Texas family's email exchanges highlight hope in Christ after infant daughter's death

By Nate Sharp

For Aggieland Mormons

Published: Monday, June 9 2014 10:00 a.m. MDT

Today was a beautiful day for our family. We began early this morning, when we gathered to give Kate a name and a blessing here in the NICU at Texas Children's. It was a wonderful experience, and we felt the presence of angels — the one in our arms and others who were watching.

Later, my mom brought Kennedy, Jackson and London here to the hospital for some much-needed family time. At first we brought them to Kate's room and let them each enjoy holding her. They also wrote cards and drew pictures for her. The hospital even let us wheel Kate outside into the courtyard so the kids could enjoy being with her in that setting.

After bringing Kate back inside, Holly and I met privately with the kids in Kate's room to explain to them that Kate's heart couldn't be fixed and that she probably won't be with us very long before she is called home.

Kennedy was so sweet and cried hard, wanting to know why Kate couldn't stay with us on earth. Through everyone's tears, we could testify that Kate's heart would one day be perfect and whole. Sweet Kennedy worried that Kate might come back again as a baby in someone else's family, but we assured her that Kate would always be ours.

While we have never known such heartache as what we have felt this week knowing our own child cannot be healed and will leave us sooner than we would ever want, there is also unspeakable joy knowing she will be taken home to our Father in Heaven, and we will see her again one day.


Sunday, June 13, 11:26 p.m.

Email to family and friends

As we mentioned last night, tonight is the final night we will spend in Texas Children's Hospital with Kate. It's also the last time we'll send a regular update like this. Starting tomorrow, we will take Kate home and love and enjoy every day we have her with us. When we take her home tomorrow, she will keep her feeding tube, but nothing else will be hooked up to her. The uncertainty surrounding how things will go once we get home is hard to think about, but we know that events will unfold in a way that is according to the Lord's plan for her and for our family.

As anxious as we are to get home, we will miss being around the doctors and nurses who have watched over and cared for Kate (and us). This morning when we got to the hospital, a nurse who was assigned to Kate several nights ago stopped by to tell us she had come to our room last night and held and sang to Kate for several hours, just because she wanted to help. That's what everyone here has been like. They regularly tell us that they are praying for Kate, and many of them tell us Kate is one of the sweetest, most peaceful babies they've worked with. We have spoken of Kate as our angel all week, but we also feel like the medical people at TCH have been angels to our family too. Elder Holland taught: "When we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with — here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. ... Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind." We won't forget the doctors and nurses who were our angels this week.

The Haymonds were also ministering angels to us. To think that when we first made contact with them (through a friend) by phone on Monday, they had never met us or spoken to us; yet by the time the night was over, they had given us a key to their house and opened their hearts to us, too. We have thought of Matthew 25:35-36. "For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me." We thank them for taking us in. We also thank our friends, the Prices, for spending time with us almost every day we've been here.

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