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For Heaven’s Newest Saint

Meghan, Little Saint,

When I first found out you would be born with disabilities, that your life would be a struggle, I wrote you this…


My Cousin with Downs

They haven’t named you yet.

If it were up to me, you’d have so many names–

Cecilia, for the music of your laughter;

Aurora, for your rosy cheeks;

Stella, for the stars in your eyes–

but Id’ always call you Lucia,

for the light you’ll bring to my life.


I can see you clearly in my mind,

your eyes burning like a pair of suns

inside your pale, droopy eyelids–

it just epitomizes you,

weak and pale outside,

strong and beautiful inside.


Guess that makes us polar opposites.


I’m like an arctic ice-field,

hard and shallow,

or the shifting sands of the Saharah.


Yet what would the Aurora Borealis be

without its manifold reflection o’er the ice?

And what desert bloom can go without

the warm, shifting sands it calls home?


You and I,

we can face this world


You be the mansion,

I’ll be the foundation.


And when the stars fall,

and Heaven’s splendor shines,

you will still be

my little Lucia.


You weren’t even born. I don’t even know if this was poetry or the song of my heart to you. And it turned out you didn’t even have Downs.

But it was prophetic.

You were–no, you ARE–beautiful.

I remember the fear over whether you’d come into this world. I remember the joy when you were born, the pain at watching you struggle. I remember getting to hold you, getting to see you sleep, getting to see you try to smile. I remember the 8 months you fought on this Earth as a little miracle, a little witness of the incredible power and love of God.

When I heard you had finally gone home to Him, I felt like the wind was knocked right out of me.

But then…peace. Not joy. But peace.

I’ve cried, and I will cry much more yet. But at the same time, I am so at peace. Because YOU finally have peace; you finally are without pain, in the arms of God the Father, carried by the Son, surrounded by the Spirit.

And I can’t wait to meet you there.

I entered a new life in college not long before you entered this life. You went home to Heaven the day I left to go home to my family. You were, by far, the stronger fighter, the more perfect and beautiful witness. You were my inspiration.

Maybe I can try to be as wonderful as you were while I’m still here.

Save me a place in the Kingdom, and pray for me.

With much love,

Your Cousin.

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