The birth of your first baby is supposed to be the most joyous time in any parent's life, but for a mom in California, these precious moments with her new daughter are sadly, very bittersweet.
You see, the baby's father, Army Spc. William "Willie" Gilbert, was killed in Afghanistan a week before her birth -- something he was supposed to witness and be "present" for via Skype.
This was his first tour of duty, and along with three other soldiers, he lost his life when their unit was attacked with an IED.
And after hearing his wife talk about how hard the past couple of weeks have been for her, it's hard not to want to reach through the computer screen and give her a huge hug and offer a few words of sympathy.
Take a look at this video clip to hear more about Willie and the beautiful baby he sadly never had the chance to hold in his arms.
Devastating. There's really no other way to put it.
And looking at this mom, all I want to do is tell her how much strength she has for pulling herself together for the sake of her baby as she faces the daunting task of raising a newborn on her own.
Because that's something that most moms never expect they're going to have to do. And looking back on the seven years of parenthood I've been through so far, adjusting to life with my son as a newborn was probably one of the most difficult things I ever experienced.
It was just so scary and life-changing to have this tiny human being I was suddenly responsible for. And even though he was working most of the time and wasn't taking care of our son 24/7 like I was, it was still helpful to have my husband there as a source of support -- even during the times he wasn't physically present at the house. Sometimes simply knowing that there is someone else who is going through the exact same struggles and challenges as you is enough to make you feel like you can get through it, and it breaks my heart to think that this poor woman will never get to experience that.
But thankfully, it sounds like she has some truly amazing, loving in-laws who treat her like their own daughter and plan on doing whatever they can to help and support her and the baby from this point forward. I won't lie, hearing her mother-in-law say, "We will fill her and fill the baby with all the love that we can" made me tear up a little bit. That one comment is more than enough proof of what a great dad Willie would have been. It's clear that his mother raised him right, and there's no doubt that she will help his legacy live on through her devotion to his wife and child.
What words of encouragement would you offer to this mom as she prepares to raise her baby alone?
Image via KABC-TV