Rachel Elaine Grapes Memorial Celebration 2009
If you have found one of Rachel's balloons please say a prayer for Rachel and her family and sign our guestbook to let us know where and when you found it.
God Bless Rachel, her family and all those that she has touched in her short time here on earth!
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
My husband and son found one of the balloons you and your family had released in honor of your daughter Rachel. They found it in the woods on October 18, 2009 in the town of Williamson, NY.
I have visited your site and was very pleased to see how much you love your daughter and the Lord who now cares for her and you. I also want to mention that in that same woods that your balloon was found in, my husband watched a double rainbow the day before. I can't help but think that God was trying to send you a message! He does keep His promises.
I have prayed for you and your family and am willing to continue to pray for you. I speak blessings to you and your family. May his favor go with you wherever you go and may the work of your hands and your mouth be blessed! May you feel the Lord very near every day of your lives and my His presence bring you peace and comfort.
Thank you for being so open and sharing your testimonies!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Yesterday was a mixed bag of emotions for me. I was profoundly sad and I really didnt expect to be, I saw a beautiful baby girl with features similat to yours whin I went shopping yesterday and it made me sad. I asked her mom how old she was and she told me she just turned 1(I could tell).,She was very cute. I have this ideal of you and what and who you would be in my mind and she represented alot of who I imagine you wuold be.
There was also a beautiful butterfly in the parking lot which is my " symbol" of you. It was very special that God sent it right at the moment I needed it.
The balloon release was even more special than I had imagined. So many family and friends came who wanted to support our family and honor you were here. It was a wonderful tribute to you. We put notes in some of the balloons and attached very special, lamanated photos with our name, birthdate, promotion to heaven date and your blog address on them. That was your Aunt Amys idea. That was so touching to me and a very great way to potentially witness to people who dont know Jesus and their savior. God works in ways that seem mysterious to us in our limited vision, but to Him, who sees all, his ways are perfect. I am so glad we can serve a perfect God.
I cant wait to see you. Untill then, I will hold you in my heart.
P.S. Thank you to everyone who came to help my family remember and honor Rachel Elaine.Thank you to all who wanted to be here but couldnt.We love you all..
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Today was your big sister Samantha's graduation party.Pastor Mike and Jody came and brought Anna and baby Michael with them. I got to hold the baby. I was really looking forward to holding him but I was also nervous that I might react badly. I didn't. He is so special and beautiful and perfect, but he is also very different than you were. You were softer and obviously very unique and in your weakness you were very strong. You survived the trauma of labor and lived for 3 days despite how very ill you were. When I held you, I was holding a miracle. I know that God sent you for a short time to do some big things for His kingdom and for His glory. I miss you, but now , for the most part , when I think of you I find myself smiling instead of crying. God has made
beauty from ashes
oil of gladness from mourning
a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I used to resent people seeing me as "the one with the baby who died". I thought "that's not who I am", but I have come to realize that, in fact, is who I am, at least in part. It is something that defines my life as unique. Not that no one has never lost a baby before, but my life experiences are mine alone and the sum of them make me who I am. God has allowed every life experience I have ever had and ever will have to equip me for the unique job I have, and to mold me and transform me into the image of HIS Son.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
God is amazing. He truly does use ordinary people to accomplish his will. I am proof of that because I am very ordinary without the Holy Spirit working in and through me.
My prayer is that more people are willing to say "here I am Lord", and may that also be the desire of my heart as well.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
She is waiting for all of those whose life she touched.
Waiting for you to decide to give your life over to God. To trust Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior and the only way to a home in heaven.
She is waiting on your heart to decide once and for all that you are indeed a sinner, that you could never "do enough good" to "earn" your way to heaven, to turn from yourself and sin and come to the cross of Christ where ALL of your sins can be forgiven. All that you need to do is repent and ask Jesus into your heart. Let him into your life and be secure in the knowledge that you too will enjoy eternity with Jesus( and Rachel) in paradise. Nothing is better than that.
