Josh. Cali. McKallister. Oakland. Quincy. Camden. Murphy.

Loving everything about my family!

Monday, December 29, 2008

 This post is a little long, so if you are feeling A.D.D.ish feel free to just look at the pictures! :)

So I've been meaning to post about this since Christmas, however, I really wanted it to be in the ground before I showed pictures of it! We celebrated Christmas Eve with the Hinckley's and I'm going to admit- it was a hard day!! All I could think about was not having a kid to open presents was pretty brutal. But if any of you know any of the Hinckley's they all have a different way of cheering you up. It's amazing. To add on to that, my Family randomly showed up to join in the festivities! yah!!

Well Santa came and I was so glad that Mike and Erin let Bryson sit on my lap. I know that he's not MY kid but it was nice to have A kid to hold while santa came in. I hope they don't mind because I'm sure that is something every Mom wants to do but it meant more than I can even express that they let me do that. When Santa was done with all of the little kids he said that he had one more present and asked Josh to come up. All I heard was, "we are short one this year aren't we", and I was in tears. They remembered Mac as one of the Grandkids! This is what was inside of McKallister's present...

It's a temporary headstone!!!! Josh and I have picked out the one that we wanted but have been having a real struggle because Josh wants something there, but I want to wait for Mac's Birthday to put in the real one so this was perfect! I can not thank Santa enough for the thought that went behind this. I can not even express how selfless the members of Josh's family are- to think of us during the crazy holiday season. I've been sitting here for the last 10 minutes trying to word how I feel but there are not words. I LOVE my FAMILY!!

The day went on and there was yet another surprise. Rachel had made a dvd for Josh, Mac, and I to have for Christmas. It was pictures of the temple with recordings of our family throughout expressing their feelings to us. I can not tell you the spirit that was felt in that room as I listened to every member of my family say a little something. The entire time all I could think was, "Dang Mac, you are one lucky kid to have a family like this. How did we end up with such special people in our life".

On Christmas day I thought the tears were over...haha I had you fooled too huh? :) My Brother Colby, Dad, and Sister Taylor had made a disk of them singing a version of "I am a Child of God", but the words go along with a child that is already in Heaven who is now waiting for His family. I've been trying to figure out how to put it on Mac's blog so that everyone can listen- when it's up I'll let ya know. My big brother had then found talks/quotes of prophets and apostles saying something about those who have already passed away and placed that throughout the song. It was amazing!! My family is very talented when it comes to music and I realized then that is the best way for my Brother to help me. We have never had a sit down about everything that happened but he knew just what I needed. It was perfect.

My cute little mother then put a story in Mac's stocking. (Her and I are a lot in common and are excluded in the music talent so she found another way to make my Christmas great! :)) She had written a story about Mac's first Christmas with his friends Maverick (who is buried next to Mac up at his grave) and Jesus. It was a childrens book and she did fantastic!! My Mom is totally kid geared and I think she had my future kids in mind when writing this. It is for sure one that I will keep around and Love her so much for being able to put her feelings down on paper in that way.
On Christmas day and the day after it snowed like crazy up at Mac's grave and when we had gone up there earlier the snow was up to my knees so we didn't think there was any way we would get to it for a couple of days. Boy were we wrong....

Josh's sister, Taylor, and her Husband, Abbel, had cleared a path from the road to McKallister's grave!!!! Holy cow there is no way anyone could not find his grave! I am not a huge snow person so wanted this done more than ever but honestly probably wouldn't have convinced myself to do it until after the snow melted! :) These two are the greatest! In one day, the knew there was snow, they trecked up there, and cleared it out. How much greater does my family keep getting? This may not seem like a big deal to some, but to me- it was the greatest act of service and love ever!

I never realized that you probably didn't know that this marker in the picture below is a little bit larger than the size of a sticky note. A dirty, not readable, sad, sticky out with the OLD

And in with the new!!! Yah!!

