Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

I opened my front door to find a box full of goodies at my feet: a hot meal, gifts for each of my kiddos, and a box full of hand-me-down clothes. It had been just three days since my son made his appearance into the world, and my days had been blurred by an aching body and sleepless nights.

My friend stood at the end of the apartment hallway, mask and gloves on. We’d been self-isolating for weeks, but not even a pandemic would stop her from loving and supporting our growing family.

From one end of the hall to the other, we chatted for a while about babies and life. And then she pointed to one of the gift bags, “That one’s for the new baby.”

RELATED: Grandma Kissed You in Heaven Before You Were Born

I pulled the gifts out. The bag was full of thoughtful items, but one stood out in particular. A blue receiving blanket wrapped around a Bible.

“That blanket was from your mom. She gave it to my son when he was born.” My friend’s eyes well with tears, “I wanted Percy to have it as a gift from his Grannie.”

My eyes fill similarly, tears sneaking down cheeks still puffed from nine months of weight gain. Knowing my son will never meet his grandmother was one of the most difficult parts of this pregnancy. A little over a year since we said our goodbyes, the sterile hospital room and trays of pudding mark some of my last memories with this world’s greatest mom and grandma. She died several months before we found out this new little one was on his way.

RELATED: Even Though You’re In Heaven, Your Grandchildren Will Know You

My heart aches to think he’ll never have memories with her. No photos of her splashing in the kiddie pool with him or building a snowman in the backyard. There was no baby shower gift handpicked with love, no set of jammies she saw in the store and just “couldn’t resist.”

And yet, here was one more gift from hera little blue blanket, the gift that keeps on giving.

RELATED: Born in a Pandemic

She’d picked it out with another baby in mind, never dreaming it would one day wrap around her own grandchild.

But in the absence of her arms, this blanket holds him tight.

Overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of my friend’s gesture, I hold back my tears and struggle to find adequate words to thank her. We may be socially distant, but this gift of love transcends space.

Holding the blanket in my hand, I feel the prayers my mom wove into its fabric. Prayers for a baby to grow strong in the Lord, healthy and nurtured and loved.

RELATED: Some of the Best Grandmas Live in Heaven

This blanket is more than just a bit of blue cloth.

It’s one more surprise gift from my mom.

And one more surprise gift from the Heavenly Father, who knows this mama’s heart.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Liz Mannegren

Liz lives in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two littles. She is the mother of seven beautiful babies: carrying two in her arms but an extra five in her heart. You can read more of her writing at MommyMannegren.com or follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

As Long as It Beats, a Grieving Heart Lives with the Pain of Loss

In: Grief, Loss
Woman walking through brown field with hand outstreatched

Life churns forward in a somewhat continued and steady momentum that I find I must consistently adjust my pace to keep up with. There isn’t tolerance in life for the way grief seems to ache for pause. In the silence of this space, my body feels crushed under the weight. I sit alone with my thoughts often. I’ve made peace with the solitude that surges in the aftermath of death. Maybe not peace. Perhaps it’s surrender. After all, which one of us doesn’t fall prey to the helplessness of mortality? I can no longer count on one hand those I’ve...

Keep Reading

6 Things You Can Do Now to Help Kids Remember Their Grandparents

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Motherhood
Grandfather dances with granddaughter in kitchen

A month ago, my mom unexpectedly passed away. She was a vibrant 62-year-old grandma to my 4-year-old son who regularly exercised and ate healthy. Sure, she had some health scares—breast cancer and two previous brain aneurysms that had been operated on successfully—but we never expected her to never come home after her second surgery on a brain aneurysm. It has been devastating, to say the least, and as I comb through pictures and videos, I have gathered some tips for other parents of young kids to do right now in case the unexpected happens, and you’re left scrambling to never...

Keep Reading

I’m Not Ready for Life Without My Mom

In: Grief, Loss
Woman sad sitting by a window looking out

I’m not ready. Not ready for time to just keep trudging forward without her. Four years have gone by, and I still think about her every day. When that awful third day of October rules around every year it’s like a tidal wave comes and sweeps me up tossing me this way and that. The rest of the year I can bob up and down with the occasional waves of grief. But the week before October 3rd the waves pick up, and I can’t see over the crest of one before the next is already upon me. I find myself...

