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Nicole Gregory: Aug. 24, 1997 to Jan. 16, 1998


With great sorrow I announce the death of a very special little girl, Nicole L. Gregory. Nicole was the light and life of her family. She fought long and hard to maintain her place with them here on Earth. Unfortunatly, she succuumed to respitory failure due to complications from her premature birth at approximatly 4:10 PM PST.

She was just one tiny baby who, against all odds, managed to impact so very many people in her short life. She has taken her final steps home to live in a majestic heaven with Our Lord and Saviour. England had it's rose ....... but we had Nikki, one very bright star in a universe often dimly lit. May her memory live on in our hearts along with the inspiration she has given so many of us.

The family has requested that no flowers be sent. Anyone wishing to send gifts or memorials may contact Nicole's grandmother, Joan Worley for information on what would be helpful.

Nicole, you will be so sadly missed by so very many people.

Even Though I never met Nicole, and might not have ever met her, she was still special in my life. I prayed for her, worried over her, thought about her, and told my friends about her. It's amazing how for her, just living and breathing was a miracle that touched many people. No matter where I go or what I do in life, I shall never forget her or her family.

Here is a story that was sent to me by Jackie, Nicole's mom. I loved it, and I think anybody who is or has known a parent/family of a preemie will find it touching. (It's rather long, you might want to print it.)

