|Originally Posted on the Sufficient Grace Ministries Blog: 30 May 2018 10:50 PM |
On this last day of Anencephaly Awareness month, we wanted to share the story of sweet Eva. SGM Comfort Doula Kelly Gerken and SGM Remembrance Photographers: Erin Foster (maternity) and Kristi Bodey, along with the teams from Life Connection and Purposeful Gift had the privilege of walking with this family through their time waiting to meet their beautiful baby girl. Eva is so loved. She defied many of the odds, living much longer than expected…a life filled with miracles…even though it was brief. She was able to donate organs for research, as described in her mother’s brave and beautiful words below.
Parents Katie and David were surrounded with the love and support of their family and friends, their support team, and covered in so many prayers…every step of the way. Sufficient Grace Ministries was honored to attend appointments with this family, helping with the planning process. One of my favorite moments with Eva and her family occurred during the last moments of her life. The song Good, Good Father was playing on a playlist. I sang along quietly as Eva took her last breaths. Miraculously, her color…which had been slightly purple due to low oxygen and blood flow…changed minutes after she was taken to heaven. She was restored to a typical rosy newborn color. No one could explain Eva’s miracle. But, her family knew it was just another miracle from their heavenly Father…a reassurance that she is perfect in heaven and that they would meet her again one day.
The beauty, courage, love, and faith Katie and David share are evident in their eyes…in the telling of their story. It was an honor to watch them walk this path with beauty in grace…the sweetest beauty…even in the broken.
Let me tell you about my daughter…by Katie Yankee
Let me tell you about my daughter…If I could tell you something about my daughter Eva I would tell you that she was a fighter. She fought the odds. She proved everyone wrong. She fought to give us almost 6 hours with her. If I could tell you something about my daughter Eva I would tell you that she was strong. Just when we thought she had taken her last breath, she took another.
If I could tell you something about my daughter Eva, I’d tell you she was strong-willed. She was sassy. She knew what she liked and what she didn’t like and she wasn’t afraid to let us know.
If I could tell you something about my daughter Eva, I’d tell you that she was beautiful. She had the most perfect little lips. Even amongst great pain, even amongst the ashes, she brought us beauty.
If I could tell you something about my daughter Eva, I’d tell you that she was a miracle. Her skin lightened just seconds after she had passed into Jesus’ arms, something no doctors could explain.If I could tell you something about my daughter Eva, I’d tell you that she was light in the midst of darkness. She showed us that there can be joy in the midst of great sorrow.
If I could tell you something about my daughter Eva, I’d tell you she was a hero. She donated 6 organs for research, to help improve the lives of others.Many people said that I did something special because I chose to give Eva life even when I knew she would die. But let me tell you something about my daughter… It was Eva who gave me life. It was Eva who taught me to treasure each moment, to protect the ones you love fiercely. She taught me to fight. She taught me to be brave. She taught me to live with no regrets. She showed me that there’s a strength in me… Not because I’ve done anything special, but because He died for me. That strength comes from Jesus.Let me tell you something about my Jesus.. He holds a piece of my heart in His hands and her name is Eva.
Don’t Cry for MeWritten by Kevin Park (Eva’s Grandpa) from the perspective of Eva Kathryn Yankee
Don’t cry for me Mommy, I am happy and blessed.. Jesus called me home and my soul is at rest.
Don’t cry for me Mommy, you and Daddy gave me life. Five hours and forty-two minutes was a miracle, and there is no strife.
Don’t cry for me Mommy, they said I would not breathe. But I breathed and I cried and I held Grandpa’s finger, and because you asked- Our Father let me linger!
Don’t cry for me Mommy, my body is perfect. My cry used to be hoarse, but now I sing with a big voice, of course.
Don’t cry for me Mommy, I am running in a field. My bare feet are squishy in deep heavenly clover, and then I see Jesus and He just called out to me, “Eva Kate, come on over!”
Don’t cry for me Mommy, I am sitting on Jesus’ lap. Everyone is belly laughing because Jesus just began to rap.
Don’t cry for me Mommy, Jesus is telling me a story. When I was in your tummy, He whispered into your ear. He said my name means life and He helped to take away your fears.
Don’t cry for me Daddy, daily ice cream here. Blizzards in heaven have more chocolate and whipped cream. I know yours are good Daddy, but ours are like a dream!
Don’t cry for me Daddy, I know you would like it here. The wine is so sweet and the deer are all running. The does are very fast and the bucks have racks that are stunning.
Don’t cry for me Grandmas and Grandpas, I know you held me tight. You loved me so hard and you helped me fight. Your prayers and your faith helped me see the light.
Don’t cry for me Kelly, you helped my mommy so much! Especially your love and dedication, your faith, your smiles, and your touch.
Don’t cry for me friends and family today, because although my life was not long, our God was glorified and Mommy and Daddy’s faith was so strong.
Don’t cry for me anyone when you think of me today, for I am with my Savior and friend Jesus who said I am a keeper and he asked me to stay. God the Father and the Holy Spirit, too, have given me the chance to laugh and play and do a heavenly dance. There is no reason to cry and no reason to mourn, for I was so blessed since the day I was born. My Mommy and Daddy are forever blessed for their commitment to life and our Savior- passed the test. My life is recorded in history today!
Eva Kathryn is my name and I came to say: My life gave my Mommy and my Daddy and family a chance to profess their faith and think about the eternal dance. Heaven is a place that you could not describe until you knew me and could see where I was going. So don’t cry for me today, because now you know what I am knowing. That our faith and our love of our God helps our minds to see the showing. The angels and the cherubim are dancing and singing and I am dancing and singing too, and my dress is glowing.I love you Mommy and Daddy. You are so awesome and your faith is so strong. But don’t cry for me- for I will see you again soon, I promise you it won’t be very long!