Sunday, April 19, 2009
In Honor Of Gracie
Gracie Anne Gravitt passed away in her mother’s womb Thursday, April 17th 2008. She was born Saturday, April 19th 2008 -- and spent 90 precious minutes in the loving arms of her parents Rachael and Justin, her Grandparents Rod, Kathy, Jay and Andrea, and her Auntie Amber. She was 1 pound 8 ounces and 10 and a half inches long.
Gracie Anne Gravitt is buried at the foot of her Great-Grandpa Gravitt. Her Grandpa Rod said his dad (who had 5 boys) always wanted a little girl. It seemed very fitting to lay Gracie to rest there.
Rachael wrote the following in September 2008:
When we found out how very sick Gracie was I knew inducing labor while her heart was still beating was not an option for me and I received the grace to continue on with my pregnancy. I decided not to go to work and try and be thankful for the time I did have with her. I received a vision from God of a white robe that was the garment of grace and the Lord was holding it out to me all I had to do was take it and put it on. I did, once I had it on it disappeared like water and I was wrapped in grace. I had to keep putting it on. He also told me to name her Grace because that is what he gave me.
“It has now been five months since Gracie passed away and I have good days and bad days. I am comforted to know that I will be with Gracie in eternity and this time apart is so short. I am looking forward to the day I get to see Gracie's face as God created it. I know I will never be the same. My little girl took a part of my heart and I feel her absence every day. What I can hope is that this experience will make me a better stronger person. That is what Gracie would have wanted. She lived so short a time but taught me so much.
Through Gracie God has given me this: that all we have to do is chose to love in all situations. Love our selves, love others, love and know we are loved. If we love, we don't fear, hate, have bitterness, self pity, anger, or envy. The by products of love are Joy and Peace! And I realized that I need to love. I did love Gracie and still do and it is beautiful that God gave me that. If we love in all situations only good will come of it. Nothing evil ever came out of love. When I start to have the negative emotions I remember that I love(ed) her. Just LOVE. This was the verse I used at our wedding it means so much more to me now.
“Love bears all things
believes all things
hopes all things
endures all things
Love never ends”
Much Love in our Fathers Name,
Rachael” Sept. 2008
Grandma Andrea wrote the following for Gracie's funeral:
“Rachael knew that Gracie was a girl because God told her so and He named the babe Grace. Her middle name is Anne. Guess what? That means grace, too. It comforts me that we have received a double portion of grace! She was God’s Grace! God only gives grace to the humble. Thank you, Rachael and Justin for being humble servants of God.
The apostle Paul spoke about grace often. In 1 Cor. 15:10, Paul said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me did not prove vain…”
Grace is God’s presence in our lives empowering us to be who He created us to be and to do what He has called us to do.
Thank you for sending us this message through little Gracie Anne. And I give thanks for the hope that our Father will make all things work together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose. I have hope that we will be better people because of Gracie’s life. And while Gracie did not get be all that she was made to be in this life, I have the hope that she will continue to become all God intended her to become. And for now, she has made a deep impact on us in a very good way.
Because Gracie’s tissues were so fragile and swollen, the nurse was not able to make the little clay molds of Gracie’s hands and feet. But it didn’t matter to me. I have the impression of her feet deeply set in my heart. And her little footprints have walked all over me and I have changed forever! It is good.
Jesus said, “Let the little ones come to me.” So Gracie Anne lept into Jesus’ arms. And He blessed her saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”
Written by Gracie’s Grandma, Andrea EuDaly.
April 22, 2008”
Grandma Kathy arranged the above with Gracie's little foot prints at the bottom.
I remember driving home from the hospital that Saturday afternoon after Rachael had Gracie. I remember trying to not cry so I could see the road. I had been gone over night. When I got home I hugged and kissed my children and looked up into my husbands face and as the tears welled up I just shook my head and said, “I have no words…” I didn’t and I still don’t truly have words that come close to the reality of Gracie and my experience of her birth, but words are all I have that I can share. Rachael and Justin have a box of little keepsakes from the hospital, they have her ink foot prints and yes- they have pictures that we have decided will remain private. They also have a few ultrasound pictures which we will always treasure as those are pictures of her alive. And we have her spot in the cemetery. Obviously we hurt because we do not have her. We do not have Gracie. Not now . . . We have the hope and belief that some day we will be together. But until then all we have are memories and words.
