Monday, January 5, 2009

Farewell, Sweet Jeremy

Our great friends, Aaron and Beth Shelby, welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world yesterday at 11:17 a.m. He was breathing on his own at birth, which makes him 1 in 10,000. They said that only 1 in 10,000 babies diagnosed with Trisomy 13 have a live birth.

But, a short 71 minutes later, he took his final breath and went to be with Jesus.

Last night, our Life Group gathered with Beth and Aaron in their hospital room. The mood was relaxed. Beth and Aaron were emotionally exhausted and so we just sat with them. Beth shared her labor story with all the girls. Just like any new mom would. Aaron shared the experience from his perspective.

They were even willing to let us see and hold Baby Jeremy. He was bundled in a blue blanket, with a hand-knit blue cap on his head. He looks a lot like Beth.

This is all a new experience for me. I've never been this close to a family facing such a tragic loss. Something that leaves me with so many questions for God. But, as I've said before, it really feels like a priviledge to journey with the Shelbys.

We've known the Shelbys for 3 years now and shared in life with them through our amazing Life Group. This couple truly amazes me. Yes, they are sorrowful. They have a million questions. But, their faith in God has been completely unwavering.

I'm also thankful today for my Life Group. I've learned about myself in the past few years, that I am completely a relational person. I love nothing more than to share my life, to know and be known, by my close family and friends. My friends are such a gift to me and today, I'm especially thankful for them.

One group member posted about our gathering last night and I couldn't agree with her more. I love doing life with these people. We're a group with such diverse backgrounds and I learn from them every time we're together.

So, even though I'm crying a lot of tears today, I can't help but feel grateful.

To God, for his faithfulness, that even though none of this makes sense, He will make it beautiful.

To Friends, for good people to share in the good, bad and ugly.

For the Shelbys, and their example. I know that we all can follow their lead in this and learn a few things about faith, love and hope, in the process.

I'm sure many of you reading know the Shelbys and so if you feel compelled, a memorial fund has been set up in Jeremy's honor to help cover his funeral costs.

1. Memorial Fund
* ALL Donations will go directly to the Shelby Family to cover funeral expenses. If the financial blessing outweighs the cost, the remaider of the proceeds will be forwarded to the trisomy 13 charity of the parents choice.

* Donations are being accepted at all FORUM CREDIT UNION branches. Just go into the branch and give them jeremy's name and tell them it is for a memorial fund....After the funeral services...all money will be released to the Shelby's so please make your contributions prior to that date. All donations will be anonymous. Here is a link of all their locations... You must copy and paste this link:

2. Fashionthropic T-Shirt in memory of Jeremiah has been designed and about Half of the total cost goes directly to the shelby's to help them cover expenses...This is a GREAT way to help out and have an item to remember him by.....check out the link: