Brock will remember his mother. Cullen, aged 2, will know of her. Beautiful little Greer will learn she is alive only because of Caroline's faith. The children were too young to cry for their mother, so their aunts and uncles and grandparents cried for them instead.
Caroline was a devout Catholic, one of eight children, natural and adopted. Four sisters joined Justin as eulogists. One recalled that one week after delivering little Greer, Caroline had attended a niece's 4-year-old birthday party but left early because, she explained, she needed to get to mass. Her sister insisted that surely Caroline would be excused from her obligation given her circumstances. Caroline admitted she was tired, but would not hear of it. "I get anxious when I don't go, and when I go, it sets my week," she replied. Her friends said she could be found on any Sunday in the front row of Blessed Sacrament with her children at her side.
No one knew better than her husband Justin exactly how tired she really was, and no one was more anxious. He knew she suffered from HELLP syndrome, an obscure but potentially deadly disease for pregnant women. He knew she'd been told by her doctors that another child might kill her. Twice before, she'd suffered emergency C-sections. They feared her body might not withstand a third pregnancy. But this was a woman who loved children, and even more, loved her faith. "If God grants me a child, I will bear that child." It was as simple as that. She rejected the advice. She became pregnant. The childbirth was almost catastrophic. It almost killed her.
Caroline left the hospital with her lovely baby but was not well. Three weeks later, she collapsed. Caroline was 32. One friend said of her, "She was the best of us all." The angels cried for Caroline, and then they took her home.