We are surrounded, although we are rarely aware of it, by people who hold in their hearts the "buds of heaven." October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I know, I know, everybody seems to have their 'day' or their 'month' these days. But October represents a staggering number of people.
If you go to http://www.october15th.com/, you'll see the statistics: About one in six pregnancies end in miscarriage or stillbirth. According to the CDC, the US infant mortality rate is 6.1/1000 live births (it drops to 4.2/1000 if you exclude babies born before 24 weeks gestation). In either case, think about it: If your high school had only 100 kids in it, 16 kids were missing long before you started kindergarten. You didn't notice them. But their parents did.
I've never experienced a miscarriage or the loss of a child, but I've had good friends who have. I remember the names of the missing children and pray for their parents. I feel, like many of us feel, helpless in the face of such tremendous loss.
"I can't pretend to know what you are feeling. But I'm here if you need me."
If you know anyone (and I know you must) who has such a loss on their heart, pray for them. If you have lost a child, I pray for you.
My gratitude for this day is, that for all we've lost, we've not lost a child.