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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Daris Howard: Life’s Outtakes

My Little Christmas Angel

By Daris Howard


My wife, Donna, says I have a real ability to see the humor in almost anything. I think that is because I have learned that I much prefer laughing to crying. If I couldn’t laugh at life, I’m afraid I would become very pessimistic, something I don’t want to be. However, even with my desire to look at life optimistically, there still are times when even the most optimistic person will struggle to view something in a positive light.

In 1996 we were expecting a little girl. As any family does, we began to plan for her. We were very excited. We had picked out a name and got things ready. We had cute little jammies, a darling blanket that had little balloons and toy trains on it, and, of course, a cute little brown bear. Then, just before Christmas, my wife went in for a routine ultrasound and our children joined us for a shopping trip. I kept the children with me in the waiting room. As her doctor’s concern rose, she sent for me to join her to offer support in case the worst became inevitable.

And the inevitable was what it was. Our little Tracie was gone. It was the twenty-third of December. Our Christmas outing was cancelled. I took Donna to the hospital and checked her in, then I took the children home, fed them, and tucked them into bed. I was able to get someone to come watch them and I returned to be with Donna. When our little Tracie came she was so small and yet so perfect. Our hearts ached and our arms felt empty for the little baby we had already grown to love, but would never have another chance to hold. Over time, people tried to comfort us by saying they were sure we were grateful, if we had to lose her, that it happened before we loved her. I realize those who said that meant well, but the love of a parent for a child often starts long before the child is born.

Donna and I shared a quiet time together and it was hard not to wonder what our little girl would have been like had she come to our home. As I went home, early in the morning of December 24, my heart ached. Every person deals with grief in their own way. I couldn’t sleep and finally got up and wrote a song, something I do at times when my emotions are near the surface. Here are the lyrics:

*Rest well, my baby, I love you.

God in heaven loves you, too.

As you dream His  angels watch over you.

Rest well, my baby, rest well.


And when the dawn is coming,

I’ll be there for you

To hold you in the morning

And love you all day through.


And God will love and keep you.

You’re His baby too.

And I’ll be there to greet you

When dawn brings life anew.


Rest well, my baby, I love you.

God in heaven loves you, too.

As you dream, His angels watch over you.

Rest well, my baby, rest well.

            And thus my little Christmas Angel joined Jesus to celebrate his birthday, on that day when the Christian world is filled by the hope given by the birth of another child many centuries ago.

* A sample of the music can be heard at



(Daris Howard, award-winning, syndicated columnist and playwright, is author of “Super Cowboy Rides” and can be contacted at; or visit his website at


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