*Names have been changed for privacy reasons
Heaven has a new extra special angel and his name is Leon James Smith.
Leon’s Mommy Kathy is a special lady. She’s always up for anything, as long as it doesn’t involve being around bugs or cooking or getting too dirty. Kathy is a hard-worker and loves her friends and family dearly. Kathy is the one who will do a crazy dare at a bachelorette party or who will go down the slip-and-slide with me while everyone else is being boring.
And then there’s Leon’s Daddy Jason. Leon was a gift to Jason, born on Father’s Day. Jason has an ornery smile and a good heart. He’s a small town boy who works hard to provide for his family. He’s smart but not the teeniest bit pretentious. One needs to have a strong will if they don’t want to do tequila shots when they’re hanging out with Jason on a Friday night.
Kathy and Jason are very good friends of ours. Leon was their first pregnancy. Unfortunately, something went wrong. Kathy’s water broke 14 weeks early; Leon was born 12 weeks early. He lived for about 2 days.
Too short, two short but beautiful days.
It is heartbreaking.
There aren’t really words that one can say in this situation. ‘I’m sorry’ doesn’t really seem to cut it. ‘I’m praying for you’ sounds nice, but I wonder if that really brings them comfort. What can you say to good friends who will never get to send their first born son to kindergarten or help him pack for college or shake his hand on his wedding day?
Kathy and Jason, this is to you.
Leon won’t be yours to enjoy here on Earth. It’s not fair. I know you must be hurting, hurting deeper than I have ever hurt. My tears have been falling all day and I never got to meet your little one, never cooed to him in the womb or decorated his nursery. I haven’t felt him inside me like you have. What pain you must be in. I can’t offer any words of encouragement or pass on any advice because I don’t know what you’re going through, or what you’ll go through for many months and years to come.
Do know that I (and I think I can speak on behalf of the rest of our little friend family in KC) am here for you. Do not be afraid to ask us for help. We want to help. Maybe that comes in the form of providing dinners, providing hugs, or providing an ear to listen. This is your opportunity to take advantage of free house cleaning! 🙂 Maybe you just want to be alone and have time to process everything and don’t want to talk. That is okay too. We love you guys and we love baby Leon. He has already impacted my life. He has made me appreciate the miracle of life and helped to remind me that the daily annoyances of life don’t really matter.
We will never forget baby Leon. I bet he would have had his daddy’s ornery smile and some of his mama’s quirks. I bet he would have driven you crazy with frustration and crazy with love. He will always be your first-born child. You are his Mommy and Daddy and nothing, not even death, can change that.
I know you wanted a baby on this Earth and not an angel to look down on you, but I bet you that angel has cute little ornery eyes to match that ornery smile. Baby Leon loves you guys and we do too.