It already seems like an eternity ago that we had Bailey's memorial service, but it was only last Monday. We had expected it to be a small service with just our immediate family and a couple of close friends, but when we pulled up to the cemetery office we were overwhelmed. There was such a line-up of cars already parked, and people crammed into the cemetery office waiting to celebrate and remember Bailey's short time on earth with us. Ryan and I looked at each other in amazement and all I could say was that I had only expected "like five cars".
Pastor Dave, the head pastor from our church, did a wonderful job with the service. We had met with him the day before the funeral and asked him to keep things short, simple, and to please share from Psalm 139, as that has been a passage which has gotten us through our entire pregnancy and delivery with Bailey. He shared with us that after having prayed about it before meeting with us, that God had given him the very same passage and verses to read and share from. It was a great "Holy Spirit" moment for the three of us. Again, what a great God would serve. One of the special things that Pastor Dave had shared at the service was that he had prayed that not only would Bailey's cousins; Grace, James and Hudson get to meet, hold and play with Bailey, but he had asked that God would bring his son Gregory to meet Bailey and hold her as well. Gregory had passed away unexpectedly when he was 10 years old, and it was such a special thing to Ryan and me that Pastor Dave would ask that his son would be a part of Bailey's life.
This is my favorite picture from the memorial service (minus my glove...which I wish I would've remembered to take off!). I love our three expressions. I feel like it really shows not only the emotion of the day, but also a portion of the abundance of people at Bailey's service. I also love seeing the people in the background. It's a great reminder of how loved and supported we've been throughout this entire journey.
This is one of my favorite pictures that I have of my brother-in-law Mike.
The casket spray turned out great as well. The "jewels" were actually from my wedding bouquet, and the ribbon is the same one that was on Bailey's blanket from my mom and the bow that she put together for the croucheted blanket I had made for her. It was the perfect size, and was both funky and yet simple enough to represent exactly how I picture Bailey. Although we only got to meet her during ultrasounds, I know that she had spunk. She always was active, except for the last time we saw her alive. It was during those glimpses of her, that she was more subdued. I didn't understand at the time, but know now that it was because she was on her way to go meet the Father. But I also feel so very fortunate for the time I got to hold her in the hospital. Because of my amazing nurses at the hospital, I was able to hold Bailey within the minute after she was born. They placed her in my arms, and I got to see her face. She looked so "at peace". I've seen other babies who have passed away before they were born, and they don't always have that expression of peace on their face. Sometimes you can tell that it was a struggle for them until the end, but with Bailey I know because of that time I was able to spend with her that she truly went peacefully and is now in peace for eternity in the Kingdom. It was truly a gift from the Lord to be able to see her that morning, and I can't wait to see her again.
I posted Bailey's video on youtube yesterday, and when I clicked on the link today found out that it has already been viewed 36 times. I'm completely overwhelmed. I've been overwhelmed by all of the responses from people on facebook, and to now see how many more people have already seen it on youtube is incredible to me. I've had a number of people come up to me and thank me for making the video, for sharing it, sharing with me their own stories of loss and heartache, telling me that Bailey's video brought healing to them over losses in their family, etc. And again, I'm overwhelmed. We made that video as a way to share Bailey's short life with those around us, but have found that it has become so much "bigger" than we ever expected. As a parent, you always want to share your kid's accomplishments and stories with the people you know, but to have Bailey's testimony actually minister to people already is an incredible gift. Thank you so much for watching her video. Thank you for commenting on facebook and this blog. Thank you for sharing it with your family and friends. Thank you for sharing your lives with us, as we've opened ours to share with you. It means so much to know that Bailey is not forgotten, to know that what happened was not a mistake, and to know that we still have a Father who orchestrates this great symphony of our lives in such a way that all of our instruments interweave to create the greatest song ever. Thank you for sharing your portion of the symphony with us, and allowing us to share ours with you.