Holiday of Hope 2016 Volunteer Team

Last Words to Mila Maria  

Thank you to everyone for being here today to pay tribute to my beautiful Mila.  Losing a child is a parent’s worst nightmare and I cannot put into words the grief that my wife and I are feeling. 

 The love and support that we have received from all of our friends and family has helped significantly in getting us through this difficult time. 

The day that I learned we were having another baby was so overwhelming.  Like Maria mentioned we had tried for so long and finally our prayers were answered.  

Of course Maria loves to make our special occasions so extravagant.  I love her for that by the way.   

So, I was at work when security asked me to come downstairs.  I walked to the desk and see my wife standing there with a ton of pink balloons and a wreath that said it’s a girl.  Oh my another girl, here we go.  I remember when our son John heard the news he said, “Dad we are outnumbered.”   

Mila was our second daughter and I will never forget the day that she was born. She was an angel and a gift from heaven. I remember that day so vividly.  

Maria and I went to the doctor because she was having some pain and discomfort.  We simply thought that the doctor was going to tell us that everything was fine. That wasn’t the case.  As the doctor was examining my wife I saw the shock in her eyes.  The doctor told us that her bag was bulging and we had to go to labor and delivery. 

At that point, our baby girl began to take us on an unexpected journey that would span several weeks. By early Friday morning, August 22nd our little angel Mila Maria arrived in this world at 2:33am.  I was overcome with so many emotions.  We were shocked, terrified, and excited all in that one moment.   

There was literally 20 medical staff in the room when she was born.  I remember how perfect my baby girl looked. She was so tiny but so perfect at the same time.  I wanted to hold her more than you can ever imagine.   

Then they weighed her and the grand total was 1lb, 5oz.  I could hold her in the palm of my hand.  

I remember looking at her and thinking could there be anything more perfect and beautiful.  She was truly my precious angel.   

And although I could hold her in the palm of my hand I felt in that moment she had me in the palm of hers. 

The next few weeks would be a journey that I would not have missed for anything.  Mila showed me so many things while she was here on earth.  

I remember that doctors did not know if she would make it in the beginning.  Her chances to survive were not very high.  It was truly minute by minute, hour by hour.   

Me and Maria were by her side and stayed strong in our faith.  We felt that God had a greater purpose for our daughter yet we weren’t sure what that was.  I remember with each twist and turn looking into my baby girl’s eyes.  She was telling me, Daddy buckle up it’s going to be a bumpy ride. 

There were so many highs and lows during our journey with Mila.  She seemed to fight through each and every obstacle in her path.  With each change or new diagnosis we continued to stay strong but still cried out to God.  We had so many friends and family that came to our support.  People that I did not even know who prayed were praying for my baby girl.  Our church family came to our sides and prayed for my daughter and family on several occasions.  I was in complete awe at what was taking place.   

Mila taught me a lot about myself.   

She touched on emotions that I didn’t know I even had.  She showed me how the things in life that used to cause me stress were inconsequential.  

There is nothing more important than your faith, family, and the love of a child.  

My wife and I were so blessed to have such a wonderful angel in our lives. 

I always wanted Mila to be safe and thought that I could protect her from everything.  I battled with this daily.  

 I wanted to hold her, protect her and promise her that everything would be ok.  Although I was by her side during so much of this, a part of me felt like I was letting her down.  I couldn’t protect her from the battles she had to endure.  In those moments I prayed and cried out to God.   

He was my strength, my savior.  My family grew stronger in our faith and stood firm during the storm.  Mila continued to break through barriers and showed this world that miracles can happen.  

 I saw them with my own eyes.   

Mila had a strength and power that I had never seen.  She had more strength in her little hands than I ever had in all of my life.  I cannot put into words how amazing it felt to hold those little hands for the first time.   

It was a feeling I will never forget.  She was so strong.  Then there was the day that I got to hold my baby girl for the first time.   

It was one of the best days of my life.  I felt her little body against mine and I was in Heaven.  She was so active that I felt like she was going to squirm out of my hands.  Then there was a quiet and peace in those moments I had never felt.  It was like she became part of me.   

She was the best part of me.  Mila was truly Heaven sent. 

Mila continued to get stronger and bigger and bring so many supporters by her side.  Her story was shared with so many and she was loved by so many.   

In those moments it all began to make sense to me.  Even though I fought with the selfish struggles of wanting to hold my baby girl and take her home like any other newborn child, it clicked.   

God brought Mila into this world so early for a bigger reason.  She shined His Light so bright and was here to bring people closer to Him.  We have had so many emails, phone calls and messages, telling us that Mila has brought them closer to God. They thanked Maria and I for sharing her with them. 

I will never forget the last day I spent with Mila.  This was the toughest day I have ever had to endure throughout my entire life.  Mila was doing so great. Every report was a good report. We became so hopeful. We knew in our hearts everything was going to be fine. Then all of the sudden things went downhill.  In those moments, we had so many people praying for Mila and our family. We continued to pray, cry out to God asking why was this happening.  

In those moments I truly did not know how I could go on.  The pain was so overwhelming.  However, God gave me, us a strength that I did not know how we had.   

We were left with the realization that no parent ever wants to face.   

Do we continue to allow her to suffer or let her go?  Me and my wife prayed about it and asked the Lord for guidance.  After speaking with the doctors and understanding that Mila was not going to overcome this final battle we made our decision.   

We asked the Lord to let his will be done and welcome our baby girl by His side.  Maria and I got to hold Mila as she took her last breaths.  I remember the doctor came to check on Mila one last time and I will never forget his words.   

“Mr. and Mrs. Gonzales, Mila has left this world and she is in Heaven.” She was finally at peace with our Father.  We continued to hold on to her for quite some time.  My Mila was gone but I knew she was far from forgotten.  Mila’s life on earth was so powerful.   

A poem comes to mind when I think of Mila.  I can just hear her telling me this. 

Don’t cry for me Daddy 
I am right here 
Although you can’t see me 
I see your tears 

I visit you often 
Go to work with you each day 
And when it’s time to close your eyes 
On your pillow’s where I lay 

I hold your hand and stroke your hair 
And whisper in your ear 
If you’re sad today Daddy 
Remember I am here 

God took me home 
This we know is true 
But you will always be my Daddy 
Even though I’m not with you 

I am Daddy’s little girl 
We will never be apart 
For every time you think of me 
Please know I’m in your heart. 

I love you Daddy! 

Mila, I am so proud of you.  I would not trade the past few weeks for anything in the world.  I saw strength, courage, faith, and hope that I had never experienced.  I know you are dancing and singing in Heaven with all the angels with all of the spunk and personality that you get from your mom and big sister.  Baby girl, I can’t wait until we are together again and you and I can finally have our first dance.   

Please know that we will never forget you.  I will never hide your life and legacy away in a dark room.  Instead, I will celebrate your life and never shy from talking about all you gave to all that witnessed your beauty.  In those 49 days I had the chance to witness heaven on earth.  Your memory will remain in my heart each and every day. Your spirit will live on through me and Mommy and I will never forget what you given us.   

 You will always be Daddy’s little girl.  Mila I love you with all of my heart and soul.  You are my Angel in Heaven.  

Daddy's Euology

"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb.  Before you were born I set you apart."

Jeremiah 1:5

Critical Care

The MILA Foundation