Jedi

Elizabeth grew up across the street from my house in Decatur.  As a teenager, she babysat for my young children.  As a married woman, she popped out six children with head-spinning speed.  She learned her seventh, a boy,  would be born around the same time Jez and my son was due.  I learned this from her mother, who still lives in the house across the street.

Pregnancy had become routine for Elizabeth.  This one wasn’t.

She learned from an early ultrasound that her son was likely afflicted with Trisomy 13, “a chromosomal malformation that is not ‘compatible with life,’” as Elizabeth writes in her blog.

Elizabeth comes from a proudly pro-life family of Catholics.  Her only option was to carry the child to term.   Her blog documents her journey, from the medical uncertainties to the mental trauma she and her family faced as the pregnancy played out.   When her son was born, her brother Joe — a priest — was on hand to administer a delivery-room baptism — just in case time was of the essence.

Jedidiah Joseph Arendale was born November 5, three days after my son.  Wednesday, on his thirteenth day of life, Jedi died.

From Elizabeth’s blog:

everything happened so beautifully- his birth, the thirteen days he was with us, and his death. i am just so thankful for the whole experience of him.

I never got to meet Jedi.  I regret I will be unable to attend his funeral Friday.

But I’ll hold my own baby a little closer.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Ben on November 23, 2010 at 1:29 am

    Doug,
    Thanks for letting the rest of us meet Jedi. What an extraordinary family.
    B+H

    Reply

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