There are a many memories that stand out for me from the day Gracie was born. Here are the ones I'd like to share:
I remember the picture of a faded leaf they put by Rachael’s door at the birthing center.
I remember waiting in the waiting room surrounded by strangers excited about babies who were being born that day. I remember trying to hide my pain from them.
I remember the ultrasound confirming Gracie’s heart was no longer beating. Seeing the stillness on the screen and seeing Justin’s shoulders slump as he shook his head. And then Rachael looked up and smiled at me through her tears and said, “it’s okay.”
I remember looking around at Mom, Dad, Kathy and Rod and thinking how joyful and exciting this day would have been. And hoping desperately for that experience with Rachael and Justin in the future.
I remember the disappointment that Gracie and McKenna- who were supposed to be only a year apart- would never play together.
This one is hard to explain, but I remember being happy for Rachael that she got to spend the time she did with Gracie while pregnant with her. But sad that the rest of us missed out. I wish I could have gotten to know Gracie even that much.
During the weeks we knew Gracie was dying and after we buried her I remember I didn’t want to leave my house. I remember feeling sick with anxiety about being in public and going to the dance studio alone (without Rachael). And then I remember being so surprised and grateful to God by the strength and grace I received right when I needed it.
I remember the pain and love in the eyes of the people in my life when they looked at me.
I remember the words of prayer, love and encouragement spoken and written by the wonderful people in our lives.
Most of all I remember Gracie. I remember how sad and how wrong it felt that there was no medical focus or concern on Gracie during delivery. I remember the moment she was born wishing that the Doctor or someone would have caught her instead of letting her slide into that big plastic container. I remember how she landed gracefully on her side and how beautiful and peaceful she looked.
I remember being filled with awe at the miracle of life in the moment of her birth. The feeling was much more intense and real then at the birth of my own live children.
I remember thinking how much bigger she was than I thought she’d be and how beautiful and precious she was. (She looked so much like Jimmie.)
I remember going out into the hall with Mom and Kathy after her birth where Rod and Dad were pacing and waiting. I remember their faces searching ours for any response or news. I remember Kathy walking into Rod’s arms, Mom walking into Dad’s arms while I slid down to the floor with my head in my hands and wished David were there with me.
I remember Rod and Dad going in to see Gracie.
I remember my Dad’s face as he held her.
I remember Justin’s face right after she was born.
I remember tears, everywhere, continually.
I remember Justin and Rachael giving her up and watching the Nurse walk out of the room holding her.
I remember the blanket they wrapped her in and the hat they put on her head.
I remember thinking that my cousin’s (Camilla) bridal shower was starting right when Gracie was born.
I remember that evening taking a walk with Dave and feeling that there was a wide chasm in between us of this thing I had just experienced while he was home taking care of our kids. I remember trying to use words to bridge the gap.
I remember the world looked, felt, smelled and sounded different.
I remember not being able to fathom that I would have to cook dinner that evening and clean the kitchen. I couldn’t wrap my brain around how life would go on.
I remember my son asking me why.
I remember knowing I would never be the same and being grateful and sad at the same time.
I remember Gracie’s tiny coffin.
I remember everyone’s faces at the funeral.
I remember walking into what would have been Gracie’s room.
I remember feeling close to God, in touch with the Eternal and knowing without a doubt that the Lord does draw near to the brokenhearted.
“My Grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9
We are sad today Gracie. We miss you so much. But there is also joy in remembering you today on your birthday. I will never ever forget being with you that day you were born. I will never be the same for looking at your beautiful face and being touched by your life. You will be in my heart forever. We miss you and we love you and we will see you again.
God is good.