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The day started like any other recent day … Sunny … Summer … with one large exception.

Today was the day that Baby Hope would be laid to rest alongside her Daddy’s Family.

For any of you who have not heard the story, it starts a long time ago.

There was once a little family that had happily awaited the arrival of a new addition. A Wonderful Woman and a Loving Father and the Little Girl who was born to them … with gorgeous green eyes … who was born with cerebral palsy and was deaf.

The baby was not expected to live through the night, but the loving husband said, “If we just have faith, things will be well, and she will live.” Following a long night of prayer and anxiety, the baby did indeed live … and was named Faith.

Faith grew up to be a beautiful woman herself. And she married a wonderful man … not unlike her own late Loving Father. Her husband was also deaf … and he loved his wife and young daughter beyond measure.

A real Daddy.

They lived and loved and one day … one beautiful day … they realized they were to be blessed with another young daughter. Faith was happy. The Daddy was happy. And the Big Sister was happy.

But the joy soon turned to tragedy.

While at the doctor it was discovered that the baby was in severe distress. An emergency C-section was performed.

The baby … Hope … opened her beautiful blue eyes … took one breath … and died.

Which brings us to today.

The time from then to now has passed in a blur. The family has grieved. And travelled. And today they all gathered for the service in a final farewell to Baby Hope.

Before the service, My Friend Ann gave the Big Sister a small angel pin. One that had been given to her twenty years ago in a similar situation. We pinned it on the Big Sister in hopes that she knew that Baby Hope was her special Angel in Heaven, and loved her Big Sister beyond measure.

Actually Neveah … Heaven spelled backwards … was the initial thought for the baby’s middle name. But the family changed it at last to Hope Luci. Luci … Light. After a much loved relative. It was right.

OF course there were things unexpected … It didn’t matter … there was love.

The lights and microphone seemed challenged to work … It didn’t matter … the Priest had a booming voice … and there was love.

The Priest who would have normally done the service was on vacation … It didn’t matter … there was love.

There was in his place a compassionate Priest to do the service. Who stuttered … It didn’t matter … the parents and some friends there were deaf … and there was love.

During the service there was much getting up and kneeling down which may have been difficult for some of the older people there … It didn’t matter … there was love.

The small white casket was surrounded with flowers and was topped with a spray of flowers … floral prayers from family and friends.

After the main part of the service was complete, the Daddy requested that he and his brother be allowed to go up front to present a few words to those gathered. A poem of love … of grief … of Hope.

This is that poem.

My Dreams For You
© Daniel Kerr

I had so many dreams for you, That will now never come true. I wanted you to have the life I never had, Where every day was good and not one day was bad.

I wanted you to be happy and have a fun filled life, I would have loved to see you be someone’s wife. I would have loved to see you do a little ballet twirl, I wanted you to be the world’s happiest little girl.

I wanted to put you on my shoulders as we watched your favourite band, I wanted to take you to the beach and watch you play in the sand. These are all things that I most wanted to do, All I can do now is dream of doing these things with you.

Now all I want is to see your smile, And to hold you close for a little while. Me and your mom are in so much pain, Even though we know it won’t be long until we see you again.

For now all I can do is Hope and pray, That I’ll get to hold you in my arms again one day.

The Daddy went back to stand by his loving wife and daughter. And the service drew to a tearful close.

As is the custom, there is a small place across the road from the church and up the hill. A cemetery where for generations, families have borne their loved ones from the church to the peaceful beautiful resting place. And it was time to take Baby Hope to be with her Grandparents before her.

The man organizing it all said he needed two people to help carry baby Hope to her final resting place. At this point, the Daddy rose … and said “I will carry my Daughter”.

All those gathered watched as the Daddy gathered the small white container into his loving arms.

Tears ran as he turned, and stoically walked, leading everyone out of the church, down the steps, up the street, up the hill and into the area where his family had rested for ages.

At this point he gently laid his baby daughter down for the last few words of comfort by the Priest.

A simple service. A beautiful day. A loving family. A tearful good-bye.

I am sure there is joy in Heaven. I know there is Hope there now too.

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