Merry Christmas...From the Hinckleys.
Josh, Cali, and Baby Mac

Original post by Me

6 Months Old

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mac would be 6 months old today!....My sister-in-law, Erin, made a comment that she could not believe he would be that old already and asked me if it got any easier. I thought I would share my thoughts with everyone on that because I'm sure it varies for everyone that goes through losing a loved one.

I still think about McKallister every day but not any less or more than I did before. He's still always in the back of my mind and every little thing reminds me of him. I still think about what life would be like if he were here but never wish to change what happened. I still have days that I cry so hard that I wonder if I'll ever stop. I still think about that day as if it were yesterday. I still hurt inside and my heart aches. I still miss Mac and Love him more than ever!

I don't think it's any easier than it was 6 months ago, but I've learned more than could ever have been imagined with this situation. I've learned that my Family has not forgotten Mac and that he is counted in the Grandkid, cousin, and nephew count. I've learned that when I am doing what is right I feel comforted and the more I pray about the whys and what ifs, the hurts and fears, the sorrow and loneliness, the more I feel them turn in to trust that this happened for a reason. I have found that when I rely on my Family members and friends and talk to them about my feelings or thoughts- it helps them not build up inside. I think that it will always be hard and always hurt, but I'm hoping that we are able to teach our future kids all that we have learned from Mac and that it will bring us all closer together.

Happy 6 months Birthday my baby Mac!!

Weekend Fun

Sunday, December 7, 2008

We went up to Mac's grave to take down the Thanksgiving decorations and put some up for Christmas!!

This is my family, Kierra and Colby, Dad and Mom, Alex, Mac and I- Josh is behind the camera.

That night we got the opportunity to attend a candle light vigil in memory of those who have lost children. We will for sure have to let everyone know about it ahead of time next year because it was a really awesome experience (sorry to all of those that I told too late, that was my bad and I promise to keep everyone updated further in the future from now on). My Mom, Grandma and Grandpa Maughan, Josh and I went up to it and I was amazed how many people attended. It was really important to me to see how many people are in the same boat as us and be able to hear the speakers talk about our losses.
I was really excited because we got to hear from Julie Williams. For those of you who don't know her- she's one of the people that I am the most grateful for in my life. She came to the hospital and donated her time and talents to take pictures of our family and McKallister. She did an amazing job and provided me with the most memorable and sacred pictures of my son. I will forever be thankful for her and absolutely adore her!!! She did a great job and it really made my night!
Original post by Me

One hard week...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

So when I was growing up and someone had lost a loved one they would always say that the Holidays are the hardest and I never knew why...this year that sentence has a whole new meaning for me.

I have been so emotional and honestly grouchy about everything and to everyone.

Sunday I was struggling with missing Mac. I went to my grandparents house and was hysterical, crying, and upset.

Tuesday, We went in for tithing settlement and on the page they give you it has all of your information, including kids. I swear it was like capital letters stating NO CHILDREN!!! It hit me so hard and when we got home I called my Dad in tears so upset that they would write that on the tithing settlement pages! I felt like they were rubbing it in that I didn't have kids here on this earth.

Thanksgiving was Mac's 5 month Birthday so of course that was hard for me. I wondered all day what I would be doing with him- would I let him try pumpkin or banana pie? Would he be fussy from not having a nap because of all the family and noise? Would my cousins fight over who got to hold him?

Friday Josh and I went in and picked out a headstone. We have wanted to pay for it now and have that be our Christmas present and then have them set it in June for his first Birthday. When we walked into the main office it was like nothing I could explain. I have never felt so sick in my life.... the only other two times I have been there was a few days after his birth when we were picking out a casket and then on the day of his burial. My stomach felt sick and all of the emotions I felt on that day rushed back to me. I felt anger, sadness, frustration, hurt. I was angry that we were picking out a headstone for my son's Christmas present.

