Three Little Birds

Story of 3 little birds and one who soared above us all.

3/1/12 Goodnight my angel.

The post I knew I’d someday have to write, yet the hardest words to come. This morning our sweet Lydia Grace became an angel. We believe it was a sudden cardiac arrest and while we were aware it very likely could and would happen any day at any time, there is never anything that can prepare you for your heart suddenly shattering into a million pieces. I honestly thought we’d lost her on Tuesday as she was very sleepy and there was brief period where I couldn’t get any response from her at all. By the time I had called her doctor, she was rubbing her nose and gave me a brief, just let me sleep look. I brought her in Wed to her doctor and labs and all seemed to be okay and she seemed to be back on the mend. We spent the last two evenings watching some American Idol together and she was pretty happy in her favorite spot of someone’s lap. We don’t know exactly what caused today’s sudden event and will likely never know the exact reason it happened at this moment. She was resting well this AM with low oxygen needs and decent sats when I went to work. An hour into the day, I was met with the dreaded frantic call of she was coming in by EMS and they couldn’t get a heart rate.  I knew by the time I saw her in the ER, nothing more could be done. As we’ve done for hundreds of hours in the ICUs, we held her little body for the next few hours we and those who knew and cared for Lydia were able to say good bye.

We can never thank you all enough for all the kind words, prayers and encouragement during these past 2 years.  We are so thankful for the care that was given to her that allowed her to come home and finally be with her family. She liked being home and watching Wyatt and Ava. The other night, just like back in the old days of the 4 of us at St. Luke’s, Lydia was snuggled in on my right, Wyatt sitting rather calmly in the left and Ava flopping around in the middle trying to make her self comfortable despite the presence of her siblings. It’s hard to gauge how much at 2 they understand. We haven’t try to explain it to them yet. After Lydia left this AM to come to the hospital, Ava suddenly wanted to go downstairs to see “LaLa” and was rather upset when she couldn’t go see her. Then after her nap, we went outside on this beautiful spring day and she goes, “I hear a bird. Cheep. Cheep.” Wyatt coming out later also stopped in the middle of his play and said he heard a bird. The first sounds of spring were heard today by the observant ears of my children. I always hope we stop and listen to the songs of the birds.

We don’t know yet the details on her celebration of life. We do ask in lieu of flowers (thank you for the beautiful ones already sent), we ask for loveys so other babies can be given the same snuggly friend that Lydia so enjoyed and was comforted by in our absence. We plan to make tags for Lydia’s Loveys and send them to other  babies in the NICU and CICU. We’ll also be making donations to Angel Flight and March of Dimes. I had already signed us up for the March of Dimes walk on May 6 and through research and advanced care for the littlest of patients, I’m sitting here listening to my other two sing “Tinkle, tinkle little stahw” in between night time crib bouncing.

Goodnight my sweet angel. Your daddy and I will miss you desperately until we can join you again. With 5 great grandparents to spoil you rotten and make sure you never are without a cookie, you might just be the fattest and most held little angel up there.



  1. Kathy Veatch

    Clay and Amanda,

    God blessed you with a special mission and you have fulfilled it magnificantly. I will pray for you as you go through this time in your life. But, know that God placed Lydia with you because you were the perfect parents for her. Thank you for all the posts that have allowed people like me to get to know you and all three of your special children, especially Miss Lydia. God bless you both as well as Wyatt and Ava in the days ahead. Please know that my prayers will follow you for many days, months and years.

    Kathy Veatch

    • michelle gearin

      i heard your story on yhe radio and felt chills all over my body i am so sorry to hear of your loss RIP little angel

  2. Jayna

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family

  3. Oh my, fighting back the tears as I read your post Amanda! You & Clay have just been AMAZING these past 2 years & so courageous through this fight with Lydia. Your love for her has been evident through each & every one of your posts & through the beautiful pictures you have posted. Your hearts must be so broken, but yet so happy in the fact that you were able to finally bring Lydia home these past few months & let Ava & Wyatt spend more quality time with her, along with you & Clay. These memories will forever be etched in your minds & hearts forever. Oh what a promise God gives us that little children who are at this age, are safe in His arms, never to hurt or cry again! May you feel the love of all of your friends at this time & know that we are hurting too and wish we could help ease your pain.

  4. Venissa Burchett

    Amanda and Clay, My heart is breaking for you all. God bless you all. I will continue to pray for you all. We always have you all in our hearts and in our prayers. Ive so enjoyed your posts and pix. What an amazing two years she gave you guys. She was such a figher!

  5. katie. emma.

    Amazing parents. Challenges didn’t stop you from reaching for the stars.

  6. Cheryl Porter

    I can’t even begin to express my deepest heartfelt sympathy to you & all your family. You have shown us such courage, strength, & faith thru Lydia’s journey. Thank you for sharing your post & allowing us to get to know her even though some of us never met her. She was certainly an amazing little girl who touched so many of us. Clay & Amanda, you are wonderful parents! May God comfort you during this difficult time.

  7. Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel about Lydia’s passing. Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss. Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

    Like a bird singing in the rain, let grateful memories survive in time of sorrow. Robert Louis Stevenson

  8. rita

    Amanda, you are one of the strongest people I came to are blessed now with a little angel..i am sure she is pain-free now in heaven..God bless your family ..

  9. lisa

    RIP little angel. my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this time of grief.

  10. Julie Roseman

    I am so so sorry to hear of your loss. I can’t imagine the pain you and Clay are going through. Many prayers are sent your way for your whole family during this time.

  11. Kelly Seymour

    Been thinking of you constantly. Love you both so much– I hate being far away right now. Sending you all my love. ~Kelly

  12. Kari

    I am in tears

  13. Laura Carr

    Amanda and Clay,
    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. That is the worst news that a parent could posiibly get. My heart breaks for your family. News like that makes you want to snuggle and be grateful for the blessings that God has granted you. I know that your little angel is being cuddled in the arms of Jesus. She will never sufffer again, and will always be in the best care. I will being thinking and praying for you as well.
    Laura Carr

  14. Karen young

    I can’t wven begin to Imagine your heartache. I just read a book called heaven is for Real. though it’s hard to wrap around your grief right now I think it will help a LOT. Rest in peace sweet angel

  15. sherri gleason

    I have prayed for Lydia since Susie told us about her. I have never gone to your website b/c I just couldn’t bear to see it. I did watch the video of your babies in the tub “talking” and I am so glad since reading this that she was able to come home and be with all her family. She has her wings now and will forever be with you all.She will be in good hands in Heaven.

  16. Holly

    Your story has me weeping and yet rejoicing at the story of your precious little angel. Thank you for sharing. You are in my prayers.

  17. Jill Groebl

    May sweet Lydia bless you for all the days and moments ahead and may God surround you with his amazing love, comfort and peace. Continuing to pray and keep you all in my thoughts.

    1 Corinthians 13:13 ….the greatest of these is love.

  18. Pat Whitaker

    May peace be with you and your little birds as you go thru this time of sorrow. Know that our prayers and thoughts are with you always.

  19. vanessa

    I am so sad to read this. I just watched again the EA/TEF video I did when Lydia was a part of, what a journey. I will be donating for the March of Dimes in her name (and walking for my 30 weeker EA/TEF baby). If you have a link to your team, I’d love to send money directly there. Castalia and I will be blowing some bubbles her way today…

  20. Kerri Doherty

    So sad and too sad for words, praying for you at this hard time x

  21. phyllis cumiskey

    rip little angle my god look after you i will keep you in my prayers god bless

  22. mag balfe

    im really sorry to hear this ,its so sad and heart breaking u all r in my prayers…love mag xxxx

  23. Maria Delaney

    God bless your family. I pray for strength and understanding. You have been so good for your little angel. She will always be with you as you walk through life. May Lydia rest in peace.

  24. Carmel Doyle

    God has a new angel & knows that some toddler needs comfort and has sent your little one to her to care and look after her, my thoughts are with you and your family, Lyida will be with yous to help the family, you will notice every so often your other darlings will suddenly say or call her name, it will be Lyida popping into there lives just to say hello. Lyida is at peace now and is filled with so much love to share with the ones she left behind. God bless and watch over you all. Carmel in Ireland

  25. norm and michelle hall

    we were not having the best of days today,you know everyday life as they say, i took the time to read you post on facebook and made me realize everyday is a gift and should be treated as so. thank you for sharing your special story ,our thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family.
    may god give you the strength you need today and into the future.

    your friends norm and michelle hall

    p.s. may the birds sing to you and your family now and forever

  26. Amanda, Clay, Wyatt & Ava,

    There are many tears in Tennessee tonight as we grieve letting Lydia go. We are so sorry for this loss, Lydia, you are very loved and missed.

