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  • Writer's pictureJodi Laughlin


As I try to reflect on another month gone without my first born, I can’t help but feel relieved for her that she missed all the horrible things that this world can bring. And as I look into the eyes of my second daughter, Lily, all I want to do is shield her and protect her from how cruel this world can be.

Lily was just baptized this past weekend in front of family, friends and strangers. There were smiles, laughter and the sound of children.

Noelle was baptized in the OR, surrounded by surgeons and nurses. Surrounded by the silence of white walls and death.

In it’s own way it was beautiful... But it was sad… so, so sad.

Noelle went right up to heaven. Her body was baptized in my arms but her soul, her spirit, was already with Christ.

With Lily, I am the one protecting her body and soul, guiding her spirit through this life. And it is so hard already! I want to protect her from all the horrible things that may be in her future; from bullies and bad boyfriends, from sadness… from all negative thoughts. I want her to know that she is beautiful, always.

I get so discouraged by the evil in this world. But I know that we can overcome evil. I am still standing after losing Noelle. My grief is not as obvious as others, but it is internal. It is something I deal with everyday when someone asks “is this your only child?” But I know I am a better Mom and a better person for having to go through this pain. And I know Noelle is now without pain… I don’t have to worry about her like I worry about Lily.

My Mom’s heart breaks for me that I lost my first daughter. Just as I know my heart would break for Lily if she ever goes through anything like this. I know I can’t protect her from everything. There are too many evils out there. But my hope is that I will guide her (with the help of her sister in heaven) in the right direction. That she will find Jesus along the way and that she will blossom in her faith, because faith can sustain us.

I hope when she comes to understand that she had an older sister, she feels proud of her sister’s strength and feels thankful for her sister’s life and in turn, for her own.

I believe if you have faith, hope and love in your heart, then you can overcome the evil of this world. You can come out the other side and you will be stronger because of it.

We may not choose the tragedy and hardships that come into our lives, but we can choose how we handle them.

Noelle and Lily are my reason for today and hope for tomorrow. I will be the best I can be for them.

Noelle, please help me protect your sister and please continue to remind me and those who know you of how fragile this life can be.

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