September 1, 1998
It was one of those rare early Fall days. We had survived another hot east Texas summer which was made more difficult by my third pregnancy. As was true with my other pregnancies, I was very ill. Hyperemesis had once again taken over my body, and I was throwing up almost from the time the pink line showed up on the pregnancy test stick.
This was one of those perfect days. The weather had turned cool, the sky was bright, and I had started feeling better. I was excited about this day. Randy and I were going to be able to spend the day together, Kid free. Kegan was 5 and Ari was 2 1/2.
The day started with us getting dressed up, I wore a dress and Randy a coat and tie, to attend a Youth Pastor Luncheon at the Fredonia Hotel in Nacogdoches, Texas. The Oldest town in Texas was about a 45-minute drive from our house, and this allowed Randy and I more time just to chat and reconnect. I don’t remember the food or what the speakers’ points were that day. I don’t know why Randy and I were so moved, but after the meeting was over, we took the time to walk hand-in hard around the beautiful grounds of the Hotel. We eventually sat down together on a low stone and brick wall, where with our heads bowed and hands clasped we committed ourselves once again to God, to each other and to student-ministry. It was a profound spiritual moment. We walked hand in hand to the car. Our love for God and for each other deepened by the experience.
Our next stop was a funeral. Such is the life of a minister. Our Pastor, Dale, had asked us to stop by while in Nacogdoches if we had time. Since we had time before our third appointment of the day…we went. The Funeral was for a man neither Randy nor I had ever met. He had been ill the entire time we had been at First Baptist Huntington. However, we knew several family members, and he had grandkids that were in our youth ministry. During the service, we quickly realized how beloved this man was. Person after person stood up to tell about the impact this man had made in their lives. How he had shared food, shelter, clothing and most importantly Jesus with them. His was indeed a life of servanthood and devotion. A life well lived for his Savior. These were the very things that Randy and I had re-committed ourselves to, sitting on that stone wall a few hours before. For the second time that day as we clasped hands and looked and each other with tears in our eyes we knew that we were following the path that God desired of us. As we walked to the car, Randy said, “That’s how I want people to talk about me at my funeral.” (They, did, baby, they did…and more.)
In typical form, we were running late for our third appointment. I called to let them know, and they said that they would wait for us. So we hurried back to Lufkin, Texas for a routine 20-week pregnancy visit. We already knew we were having a boy and Randy had already chosen the name Kieron, which somehow had something to do with comics. ( A favorite writer, I believe, something to do with Robin). Just as we had with our other children, we prayed for him each night, and Randy fell asleep with his hand on my belly waiting for Kieron to kick. This was a routine visit. Pee in a cup. No need for a gown. Hose off, dress up and a sheet for modesty so we could hear Kieron’s heartbeat. We would even make pick up for the other kids up from Parent’s Day Out. The end to a perfect day. Right?
As an OB nurse, I knew right away that something was wrong. Very, wrong. The nurse could not find Kieron’s heart tones. I offered, and I turned to my side as she tried to keep a cheerful, nonchalant demeanor and continued to search for a heartbeat.
My daughter Ari loved music. She always was humming or singing. Curiously, when she was in trouble or anxious, she would sing louder. During this time in her young life her favorite song was “God, You’re So Good.”
There we were, in the doctor’s office. The nurse at my bedside with a doppler in her hand; my pregnant belly smeared with ultrasound gel and the love of my life squeezing my hand even tighter as his face becomes desperate to hear just one little sound. It is a moment etched in time. This could not be happening. This was a day of promise, of worship and spiritual renewal, of recommitment and of love. As I was having these thoughts, I felt evil and heard a voice with hatred and malice say. “So what are you going to do about this now, how can you possibly feel the same way?” His question demanded a response. As tears filled my eyes and my husband’s broken heart showed on his face, I could plainly hear Ari signing, “God is so good…God is so good…God is so good…to me.” In my head, I started singing with her. And the darkness fled.
The next few days were filled with sorrow and fear. The ultrasound showed that not only had Kieron had died, but that there was a distinct possibility of a placenta abruption which also put my life in danger. Preparation for surgery began, Randy never left my side. Sharon came to help. While I was on strict bed rest, we watched two of the worse movies ever made, The Postman and Titanic. Surgery was Friday. We never found a reason for Kieron’s death. He weighed under 500 gms, and I have always regretted not being able to bury him. But, I have never forgotten him.
Each year, Randy made a point of doing something special to let me know that he knew I was sad and he was too. We would make a point to talk about Kieron and say his name. We would remind each other of the commitments of that day and the love we shared even in sorrow. We would always hold each other and share God’s comfort and speak of the reality of meeting Kieron one day in heaven.
That was 20 years ago today.
Kieron, I remember you.
I love you.
I said your name.
I thanked God for you.
Hug your dad and Ari for me.
I am still singing…
“God is so good. God is so good. God is so good. He’s so good to me.”