Several hand-decorated rocks rested on one gravestone. Another held a tiny football.
It was cold for April, 50 degrees and windy. Watery sunshine gave light, but no warmth. Airplanes passing overhead repeatedly drowned out Steve's words of comfort.
The large bouquet of pink and white balloons whipped around, knocking over fragile tables holding floral arrangements. The curly ribbon that held the balloons together eventually became so tangled that Steve had to use his pocket knife to separate them when the time came to pass them out and set them free.
A pink rose arrangement with a pink teddy bear covered the tiniest coffin I've ever seen.
Tears streamed down my face from the moment we got out of the car until we were home. I could barely stand to witness the grief of Kennedy's older brothers (16 and 12) and her older sister (9).
They never even knew Kennedy. She died in utero at six and a half months and was delivered stillborn. Yet she was a real family member to them, loved simply because she existed and was theirs. Her mother sobbed as she released the balloons into the heavens and watched them quickly sail away away away, just as Kennedy had done, til they were out of sight.
I couldn't help but think about the news article I saw last week on Planned Parenthood's debate over post-birth abortion. I am astounded that such a conversation could even take place. I am dumbfounded that one tiny life that was over too soon and grieved so hard in one family could, by another set of people, be ruthlessly snuffed out in a doctor's office without a hint of shame or remorse, and then that action be defended in open discussions on television where the families of Kennedy Grace, and those other nine babies, and the countless others who have lost children too soon, can hear them ask "if our first attempt to kill this baby didn't work, can we make it legal to finish him off?"
The deeds done in secret break my heart, but the absence of shame, and the gall to shout in public for the right to those deeds, scares me.
Someone complained on Facebook the other day that someone else had dared to use the term "Pro-Abortion" rather than "Pro-Choice". She was offended because while she's pro-choice, she's not FOR abortion, as if that kind of "choice"--to take a stand and also be neutral--is even possible. That, too, scares me.
Will you join me in praying tonight for all the mothers who didn't choose their babies' deaths. And for the ones who did...and the ones who will.
God have mercy on us all.