I was 7,091 miles away from home on the day that you weren’t supposed to be born. The Friday before we departed for China, your Mom had received a good report from the doctors. We were encouraged and confident that all would be well, and that you would stay put until the target date for safe delivery had been reached. Our hearts were quiet and we were very much looking forward to welcoming you into our ever growing tribe of grandkids.
Then, after a day of touring, I received the communication from your Dad as to what was happening back home. My world was shaken, and I felt as though my once quiet heart would explode with grief. The announcement of your soon birth was followed by the sad words of reality that you would not be with us long. I fell apart. I was so far away from your Mom, your Dad, from you. The 7,091 miles suddenly became a million. Your Mimi, your Aunt D, and your Papa huddled in our room and wept… no, we sobbed. I fought to get home. I fought what was happening. I fought the acceptance that it even could happen. I fought the hopelessness of being pulled by a surge of events that were taking us some place that we did not want to go. I understand Jeremiah’s lament when he spoke of rivers of tears pouring from his eyes. Were it not for God’s presence and sustaining grace, I’m not sure my own heart could have endured the pain, and I am certain your parents would have collapsed in utter despair.
Your parents are two of the best people that have ever lived on this earth, and your siblings are some of the great crowns of mine and your Mimi’s life. Though your time on this earth was brief – you received more love from your parents than many kids do in a lifetime. There are times when the grandkids are playing and laughing with all the cousins, that I so wish I could see you and Josiah in the middle of it all. Maybe the Lord lets y’all look down on us and enjoy watching the fun that family brings. That thought makes my heart smile.
I love you, McKinley Anne, and think of you often. I visit that sacred little spot where your body was laid to rest, and I wonder if your hair is brown like Reagans, or blond like Madison’s. I know that I will find out some beautiful day. I expect to see you and Josiah and all the others the moment I cross that way, and I will have the unspeakable joy of hearing you say “Welcome Home, Papa!”
Until then, my precious granddaughter,