Yesterday evening, my husband and I, and some of our family attended a candle vigil at the local mall. A friend had started an Angel Tree, where the community could hang ornaments to remember loved ones who have passed or to remember someone who is living and needs prayers.
There were a lot of ornaments hung..
And one for another little baby who had passed.
Corbin's hung right above his.
A preacher was there to say some prayers, and share some words..
Some of us shared our stories and memories of loved ones passed. My husband shared our story, as I stood and cried. Then we lit our candles, saying out loud the name of our loved one.
There were more words said, then we all recited the Lord's Prayer, then blew out our candles.
After it was over, a few people came over to me to say their condolences and tell me that they had followed Corbin's story while he was in the hospital. It was heart warming to meet the people in person who had prayed for my boy. I was surprised by how many knew about him.
I approached a pregnant woman, who told me she was due in March with her second boy, and told her about Corbin, heart defects, and why all she needs to do is ask for a pulse ox test when her son is born. I never want to scare a mother, so I was a little nervous, considering why we were there. But she took it very well, and sincerely thanked for me sharing my story and said she would be sure to ask for the test. It was healing to know that at least one more baby will be tested.
I was next approached by a mother who told me her niece had passed away from Williams Syndrome as well! I was blown away to meet someone who had experienced the same as us. She told me her niece wasn't diagnosed with William's till she was about ten months old, that she never learned to walk and had developed slowly. She then passed away at 18 months old from undetected heart defects. I cried knowing that I wasn't alone, knowing that another baby had passed away from heart defects, and from the kindness of a stranger for sharing her story.
The entire experience was healing and very moving. A room full of people hurting and missing their loved one who all came together to share their story and share their love.
The preacher mentioned that by sharing our story, we could be helping that one person who needed to hear it. That one person who may have gone through the same thing. I'm so glad my husband spoke up; I wanted to so badly but just could not get the words out. A father of a young man who had passed came up and thanked us for what we are doing with pulse ox and how we are trying to save lives. It was heart warming to hear those words. To know that other people truly do appreciate what we are doing.
The preacher also mentioned that sometimes people receive a sign from their loved one. He said it's not coincidence and that it is truly a sign from God that your loved one is okay. I shared with him the time I was at Corbin's grave and a tiny white moth came over and touched my leg, then flew away. Then the time I was listening to "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry, and the line "make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother" came on the radio. I send up a quick prayer hoping to see a rainbow as a sign from Corbin. And not a minute later, to my left, was a double rainbow! In times like that, there is no way you can say it was a coincidence. God heard my prayer and sent a rainbow to let me know Corbin was okay. No matter what you believe in, it is always amazing to see those signs.
I also met a mother whose little boy had passed away two years ago. I approached her crying, saying "I'm so sorry", and we shared a hug. She told me that slowly over time, it gets less painful. She also has a two year old. It's good to meet someone who has so much in common, though I wish we didn't share infant loss.
I hope they can do the Angel Tree again next year. I enjoyed sharing our stories and sharing tears with others who had gone through the same thing. Thank you to those who approached us with your kind words, it was nice to hear.