Erin Go Bragh

March makes me think of oh so many things Irish. Half my ancestors are Irish, and more than half of my husband’s are Irish. So when our daughter was born we named her Erin. She had so many battles to fight in her brief life. She had Dandy-Walker Syndrome, a defective heart, Spina Bifida, hydrocephalus, and so much more. As a result she required a whole bunch of surgeries. Not all at once, of course. She had 8 surgeries in her 10 months and 5 days of life. In between those she was home with us. She had amazing spunk, spirit, vibrancy~and could light up a room.

She changed lives and touched the hearts of the people in our parish profoundly. Despite her spunk, she had a stroke following a surgery. Her doctors were devastated. We told them they had nothing to feel guilty about. Their excellent care and deft hands had snatched her from death’s jaws for 10 months. God decided that her suffering must end and brought her dancing spirit home to Him. We grieved for ourselves yet rejoiced for her. But after her death we went through a lot of heartache, as one would expect. We sought counseling to help ensure that our marriage would survive the grieving.

During that time, (this was more than 20 years ago) we were watching Touched by an Angel (a favorite show of ours, at the time). There was an episode featuring Wynonna Judd as a mom whose son was terminally ill. She was seeking strength and acceptance, and strength in how to selflessly let him go while she so wanted to hang on to him. The scene at the end of the show touched our hearts and let us weep our final poignant tears. It served to drive home God’s point in our hearts (then and now)….that Erin was His all along. She had been on loan. She is with Him~and since our hearts are with Him, too, we are forever with her even now. And her suffering is long gone. Praise be to God for that.

We are all on loan to each other. Treasure the moments we do have. That is our clarion call. Whenever I do hear Wynonna Judd sing this song, I rejoice that I am blessed with a great gift of faith~and that I cherish each moment I have with people I love. I will live to testify…. I am putting the lyrics here and embedding the video here.

Lyrics: I Will Live To Testify”

“All the colors of the rainbow
All the voices of the wind
Every dream that reaches out
Reaches out to find where love begins
Every word of every story
Every star in every sky
Every corner of creation lives to testify

Chorus:
For as long as I shall live I will testify to love
Be a witness in the silences when words are not enough
With every breath I take I will give thanks to God above
For as l shall live I will testify to love

From the mountains to the valleys
From the rivers to the seas
Every hand that reaches out
Every hand that reaches to offer peace
Every simple act of mercy
Every step to kingdom come
All the hope in every heart will speak what love has done

Chorus 2”

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
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24 Responses to Erin Go Bragh

  1. niasunset says:

    Dear Kate, touched my heart too, I prayed for Her. Rest In Peace little girl. Thank you this beauifully written post for Her. With my love, nia

  2. Caddo Veil says:

    Oh Kate, Kate, Kate–typing through tears and sending you arms full of love. What a moving testimony of love and remembrance, the pain of letting go, and the greatest faith which sustains us. What a powerful message, that we are all “on loan” to each other. I know it’s a continuing struggle for me to not hold too tightly, those I love so quickly and easily. And I count you among them, sister. God bless you today–thank you so much for sharing what must still ache, to write.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      I know what you mean….the hellos and stay-awhiles are my favorite. the goodbyes—not so much! I count you as a dear blessing, too. God bless you and keep you.

  3. AlohaKarina says:

    Amazing, amazing, amazing. Blessings to you and your family, and for darling little Erin.

  4. fiztrainer says:

    Your post made me cry for so many things … what you went through; your beautiful testimony of strength, encouragement, and inspiration; for your daughter who went through so much and yet, gave so much in the short time she was with you. I actually remember the episode of Touched By An Angel that you talked about. This was truly an inspiring post. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal event.

  5. There was a poignant inscription in an old, pioneer New Hampshire graveyard…”this precious child from Heaven sent, we thought a gift, but only lent”… I can tell by your beautiful words that Erin was a precious gift…spunk, spirit and vibrancy….we are all such precious gifts in each other’s lives, no matter how long we are here. Thank you for your reminder to treasure each other in the moments we do have. Blessings to you…

    • Kate Kresse says:

      What a beautiful and heartfelt inscription. We were blessed by Erin~and each moment was precious. It made me permanently aware of the preciousness of each phase/stage of life. blessings to you, too.

  6. Oh Kate, this is quite a post to share. I haven’t lost a child, but I have, though the years, been a friend to those who have, and the road to that final little breath can be so brutal. I’m so glad you shared about baby Erin. Your remarkable spirit of joy is even more remarkable given this “heavy hit” in your young motherhood. I think I take from that the fact that God was very near. And continues to be. I, too, love this wonderful song, “Testify to Love.” I send a hug! Debra

    • Kate Kresse says:

      God was at at our side each step of the way, giving us strength, and courage. I do not know how anyone can go through deep difficulties without Him. I could not have, that is a fact. Hugs to you, too Debra. I am sure you were a great comfort to your friends that lost children.

  7. sarsm says:

    A lovely tribute to Erin. I’m sorry your time with her was so short. Much love to you Kate.

  8. Cathy G says:

    Such a sweet lovely tribute, Kate. Bless you.

  9. pix & kardz says:

    what a touching story, Kate.
    this experience has not made you bitter – it has made you better.
    thanks for sharing.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      God’s abiding love, and our willingness to accept what happened prevented the bitterness. It helped to make us deeper and stronger~we clung together and worked through it with His grace. We were determined not to let us tear us apart or make us bitter or lose our faith.

  10. Freedomborn says:

    Hi Kate, thank you for sharing about Erin how beautiful she is and safe in God’s arms of Love, like my babies her time on earth was to be short but yes Erin left her footprints of Love forever in your heart and many others and the Joy she knows now can never be surpassed or ever end.

    God has blessed me greatly by the Love of other peoples children over the years and I have a large family but I was never to hold my babies but I know I will as you will with Erin and our Joy also will never end .

    http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/jesus-holds-my-babies/

    If it’s alright with you Kate I would like to Reblog your Post about Erin both in Freedomborn and in Kingdom’s Garden, I’m sure many would be uplifted and greatly encouraged.

    Christian Love Anne

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Dear Anne~ of course that is ok. I am all for uplifting and encouraging as many people as possible. could you let me know the links when you re-blog? I’d love to see that. Blessings-kate

  11. Freedomborn says:

    Reblogged this on Freedomborn…set free and commented:
    We thank you Kate for her sharing about your little Erin and we rejoice in both yours and your husband’s heart assurance that Erin is with The Lord and her Joy is now complete in His Loving arms…….

    As I read your message Kate my heart was very touched as I remembered my little ones who are also in Jesus arms and I too am comforted that God does not delight in our suffering and hardship, Jesus came to set us free and He gives us the strength to be overcomes in all things in Life even spiritual death. The Scriptures confirm His great Love for us…….

    Isaiah 43:1-3 – Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”

  12. Pingback: In Memory of Erin | Kingdom’s Garden

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