Friday, December 16, 2011

Shoutin' From the Mountain Top

I made a huge mistake before I went to bed last night.  I read comments people were making about the Duggar's decision to share pictures of their precious baby girl Jubilee.  I went to bed angry and hurt by some of those words. Truth be told, I'm still a little angry this morning.  Have people gotten so far lost that they could be so hurtful?  I'll admit, I am not a huge Duggar fan.  I used to love to watch their show and was just fascinated by them, until I read their first book.  What I do not do, is harbor any ill will towards those people.  They do not do things the way I would but I do not have to live their life.  I have to live mine.  What I do think is that God has given these people a unique opportunity to share Him.  He has equipped them with what He feels they need to be witnesses for Him.  By the same token, He has taken care of and provided for that family because they have been obedient to His call.
Yesterday, this family said a final goodbye to the baby that God gave them but for a brief time.  As part of their celebration of life, they shared some very precious and tasteful pictures of a precious life.  Now...they are being ridiculed and criticized for even having these pictures taken.  As I read these mean and hurtful comments, I wondered who said the same about the pictures we hold near and dear of Eli. Even if those thoughts were not shared with us, how many thought them?  Honestly, I couldn't imagine not having those pictures today.
It is so hard to understand just how much those pictures mean to a bereaved parent unless you have firsthand experience.  For Jay, Cooper, Lucie Rose and even Amelia, I have boxes and files upon files of pictures of them.  I have memories of daily occurrences.  For Eli, I have one shelf of things in my closet and one file of pictures.  I have so little to remember of him and Michelle Duggar has even less of Jubilee. 
I think back to the day Eli was born and the little bit of time we shared with him.  I can sum my memories up in so few words.  Some of the most vivid memories are the most devastating.  I remember when Dr. K told me he had to put me to sleep for an emergency c-section.  My first response was a very emphatic NO! I was digging my heals in and very much prepared to refuse to sign any paperwork for that.  I knew I would miss his arrival and would be groggy due to anesthesia and that just was not an option for me.  Really, the only way I even relented and agreed to this is because I was promised that pictures would be taken so I could somehow still be a part of his arrival.  Those pictures never got taken and to this day that is one huge regret I have.  I have one picture of my son alive.  One...and all that you can see in that one picture are his legs and arms from a pretty far distance.  It was taken through the nursery window and a crack in the blinds that some special, wonderful nurse so thoughtfully "forgot" to fix.  He is surrounded by doctors and nurses.  That is it.  Just that one picture.  No lifetime of photographs.  Not a day, week, month, year or 10 years of pictures.  Just this one.

So I have pictures of my baby boy after he died.  They are more precious to me than any silver or gold or anything I could have. My photographer, sweet Lisa...I can not imagine how nervous and out of her comfort zone she was that day.  This was her first time ever photographing an infant and it's family in this situation.  You would have never known that though.  She was a pro.  I have made a precious, wonderful new friend because of her kindness and compassion and well... because she is just an all around terrific person.

I am so glad for the Duggars that they have those pictures of sweet baby Jubilee to help remember her by.  This is such a tragic and heartbreaking...gut wrenching time for this family.  Thank God there was someone to give them the gift of beautiful pictures.  I can not say enough good things about all of the  photographers who volunteer their time to Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.  These are some wonderfully, special people.

I am so heartbroken for this family that they are walking this very difficult and lonely path.  I am doubly heartbroken that hurtfulness, mean spiritedness, and ignorance will undoubtedly cause more pain to a family that needs peace and love to help them navigate through the valley of death.

Sending peace, love, and many prayers to this family in their time of grief.

Much love,


  1. I agree to this whole heartedly. It hurt my heart so much to see where the world has gone. To evil and hate. I don't understand why someone would even bother looking if they weren't looking with love and compassion for the loss. I see those two tiny feet and my heart aches for them. I know what it is like to loose a child, just as you do. No matter what the circumstance they are HUMAN BEINGS. They deserve respect. Thank you for sharing that picture of Eli's birth. As a mother I know exactly how much that one distant picture means to you.

    I have not read any of the Duggar's books. And like you were, I have watched and followed along with their show and story. Now I am curious since you mentioned it, because you and I come from similar walks of life. {Five beautiful children. Lost our fourth, and sweet little number five.} I also know that you are an amazing God fearing mommy and wife.

    Just so you know, not everyone in the world is heartless, and I ADORE your pictures of Eli. He is so so beautiful. :')

  2. Agreed Jennifer! This is an excellent post and you said it all so well! I wish people would leave the Duggar's alone. People these days do not care what they say about or to others -- and some things can be so hurtful. Thinking of you and your family this holiday season. Hope y'all have a Merry Christmas!

  3. I hate the comments that have been made about their loss and the photos. People are cruel and have such darkness in their hearts. Where has love and compassion gone? God forbid any of those people have to experience one day what this is like.

  4. So well written...I can't believe that people can be so cruel either. I just don't understand how they can't look at those perfect little hands and not see it as so much more then just a dead is their child...their much-wanted child. Sure..I am not a huge fan either, but I have no place to judge them for how they live their lives. They all seem very happy, and God has really blessed them with their God-loving children.

    I know that people were disgusted that we even held Aubree..they were disgusted that we put her on our Christmas card last year..that we wanted to put her in our family's Christmas album...I get how hurtful it can be when people are cruel, and I feel so terribly that they have to deal with this right now...Much love to you all this Christmas season!