Monday, April 13, 2009
written by Don Hackett
The time of concern is over. No longer are we asked how were doing. Never are the names of our children mentioned to us. A curtain descends. The moment has passed. Lives slip from frequent recall. There are expectations: close and cpmpassionate friends, sensitive and loving family. For most, the drama is over. The spotlight is off. Applause is silent. But for us the play will never end. The effects on us are timeless. Say THEIR NAMES to us. On the stage of our lives they have been both lead and supporting actors and actresses. Do not tiptoe around one of the greatest events of our lives. Love does not die. Their names are written on our lives. The sounds of their voices replay within our minds. You feel they are dead. We feel they are of the dead and still they live. They ghostwalk our soul, beckoning in future welcome. You say they were our children. We say they are. Say THEIR NAMES to us and say THEIR NAMES again. It hurts to bury their memory in silence. What they were in flesh is no longer with us. What they are in spirit stirs within us always. They are of our past but they are part of our now. They are our hope for the future. You say not to remind us. How little you understand we cannot forget. We would not if we could. We understand you, but feel pain in being forced to do so. We forgive you, because you cannot know. And we would forgive you anyway. We accept how you see us, but understand that you see us not at all. We strive not to judge you, for yesterday we were like you. We love you. We will make no exceptions toward you. But we wish you could understand that we dwell both in flesh and spirit. The mystery is that you do too, but know it not. We do not ask you to walk this road. The ascent is steep and the burden heavy. We walk it not by choice. We would rather walk with them in flesh, looking not to spirit roads beyond. We are what we have to be. What we have lost you cannot feel. What we have gained you cannot see. And we would not have you. Say THEIR NAMES for they are alive in us. They and we will meet again, though in many ways we've never parted. They and their lives play light songs on our minds, sunrises and sunsets on our dreams. They are real and shadow, were and are. Say THEIR NAMES to us and say THEIR NAMES again. They are our children and we love them as we always did. Say THEIR NAMES!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
You are my precious daughter
You are a daughter of the King, and not just any king. You are My daughter, and I am the God of all heaven and earth. I'm delighted with you! You are the apple of My eye. You're Daddy's girl. Your earthly father may love and adore you, but his love is not perfect, no matter how great -or small -it is. Only My love is perfect ... because I am Love. I formed your body. I fashioned your mind and soul. I know your personality, and I understand your needs and desires. I see your heartaches and disappointments, and I love you passionately and patiently. My child, I bought you with a price so that we could have an intimate relationship together for all eternity. Soon we will see each other face-to-face, Father and daughter- and you will experience the wonderful place I have prepared for you in paradise. Until then, fix your eyes on heaven, and walk closely with Me. You will know that- although I am God -My arms are not too big to hold you, My beloved daughter.
Your King and your Daddy in heaven
"And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty,
2 Corinthians 6:18
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Wow, In Jennifers' baby pictures you and she look so much alike-even the hair color-you just had more hair than Jen and your skin was darker like your Dad and your sister Kelly.
I try to imagine what you would look like today. You would be 16 weeks old and plumpin up. I can almost guarantee baby blue eyes just like all of your siblings. Hair, now thats another story-we all have slightly different haircolors so I just dont know.
Your brother Matthew cried last night while we were praying. He said " I wish I could have held her good-bye". I explained that it was a very good thing that he wasn't home the night she went home to heaven because it was very sad, but he said he didn't care, he wanted to (in his words) "hold you alot more times". I did too......
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I keep thinking about the night(morning) you were born. When we finally knew if you had Trisome 18 or not. When we realized that God decided not to heal you, I was in shock. Part of me really believed God was going to heal you, and still another part of me knew that His work wouldn't be accomplished if you were born healthy and healed. The hardest part of that night was when the delivery was all over and everyone there came in the room. No one said anything for the longest time. The heaviness of it was so obvious.
I love everyone of those people who were in that room with me and I am so grateful for their support. Especially your Dad, he was so soft yet so strong for me and for you. I love and admire him so much more than I ever had before. I know also that your older brothers and sisters and your grandma and grandpa and your aunts and uncles were waiting anxiously for the news. So were many others who couldnt be present but were there in spirit nonetheless. I love you all.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
It is truly amazing how beautiful you were when you were not having "an episode." Apenic is what the doctors and nurses called it I think.. You looked so healthy and "normal" sometimes, that it was hard to believe you were sick. .......But, then there were the other times when you WERE having an"episode", when you couldn't get enough oxygen into your lungs and your face would get all distorted and you would turn gray in color. It was in those moments I knew just how sick you were.
God blessed me with 3 glorious days with you, and in that time I experienced the beauty of life and the ugliness of death.
Praise Jesus for defeating death and giving any who will come to Him new life, not only in this world, but forever with Him in paradise.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Rachel Sings within His LightLook into your heart each day,God says, "I'm still right here for you"...Holding your hand, each step of the way,Knowing that your days are blue.He cannot take away the pain, He can only give you His love...For when the sunshine turns to rain,His angels come down from above.Surrounding your soul with His light,embracing your innermost fears, God's angels have come to sit by your side,and wipe away the tears.One day at a time is all we have,God knows the road is long...Rachel is now within that light,playing her own little song.Listen for it you will hear,her song that she sings for you...for with each tear is a glimmer of light,It's Rachel singing to you
Sunday, January 4, 2009
I know oh so well the hole you feel in your heart...it takes time..it really is a healer... You see loss is only an illusion..Rachel Elaine is just transformed into a beautful spirit...God sent her with An Angels Message...I believe God gives us the Grace to move forward even though that soul is not physically with us..as each day passes it gets a bit easier..I just know she is blooming like the flower ...God is so Pleased...I pray for you each and every day...I thank God you and your beautiful family are a part of my Life..I only wish we could be in eachothers presence daily...Perhaps one day ...For some reason today is a hard day for me as well...I was also Touched By An Angel...Not just one ...I Love and Miss Y'all so much it sometimes just hurts
Saturday, January 3, 2009
I somehow had to let go of you again when I removed the 2008 calander from the wall.
What a year!
You were conceived in January, I found out we were expecting in February, had a sonogram in April that revealed a potential problem, found out with more accuracy in May( I think) that it was Trisome 18.
I fell more and more in love with you every day.
You were born and gone in October.
November and December went by so quickly.
I dont want to let go of 2008 because in some way that I cant put my finger on I feel as if I am loosing you again.
With the holidays over the pain of loosing you has resurfaced with a vengence. How foolish it was of me to think I was suddenly"all better". I love you and miss you.
I am so torn, because a large part of me selfishly wants Jesus to return and rapture His church so suffering can end and we will never have to say goog-bye to people we love again, but another part of me knows there are so many people (including my own family and friends) that do not yet know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, and they would be left behind, and perhaps have to suffer eternally, seperated from God, in the lake of fire.
Please Lord, give me courage to tell people about you and your saving grace.
I am homesick.
Yes Barb that hole will always be there waiting for the day that you and Rachel are once again united! If you were to fill the hole then her place would not be there when you meet again...You see, the only difference from today and the tomorrows to come are this: that hole is there, each day it becomes a little easier to live with, each day is one day closer to when you will be together again, each day you will feel His Light within that hole grow stronger, each day her presence within grows stronger...Not one person that has crossed her path has forgotten!Not one person that has crossed her path was not moved in some way by meeting her.And not one person that has crossed her path will be the same ever again!I just know that as you grow and move forward in your life, fulfilling your purpose here on earth, Rachel is proud to have you for a mother, she is smiling upon now as I write this, she smiles upon you as you write all your thoughts and emotions.Believe it or not, she is in that "hole" that you speak of! It is now just a matter of when you truly feel her there. I love you all so very much!
December 29, 2008 4:05 PM
You were not wrong! God, Love and Light transcends all! Loved the "shout" thank you! Although my path has taken me in a different direction always know that my heart is with my family! I cannot explain in words just why my life is headed in the direction it is presently going but I do know I am being guided by a power that can only be God's loving light, with Rachel at his side pulling the strings like all little girls do! :)
December 29, 2008 3:48 PM
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Rachel Elaine Grapes has found her way to Twitter! I "tweet" about her everyday! She is my inspiration, my guide and my assurance that God keeps us close! Thank you Rachel for blessing our lives each and every day!
December 17, 2008 7:26 AM
Aunt Rose said...
MERRY CHRISTMAS RACHEL ELAINE
YOUR THE ANGEL AT THE TOP OF MY TREE THIS YEAR AND WILL ALWAYS BE
THANK YOU RACHEL ELAINE FOR GRACING US ALL
I LOVE YOU
December 23, 2008 11:43 AM
How wrong was I? There are such beautiful people in my life who are still concerned with how I, and my family are doing. It is so overwhelming. I am surrounded by such undeserved love and I pray to God that I will be a blessing to others like these kind, wonderful people have been to me.
A shout out to P.M-J.H-J.H mom and dad- H.B,K.F-A.Mc-Aunt Rose and my mom. I love you all
I have been so busy lately with Thanksgiving and Christmas that I havent had much time to write to you.
I was at the mall yesterday seeing all the Christmas decorations, and the Moms and Dads with their little babies, and it hit me pretty hard that you're not with us for Christmas.
HOWEVER...., you are with the very One whose birth we celebrate.
