Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Helping Parents Who Lose a Child

Cubby LaHood will never forget the news her doctor told her 20 years ago.

LaHood, then 13-weeks pregnant with her second child, was told her unborn baby had several fatal abnormalities and would likely die within one week after birth. She was advised -- in the best interest of the baby, herself and her family -- to terminate the pregnancy.

LaHood and her husband, Dan, devastated by the news, sought more advice.

A priest simply told Dan LaHood "You know what to do," while handing him an image of St. Joseph. That small picture is now on the LaHoods' mantle along with dozens of family pictures in the couple's Silver Spring home. He said the priest's words "set us on the path we've been on ever since."

"Once you've made a pivotal choice, God sends his minions to help you. It's scary, but someone else helps you keep going," he said Jan. 30 during an interview with Catholic News Service at their home.

Francis was alive for just a few minutes before he died of kidney complications. He died in his parents' arms as they held him, sang to him, spoke to him and cried. His 3-year-old brother, Joe, was also in the room.

As hard as that experience was, Dan LaHood said without hesitation that it "changed our lives completely."

This is from a man who had already been no stranger to living out his faith. Since 1983, he and his wife opened their home to care for disabled children on weekends, before and after school and during school vacations through a nonprofit program called St. Joseph's House.

I have written about the LaHood's before but not on this aspect of their lives.

Since that time, I have had the opportunity to meet and talk to Cubby and Dan LaHood on a couple of occasions.

They are wonderful people.

They are on my annual giving list. You might think about adding them to your list.

To read the entire story, click here.

No comments: