Monday, May 20, 2013

Dear Thérèse, A Letter On Your Due Date

Dear Thérèse,

After we lost you in November, I thought I was going to dread today--5/20/13, your due date.  Somehow, though, today has actually been a pretty great day.  Actually, our little family has been stronger than ever these last few months, and I'm confident that you are the reason for our happiness.  I know this seems like a strange thing to be doing, but I wanted to write you a thank you note on the occasion of your due date.

Since leaving our family on earth, you have been our family's favorite saint and intercessor in heaven.  I love that your big brother, Walt, and big sister, Jane, will never know a life without including you, "Baby Thérèse in heaven," in our bedtime prayers.  

Now that my tummy is at the hand magnet phase of pregnancy, I'm getting lots of questions on a daily basis about our familyI am getting braver at answering honestly when people ask how many children we have--even strangers at the grocery store.  I always say, "We have two babies on earth, a baby in heaven, and this baby (pointing to my belly) is due to arrive in August."

Even though I never got to hold you in my arms as our precious baby, you are bringing our family so many blessings on a daily basis.  I thought I'd write you a little list of all of the blessings you bring us (at least all of the ones I can think of right now):  
  • God is finally my primary relationship, Dad is second, your siblings are next, and so on.  Keeping that order straight is keeping everyone at their best.  
  • I find myself offering more prayers of thanksgiving than ever before, especially as I go throughout the day.  
  • I play with your siblings more than ever.  With the housework, I am able to call things "good enough" and mean it when Jane or Walt remind me why I'm home in the first place.   
  • After asking some girlfriends to pray for my patience with this parenting phase, I find that I'm appreciating the little moments and extending bedtime story time so that I can soak up the cuddles.  
  • As I know you know, I still have my not-so-grace-filled moments, but knowing that I can ask for your prayers brings me peace.  
  • I am getting better and better at putting our family first, knowing my limits, saying "no" to extra commitments, asking for help when I need it, and finding time for fun.
  • I'm getting better at hearing God's voice and being brave.  I still can't believe I started leading a Bible study this month!  I am grateful for the opportunity to do it because the study probably wouldn't have started had I been 9 months pregnant with you.   
  • Perhaps one of the biggest differences I'm noticing is my new outlook on pregnancy and motherhood in general.  I don't take the kicks that I never felt with you for granted.  I'm actually excited about trying breastfeeding (again!) as an opportunity and a gift rather than another stressor.  (I'll keep praying that it actually works out this time around, and I'll remember to pray for wisdom if it doesn't.)  I say it all the time, but I simply cannot wait to meet this miracle baby face-to-face that never would have been a part of our family had you remained with our family on earth!  God must have some exciting plans for this precious little sibling of yours, huh?     
Your dad is so sweet.  I found this on the kitchen counter when I woke up this morning:
"Catherine on 5/20"
Before today, Dad and I talked a lot about what your due date would be like emotionally.  Dad said he wrote me this card a few days ago so that I would know that he was praying for our family and that he hadn't forgotten about today being your due date.  Of course, the card made me cry, but they weren't tears of sadness.  I guess I cried because I know our family wouldn't be nearly as happy or strong had we not gone through the pain of losing you.  Today, on your due date, I'd love to be swaddling you, breathing in that new baby smell, and kissing your little fingers.  Somehow, I know today more than ever that God knew what He was doing when He took you and that He continues to have our family's best interest at heart.  

So, Thérèse, thank you for being our family's precious "Little Flower."  We've been on quite the journey this last year!  We've had some of our lowest lows and highest highs, and we are the family we are today because of all of it.  Thank you for helping us to keep the long view in mind, especially when we struggle with shortsightedness on the bad days.  Thank you for continuing to hear our prayers, interceding as our prayer warrior, and helping us to live out our roles within our domestic church on a daily basis.  We promise we will try our hardest to make you proud.  Dad and I know now that our ultimate goal in marriage is to get our entire family to heaven.  Having you already there is more motivation than we could ever ask for!  Thank you for everything you've already done and will do for our family.  

We love you, Baby Thérèse in heaven!   

All my love,


  1. Oh Catherine, I feel like I could have written every word of that. Thank you for pouring out your heart. I remember Sophia's due date very vividly. Our families have so much in common but having little angels in heaven watching over us is the most amazing thing. Know that you are prayed for and thought of often. God bless you and your family and your little miracle baby especially. He certainly does have big plans for that one! Love and hugs, Maria

  2. Absolutely beautiful, Catherine! Thank you for sharing such an intimate experience with us. Praying for you. Love and peace.