Blankies and Cousins

I have this cousin.  But she's really more than just a cousin.  I consider her one of my closest friends.  It's odd when I think about it.  For most of our lives we've lived a 'mere' 3000 miles or so apart.  We only see each other maybe once a year.  Two if we're lucky.  Yet we've grown so close.  We have so much in common.   She's my couswin.  (cousin-twin).

She's my friend.  My family.  Holly.

I could not have been more excited when I heard news she was expecting her first child.  This would just bring us even closer!  One more thing to have in common, since she hadn't experienced the miracle of motherhood yet and I had.

We sometimes fantasized about our kids playing together at our Grandma's house, taking them to the beach, taking them for ice cream.  How they would grow up little summertime playmates just like we did.

As her due date got closer I decided I wanted to make her, or rather her son, a gift.  Connor loves his blankie my mom made him, and I wanted to make a blanket I would cut in two.  Two mini blankies.  One for Connor, one for the new baby, Liam.  Sort of like those silly friendship necklaces I suppose.

A week later I got a call.

Holly was in labor.  Good news right? 

Except that she was only 22 weeks along.

The next day I got another call. 

Liam had died.  He was perfectly healthy, just born too soon.

I literally fell to the floor in hysterics once I hung up the phone.  Not Holly.  Not Liam.  This doesn't happen to real people!!

My heart broke so much for Holly that day.  And for Liam.

I felt like I was partly to blame. 

I got the first call and I felt doomed. I felt like I should call my brother, a Chaplain, and beg him to pray with me, for Holly.  For I did have faith in prayer.  I ignored the urge.  I will always wonder if things would have turned out different had I prayed with someone, other than just myself.

I remember my guilt and Liam each time I go into my own son's room.  There the two mini blankets hang, side by side.  They were never meant to be side by side unless together in Michigan with two happy boys.

Connor often asks to snuggle with both blankets (plus his own "real" one).  If I give him just one he fusses until I give him the other.  That makes me happy.  Like he somehow knows the second one was meant to be snuggled too.



  1. Wow. When I started reading that story I knew where it was headed. I'm so sorry. That must be so hard. My good friend/neighbor went in for her weekly check-up at 39 weeks and he daughter had just died. It is devastating. She and her husband have such an amazing faith in God that they are actually doing pretty well with their tremendous loss. :)

  2. I was just headed to bed, but decided to check your blog, first. I'm so glad I did.

    I had no idea about these blankets & I am so touched that you made them for our boys!! Knowing Connor snuggles both of them comforts me in some weird way.

    No amou nt of prayer would have changed that day. I know God has a plan for me & I know Liam's loss, as horrifying & tragic as it was, is part of His plan.

    Let go of your guilt. Easier said than done. I still struggle with it & all of the "what ifs".

    But...look at us now! Our boys DID play together in Michigan this summer. They had ice cream & played in the old stroller....went to the beach & they BOTH ended up showing off their goodies to the family. TOTALLY related, these two!!

    I love you so much & you will have no idea what a huge part you played in my life after Liam's loss. I will NEVER forget something you said to me a few days afterwards, "Know that he's safe in Heaven in Annie Lane's arms. She is taking care of him now, until you can."

    Greg just walked in & wanted to know why I was bawling! Hahaha! I'll end my book here, but you KNOW this inspired a blog post for tomorrow!!!

    I love you. So much!

  3. Dude. We got Cortney blogging!


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