In Loving Memory of ...
Ann Elizabeth Guerra. Child of God October 2, 2005
I didn’t want her to be afraid. I wanted her to know that she wasn’t alone and that she was loved. I wanted her to know her family and through them, know who she was. She was now part of the love and the laughter that binds our family together.

Finally, I told her that God the Father would keep her safe where her own father could not.

As I reflect on her life, I realize what a tremendous gift she was to us. She reminds us that life is so very precious. She shows us that we are most definitely not alone and that we are loved in so many ways: by our family, our friends and by God. This was her gift to us.

ANN ELIZABETH GUERRA - Our beloved family: thank you for standing with us and caring for us. You show us we are truly blessed.

Let me talk a little about our daughter, Ann. Like most parents, when we learned we were expecting, we both dreamed of what we would do when our baby was born. Pam dreamed of brushing her hair, helping her with her schoolwork, introducing her to the small furry animals we so love, teaching her to play soccer and run like the wind.

Annie was a very active child – always kicking! She would even play with us: when we touched Pam’s belly, she would kick some more and make us laugh and laugh. What joy she brought us! But suddenly, she was coming all too soon and there was nothing more for us to do. In the hours while we waited, I talked to her. I tried to answer the questions a child might ask her father: how her mother and I met and fell in love, what we did for a living. I told her how we had prayed for her to come into our lives. I described each of her grandparents and how they longed to hold her and take care of her. I told her about her aunts and uncles and all her cousins and what kind of special people they are. We talked about the raucous family Christmas gatherings where Santa Claus comes every year to pass out presents. We laughed about adventures I’ve taken with Pam and my parents. She heard about our friends who have taken care of us. I told her about every one of you here today and those who could not be here but send their love.

Our daughter, Annie’s time here on earth was brief but she has forever changed our lives. We mourn her passing, but celebrate her eternal life with God.

Our baby girl, we will always love you and will always miss you. But we know that God will take care of you. And we also know that, one day, your mother and I will meet you again. One day, we will hold our baby in heaven.

I looked forward to hearing her laugh, watching her play, helping her appreciate the miracles one can find in even the smallest things on the land and in the sea. I dreamed of teaching her how to fly an airplane, so we could share adventures in the skies. But God has already given my baby wings and her spirit soars even now.
Our daughter, Ann, is never far from my thoughts. I find myself thinking of her at random times - while walking about at work, driving home or puttering around the house. Mostly it happens when I experience something I think she would have enjoyed: the sight of a pretty cloud, watching the silly antics of one of the cats, seeing ducks on a lake. Somehow, I just know what her sweet giggle would have sounded like and I bask in the warmth of the almost memory of her smile. Annie was a true light in our lives from the moment I awoke with the sudden realization that my wife, Pam, and I were no longer alone in our bed. From then on, we enjoyed the simple pleasures of pregnancy and looked forward with great excitement to our lives together.

Alas, this was not to be. Pre-term labor started and we couldn't stop it. Our baby was coming too soon and we knew she was simply too little to survive. We held her tiny body and gazed at her angelic face, perfect in every way. We gave her her name, baptized her into our faith and then commended her spirit to God.

I remember so clearly the day we laid our baby to rest. We were surrounded by family and friends and, with Pam standing beside me lending me her strength, I spoke the words you see below.

I still dream of my baby Ann ... and awake with tears drying on my pillow. But then I see my baby's features in those of my sleeping wife and I realize she is still a part of us. I think of the unconditional love of our parents and siblings, the zest for life of my nieces and nephews, the kindness and support of our friends. And I know ... I know that her light is still with us and will be forever. We love you always little girl, our baby Annie.

Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." -- Matthew 19:14