'But God said to me, “My GRACE is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9'

Memorial Service

The 2 speeches given at Hannah Grace's Memorial Service (plus Jeremy also read his letter to her)

Memorial Service speech given by Debbie, on behalf of Hannah's Grandparents
Hannah ~ Every minute of your life… you were loved ~
On the 29th of August, Hannah Grace Frances came into the world with a cry to say “I am here”… and Hannah gave Rebecca and Jeremy the joy of being parents. The children’s poem says “Monday’s child is fair of face.” Hannah certainly had the cutest little face, with ‘almond shaped’ blue eyes, a lovely little button nose, and a gorgeous petite mouth. Being angelic looking she would have suited a pair of angel wings.

The name ‘Hannah’ means ‘God has favoured me’, or ‘gracious’. God favoured Hannah in that against the odds, she was with us for 6 precious days of giving and receiving love.

‘H’ is for Hannah and ‘H’ is for Happiness…
The happiness she brought Margie, Nigel, John, and Debbie when they were with her, holding her, talking to her, praying for her, singing to her, kissing her, and just watching her kick her legs.

‘G’ is for Grace and ‘G’ is for Gorgeous…
As Hannah was a gorgeous and beautiful wee girl.

‘F’ is for Frances and ‘F’ is for Feisty…
And Hannah certainly was a feisty little battler who had a tenacity for life. The song ‘Shake your booty’ was appropriate to Hannah as she loved to kick her booties off!

‘W’ is for (your last name) and ‘W’ is for Wonderful parents…
Hannah responded to the tenderness, loving and caring attention and devotion that Rebecca and Jeremy shared with her. When Rebecca and Jeremy spoke, Hannah responded to their voices. Hannah responded to Jeremy as he tenderly held her head. When Rebecca called her by name, Hannah would turn to look at her.

There were many occasions where Hannah touched the lives of others. Strangers were praying for her, and hospital staff were thinking of her when they were off duty. She had the magic of inspiring love, and her courage was evident to all.
Hannah shared some special moments with a few other members of her family too, including her Aunty Catherine who adored and loved Hannah very much and feels so proud to have a niece who is so precious.

Hannah had 3 great-grandparents, one of whom had the privilege of spending time with Hannah. Noreen would like to say “Thank you Hannah for coming and touching so many lives, and for causing such a wave of prayer across the world which we would never have had if you had not spent your short life with us.”

Those who were blessed to be with Hannah were touched by her in ways we will have with us forever. We love you always Hannah Grace.

Memorial Service speech given by our friends Heather & Justin
     The day that Rebecca told me of her pregnancy, I burst into tears of happiness.  After seven years of being such a wonderful motherly figure to my own children, her own time had come to become a mother.  I had to keep the secret for a few weeks until the first ultra sound confirmed the pregnancy and didn’t even peep a word to my husband which was very difficult to keep.  

   Rebecca and Jeremy entered our lives as students at University.  We instantly liked them as individuals.  They are both such caring, responsible and selfless people.  We enjoyed nurturing them in their faith in Christ and seeing them come together as a married couple.  The last three and a half years since their marriage, we have continued to enjoy them as a couple.  They have become part of our family as Rebecca came into our home as a nanny and helped us get through the changes that having a large family can bring.  On a few occasions, they have even stayed the night with our children allowing us to go away as a couple for much needed time alone. There are not many people that show that sort of care and actually desire to be with children for several days without the parents nearby!

     At a certain point of their pregnancy, we became aware that there may be some health concerns for their baby.  It was obvious to Rebecca and Jeremy that they would love their baby regardless of whatever the health concerns would be.  Rebecca constantly monitored what she was eating to make sure that in every way, she was doing the best for her baby.  Jeremy always showed great enthusiasm and concern for Rebecca throughout her pregnancy and was so interested in all of the developmental milestones.

    As we reflected last night, we realized that Hannah has been so privileged to have them as her parents even while she was in the womb. The year for many Cantabrians has been difficult with the trials of the earthquakes. For Jeremy, this brought on many stresses and challenges at work as a structural engineer. With each new major aftershock, Jeremy needed to revisit bridges that he had already inspected a few times before. Rebecca, on a few occasions, was able and needed to be his bridge inspecting assistant. Recording the measurements, holding the tape measure all to help her husband. Little Hannah was right there with them through all of these earthquake trials and bridge visits going through everything with her parents.  

   A week and a half ago, we received the news that Hannah Grace Frances was born.  Jeremy told us of how she had a good heartbeat, was breathing well and was extremely alert. Her fighting spirit surprised all of the doctors and nurses. The first day of her life confirmed their fears that she had a serious life threatening health condition.   Immediately, Rebecca and Jeremy became the parents that we knew that they would be.  They wanted to do everything that they could to fight for her life and give her the best chances possible. Holding her and giving her the love that she so enjoyed became their primary focus for the following six days.  

    We were privileged to be able to visit the three of them on her third day of life.  As we entered the room, we were amazed by just how beautiful little Hannah was. She had a gorgeous face, body and the most smooth skin tone. She also had gorgeous brown hair as we peeked under her knit cap. She was at total peace sleeping in her mother’s arms during our visit. Jeremy told us about how alert she was and enjoyed looking at them with her blue/grey newborn eyes and around the room. One thing that we noticed, was the total adoration that her parents had for her. Jeremy would gently cradle his hand around her little head just to reassure her of his presence. Rebecca couldn’t take her eyes off from her and stroked her gently.  

     As Hannah’s week progressed and her health deteriorated, we know that Rebecca and Jeremy and their immediate family gave all of the love that they could give to her during her life on earth. The pain that they feel we all share to a certain degree but we realize that nothing can compare with a parent’s love for their child. May God comfort you in your grief Rebecca and Jeremy and family and we pray that we can all be a comfort to you as you walk this journey. 

Above: Our memorial table at Hannah Grace's service
Below: We all scattered pink petals into the river beside the hospital, in honour of Hannah Grace.

Proverbs 3:5
 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart
   and lean not on your own understanding"

Isaiah 55:8-9
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   neither are your ways my ways,”
            declares the LORD.
 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
   so are my ways higher than your ways
   and my thoughts than your thoughts."