Hello to All! My name is Melanie. I joined this list hoping to find a spiritual community here on the net. I'm a children's librarian with three wonderful daughters. My faith has always been important to me, but my experiences over the last year have challenged and deepened my faith in ways I would not have imagined.

When I was fourteen weeks pregnant my baby was diagnosed with anencephaly "water on the brain"...the head is very enlarged because of all the fluid. We chose to continue the pregnancy, though we knew he would die at or shortly after birth. Through the next six months we tried to come to terms with his condition and prepare ourselves and our children for what was to be. I was frightened of what he would look like, how he would die, even whether or not I could love this broken child.

The night he was born, though, was beyond imagining. I was surrounded by love and prayer and filled with an amazing sense of God's presence. All my doubts and fears melted away. I held and loved my little son as he passed from my arms to God's and knew, at last, that God can and does love me in all my own brokenness and imperfection.

I'm sending on something I wrote a couple months after Zachary's birth that expresses a little of what he meant to me.


I thank you, Lord, for my son, Zachary, who has enriched my life in so many ways and has been my teacher in the ways of love.
" because he taught me that love is stronger than death
" because he showed me how love can truly cast out fear
" because he, in his innocence, showed me that you don't have to be perfect to be worth loving
" because he taught me lessons in loving and letting go that have helped me learn to be a better mother to my preadolescent daughters
" because he brought me new friends and deepened old friendships
" because he taught me to reach deep within myself for strength I did not know I had and how to reach out to others and to You when even that was gone
" because he taught me that death is not always the enemy, but the path that leads to our true home
" because he taught me to celebrate the moments we have with those we love, for they may never come again
" because he taught me that children cannot be shielded from death, but must be led gently to accept it as a part of life
" because he showed me that funerals can be celebrations of love
" because he showed me that in my husband's eyes lies the promise of eternity
" because he helped me find an extra measure of compassion for the suffering, an extra bit of patience for my children and a renewed sense of the wonder of all creation
" because he taught me that God's greatest miracles are not those in which He orders the physical world in accordance with our wishes, but those in which He transforms and heals our hearts
" because he was, is and always will be my own beloved child

For Zachary
Born and died July 19, 1996"

This appeared on the internet and it made me cry.


(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.