On Saturday I started- ya know? (sorry to all the men that are reading this or those who are private about this matter- me, I'm very open and if I don't tell you- Josh probably will :) ). So right now I am the farthest away from being pregnant as I possibly could be. I have found myself questioning all day what I am doing wrong, why it is not my time to start a family here on this earth, what could I do different to have what I want the most, and how can I be unselfish about it.

Today, we went to one of our friends baby blessings and they asked Josh to be in the circle. All day today I have been on the verge of tears. You know that muscle that you use to hold back from crying? I call it my tear muscle- well it's been getting the biggest work out today! It took everything I had to hold back from falling apart right there in sacrament meeting. I felt jealous, sad, heartbroken, lost, hurt, and upset.

So this Holiday season I find myself....a wreck. However, I have also found myself grateful for those things that got me through each of these new trials.

My Dad for letting me cry and be angry on the phone. For raising my voice and telling him it's not fair. For comforting me and telling me that I accepted this trial and am stronger than he is. For him being the greatest dad ever.

My Family for keeping me entertained and my mind off the sadness of the day and hanging out with me. For blessing Mac and all he's taught us in the family prayer. For allowing me to cry and not ask why. For visiting his grave and being great aunts, uncles, cousins, and family to him. For comforting me.

Josh for holding my hand through "picking out a birthday present". For his laughing and saying that he wished Mac could pick out his own headstone. For taking me to his grave afterwards but being too cold, giggling and running away screaming behind him, "love you Mac". For putting up with me.

Sarah for asking me how it went when I got back to work. For knowing that I have hard days and always giving me the hugs that I need. For telling me that she still thinks about Mac. For being there for me. For being my Friend.

Taylor for letting me talk to her about the girl moments and agreeing with me that it sucks! For not judging me when I express my frustration. For not ever telling me that she knows what I'm going through and still cheering me up.

The Brady's for inviting Josh to stand in the circle. For showing their love and happiness towards their new baby girl. For allowing me to feel the spirit and joy for their new family. For smiling.

All of you that just read this really long post and the support, love, and friendship you have shown Josh and I.

Mac for being dang cute and completely PERFECT.

Original post by Me

Happy Halloween from Mac and Alex!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Alex and Mac want to wish everyone a very happy Halloween!!

(Mac has done some extensive decorating for the occassion. Every time I go up there someone has added something new to 'his tree' and Mac and all his pals are covered in a beautiful, golden carpet of leaves. It's absolutely beautiful, Mac!! )

Original post by Natalie

Happy Halloween Mac!

Monday, October 13, 2008

I visited Mac the other day and decided he needed some decor. I had a great time visiting with him and spooking the place up.
Original post by Natalie

A Walk to Remember

Sunday, October 12, 2008

On Saturday my family attended the annual Walk to Remember which is put on by Share Parents of Utah (a pregnancy & infant loss support group). We attended in honor of baby Mac and had such a wonderful time.

 After a tear jerking memorial service and a short walk, they had a balloon release.

We all signed a balloon that was released in honor of baby Mac.

As each babies name was read, their balloon was released. This is Mac's balloon soaring into heaven.
This event was such a great opportunity for Josh and Cali to gain strength from the many others who have been through what they have. They are so amazing!

I thought these roses were so beautiful. They gave them to each mother of an angel baby.

After the walk my family all met up at McKallister's grave to visit and eat pizza.We're so glad that we got to participate in this event. Baby Mac's death has been a means of bringing our family so much closer together. We love Mac so much and can't wait to meet him someday. Thank you Josh and Cali for allowing us all to take part.

