Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

Good Bye, My Little One: The Story of A Miscarriage

I have had a number of friends and acquaintances suffer miscarriages lately so I thought I’d post my pregnancy journal from our first miscarriage. Perhaps reading it will help another mom know that she is not alone in her pain and that there is hope in the end.

January 22, 2005

My dear little one, Today is a blessed day for we first learned of your existence. This morning I suspected a small possibility that I could be pregnant. I had “suspected” it numerous times over the last year and every time I was wrong. I really did not think today would be any different. I took the pregnancy test then laid it down. I said a Hail Mary asking Our Lady to help me accept God’s will. Then I casually glanced at the test truly believing it was just another negative answer. I did a double-take when I saw two lines showing that it was positive. I was shocked. I could not believe it. It couldn’t be true! But suddenly everything started to make sense – I had gained a few pounds and I was feeling really run down and nauseated lately. All of this because you have started to grow in me. YOU – new life from God. Such a blessing after so much waiting!

Well, the next this to do was to tell your Daddy. I quickly showered then went into the family room to say good morning. (Thankfully it is Saturday so your Daddy is home.) After kissing him good morning I sat down to talk. I told him that I finally figured out why I gained a few pounds. He asked why and I pointed to my stomach saying, “There’s a bambino growing in here!” “What!?” he exclaimed, “Are you sure? How do you know? Are you okay?” I assured him that it was true and that I was fine. He stood there a minute as the news seemed to finally sink in – we were having a baby. A huge grin swept over his face and he hugged me and held me close. I cried in his arms with tears of joy. I did not deserve to be so blessed by God.

We have been waiting many, many months for you to come, my little one. It has been our constant prayer. Even your sister Bella has been praying every morning that God would send us a little baby. And now He has. Blessed be God! I love you, my little one.

January 26, 2005

My dear little one, I still cannot believe that God has blessed us with your presence. I took another pregnancy test this morning to make sure it was really true! And it is. My body is really starting to feel pregnant as well. I am feeling more queasy and I get a lot more tired, particularly by the end of the day.

On Monday I called the doctor and made an appointment for February 15. I can’t wait until I get my first look at you and the doctor tells me you’re okay. After the appointment we’ll share the news with your Oma and Opa and your Grandma and Grandpa. Everyone is going to be so excited! I love you, my little one.

January 28, 2005

My dear little one, Today I am up in the mountains at my yearly silent retreat. It is a beautiful time for me to be alone with Christ and deepen my love for Him. Although good, it is difficult being away from your Daddy and your sister Bella. I miss them very much. However, it has brought me comfort to know that I am not here alone – you are present with me here at this retreat. You are nestled safe inside me growing and getting stronger each day.

We have been waiting so long for you, my little one. I am so thankful to God for the miracle of your presence. You have brought us such joy, my little one. I love you very much. May God watch over you and keep you safe.

January 30, 2005

My dear little one, My retreat ended today. There was a special closing Mass and I promised God to do my best to try and be a holy wife and mother. It has been a time of great grace for me. However, graces and blessings from God also mean a greater responsibility on my part to live out my vocation as a Christian. God has blessed me with so much, my little one, I pray I can serve Him with a humble and loving heart in return.

The whole time at Mass I kept thinking that you were there to share this moment with me. You would be bonded to me in a special way since this moment meant a lot to me. When I received Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist I knew you were receiving Him too. What a beautiful thought. May you always love and serve God with all your heart, my little one. Stay close to Him always. I love you.

February 1, 2005

My dear little one, Today I shared the wonderful news with your aunt. We are going to visit your Grandma and Grandpa in a few weeks and we want to surprise them with the news of your arrival. They have been long praying for you, my little one, and they will be so excited. It is so hard to keep your presence to myself. I want to share the happy news with everyone but I think it best to wait just a bit longer. I love you, my little one.

February 2, 2005

My dear little one, Today is the feast of the Presentation. This evening we all went to Mass and there was a special ceremony with prayers and lit candles to celebrate the day. I was so happy to be there together – the four of us. I cannot wait until the day when I can hold you in my arms and kiss your little cheeks. I love you, my little one.

February 4, 2005

My dear little one, Today is the First Friday and as usual we met with a number of other moms and their kids to attend Mass and play in the park afterwards. Mrs. P was there with her little baby boy, our godson. Bella loves the little baby and always asks if she can hold him and kiss his little head. She is eager to be a big sister, my little one. Afterwards in the car I told her that we’d have a little baby of our own in a few months. She asked, “Can I keep the baby? Can I hold him?” I told her yes and she chatted away about having a little baby. We all love you, my little one.

February 7, 2005

My dear little one, Today I had to call the doctor because there has been some slight spotting. I am very nervous because it is always in the back of my mind, “What if…” The doctor told me not to worry that it may be nothing. I did spot some when I was pregnant with Bella but this just seems different. But I’ll put my trust in God and hope for the best. Blessed Mother, please give me strength to accept God’s will and take care of our little baby. I love you, my little one.

February 8, 2005
My dear little one, Today has been such a difficult day. I cannot stop crying at the thought that I may be losing you. I am only seven weeks pregnant and I have only known you a few of those weeks but my heart is already so attached to you, my little one. I took Bella to Opa’s house because I was not feeling well at all. Late this afternoon I kept crying and I had to finally stop and kneel before God. I opened up my Bible and read from a page at random. It was Isaiah 49: 13 – 15.

Sing for joy, O heavens, and exalt O earth;
Break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his afflicted.
But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a woman forget her suckling child, that she should have no compassion on the son in her womb?”
Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.

From the window the sun was close to setting and the rays were shining on my tears. My heart was filled with peace and I was finally able to stop crying. I know that you will be okay, my little one. I know that God will get both of us through this. Even if God is to call you back to Himself, I know he will give me the strength to handle it. My heart breaks at the thought but I pray above all else that God’s love will see us though. I love you, my little one. And I love you, my Lord. Thank you for your mercy.

February 9, 2005

Today is the first day of Lent and what I am offering up to God right now is my aching heart. This “not knowing” is killing me. A few hours will pass when everything looks okay and I am hopeful that you are alright. Then things will look bleak once again. Unless there is a major change I will just have to wait it out until our first prenatal appointment on Tuesday but that is six days away!

My little one, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is coming up on Friday. It has always been a special day to me because many years ago Our Lady helped me to turn my life around on that day. She has been very instrumental in my conversion. I have pleaded with Our Lady that she give us an answer by her feast day. If you are to stay with us then may all this spotting cease and everything be okay. If God is calling you home, then may she take you personally to Him and give us the grace to endure it. I am confident that Our Lady will answer us, my little one. She has always been so good to us. May her mantle be around us all. I love you.

February 10, 2005

My dear little one, Lent has just begun yet it will be one that I will never forget for Christ has asked us to not only carry the cross but to nail ourselves to it with Him. I feel at one with Our Blessed Mother who had to watch her Son slowly die before her eyes.

