Our family received the gift of Nathaniel Jacob Abe on May 4, 2020. We knew while I was still pregnant with Nathaniel that there was something special about him. Shortly after he was born, through genetic testing, we learned he had a rare condition called osteogenesis imperfecta. This meant his body did not produce collagen effectively which caused his bones to be brittle and easily break. We soon learned that what Nathaniel lacked in collagen he made up for in character. We were able to take him home 3 weeks after he was born and our family learned the true blessing it was to have him in our lives.
God creates everyone with a purpose. Nathaniel was a teacher. He taught us that through the grace of God we can experience joy and peace in any circumstance. He taught us perspective and how we should enjoy every moment to the fullest and to treasure the memories in our heart. He taught us to be eternally minded. In this life there are trials but if we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and allow Him to lead and guide through these times we have the hope of an eternity with Him where there is no pain or suffering.
It didn't take long for anyone who met Nathaniel to fall in love with him. He had an easy smile and the most radiant, expressive blue eyes. Nathaniel's siblings fell victim quickly to his charm and were completely smitten with him. His oldest sister, Jade, enjoyed holding him and talking with him. He shared a special bond with his brother, Daniel. Nathaniel's eyes would light up when Daniel came near to play with him and it was always sweet to hear the low chuckles these times produced. Nathaniel watched and listened contentedly when his sisters, Paisley and Quinley would read books or sing songs to him. Nathaniel also had a great love for his Daddy. Early on they enjoyed long heartfelt 'conversations' together and if Daddy had to step away for a moment he was quickly called back. Nathaniel also enjoyed Daddy's touch as Daddy gently massaged his legs until Nathaniel was wiggling with joy. As his Mommy I will never forget the sweet and quiet times of holding Nathaniel and having him looked up at me with humbling adoration. Many times my eyes would water with the joy of having this beautiful little boy in my arms.
In severe cases of osteogenesis imperfecta, such as Nathaniel's, simply sneezing can cause fractures. Because of the many fractures his ribs had they weren't able to grow as fast as the rest of his body which caused his lungs to be restricted. On February 15, with immeasurable sorrow we had to say goodbye to our beautiful little boy. Our family is forever changed for the better because of the lessons we learned from our tiny teacher.
A few of our favorite things about Nathaniel:
Mommy: With his hand on the bottle while I was feeding him he would stretch his fingers straight up in anticipation of me kissing the tips of them. This was repeated many times in the course of a bottle. The feel of his skin under my lips as I kissed him while drinking in his sweet smell. Playing with the small patch of hair on the right side of his head that was at least 2 inches longer than the rest of his hair.
Daddy: Those eyes, full of trust, love and wonder. Every morning he would contentedly spend a quiet time gazing out the window at the tree tops and birds. He very much enjoyed this. There was no upset that a gentle foot massage wouldn't fix. Our long discussions and his delight in the various sounds that we would mimic each other with. When he was smaller he loved to be cradled in my bare hands without being on a pillow.
Jade: He was just a sweet boy who was always content
Daniel (6 yrs): "everything he did and that he was my brother"
Paisley (4 yrs): "he smiled lots"
Quinley (3 yrs): "I like him smiling"
Nathaniel is survived by his loving parents Dan and Tricia Bosshard. His siblings Dustin and Kristal, Dillon, Jade, Daniel, Paisley, and Quinley. His Grandparents Abe Neustaeter, Dan Bosshard, Linda and Gord Brown. As well as many aunts, uncles and cousins. He was predeceased by his grandma Jessie Neustaeter.
Due to the pandemic restrictions a private family graveside service will be held at Highland Park Cemetery, New Norway, Alberta.
Memorial donations may be made to the Stollery Children's Hospital.