Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Readings from the Memorial Liturgy for Hilary

The king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept; and as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”

2 Samuel 18:33

First Reading

The Eternal Father, out of his tender care,
has willed to share with us, along with the grace to bear it,
a portion of the Divine Love with which he looked down
on his broken Son at Calvary.

The grief of Eve, of Jacob, of David, and of our Blessed Mother,
has become our grief, and our grace,
surrounding us with the solidarity of those parents who lost their children,
who hold us in their understanding and sympathy.

We gave Hilary all the love he needed here on Earth.
Yet we had more - much more - to give.
The pain in our hearts is that enormous love
that our son suddenly outgrew,
as he went on into his Heavenly Father’s arms,
where all his needs are met,
and the love he receives is infinite.

Now that we have successfully led him to Heaven,
the Father wills for us
to pour out our love for Hilary
into the world, toward the tiny and helpless ones,
loving with the same trust and surrender that Hilary lived.

To help us in this, we have a Heavenly Father,
and now we have a heavenly son,
who does not receive our care, but,
through his prayers before the throne of God,
cares for us,
to strengthen our family in the Communion of Saints.

We open our hands, we raise them to Heaven,
and we release our pride and our control.
The life we would have willed for Hilary,
the life we would have bound our hearts and souls to,
is not so holy and perfect as the life God gave him nor, in Eternity, so long.

In the glory of the Resurrection
we will feel Hilary wrap his arms around us,
in fulfilment of this present moment’s embrace, his love
which we cannot see or touch, but will go with us from here
until our tiny saint  welcomes us into our Big Life.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord 
And let your light shine upon him.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hilary Julian LeBlanc - August 23rd, 2013

We're sorry what means to be a fun and uplifting blog has to communicate such sad news, and you might not be expecting it, tuning in. We weren't.

Last Wednesday, at our standard structural ultrasound, we learned that our unborn baby had died a few weeks ago. The following day, Monique and I went to hospital, where the miscarriage was induced.

Our tiny son, Hilary Julian, was born Friday morning. It was the toughest thing I have ever seen or experienced. Grief will hold us, squeeze us, and drop us as it wills over the next while.

Our family has received gracious blessing around this tremendous loss. Right now, the kids seem fine and are grieving in their own way. The toughest thing about them for me is that we didn't have full information when we left them Thursday for the hospital, and we were caught up in our own necessity - we were gone 24 hours, but they got through the sudden circumstance very well. The biggest grace in this was my family: my cousin Katherine came over and cared for our children so generously, and her sister Cheryl and my dad were there to back her up, ensuring our children were safe and well as we attended to our son. We are so grateful to them.

The staff at Royal University Hospital, with very few very minor exceptions, were absolutely outstanding at the difficult job of providing the utmost compassionate and professional care. They brought their very persons to encounter us in our shock and grief, always introducing themselves and expressing their sorrow. They extended every option to us, listening to and respecting our needs. We requested and got a confirmation of the diagnosis - this was important for me, because I was not at the original ultrasound. We were not overloaded with information or choices, but given everything we asked for when we were ready for it. We even met a neighbour, who was a senior nurse there. Oh, and the gluten free food wasn't bad at all!

Our hearts are broken in such a unique way. Our loss is early, but tangible, as our child lay nestled in our hands. Our loss is mysterious, since we never got to know our son's personality, but with a name and face. We join many many parents - 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in loss - but our loss is below the surface, rarely talked about, seen or understood. My grandmother, my aunt, our friends, these women and their husbands have gone before us and have borne their losses bravely, and have already extended their compassion.

Monique says she knows that there is a reason for this, we just don't know what it is. And we won't for a while.

It's still early in the planning, but we will have a service and an interment... right now we're hoping for Wednesday. Please say a prayer for us, that God's Spirit of healing will be with us.

Not everyone will want to, but I wanted to allow those who did to see Hilary. His beauty is hidden and mysterious, but holding him and seeing him was absolutely necessary for me.

You can see him here.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Not Ready

This morning while sitting on the deck watching the kids in the backyard, I saw something I am totally unprepared for. Geese. Beautiful and patriotic they may be but I am not ready for them or what they represent. It is not fall, and I do not want to admit that it is coming. I know that I am not prepared for this fall, my first real Canadian fall that has more then rain and wet rotting leaves in it. 

Please pray for me. I am going to need it.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Alright, thats not too bad.... I finished a first draft of a creative project (dont worry its not my thesis) and decided to celebrate with the hot tub, a glass of scotch that my kind colleague gave me (thanks Ags!) and my hat from the Saskatoon farmers market. Yes, they grow hats in Saskatchewan, I was shocked! Anyway, it is against all manufacturers recommendations to drink alone in a hot tub while wearing a hat. I'm a professional; dont try this at home. I know my limits... eventually I took off my hat.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Have wheels, Will Ride

This weekend all of the kids (almost) got to a new level on their bikes.
When our stuff got here on Monday one of the first things that the kids got out where their bikes. Francis was the most excited. With the quite family neighbourhood we now live in, he could ride on his own to the school, park, or just around the neighbourhood. He just hopped on his bike and went! This is the freedom I dream of for my kids.
Teresa was a bit more nervous. She had ridden before the move but not a lot. While, after half an hour of me walking beside her, she was complaining that I was way too slow and she was also off on her own.
Carlo was scared to start off on his two wheeler. He had not had a lot of chances to ride before. Dad took him for a short ride and he feel in love. But he still needed help to start off. The next day we all when on a family ride, me walking, Dad with Catherine in the bike seat and the rest on wheels. I am not a very fast paced person normally but with my added belly my waddling speed as gone even slower. I would help him get going and he would speed off the keep up with the others. At some point he would stop and need to wait for me to catch up. While he got bored of that really fast. One time he just gave up on me and started off on his own. I wish I had got a picture of his face. He was so proud and happy!
Watching them ride is like watching them fly. These little people that use to be so small, so completely part of me, now off in the distance. So free, so confidant. I swell with pride. No, not really pride. Because I have done nothing to make this happen. I swell with thankfulness, that I have them in my life, that they have this gift and that I get to see it.