This morning when I woke up and there was no doubt in my mind that we were losing you. The spotting has now become bleeding. I see no hope, my little one. Your Daddy stayed home with me today and I am so thankful for I couldn’t get through this without him. Although he is taking this hard for he loves you so much, he has been a great strength to me. Together we had been praying that you would be spared but through it all your Daddy has been reminding me that we must trust in God. I called the doctor, my little one, and he will see me this afternoon. Then we will know for sure.

I have been thinking about something, my little one and while it is best to tell your Oma and Opi after the fact, I will have to tell your Grandma and Grandpa about this right away. Being my own mama, Grandma will want to pray for me and share this heartache with me. She will be heartbroken, my little one. I pray God gives her strength. There are also a number of close friends who are praying for us. It is only a matter of time, my love.

LATER…

My dear little one, We went to the doctors this afternoon and he confirmed our fears. I didn’t cry when he told us because I knew it was happening but the look on your Daddy’s face (he was in there with me) is one I’ll never forget. I think he was holding out for a miracle but it was not to be this time.

Later when we arrived home, my love, your little body left mine. I am just numb. I don’t think I have any tears left to cry at this point – at least not until my body replenishes them. My emotions are so mixed. I am thankful to Our Lady for answering my prayer. I know she is now holding you in her arms and caring for you. You could not ask for anything better.

But pray for me, my little one. I ache for you. I feel so empty without you here with us. Right now I just want to be alone with your Daddy and Bella. I can’t answer the phone or call anyone or I will lose it. Give me strength, my dear Lord. I do thank God for all the countless people praying for us. I can feel God’s grace holding us up. Blessed be God in his mercy, even in times of sorrow.

LATER

My dear little one, I had to call your Grandma before the night was over. I needed to hear her voice and I knew she wanted to hear mine. Grandma knows just what I am feeling now because she lost three of her own babies before they were born. It was a comfort to talk to her and I was able to do so without breaking down. God’s grace is strong, my little one. Grandma and your Aunt B offered to drive up here to be with us and help out however they can. I truly appreciated the offer but I think right now it is best for me, Daddy and Bella to spend this time alone to comfort one another.

However, we will carry on with our plan to visit Grandma & Grandpa and the family in a week. In the meantime our spirits will be united in prayer as we turn to Our Lord and Lady. Thank you, my heavenly Father.

February 11, 2005 – Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

My dear little one, I guess there is really no need to write in my journal to you anymore but it is helpful to me to express myself, even if this will never be given to you. But from where you are, you will understand what I am saying anyway.
Your Daddy talked to Oma and Opa and told them what happened. They were very sad, my little one. I will talk to them in a day or two. Right now I cannot talk to anyone. We have been receiving a number of phone calls and messages and people are wondering if we’re okay because they haven’t heard from us. I finally wrote up a letter to email to everyone explaining what happened. Here is what it said:

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, we have been praying for a long time that God would bless us with another child. Our prayers were finally answered and a new life was granted to our family. For a number of weeks we overjoyed with the prospect of a new baby.

However, this past week we suspected that God may be calling our baby to Himself. Yesterday, it was finalized. Our baby left my body and is now with God in heaven. It has been an unbelievably difficult time, particularly since Tuesday was to be our first prenatal appointment and followed by our plans to surprise the perspective grandparents with the news.

Although our hearts are heavy with grief, I must say that this burden has been incredibly lighter through your prayers and the grace of God. I would often read of saints or holy people speak of suffering as a great blessing but I could not understand how such a thing could be possible. I am far from holy but I think I have gotten a tiny taste of what that means.

The other night I could not sleep and I lay in bed thinking and praying. I pondered over my life and how many graces and blessing God has poured out on me. I thought of trials I have endured in the past and during those times I often thought of Jesus in the Garden asking, “Lord, if it be your will let this cup pass over me.” I, too, prayed that I would be spared. More often than not, I was spared. I felt like Abraham ready of sacrifice his Isaac but at the last minute it was always revealed that the mere offering was enough. I need not actually make the sacrifice. Yesterday, however, God asked for sacrifice of our child to become a reality.

Perhaps I should be angry with God, at least temporarily, but I am not. God has been so good to me. I have been granted tremendous mercy and numerous graces in my life. And now God has finally given me the chance to truly make an offering of love to Him. Placing our child back into God’s hands is my way of being able to show God that I appreciate all his blessings and I trust in his goodness in both the good and sorrowful times.

But before you even think of making any comments on my “strength” know that it is not me. Left to my own devices I’d be a wailing drama queen. (As those who know me well could attest.) I know firmly within my heart that it is the grace of God, particularly those received through your prayers. And I must say that Brian has been a pillar of strength and trust in God, even through his own grief and pain. Even little Bella, not quite understanding what’s going on, will place her little arms around my neck, kissing me telling me, “It’s okay, Mama.” God is present and comforting me everywhere I turn.

I also can’t help but remember that in the end, our children are not our own. They are given to us with the responsibility that we raise them as holy children as best we can so that one day they may be united with God in heaven. Now we know that we have at least one little saint in heaven who is praying and waiting for us to join him in heaven. That is a great blessing. There will always be an emptiness in our hearts that misses our little baby and we still have a great deal of sorrow but at the same time there is also a great deal of peace. Our Lady, on this beautiful feast day, has wrapped her mantle around us and has given us great comfort and strength.

We thank you once again for your prayers, concern and offerings of help (from bringing food to babysitting Bella.) It has touched us that so many people have us in their hearts. Please forgive us for not answering our phone right now or calling you back yet. We think it best that the three of us spend the next couple of days comforting one another and celebrating the blessing we have in each other. Emotions are still a little raw to talk on the phone. We will however, be available through email. (I have learned to weep and type quite well now.) We’ll meet soon and share those hugs I know you are waiting to give. Our love and prayers go out to you as well. Thank you again.

With love and trust in Our Lord and Lady,

Bobbi & Brian (& Bella)

“We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

My little one, afterwards we received many beautiful messages of condolences and one family actually sent us flowers for you. It may seem odd to the secular world that we are mourning you or that others are acknowledging that mourning. They may argue that you were only a few weeks old or that it would be different had you actually been born then died, but that is besides the point. You were a miracle of life at the moment of your conception. You will always be a part of our family and we look forward to the day when we can see you in person and hold you in our arms. Good bye, my little one, I love you.

POSTSCRIPT:

Spring 2005

The weeks following were difficult, especially on the day I was to have my first prenatal. On the outside I seemed okay but on the inside I was mad at everyone. Thankfully, those feelings never lasted long and were never aimed at God. My heart still aches at times and I couldn’t stop the tears as I was typing what was in my journal but God has been good to us. The days of and following the miscarriage were cold and rainy outside. It seemed appropriate weather but rain has always been symbolic to me of God’s grace. And it was surely pouring down on us during this entire time.

I cherish those few weeks that I spent with our little son. From the moment I learned I was pregnant I felt strongly that it was a little boy (Brian did too.) I had already been calling him a junior – “Baby Brian” – in my mind. Brian, however, liked the name “Victor” which is his middle name (and a name with a history in his family.) So we compromised and named our little angel Victor Brian.