Original post by Erin

3 Months Old

Saturday, September 27, 2008

McKallister would be three months old today...such an adorable cute age!! I wanted to thank two people in my life who have been amazing enough to name my baby after. First my Grandpa Scott. His middle name is Vance, so that's where Mac's middle name came from. I have grown to have such a love and appreciation for my Grandpa that no one could imagine. Anyone that knows my Grandpa can say that he is one of the most amazing people they have ever met!! Grandpa thank you for loving me for who I am and always commenting on how beautiful I look- even when I don't think I'm even pretty, thank you for putting a smile on my face when I'm feeling down, thank you for always tickling my knees to get me to laugh- even when I pretend I'm not ticklish anymore, thank you for taking pictures of my tummy every Sunday to see how big I got when pregnant, thank you for allowing my husband to spend countless hours in your shop using your tools and wood, thank you for showing me how to love everyone- no matter who they are, thank you for teaching me how to learn from a trial harder then anyone could imagine and stay positive when times are tough, and most of all- thank you for being my Grandpa Scott.

Second- Tyler McCallister. (I hope that's how you spell your last name, we switched up the spelling a bit:) ) Tyler served his mission with Josh and was an amazing friend. When they got home Tyler came on Josh and I's first date, so technically I've known Tyler as long as I've known Josh! Everyone calls Tyler "Mac" as well so that's where we got my Mac's first name. I've gotten to know Tyler's family a little bit and they are all amazing people! So much Love just radiates from them that I am so grateful they let me name my son after their last name. Tyler and his wife Laura came to the hospital after we lost McKallister and drove all the way from Cedar to come be with us. They stayed and entertained Josh, helped us carry stuff down to the car, and brought us comfort through their happy spirits. The two of them seemed to know exactly what to say to us, exactly how to make us smile, and were so caring! Later they invited us to Tyler's grandparents cabin to get away from the world- I can never thank them enough for that weekend. I was still sore from just having a baby and they treated Josh and I so well- making us dinner, letting us relax, and everything that is included in the best get-away vacation. You two are an amazing family and we love you so much!! Thank you for allowing us to be your friends. :)

So today I find myself asking..."How could I have ever expected less than a PERFECT son, after naming him after two amazing men."

Original post by Me

McKallister's autopsy results

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Josh and Cali finally got the results of Mac's autopsy back and they've given me permission to share the results here because I know that many of you have been following their story and have been interested to know exactly what caused his death. Here's what the autopsy stated about the cause of death:

"Autopsy examination revealed the cause of death to be an umbilical cord accident. Specifically, the umbilical cord was excessively long and, consistent with the clinical history of a tight nuchal cord, there was a prominent ligature mark on the neck. In addition there was significant cerebrovascular congestion and hemorrhage, secondary to vascular obstruction from the nuchal cord, and systemic evidence of fetal stress."

Josh and Cali seemed to receive the results with great calmness and strength, but that shouldn't surprise us because they have truly been beacons of strength throughout all of this. These results have helped re-confirm in their hearts and each of our hearts that it truly was God's will for Mac to leave us. We sure love him and will miss him!

Original post by Erin

11 weeks 5 days down...My lifetime to go!

Josh and I have successfully gotten through almost 12 weeks without my perfect little son and I realized that I am finally starting to come out of the worst part of it. We received the autopsy results back- which I was extremely nervous for and I find myself relieved with what they determined. I guess what most everyone was interested in was the results-

"Autopsy examination revealed the cause of death to be an umbilical cord accident. Specifically, the umbilical cord was excessively long and, consistent with the clinical history of a tight nuchal cord, there was a prominent ligature mark on the neck. In addition there was significant cerebrovascular congestion and hemorrhage, secondary to vascular obstruction from the nuchal cord, and systemic evidence of fetal stress."

I, however, found myself more interested in reading the details...McKallister was perfect! He was in the 99th percentile for weight, his heart was the exact weight it was supposed to be (18.8 g), his lungs were fully developed, his feet were big, and his eyes were the perfect measurement apart. I was amazed and relieved that not only was he so perfect in spirit but there was not a flaw in his perfect little body. I am so proud of him! I think that everyone has that oppurtunity to be proud of their kids first step, the first time they say mom, or that first day of kindergarten...I will never get those same experiences with Mac but I do get different experiences that I am equally proud of.

