In Loving Memory of Jesse Gabriel Kammerzell

Your precious feet left tiny footprints in our hearts...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Telling Sami

One of the hardest parts of this journey so far has been having to tell Sami. She was staying with her mom for the first week of break, and we had her for 24 hours over Christmas Eve. We decided to wait to tell her until after Christmas, when we'd have her longer so we could process it together, without casting a shadow over Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, Billy's parents came over for dinner. We had the lasagna they'd sent us home with from the hospital. It was a miserable reminder of the week that had just passed. At one point during the evening, Sami came and laid her head on my belly and said, "I love you, baby." How heartbreaking that was.

Several days later we picked her up for the rest of the break. On the way home, we stopped at Target to pick up a few things. As we walked through the store, Sami babbled non-stop about "When the baby comes, I'm going to..." and "Can we buy this for the baby?" I wanted to crawl in a hole and die.

Later that evening, I took Sami on my lap. I told her that sometimes when a baby is still in the Mommy's tummy, something happens, and we don't know why, but the baby dies. That's what happened to our baby, and he is in heaven with the angels. Her big brown eyes welled up with tears. "And he's never coming back?" The three of us clung to one another and wept then. A while later, Sami came out of her room and climbed back onto my lap with a very serious expression. "I'm sorry I jumped on the baby." Sami is a very physical child, who likes to climb all over us. We used to tell her, be careful not to jump on the baby. The sweet thing thought that she'd hurt her baby brother. "Oh, no, honey, it was nothing you did. It was not your fault. You didn't do anything wrong. Nobody did. We just don't know why."

Two nights later, she called me into her bedroom to look at a picture she'd made on her whiteboard. The night before I'd drawn a heart and wrote "I love you Sami!" She had erased everything but half of the heart. She pointed to the missing half and said, "That part is the baby." It felt like my heart shattered into a million pieces and at the same time swelled with love for this precious little thing and her pure understanding of what innocent and full of love for the baby brother who she would never know. Unspoiled, she just said what she felt, unlike adults who say what they think they should say and end up saying all the wrong things.

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