"My greatest consolation is knowing that one day I will be with you again."
Many pregnant women receive the shocking and tragic news that their developing baby is malformed or suffering from a serious health issue. What to do? Is an abortion the solution? Is it an “injustice” to carry on the pregnancy, as many medical professionals claim?
When Alfonso and Susi, a Spanish couple, were told that their little Ismael had a serious heart disease and would not live, the news was obviously a tremendous blow. But they accepted this great challenge as God’s will and chose to continue the pregnancy, despite the strong pressure from others to abort their precious baby. Ismael was born on December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was baptized, and two days later died peacefully in his mother’s arms, close to her loving heart.
She wrote about her experience in this letter to Ismael:
My great little Angel, Ismael,
Your passage through our lives has been like a gentle breeze. I have been so fortunate to be able to carry you in my womb for seven months, to suffer with you and for you, to pray to God that I might not have to say goodbye to you. I have loved you from the beginning, not concerned about what you might be like, but accompanying you despite knowing how much the loss of you would hurt me.
You were born on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and you went home with the Virgin of Loreto. Now that I do not feel you inside me anymore, and I can no longer hold you in my arms, nor kiss you again … the pain and emptiness of my heart is immense. But I would willingly live through this all over again to know you, to love you, to hope against all hope, and cradle you in my arms and bathe your little face with my tears.
You have been a blessing to us and you have given us such a deep lesson of love and of the value of simplicity, of humility, of what it means to fight for the gift of life, and of the value of remarkable dedication. When I took you in my arms, you opened your little eyes to look at me, and you showed me that all we went through was worth it! Dayenu! (Hebrew for It would have been enough). The pain I feel now is intense, but the love I have for you is greater still. I feel like the luckiest mother in the world for having a son like you.
How great and how small you have been all at the same time! You will always be in our hearts. My greatest consolation is knowing that one day I will be with you again, and that time it will be forever. I love you, my dear son, soul of my soul. How much fruit your short life has given, my love! I give thanks to God for choosing me to carry you, this Angel, in my womb. Pray for us, son, so that no one will ever be able to remove from my heart the seal you left on it.
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