I still miss my little one but I am at peace and thankful for the grace God gave me to endure it. There is always a reason for why things happen and only God knows the full picture. I trust Him completely that this sorrowful event has a meaning and purpose in God’s divine providence. And even though a few tears may escape me now and then, I am happy to know my little one is in the hands of Our Lady, praying for the day when he is joined by his daddy, mama, sister Bella and any other siblings that may follow. Blessed be God now and forever.

January 2012

It’s been nearly seven years since I went through this and as I reread this now, all the pain and grief has swept over me as if it were fresh and I’m just sobbing. I thought I was long past feeling that deep hurt but I guess the pain never completely goes away. We did suffer a second miscarriage the following year – a baby we named Joseph. Our two babies are in heaven now and we ask them to pray for their mom, dad and four other siblings so that one day we all can join them in our eternal home.


A Mama’s Journal to Her Baby & Bella’s Birth Story

When Brian and I were married we tried to start a family right away but we were having trouble. After a year of praying, trying and a pilgrimage to Rome, we finally conceived. When I was pregnant with Bella, I started a journal addressed to her that I will one day give to her when she is older. It is a tradition I kept up with all the kids. (Above are the four journals I’ve used.) Below are entries from Bella’s journal, which includes her birth story. (If you only want to read the birth story, scroll down to September 29th.)

February 14, 2001

It is Valentine’s morning and I still can’t believe it. I suspected that our dream was finally coming true so I took a pregnancy test. I followed the procedure then closed my eyes while I waited for the results. I prayed three Hail Marys that I would accept God’s will graciously. After the last prayer I slowly opened my eyes and looked at the test… there it was! How many times have I seen that awful negative result but this time it was positive. There is a little one growing inside me!

Your Daddy was in the kitchen so I went in there and asked him to close his eyes and hold out his hands to receive a Valentine’s gift I wanted to give him. He did so and I then placed his hands on my stomach and told him to open his eyes. With a puzzled look he said, “What?” I said, “Guess!” His eyes grew wide and with astonishment he exclaimed, “You’re pregnant?! Are you sure?” I convinced him that it was true and we just hugged each other and cried. There are no words to describe our joy and gratitude to God for answering our prayers. I’m still in shock…but I will never forget the moment I learned of the existence of my little one. Blessed be God!

February 15, 2001

My dear little one, I am still walking around in a daze. I cannot believe that you are in me! Yesterday I went to the store to buy a few small baby things as a gift for your grandparents. It will be part of how I tell them the news. I also bought a little heart frame to place your first little picture in since you were conceived in love and discovered on a day celebrating love. How I thank God for your existence! It seems almost too good to be true but it IS true. I have been feeling very tired but that is normal since my body is working extra hard to help you grow. I pray God keeps you safe, my little one.

February 17, 2001

My dear little one, we are on our trip to So CA so your daddy and I took the opportunity to tell your Grandma and Grandpa C. and all your new aunts and uncles the wonderful news since it will be awhile until we visit them again. In the afternoon when everyone was here we gave G & G two gifts to open. Your grandpa opened the first box, which contained some treats for the kids. Your grandma was to open the second one (which contained a tiny toy baby doll crib, a stuffed animal puppy, rattle, baby blanket and some board books. There was a little card inside that read ” Grandma’s and Grandpa’s box of toys for their first grandchild”.)

Grandma opened the box and lifted off the lid. She looked inside and then had a look of shock on her face. She closed her eyes and laid her head on the box. Then she began to cry and hugged me. Your aunts and uncles didn’t get it until they too looked in the box and saw G & G crying and hugging me and your daddy. Soon everyone was laughing and cheering. They are all so happy, my little one. They, too, have been waiting for you. They love you and are praying for you. Thank you, my dear Lord and Lady!

February 18, 2001

My dear little one, today dad and I went to Sunday Mass with the family. It was beautiful to kneel there before God knowing that the blessing of new life is in me. I prayed for you and for your health and safety. I worry, my little one, that perhaps God will call you to Him before you are born. I will always love you whether you live 8 weeks in me or 88 years outside of me… but I pray God will allow us to raise you and enjoy your presence for years to come. My heart is always with you, my little one, no matter what happens. Your daddy knows just the right words to comfort me and encourage me to trust God and his goodness.

February 20, 2001

My dear little one, today I called the doctor’s office and made an appointment for March 5 at 6pm. It seems like a long way off but that is his usual amount of time to wait. I am a little nervous. All this is so new to me! There are times when I still cannot believe it.

I have been reading my baby books and keeping track of your growth and development. It is amazing just how small you begin at, little one. You are just about the size of period at the end of this sentence. Then slowly you grow larger and larger. It is a wonderful miracle how God is forming you. Be always united with your Creator, my little one. You shall be a joy and comfort to Him! Amen!

February 25, 2001

My dear little one, today we went out to dinner with your Grandma and Grandpa S. We have not yet told them about you. Your Grandma will be very worried until I see the doctor so we will wait until after my appointment, then we will tell them the joyful news! It is hard to keep quiet since I want to shout it from the housetops but I must be patient and wait for God’s time.

I have been very tired and a little ill. I haven’t had morning sickness other than a little queasiness. I hope that’s okay! Your daddy has been taking such good care of me. He has so much love for us, my little one. Wait until you see what a good and holy man he is!

February 28, 2001

My dear little one, today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. I will work hard at overcoming my faults and building virtue so that I may truly be a woman of God. In doing such, I will be a better wife to your father and a better mother to you. God has granted me the blessing of motherhood but with it comes great responsibility and sacrifice. God has slowly been preparing my heart for this moment and now that the time has come I accept this task of love.

Yesterday you turned five weeks old, my little one. Stay strong and healthy. May God protect you always.

March 4, 2001

My dear little one, each day that passes unites my heart even closer to you. I have been having much fear and anxiety about having a miscarriage. I want you so badly, my little one, and I fear this is just too good to be true. At Mass this morning, though, the reading and psalms and songs were about not fearing, turning to God, and trusting that He will watch over us. I must believe that. I must trust in God’s Providence, whatever the outcome may be. I pray that Our Lady gives me strength. I will be strong and not worry so much, my little one. I do not want you to sense any of my fears as you are growing in me. How I love you, my little one.

March 5, 2001

My dear little one, today was our first prenatal appointment. I was so nervous and scared! Your Daddy got permission to leave work early so he could be with me. He was such a comfort to me! When I first arrived the nurse took my blood pressure and she said I must be nervous because it was high. She said she’d take it again afterwards. The doctor talked to daddy and me and then he examined me. We saw the sonogram for the very first time and there you were so tiny (only 1/2 inch tall) on the screen. The machine said I was only five weeks pregnant but I knew I was just entering my eighth week. The doctor said my uterus agreed with me. He asked me to come back in three weeks to take the ultrasound again then he’ll give us a more definite due date. But that didn’t matter to me since after the exam and seeing you on the screen and hearing that we were both fine, I was so overjoyed! The nurse took my blood pressure again and the numbers were great. That’s because I was so relieved and happy! I cannot tell you how happy I am! And your daddy… he is beaming with joy to see your tiny little body growing in me. We couldn’t be more pleased or excited! I feel like now I can relax a little more and not worry so much. I need to feel good for you now, my little one.