I am terrified to get pregnant again- I'm not gonna to lie- but I have felt more peace and have gained a knowledge that there is a plan for everyone and God knows what he is doing more than I can ever understand. I still cry every day, still have nighmares, and still wish with all my heart I could just be a Mom but I also sang in the car for the first time in 11 weeks the other day, and laughed so hard I cried last week. My heart aches, and hurts 24/7 but I am finally feeling strong enough to move on with some normal life! Yah!!

We get to go see a specialist to talk about the results with him next Tuesday- I hope that he can help us understand some of these super long terms!! Thank you all again for your love and support through all of this. I am such a lucky person to have the family and friends that I have. I love you all!!

Original post by Me 

Cali's 21st Birthday

Monday, August 18, 2008

For my 21st Birthday the Hinckley family and I went to Seven Peaks Water Park. As a family they gave me this beautiful picture of Christ praying with a little boy. I remember Erin saying "I'm sure that Mac prays often for his mommy and daddy." This picture still hangs in my home, right by our front door...

Our last 3 weeks

Monday, August 11, 2008

So I've been having a hard time writing what I want to about this experience and so I just thought I'd share what we have been doing and how we have been handling everything. On the day that Mac would have been one month we got together with our family and had a little Birthday party for McKallister. We went up to his grave and had cupcakes and sang happy birthday, and then just played and hung out together. I have been so grateful for my families support and being so willing to come to things like's helped me more then anything else.

The next Tuesday I decided I was ready to clean out his room...good thing for Mom's and Sister's! My sister being the photographer she is of course took pictures for me of things I had set up in Mac's room or items that he would have used. That was amazing for me and I am so glad that she has the talent she does. My Mom really did all the packing away for me. I just handed her clothes, toys, stuffed animals, picture frames, shoes, diapers, bath toys, etc. and she organized them and seperated them into boxes. After she was done with that I decided that I just couldn't part with taking the crib down or the changing table so that is still set up in his room. I didn't think it would be hard to pack everything up because he hadn't used any of it yet...but I guess I never realized how much I visualized how everything would have been. I imagined myself changing him at night into cute little pj's with his baseball lamp turned on, or trying to make him smile in his crib with a little stuffed animal. I even imagined changing all those poopy diapers and honestly miss the chance to do that...

My family and friends in the last month and a half not only showed their love through staying up for countless hours to comfort Josh and I, traveling miles to see a nephew and cousin, delivering flowers to brighten up my room and mood, created a blog in memory of Mac, offered blessings of comfort, made blankets for me and McKallister to share, allowed me to share in the sealing of their son, entertaining me while Josh is at work, babysitting Alex so my Mom and Dad could be with me in my time of need, visit Mac’s grave, take off work to be with us, smiled and laughed when I didn’t know there was anything good in this world but they were there for us no matter what it cost them, they were our friends, they lent a listening ear, prayed for us, and think of McKallister as family.

Even though I never saw Mac alive I felt like we were best of friends and I know so much about him. I wanted to share some of the things that I remember about Mac so that you can see not only pictures but the kid behind the pictures…

Mac always had the hiccups and did not like them! He was playful- he was always moving, kicking, and rolling around, he even played pick- a-boo with us at the first ultrasound! He was terrified of zerbits (ya know, when someone blows a raspberry on your stomach to make a toot sound) whenever someone would zerbit one side of my tummy he would try to “escape” out the other side. He loved warm showers. Whenever my front would be facing the shower my stomach would be all out in front and huge, when I’d put my back in the shower I could feel him move to my back and my stomach would shrink down like there wasn’t anyone in there. If I laid on my side he would lay on the couch or bed too so that my side not touching the couch or bed was completely flat and he didn’t like when I laid on my back and would kick my spine every time I did. I will cherish and remember every trait he had while he was alive because those are the only memories I will ever have of his movements.

