But what happens when one of those motherly worries comes to pass? How does a mom cope when her precious little one breathes sweet baby breath against her cheek in one moment, and is then taken from her unexpectedly in the next. I can only imagine that this mom, trying to make sense of the little life she once held, can hardly breathe herself. She struggles just to find strength to make it through the day, let alone the many days to follow.
I recently accepted a commission to capture in pastel, the face of a little life; loved and lost. I have the honour of sharing her story with you.
Coping with epilepsy on and off for years, Natasha was told after extensive testing that she was in fact, epilepsy free. A huge burden lifted for a young woman and her husband wanting to start a family.
Natasha loved pregnancy. Pregnancy loved her. She felt great, with no morning sickness, no moodiness, no pain. Being pregnant was a beautiful experience for her. A treasured blessing.
Ian and Natasha welcomed Elody Audrina into the world with delight. The perfect delivery, following the perfect pregnancy, of a very beautiful baby girl.
And so began Natasha's title as mom.
New mom's anticipate sleepless nights, breastfeeding, and fluctuating hormones. It's just part of the privilege of being a mom. But for Natasha, the hormonal fluctuation was hard on her body, and the epilepsy she was so thankful to be without for months, had returned.
During the treasured moment of bathing with her little Elody, Natasha had another epileptic seizure. Both were found after they had slipped under the water. Two ambulances arrived, and both mom and babe were rushed to separate hospitals. Breathless, Elody's heartbeat was returned with help, but her fragile body was without brain function.
Two days of restless waiting crawled by before mom and baby were able to reunite. Even in understanding the condition Elody was in, it was painfully hard for Natasha and her husband Ian to let Elody go. The decision was made to donate Elody's heart valves and kidney to 2 separate people in need. The gift of life to two bodies with barely enough strength to hold on, while this broken family was unearthing the strength to let go.
The world we live in is not perfect. It is littered with hurt, sorrow, separation and loss. We worry because we know that life is delicate; the ease of breath we now breathe, could just as simply be our last.
In sharing this painting and the gripping events that led to it's commission, and creation, there is an intent to honour the precious life of Elody Audrina. Mother Teresa once said "we can do no great things, only small things with great love". My hope is in writing about this family, you will be encouraged to show great love to those close to your heart, and the people around you. Life is fleeting and fragile, and so needing of love.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13 vs 7