Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Gift...

Many times I've gone back and forth in my mind about whether to continue writing this blog, and after deciding a few months ago that in fact I would, it would just be a matter of time before I did.  They say that time heals all wounds, but I very much doubt that to be true.  In fact, if a wound is as deep as losing your child, I don't know that it will ever really heal...except maybe through Christ, somehow, someday...and maybe not even here on earth.

Lucia's story doesn't just end with a shattered heart, as the title of my very last blog put it.  For anyone that has lost a precious person in their lives, you can empathize very well however that our hearts do continue to ache for our sweet Lulu.  There is not a single day that goes by that we don't sing the praises of her name, kiss her pictures and painfully long for her presence.  Part of us feels that our family will always be missing a very special member...and we will be (and are) reminded of this through family pictures, Christmas cards, big family gatherings, children born in the same year as Lucia....and much more. 

There are some things, though, that will never ever change.  She will always be our daughter, she will always be our first-born, always the older sister to her future siblings (God willing) and she will ALWAYS be spoken of and spoken to.  It has been SO important to us that Lucia is never ever forgotten by anyone who knew her.  Some people, again in their sensitivity and kindness, are afraid to utter her name for fear that I may have some sort of emotional breakdown.  While that may be possible (unfortunately I cannot guarantee that I can control my emotions), I would rather that people take that risk.  I want to hear her name, I want to hear about how she may have affected someone's life, I want to hear all of the good things a mother loves to hear about her child.  It still makes me SO proud.   

Many times in the Orthodox Christian Church, things are done that we don't fully understand.  One thing I finally do get (or at least I think I do) is why we chant "May Their Memory Be Eternal" at funeral and memorial services.  It is for US who have lost our loved ones.  We want the whole world to know how important they are and how IMMENSELY they have left their mark on our lives, and we hope, on as many people's lives as possible.  If I could shout it, I would.  "May her sweet memory be eternal.  May Lucia never be forgotten for the rest of eternity!!"  In some strange way, that is so incredibly comforting, and that is what the Church tries to give to us, I think - comfort.

I have always spoken and written of how sweet Lucia is (and by the way, I feel that I can speak about her in the present tense because she is alive, with Christ and in Christ).  Before she left for her Heavenly Home, she left us with a parting gift...that of a little baby brother or sister.  Of course it is all too familiar that "every good and perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father," but Lucia had so much to do with this particular gift.  I believe that she was so close to God (and is now even more perhaps) and that before she left, she wanted to make sure that we could have joy in our house again, so she asked God to give us a gift from her and Him.  When I think about the sacrifice involved in that prayer that I am convicted she did in fact pray, my heart is torn to pieces.  Maybe I should explain that one a bit further.  From a mother's eyes, or actually, just my eyes as Lucia's mom: she came, she suffered and when it was all said and done, she was still thinking about us and praying for our family to grow.

Sometimes, it is hard to accept the gift of this new child that has been given to us.  It is as if accepting this new baby is somehow a betrayal of Lucia.  But we all know that that is not how gift-giving etiquette works - I don't betray her by accepting the gift that she gave to me.  In fact, I believe that Lucia and her baby brother or sister are somehow connected in a very deep way that I cannot even begin to explain or understand.  I am just now, at 4 months of pregnancy, beginning to feel thankfulness to God, knowing that He, in His divine love is taking care of us and providing for our every need -- including the "need" to cradle a baby once again.  And so, we find ourselves with feelings of two different extremes - joy and excitement for a new baby, but still also sadness and grief that Lucia is not with us here on earth. 

We humbly ask, as we have done many times in the past, for your prayers.  Thank you for reading and for allowing me to continue to share Lucia's life with you.

A beautiful picture for old times sake...




  1. Though I never had the blessing of meeting your daughter here on earth, her memory will never escape our minds, you can be assured of that!

    God bless you, my dear. Here's to a healthy, happy, wonderful pregnancy! We are so happy to hear the good news on the baby! May it be blessed and may Lucia's precious memory be eternal.

    (Let me know if you're going to find out if it is a boy or girl, I would like to work on something for you!)

  2. I understand your feelings completely. Our first born had Triploid Syndrome, an extra chromosome on each set of chromosomes. She was born still, so we did not get to hold her living, but we got to hold her, and that is a miracle.

    I became pregnant with my son two months or so after our Grace was born. I read books about having children after a loss and was warned about using Alex as a replacement for Grace. But that never seemed to be an issue. I loved him for who he was and not for who he wasn't... if that makes any sense. Mixed emotions are okay :-) Lucia is praying for you and praying for your new baby.

    God bless you and your family. May Lucia's memory be eternal!

  3. Ramia,

    Although I can't relate at all to you, I can tell you that Lucia will never be forgotten. My mom lost her first child, a girl named Nicole, when she was a week old. Even though none of the rest of us knew her, she is still remembered in our thoughts. Lucia will always be remembered even by those of us who never met her.

    I am so happy that God has blessed you with another child. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Love you lots,

  4. I am so pleased to see that you are blogging again. We have prayed for all of you and love your little girl. Though I never had the privilege of meeting Lucia, she had a real affect on my life. And I am so happy to hear that you are expecting another blessing- Lucia's gift to you all. I pray you will have a smooth pregnancy and a healthy baby. May God grant you peace and strength during this time. You are in our prayers!

  5. So glad to see a blog post again from you Kh. Ramia. Lucia will never be forgotten; how could we forget such a sweet young girl who through prayer we loved; you and Fr. Anthony and Lucia remain in my prayers and I now I will pray for this new little one too. Sending my love to you from Ottawa...

  6. I am glad you wrote again, and hope all is well! You all always have my prayers! Hope to see everyone sooN!


  7. First of all, Congratulations!!! Understand that having confusing emotions at times during this pregnancy is completely normal. As you already know, Lucia will never be replaced, but simply joined by other siblings. Melissa said it all for me. Call if you ever want/need to talk.


  8. Beautiful news, thanks for sharing with us. You have our prayers, much love to all!

    Kh Rachel

  9. Not just Lucia's prayers were answered, but ours as well. My 3 teenage daughters and I have been accompanying your life along electronically, and spiritually with prayer, continuing to check your blog at least every week since Lucia's departure for Heaven.
    It has been a joy to get to know sweet Lucia, and a blessing and testimony to us all how welcome, loved and cared for she was and is, in a world that is so hostile to life in general, and "less than perfect" life in general. Ohhh, what they are missing. Lord have mercy.
    Blessings to you and Fr. Anthony, to baby, and to big sister Lucia
    With profound gratitude, please keep blogging
    Ulli, Miriam, Tanya and Anna

  10. That is a gift from your little angel. And you and your family as it continues to grow over the years can be comforted knowing that you have your very own guardian angel looking over you all.

  11. I am so glad that you are blogging again. Lucia's face is on my computer screen (from the Chrome application, because I come here so often), and I am just so happy that you're writing again. I'm also thrilled that you're expecting. What a blessing during a hard time.

  12. I have friends who have eight children here on earth and eleven in heaven after miscarriages. Even though most of those children in heaven were conceived long before the children here on earth were born, they know each one of them by name. Often, they will recite all the names of the children in the family, in order of conception, and those children in heaven are a very real part of their family. Before every meal they add "babies in tummies and babies in heaven" to their list of people to pray for. I'm quite certain your sweet Lucia will never be forgotten, not by anyone who knew her, nor by your future children. I pray for many blessings on your family.

  13. My younger sister lost her daughter at 5 months to SIDS- she went on to have 5 more children...we never forget the first, but God is a comfort

  14. I have known your husband since he was a young man and have been following your journey through joy to grief to joy, now again, thank God. May the peace of Christ be with you as you prepare for the upcoming birth of your second little child.

  15. May you have a happy and healthy baby by the grace of God. SO happy to hear about your second child on the way. Lucia will never be forgotten, only loved more and more with each passing day, as all of your future children will be, God willing.

    Miss you and lots of love from Ottawa,
    Alex :)

  16. I am so thrilled for you and your family. I check back nearly every day to see if you might be writing again. A baby is miraculous no matter what, but today yours feels a little more so.

    Jennifer (Gigi's old friend)

  17. She's so beautiful and I love her so much, and you and Father, too. I am thinking of you and both of your sweet babies today, and always. xoxo