This blog is created in loving memory of my 2 angels Ammon Joshua Fisher and Abish Joy Fisher. This will tell you the story of their short lives here on earth and how their lives affected us in so many ways..

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Favorite Quotes From Winnie The Pooh

“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. I'll always be with you.”

“If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever”

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Letter To Abish

(this letter was read in her funeral)

My Dear Daughter Abish,
It was not my plan to see you so soon, nor was it my wish to have you leave so quickly. But plans sometimes change, and wishes do not always come true I am left with the memory of the moments we spent together and images of your tiny body floating through my mind.
I pray that these words may find their way to you so you will know how much you mean to me and how your brief time has changed me.
As we waited in the hospital I remember watching everyone preparing. All of the nurses getting ready and then suddenly all of it was gone. All I saw was you and your mother. Time stood still as I held you in the palm of my hand.
Not knowing how long I might have, I placed both hands under you and performed the only Priesthood ordinance you could have. As I gave you your name and expressed our love for you I longed to bless you as I have your siblings, with all of the aspirations of a loving father. But that was not to be so I blessed you with the only thing that seemed right, that when your short life was at an end you would have a speedy journey back to Heavenly Father's Presence.
As your mother and I looked at you we tried to memorize every feature. We marveled at your perfectly formed hands and feet. We mused to each other; “She has your eyes” She has my mouth”
Through the tears and pain something unexpected happened. I could feel a light coming from you . A brightness and warmth that had not been there before began to fill the room. Your mother have felt it too, as we both were calmed and focused, not wanting to miss the tiniest detail.
The first few days after your passing were difficult to bear. The loss weighed heavily on my mind. Slowly as the memory of you brought that precious feeling back and the light began to grow inside me, I realized the true gift that your life has given to me. My memory of your life makes me want to be like You. I want others to see that light shining still through me!
In the months and Years to come the pain and grief of your loss will ease, but that light will continue to shine! Wherever I find pain and sorrow I will left and comfort, the light you shone in my heart, I will shine on others in darkness.
Abish my tender one, your life was brief but your impact on me will live on. I will grieve your passing, but I will not overcome by grief. There will be moments of darkness, but I will not let the darkness overtake me.
It has been said the “ The light that burns twice as bright burn for half as long”. My Sweet Abish, your light has burnt Brighter than them all!
You are forever in my heart and in my mind and trusting in Heavenly Father's perfect plan, I know that we will be together again. Never to be separated! Our love for you will see us through to that glorious day!

Letter To Ammon

(on his second birthday/death anniversary...)

Ammon My Son,
How I wish you were here. It is two years ago today since we were together. Those brief moments that we got to share are still etched on my mind. Your life on this earth was so very short, and yet those moments we spent together have changed who I am in ways that are hard to describe.
I've been a Father before and since, for your Brothers and Sister, but that day I learned the hardest part of what it means to be a father. I learned what it means to have to say goodbye to a precious child. I have thought long about that day and those precious moments holding you in the palm of my hand. I've wondered what might have been. I've thought how things could have been different. I've felt you near when the memories wanted to overcome me. And I feel you now as I remember that day.
If you were here now you would be nearing your 2nd birthday. I 'm sure you would be just walking and beginning to talk. We would be playing together, and your smile would be the light of our home! How I have wished those things for you. But your purpose in our lives was a different one. God had a greater purpose for you, one that is still unfolding. My memories of you motivate and guide me now. Being your father helps me be a better father for your siblings. My desire to see you again guides my actions so that I may be worthy of that blessing.
I named you Ammon because I knew you had a great mission to perform. Just like Ammon of old I am sure that you are now serving that mission and blessing so many others by that service. When my thoughts turn to you this knowledge turns my sorrow to joy and lifts my spirits.
Where you are now, you can see the end from the beginning. There, in the presence of our God, you know with a certain knowledge that all of this is for our good and will make us stronger and more united. From My vantage point, veiled from the glory around you, those things are only seen through the eyes of my faith. But for now that is enough. My Love for You and our Faith will see us through and one day we will be together, never to be apart again.
I miss you my Son, but we must get on with that work the Lord has given us to do. Visit me sometimes, that I may feel your spirit near, and I promise to keep your memory fresh in my mind as well. I will Love you Always,

Abish Story

The following is an excerpts from my husband's journal that he wrote while in the hospital.

October 25, 2010
9:40 A.M
Still holding the silent body of my 7th child born at 6:48 am this morning. She lived about the same time as Ammon did, about 39 minutes. 39 minutes that seemed like hours for me.
This day began at 3:00 am when Daisy woke me up to say she felt contractions and wanted to go to the hospital. We arrived quickly and the doctor on duty came to check her. A quick check revealed the worst, that she had already fully dilated and the delivery was immanent.
Baby Abish came at at once with the water bag and all. The doctor and nurse sprung into action as she lay on the bed. These first few moments were chaotic, but the images are clear in my mind. Unlike Ammon, Abish had a lot of body motion. Her arms flexed and she wiggled her feet. Even a tiny faint cry was heard and for a few moments my heart lifted at the thought that maybe there was something that could be done for her.
One of the doctors from the NICU was standing by to assess whether to go forward with measures to stabilize her. After looking carefully and measuring heart rate etc., he determined that Abish's body was not sufficiently developed to survive and she was carefully wrapped in a blanket and given back to us. The NICU doctor said her heart rate was about 1/3of normal and irregular.
The rest of our time was spent in trying to be sure we have a good clear memory of our brief time together.
Right after having her back in my hands I asked the nurses to be quiet for a moment and gave her a priesthood blessing and a name. I have previously called our bishop to ask if this was ok to perform the ordinance. Though my emotions were hard to control I performed the ordinance and pronounced her name. I blessed her to have a speedy journey back to our Heavenly Father and expressed our love for Her and our desire to be re united with her and her brother.
I think we're still in shock and disbelief at this point as the full impact of this day has not yet hit me. I never imagined that I would be called upon by Heavenly father to experience this loss again. Although I have been through this before, I was nonetheless unprepared for it. As with Ammon, the moments and actions of others in the room seemed to disappear and a sort of a tunnel vision focused my attention to Daisy and Abish. Together Daisy and I examined and memorized every detail of our sweet baby Abish, not wanting to miss any possible opportunity for the closeness we would soon lose. Every moment of her hands and every attempt at taking a breath caused my heart to leap in my chest and the fall again as she fell still

