I've been thinking about Lucas - and Doug and Susie - more than usual these last weeks, since October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. All you have to do is be on Social Media a short time and you will see dozens of stories of families impacted by this. It seems everyone either personally or in their immediate family has had a loss. Or they have friends or coworkers that have been touched by this tragedy. Trust me, this is a club no one ever wants to join. When I was a just married young adult, we never heard about anyone losing babies. It was a subject not shared or talked about. How much better it is that now these families don't have to endure this loss alone.
We are coming up to Lucas' birthday on November 1st. It is hard to believe that he would be four years old. The years have slipped by but Lucas remains so much a part of our family.
Every time I am at Doug and Susie's house watching Grace, I pass by this shadow box, hanging in the stairwell of their home. Each time I glance at it, I am taken back to some of the hardest, darkest moments I think I have ever experienced. Those white very faint hand and foot prints in the middle of this frame are from Lucas Jacob. And they remind me of one of those phone calls you never think you will ever make. But then when the situation arises, you make that phone call. Actually, this was just one of those calls in the long list of calls that must be made.
Lucas was only 10 days old when he died. Doug and Susie's house were filled with flowers, cards and gifts from his birth. There were stacks of baby items from the showers that had not even been opened. Among those items was a frame and clay packages to make foot prints of your baby. Not something that you would have done in the first 10 days with a newborn. When I looked at that package I knew that I needed to make that phone call. So I took that package and called the funeral home and asked them to preserve these pressed in clay memories of Lucas for Doug and Susie. I know that I didn't imagine the importance of that call. Even today I can remember the kindness of the funeral director who greeted me when I brought the package over. Everyone was so gracious and willing to complete this task for me. What a blessing they were in this difficult time.
Susie completed this frame after Lucas' first birthday. Those hand prints of Lia, Ellie, Zeke and Anna were made for that occasion. It is such a fitting place for those small faint hand and footprints. Lucas is surrounded by his cousins. They are holding on to his memory. Lucas will not be forgotten. Lia, Ellie, Zeke and Anna have a part in bringing Lucas into the future along with our family. They will help to share memories and stories of Lucas with Grace. There is nothing better than seeing these cousins, loving being together.
Jesus, thank you for your great love for us. Holy Spirit, help us to love even the most unlovable around us. Keep us mindful of those that may need a helping hand today. Jesus, touch those who have experienced the loss of a pregnancy or infant or child. Thank you for family and friends who surround us with love. Amen