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Every year over 24,000 babies are stillborn and families grieve in pain knowing that they will not get to see their baby boy or girl grow up. They will not get to see their child run and play. They will not get to kiss them goodnight. This reality hit my sister's home on June 22, 2018. I watched my sister give birth to her baby girl named Evelyn. Evelyn had her mom's curly black hair and her momma's long eyelashes. She was beautiful. She entered Earth with no cry and no life. It was heartbreaking watching my sister and brother-in-law hold her knowing they would eventually have to say goodbye. Memories. Memories is what they hold onto and hope that one day after this life they will see their baby girl again.
We had a funeral with balloons that spelled out her name. We sang peaceful songs and talked about about how we would never forget Evelyn. The church was filled with “Forget me not “ flowers. We said see you soon and went home. I got on a plane two days later to record a song, but my mind was so wrapped around everything that had unfolded and the image of my sister hurting was so embedded in my mind that I could not let it go. So I began writing my feelings down on paper and by the end of the night as I was in the studio, I wrote a song in honor of Evelyn. The song is “Live for You.” "Live for You" was written to inspire those who have lost a loved one to keep on going and keep on living. Allowing a heart to beat and lungs to breathe is a choice. We have to choose to keep on going.
The lyrics are:
I’ve gotta say /this one really hurts /To know that you/have left this earth/I wish I knew/All the reasons why/You had to leave me/And the world behind/How will I survive/How can I (Chorus) My heart's gonna beat for you/My lungs will breathe for you/I’m gonna live for you/I’m gonna live for you/I’m gonna sing for you/I’m gonna win for you/I’m gonna live for you/For you for you for for you/that’s what you’d want me to do/ (Verse 2) My heart it breaks/ I said goodbye/ It’s hard to wait/But it’s only time/I’ll keep my faith/Until Heaven's gates/I had a dream/I and saw your face/How will I survive/How can I (Chorus) My heart's gonna beat for you/My lungs will breathe for you/I’m gonna live for you/I’m gonna live for you/I’m gonna sing for you/I’m gonna win for you/I’m gonna live for you/For you for you for for you/that’s what you’d want me to do/ (Bridge) Some bright morning when this life is over/I'll fly away/Oh, how glad and happy when we meet/I'll fly away
To anyone who is struggling to keep on going, let your heart beat for your loved one. It’s the best way we can honor them. To my sister who is one of the strongest people I know, watching you keep going has given me strength and you have inspired me to become more. I know it still hurts and you can never forget your baby girl, but watching you heal little by little has given people so much hope that life can continue even in the midst of pain.
To my niece, Evelyn, I would have called you Evie and you were so beautiful. I only got to hold you for a time but you have left an imprint on all of our hearts. One bright morning, we will see you again. In honor of every stillborn baby, you will never be forgotten.