Gavin, a Trisomy 18 Angel

Gavin Mark Reimer, my third son, was born August 23, 2016, at 37 weeks and 2 days and stayed earthside with us for 6 hours. He had been diagnosed prenatally with Trisomy 18. The grief that bore down upon me both during my pregnancy and after his death was heavier than anything else I’ve ever experienced. But, true to Gavin’s gift of beauty springing from ashes, my journey with him also brought me into a whole new community 

of wonderfully special children and the families that love them and a greater awareness of the beautifully fragile nature of life that sparks at the heart of joy. His spirit and energy also inform my interactions with and care for my patients and families in the NICU where I work. He was here for a moment, but the extraordinary sacredness of that moment will warm me for a lifetime. 

All of our kids are rare treasures, beautifully and uniquely made. Gavin is no exception. He slipped into and out of this life quietly and serenely, but the imprint he has left on my heart cannot be overstated. Precious, tiny, beloved, beautiful. A privilege to carry and a waking dream to hold, he could not stay long, but while he was here, he shone. I still see his light in an extra glimmer of sunshine over open water, in-kind gestures between strangers, in unexpected but profound beauty surfacing suddenly in the midst of ordinary life. I am grateful that he came; I am proud of who he is, exactly as he is. I cannot wait to see him face to face again and never let him go. Until then, I will carry his bright spark of uncommon grace with me in my heart, always. 💙

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