Friday, September 2, 2011

Life Changing Moments

Over the weekend, our friends unexpectedly lost their newborn baby girl only 18 hours after she was born.  It was heart wrenching.  The delivery went well, so well in fact, that we heard that the delivery was so smooth and beautiful that the doctor actually thanked the parents and said, "It was a pleasure delivering your daughter."

Pictures were taken with beaming parents, siblings with proud smiles and all those tender newborn poses.  The next afternoon, the nurse came in to do routine mom and baby check ups.  She listened to the baby's heart and thought she heard a faint flutter.  They decided to check it out in the nursery.  Within minutes it was determined that she only had 3 chambers in her heart.  The doctors scrambled furiously to save her, but 4 hours later, little Maren suffered severe heart failure and peacefully passed away in her mother's arms.

 I couldn't sleep for the first few nights.  I kept imagining the mother's empty arms.  I imagined the ache of trying to recover from labor and engorgement without a newborn baby.  It was difficult to realize that this sweet couple's lives will never be the same...and there was nothing that could be said.

Romney is their home teacher and was asked if he would be the only speaker at the funeral.  I did not envy him in this task to prepare words of comfort for broken parents.  He did a phenomenal job as he paid tribute to her tiny life.  He gave an exceptional talk filled with words of comfort and hope as he focused on the Savior and the gift of resurrection.  I was in awe of him.

I am so grateful for the gospel.

I am so grateful for Romney.


I bring up these events not to focus on the sadness, but to say that with everything that has happened the past few days, I have learned so much and I hope I never forget.

I serve in the Relief Society Presidency.    I had never done anything like this and I was wondering if I would be able to give in a way that was sufficient.  I was quickly blown away by the number of willing women who volunteered their time, food, talents and hearts to help ease the burden of this family.  The Relief Society in action is amazing to witness.

The night of the viewing another woman from the ward and I prepared a few refreshments in an adjoining room.  As I stood there, I was overcome with a tremendous amount of love for this family and love for this other sister who was standing beside me to help with the details of the night.  I felt a true change in my heart.  It was a powerful reminder that service changes our hearts in a way that nothing else can.

I also realized that this family called upon Romney to pay tribute to their child because he had been faithfully serving them for months.  They felt the love he had for them and they knew that he was the person they could trust with such an important role. I couldn't help but ask myself, "What if he had not been there for them when times were easy?"  I suddenly knew that had he not been there for them, they would have never called on him when things were hard.

As the evening of the viewing came to a close, I was touched that one other woman from the ward stayed to help the other sister and me pack up my car with the flowers and dozens of refreshments and trays to be used for the funeral the next day.  They were both there until the very end.  I couldn't believe how powerful that was for me to realize that I was there because I had been asked to be, they were there because they wanted to be.

I hope that I will be this type of person in the future.

These kinds of events are heart wrenching and testing, but the reality is that I left with a greater resolve to enjoy each day.  I will hug my kids tighter and let them know that I love being their mom.  I will love my husband more.  I will be better to my family and friends.  I will do my best to be a kinder person who is more aware.

Life changing moments.


  1. Oh Alecia, that is so sad! Thanks for sharing your lesson learned. I need to be a better sister, friend, visiting teacher, etc. Hopefully I can learn something from your experience.
    I realize I don't have your e-mail address, would you mind e-mailing me so I can get it in my address book. I know, such a trivial request after such a meaningful post but my sister wants to get in touch with you.

  2. Oh my goodness! That story breaks my heart! But, what a great reminder!


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