"This past week someone shared with me the story of Dana Lu Blessing. I share it with you as we reflect on the awesome gift of human life.
"A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as a doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. She was still groggy from surgery. Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news. That afternoon, March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24 weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Cesarean to deliver the couple's new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing.
"At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs. 'I don't think she's going to make it,' he said as kindly as he could. Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived.
"Because Dana's nervous system was essentially "raw" the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so for the first two months of her life her parents couldn't touch or cradle their tiny baby girl. Little by little this miracle child gained weight and strength. Five years later she was a petite and feisty little girl with no signs of physical or mental impairment.
"While her survival was a miracle, another miracle was revealed when Dana wasjust five years old. One afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Dana was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ballpark watching her brother play baseball. She suddenly asked her mother, "Do you smell that?" "Yes," Diana responded, "it smells like rain." Dana closed her eyes and asked again, "Do you smell that?" Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're going to get wet. It smells like rain." Dana shook her head and announced, "No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest." And off she ran to play with the other children.
"And Dana knew that during those long days and nights of her daughter's first two months of life when her nerves were too sensitive for anyone to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it was His loving scent that she remembered.
"May Dana Lu Blessing never forget that scent and may we never forget God's love for His little ones both born and soon-to-be-born."
In God's love,
Fr. Todd Riebe
Richmond Catholic Community