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ammon's Story

It all started on Friday October 19, 2007 around midnight when I felt a gush of water. We were unsure if it was my bag of water that broke and since it was so late we decided not to go to the Emergency Room right then. We waited early in the morning on Saturday (October 20) and went to the Labor & Delivery Room at the hospital. They hooked me to the monitoring machine and everything was perfect. Baby heartbeat was perfect and no contraction. They did a sterile speculum exam (The sterile speculum exam is used to assist the practitioner to determine if amniotic membranes have ruptured ) and it came back negative. They also did an ultrasound and there's nothing unusual that they could see. We were sent home and was advised to follow up with my doctor on Monday (October 22) . We went home and when we got home I treated the day like normal since I wasn't feeling anything too. I was cleaning the house and took care of Andrew like I usually do. The next day ( Sunday) we went to church. On Monday (October 22) , Russ called the clinic first thing in the morning and I got an appointment at 8:40 that morning, We went in and Dr. Nebeker (not my attending doctor since he was out of town that week) checked me. He checked my cervix and I wasn't dilated at all, he did an ultrasound and I was told my placenta was slightly out of position and I was advised to take it easy and rest as much as possible. He scheduled me for an OB ultrasound at the hospital for Wednesday to make sure everything was fine. We head home but stopped for lunch on our way. As we were in the restaurant I felt a burning sensation when I went inside the restroom to pee. I thought it was just because my cervix was checked and I ignored the feeling. After eating lunch, we went home and I tried to take a nap. I woke up around 3:00 in the afternoon and I was shivering. My temperature went up and I told Russ to call the Doctor right then. He had to leave a message and the doctor returned his call a few minutes after and told him to get me back to the clinic ASAP. We got in the car right away and I started feeling some contractions and at the same time I was shivering more and more. I told Russ to go straight to the hospital and not the clinic since I was having contractions already. We arrived at the hospital a little after 5:00 pm and I was checked in right away. My fever was 105°F or 106 °F and the nurse thought I was having a bladder infection. I asked for pain reliever and they injected me with it but it didn't help. The doctor came a few minutes after and I told him right away that I was having a contraction every 3 mins. He checked on my cervix right away and was told the worst “ I'm so sorry Daisy you are 6 cm dilated already, you gonna have the baby today”. I was torn apart hearing those words, my heart was broken and I cried like I never did before. They closed the curtains and gave us some time alone. I kept on crying and was asking “Why this has to happen to me.?” After a few minutes the doctor came back and we were told I would be moved to the Labor room and they got everything ready. I asked him “Is there a way you could save my baby?” I was told no because he was too early (22 weeks) and his major organs especially the lungs are not developed yet and even if they would try it could lead to serious problems later. He told me he would check with the neonatal specialist to make sure and the answer was no as expected. They got me into the Labor room quick and when I was fully dilated the doctor told me it was time to push. I didn't want to do it, I wanted to keep my baby inside me until he's full term but the doctor told me I had to do it and I know I have no choice at all. I only had to push 2 times and Ammon was out. Luckily I had my camera in my purse and we got a few pictures. My body temperature went down dramatically after Ammon was out.

They wrapped him in a hospital blanket and handed him to us, though he was premature to breath as his lungs were not fully developed, he would open his mouth and try to draw in a breath. Watching him did this, my tears welled up again and again and it was more than I could bear at that time! It was too much for me watching helplessly as my precious son slowly died. I have never thought in my whole life that I would experience losing a child. At that moment it came to my remembrance almost 1 year ago when my father died. I was about 4 months pregnant with Andrew when my father died and I could not be there in the Philippines since I just got here in the States and my green card was in the process still ( I had a fiancee visa and it was a single entry visa). Being so close to my father I felt so helpless at that time and it has been hard for me, but the pain I was feeling as I helplessly watched my son slowly die was different. Nothing compares the emotions and pain I was feeling at that time.

They took all his vitals and stuff and put a little blue gown on him and handed him to us again. He only lived for about 40 minutes. He weighed 15 oz and was 11 inches tall. As we examined his physical features I thought he looked a lot like his dad.

One of the nurses that was in the room asked us how we would proceed, if we wanted to send his body to the morgue and then do a funeral service or have the hospital dispose his body. Few months before this happened I asked my husband how much a funeral would cost here (since it is different in the Philippines) and he told me it would be very expensive and would cost thousand of $$$. Being first time to this experience and haven't talked to anybody who had the same experience we didn't have any idea how much would it cost us if we do our own funeral. So when the nurse mentioned that we can give the hospital a permission to dispose his body we asked her what they would do if they would use his body for medical research purposes (which we thought we wouldn't mind since it would help them understand why things like this happened) but we were told that's not what they're doing and that they would cremate his body and there's a baby garden in Ogden where they would sprinkle his ashes and we can visit there anytime we want. I looked at my husband and we both knew where were at financially and thought the best choice to make was to give the hospital a permission to dispose his body with the knowledge that that's what they would do. So a nurse came back with a piece of paper for us to sign giving the hospital permission to dispose his Ammon's body.

