Today is Monday, July 18th, 2022; Karen's Korner #4706

Long[-time Clarion resident Jane Clemsen passed away several weeks ago. The 92 year-old was a member of our church. Her funeral was last week at a care facility in Fort Dodge where she had resided for the last ten years of her life.

Her granddaughter and son-in-law, Libby and Nate Hellenga and family joined Jane's celebration of life.  Seeing them reminded me of their family's story of about a decade ago.

The young family was ready to welcome child #2. Their oldest, Hannah, was two years old at the time. A routine visit to their doctor was anything but routine. An ultrasound brought the devastating news that the baby Libby was carrying didn't have a brain.

The doctor advised them to have an abortion as the baby she was carrying couldn't survive outside the womb.

This is not a story for or against abortion rather one family's journey. Libby and Nate made the heart wrenching decision to not abort the child. But rather to carry the baby through to term.

The fateful day arrived when the baby made its entrance into the world. Family members journeyed to Iowa City to welcome the less-than-perfect child. I can recall our friend, grandma Hellenga, saying, "It was so much easier to have two-year-old Hannah toddling around at the hospital, oblivious to our heartbreak."

Several days passed when a medical staff person said, "Has your family ever considered your baby being an organ donor? She is obsoletely perfect outside of having no brain!"

No they hadn't! 

Eyes, heart, lungs, kidneys, skin were all available for others waiting for a transplant!

There was a purpose for the life of the several-days-old child. No one without a brain can survive long. Baby Eve was no exception!

At Jane's funeral, the Nate and Libby Hellenga family led those of us in attendance in singing two hymns. Hannah, now a young teen, joined mom and dad in their singing. As did her four other younger siblings. With a gap between her and sibling number two, where Eve would have been!