Tuesday, March 5, 2019

A Miracle in Heaven (A Letter to Noah)

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Dear Noah,

We learned today that your the man that came to your bedside when you were removed from life support as a baby and the one who played a huge role in your miracle went to heaven on February 16th.  Your father and I are still trying to absorb this news. There are a lot of feelings for us, because in our hearts and soul we know that you likely wouldn't be here had it not been for Bill.  All of us in that room witnessed a miracle.  You went from imminent death instantly to breathing on your own and your oxygen saturation coming up within seconds of him placing his hands on your tiny foot and praying.  There was no scientific or medical explanation for your why you didn't go to heaven.  It was also impossible for a stranger to get into the NICU without being on any approved list.  Yet, here he was this man named Bill who said he was sent to pray for you.  No one even knew we were taking you off life support.  We told no one, not even our families of the time we'd were going to do it.  Only God knew.  And he sent you the most beautiful miracle in the form of this stranger, named Bill.  He held your foot and you looked up at him and held his wooden cross.  Even though to this day you cannot hold anything in your hands, you were always able to hold onto that wooden cross around his neck. 

Bill was one of those very special beautiful souls.  He just was so authentic in his faith, and radiated with goodness.  And he believed in you so much right from the very start that he gifted us with the prayer of healing. I know there are people who can never understand the gravity of what we witnessed happen. You would have had to have been there to see it.  But your dad and I know without question that you wouldn't be here today without him. 

We've decided not to tell you about Bill's passing.  Not because we want to keep things from you, but because we know that the heartbreaking pout we'd see in your face, and the said deep sorrowful wail that only you know how to deliver in moments of your own sadness.  And for me, I suppose in some way, I worry that the knowledge of his passing may have some effect on your drive to continue thriving, as odd as that may sound because the two of you were uniquely connected.

It's been several years since we last seen Bill, he fell ill with cancer, and our lives were filled with days of therapies, appointments and challenges.  Although I knew that Bill had fallen ill, I was in denial that he wasn't ever going to fully recover or get better.  After all how would it ever be possible that God would call an earthly angel home?  I kept reassuring myself that Bill had more work to do here, and that he'd surely make it to 100.  Bill died, just days before his 80th birthday.  I feel deep regret that I didn't work harder to get you to see him one last time while he was sick.  And I'm sorry for that Noah.  He loved you so much.  He'd make your picture a screen saver on his computer, he created a prayer line in your name, where thousands of people all over the world would write in to noahprayerline1@comcast.net and hundreds of people poured into prayer all on behalf your namesake and the miracle of life you had been given.  He was always there for our family, he offered spiritual words of encouragement, enlightenment on the hard days,  and always the power of prayer.

Bill was so devoted that he was also there the day that your little brother was born he stayed countless hours while I was in labor.  I think deep down he wanted so badly to protect your little brother in the same way that he did you and to see both of you into this world to live and be well.  Luke's birth had it's own set of complications and I just remember him saying that things would be fine.  And I felt this divine reassurance that we'd all be okay.  And although Luke never had the same connection you did to Bill, I know that he cared for you both very much.  It just feels so surreal.  I know that Bill has to be up there checking in on you.  How could he not be? So we're going to just keep operating on that, as if Bill is still around.  Because I can't bear the thought of you knowing of his passing.  Someday when the time is right your blog will belong to you and you'll know.  I'm sure he's not far away from you.  You were always a pretty big deal to him and I know even beyond this earth still remain so. 

In Loving Memory of Bill Gilbert - The man who forever touched your life with a miracle.


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.