How do you rank the worst days of your life, when the past two years has seen the loss of my precious son Jamie at 27 and my husband Mike just five months ago.
But the day “Lilly Bear” died is one.
Lillian Elizabeth was 13 weeks ago, I had put her in her crib for a nap as Mike, Christa and Allyssa had gone to watch Michigan play Nebraska at the U of M football game. The weird thing was that no one really wanted to go…they went to honor Jamie as he had been so excited about Nebraska joining the Big 10.
I was at home watching her until Ryan’s mom was coming at noon.
Ryan had made her a formula with the purified water we drink in our home and measured it all out. She had just eaten and he didn’t think she would wake back up for an hour or so. But…like most babies… perhaps she realized mommy and daddy were gone so she did.
I got her up and I picked out her outfit for the day. “Would you like to wear your Michigan dress, Lilly?” “How about the Michigan sleeper”? “No, ok then your white sleeper with pink bows on it?” She smiled and so I put it on.
I brought her into my bedroom and gave her the bottle, holding her in my arms. Since I nursed all my babies at least a year, I wasn’t too familiar with bottle fed babies so I held her like I did my nursing babies.
She drank most of it, I laid her down and turned on the fan lights above my bed and she was kicking and talking to the lights…something she had just discovered. After a while she got fussy and I picked her up and took her downstairs to change the scene and put her in her baby seat. Allyssa had texted me and asked me how she was doing, what she was wearing and to take a picture of her, which I did.
After a while she was fussy again and I picked her up and walked around with her where she fell asleep on my shoulder. Ryan and Allyssa had been working on getting her to sleep in her beautiful crib so I walked her back upstairs and laid her in her bed.
Michigan was having a fly over for the game that day and I could see and hear them from my bedroom and Christa and I were texting back and forth. It was close to game time so I decided to walk downstairs and watch kick-off on the big TV. I grabbed her monitor and sat it beside me on the couch. I went up and checked on her about 30 minutes later and she was still sleeping peacefully.
Ryan called and said his mom was running late and I told him no problem that the baby was asleep. I had just looked down at my phone and it was about ten minutes until one when I heard all five dogs start barking and I knew Liz must be here. I opened the door and said, “come on in I’ll go get the baby as I walked up the stairs.”
I walked into her room and peaked over to see if she was still asleep. I then slowly rolled her over to pick her up and she was blue. I started screaming and running with her downstairs yelling, “call 9-11 Lillian is not breathing.” Andrew my youngest son heard me all the way in the basement and bounded up the steps.
The next 45 minutes were absolute chaos.
It is just too horrific to even go into details on. There are scenes, people, EMT’s in my head that I will never forget and will forever be with me. I still have so many questions that I don’t believe will be answered this side of eternity. I don’t understand why when she was the light in our life after Jamie had died (only a month before). How can this be happening again?
Why, Why, Why? The bright light that brought such a smile to our faces and joy to our hearts as she learned new things everyday.
The thing I do know is that He hears the cry of the afflicted, (JOB 34:28) and that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that is to be revealed in us. (ROMANS 8:17). When I focus on the shortness of this life…and know that someday we will be all be together again I carry on. I know that life on planet earth is a small dot on a long string of eternity.
I know that if it weren’t for Jesus who suffered and died for us on the cross that being together again with Lillian would not be a possibility. I am grateful.
Do you know Jesus?
I am not talking about head knowledge that you know he lived on earth, but do you have a personal relationship with him? He is not just a God in the etherial realm, but is He a living breathing God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, that you can have a personal relationship with. Do you?
Today is a sad day, we remember Lilly Bear and miss her like crazy. It is a day we can’t help but be sad about on all we missed with her here on earth, but it is also a day that we reflect on the fact that God is good and present even in the midst of our great sorrows.
Happy Angel-versary to my precious granddaughter, Lillian Elizabeth Caulk in heaven, I know you are fine and happy especially with your grandpa who loved you and missed you so much. You are enveloped in God’s love. We love you and miss you so much especially your mama Allyssa and daddy Ryan.
We will see you soon, precious one.