The following was written by my sister-in-love, Autumn. It is a tribute, written in honor of her baby sister, through whose death her family found…the promise of life.
The Promise of Life
Everyday I am reminded of my life. As I wake in the morning, I thank God overall for that one thing. I don’t understand why I have it and others have it taken away, but 16 years ago I was promised this gift. And that is exactly what it is, a gift from God. He can choose to give it or take it away at anytime He wishes. This is the greatness of Him.
When I was just fourteen months old, my parents discovered another miracle growing inside of my mother’s womb. As we all prepared for this birth, the excitement of a new life grew as well. But as the pregnancy endured, complications that we were unaware of at the time occurred.
My mom delivered me as a caesarean section and was scheduled to do the same with my sister. On March 1, 1988, “Girl Linder” was born into this world. She was my parents’ smallest baby, yet appeared to be healthy and ready to go home, despite my mom’s constant, distressing, uneasiness that her new baby girl’s complexion seemed to be blue. She saw it in her lips, and told others what she observed, only to be labeled as foolish. This baby was perfectly normal according to the rest of the family and also the doctors.
At midnight, 48 hours after the delivery, the baby was taken in an ambulance to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. The medical personnel knew that the problem involved a defect of the heart, yet did not know the degree of the dilemma. My dad followed the hastening vehicle, leaving my mom behind to recover from the surgery. The unfortunate circumstances made my parents realize that “the baby” needed a name and needed one before she died. As my dad drove, he observed the trees covered with ice from the ice storm that March. Everything sparkled like diamonds, and could almost be mistaken for lace hanging from each limb. It was breathtaking. For this reason, she was to be named Lacey.
When the staff admitted Lacey into the specialized hospital and after a heart cauterization, the doctors discovered that Lacey had five heart defects. The next day, only the third day of her existence, she was taken into the operating room for open-heart surgery, which extended her life for only a short time.
After seven long weeks in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit, day after day, my parents decided to come home to see me with the intensions of returning the next day. But that morning at five o’ clock, a day that will never be forgotten, a frantic phone call interrupted their much-needed sleep. It was the hospital calling to declare that Lacey was approaching death. I was abruptly awakened, scooped from my sound sleep, wrapped in blankets, and thrown into the car. My mom then dumped me out of the window of the moving vehicle to my aunt, as they raced an hour away to the hospital.
They ran to the third floor of the massive building, my mom passing up the hand washing station and flinging open the doors to the Intensive Care to find an empty bed. My dad stayed behind to wash his hands and gown up with the perception of knowing that his daughter was already gone. Lacey Mishell Linder had already passed away when my parents arrived; however, they were given the privilege to hold her one last time. My dad, with the help of one of the very caring nurses, helped pick my mom up, who was then a puddle on the ground, escorting her to the room to see Lacey. My mother was given another opportunity to kiss those same small lips that she had perceived to be blue within the first hour of her life.
On April 25 1988, we buried Lacey. Following the funeral, close family and friends joined at our home to show their support and concern. However, the multitude was soon called outside to see something that could never be lost from memory. A circular rainbow, subsequent to the drought that year, came into sight above our house, contrasting the usual bow shape that it portrays. The reaction bestowed that of amazement and disbelief. It reminded my uncle of the rainbow in the days of Noah, which symbolized a promise of God. My dad took this as his symbol, his promise from God to never take anymore of his children, and my mom was given the astonishing and mind-boggling peace that has stayed with her until this day.
A year later, my sister, Harmony, was born and passed all of my mom’s suspicions and fears. She was healthy and not blue in the slightest, the thing that seemed to bring harmony back into our lives. She outdid all of my attempts to get my mom out of her depression, and I am thankful for her ability to do so. Two years after that, Caley was born; again, another healthy baby, and again another fulfilled promise of God.
Rainbows. Promises. These two words are interchangeable to my family. But, did God have to take away one for three to remain? I don’t know, but one thing that will always remain in our hearts is the memories that we have of Lacey. We often make a point to talk about her, and all that she went through and endured. She was the strongest person I’ve known, even though she was just an infant. My parents tell me that she looked at them in a way that gave them the feeling of strength. She acted as if she knew what was going to happen to her and seemed to be concerned with us.
Although I was young and do not remember a lot about Lacey, she remains a big part in my life. She is brought alive through the stories that are told, which we tend to talk about often. However, this incident is much more than just a story. After Lacey died, memories of her that had regressed were gradually brought back over years of time. As these recollections were remembered, my parents discussed them from when I was little, until this present day.
I often wonder, why not me? Why did God choose to take Lacey instead of me? This question can never be answered or even comprehended in the human mind. There is a purpose for everything God brings our way that makes us willing to do His will. We just have to pray and be ready, in our trials stand steady and know that there is a purpose for God bringing us this way. My family has lived on this promise to continue living.
Written by Autumn (Linder) Hunt