This is my family--Carpenter's family. I cannot say enough wonderful things about them.
My parents flew home from New Mexico the minute they heard about Carpenter, and brought him a beautiful rosary that sits on my desk now. There's a tree planted in their yard, and my father comments on how he thinks of Carpenter whenever he pulls in their driveway. They are always there for us.
My brother and sister-in-law dropped everything to rush to the hospital the minute we heard the bad news. My brother barely left my side the whole time I was there. He helped us say goodbye one last time. My sister-in-law seemed to run the world, making sure I had everything--and everyone--I needed. She is my best friend.
My niece, the oldest of the cousins, she never--ever--lets me forget about Carpenter for even a day. I'll never forget how many times she wanted to look at him in his bassinet in the hospital. She sat on my lap through his baptism and let me cry. I'm sobbing now just thinking about it.
My nephew provided excellent comic relief, and insisted everyone stare out the window at the first snowfall my children had ever seen. Carpenter was born on Liv's first snowfall. She hasn't seen another one since, I think.
And my little niece, born two weeks after Carpenter--born on his funeral day--well, she and I are working on it. She's patiently waiting on me, and I'm growing stronger every day. But while it was so hard for me to be near her for so long, she gave us something we desperately needed this Spring: something to hope for. She was born 11 weeks early, and watching her fight her way through the NICU gave us a light in the distance. We followed that light slowly out of the horrifying darkness.
There are so many others that were there every step of the way, and I hope that I have told them how much they mean to me. If not, I promise, I will. But today, a date is looming in my mind. Next Sunday would have been Carpenter's baptism into the Church. Just like Liv and my nephew were baptized together, Carpenter would have been baptized with his newest cousin.
Always supportive and a true, true friend, my sister-in-law wants to make Carpenter a part of the ceremony nevertheless. One of the ways she suggested was to add a note on the invitations. I expected a short comment. I'll leave you now with what she wrote: