Bereaved Parents, grandparent grief

A Mother Never Forgets

by Julie Ann Smith

I remember the dates, times and places. It was a beautiful August 2nd morning, 2010. I was at our local hospital awaiting an ultrasound for my daughter’s follow-up for a urinary tract infection (UTI).

With not much of a selection in reading choices, I finally selected the most recent in publication, Good Housekeeping. I sat all cozy with my face buried into that month’s issue while waiting to join my daughter who had already been taken back into the room in preparation for the ultrasound. Within minutes, the nurse came out and called me back. As I found a place in the room to settle, I went back to reading the magazine. I was interrupted by my daughter saying, “Mom, hello? Did you hear what the technician said?” “I am sorry, no”, I replied. My daughter asked the technician to kindly repeat what he had said. Since this now involved my attention, I placed the Good Housekeeping magazine down and listened intently. The technician said once again, “and what number of pregnancy is this for you?” It still did not dawn on me until I saw the heartbeat on the monitor from across the room.

This had now demanded my attention. I tried to speak but couldn’t. I could only manage to cry, cry and then cry some more. What is this I see but the mere miracle of life? Within the first observation of the heartbeat, this little one had already etched a place upon my heart. The tears streamed down my face knowing that I would soon be a first time grandmother. Let the excitement begin! One thing for certain that I did know is that this baby was a blessing and my inheritance from the Lord which was always anticipated.

As the days and weeks followed, I found myself out buying whatever I could for this soon and coming one. I found myself going to a few garage sales here and there to find gently used neutral clothing as we did not know what this little one would be. One particular day, I stopped by a yard sale and practically all the things were new. I felt very blessed just grabbing everything in sight; I could hardly believe it. When I was ready to check out I told the lady, “You have taken very good care of these baby items” and I was even willing to pay more for these priceless blessings. The strength that came from the words that followed, I will never forget. She replied, “After three miscarriages, we have decided to call it quits”. My heart sank. I could not muster within the deepest part of myself to say anything but, “I am so sorry”. I could barely speak those words even with my sincerest sympathy. I walked away feeling somewhat shameful and guilty for taking the treasure that belonged to someone else’s hope.

I prayed that night and I remember saying, “God, if anything in Your will for my life should ever be required, I pray that you would, by Your mercy and grace, let me know ahead of time for I think something of devastation like this, for me, would be too much to bear”. My heart was crushed in knowing that death can leave someone feeling so desperately hopeless.

I do not live in a world without emotions or reality; however, I have felt like I have always been encompassed and hidden under the wing of the Lord who has proven to provide shelter and protection in the midst of all the storms that I have encountered in my life. These wings have always provided a place of shelter, protection and peace as the whirlwinds of life have been charted to knock me off course and to stir the troubled waters that would so like to devour and destroy my faith.

What I had asked for from the Lord just weeks prior was now happening in a real life. An Angel of the Lord stood bedside bearing a message from the oracles of God in the night. I have always believed in the mysteriousness and sovereignty of the things of the Lord and have honored and welcomed the many inceptions of His interventions throughout my life.

But would what was spoken that night be too much of a burden for me to bear? As the messenger angel of the Lord stood at my bedside, I noticed that there were two other angelic hosts standing within two feet behind the one who spoke this message, “It has been decided and determined that this baby would not live here”. I spoke to this messenger, “by who’s authority do you speak these things?” Before I could finish asking this in a full question, the response was, “from the Throne of God”. I had screamed, “No, I will fight for this child! You will see. I will pray even more”. And again I was interrupted. “It has been SETTLED”, said the messenger angel.

My heart sank. I was in shock. What was I to think of this? What would I tell my daughter? Or would I even tell my daughter? I cried until the sun came up and I shared with my husband and son that morning so that we could pray about this encounter.

For the next two weeks, I had begged and even pleaded with the Lord not to let it be so. I would do anything to have this dismissed. Two weeks later, in the middle of the night, I was awakened again. This time it was a phone call from my daughter saying that she had started bleeding. I immediately told her that I would take her to the hospital.

We went to the hospital. She indeed had miscarried the baby. “What kind of mother am I?” I thought to myself as I thought how ill-equipped and unprepared I was for comforting my daughter during this most traumatic event in her life. I had always been able to put a band-aid on her cuts, scrapes and bruises and make it all better. I could not make this better. Bitterness, doubt and interrogation welled up inside of my spirit. “What happened? How could this be? Please wake me up, I must be dreaming”. I just did not understand what possibly could have happened.

The hours that followed in the emergency room were as if time just stood still. When the doctor came in to take our precious undeveloped baby away, I turned to my daughter and asked, “May I please hold my grandchild?” The doctor looked at me and stated, “Ma’am, there is nothing to hold. There are no organs or any details or formation to this; it is just a glob”. As he held our baby in a glass vial, I demanded it from his hand. My heart said towards him and his unintelligibility, “you are not worthy to even be holding our precious one!”