Tomorrow we will be sharing the news with Oma and Opa. It will be exciting! But I am very, very tired so I will stop writing. I love you, my little one. Have a restful night.

March 7, 2001

My dear little one, I have found great comfort writing to you and getting to know you while you are still growing in me. Right now I am sitting in the chapel before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. I pray that your little heart is already beating for His love above all else. It is the love of God that has allowed the miracle of your existence. Never stray from that love…life is meaningless without it.

Last night we went to your Oma and Opa’s house to tell them the news. We also gave them a little gift box of baby things. They were speechless and overjoyed! Already they are planning to buy a little crib and make one of their rooms into a nursery to babysit you, my little one. They called your other grandparents and together they laughed and cried with joy. They are all so pleased.

Now today I will tell my friends at work. I am excited yet it is still a little hard to believe. God is so good and gracious. I am struck by his gentle yet mighty power…a power that allows a lowly person like me to have the privilege of carrying a new life in me. Now we will be a reflection of the Holy Trinity. Father & Mother together in their love bring forth you, my little one. It is amazing. Blessed be God in his goodness now and forever!

(Later in the evening.) Well, I shared the wonderful news at work and everyone was incredibly excited and happy for me. It is funny how a new baby – or the news of a new baby- affects people. Deep down people are drawn to the beauty of an innocent and pure new life. It somehow brings us closer to God, the Creator of that life. Blessed be God.

March 8, 2001

My dear little one, the last 24 hours have been some of the most horrid hours of my life. Last night I began to bleed. Daddy and I could not believe it. It was late and I was to see the doctor in the morning. As I lay in bed in your Daddy’s arms I realized that God might be taking you away from us. I began to cry and then to sob with such sorrow and heaviness of heart, like I’ve never felt before. Your Daddy held me and sobbed with me. Sorrow gnawed at me all night as I pleaded with God to have mercy on us and to spare our child. Lastly, though, above all else I asked for the grace to accept God’s will, whatever it was.

The next morning my eyes were so swollen I could barely open them. Your Daddy held onto me all night and in the morning there were still tears in his eyes. He loves you deeply as well, my little one. I went to the bathroom to check things out and I had stopped bleeding. Later the doctor told me not to worry and that everything was fine with me and with you, my little one. I was incredibly relieved to hear that. Then when I found out you were okay I was crying with happiness.

Ugh! I feel like an emotional basket case! But more than anything I am so grateful that God has spared you – at least for the time being. I still feel emotionally fragile but God will get me through. Blessed be God. Thank you, my Lord and Lady and all the angels and saints!

March 13, 2001

My dear little one, it has been a very pleasant weekend – your Aunt B. & Aunt J. have been here for a visit. It was wonderful to see them again. They are so pleased and excited about you.

Last night, however, I was having a rough time again. The fear from the previous night keeps returning to me. I just lay in bed and cried. I am afraid to be happy about the pregnancy because something could go wrong any minute. It is wrong to think that way but how do I stop it? I pray that Our Blessed Lord helps me and brings peace to my heart. Please intercede for me, my dear lady. I need you I love you, my little one. Pray for your Mama.

March 16, 2001

My dear little one, it is a beautiful morning out today. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. It will be a lovely day. I am in the Adoration Chapel right now. I have been praying to Our Lord but I am feeling tired and sleepy so I began to write to keep me awake! Your Daddy is kneeling next to me and is deep in prayer. He is such a good and holy man, my little one. I pray that you will have a strong and spiritual heart for God, as your Daddy does.

I talked to my mom, your Grandma C, the other day about my fear of losing you. She said that it is natural to feel that way. But she reminded me that I need to concentrate on enjoying your presence in me every day. She said that whether God takes you away tomorrow, in a few months or in 75 years, I will always be your Mama. She said I must enjoy and cherish every moment with you and not allow worries or fears distract from this special time. Something of what she said clicked in me and made sense. I love you, my little one, and I want to cherish every moment with you. Blessed be God in his goodness.

March 20, 2001

My dear little one, today you have turned eight weeks old and I am entering my 10th week of pregnancy. This is a special week for you, my child! You are a whopping 1 ½ inches! Perhaps that doesn’t seem like much but it is when you consider that just two months ago you were the size of the period at the end of this sentence. You are becoming more and more real to me, my little one, and I can’t wait until I can feel you move in me. May God protect you and strengthen you always. I love you.

March 25, 2001

My dear little one, it is Sunday evening and Daddy and I are just about to leave for Oma and Opa’s house for dinner. They are getting more and more excited about you, little one. Oma is curious to know if you will have curly hair like your mommy.

Grandma & Grandpa and the family are also eager for your arrival. They sent you a gift last week. They gave you a little “Jubilee Year” bear and a wooden baby rosary and tiny baby nail clippers. I’m afraid you’ll be showered with many gifts, little one. But remember, the gift of God’s love is most precious! I love you.

March 26, 2001

My dear little one, today the Church celebrates the beautiful feast of the Annunciation (since the 25th was a Sunday this year). We honor our most Blessed Mother in a special way for her humble “fiat” – I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word. I give special thanks to Our Lady for her continued guidance and intercession. It was shortly after a special prayer made to Our Lady in Rome that we were finally able to conceive you, my little one. God is so good.

March 30, 2001

My dear little one, today is already Friday. This week has gone by so quickly! That means that you are almost another week older, little one. I went to the doctor’s Monday evening and Dr. V took another ultrasound to check your size. We saw you on the screen with your heart beating strongly! It is still hard to believe that you are growing in me! I love you, my little one.

April 15, 2001

My dear little one, Happy Easter to you! Today is the beautiful feast of Our Lord’s Resurrection. Daddy and I went to Mass this morning with you snug inside of me. It’s funny because Daddy reminded me that by next Easter we will be attending Mass with you in our arms. What a wonderful thought…this is the last time we will attend Easter Mass alone. Next year you will be there too, my little one. I love you!

April 24, 2001

My dear little one, today Daddy and I went to the doctor’s for another check up. We were so excited because we were able to hear you for the first time. Nurse C. had me lay down. Then she got ready to put the little machine on my stomach. She warned us that sometimes it is hard to hear anything or that it takes awhile to find the heartbeat. Well, she placed the machine on me and there you were loud and strong saying good morning with your powerful heartbeat! We’re so excited and happy, our little one. We love you!

April 30, 2001

My dear little one, this weekend we have been visiting Grandma & Grandpa and all your aunts and uncles! Fr. M visited us at the house and gave us a very special blessing. He prayed over me and said special prayers for me that I would be a holy mother to you. Then he prayed for you that you would be blessed and love the Lord always. I was very beautiful, my little one. Your Papa and I love you so much, we can’t wait until we can hold you in our arms!