    Tim, Denis’, Andrew, Zealand & Zadie

  27. michele

    …may you all find strenght to carry on …my heart is breaking for you ….xx

  28. Monica (Stapleton) Mc Mahon

    May the light of heaven shine on you litle angel Lydia, and I pray that God will give strenght and courage to your AMAZING parents and Family xxx

  29. dee

    god bless you sweet one my heart breaks for you mummy and daddy that you left behind, watch them closely with love it your hearts and healing in your hands, fly with the angels now.x

  30. Anh

    The next time I hear bird’s chirping I will think of Lydia spreading her wings high in the heavens.

  31. It is the most saddest of all things to lose a child .I hope you will have the strenght to take the love you had for her and give it to her siplings.I wish there was somrthing I could say to make the pain go away…….

  32. margaret

    my thoughts and prayers r with u i will light a candle for her 2 guide her on her way nite nite little angel xxxx

  33. Peggy Ransom

    Oh the bittersweet moment….to release Lydia’s tiny little earthly hand into the Heavenly hand of Jesus….what joy for sweet Lydia, what sadness for you……I don’t know your family personally, but my heart aches for your loss. May the Lord hold you and your children especially close….now and in the days and weeks to come.

  34. Prayers that God will surround you at this difficult time and give you the peace, comfort and strenghth to get thru this loss and ever keep her close in your hearts until the day you all meet again. Maybe that little bird your other 2 children heard were a sweet “goodbye” from their sister. May God’s almighty love surround you.

  35. Oh, I praise you for taking it all with so much dignified grace and strength! May in the days ahead you feel angels support and uplift you. May you know God’s comfort and presence. And may your little one rest in peace!

  36. siobhan kirby

    Thinking of you here in Ireland and sending big hugs your way….wish something could mend the pain but having such a beauty in your lives for albeit a short time has left you with memories and strength…hopefully the pain of losing her does not compare to the joy of having her..bless her always and your family too

  37. Thinking of you and your family during this time. May God give you strength and peace, Lydia you are an inspiration and your sister, brother, mommy and daddy have the most wonderful, special angel looking over them always. God bless.

  38. My payers for you and family.. May the God surround you with his peace

  39. Words cannot describe the pain you are feeling at this time. I would like to offer my condolences for the loss of your little Angel. You have given your support to our family in our hours of need. I am a world apart from my own little Angels and missing baby Elie terribly. So when I hear another baby has earned her wings in heaven it only makes the reality of our situation clearer.

    Thank you for all your support and may God embrace Lyida and ease your suffering at this time.

    E Family

  40. Liz

    Hugs and prayers. I am so sorry that little Lydia couldn’t stay with you longer but pray that she is at peace and you will all be reunited again one day.

  41. Sue Gray

    Dear Amanda and Clay,
    I am so saddened at the news of Lydia’s passing. You and Clay were such wonderful parents to her during her very heroic fight for life. I was always so impressed with your love and committee to all your children.
    I know there will be bright new light in the sky over CHB-it will be Lydia’s twinkling eyes with that great smile.
    My prayers and thought are with you now and for always.
    Sue Gray

  42. We are so sorry-my heart hurts for you. I love your little family, that’s why I am on facebook. Love the stories and pictures. I will miss Lydia’s sweet little smiles.

  43. Misty Sanders

    We are so very sorry Amanda and Clay. You are incredible parents and amazed me during our time with you in Boston. We are so thankful to have met you all and precious Lydia.
    Jimmy, Hannah, and I are praying for you and your family.

  44. Pat petitte

    My prayers are with you & your famil

  45. Meghan (O'Malley) Walsh

    Amanda and Clay (and Wyatt and Ava),

    My heart goes out to you all during this difficult time. I was so sad to hear about Miss Lydia. She was my all time favorite girl and I think of her every day. It makes me happy to know that she had a wonderful time at home with her family and her siblings. I will miss that smile and her playfulness! We all loved her so much on 8 south. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Lot of love,

    Meghan (O’Malley) Walsh
    8 South- CICU- Children’s Hospital Boston


  1. Families of EA/TEF: Meet Lydia » The Brayton Project

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