When Your Child is Called Home

Vanessa Denha Garmo

Vanessa Denha Garmo

When I was about 7-years-old, we lived in California. There wasn’t a large Chaldean population at that time and we didn’t have relatives living nearby. I remember my mom taking to me to a funeral home for a baby who had died. I never walked into the actual room with the family or casket. I stayed out in the hallway with a lady watching me. My mom had no choice. She wanted to pay her respects and didn’t have a sitter for me.

I remember that day because I was so sad that a baby died. I don’t remember who it was or even how the baby died but I remember thinking - even as a child - how sad it was for the parents. I remember my mom saying something to the lady about being heartbroken for the mom.

I never really gave deep thought about that pain until I had my own child. I don’t ever want to know what that is like – EVER. I don’t say that with any disrespect. I say it with only deep compassion for any mother (father) in that club. It’s not one I ever want to belong in.

I miscarried twice and the second time I was four-months pregnant. I cried for days. I never knew the son who was growing inside me. I never saw his face. I named him Vincent but I never held him in my arms. I never heard him cry but I cried for him. I cried because God called him home before I ever got to bring him home. I know the pain of a miscarriage. I can’t imagine losing a child who was born. I just can’t and I don’t want to imagine it. Even writing about this makes me so uneasy.

This cover story was prompted by McKenzie Pattah’s mother who wanted to share her story and the memory of her beautiful little girl.

All those Facebook posts about her illness and then death, brought tears to my eyes every time I read them. I thank Candice for her courage and all the moms who participated in this piece. I know it’s sad to share the loss of a child in the month we celebrate Mother’s Day but I felt the timing was right. It was also when John and Ann Mansour were able to share their testimony. They were supposed to give it months ago but a winter storm forced them to cancel. I thought it very timely to talk about children who are now in heaven as mothers are honored on earth.

There is no harder job in this world than that of a parent, especially those who truly dedicate their lives to their kids. There is no greater pain when God calls those children home before the parent.

I have to admit. My daily prayer is that God takes me before he takes my daughter and to please take me after I have raised her. I love my husband and he is a great dad but I know my daughter needs me. There is nothing I want more than to see her married and have her own children. That would be a true blessing.

Thanks Candice Binno Pattah, Ann Mansour, Evon Shounia, Iffat Garmo, Melody Arabo, Jennifer Maya Antiwan, and Zena Abro for sharing your stories.

All of us can learn something from these women. Their stories will prompt emotions maybe you are not ready to read about, but you should. So, grab a box of tissues and when you are done, say a prayer for each these women and all the parents who have lost children. Their pain will never cease until God calls them home.