I called my friend Fe and asked her if she could bring Andrew to the hospital and asked her if she could just let our other friends knew. They came after a few minutes or so. Andrew was only 17 months then and we showed him his little brother but I was certain he didn't really get what's going on. Our friends asked if we gonna have a funeral but we told them that the hospital would take care of the disposal of his body and told them everything they would do as what we were told. My friends went home and I got transfer to a room. I chose not to be in the same floor where all mothers who just had a baby were. I thought listening to crying babies would be too much for me so I stayed in one of the room in the medical floor) My 2 sisters in law came to visit and some of my friends. I was so grateful for their love and support. Russ and Andrew stayed with me in the hospital that night. I was overwhelmed whenever I looked at Andrew. I felt so sorry that he didn't get to know his little brother who would have been his playmate and they could have so much fun together. Though he was too young when he lost his little brother but he would grow up with the knowledge of him and someday I know he will understand.

The next day my doctor came to check on me and I asked him what was the cause of my premature delivery. He told me it was premature rupture of membranes. That Friday night, my bag of water broke why it happened they didn't really know. I didn't know why the sterile speculum exam came back negative when it was my bag of water that broke. I asked had we gone to the emergency room that night if it had made a difference and he told me no. I had a high fever because I got an infection since Ammon was still inside me after my bag of water broke for more than 24 hours. Ammon experienced fetal distress at that time that's why though he was tiny he had a cone head when he came out.
Coming home from the hospital was the worst part of all, it was when it hit me really hard. It was so hard coming home with an empty hand, no baby and everybody's quiet in the house. I was once again overcome with my emotions, my tears welled up again and I was crying for the rest of the night. I didn't wanna talk to anybody, our bishop came and dropped some articles he printed out from conference talks. I was reading a little bit and I know those were intended to comfort me, but it didn't change how I felt that night.

Days have passed and I have always wanted to know the place where they sprinkled his ashes. I wanted to go there. I missed my Ammon so bad. I wished he was here with me. Why did he have to die? It was killing me when I woke up in the middle of the night with empty arms. I wanted my baby. In everything I did Ammon was always in my mind. I was always torn apart whenever I saw something that reminded me of him. I missed him so badly every minute of the day and I wanted to know the place where they sprinkled his ashes on so I would know that he was there. It would be a place where I could always go every time I miss him. But we were told in the hospital we have to wait for at least 2 weeks (for death certificate reason) before it would get done but the two weeks of waiting seems forever.. If only I could forward time I would but I knew I have to wait.