Praise God for leaving heaven and all of its splendor and privelage, to come to a fallen world as a helpless baby boy, to grow to become the sinless, perfect sacrifice for all who will believe on HIM. I am so glad that I know when I die I will be with you again in heaven, eternally praising the Lord for all he has done for me.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Babies arent supposed to die.
Babies arent supposed to be gray.
Babies arent supposed to be so sick that Moms are afraid their going to die in their arms.
Moms arent supposed to be afraid that their babies are struggling to breathe.
Moms arent supposed to have to give their babies morphine to ease their babies pain and suffering.
Parents arent supposed to have to decide if you want your baby creamated or buried.
Moms arent supposed to ~
Im sorry God.
Who am I to decide what people are or are not supposed to experience.
Today is Mommy and Daddys anniversary! Your Daddy doesnt usually take me out for our anniversary but since you came into our lives he is a changed man in alot of ways.He and I have been out 3 times in the last month and prior to you we had mayber gone out 3 times in the past year.
Honestly Rachel, I am in more pain in the last 5 days over your death than I was in the last 5 weeks. It is really hitting me hard now. The novelty of it all has worn off for most people around me and I feel so very alone im my sadness. I am not sure how your Dad is doing. He works so many hours. Maybe that is how he is coping. I keep tryint to fill that hole your death left in my heart with things like my locket with your adorable tiny face on it, or the ring with your color stone in it or busy work or working on your blog, but I have come to realize that the hole will forever be there. I am not the same.
My hope is in the Lord. HIS love keeps me going. The awareness that He has a plan and a purpose for this tragedy in my life gives me strength. Even when I am on my face with grief, I know He is with me.
My sweet baby Rachel,
Yesterday JH took me out to lunch.We had a very nice time and I thank God for her.She told me she was going to try to pray for me and the family everyday for the next year. How beautiful!
I learned from her and PM the beauty and power of prayer, but also the discipline and kindness and responsibility of prayer. They showed me how lacking I am in that area of my life and I desire that God will help me to grow in this area.
My locket came in yesterday it is so special to me. Lorissa also got a gold locket that holds 2 of your pictures and it is very meaningful to her.She has been deeply affected by your dying and I am glad that this simple token can aid in her healing.
I didnt think about you until 40 minutes after I woke up and then I felt really guilty because of it.Silly, huh?
KF called and I told her about that guilt. She totally understood. God is so good in the way he provided a Mom who can relate to all my emotions. Amazing. She also understands that I want people to still grieve with me. In some way it keeps you and her Jacob alive.
I love you Rachel
Friday, December 5, 2008
Some of them are very personal and I will not be posting, but I think perhaps if I share some of my letters with others it may help them in a time of need and it may help me to heal, knowing others are sharing in my grief.
How sad it was to get your bassinette out of our room. I was using it as a memorial to you and I know it wasnt "healthy". I asked Jody to pray for me to be strong enough to get it out of here and she must have because your Dad gave me money to buy a new bedspread and when I put it on the bed the bassinette looked very awkward. All the clothes you never got to wear went in there as well, and I cried imagining what you might have looked like in them.
My heart actually, physically aches and my chest feels heavy.
I miss you so much.
Heres a verse that has been encouraging to me:
The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Today,because of Rachel's life, we were able to give a substantial amount of money to a local family who lost everything in a house fire. A "Rachel fund" was started last month with the intention to give to others with serious needs while sharing our testimony.
With the Thanksgiving holiday being next week, I am grateful we are able (in some small way) to brighten this family's day and prayerfully, through this tragedy, be used by God to show this family the path to salvation.
I miss you Rachel....but I am glad to see you still working for the cause of Christ.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Jennifer, my 4 year old daughter began to cry today, just out of the blue (like I seem to do so often). When I asked her what was wrong, expecting an answer like " I wanted mac and cheese for lunch" she hugged me then gently grabbed my face and tenderly said, " I feel sorry for you Mommy, because of Rachel dying".
It moved me so deeply that she has learned compassion during this trial in our lives.
Prior to Rachels passing, Jennifer, though very sweet, was not much of a kisser or hugger, but now she has become very affectionate.
Thank you Rachel for teaching your big sister sympathy, and thank you God for using tiny Rachel for such a great life lesson.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
God has used her in many amazing ways.
When I was told the news that she had trisome 18, I was encouraged to abort her and I was able to take a firm stand and tell the doctors who offered that, that I was a Christian and that was not going to happen.
