For Love of Sue

"I was able to make a delivery of diapers in memory of a special little baby, who has influenced grieving parents all over the world! Here’s the story:

When I was a teenager I read the Christmas Box Trilogy by Richard Paul Evans. I thought they were some nice little stories, but didn't think much more about them until this last year. In July 2012, we lost our little daughter to a cord accident at 21 weeks gestation, and she was stillborn. In my grief I looked for books about child loss, and I read the Christmas Box books again. This time the story of Mary losing her daughter in a house fire, and the way she dealt with her loss meant much more to me. I then read The Miracle of the Christmas Box, and understood why it spoke to my heart so deeply. In this book Richard Paul Evans tells about feeling inspired to write a story for his daughters, that eventually became a bestseller. As the book was coming together, Mr. Evans felt that he was being influenced by his little sister Sue, who was born still in the 1960’s. He felt that the story was about his mother’s grief in losing Sue, which wasn't acknowledged at the time. I love this section since it shows that our babies can influence us from the other side, as well as the importance of honoring ALL babies gone too soon:

“...I understood, for the first time that my story was about the pain my mother felt in losing a child. At this moment something peculiar happened. I suddenly felt that I was not alone in the room. Moreover, I believed that I knew who was with me: my little sister Sue, who had died when I was still a toddler.

Sue's death was not something our family spoke openly about. She was stillborn, and at the time, American culture did not openly acknowledge the hurt of such losses. My mother was sent home from the hospital with a rose and the consolation that she could always have another baby. For months after her loss, friends and church members avoided her, unsure of what to say. My father, following the counsel of others, urged her to just get on with her life.

As a child I remember only a few instances of my mother speaking of Sue. Once, when I was around five, I found my mother alone in a room crying. Frightened, I asked her what was wrong.

“It's Sue's birthday,” she said.

I believe that at that moment, at 4 A.M. In our small kitchen on Preston Street, Sue and I were reunited. I said out loud, “Sue, you gave me this story for Mom.” As I spoke the words, it instantly came to my mind- “Dedicate this book to me.” Richard Paul Evans, The Christmas Box Miracle, pgs. 102-103

Little Sue sent nudges from heaven to her brother to write a book, which has been healing for many. Another way that Sue Evans has influenced my life, as well as countless other grieving parents, is the Christmas Box Angel Statue. A powerful part of The Christmas Box story is the main character weeping at her daughter’s grave, watched over by a statue of an angel. That part was based on a memory of an old woman in Salt Lake City, UT who heard a mother weeping at a statue of an angel when she was young. As parents read the book and went searching for the statue to mourn their lost children, it couldn't be found. When Richard Paul Evans heard of this, he went with his aged friend to see if they could find it. Here is more from the miracle book: 

“The angel was gone. As I thought of the grieving parents wandering the cemetery looking for it, I suddenly had the desire to rebuild the angel- to provide a place for them to grieve their little ones. When I told my mother of my desire, she began to cry. “Sue was never buried,” she said. “I have no place to go.” The Christmas Box Miracle, pg. 147 (shared with permission)

He did have a statue of an angel made, and it is called the Christmas Box Angel Statue. It is dedicated to all parents who have lost a child, and there is a ceremony for angel parents at the statue every December 6th. While the first one is in the Salt Lake City Cemetery, there are now more than 100 statues dedicated or in the works, for different areas around the world! When I looked up the locations online, I was excited to see that there is one in my own small town of Vernal, UT! I've been to the angel statue often, and it has been very healing to visit, and leave a white flower. We also sent balloons to my daughter Cassidy from there on her due date last November, and without the statue we wouldn't have any place to go either.

Now that you have all of that background information-- Here is the diaper delivery part: When I realized that The Christmas Box was dedicated to Mr. Evans’ little stillborn sister, and all the good that has come from it, I had the crazy idea of writing to him to see if I could make some diapers in memory of Sue. Surprisingly, I got a little message from the actual author agreeing to the idea, so here they are! These diapers went to my home town hospital in Cedar City, UT, in loving memory of Sue Evans. I also sent along some of my first little gowns, in memory of my daughter Cassidy Jane. It's not a huge donation number-wise, but each set of diapers can make a difference in a grieving parent's life, something our "Small Town Sewers" truly believe. One neat thing about the experience was that I got to deliver them in person, which is something I don’t usually get to do.

Thank you Mr. Richard Paul Evans, for letting me make a donation in memory of your sister, and for all that you've done for parents of angels!"  Carrie, Small Angel Babies, Small Town Support