Keep Reading

Since She Left

In: Grief, Loss
Older, color photo of mother and young daughter blowing out birthday candles

It’s been 14 years since she left. It’s like a lifetime ago and yesterday at the same time. The loss of my mother was indescribable. We never had a traditional relationship. As I grew older, our roles were very much reversed, but even still, missing one’s mother (for lack of a better word) is hard . . . plain and simple. Sometimes I wonder, what is it exactly that I miss? Of course, I miss talking to her. I miss how she drove me crazy. I miss her baking. I miss hearing about her newest needlepoint. I miss when she...

Keep Reading

I Carried You for Just 17 Weeks but I’ll Hold You in My Heart Forever

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Ultrasound image of baby in second trimester

September 11 will be a date that is forever etched in my heart, not only because of its historical significance but because it’s the day I saw your lifeless little body on the ultrasound screen. I couldn’t hold back the sobs. My chest suddenly felt heavier than a ton of bricks. I’ve been here before. I’ve had losses, but none this late. I didn’t feel their movements or hear so many strong heartbeats at my checkups. Your siblings felt you move and squealed with utter excitement. I want to wake from this nightmare, but it seems it’s my new reality....

Keep Reading

To the Woman Longing to Become a Mother

In: Faith, Grief, Motherhood
Woman looking at pregnancy test with hand on her head and sad expression

To the woman who is struggling with infertility. To the woman who is staring at another pregnancy test with your flashlight or holding it up in the light, praying so hard that there will be even the faintest line. To the woman whose period showed up right on time. To the woman who is just ready to quit. I don’t know the details of your story. I don’t know what doctors have told you. I don’t know how long you have been trying. I don’t know how many tears you have shed. I don’t know if you have lost a...

Keep Reading

I Was There to Walk My Mother to Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Hand holding older woman's hand

I prayed to see my momma die. Please don’t click away yet or judge me harshly after five seconds. I prayed to see, to experience, to be in the room, to be a part of every last millisecond of my momma’s final days, final hours, and final moments here on Earth. You see, as a wife of a military man, I have always lived away from my family. I have missed many birthdays, celebrations, dinners, and important things. But my heart couldn’t miss this important moment. I live 12 hours away from the room in the house where my momma...

Keep Reading

To the Loss Mom Whose Tears Keep Her Company Tonight

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Sad woman sitting up in bed with head in hands

Three pregnancies in one year. Three first trimesters. Three moments of celebration . . . until they turned to moments of sorrow. I’m sure every woman who experiences pregnancy loss has the thought, “I never thought this would happen to me.” I truly never thought this would happen to me. I have two healthy boys—conceived easily, uncomplicated pregnancies, by-the-book deliveries. We even thought we were done having kids . . . until the pregnancy test was positive. That’s when my heart opened up to more children, and I realized I ached to carry more life. Raise more littles. Nurse more babies....

Keep Reading

Cowgirls Don’t Cry Unless the Horse They Loved Is Gone

In: Grief, Kids, Loss
Little girls Toy Story Jessie costume, color photo

The knee of my pants is wet and dirty. My yellow ring lays by the sink—it’s been my favorite ring for months. I bought it to match Bigfoot’s halter and the sunflowers by his pasture. Bigfoot is my daughter’s pony, and I loved him the most. The afternoon is so sunny. His hooves make the same calming rhythm I’ve come to love as I walk him out back. A strong wind blows through the barn. A stall labeled “Bigfoot,” adorned with a sunflower, hangs open and I feel sick. I kneel down by his side as he munches the grass....

Keep Reading

Supporting the Grievers in the Aftermath of Suicide

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Two people walking down tunnel with arms around each other

She was a devoted mother of two boys with her husband of 26 years.  With him, she owned a metallurgy company, ran a household, and in her spare time, produced tons of crafts by hand, most of which she sold. When her younger son was diagnosed with autism, she read everything she could find on the subject, volunteered, advocated for the autism community, and developed programs for autistic children. She spoke at the National Autism Conference and was co-authoring a book to help parents navigate an autism diagnosis. We marveled at her energy and enthusiasm. She was at every family...

Keep Reading