...bailey's story...

Our story is a story about a MIRACLE. It is not the kind of miracle that is so often shared in Christian circles. We have heard stories about untreatable cancer that disappeared and of a child that was never supposed to walk or talk and is now a healthy adult. These are often the kinds of stories people share with you when you are experiencing difficult circumstances. Stories about the TRAGEDY that was avoided or the near miss that is now in the rear view mirror of life. We value these types of stories and we CELEBRATE them!

Ours was not that kind of story. Our daughter Bailey Hope was born on February 20, 2009. She died on August 13, 2010. The eighteen months in between were horrible and heart wrenching as we experienced our worst fears coming true. We were not rescued FROM heartache and tragedy.

Our miracle was that we were joined IN this journey by friends and family that gave of themselves and by our GOD who held us in unexplainable ways. This is our story. We do not share it to garner pity. There are others who have similar stories. There are so many others who have more tragic stories.

We share our story because it is impossible to talk about our beautiful daughter, without talking about our beautiful God. We must talk about our daughter. We must talk about our God. It is the MIRACLE behind the MIRACLE.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


I have learned many things from my children, when I have been willing to listen and have a teachable spirit.  They see the world so clearly - it's not clouded by past hurts, bioses, etc - there hearts are pure and beautiful, and they are willing to take emotional risks.   My daughter McKenzie has taught me, and reminded me on several occasions about the importance and beauty of "joining." 

A few short months after Bailey had died, the kids and I were watching her video.  I was crying so McKenzie came over and just sat beside me.  Without saying a word, she reached over and placed her hand over my heart, and pressed firmly.  After a few moments of silence she looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said, "Mommy, I'm just going to hold your heart so it doesn't hurt so bad."  I was speechless - my five year old understood that nothing - no actions or words - could fix this kind of hurt,  she knew that sometimes the best thing is to simply offer our presence.  She "joined" me in the pain of that moment, and in her joining me she opened herself up to feel my pain, and also acknowledge her own.  It was beautiful.

"Joining" can be risky business.  It opens you up, you become vulnerable.   

This past week some very dear friends of ours, watched their mother die.  In "joining" them it was painful.  I hated knowing that they watched someone they loved die.  In entering their pain, I also had to acknowledge my own.  -- I hated watching our daughter slowly die. I hated watching my husband carry her broken body out to the hurst knowing that I would never hold her, feel her, or smell her body again this side of eternity. -- These friends fully entered into our pain, holding our hearts and acknowledging the pain of living in a fallen world.  They could have easily chosen to not "join" us, but we are so grateful they didn't.  Because they were willing to feel our pain they lessened it by letting us know we were not alone.  They also blessed us greatly when they allowed us to "join" them in their pain and grieve for them and with them.

So sometimes joining hurts, it really hurts; but it also carries the potential for tremendous blessings.   I think of so many who "joined" us in our walk with Bailey.  If they would have protected themselves and not allowed themselves to really enter into our story they would have missed out on knowing one of the most beautiful treasures, Bailey Hope.  She was truly beautiful and reflected God in a way I had never seen or experienced.   

I can't imagine how empty  life would be if I didn't allow myself to "join" others, and if others didn't ask or allow us to "join" them.  We would have missed out on so much. 

When we are willing to live life with others and "join" them and allow them to "join" us, we experience true community, and I believe in those moments we get a glimpse of Heaven. 

Thank you McKenzie for the beautiful picture of "joining."   Thank you Ben and Jaren for allowing us, and entrusting us to "join" you, we love you and grieve for you.  Finally, thank you to our family and friends, and even strangers  who were courageous enough to "join" us when we needed you most.  We are  truly grateful.


  1. oh heather...you put into words such a sacred and risky part of life, part of grieving. grateful for the pieces of your story that you share with us. think of you often...

  2. Kelly,
    Thank you for your beautiful words. You are so right, grief is a very sacred part of us.