My third nephew. Trevor.
He was born late at night. It was his grandma's birthday too.
We live an hour away and didn't go to the hospital. Wait and drive up for Sunday dinner and see him then.
As we turned the corner onto his street, we passed a car. His parents in the front, their baby in the back. Rolling down windows and chatting we found out he had a fever. Headed to the hospital.
We visited after dinner. Bearing gifts. Little blue baby clothes for a tiny baby boy. Can't hold him. Sleeping? Not allowed? I don't know. I just remember not holding him.
Prayers for a quick recovery said in my heart.
Days passed. Drove up to get his big brothers and bring them to our house for a few days while his mom and dad stay with him in the hospital. A call to turn around and bring them back. Baby not doing well. Big brothers need to be with their family.
Children's hospital this time. Sadness. Holding back tears. Heart beating fast. Wondering how those big brothers will understand. They were only 11 and 6.
Aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, Grandma. Waiting room. Waiting and waiting. Holding back the tears. Silent prayers.
Seeing the baby. So many wires. Tubes. Eyes closed. So swollen.
Took the big brothers down to the cafeteria for a break. From the 6-year-old, "I just don't get it. Trevor came to earth, got a body and then he dies." A statement. An observation. But also a question. I don't remember what I told him. Hopefully something comforting. I just don't remember.
Moved to a private room. No more wires. No tubes. Eyes closed. No holding back the tears. Aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, a mom and a dad, Grandma. All together. A family prayer. Peace. Comfort. Sadness.
And then he was gone. Held in the arms of his father.
Tears. Sadness. Wondering why.
Then I held him. Regret not getting the chance to hold him while his spirit was still with us. While his little heart was beating. While his eyes were open. While his warm body slept.
A kiss on his forehead. Then handed gently to another loved one waiting to say goodbye.
He'd be 9 today. I can't even imagine what he'd look like. His mom? His dad? His big brothers?
Someday I'll know. I'm sure of it.
I don't know the sadness of losing a baby. I didn't know then. I don't know now. What I do know is how much I love my own babies. Feeling that love now, I can't imagine how it must have felt to have to let one of them go after only 10 days of holding, feeding, caring, crying, worrying, sleeping.
I thought of baby Trevor when each of my own babies reached 10 days old. I thought about how much I cherished them already and how I would feel if they were taken away from me. And then I put it out of my mind because I just couldn't imagine.
Remembering a sweet baby today.
And silent prayers of gratitude for my own babies.
That I have them to love and hold and tickle until they cry.