Saturday, May 17, 2008
I Love You
There really is nothing to say.
No perfect set of words strung together to make everything all better on a day like today. Today Atlanta was graced with a perfect azure sky, glorious streams of sunlight poking through big puffy clouds that looked like cotton candy. The spectacular spring day was a perfect blanket to conceal the grief held in the hearts of so many mourning the loss of an angel taken away too soon.
No. No right thought or sentence can wash away the pain my sister and brother-in-law are carrying inside.
I saw so many surreal, heartbreaking images today I thought I'd never have to digest. My sister draped across a pure white infant casket, weeping over the body of her tiny baby. Brigid inspecting every inch of Maeve, making sure her baptismal gown looked fine, checking Maeve's socks and caressing the sweet baby's cheeks. Running her fingers over her daughter's fine, glistening strawberry blonde hair. Kissing her baby's forehead.
A young couple, not yet even 30, hovering over their infant child one last time, shattered at the thought of what could have been and what was. Later, kneeling at the gravesite, kissing the porcelain coffin, my sister intentionally leaving behind the mark of her lipstick.
The Georgia clay was a beautiful brick red. Maeve's coffin was lowered into a space about three feet by two feet, surrounded by sprays of stunning pink roses, bright white daisies and gentle carnations. The bagpiper played Danny Boy and Amazing Grace. He looked to be about 17 years old and I am sure he had never seen such a sad scene in his entire life.
I surely hadn't.
And yet for all the crying, for all the grief and anger and sadness and desperation, I had to remind myself that Maeve was in a far, far better place.
My niece's tiny, tired body doesn't have to fight anymore. She does not live with bruises and tubes and machinery, she lives with the glory of Christ for all eternity. She is at peace in Heaven with my grandparents and my brother-in-law's relatives and so many other people who love the Maevey Bean.
Crushing situations like this one can leave people with hardened hearts. I am working to remember the blessing that Maeve was in life.
I can say with complete honesty that Maeve was the happiest child I had ever laid eyes on. I say that because I have never met another child who was given so many difficult circumstances to overcome, and yet my niece spent so many of her days smiling, giggling and loving her parents.
I will never forget her smile. I will never forget how soft Maeve was, or her mesmerizing blue eyes. I will never forget the perfectly shaped heart birthmark on the back of Maeve's head. I will never forget the gift of that amazing trip to Atlanta in March.
I will never forget the time Maeve talked to me.
Though she was only seven months old, Maeve's legacy lives on, having touched so many lives around the world.
People in South Africa, England and Ireland have prayed for Maeve. People in Minnesota and New Jersey and Maryland. Friends in Kentucky, Connecticut, Florida and California. Family in New York and Missouri. Loved ones in Georgia, Ohio and South Carolina. Folks in Tennessee, Virginia, Oregon and Colorado.
So many people have been touched by the miraculous story that is Maeve's life. However brief, her life was a testament to the power of human will, and that little girl's example will live on through the rest of us.
It's amazing - Maeve's heart was the most broken thing about her, and yet in a way it was also her strongest asset.
Maeve's love for life and the love for her parents helped her fight each day like it was her last. That love will continue to live on in my heart, and in the hearts of Maeve's family and friends.
And we will continue to live each day like it's our last, as a way to honor that amazing little girl's legacy.
I love you, Maeve.
Love, Aunt KK
at 3:12:00 PM