May 13, 2001

My dear little one, thanks to you, today I celebrated my first Mother’s Day because you have made me a mama! Yesterday Daddy sent me flowers at work to congratulate me. They are very beautiful and very special because this is my first mother’s day! When we went to Mass today a little girl was standing outside the door handing flowers to all the moms. Although I wasn’t holding a baby she gave me one too. God knows that you’re growing inside me and that I am your mama. How thankful I am! I love you, my little one.

July 6, 2001

My dear little one, this morning I was reading through the pages of my journal. It’s amazing how quickly time is going! I am six months pregnant and you, my little one, have grown to eight inches long! Just think, in four short months I will be holding you in my arms! Right now I am in the Adoration Chapel on First Friday and in a few short months I will be here once again with you in my arms. Together we will be praying to Our Lord besides your Daddy. I’ve begun singing the Hail Mary and Gentle Woman to you in the morning. I want you to also have a great love for Our Lady. I love you, my little one.

July 16, 2001

My dear little one, this weekend your daddy and I stayed with your Grandma and Grandpa and the family. It has been a wonderful weekend and everyone was excited to see my growing belly with you inside! On Sunday you and I were given a baby shower by all our friends in So. Calif. It was so beautifully done! It looked like a wedding reception! We received so many generous gifts! Everyone is so happy for us and so eager to welcome you into the world, my little one. I love you very much.

 

July 25, 2001

My dear little one, I have special thanks to give to God for the other night was the first time I felt you kick my hand! I have felt you moving around in me for some time but this is the first I felt it so strong. And again last night as I was sitting on the couch you kicked the hand I had placed on my stomach. It was so wonderful and such a joyous feeling. Now I just need you to kick while Daddy’s there so he can feel it too! I love you, my little one.

August 18, 2001

My dear little one, today your mommy is celebrating her birthday. I was thinking this morning that two years ago I celebrated my first birthday as an engaged woman. Then a year ago my first birthday as a married woman. This year? My first birthday as a mother carrying her child within her. I have sooo much to be thankful for – my life, God’s love and mercy, my dear husband and his love, the fruit of that love – our little baby, my family…the list could go on forever. Thank you, my dear Lord, for all your goodness and kindness to me.

August 27, 2001

My dear little one, today we attended our third birthing class. We were given a tour of the birthing center where I will give birth to you, my little one. I feel much better getting used to the surrounding of the hospital; it makes me feel less nervous about what will take place during your birth! While we were there we saw in the nursery window a little baby that had just been born and was being checked by the nurse. It brought a tear to my eye to think that soon it will be you who is born into the world. How I can hardly wait to hold you, my little one! I love you!

September 3, 2001

My dear little one, I’m amazed at how active you have been in me. You don’t kick as much as you used to but now it feels like you are doing somersaults. My stomach rolls and moves up and down as you move inside me. You are a strong one, my little one. I love you so much.

September 11, 2001

My dear little one, today has been a tragic day for our nation. There has been a terrorist attack in New York and many, many people lost their lives because of it. My heart is broken, my little one, and I cannot stop crying in grief for not only those who died but for all those that were left behind. I think of how much I love your Daddy and you, my little one, and how devastated I would be had something happened to either one of you. But I must put it form my mind right now. I must concentrate on the new life within me and not let my sadness effect you, my little one. I must see you as an answer of hope and joy to all the sorrow and pain our nation is feeling now. May God bless and strengthen us all.

September 28, 2001

My dear little one, I’ve been feeling better, trying to focus on you and your arrival. So many people have been so generous to you – we’ve already been to three baby showers and tomorrow is the last one at Oma’s. Your Grandma & Grandpa C. and your Uncle Rob drove to Carmel to spend the weekend with me. I’ve been having a lot of Braxton Hick (the practice) contractions. They are coming more often but are too sporadic to worry about. Everyone says it is normal! I just hope they don’t stay this strong until you’re born! We still have almost a month to go. I can’t believe that in a few short weeks I’ll really be holding you! I can’t wait! I love you, my little one!

September 29, 2001

My dear little one, I am in shock!! You surprised us all! This (Saturday) morning at 9:35am you entered the world!! My dear little one, I can now call you my sweet little Isabella Rose Marie…a little girl! I am so happy! You are so tiny but so beautiful! I can’t believe it – it all went so quickly! Ha, and today is your baby shower! Well, now it’s a birthday party! I am in shock! But I am oh so happy! I will give you all the details later, my little Isabella. I love you!

October 1, 2001

My sweet Isabella, today I am officially discharged from the hospital although I won’t be leaving yet. The nurses are keeping me around as long as possible so I can spend my time with you in the nursery. I am still reeling over everything! Let me tell your birth story now while it is still fresh in my head.

On the Thursday before you were born I began noticing more practice contractions than usual. They continued into Friday but were brief and sporadic. I remember shopping at Costco and stopping for a moment to feel a contraction. But I continued my day and waited for your Grandma and Grandpa C. and Uncle Rob to come. I was so happy when they arrived and chatted with them while I cooked dinner. At this point the contractions were getting stronger and my back was feeling it more but they were still sporadic so I thought nothing of them.

That evening after dinner we drove over to your Grandma & Grandpa to Oma & Opa’s house where they would be staying for the weekend. Oma showed me the rooms that had been decorated for the baby shower the next morning. Everything looked so pretty! However, the pains were getting stronger and I had to sit so I told daddy that I’d better go home and get some rest. I was very tired that night, although every once in awhile a contraction would wake me. I was a bit worried but since they weren’t close enough to call the doctor (I thought) that I tried to sleep them off. By early morning the contractions were getting stronger and Daddy was getting worried and wanted to call the doctor. I agreed.
While your Daddy got out of bed, a big contraction hit me and my water broke. Now I was scared because I knew that meant that I was going into labor NOW.

Daddy came over and comforted me and told me not to worry. He called the doctor while I went into the bathroom to get dressed. Your Uncle Rob, who was asleep in the front room, woke up and grabbed my bags and put them in the car. However, getting out the door was almost impossible because the contractions were very intense and coming every 2 – 3 minutes. When a contraction came I had to stop and hold onto something and breathe though it. I could feel you in me pressing down and then slightly rising back up once the contraction was over. I tried to quickly hobble out the door and down the apartment stairs before the next one came. I just barely made it!

Thankfully the hospital was only minutes away and I was there quickly. Uncle Rob and Daddy walked me to the birthing center section although I had to stop once on my way to get though another contraction. Daddy and Uncle Rob rubbed my back and told me that I was doing a good job. That gave me the strength to hurry to the admittance desk.

After a few minutes I was finally in my hospital gown lying down on the birthing bed. The nurse was trying to ask me questions but I had a hard time talking since I was breathing through a contraction. She then noticed that I was leaking a lot of water so she checked me to see how I was doing. She was surprised to find that I was already 10 cm dilated – but not as surprised as I was! She quickly called in Dr. V who checked me and said that you were ready to come out now. The nurses and the room had not been ready for this stage of birth so they ran around like crazy putting on their gowns, getting their tools and preparing the room.

