Britney Powers and I connected on Facebook a few months ago. As a mother, I eagerly follow the pregnancy news of expecting women. I knew how excited Britney was to give birth to her baby girl, whom she and her partner, Paul, named Jeslyn Olivia Elzey. At 20 weeks during the pregnancy there were serious complications for little Jeslyn when Britney’s water broke. Her precious little angel couldn’t hold on and on June 15th she left us. The following day Britney was able to finally hold her daughter and give her the first– and last– kiss.
Such a heart wrenching tale is enough to affect anyone, but what happened to Britney rocked me to the core. Life can be so cruel. How easy it would be for her to retreat inward to a dark place….perhaps even find unhealthy ways to deal with her immense pain. Instead, she choses to rely on her strong faith to get her through her darkest hours. I am in awe of her strength.
When I contacted Britney to offer my condolences and asked if I could make a post to commemorate sweet Jeslyn, she immediately accepted. I told her– at her convenience and only if she felt up to it– to please share some words with me if she thought there was anything in particular she wanted me to include on the blog. Her response so moved me I am copying and pasting it verbatim:
“After a few days of confusion, frustration, tears, and unanswered questions I can gather my thoughts and respond to your message. I would be elated to have you post about my daughter on your blog. I want my loss to have an impact on others. It hurts BAD very bad but at the same time it feels so good to have been able to hold and kiss her. She was cold but she was mine and she was beautiful. If I had to do it all over I would do it ALL THE SAME just to kiss her lil face again. I miss her so much, I don’t know if it’s the sanity meds or what but even with the blinds closed and the curtains pulled in my apartment every room glows with her presence! WE LOVE JESLYN OLIVIA ELZEY so much! He heart stopped beating on June 15, 2011 at 10:55pm, I gave birth to her on June 16, 2011 at 6:34pm. Happy birthday baby girl mommy & daddy can’t wait to see you again!”
Seeing her words sent endless tears cascading down my cheeks. She doesn’t even make it to the third sentence without showing her altruistic nature. Britney’s loss– and the way she is handling her grief– most certainly impacted countless others besides me. To hear her say she would do it all over again just to kiss that little face broke my heart….yet uplifted my soul. This is a mother’s love. How comforting it must be to know that Jeslyn’s glowing presence fills their apartment with love, warmth, and reassurance.
Britney, you are in my thoughts. I do not know where your life’s journey will take you but I am absolutely certain that you have the faith, courage, and resiliency to handle whatever your Lord gives you. You will be a wonderful mother to your child as I know you are with your niece. May you find peace.
With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,