Though I was miserable, I waited for that 2 weeks until the day finally came. I asked Russ to call the hospital and asked them for the address of that baby garden they told me about.  I was preparing for dinner and Russ was in the basement when he made that call. He didn't come up for a while so I went downstairs to find out if he was still on the phone or if he got the information I wanted already. He wasn't on the phone anymore and I asked him right away where but the answer I got was “They told me they didn't do such a thing, that there was no cremation being done and that there was a mis-communication between us and the hospital.” Before he could even finish talking I grabbed the phone and dial the hospital with my hands shaking. I was so upset and I was yelling my lung out at the same time crying as I was talking to the social worker in that hospital. I told her again and again what we were told that they would do and my friends knew about it. She told me again and again that it was just a mis-communication and that procedure didn't really exist. I told her it wasn't a mis-communication but we were being lied. I asked her if that procedure didn't exist then what they did with my baby's body. She told me that the hospital cremate his body along with all their hazard waste and the ashes weren't sprinkled somewhere but are thrown in the trash and they have a contractor that picks up their trash on regular basis. I got more upset! Never in my entire life had I been so upset than that day. I felt like I lost Ammon the second time. It was a horrible feeling. I told them they were making things worst for me, and that it was hard enough that I lost my baby and what they were doing was killing me twice. They kept on saying sorry and I told them even if they said sorry to me for a million times, it wouldn't change the situation, it wouldn't bring my baby's body back and how I was feeling. I told them had I known that is what they were doing I wouldn't have made that decision we did. I didn't care if we had to borrow money as long as we did whatever we wanted to do with his body. I wanted to have a place where I could visit and remember him. I was miserable that day. The pain got more intense and I didn't get to sleep that night. I was crying for the whole night and I just didn't know what to do. The next day the director for the children and women department in that hospital called and apologized again. She told me she would check the records and call the nurses and CNA who attended me that night and talked to them. I told her they have to make sure their nurses wouldn't make that mistakes again. Losing a child was terrible enough but nothing's more terrifying if all other mothers have to go through the same thing I did ( what the hospital did). I told her I hope it would never happen again to others. Losing a child is something many of us fear and never expect to actually experience but sad to say it happens. No other mother/parent should ever have to go through the stress and pain I went through after losing a child.
I knew I needed to do something. I happened to have a friend who's friend is a lawyer. I called him and told him everything and asked him what I could do. He told me to go back to the hospital and asked for my medical records and once we got them the we would decide how to proceed. The 2 ladies from the hospital called me a few times after then, to follow up with me and asked if there's something they could do to help me but I told them no. They were aware that I was talking to a lawyer. I told them I wasn't doing it for money. I was doing it for Ammon and for other mothers. No more mothers/parent should ever have to experience the same thing. I told them I would be in the hospital on Monday (November 12) to get my medical records.
We went to the hospital that day as planned, and it wasn't easier for me. Going to that place again after what just happened brought a lot of pain inside me but I had to do it.  We waited for a while until they got all the papers printed and I got them in my hands I just wanted to leave but I was instructed by the lawyer to make sure I got that paper that we signed giving the hospital permission to dispose Ammon's body. As we went through all the papers we couldn't find that piece of paper. We talked to them and the person in charge in the medical records told us that's all they got but he called the other departments who might have it. The social worker and that director got involved finding that piece of paper. We were told they would look for it and if we could just wait. We went downstairs as they were trying to find that piece of paper. We waited for a while until we got a call from of them telling us they have some news for us and they wanted to talk to us personally. I didn't want to go back upstairs so we met them downstairs. Then they told us that they found the paper in their laboratory and that the laboratory was way behind their schedule and my baby's tiny body was still there. I was relieved. Silently I said a prayer of thanks, I expressed my gratitude to Heavenly Father for His goodness and mercy and asked for forgiveness for my weaknesses as a result of what happened. Ammon's body was still there. I wished I could just scream and tell everybody the good news that day.
Anyway they told me that because of the mess they had caused, they would help me with whatever decision we would come up with as far as the baby's concerned. I told them I wouldn't make a decision right then, we would think about it and call them later. We left from the hospital and while in the car Russ and I said a prayer. On our way home we were discussing what we gonna and we both knew what we really wanted to do. We wanted a funeral. In the middle of our conversation a thought came to me “What if it's not really Ammon?” with the mess I went through with them I didn't think I wanna trust them anymore. Russ told me that he didn't think they gonna mess up for the second time but I wanted to make sure.

We called the Mortuary and the City so we could figure out the cost and proceed from there. We got an appointment to meet with one of the funeral directors at Lindquist Mortuary on November 17th. We went in their Layton office and got the opportunity to speak with their manager R . Layton Cotrell. He is a really nice guy and I we found out his parents served as a mission president in the Philippines ( Philippines Cebu Mission). We told him our experience with the hospital and other things we went through, and as we talked to him we found out..
  • It doesn't cost as much to do burial for babies.
  • Lindquist would do cremation for free and the parents can do whatever they want with the ashes.
  • They waive any service fee.
  • They provide a casket at no charge.
  • The real expense is the lot ( if you didn't have one already) plus the cost of digging, the headstone (which you can do later) and the vault (which is also optional unless the city cemetery requires it.)
These were the things I wished I'd known beforehand but in my whole life I never imagined that I would experience it. I told Layton about my concern with my baby's body and my desire to see him for confirmation before the burial. He understood that and expressed his sympathy and I was assured that they would treat his body with respect and that he would be in good hands. I felt at ease and I knew that besides what had happened, there are still people that I can trust.

After sitting down with him I called the hospital and told them what we came up with and the cost that involved. They told me they would take care of all of it. So we planned everything according to their promise to us. Planning for Ammon's funeral was the most difficult experience I had to go through. It was something I wish I or any parents didn't have to go through but unfortunately that was a reality for me right then. Ammon's very short life has affected us in so many ways and I wanted to have a graveyard service to honor him and spend it with special people around me.

After we got everything nailed down, I called the hospital and told them that someone from Lindquist Mortuary would pick up Ammon that day and that we would do a funeral on Dec 1st. When I told them how much the total cost would be, they asked if we could split the amount with them. I tried not to be mad anymore but I told them “NO” and that they have to do what they told me they would. I didn't trust them anymore and I doubted even more that maybe it wasn't really Ammon's body. I called Layton again and asked him if it's possible to see my baby's body before they do anything. I knew it wouldn't be a pleasant experience but I have to do it just to make sure and put all my doubts to rest.

On November 20, Russ and I went to Lindquist Mortuary in Ogden to view Ammon's body. David S. Moore the funeral director in Ogden was the one who assisted us. As he opened the viewing room, my heart was pounding so hard and I couldn't describe my feeling at that moment. I wanted to just run to the small table where my baby was, but at the same time I was scared of the thought that maybe it wasn't Ammon. I asked Russ to look first and when he told me it was really Ammon I followed and looked at him. It has been almost a month since he died and his tiny body was already shrinking but at first glance I knew it was Ammon. I was torn apart watching his poor body. I couldn't take it. I wanted to hold him but my heart was breaking. I felt so sorry for my baby's tiny body. I wished that didn't happen to him. Though it wasn't a pleasant experience, I was glad I made that choice. I felt at ease and there were no doubts that it was my baby.

A day or so after I talked to the director of the Women and Newborn department of the hospital once again and told her I wanted to sit down with them to talk to them about the important information I found out as we went through the process of preparing Ammon's funeral. I told them I didn't want my experience to be repeated to any mothers who would go through the loss of a child. I would never wish it for anybody.  I know how devastating it would be.  But sad to say it happened and it's a reality. I needed to talk to them and tell them all those information and that's the only way I knew I could help others. I told them instead of giving that piece of paper (consent to dispose the baby's body) to parents that they should hand out information of what's the available services every mortuary would do. I specifically told them to contact Linquist and get all the information they need. I was promised that they would do it, and told me that though I had to go through all the stress and pain something good came out of my experience that would help others. It was so sad that I had to lost Ammon, but I was glad I fought for him. If there were mother who lost a baby after me (in the same hospital) and didn't go through the mess I did I was happy for them. It wasn't because of me but because of Ammon and maybe that was the purpose of his short life here on earth. I also mentioned to her that while in the hospital the same nurse told us that a professional photographer would come to take pictures of Ammon and they would give us a CD with all of the pictures taken. She told us they got the CD and these were the pictures they took.

 I don't think they were taken by a professional photographer! At this point, I didn't wanna complain anymore. I got more pictures of my baby and that's what matters to me.

December 1st was the day we buried Ammon. We woke up in the morning with a lot of snow in the ground. It has been snowing the whole night. I was having a hard time sleeping the night before. I was thinking of my Ammon and wished he wasn't gone. I was grateful for all of our family and friends who came to attend the service despite of the weather, and who supported us through this trial. I am blessed with wonderful friends..

The funeral service went great. Russ and his 2 boys carried Ammon's casket to the graveside. It was an emotional event yet comforting. Our Bishop (Bishop Prinster) conducted the service, our good friend Scott Martin gave the opening prayer. My brother in law Doug gave a short talked and I was moved with what he said “ When I heard the news I felt so sorry for Daisy but at the same time thought what a chosen mother she is that Heavenly Father entrusted her with a perfect one.” Bishop Prinster also talked about death of little children and what happened to them. I didn't remember everything since I was very emotional but I was grateful for such a nice service.

After the service, I went back to the graveside and poured my emotion out. It helped to be alone and spent a little time even for the last time looking at Ammon's casket. I know I will never see him again in this life but I will in the life to come.

