"...I cherished every moment I had with him. Some people would say why out your son through the pain... but I wanted to give him a chance"----Greg Spriggs
January 6th, would have marked the 3rd birthday of little Andrew Spriggs. I have to admit, I've been sitting on this story and thought about sharing during Thanksgiving, but something in my heart told me no; it wasn't the right time. I have to admit that even while writing this piece, I find myself taking breaks because it's hard to write and cry at the same time. Greg Spriggs, one of my good old Howard buddies (HU!!!!) and his beautiful wife, Artavia, were expecting their second child. Like all friends do, I wished them a big Congratulations because as a mother of two, I know what a blessing children are. During my periodic Facebook scrolling and commenting, I came across a post about prayers for little baby Andrew. Immediately I began to tear up and got down on my knees and prayed that night with my husband. I couldn't help but cry because I cannot possibly imagine what Greg and his wife were going through. I found it hard to grasp the concept of what was going on with their little family and even in my 30s I found myself questioning God, why he would put a husband and wife through this. I found that soon after I saw the initial prayer request, little Andrew had passed. The Lord called him home.
Baby Andrew was born at 20 weeks. It would be difficult for him to survive on his own given the fact that his lungs weren't fully developed. With multiple hospital transfers, surgeries to follow and a slew of medical experts telling them there was no way he would make it, every day was a miracle. Weighing in at 14 ounces, less than 1 lb, little Andrew lived for 6 amazing months. I asked my friend, how he and his wife found the strength to have hope and go on every single day no knowing if that day was going to be his last day, he simply stated "we decided to leave it in God"s hands."
I can't describe, how powerful these words seemed to me, all of a sudden. Don't get me wrong, I have heard this phrase on more than one occasion, however this time it was different, I felt connected to them 3,000+ miles away. It occurred to me that they were a praying family and that a praying family such as the Spriggs, were at peace. They were at peace no matter the outcome. Sadly, around 3 a.m., his heart rate started to fall...he passed in the arms of his parents. Greg and his wife built a very special bond with their son Andrew and although Greg prayed fro another son, God knew what he was doing and blessed him with another girl who looks just like him... I often think about Greg and Atarvia and their two little girls and often wonder how do we as parents even begin to explain life with all of its ups and downs, disappointments and intricacies. I asked him, how as a parent you explain this? At best, his answer was simple.."put it in God's hands" . While Greg knows they will meet one day again, he hopes that his son isn't mad at him and his wife for letting him suffer in pain, I don't believe that for one bit that Andrew was upset. I believe that Andrew, while uncomfortable being here on earth, was not mad, but fortunate to experience God's love in the flesh. I believe that Andrew enjoyed meeting his mother, father, and older sister who loved him so much. I believe that Andrew experienced God's love and his goodness in the form of the outpouring of love, support, prayers, and all of the medical staff that tried their hardest to help him survive each and every single day. Most importantly, little Andrew had so much love that he would never experience the pain and disappointment of what the world has in it. He only experienced love...amazing, tremendous love and therein lies the beauty and joy of Andrew's life. If only we were all so lucky. Happy Birthday little Andrew, You are blessing more than you would ever know!