One of my most read posts is this one, about the brave family who chose to give baby E the milk pumped for their sweet baby boy...a tiny soul who passed away just one short month after he was born. At the time I wrote it, I knew nearly nothing about this family. I particularly didn't know what had happened to their son, how he had died. I was torn about using the milk. Saddened that the milk that momma had so lovingly pumped for her own babe was being used to make mine healthy and strong. Heartbroken for the family who would not see their son grow to be a man. Guilty that I had severed one more tie they had to him. Just so sad at the loss of this tiny person.
I wrote my post, eventually used all the milk, and continued to think of that special family. Then, one day several months ago, I opened an unexpected email. From the father of that baby boy. He thanked me for my post. He said they were in the process of writing a book about their dear son. He asked if they could include my blog post in the book. I was floored. I mean, what could I have said that was in any way important compared with what they had to say about their experience, and their son's. But of course I said "yes". How could I not? He thanked me and offered to send me a copy once they were done.
I didn't really think anything else of it. I mean, I continued to think about them, but I didn't think about the blog post or book.
Until a couple of weeks ago. When I received in the mail a most beautiful and heart-wrenching book. Giving witness to their sweet little boy and his short life. Oh, the beauty in this family is even more than I knew. They are truly amazing. One thing they wrote, was they hope that in the giving of the milk, baby E would know God. And I can say, without a doubt, that he will. I mean, he would have anyway, but this gift was such a tangible and extraordinary example of God's love. And of the beauty of the human spirit. Such beauty, such love, could only come from one source. And so, while this milk does not introduce my child and our family to God's love, it does remind us in an immensely unique way.
They have a website, A Song of Suffering, to which I'd like to direct you, if you're interested in knowing more about them. They're a family who suffered a horrible, tragic, unimaginable thing. They survived. Their faith sustained them. They sustained each other. They have changed me. And so I thank them yet again. Because I can never thank them enough.
Today's lesson: We never know how our lives will intersect with others. We never know how our words may affect others. We never know what role our words may have in the lives of others. Sometimes I am reminded that it behooves us all to chose our words so carefully.