It’s a Sad Story

I find myself in these places and someone asks a question about him and, I, well, I sigh.

I will tell you, I say. It’s a sad story. It was a long time ago and it’s ok now, but it was a sad story. 

It is a sad story.


There was a woman, a mother. There was a husband, a father. There was the baby boy they waited so very long for.

And then the mother got sick. And the baby died. And the father was bereft.

They were broken for so very long. Hurt and lost and confused and angry.

They found their way back. They look like a normal, healthy and happy woman and man and that’s because they are. Most of the time.

Today her alarm went off at 6:10 am. She made herself a cup of coffee and she sat on the couch until she woke up. He got up and put on his running clothes and went for a run. She will wear a suit and go to meetings and facilitate. He will write a final report and plan out inspections. Normal woman. Normal man.

And their son will live in the space between their heart and their lungs, just like every day. This evening there will be a piece of cake and a candle and they will sing happy birthday to a little boy who turns 8.

Today they will be a mother and a father and while they sing him happy birthday, he will be with them.

At the end of the song, the mother will post a photo of the candle and the cake to facebook. And the father will wish his son happy birthday. Because the son is real and here and so very loved and for a little while, she was a mother and he was a father. He was and still is their son. He just couldn’t stay.

It’s a sad story. From a long time ago. And if you ask, they will tell you about their little boy. Because they miss him. Today and every day.


Dear friends and loved ones,

With great joy and heartbreak, we wish to announce: at 10:26 PM on December 10, 2007, Gabriel Anton was born into the hands of Cathy, his midwife, sang to in the arms of his mother, rocked in the arms of his father, bathed in the arms of his grandmother, and baptized in the arms of Regula, his Parish Priest.

At just after 11 PM, he was carried to Heaven in the arms of the Angels, where we will meet him again one day. At 520 grams (1 pound 2.4 ounces), and 33 cm (13 inches) he was wee, with 10 fingers and toes, and a full head of hair. He was a perfect, but very tiny baby.

For where your treasure is, there also will be your heart. Luke 12:34

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12 Responses to It’s a Sad Story

  1. Jane in London says:

    Happy Birthday, Gabriel.

  2. amanda says:

    I’m a long time lurker. I’m sorry for your loss, but I am so greatful that you are able to share your story and his life with us on the blog. Your words are beautiful and they do his life as much justice as words can. Thank you.

  3. Charlotte says:

    Happy 8th Birthday Beautiful Gabriel. Mom and Dad, prayers and hugs for you.

  4. Needles says:

    Happy Birthday Gabriel. You were here for only a short time, but your life has touched so many.

  5. deathstar says:

    Happy Birthday, Gabriel. You are adored and loved forever by your people.
    Thank you for sharing this story, Mrs.Spit.

  6. Kate says:

    Happy birthday, Gabriel. This – “And their son will live in the space between their heart and their lungs, just like every day.” Yes. Yes.

  7. Christa says:

    Happy Birthday Gabriel. I am so glad and so heartbroken that you are able to have the cake and be with him.
    Many waters cannot quench love, nor floods sweep it away.

  8. loribeth says:

    I have been thinking of you & Gabriel these last few days. Love your birthday cake tradition. 🙂

  9. Naomi says:

    Wishing you and Mr. Spit peace and light as you honor the memory of your precious son. Happy Birthday Gabriel.

  10. Alexicographer says:

    Happy birthday Gabriel. Thinking of you.

  11. Geochick says:

    Happy Birthday Gabriel. What a lovely tradition.

    Here from the roundup.

  12. marchisfordaffodils says:

    It is a sad story. I bet he was such a beautiful boy. Your birth announcement is beautiful. Beloved son. Sending love and remembering Gabriel. 8 years old. He’d be such a big boy.

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