl that we so desperately wanted to have in our family.
 
The pregnancy had been rough.  But I’d given birth to a baby girl that we thought was fine.  A few hours later she was in distress and was taken by ambulance to the local children’s hospital.
 
I am so thankful for the doctors and nurses that took care of her those 4 days. 
 
She was born June 9, 1992…she died June 12, 1992.
 
And I learned so much in those four short days.
 
I learned about death.
 
And grief.
 
And grieving.
 
About life.
 
About living.
 
About celebrating what you have and what you are given…even when it isn’t what you thought it would be and certainly not what you wanted.
 
About accepting His will.
 
About love.
 
About friendship.
 
About “being there” for someone.
 
About being compassionate.
 
Today, on what would have been her 21st birthday, I haven’t cried an ocean…just a river.  And my face and eyes show the result of the tears.
 
We never got to take her to the hospital near our home.  She died that day in my arms…surrounded by family and friends.  I believe she knew that she was loved.
 
This morning the priest talked about being compassionate…how our circumstances and the events in our lives allow us to show compassion to others. 
 
I believe my time with Amy…and my time without her…allows me to show compassion to others in a way that I would not have been able to had I not lived through this.  It isn’t what I want, but it is what I have.
 
 
Joining with Michelle for Hear It On Sunday, Use It On Monday
 
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