Death, Heaven and Ketchup

Posted February 12th, 2009 under Clara and Libby, Gideon and Grace - My babies in Heaven by MicheleP.

One thing that has been different about this anniversary of Gideon and Grace’s birthday is that I’ve felt a strong burden to share more of their story with Libby and Clara. We have shared briefly on a couple of occasions but I don’t think any of it “stuck” with them. In fact, I’m pretty sure if you asked either girl about Gideon or Grace, you would be met with a blank stare.

So last night over a dinner of Puerto Rican* style Chinese takeout, we explained a little more about what the day meant and why it was special. After a fairly detailed discussion about a brother…a sister…sickness…death…Heaven…and dogs (because anytime the subject of death and Heaven come up, so do our dead dogs) the girls sat quietly, simply taking it all in. After a few more seconds, we asked,

“Girls, do you have any other questions?”

To which Clara responds,

“Mom – can I have more ketchup?”

And so it seemed that with that, our deep discussion was complete and the ketchup was passed.
Until later that night.

A little before bedtime, Clara climbed in my lap, wrapped her arms around me, put her head on my chest and said, “Mama, I miss my brother and sister. I wish I could play with them.” I held back the tears as I held her tight. “Me too, sweetie. Me too.”

*Puerto Rican style Chinese – in addition to the usual (non-authentic) Chinese food, you also get papas fritas (french fries) and tostones (fried plantains) with your order. Hence the requirement of ketchup in case you were wondering.



  • 1


    Comment by Melody — February 12, 2009 @ 2:51 pm

  • 2

    I was flipping through blogs and yours popped up. Never had seen it before. Have no idea how I found it – but I did.

    When I was 5 – we moved to Puerto Rico. I would love to email you. So much I want to know – we were there for about 20 years. I wrote down the name of your blog and hope I can find it again…..

    Comment by Becky Kelly — February 12, 2009 @ 3:21 pm

  • 3

    Absolutely precious. You never know what is going on behind those little eyes until suddenly something comes out that takes your breath away. I think you handled it well. Pass the ketchup, but be ready to listen when they decide to talk.

    Comment by Sara Campbell — February 12, 2009 @ 3:34 pm

  • 4


    Comment by Tara — February 12, 2009 @ 3:39 pm

  • 5

    Oh, so sweet!

    Comment by Krystal — February 12, 2009 @ 10:01 pm

  • 6

    Clara is so sweet. I am glad that she can wrap her arms around you and surprise you. I can’t even imagine how hard the anniversary is for you. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Comment by Alicia — February 13, 2009 @ 2:51 am

  • 7

    I love this story…and am thankful you shared it.

    Kids take in more than we realize don’t they?

    Oh, and SO not envious of our PR Chinese. That sounds weird. ;)

    Comment by Meredith — February 13, 2009 @ 9:54 am

  • 8


    I recently had to explain why my girls have never met my daddy. I know that speaking to a 4 yo about can be a difficult proposition.

    Many hugs for you today.

    Comment by julied — February 13, 2009 @ 10:03 am

  • 9

    My heart has been aching for you guys this week. Sounds like you are indeed handling discussion of such a difficult topic with great wisdom. Clara and Libby are very blessed to have you and Scott as parents. We miss you guys and are praying for you!

    Comment by Karen Maples — February 14, 2009 @ 9:54 am

  • 10

    Funny how God lays people on our hearts at certain times. I’ve been thinking and praying for you and your family the past several days and now I know why. It must be tough to pass through this season every year but so comforting to know the girls are able to help bring comfort now. So precious, truly. Much love!

    Comment by Rebekah — February 14, 2009 @ 7:41 pm

  • 11

    You have been in my prayers this week. I’m glad your girls have gotten to know more about their brother and sister, though I’m sad for the sorrow this knowledge brings to all of your hearts. {{{hugs}}}

    Comment by Jenni Saake (InfertilityMom) — February 14, 2009 @ 9:21 pm

  • 12

    Love you, M.

    Comment by Denise — February 15, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

  • 13

    Pickle-O, Scooter – I love you guys so much. I hope you can feel the prayers coming across the ocean…because they are.

    Love you both~

    Comment by Beck-Beck — February 15, 2009 @ 7:46 pm

  • 14

    How sweet of Clara, and I hope that you will have more opportunities to share the memories of their little brother and sister with the girls in the future.

    Comment by Petra — March 11, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

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