In 2005, we decided for the first time to wait to tell family we were expecting our fifth baby, a little boy. Christmas was approaching and we were planning a 16 hour drive to visit family and make our wonderful Christmas announcement. At a routine ultrasound at 16 weeks right before our trip, we discovered God had already called our baby home. In much shock, we made phone calls to tell family we were pregnant and that we were going to the hospital to deliver the baby. We went through pre-registration with the hospital and then to our delivery room along side all the other mothers delivering that day. After many many hours, we delivered a little lifeless baby boy. We named our little boy, Luke Dominic as we held his tiny fragile body. We were so shocked that we were not in the hospital to deliver a baby that would nurse, cry, and return home with us. The pain of that is indescribable, yet with much grace from above, we made it through. I kept focus on all the women in the world who had gone through this so many times and I knew we were not alone in bearing this cross. We spoke with the bereavement nurse and our parish priest about Luke’s burial in the upcoming days.
Our sadness eventually turned to joy and we were able to see Luke’s purpose in our lives to be such a blessing. Since the loss of Luke, we have been able to silently witness the beauty of life in two tiny little footprints and two tiny handprints. These footprints have been shared with soldiers who spot his feet on John’s military tags ( he wears around his neck) all the way over in Iraq, to Fr Pavone, with Priests for Life, to being handed over to Gov Palin at a convention. I know God will place Luke’s footprints into the hands that need to see His work in the making,
With every pregnancy, we have given our family a Snowbaby ornament for Christmas because after all, these babies we were carrying were our very own Snow “babies.” This one we found for Luke and I cut a copy of his tiny footprints and Modge Podged them to the ornament. This ornament is one of my favorite ones to look at on the tree. Since Luke, we have been required by God to give Him back two more Snowbabies: Mark, 18 weeks, and Karoline, 14 weeks.
Human life is sacred from the very moment of conception to the moment of death. Death is never easy at any age. From the death of innocent lives lost before they were due to enter the world, to the aging parent, like my beloved Grandmother at age 90, who once seemed so filled with spunk and “go”, is now in a nursing home under hospice care probably touching a nurse with her smile. God has a plan for my grandmother today just as He had a plan for Luke three years ago.
This is a song from Isaiah we sing in Mass that is very touching….. May your tears be turned into dancing with whatever Cross God has sent you to bear.
Refrain: Let us build the city of God.
May our tears be turned into dancing.
For the Lord our light and our love has turned the night into day.
2. We are sons of the morning; we are daughters of day.
The One who has loved us has brightened our way.
The Lord of all kindness has called us to be
a light for all people to set their hearts free.
3. God is light; in God there is no darkness.
Let us walk in the light. God’s children one and all.
O comfort my people make gentle your words,
proclaim to my city the day of her birth.
4. O city of gladness now lift up your voice,
proclaim the good tidings that all may rejoice.