Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Not sure I have ever erupted into tears the moment I woke up.  I can't leave our room without passing the empty Pack and Play, her hat and blanket neatly folded. Still smells like her.

As quickly as she came into our home, she left. Holding her as she gasped final agonal breaths late last night, I just kept telling her I loved her and that it was ok to let go. The struggle to live and breathe was over.

I  have heard it said that the universal love language of infants is physical touch.  From the beginning, my favorite thing to do with her was rub my cheek to hers.  Not only did she have that amazingly soft baby skin, but it was the most tangible way to tell her "I love you, I am here with you."

It was so hard to watch them take that sweet delicate little body from her mommy's arms.  Now today--5 days after we were elated to celebrate so many firsts with Avery in our home--we confront the day of firsts without her. And much as it seems an imposition to continue to ask for prayer, would you pray for us to have God's tangible presence in our home today? We need to hear those words from him that we fought so desperately to convey to Avery for the last six and a half days.

I meet with the funeral home at 4:30.  There should be a post later today with date and time of service.
Thank you for honoring God and the dignity of Avery's life by your prayers.


  1. We love you and cry with you and pray for you. Can't wait to give you a hug. The words I'm sorry are not enough...

  2. We love you and pray for you. Words can't express it adequately. Your honesty encourages us greatly - thank you for letting us in to your pain and your hope.

  3. Sending you so much love and prayers. Cannot say words that convey what needs to be said. Know you are loved and supported as you grieve the loss of your precious little Avery.

  4. You don't know me. I am friends with your youth pastor Rudy Sheptock. I can't even begin to imagine how you are feeling in this moment. I did want you to know that people who don't even know you are holding you up before the Lord today!

  5. Miss Avery Joy,

    With the courage of a Lion, you entered this world.
With the ferocity of Tiger, you fought for your life. 

    With the grace of Stallion, you touched all our hearts. 

    With the beauty of a Fawn, you inspired us to hope. 

    With the wisdom of a Wood Owl, you taught us to love.
With the peace of a Dove, you passed through this world.

    All our love,
    The Luke family

  6. Chad, I thank God for you- you do such an amazing job of caring for those tender hearts in your family. I am praying for peace and comfort for your heart, too.
    Jess, I love you more than I can tell you. I wish that I could take some of your pain for you, just know that my thoughts and prayers are constantly with you.
    Your girls are so loved and so treasured- all 4 of them. We love you guys very much!

  7. Chad & Jessica -- Jill and I have been following your posts with heartbreak and sadness. Words fail - please know that you and your girls are forever in our hearts. If we can help you in any way -- large or small, now or later -- please do not hesitate to lean on us.

  8. Chad, Jessica, John and Terri and the girls,

    I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Avery Joy. Please lean on us for anything to help at this time as you have always been there for our family. We know what you are feeling. There is a song that you may want to look up called "A Visitor from Heaven". I sang this precious song after another couple lost their daughter in a similar way you have faced.

    Please let us know what you need so we can help in anyway.

    We love all of you,
    Shelly, Craig and Amber Wilkins