One might think that with each passing year, the loss of a child would get easier, but that could not be further from the truth. That child was a part of you even if they were stillborn, or passed away a few short days later, as was the case for my grandniece, Laila Spethman. Laila was the first daughter of my niece, Jenny Spethman and her husband, Steve. She was beautiful and sweet, and she was gone far too soon…before most of us ever got to meet her, in fact, and even though, her parents have been given a rainbow daughter named Aleesia, she cannot take away the pain of loss Laila’s family feels, especially on this, the day of Laila’s passing at just 18 days old.
Laila would have been six years old this year, and having a great time in kindergarten. I can picture her running and playing with all of her new little friends, as well as her siblings. I can picture her and her mom doing all the girly things that moms and daughters do…nail polish, hair, and cute clothes, as well as shopping, playing dolls, and picking flowers. She would have been the apple of her parents eyes, as well as the rest of the family. She would have been a wonderful little sister to her brothers, Xander, Zack, and Isaac, and a wonderful big sister to Aleesia. Her family would be complete…if only Laila were still here. If only.
There are some people, who bring a mixture of sparkle and strength to the table of life. My niece, Jenny Masterson Spethman is one of those people. Life has not dealt Jenny a perfect hand, but she has persevered anyway, and has come through every trial a stronger, more caring, loving, and faith-filled woman than she was before. Jenny is the kind of person who puts her trust in God in every situation, and doesn’t look to her own understanding in any matter. That makes for a strong woman no matter what life hands her. While Jenny’s life has not been without sadness…the kind that never leaves you, she has still managed to study to show herself approved of God, and to strengthen her faith. She will never understand all that has happened in this life…at least not until the next life, but she trusts God to continue to bless her and her family, and He certainly has. Jenny has also been a blessing to those around her, as anyone who has had a need can tell you. Jenny is someone you can always come to for help, no matter what the situation.
Jenny has a sense of style that is all her own. She knows the styles she likes, and she doesn’t really care if they are completely in style or not. Nevertheless, her style always works, therefore, making it in style. Jenny loves to dress her little daughter, Aleesia in adorable outfits and then takes lots of pictures of the two of them to show those who know them. You see, Jenny waited a very long time for her daughter. After three sons, Jenny and her husband Steve had a baby girl, named Laila, but she passed away just 18 days later. It was a devastating blow, but they chose to look to God and trust in Him, no matter what. Now, they have been blessed with a second daughter…a Rainbow Baby, who can never replace her sister, of course, but brings much joy to their world.
You might think of Jenny as a wimpy little girly girl, and while she is a girly girl, you would, nevertheless, be very wrong about her. Jenny is an excellent marksman. She and Steve have been gun owners and have been shooting for years. They have taught each of their boys how to shoot, and two of them, Xander and Zack have already passed the Hunter Safety class. Isaac isn’t too far behind them I’m sure, and in time, Aleesia will also pass the course. Those children have the benefit of a great firearms education, and could protect the family easily, if required to, as could their parents. People might think it a difficult thing to mix sparkle and strength, but Jenny really has no problem doing just that. Today is Jenny’s birthday. Happy birthday Jenny!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When my grand niece, Aleesia was born…the rainbow baby of my niece, Jenny and her husband, Steve…we all rejoiced over the birth of their second baby girl, and that she was healthy and whole. It has been a remarkable year…a year of blessings, that followed a time of sadness over the loss of their first daughter, Laila, almost two years earlier. While Laila will never be forgotten, the first year of Aleesia’s life has been one of healing…at least to a small degree. Aleesia is everything they could have hoped for in a daughter. She is cute and sweet and full of smiles. She is the pride and joy of her parents and her three brothers.
From the moment she arrived, Aleesia wrapped the hearts of her family around her baby finger. That first little touch was like saying, “Watch out, because I’m going to steal your hearts!” Aleesia is such a sweet baby. She is so easy to please, that there has been no need to spoil her. She is easily entertained by the antics of her brothers, and they love to make her laugh. She really has her very own entertainment committee. And for their part, the boys just love to find new ways to make their baby sister laugh.
Aleesia is so quick to smile. All it takes is to say her name, and she looks at you and smiles. She is comfortable around her whole family and extended family. She is always ready to pose for the camera, mostly because we are always taking pictures of her, so that now she instinctivly knows what she is supposed to do…and she has mastered the precious smile, as well as the perfect funny face, with all her practice. Life is just exciting for this baby girl. She loves every moment of it, and that makes us all feel very blessed.
Aleesia’s brothers, Xander, Zack, and Isaac, also feel the blessing that this past year has brought. Having a little sister is something they have wanted for a long time. She is so different than they are, but they don’t care. There is very little that the boys won’t do for Aleesia. As this first year comes to a close, however, things are changing. Aleesia has discovered that her brothers have pretty cool toys. Sometimes, she thinks that they are cooler than her own toys. They let her get away with it, but I suppose there will come a day when they decide that she should leave their toys alone. For now, however, they are just enjoying the year of blessings. With the end of Aleesia’s first year and the beginning of the second, I wonder how this will change in Aleesia’s terrible two’s. Time will tell. Today is Aleesia’s first birthday. Happy birthday baby girl!! We love you very much!! Have a blessed day!!