I watched them all in shock – this was it. I was anticipating long hours of labor in a hospital using all the labor tools we packed in our bags and here I was, ready to push. My head was full of so many emotions and I would have been really scared if it hadn’t been for your Daddy. He was so loving and supportive; his encouragement helped me to focus and stay calm.

Dr. V took care of the last minute details to get my body ready then he had me push down as hard as I could. I did 2 or 3 times before he announced that he could see the head. Daddy could see you coming out and he just kept saying, “ohmygosh, ohmygosh” then with one more strong push, out you came! Dr. V said, “It’s a girl!” I couldn’t believe it! I had just given birth to a baby girl! From the ultrasound we saw before you were born, the doctor guessed that you were a boy. We assumed we were having a boy, although whenever I prayed for you I automatically said “she” not “he”. I guess my heart knew deep down that the little one inside me was my precious little daughter! I was so happy!

After the doctor cleaned your mouth out and heard you cry, they immediately checked you over at a little side table. Since you were born a month early you were still really small weighing only 3 lb. 12 oz and 17″ long. Although little, the doctor said you are healthy and feisty. (Daddy says that you’re feisty because you’re a warrior for Christ, born on the feast of the Archangels!) However, you had to be taken right away to the nursery to be placed in an incubator so you could be given the special care you needed.

Meanwhile Grandma & Grandpa, Uncle Rob and Opa were waiting outside for the great news. Although you arrived early it was a great blessing that you came while Grandma & Grandpa were in town! By the grace of God I was able to have my mom and dad with me at this most special time of my life…the birth of my beautiful and precious girl, my little Isabella. I love you, my sweet little one!

The day of your birth, little one, filled everyone with excitement and joy. (I’m still in shock!) All your Grandparents were overjoyed and Uncle Rob called the family at home and they cheered and thanked God. Meanwhile Oma was greeting all the guests for the baby shower telling them that the “guest of honor” was detained and the party was now a birthday celebration! Haha!

After the birth I showered and cleaned up and was eager to hold you for the first time. You are so tiny, my little one, but already so beautiful! Although Daddy and I can’t have you in the room with us I am able to nurse you and we are spending every minute we can with you while you get better in your incubator. I have asked Grandma C to stay with me this week while you are in the hospital. She was so pleased that I asked because she wants to be here with you and help us out so Daddy and I can spend as much time as we can with you. I will do all I can not to leave you, my little Isabella. I love you!

October 2, 2001

My dear little Isabella, this evening has been very difficult for me. It is so hard to see the other moms with their babies as they leave the hospital to go home. It deeply pains me that you must be separated from me. For eight months I carried you moving within me. Now I feel so alone and empty without you. I know you are only down the hall in the nursery with the nurses but I want you in my arms at home with your Daddy. I can’t stop the tears…I pray God gives me strength to get through this.

October 6, 2001

My dear little Isabella, today you are 1 week old! Was it really just a week ago that you entered into the world? It seems so very long ago! You are still in the hospital but we are hopeful that next week you will be discharged. You are steadily gaining weight and breathing better. Keep it up, my little one, and then we’ll be home soon!

October 10, 2001

My dear little one, the day you Daddy and I have been praying for is finally here! We have taken you from the hospital (where the nurses were wonderful!) and now we are home!

Daddy took off the afternoon and met me at the hospital. We spent an hour trying to figure out your car seat but we finally did it! It felt funny not to wake up and see you in the hospital but rather to have in our little home. I am so happy! I must admit, though, that I am also scared – there are no more nurses around to keep an eye on me and see if I’m doing things okay. It’s just me, you and Daddy, little one! Actually it was blessing in disguise that we had so much “practice time” in taking care of you in the hospital. I feel more comfortable now on my own.

It is so strange…sometimes I still can’t believe that you are my little baby! It all seems so unreal. And sometimes I worry…will you love me and know that I am your mama? You spent so much time with the other nurses that I hope I am not just another nameless face to you that gives you food. I know it is silly but, my little Bella, just let me know that you love me and know that I am your mommy!

October 18, 2001

My dear little one, this week Daddy stayed home from work to be with you and help me. This is such a special time for us. I feel very close to Daddy and love him very much. It is so beautiful and miraculous that by the grace of God our love has created a new beautiful life – our little Bella, or as we affectionately call you “our little Peanut”. How we love you!

October 28, 2001

My dear little Bella, today, the day before your one-month birthday, you have celebrated a very special day – your baptism! You are a child of God on the road to heaven! All your aunts and uncles and Grandma & Grandpa C. are spending the weekend here. They are so happy and excited to see you for the first time/again! The ceremony itself was beautiful with Fr. E at the Carmel Mission. We have so much to be thankful for, my dear little one! All praise to Our God!

 


November 9, 2001

My sweet Bella, each day I am learning more and more about being a mom! I am still trying to get used to the breastfeeding and you prefer to sleep in my arms, which makes showering and cleaning a little difficult! You are pretty mellow in the day but in the evening you get cranky! You will cry and cry until I am crying! I am told it is normal for newborns so I guess you’ll grow out of it eventually. I just want to keep you happy and content!

My favorite moments with you are at night when you sleep in my arms in our bed. Sometimes I will lie awake at night just to watch you sleep so peacefully in my arms. You’re so tiny and so beautiful! I love you, my little peanut! Thank you, my dear Lord for the gift of motherhood! Amen.

December 25, 2001

Bella’s First Christmas

* * * * *

Postscript


August 2002

It’s been awhile since I’ve made long entries into my journal. There has been no time! Things have been hectic, especially with the recent move to our new home but it has been worth it. I love our little place and it will be much better for Bella to have a little more room to roam around. She is such a joy in our lives! She is loving & full of energy. Her inquisitiveness never ceases to amaze me (although Brian says she is just nosy like her mother!) and it troubles me that she will grow up thinking that her name is “No, Bella!” haha!

Ay, so much has happened over this last year and a half…some tears, a lot of laughs, and countless blessings. We’ve started a whole new chapter of our lives and the three of us are eager to see where God leads us in the months and years to come. Blessed be God forever!

January 2013

My little peanut Bella is now 11 years old and is growing up to be a beautiful young lady and wonderful big sister to her three younger brothers! She is still the sunshine to my heart and will always be my little baby. I love you, my Sweetie Girl.

 


Our Engagement Story: An Answer to Prayer

Yesterday Hallie at Betty Beguiles had the great idea of asking bloggers to post their engagement stories. It was so much fun to go back to my old journals and read about our early months together. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the romance when you are dealing with the every day busyness of raising little ones. It was a good reminder that Brian and I need to carve out a little alone time no matter how busy.

I don’t have time to write out the story (I’m typing with one hand and holding a restless baby with the other) so instead I’ll just repost the story of how we met, which includes our engagement. Brian and I wrote this together so you’ll get his side of the story too.