I find myself fighting to get past every week, day, minute, hour and second without my little one. I have faced every emotion, whether it is anger, overwhelmed, frustration, sadness, confusion, loneliness, scared, wanting, emptiness, patience, comfort, loved, hated, happiness and heartache. I still have an empty feeling every day and struggle that I will never know what it feels like to comfort my baby at night, play in the sunshine with him, kiss his chubby cheeks every day, or get him in and out of the car. It kills me to have never felt his big ol’ hands hold my finger tight, see his eyes look at mine, hear his baby cry and laugh, and I will never be able to see him smile at me. When the day ends I realize that I feel so alone and lost without Mac. I find myself promising Heavenly Father that I will be a good Mother and that I will try my best to raise my kids in the gospel and pray He will send me another little one that I can keep for this short time on earth. I beg Him to help me get past this trial and learn all that I can from it and to help me stay positive. I plead with him to help me get through one day without feeling scared and alone. But after all of those feelings I feel comfort, peace, love, and even though I miss my McKallister more then I can possibly explain I feel a small peaceful feeling. I will never be able to hold Mac again but I will always be able to feel his tender love surround me.

During this past month I faced something that I never even imagined. I questioned, I withheld, I screamed, I sat in silence, I searched for an explanation, I wished, I cry…no sob, but in the end I have learned how to love stronger, I have gained a knowledge of the atonement, I have learned how to pray from my heart, I realize that I have the honor of being with my family for eternity. I have built a foundation to qualities such as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. I have studied the prophet’s teachings, scriptures, and talks more deeply. This has been an experience that I will never forget and even though I wish with all of my heart that it didn’t happen, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I LOVE McKallister more than I ever imagined I could love someone and He taught me so much about family. I owe my little guy everything and am so glad that he is happy.

We got the preliminary results back from the Dr. at my 6 week appointment and learned that he had an abrasions on the left side of his neck. From those results they would assume it was a cord accident. His umbilical cord was also 82 cm long when they are normally 60 cm so that would help support that theory. I have not gotten every detail from the autopsy back yet, I should get them back shortly. I think that I would be ok if it was a cord accident because that is not something that my body did or that my health did...I'll be sure to update everyone once we know the cause of death for sure.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and comments on or blog. Thank you every family member that has "put up with us" the last month and a half and for all of the generous things each of you has done for us. Thank you everyone who offered a smile or a hug when I was feeling down and I just want to say a big thanks to Josh...I honestly have to say that Josh has been my biggest support system and I am so glad that he has been willing to stay up with me at nights, or be the shoulder I cry on. He has cheered me up when I thought I was as low as it got and never stopped loving me. I am so glad that I married him and that he is the man he is. Basically THANK YOU to everyone that has been my friend during this are all amazing and have helped Mac fulfill his mission and for that I owe you all so much.

Sorry this is such a long post and that I just kind of ramble...I'm not so good at composing my thoughts and creating even a sentence that makes sense! :) Thanks again and you'll be hearing from me shortly!

Original post by Me

Mac's funeral

Thursday, July 17, 2008

On July 2nd little McKallister was laid to rest. I haven't posted about it until now because I wanted to wait until we had the chance to update Mac's blog with pictures and information so that I could refer you there to read about everything. So please click here and then scroll to the bottom of his blog to view the part about the funeral. Our lives have truly been changed forever because of him. We love him so much!

Original post by Erin

McKallister's funeral slideshow

The slideshow of Mac's funeral has finally been posted to his blog. You can click here to view it (the slideshow is towards the bottom of the blog).

I also just wanted to let you know that Josh and Cali are doing well. Every day is still very challenging for them. They say that some days are harder than others, but they are enduring each day like champions. Although their emotions are still too tender to get on here and update this blog themselves, they have been reading every comment left for them on this blog and Mac's blog and are deeply touched and comforted by each one. You will honestly never know how much your words of comfort and encouragement have come to mean to them. Please keep it coming their way. They told me they could have never faced this difficult experience without the strength and love they have felt and continue to feel from each of you and they thank you from the bottom of their hearts.

