Monday, November 7, 2016

Remembrance Portfolio

So many words to say on this one...lets see if I can do this story any type of justice.
So I have had the privilege of knowing this wonderfully awe inspiring author, Barbara Blue Johnson, for almost 2 years now. She's a wee bit funny and all kinds of wonderful. She also has a very Jesus filled heart and has taught so many of us the power of that heart. (They are her stories to tell... I'll include them because I can't get the link to work.)
Back in August she was asked to photograph a birth of an old classmate's grandchild, for he wasn't supposed to make it. Barbara asked us all to pray for this family and this baby and well how could you not. And when the miraculous happened...we all cried with joy for them. Needless to say please read the link. It's words written with God's own hand...even if you aren't a believer...go's well worth it. Have tissues handy...I've read it a hundred times and it still makes me cry. Every. Time.
So a few days after Barbara posted all the pictures she took, this idea took hold and it wouldn't let go. This is the end result of that idea and I hope it does all her beautiful pictures and words justice.
Maybe it's a work of faith, hope, or love. But it's definitely a work of rememberance...Cinch Bradley Garrett shares the birth date of my first due date...a date that will always hold a place in my heart because we never got to hold ours, just love them in our hearts. So for all those we lost and never got to hold this ones for them all.
Rest in Peace Sweet Baby Cinch.
: a tight grip (hold)
: a thing done with ease (love)
: a certainty to happen (always)
This is a portfolio style album so it can be viewed spread out or as a book. Two it work contains both stories harmoniously but separate.

I Saw God Today
by Barbara Blue Johnson
I watched them making a birth plan and a death plan for him.
I witnessed the hospital Chaplin speak to the family about how he could perform a hospital service for their son.
I saw a young mother and father agonize over whether to deliver him via C-section or have a vaginal delivery, when both options carried grave consequences.
Would she opt for a C-section that could be easier on their unborn baby boy but cause her to lose precious moments of holding him during his first and possibly last breath?
Or would she choose a natural birth that would be extremely stressful on his already frail and premature body so she could have time with him without the pain and fogginess after a major surgery?
The doctors said that he might not survive either delivery.
And when she chose to deliver him naturally, the medical staff disconnected his heart monitor so that the room could not hear his heart go into distress or stop beating from the labor and delivery.
It was a room full of people awaiting his birth, minus the song of his heartbeat to fill the silences.
He was not to be given CPR which would have broken his ribs and caused him great agony.
He was not to be intubated to prolong his suffering.
He was to be handed over to his mother and father so they could hold him for as long as they could and I was to photograph those moments.
Then the room filled up with doctors and nurses and the mom started to shake from the fear of delivery and the impeding truth that had been told to them for the months prior to this moment in regards to their son.
She pushed four times.
I don’t know if any of us expected anything more than the sounds of weeping in the room when he was born.
But after that fourth push, he proved everyone wrong.
He cried.
And we all gasped in disbelief and in awe.
And we cheered.
And then he cried out again.
And again.
And that’s when we all knew that a game changer had just occurred.
God did that.
And I was blessed to be there and see it happen.
I saw God today, August 21, 2016 at 1:01am.

 The one side has the second part all hidden under flip flap photo holders.  This allowed the Eulogy to be included without hopefully taking away from the overall pictures of love and remembrance.  It also allowed it flow better. 

I Saw God Again by Cinch Bradley Garrett as told by Barbara Blue Johnson
When He told me some of my story, before I was sent to grow within my mother’s womb, I knew that my moments in this world would be fleeting. I knew that I wouldn’t have much time with my Mom and Dad, but I also knew that in those short and measured days, I would be embraced and showered with unrelenting love from my family.
He told me that my life-story would reach well beyond my family and their friends. My story would touch many people that my family would never get to meet.
He told me that my story would warm the hearts of various people who had allowed it to become iced over from their own pains and sufferings.
I somberly said to Him, “Thy will be done, Father God.”
From the moment my ears opened and I could hear their voices coming from outside of my mother’s belly, I knew and felt their love for me. When my parents learned of my fate from the doctors, I heard my Mom’s heart break right above me. I so badly wanted to piece back together the parts of her heart that were cracking open. I cried out to Him to heal her heart, as it was the sound of her heartbeat that soothed me when I became scared of the fate that faced me. Her heart sounded different after I heard it break apart and I no longer wanted to leave her. I cried out to Him again, asking Him to change His will for me. I wanted to see her face. I wanted her to hold me close and kiss my face.
I wanted more time with her and my earthly Dad.
And then my heavenly Father said to me, “Yes my child, I will give you more time with your family as I have heard their cries and prayers for you. I am giving you time to see them with your eyes. Time for you to be embraced by them. Time for you to hear their stories and songs for you. Time for you to grab onto their fingers and hearts. But it won’t be enough time. It is never enough time when you have to leave the people you love most in the world. Their hearts will break beyond your understanding but know that I will catch every tear, that I will comfort them with My love and promise, that I will never leave them nor forsake them as it is written. I will heal their hearts and it will be well with their souls.”
And just as He promised me, I was given time.
He gave me eight days of feeling their love for me.
And on the eighth day, my heavenly Father called to me and said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Your fight to remain here is now over. Come back to Me where there is no more pain and no more sadness. I will keep you forever warm within My arms and the angels will sing to you My lullabies. You will see your family again, My child, because through My Son, there are no goodbyes. I’ve given the world “I’ll see you laters” with My gift of Jesus."
And then I woke up to the sounds of heaven along with the warm and all-consuming love of my heavenly Father surrounding me and I knew right then that everything would be alright.
My parents named me Cinch Bradley Garrett.
My name means “a firm hold or a tight grip,” just as my Almighty God is holding them right now.
On August 29, 2016, 198 hours after I was born, I saw God again.

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