After the service we all went to the church for the luncheon. I was pretty impressed with what the Relief Society did. They did a great job! I'm grateful for all that they did.

Things didn't get easier after the funeral. I had my hard moments still. I went through the grieving process like any mother who lost a baby would do but with my experience with Ammon the healing happened quickly because of how my experience turned out into something that could be beneficial to others. I knew a couple of ladies who lost their babies a month or so after me but their experience was totally different than mine and that's because of Ammon.

What helped me the most through the healing process was going to the temple often. I decided one day after having many sleepless nights and restless mind I needed to go to the temple. The first time I went there after Ammon's death, I felt so close to him and I felt Heavenly Father's arms around me. We have been trying to go once a week since then and that's when I started to learn to cope with things better and the memories of my sweet Ammon become more precious.

The following is an excerpt from my husband's journal written on June 21, 2008.

We took a day trip to to Manti, Ut for the Mormon Miracle Pageant. We brought Pres. & Sis. Perez (who were visiting our home prior to entering the MTC for training to be Mission president in the Phils. Davao Mission) and Scott & Fe Martin and their daughter. The drive there is about 3.5 hours each way and we arrived in Manti around 4:00 pm. We staked out our seats fort he show and then walked (the ladies rode in a horse and a wagon) to the tabernacle for dinner. As we strolled down Main St. after our meal we looked in shop windows and a few street vendors set up for the expected crowd. Near the end of our walk we found an older man resting in the shade of a large tree. All around under the tree (and hanging from it) were the most beautiful barn wood paintings. He had many different themes, but most were children and a few were images of Christ. Among them all I saw a tiny baby cradled in two hands.

As I looked at this image my mind went back 8 months to the day my son Ammon was delivered prematurely at just 22 weeks. The image in the painting was actually the same picture in my memory of that day as I held our tiny baby boy in the palm of my hand for the 40 mins or so that he lived. 

As I looked at the intricate detail of the painting I saw the tiny fingers and toes, the details of my tiny son's face all over again. By the time Daisy found me (and the picture) my emotions were already bubbling up and she saw the connection I had made. As we looked at each other I know she understood better how difficult it is for me to think about that day. I guess that is why I have not written or talked very much about it. It is 8 months later now and although the pain will always be there, it is not a daily thing for me now and we are talking seriously about having another child. Our little Ammon is buried nearby in the Clearfield Cemetery and we are able to visit often. I could not have guessed how agonizing it would be to hold that tiny helpless child in my hand and watch him slowly die. He was too premature to breath as his lungs were not fully developed but he would open his mouth and try to draw in a breath. His whole body seemed to heave in response and then he would lie still. Each time he did this a chill ran down my body and tears welled up again. I don't really know what my emotions looked like to those present but inside I wanted to sob. As Ammon would try to take a breath I whispered each time to Daisy “He's still here” knowing by that action he was still alive, still trying. Every minute seemed to go on forever and time seemed to slow down. Those 40 minutes seemed for me to last, as they literally did for Ammon, a lifetime. As we watched helplessly, he quietly and peacefully fulfilled all of the mortal requirements to return to Heavenly Father. He was born in the Covenant and died having lived, albeit briefly, a perfect life. He is claimed for eternity through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that our separation is both temporary and brief in the eternal perspective.

This simple yet beautiful painting has somehow allowed me to finally heal the terrible wound inside. Although it was very expensive, we purchased it knowing we would be sorry if we did not. It is hanging on the wall in Daisy's office now and I pause to look at it often. A funny thing has happened though, it no longer makes me so emotional. Now when I look at it I can see my precious son in a peaceful way. I can examine those tiny features and count his little fingers again knowing they will always be there for me to see. It's kind of a miracle I guess, but that painting has brought me a peace that I had been unable to find elsewhere, and how could I put a price on that. I will always love my son Ammon, and will forever have difficulty with the memories of that fateful day, but now I have something that brings me peace and reminds me of where Ammon really is now, in the hands of god. The title of the painting is “In His Hands” by Larry Nielson.