As sad as this experience has been for them, they are grateful for it. They have come to understand that Mac's mission here on earth was to bring people to Christ. They hope you will continue to help Mac fulfill his mission by sharing his blog/story with others. They love you and sincerely thank you. Please continue to send love their way. ~Erin

Mac's funeral

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Last Wednesday, July 2nd, Mac was laid to rest. It was a very emotional day for everyone involved-- especially Josh and Cali. Prior to the grave side service, our families had the chance to spend one last time with little Mac. He looked so peaceful and absolutely beautiful! Cali had the special privilege of dressing him in his little white outfit before his precious body was placed in his little casket. The grave side service was unforgettable and was attended by hundreds of people, many of which did not know Josh and Cali but had been touched by their story. The service ended with the beautiful release of hundreds of red, orange, and yellow balloons. I will hold off on sharing more of the details here because they will be posted shortly on Mac's blog in addition to a video slideshow of funeral pictures I'm still in the process of gathering.

The amount of love and support Josh and Cali have received through this experience has been overwhelming! The prayers, emails, comments, financial donation's, cards, letters, gifts, visitors, meals, phone calls, and flowers have meant more to them than you will ever know. Thank you for your thoughtfulness, love, and generosity. ~Erin


Monday, July 7, 2008

Losing my little nephew has caused me to reflect a lot upon life and why things happen the way they do. Since Mac's death, I’ve had numerous conversations with people regarding what happened. As I’ve observed the reactions people have to tragedies such as death, I’ve found it interesting that the first thing people naturally seem to do is try to cast blame on someone or something. They ask “why didn’t such and such a person do this?” or “if only things had been done this way…” etc. Initially our family asked similar questions. It's a natural part of the grieving process to have those types of feelings. But after experiencing what our family has just experienced, I have come to find it somewhat saddening to talk to people who continuously dwell on the "whys" of Mac's death or any tragedy for that matter. It's sad because, to me, they seem too busy questioning things to open their hearts to what the Lord is trying to teach them through the experience. They seem to be, in essence, questioning God and his perfect plan for each of us.

Because of Mac’s death, I believe now more than ever that God truly is perfect. He does not make mistakes. He would not allow an innocent child or a righteous person to die unless it was truly that child’s or person's time. He sees the big picture and knows precisely what each of us need to experience in order to find our way back to Him.

After learning of Mac’s death, our families sat with Cali and Josh as Cali progressed through 14 hours of labor. During that time, we asked a lot of "why" questions and sobbed tears of bitterness and resentment in an effort to feel better about the unknown circumstances surrounding Mac’s death. In retrospect, thinking about the "whys" and "if onlys," even as part of the grieving process, didn’t help us feel better at all. It made us feel worse.

And then sweet little Mac’s precious body was born.

Words cannot describe the feeling that flooded the room (and hallway) as his little body entered this earth (I am in tears just thinking about it)! The feeling was sobering and absolutely incredible! As soon as each of us saw and held his little body, the "whys" and "if onlys" that had previously plagued our minds immediately ceased. We became encompassed by the love of God to such an overwhelming degree that we could no longer question the reasoning behind Mac's death. The veil was thinned and Mac’s mission became very clear.

In reflection, it wasn't until the "whys" and "if onlys" stopped, that our hearts became open to be taught all of the amazing things Mac came to this earth to teach. He came here as a little missionary to teach and bring people to Christ! His story has influenced so many people for the better and has changed hearts. I am grateful that our family was able to eventually get past all of the "whys" so that our hearts could be open to hear the great lessons Heavenly Father sent Mac here to teach.

