Saturday, December 3, 2016
Let me start by telling you all how touched Paul and I are to see so many of your faces today as we take this last step in saying goodbye to our precious son, Merrick Carl Space. It’s been said that he only lived two days, but to me he lived for exactly nine months. Merrick was born two days early and passed away on the date he was due to be born, November 27, 2016. While it is certainly hard to know someone after only two days, one can definitely develop a relationship over nine months.
During the nine months I carried Merrick, I learned many things about him. For instance, one of the things he disliked was mornings when I decided to drink orange juice before I ate any breakfast. He hated when I would gulp down any kind of beverage that was ice cold, especially in the third trimester. He preferred to sleep on his left side; which obviously meant I had to do so as well. My favorite food, pasta, was his least favorite…he’d rather I ate potatoes. We also did not share the same love of dill pickles, which came as quite a surprising mystery. There is one computer at work with a keyboard that must have sounded different to him because any time I worked at that computer he would stomp his feet in disapproval. He was not a big fan of dad’s “stunt” driving. And the tantrums of his two year old older brother combined with the pitiful adjoining howls of a Chihuahua in distress must have hurt his tiny ears as much as ours because let’s just say he let his preferences be understood…completely.
Merrick’s favorite things are also easy to list. He loved big salads with grilled chicken. I must have eaten an entire field of greenery during my pregnancy. Normally if I sat still too long he would wake up and kinda roam around all groggy like, but if I played classical music he would settle right down. I frequently imagined him in there kicked back as if swaying in a hammock with a warm summer breeze blowing across his sweetly smiling face. Warm drinks, although rarely consumed, would typically garner his close attention like snuggling up next to a heating blanket. We both enjoyed the tap kick game where I would tap on my protruding stomach and he would kick back in response. Merrick undoubtedly loved me as his mama, but there were times when the only thing that would still him in the night was the sound of his daddy’s voice and the touch of his strong hands.
For that, and a million other reasons, I’m not surprised that he fought so hard to come back so he could see just exactly who he’d been listening to all that time. His return to us has been described as Merrick’s miracle and I would definitely have to agree. I don’t think anyone in this room has ever heard of a baby fighting his way back from death after over an hour. We believe that he came back to give us those precious two days to wrap our arms around him, hold his tiny hands, to watch him respond to the sound of our voices, stroke his soft hair and look into his beautiful blue eyes in order to provide us with the closure we so desperately needed to move forward.
Even beyond the physical miracle of coming back to life, the ripple of Merrick’s short life has touched and changed us in ways I didn’t know were possible. I have loved my husband since the day I met him. His gentle heart, musical wizardry, persistent sense of humor and his strict insect rehoming policy have won my love and devotion for eternity. Neither of us would have ever dreamt that this would be our fate, to be walking down this dark and shadowy path of loss, heartache and grief. But here we are and this man standing by my side, whom I thought I knew inside and out, has become someone new in my eyes. His devotion to my well being and his careful nurturing has given me the deepest sense of security and serenity that I have ever known.
Together we grieved Merrick’s passing. Together we rejoiced at his miracle. And together we let him go. I know now that Merrick’s life, while brief, was full of purpose. Our marriage is stronger. Our family is stronger. His life will live on forever in our love for each other. We proudly face tomorrow’s grief hand in hand. Thank you Merrick, you will always be with us and we will see you again! We love you sweetheart!