My marriage prior to the news that we were expecting was in terrible trouble, But GOD, in his infinite wisdom, used this very special pregnancy and child to bring us closer together than we have ever been as well as closer to HIM.
My children have all learned to appreciate each other more and to value all human life.
The church I am a member of all rallied around Rachel and my family in a very special way...Soon after I told them that Rachel had been diagnosed with trisome 18 as well as a serious heart defect they started a prayer vigel for her and for my family...Tues evenings from 7pm untill Wed evening till 7pm, incredible people fasted for 24 hours and prayed exclusivly for Rachel and us...This lasted 6 and 1/2 months....It grew to church members nationwide as well as around the world.....
She has taught me how to surrender all to Him and to trust Him completley...
In the hospital where she was born my Pastors, as well as some of my church family, came and waited in the waiting room and prayed, almost without ceasing, for us...People who came in and out of the waiting room definately took notice and some even prayed with them.Glory to God
Unsaved friends and family witnessed the love we, as the body of Christ have for each other and were touched by the beauty of God.
Doctors and nurses were witness to their testimony for Christ as well as mine and my husbands love for Christ and each other.
There is so much more that I havent mentioned, plus so much more I do not even know this side of heaven.
I miss my baby girl very much and my heart aches because a piece of me is missing, but I KNOW, because I put my faith in Christ ALONE for my salvation 4 years ago, that I will see her again. I realized I was a sinner and could never earn my way into heaven because Gods standards are so high (He is after all a HOLY GOD)
Thank you LORD for using me and Rachel in this very special way.
the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. Job 1:21b
If I can be of any help to you in any way please post on Rachels blog or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
May this be an encouragemet to all who view this and may God Bless You.
More to come.....check back daily
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
We have waited so long for your arrival. So many prayers for you we feel we already know you & love you. But the Great Creator knew you in your mother’s womb & loved you far greater than anyone else. He has special plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11). You are truly a miracle & God’s special gift, not only to your family, but also your church family. We love you!
At arriving at the hospital we tried to find you, mom & dad. We went to the 6th floor & no one there. We went to the 3rd floor & the room was empty. We finally found you & mom & dad in the ICN. We saw you & you were just beautiful. Sharon talked to her & you loved her voice. Well Rachel, God brought into this world & there is a lot of love around you. We love you Rachel.
I am soooooo glad that you’re finally here!!! Your ultrasound was just grey squiggly lines so you can imagine how great it is to see you on your Birthday! We send up praises to God for the way He has blessed you and your family. Stay pink and petite!
We’re so glad to have met your precious baby girl. We are grateful to the Lord for Hid faithfulness and strength and to see Him shining through your lives. Your lives have been a great example o us all. We love you and we’re praying for you and the family.
The world is brighter today than yesterday, for Rachel's light does shine!
God blesses us with this soul to say, "The love through her is thine!"
Faith is your rock, her soul, the light shining upon us all.
One day at a time, the moments now, the love and joy is all we have to recall.
Fondness is the current plight- as tough is that may be,
Enjoy it all- much more to come- just you wait and see.
~In love and light, Amy a.k.a. "Aunt Amy"
I love U Rachel
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
In His time – the Lord makes everything beautiful in His time. From the months of praying, to the hours in the hospital, you have already been an inspiration to us all. Your life is a precious gift from God.
The group waiting for your arrival has grown since the first time today that was at the hospital. Your church family is also actively praying for you tonight. You have many people who already love you, but most of all, your Heavenly Father loves you and cares for you. And so we continue to wait for Him to make everything beautiful in His time.
Psalms 139:13-18 – the Lord encouraged us with that passage earlier in the day.
~Love, Pastor Leary
This has been an amazing day at the end of an amazing 7 months. As we waited for you, we prayed for you, & your mom & your brothers and sisters. You have done more with your little life for God than many people do in 70 years. Folks have learned to pray & fast, to have faith in God's power, and to show the kind of love that many people never experience. We don't know what God is going to do in your life from now on. But your Mom & Dad have given you to Jesus & He loves you more than all of us and He will keep you close to His heart.
~ Love, Carol & Paul
They have stopped the induction medicine because Rachel's heart did not like it. Will start back in 1/2 hour at 1/2 dose. Barb is having stronger contractions on her own now. I gave Dave a backrub & he said "I'm ready to have my baby now."
Dr. Robinson prayed. He is the geneticist.
We met Djuana (rev.). She is studying sign language.
We met Shelda in the waiting area and we all prayed for her new 1st grandson.