Regan was born with a condition known as Trisomy 18; unfortunately, many of these children do not survive very long.
She weighed 3 pounds 8 ounces at birth and she was 16.5″ long.
Aimee and I would like to offer the following words of remembrance for our precious daughter Regan.
Any theme surrounding Regan’s life has to include these two terms: Courage and Strength. For those who had a chance to see Regan fighting for her life in the NICU, they know it’s true.
We were so impressed with Regan as she was born into the world. Even with her genetic issues and major heart problems, she held on and gave us an opportunity to get to know her and to experience her wonderful personality.
During her final two hours, as Aimee and I prayed the luminous mysteries of the Rosary with Regan, we asked God to provide us with guidance because we were faced with decisions no parent should have to make. We know that God was with us because his answer came to us before we completed the fourth mystery. Regan gasped and took her last breath, but came back to stay with us for a while longer, until we could adjust and until she knew that we would be OK. While we had encouraged her to go toward the light, she must have known that we were not yet ready to let go, so she hung on until we could be at peace and then let her go an hour later.
We’ve all been given the ability to accomplish God’s plan for our individual lives; what we may sometimes lack is the courage to carry out that plan because life isn’t always easy or we just aren’t listening when God speaks to us. Regan has given Aimee and me the gift of courage; it was abundantly clear every minute of her life that Regan was full of courage.
Regan’s heart defect wasn’t something that “happened to her”, like an illness or a disease. It was the way she was created, and the only way that she could exist. Without her heart defect, she wouldn’t have been who she was. It developed when she developed. Perhaps we could have had a healthy baby, but it wouldn’t have been Regan. And Regan was perfect. Regan had a heart defect and wasn’t meant to live more than 3 days. And there is no doubt that we would gladly take a minute of precious time with Regan over an eternity with a different child. We were so lucky to have known her, to have had her touch our lives the way she did. And yes, it’s so very sad that she is gone, but we were so blessed to have had her the 3 days we did. We believe that God knew she would only live a few days, and He sent her to us because He knew that we would love and cherish her the way He expected. Not because we could “handle it” or because it would make us better people, but because we would love and accept her unconditionally and help to fulfill her purpose of inspiring others to show their faith by living lives full of strength and courage, thus accepting God’s will for them. She was meant to come to us in the process of fulfilling God’s greater plan for her life. And, although we are so sad and miss her so much, we are so very grateful to be able to call ourselves her parents. She was meant for us, for our family. We feel like there was an incredible soul, waiting to come to earth, but only for a very short time. She wasn’t chosen to be sick, rather, we were chosen to accept her the way she was, to accept all that came with her, sorrow as well as joy. And her death was part of who she was. We don’t have to like it, but we accept Regan the way she was, and the way she died. And we feel incredibly blessed to have been part of her story.
We truly believe God didn’t take her from us. It was simply her time to go. It was her destiny because she was created to fulfill something else in His greater plan. He allowed us to be her parents in that process. Yes, our time was far too short together, but we believe it was the only way it could be; there was no other option for her, or for us.
Regan has given us the ability to accept our lives as they are and know that it is OK; something can be temporary and still be life altering and wonderful. Regan brought out the best in us by making us live our faith by showing the true strength and courage it takes to accept life just the way it is; just the way Regan did.
Let me conclude by saying that the responses Aimee and I have received from you have been completely overwhelming. But isn’t that just the way it was meant to be, the way God planned it. Yet another part of Regan’s purpose was apparently to show us how a faith community, like this one, can come together and provide overwhelming support and comfort in a time of need. Through us, Regan inspired others to understand and live their faith with strength and courage too. Thank you all so very much.
And thank you Regan for coming into our lives.