(Here’s a photo of us from our first year of marriage.)

Also, after we were married I found the notes Brian used write down what he wanted to say when he proposed. I was so happy to find that because in the emotion of the moment I don’t think my mind was registering all the beautiful words he was saying to me. Now that they are in my scrapbook I can go back and relive them word for word.

Now, on with the story…

BOBBI: In my late twenties, it started to become the family joke that if I was not married the age of thirty then I was going to pack my bags, move to Zimbabwe, live with the natives and die for a noble cause! (Okay, so I was a little dramatic.) Time was ticking and I was trying to grow closer to God and accept my singleness at the moment. My younger sister Elena suggested I try the website Single Catholics Online (now known as Ave Maria SCOL). I laughed at the idea, insisting that I was not desperate enough to look for a good Catholic husband on some dating service! She gave me that knowing look, smiled and walked out of the room saying, “Instead of crying about wanting a husband, get to work and check it out.” How does she know me so well?

I immediately logged onto the site…just for fun, of course. I was amazed at what I saw. It was not a “dating service” as I imagined but a cyber community of like-minded faithful Catholics who desired to live a life of holiness in the vocation of marriage. The extensive questionnaire alone was enough to allow me to find out more about each man’s likes and beliefs than weeks of “surface dating.” I also liked the fact that you had to pay a fee to use the site, knowing that the required time and effort would tend to attract more serious Catholics.

I decided to take the plunge but I waited a few days for October 13th on the anniversary date of Fatima’s Miracle of the Sun. I knew that finding the right guy was going to take Our Lady’s intervention and the Miracle of the SON. For the next couple of weeks I browsed through the profiles and met a few nice guys but nothing serious. Then it happened. A new member named Brian posted his profile and although he didn’t have his photo up yet his answers immediately caught my attention. He seemed perfect for me! In fact, he seemed too good to be true and I thought to myself, this guy must be a phony; either he is a fake, writing from a prison cell, or he’s real and should be in the seminary!

I couldn’t find the nerve to write him so I printed out the top 7 or 8 profiles of guys that I thought best matched what I was looking for. Out of all those guys I knew Brian was my top choice but I still feared that he seemed “too good” for me. I went back to my sister Elena and gave her the stack of profiles I printed. I told her that I planned to start writing one of them but I wanted her to choose the one that would fit me. She came back with Brian’s profile and said, “Write him.” That was enough confirmation for me. I took a deep breath and composed a short email that would open the opportunity for conversation yet was still ambiguous enough for him to not respond if he didn’t want to.

BRIAN: On November 1st, the feast of All Saints, I was on my way to the Monterey Peninsula. That day I left the seminary after a year and a half stay. I realized it was not my vocation and God called me to start a new chapter of my life.

Previously, while reading Catholic publications in the seminary library, I came across an article about a Catholic single’s organization called “Single Catholics Online” (now Ave Maria SCOL). I read the article and felt encouraged that someone was trying to establish a forum over the internet where single Catholics could contact one another and find a potential spouse. When I decided to leave the seminary I thought about marriage but did not know where to turn in regards to finding a spouse who was orthodox, wanted a family, and desired to raise children in a Catholic environment. All of a sudden SCOL came to mind and I decided to give the website a shot.

The day I left the seminary is the same day I filled out the questionnaire on the SCOL website. I started a novena to God that night praying that He would help me find the right spouse. I also promised God that I would not write anyone, but only respond to those individuals who wrote me first. I thought it was the best way to assure that this was God’s will and not my own. On the ninth day of the novena Bobbi wrote me. Her initial e-mail was short and at first I was not sure if I should respond. But after thinking it over for a day I responded and so began our friendship. We e-mailed one another frequently and our relationship began to blossom.

BOBBI: I was at work when I received Brian’s first email and it was so kind and funny that I had to refrain from jumping around the room with glee. I had gotten lots of emails but I knew in my gut that there was something different about this guy and that he would be significant in my life. Also realizing that I didn’t want to be rash, I went to Adoration on my lunch break and consecrated to Jesus my new friendship with Brian and asked Our Lord and Our Lady to guide me every step of the way.

Over the next five months Brian and I shared countless emails, letters and letter-tapes until Brian finally felt it was time to talk on the phone. (I, being the more impulsive of the two, was ready to talk to him after the first few weeks but Brian felt we should pray and take matters more slowly. God was teaching me patience AGAIN! )

BRIAN: On March 4th, the feast of St. Casimir, I called Bobbi and we spoke over the phone for the first time. I was nervous when I called and I could tell Bobbi was a little nervous as well. Though I can’t remember what we talked about I do remember thinking that the conversation went well. We decided that on April 16th, the feast of St. Benedict Labre, we would meet for the first time. I would fly from Monterey, CA to LAX to Ontario, CA where Bobbi was to pick me up.

BOBBI: The day finally arrived and I paced the airport terminal with butterflies in my stomach. This was no ordinary “meeting a friend.” After all the months of revealing our deepest selves to one another through pen, computer and phone, I was 99% sure that Brian was the man I was to marry, but I had to talk to him face to face to be completely sure.

BRIAN: I remember being extremely nervous when I got off the plane. Bobbi told me that she would be wearing a miraculous medal and a medal of the Holy Family so I wouldn’t miss her. We met and briefly hugged, talked a little and headed out to Bobbi’s parish. When we arrived at the parish Bobbi and I went inside the quiet little Church and prayed the holy rosary together. It was beautiful praying the rosary with Bobbi for it gave me the opportunity to see her put her faith into practice. It became a pattern for us to start off each visit on a spiritual note by praying the rosary, attending Mass or practicing some other devotion.

BOBBI: After beginning our weekend in prayer I took Brian home to meet my family. I knew the biggest test was to come – passing “Mom Inspection.” When we arrived at my house my mom looked out the window just as Brian was going up the walkway. She had been praying earnestly for my future husband and she told me later that when she saw Brian for the first time her “heart leapt.” She knew he was the man God had chosen for me. Needless to say, he passed inspection from my parents with flying colors.

Afterwards Brian and I headed to Oceanside to visit the Prince of Peace Abbey where we walked the grounds and attended Vespers. Afterwards we drove to the beach to watch the sunset. Unfortunately the clouds were not cooperating and covered the majority of the sky. However, we found an old log on the beach and sat there talking and marveling how wonderful it was to finally be together. Just then we looked out towards the ocean and saw the clouds slowly separate to reveal the most breathtaking sunset that filled the sky with gorgeous shades of golden red. We were bathed in light and it was as if God was giving His final blessing on the most wonderful day of my life. I felt like I was watching a movie – it all seemed so unreal. (In fact, had this been a movie I would have complained, “Fake! Stuff like this doesn’t happen in REAL life!”) But this WAS real…I sat there next to Brian with my heart completely full. I looked at him and was deeply struck  because I knew he was the one man I had been waiting for all my life.