Angelic Forum

By Linda M. Wolford

"Hey, where is everyone going?" asks one tiny angel to another, who scurries toward a low mumble of voices.
"Didn't you hear? This is the hour that God planned for the forum," answers the angel, as he continues to stride purposefully toward the others.
"Forum? What's a Forum?" asks the tiny angel, as he hurries to keep pace.
"Beats me" the other angel answers, "but God wants all us new, tiny angelsto come. Maybe we get our wings today!"
"Yeah maybe!" the tiny angel exclaimed as they skip onto the giant brightly-lit cloud, packed full of excited tiny angels---all without wings.
When God arrives at the cloud, a strong powerful feeling of peace fills the air. Each tiny angel sits with his legs folded on his own little piece of cloud and with his tiny voice hushed as God takes His place at the front.
"Peace to all My tiny angels," God says lovingly. "And peace to you, God," the tiny immtature angels sing out enthusiastically, their voices high-pitched. God sits down, smiling to Himself, proud of each innocent face looking to Him for direction. "I have called this Angelic Forum today so that I can meet with each one of you to...."
"To give us our wings?" pipes a tiny voice from the back of the crowded cloud.
"No," chuckles God, "not to give you your wings, but to tell you how you can earn your wings."
"Oh boy, here comes the bad news", whispers one angel to another.
"Yeah," the other replies as he squirms on his tiny cloud.
"Settle down, My loved ones," God says in a low, gentle voice. "Each of you has been assigned an earthly mission that will fill you with overwhelming love, no matter how long or how difficult your mission is."
When God pauses briefly, the same tiny voice quickly asks, "But when do we get our wings?"
"When your mission on earth is finished, you will be called to be with Me in heaven forever. Then we'll have a celebration and you can have your wings," answers the Lord with divine patience, despite the tiny one's persistentquestions. The shining face of each angel glows twice as bright at the mention of their wings.
God slowly rises from His crouched position and wanders around the cloud, weaving in and out among the tiny angels as each one squirms to watch Him. Then the excited smiles fade into attentive expressions of wonder as God begins to discuss the details of their "earthly missions".
"Each one of you will become a very important part of an earthly family. You will be born to a beautiful woman---a woman called Mom. Many of you will also get to know and love an incredibly powerful and gentle man---a man called Dad. These people---Mom and Dad---will love you very much, even before they have a mere hour with you."
"That sounds like fun," pipes a tiny voice from the crowd. God turns around, slowly walks over, and picks the tiny angel up. Then God sits down on the cloud and holds the tiny angel affectionately on His knee as the others gather closely around Him.
"Yes," God replies, "but this mission is very, very important. The time you spend with your family will be very special for them. They will love you so completely and so powerfully that when you have finished your mission on earth and are preparing to come to see me again, your family will suffer great sorrow. These feelings may also be felt by anyone who has known you---whether they be your brother, your sister, your grandparents, your doctors, nurses, or your family's friends".
"What exactly is our mission, God?" asks one very attentive angel who scurries on little knees, anxious for God to continue.
"Each one of you will have a different kind of mission, but all of you will have the same goal: As innocent babies, you will give love and teach your parents to give and accept love," God replies.
God pauses briefly to look around the tiny faces, each filled with uncertainty and confusion. "My tiny little angels," God begins again, "I can see you are all confused and do not know what it is I ask of you, so let's begin slowly." The angels all nudge closer to God. God looks tenderly at the tiny angel sitting quietly on His knee.
"My precious angel, your earthly mom and dad know of your coming in four more months. Your parents are excited and joyful, already feeling love for you, and are impatient to meet you. You, My little one, you will fill their lives with surprise because you will be born to early. Your body will be frail and weak; your eyes not yet opened; your lungs not mature enough to work like theirs. You will meet doctors and nurses who will use many of the medical technologies that I have taught them. They will work long and hard to keep you alive. Your parents will be afraid of these technologies and even afraid of you at first---afraid of your tiny body, and yes, even afraid to love you.
"My parents? Afraid to love me? How can that be?" asks the tiny angel.
"You must understand," God continues, "they are afraid to love you in case you do not live. Then they will be attached to you and your death will be painful for them---painful because they love you so very much."
"But, isn't there anything we can do to help them understand?" asks the tiny angel.
"Yes, God answers. "We allow them time to get to know you, time to touch and hold you, time to help with your care, time to be less afraid of you, and time even to love you. The nurses and doctors will encourage them to bond with you, to feel a part of you. Your parents will be angry and confused, sometimes laughing and sometimes crying, but always loving and being loved by you. Most importantly, they will grow in a special way as a result of your being born."
"Do those nurses and doctors already know that this is our mission," asks the tiny angel. "Not really," God sighs. "they hurt and feel the same way as your parents do. Maybe not as intensely, but they too, they must allow themselves to love and grow, to be confused and hurt, and to share their feelings with others. They are strong for the parents, and they love each one of you angels as I do.
"But what happens to mom and dad?" asks one angel with incredible concern for one so tiny.
"Well," God continues, "your parents love you unconditionally and they become concerned with you and your comfort. They wonder if the medical technologies are keeping you alive, and if maybe you are in pain. They discuss the future painfully and they pray that "My will be done."
"But you said that they don't want me to die, they will do everything to keep me alive. Because they know me, my death will be painful to them. Something so painful that it is beyond imagining, unless you have experienced it," replies the astute little angel.
"Very good, my innocent angel." God praises as He shifts the tiny angel to His other knee. "But once your parents have begun to love you unselfishly enough to be concerned about your pain, your welfare, and your future, they pray that 'My will be done.' This is when they love completely. They have grown, and now they will be able to accept your death as part of their life."
"So do they still get angry and hurt when I leave them to be with you?" the angel asks, snuggling into the soft curves of God's gentle body.
"Yes", God answers with a smile, pleased at the angel's understanding, "your death isn't any easier for them just because they have accepted My will, but now they are more open to accept the love of those around them. They will still cry and hurt, but they have grown emotionally and spiritually and they will never forget you. They will love you forever, and then your mission is completed on earth."
"Yeah", every angel sings out. Then a hush fell over the brightly-lit cloud as each tiny angel looks around, wondering how his mission would be different from the others.
"Then we get our wings, right?" exclaims one tiny angel shattering the silence.
"That's right," God chuckles, "then you get your wings. But along with your wings comes the responsibility of being your family's Guardian Angel. You look after your family and wait until they are called here to be with you in the ultimate Angelic Forum!"
God pauses as the tiny angels cheer and jump to their feet. Then they form a line, straight as an arrow, in front of God so each can get a mission from Him. When they all have their assignments, they wander to other clouds as they compare notes about their missions. Some angels are to be on earth for years; others, for only brief moments after meeting their families at birth. Some are perfectly developed babies but with severe internal deformities; others, perfectly developed internally but with severe external deformities.
One particular angel is upset with his mission. He is a perfect baby, born exactly on time to a terrific family with loving support, but his mission is to last only three months. He runs to find God and asks, "If I am to go to earth as a perfect baby, born to a beautiful family, whey is my mission to short? Why can't I grow up?"
God slows His pace, kneels in front of the disturbed angel and gently holds his hands as He explains, "Because, My tiny one, I love you, and I love your family. They have been chosen to be your family, to live through this experience will nourish them and they will continue, stronger than before---continue by helping others who, too, have lost a child---all because you have touched their lives. They will love you forever and will never forget you! Now go, My little one, "God says as He pats him gently on the head. God stood straight, smiling as He watches all His tiny angels, skipping along the clouds, preparing for their missions. Another Angelic Forum closes. He whispers to Himself. I Love You all!!

I hope you enjoyed the story.

Graphics courtesy of Heavenly Creations.