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Seven years ago yesterday my husband and I were in Fort Worth, Texas, awaiting our grandson’s birth. God performed a miracle that day because a baby boy, whose life expectancy was zero, lived. I saw God’s grace at work in the lives of his parents as they welcomed him that day, even though their hearts were breaking. But Rylen lived for over five years, bringing love and joy and challenge to them.

As his grandmother, I wanted to give him a birth gift. My grandson, a person, deserved to be acknowledge, no matter how short his life. My husband, Frank, and I bought him a tiny sleeper, and I made him a stuffed horse. He lived. For Christmas that year I made him a teddy bear, and I wrote a story for him about Treasure Teddy. (Of course, Rylen was the real treasure.) My husband helped me add photos to the story. I wanted Rylen to have a book written by me, just like my other grandchildren. I hoped the gifts would give comfort to his parents and acknowledge that they were a mom and dad. Rylen lived, so they have many memories and many photos of their sweet boy.

Babies are real persons with untapped potential, even those with special needs. We ask: what if he had lived to become an adult? He had the hands of a pianist and a love for music. He was curious about life and how things worked. He loved trains. Only God knows the answer. In his short life Rylen gave laughter (a belly laugh) and unconditional love. I’m sure he’s laughing and loving in Heaven now.