I had another surreal moment like that the following day. Do you remember that one scene in Emma (with Gwenyth Palthrow) when Mr. Knightly professed his love to Emma? The music swelled and small flower blossoms fell from the tree. It was picture perfect.

On Saturday we attended a Marian Conference and during the lunch break we found a grassy area under a tree to have a picnic. Suddenly, a nearby building turned on their sound system and classical music stared playing in the background. Then a breeze rustled through the tree and small flower blossoms started falling from the sky as Brian turned to me and gave me that “look of love” that said he wanted nothing more than to kiss me. Part of me was reeling and the other part of me was again inwardly yelling, “Fake!” Stuff like this does not happen in real life. But it does. It really does.

BRIAN: The weekend Bobbi and I spent together was awesome! Not only did I get to meet Bobbi’s family but we also tried to cram as much as we could into the weekend. We attended a small Marian conference, went out to dinner, enjoyed the beach, and visited a state park. Every minute was wonderful and the whole visit was a true blessing. However, the weekend went by too quickly. Before I knew it Bobbi and I were heading back to the airport so I could catch a plane back to Monterey. It was very hard to say good-bye because I was saying good-bye to my best friend. I shed a few tears as I got on the plane, but realized that Bobbi and I would soon be together again. In four weeks Bobbi would come visit me.

BOBBI: After an incredible weekend, it was finally time to say our good-byes. A few hours before arriving at the airport I talked to Brian about our friendship and how it was developing. Ever cautious, he said that he cared for me but didn’t know what the future held. I understood that he wanted to go slowly and that he was just not as emotionally attached to me as I was to him. I knew he would get to the same level I was at, but I had to be patient. Knowing this helped me control myself at the airport so I could hug Brian good-bye without shedding a tear. However, I was taken aback when I saw that it was Brian, not I, who was shedding tears. He walked away and as he looked back I could see that it pained him to leave me. Later Brian told me that as he sat in the plane to go home he suddenly realized that he did not want to live his life without me and that he loved me. It was after that first airport goodbye that we reached the same emotional level.

The next few months were filled with a tremendous amount of joy and new love, as well as pain from being separated by 400 miles. As difficult as it was we knew that Our Lord and Our Lady had brought us together and that they would also give us the strength to endure a long distance relationship. I had read somewhere that love is like a spark of fire and that distance from the one you love will either extinguish that spark or set it ablaze. For us, it united our hearts even closer. We were able to truly appreciate what we found in each other because we were constantly reminded of what it was like without each other. However, by the time summer approached we had to face the fact that as our love deepened for one another the separation was causing emotional havoc. Something had to be done.

BRIAN: In the beginning, this pattern of visiting one another every 4 to 6 weeks worked out, but as I started to fall deeper in love with Bobbi our separation became more difficult. On one of her visits Bobbi raised the question of marriage. I must admit I was a bit shocked since I thought it would be some time before we would get engaged. That weekend I thought about what Bobbi had said and decided that she was right. I loved her and I knew we would get married. Plus our separation was taking a great toll on both of us. It was time to get engaged!

After telling my parents, who were both surprised and a little shocked, about my decision to get engaged to Bobbi we made plans to get married in December. On my following visit to So. California I asked Bobbi’s parents permission to marry her. I remember being very nervous, but I told them how much I loved their daughter and how I wanted to marry her. They gave me their blessing and permission to marry Bobbi – tears and joy followed. I proposed to Bobbi under the moon and stars. When Bobbi said “yes”, I slipped the ring on her finger. We were engaged!

BOBBI: That night I felt like I was walking in a dream. After Brian asked my parents permission we went outside to look at the beautiful starry night. Brian went down on one knee and professed his undying love for me. Tears welled up in my eyes as I thought to myself, how in the world could I have been so blessed to have the love of this wonderful man? (I still get tears just writing about it…) I said yes and hugged Brian as he slipped the most gorgeous ring I had ever seen on my hand. There in the moonlight we held one another thanking God for His mercy and goodness in bringing our lives together.

BRIAN: The following day Bobbi and I attended Mass with her family. During the Mass we had our engagement blessed in a beautiful ceremony. (As a side note – for those of you who are engaged, I highly recommend that you have your engagement blessed). Preparations for the wedding were made during the fall and winter months. One of my assignments was to find a priest to marry us. On September 13th, the anniversary of the Blessed Virgin’s fifth visit to the Shepherd children of Fatima, Fr. Ryan celebrated the evening Mass at Carmel Mission. When I saw him come from the sacristy and stand behind the altar I knew at that instant that he would marry us. After Mass I asked Fr. Ryan if he would marry Bobbi and I. He kindly said “yes”. The following week I secured the Carmel Mission Basilica for December 28th, the feast of the Holy Innocents. The Basilica was free the entire day so instead of choosing a morning time I chose 3 PM, the hour of Divine Mercy.

BOBBI: Living 400 miles away from the wedding site made matters a little harder to plan but thankfully Brian’s mom took on the job of coordinating the entire reception. A week and a half before the actual event my parents helped me move all my things to Carmel. It was a bittersweet feeling. I rejoiced at the new life I was going to start with Brian, but at the same time it pained me to say goodbye to my family. Luckily the last minute preparations for the wedding kept my mind occupied for the time being.

BRIAN: The night before the wedding we had our rehearsal and then we went out to dinner with our families and the wedding party. We ate at a Swiss restaurant and had fondue; everyone had a wonderful time and our families enjoyed one another’s company. After the rehearsal dinner Bobbi and I said goodnight and we both went our separate ways for the last time.

BOBBI: The day of our wedding finally arrived. As I stood dressed in my bridal gown with the long train and veil, I felt like a princess about to marry her prince. It was the strangest feeling…as if I was walking through a dream. I remember standing at the side door of the Carmel Mission and listening to the procession music start. Soon I was walking down the aisle on the arm of my father. I had to hold back the tears as he led me to Brian and then placed my hand into his. I kissed my Dad on the cheek knowing that he was happy for me but also sad to let his “little girl” go.

I looked over to Brian and his eyes were brimming with joy and love. My own heart was brimming…not only because I was about to marry Brian but also in thanksgiving to God for showering his mercy upon me and for answering my prayers above and beyond my imagination. There had been a time not too long ago when I thought that I’d never find the man of my dreams but on this day I married him. Together we vowed our love, standing no longer as two, but as one. I don’t think the day could have gone more beautifully or could have touched me more deeply.

 

 

BRIAN: On December 28, 1999 Bobbi and I got married at the Carmel Mission. I will never forget the day. The sky was crystal blue and it must have been about 75 degrees outside, which is unusual weather for December. But the weather was only the icing on the cake; what made the day so special – one that I will never forget – is that I entered into a union, a covenant with the woman I love. The woman God gave me to be my wife. God called me to the vocation of marriage and I responded with a “yes”.

 

 

 

“To Thee be praise,

to Thee be glory,

to Thee be thanksgiving through endless ages,

O Most Blessed Trinity!”

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Update (February 2015) – I am happy to report that 15 years and 4 kids later, we are still happily married and loving life. 🙂

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