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You’re 12, Kaylie MayBeth

It’s hard to believe she’d be 12, our Kaylie.  Aunties don’t forget…

My niece Kaylie MaeBeth, was born silently on July 13, 2006 at 25 weeks gestation. She is the third daughter of my sister JJ and her Hubby Dan. This letter was written to be shared at Kaylie’s graveside service on Sunday, July 16. It was read by my nephew Hayden, so grown up, such a Man in the making… Auntie just wanted to be a part of celebrating the life of her precious niece… 

My heart is sad as I sit down to finally write this. I can’t describe the sense of loss I feel for you JJ, for you Dan, and for you Addie and Josie. We are just so very sorry for your loss and wish we could be there in this sacred moment to comfort you, to let you know first hand how much we love you, how sad we are for you.

I guess really, I am sad for all of us. We won’t get to know the beautiful woman that Kaylie had the potential to become, with curly hair and huge blue eyes, so much to learn from her sisters, to do with her family, so much to become. I am sad for Kaylie for although she has experienced SO MUCH life and love already as she lived in her Mother’sa womb, she won’t know firsthand the love that awaited her here in the world, in our family.

For it is true, Kaylie, you were already so very loved. I remember a moment I had on my way to meet my fourth nephew Ryley Dean. As I drove the highway, I was so worried because I couldn’t imagine loving another little boy as much as I loved Cody, Chase and Hayden. But as I held Ryley in my arms that first time I knew that just like any other love, an Auntie’s love goes far and stretches and multiplies. I’ve never forgotten that. I have had SO MUCH love for each of the precious children we are blessed to have in our family. And Kaylie even as I talked to your Mommy many, many times about you, about how you were growing up inside her, all that time I loved you, we all did. We will miss not knowing you here on this earth but we are thankful for the ways you have already changed us, for the reason you were created and lived, even though right now, we don’t understand the reasons you can no longer live on earth with us.

When I asked Jimmie Jo if I could write something ~ I so felt the need to be there this day even across the miles ~ she said that Psalm 139 was the Scripture she picked for this sacred moment. And how appropriate… the beautiful words of verse 13 and following…

For it was you who formed my inward parts… You knit me together… I am fearfully and wonderfully made… my frame was not hidden from you even when I was made in secret

all these words tell the truth of how our inescapable God knows all about us ~ about Kaylie ~ he knew her and what her life was to be, even before we knew she existed. He knew and he created her perfect and whole in his eyes.

Even as these words are so very true I have to say that as I have read this passage over and over again recently ~ this is a special passage for my family, words we have prayed over our children who truly were formed in secret, at least from us ~ I am struck by the hope we find in these words that are bookends to these well-loved verses. Verses 11 and 12 say something like this… If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night, but God, even the darkness I walk through is not DARK to you. The night I am in right now is bright as day as far as you can see, God. For the darkness is as light to you. There’s hope there… pure hope that even in these dark days of sadness at the loss of Kaylie, we who know God can trust that he sees the light in it all. He won’t leave us in this dark night. We can live in hope that someday His light will break through and then, even if we still don’t understand, we will be able to walk in his light. That is hope for today and tomorrow and all the future as we face life’s hard things.

And then the end of verse 18… I come to the end ~ I am still with you. The loss of Kaylie hit me hard and I have to admit that even with the strong and still growing faith in God, that I do believe that he has our best interests in mind, that indeed he is working out everything to be better than we could imagine… even as I trust that God is in control, I am shaken by this loss. Shaken because no one should have to go through this, much less my baby sister and her family. I am shaken… but these words of hope spoken by the Psalm writer to God ~ I come to an end ~ I am still with you ~ leave me feeling safe because I know that I can question and be angry at the stuff I don’t like or understand in life. I know I can do that and in the end, when I, when we, are exhausted by our tears and questioning ~ in the end, there is God. We are still with him. And we can trust that he knows and understands our sorrow ~ after all, His Son died too ~ that he won’t leave us to deal with this on our own, that in the end we can rest in the knowing that God is here and will never leave us.

I also live trusting that Kaylie’s life, no matter how short it has been, means something, or will mean something, to each of us. She was created and lived for a reason. God knew why he made her and sent her to this family. He knows who she is and will be to all of us. I look forward to the ways her time with us will change us for the better, whatever that may be.

I know that Kaylie is with Jesus and he says to her “You are welcome here.” And I know that she is welcomed in Heaven by many who love her, including her little cousins born to heaven like her, before even a breath was taken on earth, her great-grandparents and many others who have gone before. What a hope we have when we trust in God!!!! He will not leave us in the darkness of sorrow as to him, even the sorrow brings light. He will never leave us alone as we cry and question. We know that, in the end, we are still with Him.

Rest in peace Sweet Kaylie… we love you and miss you…

With love from across the miles,

Aunt Hope for all us here

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