17 December 2009

. . . my fourth brother . . .

. . . friday 17 december 1971 . . .

. . . a day i will always remember . . .
. . . the last day of ninth grade
before christmas vacation . . .
. . . i had a new red outfit . . .
. . . there was going to be
a school dance that afternoon. . .
. . . i didn't go . . .

. . . my seven-week-old baby brother
never woke up that morning . . .
. . . today it's known as sids . . .
. . . but thirty-eight years ago,
it was called crib death . . .

. . . at the tender age of thirteen,
i thought my world was coming to an end . . .
. . . today, as a parent myself,
i try to imagine the pain and anguish
my parents felt then/still feel
at the loss of a child . . .
. . . and i can't even begin to fathom it . . .

. . . i remember police officers coming to our house . . .
. . . an investigation and autopsy {accidental death} . . .
. . . i remember the never-ending outpouring
of love and support for our family . . .
. . . dad was our bishop . . .
. . . i still remember the chicken enchiladas
that minnie brought . . .
. . . not your usual pot-luck chicken enchiladas . . .
. . . no ~ these were made from scratch
{and lots of love}
with great big chicken chunks . . .

. . . i remember my mom and dad
forcing themselves
to put one foot in front of the other ~
making arrangements for
a next-day graveside service . . .
. . . a tiny white casket . . .
. . . the pink dress i wore . . .
. . . the cold december cemetery . . .

. . . i remember a new piece of christmas music
{published one year earlier}
~ mary's lullaby . . .
. . . but the wounds were too fresh . . .
{i still can't listen to it without tears}

. . . and yet, i feel hope and gratitude
for my knowledge and testimony
of the plan of salvation . . .
. . . because heavenly father wants us to be happy . . .
. . . and we will be happy if we're obedient . . .
. . . we'll be happy with our family forever . . .
{we just need to live the commandments}

. . . i know i'll see my baby brother, kyle, again . . .
{and if by some sad chance i don't
~ it'll be all my fault ~
not his}
. . . he was already good enough . . .
. . . he's just waiting for the rest of us
to prove ourselves . . .


13 comments:

KristyT said...

As a mama to a beautiful SIDS baby, your post brought tears to my eyes. I can't help but think back to those days much like yours, the house filled with police, the quick graveside service.. those were the darkest days for my entire family. Many hugs and prayers for you.

Shellene said...

sad reminders of the day i got the phone call that my seventh brother, little 13-old-robert, had drowned. so many emotions that day and in the days to come. also makes me marvel at my parent's strength like you so beautifully expressed about yours. i often wonder why we have to go through such sadness and trials in life. wouldn't it be great if everything were just perfect and bliss all the time? but we know that isn't the plan. and, like you, i'm grateful for knowledge of truths and happiness we look forward to in the next life with those we love.

shalae said...

That makes me so sad to imagine - for your parents AND for you. I can imagine how it would feel like your world was coming to an end. I'm so thankful for all that we know about families being together forever!

Peg and Parker said...

Wow, any untimely death like my sister Nancy @ Christmas time makes the holidays more sweet to know that the reason we can have hope is because of the Babe in Bethlehem. I am in awe of your family and the Cheer and Happiness that is present every time we are near you. Your folks started something grand with your family, solid testimony and hope in Christ and a ready smile. Oh, and thanks so much for making my mascara run, wait, I haven't put that on yet. Love you and this post!

granny said...

Beautiful post, Stephanie. I, too, can relate, having lost our first son. It seems like everyone has a taste of this at some point, and the hope we all have is centered in Christ and living the gospel. Thanks for sharing.

Michelle said...

What a beautiful reminder that we need to work hard every day to be worthy of eternal blessings that can be ours. I didn't remember that your family went through such a hard thing at Christmas years ago. We are so lucky to have the gospel and the knowledge we have.

chris+amber said...

This is the first time I have heard this story in detail from your perspective. It touched my heart. I KNOW you WILL see Kyle again. No doubt about that. Loves to G-pa & G-ma AND you!

Bobbi said...

Sounds like several others share the same sorrows at this time of year. It makes me think of the twins I lost while putting up Christmas lights many years ago. How lucky (thankful)we are to have the plan of salvation. Families can be Together FOREVER! Here's a big hug!! ♥ ya!

manders said...

thanks, mom. i love you.

Amber Veater said...

it's weird what losing someone can do to your perspective... I learned that when my brother died...

i love you.

Julie said...

I remember that day so well. I was very upset, I think it was the first time I experienced hearing of someone losing someone that I loved. I loved your family, your mom was my piano teacher, your dad was my bishop, and you were my dear friend.

Michael, Tiffany, Reese, Cash, and Carter said...

Beautifully captured, as per your usual posts. Love the reminder about what we need to do to be where we want to be at the end of this mortal "test/life." Your family is such an inspiration and example. xoxo

Sassy said...

Stephanie....you always word things just right......my eyes filled to the brim reading this.....CHRISTMAS is one of those holidays that gets me all stirred up inside anyway...missing loved ones gone on....I too have a little brother on the other side named Kory...I just pray I can get my act together and {consistently} be obedient so we can ALL be together again.......I love the gospel and am thankful for what we know....