I guess the reason it's sad for me to hear people still questioning the whys of Mac's death is because I have come to understand that it is no use questioning why. It won't change what happened and gets us nowhere. Peace amidst tragedy comes not through getting answers, but through faith and putting our trust in the Lord's plan completely.

Elder Hales has said, “I have come to understand how useless it is to dwell on the whys, what ifs, and if onlys for which there likely will be given no answers in mortality. Their faith and putting their trust in the Lord help them put the whys and ifs behind them and feel the comfort of the Spirit of the Lord."

Elder Maxwell has said, “ ‘whys’ are not really questions at all but are expressions of resentment.”

Through Mac's death I have learned that if we are too busy focusing on the “whys?” of life, we will never hear what God is trying to teach us through the trials we are blessed to endure. Through every trial is a lesson to be learned. Stop questioning God and listen. God loves us and knows what He is doing. His plan is perfect. Have faith in it.

I have to end by thanking Josh and Cali for the example they have been to me and to so many others. They are enduring this trial with a strength that I could only ever wish to obtain. I know this has been and continues to be one of the most grueling trials they have ever had to face, but they seem to understand the purpose of it and have chosen to use it to praise our Father in Heaven and to bring others to Him.

A friend of ours (thanks Lindsay!) shared this awesome quote on her blog by Elder Maxwell, that I feel applies perfectly to Josh and Cali. He said, "The very act of choosing to be a disciple can bring to us a certain special suffering...If we are serious about our discipleship, Jesus will eventually request each of us to do those very things which are the most difficult for us to do... Sometimes the best people have the worst experiences, because they are the most ready to learn."

Josh and Cali truly are among the best of people and have opened their hearts to learn all they can from this very difficult trial. Thank you Josh and Cali for your faith and example. I feel very honored to be your sister. I love you guys!
Original post by Erin

In Memory of Baby Mac

Sunday, June 29, 2008

In memory of baby Mac and as a gift to Josh and Cali, we have set up a blog to remember him. Posted on the blog is a video that shares the story of Mac's short life and we would like to share it with each of you. Please click here to view it.

Original post by Erin

Sweet Baby Mac

Friday, June 27, 2008

McKallister Vance Hinckley (Mac) was born this morning at 5:53 am. He weighed 7 lbs. 15 oz. and was 22 inches long. He was absolutely beautiful!!! As we spent time with baby Mac this morning the feeling in the room was incredible. An amazing amount of peace and comfort rested upon everyone present. We could feel that God was with us and that he loves Josh, Cali and Mac so much. We were all in tears as we took turns holding Mac and spending the short time we had with his little earthly body. All in the room could feel that Mac's spirit, although not in his body, was very much with us.
Josh and Cali are handling this so well! I have been so touched by their example and the great faith they have shown through all of this. They are strong and know this trial has been given to them to help them draw closer to the Savior. Mac was just too perfect of a little boy to stay with us on this earth. We love you baby Mac and know we will see you again someday!
Original post by Erin


Thursday, June 26, 2008

About seven months ago you may remember me mentioning that my little brother Josh and his wife Cali were expecting their first baby. Their due date is in two days so we have been anxiously awaiting a phone call telling us that the time has finally arrived.

We never expected we'd get the horrible phone call we received this morning. Josh and Cali went in this morning for a routine stress test and the doctor's couldn't find the baby's (Mac's) heart beat. Cali said she felt baby Mac moving and kicking last night and said he had the hiccups, but didn't feel him moving at all this morning. They figured he was just asleep and were devastated to learn during the stress test that he had passed away sometime during the night. They have induced Cali and expect her to deliver baby Mac sometime late this evening or early tomorrow morning.

We were just at the hospital with them and they are doing as well as can be expected. They have invited us to return as soon as Mac is born so that we can all get a chance to hold him before his little body is taken away to be prepared for his burial on Monday. Our hearts are breaking over this horrible news and ask that you please keep Josh and Cali in your thoughts and prayers.

Original post by Erin
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