Mar 28, 2014

Three Letters

I continue to share these memories, because I want you to see how every day the Lord has made us stronger in Him. Some days it's five steps forward and some days it feels like fifteen steps back. But the Lord has never left us, never forsaken us. Oh how the Word is so full of truth, we are blessed to see His truths lived out daily. These are the memories.

March 4, 2014

Today we had a snow day. It's something so wonderful and crazy to be happening in March in Texas. The schools were closed and I got to stay home in my cozy house.

Kyle came back from the mailbox with letters in his hand. I guess the mail people really do deliver in rain, sleet, or snow like they've always said.

Those three letters meant a lot to me.

Our mail box has been filled with letters since last fall. First the letters congratulated us on our baby to come. And then in December the letters said how sorry they were for our loss. The letters came from so many. I got mail from so many states from so many friends and family and friends of family and family of friends. I was so very encouraged by how many people were praying for us, by how many people sent us scripture and truth, by how many people shared with us that they had been in our shoes before.

We had letters come in filled with love. We had letters filled with scripture and truth. We had letters filled with checks too. I say this because those checks and that support meant more to me that I ever would have imagined. When you're planning for your firstborn you don't think about saving up for things like funeral expenses. We even had a letter come in unnamed with quite a bit of money in it; we have no idea who it is from so we can't even write a thank you letter, but we truly are grateful. Thank you.

Some days our mailbox was filled with packages. I had a friend from long ago send me a necklace she made for me, for Hannah. It had Hannah's name on it. I opened it and I cried. Even though we didn't have our baby, this necklace was proof she was real. It's was something I could hold in my hand to remember that she really happened. Thank you.

One day Kyle delivered the mail and there was a package from the wonderful people I worked with at my very first job as a dietitian. Many of them are still like family to me. One I recently found out even came to Hannah's funeral. I did not see her, but I found her name on the list and now I know she was there. But inside the package was a letter from those wonderful people. And inside was a beautiful silver heart necklace. I looked closer and saw that the heart had Hannah's initials on it. And then I turned the heart over and saw that the other side was engraved with my initials. It became a tangible reminder to me that not only was our baby girl real, but she was mine, our hearts would be forever connected. You should see how beautiful this heart is with her name on it. Thank you.

We received more letters. My cousin who lives so far away sent me multiple letters. I haven't even written her back yet because I'm not sure what to say. They always told me growing up that I was like her. It was always a compliment to me, but now we're both 'grown up' and seeing her words in those letters it makes me even more proud of that compliment. Thank you.

We received more gifts too. The ones that seemed to mean the most to me were the ones with Hannah's name. We got a blanket with her name and birthday and weight on it and I love that blanket. It's really soft too. We got a couple of Christmas ornaments with her name on them and I love that we can decorate the tree with Hannah's ornaments every year. She will always be our Christmas baby. But I would say I'm glad we only got a few things with her name on it and that I'm glad they are mostly things we can wear and use at special times of the year. If we had gotten lots and lots of things I'm sure I would have held onto them too tightly. Pilling them up. Because I just simply can't get rid of the few things that were Hannah's. Thank you.

But today I got three letters.

The first was a letter from the Louisiana Baptist Children's Home. I don't know much about the home, but I know growing up our church was always supporting the children's home. Someone had donated to them in Hannah's name. Our Hannah was helping other children. Thank you.

The second letter was from the McNeese State University Baptist Collegiate Ministry. No, I did not go to McNeese, but many of my family members did. And my uncle is the director of the BCM there. He works so hard to love college students well and to challenge them to be more like Christ daily. He challenged me a few times and it changed my life. It made me smile as I thought about our Hannah 'encouraging' people to help that ministry. Thank you.

The third letter was one of a few we have received from Sky Ranch. Sky Ranch is part of our daily ministry. We leave in the summers to serve at their family camp in Colorado; you should see how that camp impacts families for the Lord. And Kyle turned to me just a few days after Hannah was born and told me of an idea he had. He had seen before how people sometimes say 'in lieu of flowers' and recommend a foundation or ministry that can be donated to in memory of one who had died. Kyle thought about the families we serve. And he thought about how a family, especially one where siblings remained, would be rocked by losing a child. So he setup a fund in memory of our girl, the Hannah Grace Hess Scholarship Fund to scholarship a family, to pay their way to family camp in Colorado. We could not imagine a more special time for a family. To have fun, to laugh, to be loved on, and to be reminded of a Lord who loves them and who had created their family for a purpose.

And so I read that letter. I read all the names of the people who donated in Hannah's name. I have no idea how much has been raised. I have no idea who this family will be. But I pray this is somehow a blessing to them. I pray that this family would feel as loved as I felt when I read all those names. Thank you. All those people who loved us, who loved our Hannah, who helped give our Hannah an impact on this world that she never lived in.

Thank you.

Romans 8:28 God works all things together for good...

For those who have asked, if you would like to make a donation to the Hannah Grace Hess Scholarship Fund, you can contact Sky Ranch at 469-484-4840 or by visiting and clicking on donate.

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