I had to ask the Lord for His forgiveness for feeling that what I had beheld in my heart towards this doctor. I pleaded with the Lord not to allow my circumstance to determine my attitude. I held at my heart this baby, which was created in all its glory from the innermost being and was breathed into by God Himself. (Psalm 139:13-16)

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

I then said to the doctor, “this is my grandchild in whatever form God has given him/her to me. If I cannot be thankful in this time, I have no right to ever be thankful for anything God has ever done or allowed in my life whether it be a blessing or burden”. As I held this vial tightly to my chest I said, “God, if I find favor before you this day, please assure me and tell me that I will be blessed with an inheritance of grandchildren as this is all I have to offer back to you.” I heard the Lord say, “You shall be blessed again”.

With this as surety, I thanked the Lord and handed my grandchild back into the calloused hands and heart of the doctor. There was no comfort given nor any referrals made to any organization that could help with our grieving. But the Lord did, in fact, provide us the comfort we needed and the assurance that even though our loved ones are taken from us their soul is eternal and in His presence. For me, my world had changed from beautiful colors to just black and white. Everyday, I found it hard to be living in this colorless world that had now been emptied from my palate of vibrancy. I had in essence allowed my spirit to become “colorblind”.

September 2, 2010, the Lord spoke to me and said, “Pick up paper and pen; what I am speaking pertains to your grandchild”. I did and this is what I had penned from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

“Baby, Baby, Where Did You Go?”

Mommy says, “Baby, Baby, where did you go?”
“Won’t you please tell me…I’ve just got to know”.

Mommy asks, “Where did you go Baby that you cannot be found?”
Baby says, “Look not for me here Mommy, for I am Heaven bound”.

“I am way up here where the trumpets herald and the Angels sing,
And I sit upon the lap of Jesus the King”.

Jesus said, “He had a special job for me, and that it couldn’t wait”.
“Guess what? He even met me with Great Granny at the great big pearly gate”.

“And even for a while Jesus gave to me His hand to hold,
And up upon my head Mommy, He placed a ring of gold”.

“My steadfast gaze on all the miles to roam,”
Jesus bent down and whispered, “This is your new home”.

“My days were all numbered, but not counted on earth below,
But I am up here, Mommy, I just thought you should know”.

Mommy says, “Baby how shall I find you, now that you’ve left my side?”
Baby says, “Oh, you’ll know it’s me Mommy, I’ll have my arms held open wide”.

“He gave to us…each other for a time and a while,
Until He formed on my face…a precious little smile”.

“I love you so much Mommy from my head down to my feet,
I’ll be here waiting with Jesus, until the two of us should meet”.

“Baby, Baby”, Mommy says, “Where did you go?”
Baby says, “I went up to Heaven from the earth down below”.

“When you look to the heavens and see all the starry hosts, it’s me,” Baby saying,
“Mommy, I love you the most!”

“I know I can’t be with you, and you probably can’t dry your eyes,
But Mommy, please know that way up here in Heaven, your tears are changed to lullabies”.

© Sept 02, 2010 Julie Ann Smith

September 23, 2011, the Lord spoke again as I was walking from my kitchen to my living room. As I was walking through my dining room, the Lord directed my eyes to that what I had penned and placed beside my own mothers remembrances in the China cabinet one year earlier, and asked me one simple question. “What have you done with that in which I had given unto you?” I said, “Lord, now you know I am not an illustrator. I knew in my heart and spirit that the Lord wanted this to be a book and that I was to share it as my testimony from the test that the Lord had given to me. And He had even challenged me to allow Him to put color back into my then colorless world.

Would I withhold the blessing from others? Would I be found faithful in providing the comfort and healing that I had experienced during this time and extend it to others that God wanted me to share about their loved ones as well? Would I once again walk away feeling somewhat shameful and guilty for taking the treasure that belonged to someone else’s hope?

My daughter was in agreement that this book should be shared. Our love and treasured memory of our loved one shall be an inspiration to others and a motivation for the HOPE that awaits all when they are reunited with their loved one. That is how this book, Baby, Baby Where Did You Go? came to be. We have been inspired to share it with 38 national organizations and many other organizations, institutions, individuals and ministries to give others the hope in knowing that our hearts hold the road that they have too had to walk upon with the absence of their loved ones. We all will share this same road that God walks upon with them today. We, too, shall see them once again face to face and be reunited into eternity with them, where we shall be with them again. FOREVER.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

While our loved ones are absent from our arms, their heartbeats and memories are still presently forever etched upon our hearts. In spite of the circumstances in which they were physically removed from our lives. CHOOSE to be of encouragement to others and let the joys of your TREASURED memories of your loved ones fill your hearts, minds and lives with God’s peace. It is the peace that surpasses our understanding and comprehension of the why’s that we may have in this life.

Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

God Bless your heart today.

About the Author: Julie Ann Smith lives in St. Joseph, Michigan. She has served as a Chaplain for Blue Star Mothers of America. She is married to George, the mother of three: Tyraah 26, who is enjoying the new life of being a mother; and two sons: Terry (24), who is currently serving as a SGT in the USMC and Joseph, who is currently serving as a 3rd Class Petty Officer in the USNSCC. Julie Ann is also a grandmother of two. One who has already taken their residency up in Heaven and Colin, 7 months old, who is the joy of her life. Julie Ann’s interests include showing hospitality and serving others, inspirational writings/devotional time, watercoloring, and family time. She is the Author and Self-Publisher of “Baby, Baby, Where Did You Go?” which has been distributed to over 38 grief and bereaved national organizations. Books can be ordered HERE.  For more information, please visit Julie Ann on Facebook