Dear Baby Enoch

Originally posted July 2018

Nine years ago I watched my best friend from my Snow College days and her husband go through one of the hardest things a parent can go through.  That of losing a child.  I had called Sally on the 17th of July 2009 to check on her.  I was planning on going up to take her dinner on the 24th.  I called on the 23rd just to make sure everything was ok, but quickly found out everything was not ok.  I hope you enjoy this sweet letter Sally and Curtis wrote to their precious son.  It was shared at his funeral.  I will never forget how tiny their sweet angel baby looked tucked gently in a tiny casket.  I will never forget arriving at the viewing toting my own baby, hugging Sally, and thinking why did I get to keep mine?  The strength of Sally and her husband Curtis has blessed my life time and again.  I hope it will bless your life too.  We can do hard things.

“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.”  ~Psalm 31:24

“Dear Baby Enoch,

We were all so excited to have you come into our family.  Your sister Alaina was waiting to hold you, feed you, protect you from your brothers, add you to her list of followers and even change your stinky bum, basically take over the role of motherhood.  Your brother Gus was excited to hold you, feed you, he would NOT have changed your stinky bum, but would have gladly added you to his list of people he needed to protect as well as fight, and he certainly would have added you to his list of friends to play with.  Little Jack didn’t understand, however he too would have loved to teach you to “crash” cars, play with Thomas and Diesel, drink Choky Milk, ride bikes, or help you get some “manna” or “gum” from the top shelf in the pantry.   Your mother was excited to watch you learn and grow from, and with, your experienced energetic brothers and sister and hopefully finally had a baby that would actually snuggle.  Your father was excited to have another child to play the “shooting ball” game with, some more weight to lift at night for “bed drops” or “elevator drops”, bottles and tippy cups to be re-birthed, as well as another child to love, take to the movie to buy a drink and popcorn for, basically to spoil.

Don’t you know that Dalton’s are usually running late and are never early?  On July 21, 2009, you had us rushing into the doctor’s office like so many times before, but this time Dr. Healey uttered those words that no parent of a 21 week gestation baby is ever ready to hear, “This baby is coming today.”  Our throats swelled with pain and our hearts began to grieve.  We were quickly escorted to the hospital and settled into room number 9 of labor and delivery.  Julie Ballard was the nurse and would soon become a God sent friend to help us through the journey ahead.  Everything was familiar as you were our fourth child—the monitors, the buzzes and the beeps.  Julie explained to us that there was a good possibility that you would be born living.  We hadn’t realized that this would be a possibility.  We then also realized how painful it would be to watch you slip away from this life.  We were well aware that they wouldn’t be able to do anything to keep you with us.

Julie made arrangement for a Melchizedek Priesthood holder to assist your father in giving your mother a blessing.  Your mother was blessed that she would understand that this was no fault of hers.  She was also blessed that her heart and mind would be opened as she held you that she might remember those few precious moments forever.  Well, you didn’t keep us waiting for long; in fact you didn’t wait for anyone—not your father using the restroom, or the doctor speedily on his way.  However, you sure did draw an audience in a hurry.  Julie and another nurse quickly came to your rescue, cut your umbilical cord, and placed you in our arms.  “It’s a boy! Born at 1:00 p.m.”  You were so small and perfect in every way.  Routinely, we counted your finger and toes–ten of each!  You had a cute Dalton nose, two tiny ears with detached lobes, cute blonde fuzz covering your perfectly round head, and your father’s mouth.  As we held you in our arms, we couldn’t help but to weep.  Your heart began to slow until it stopped and you slipped away from this world.  Thank you for those fifteen precious minutes.


Shortly after you passed away we were asked what your name would be.  Now even though your size—13 oz. and 10” long—was much closer to a mouse than Gus or Jack, all of Cinderella’s mice names were used up.  Enoch quickly came to mind—one of God’s prophets that was taken from earth because of his unwavering righteousness.  Enoch felt right, as did Kohler–no Dalton boy gets away with just one simple name.

We held your body all day long, just admiring its perfect form, between bouts of seemingly uncontrollable crying.  However, around 10:00 p.m. we felt the time had come for the Mortuary to retrieve your little body.  We both held you and your father gave you a Father’s Priesthood Blessing.  You were told to be faithful in your service as a missionary, to be valiant in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that your brothers and sister love you.  You were also told to watch over Alaina, Gus and Jack throughout the years and help them throughout difficult and challenging times.  And don’t forget that you were told that you are to remember your parents throughout the years and remind them of your love for them in your own time and way.  Our hearts literally broke as we passed your body to the men from the mortuary.  Words cannot adequately express the pain that burdened our hearts.


It was a rough sleepless night.  We found ourselves planning your funeral at 3:00 a.m.  The perfect songs had come to mind, and the number 1,000.  One thousand balloons?  As you can see 1,000 balloons were not possible.  And the 1,000 gum balls just didn’t sound right.  However, with great delight from little Jack, your family, including brothers, sister, aunts, uncles, grandma’s and grandpa’s made you a cake covered with 1,000 candles.  Each one of these candles represent a birthday you will have during the Millennium, when you will live with the Lord Jesus Christ and all the valiant sons and daughters of God.

As we left the hospital one might have seen our pain.  We knew it would be hard because the three times before there was the joy of loading our precious new cargo into the car.  We must have been a sight to see driving home.  Two red blood-shot eyed people drowning in a car of tears.  It should probably be added to the list of driving “no”, “no’s”.

Beautiful signs awaited us.  One at every door, “Welcome home Mom and Dad.”  We are sure a similar welcome awaited you as you returned to our Heavenly Father.

Although the reality of each family member’s desires has changed drastically with events of the past few days, we want to thank you for those things that you have added to our family, that in the long run will be much more valuable and glorious.  You have shown us the miracle of birth and revealed how precious life is.  You have strengthened our family unit by helping us see the real meaning and purpose of life.  You have helped us re-evaluate the things that really matter.  You have helped us learn how important it is to take the needed time and interest in one another.  And you have taught us the meaning and purpose of our Heavenly Father’s glorious “Plan of Salvation”, which allows us to be reunited some day.

We love you and take comfort in the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith, “Mothers you shall have your children; for they shall have eternal life.”

Know you are a very special part of our family.  God be with you until we meet again.  We love you very much, our precious Enoch.


Mom and Dad”

Sally and Curtis exhibit faith in Jesus Christ in all they do.  They have added a few more babies since the loss of precious Enoch, bringing their total to seven beautiful children.

Sally and Curtis are the kindest people you will ever meet.  And if you have a chance to go to their Hope Box Theater you should.  It is in Kaysville and benefits children with cancer.

This week I hope you hug you babies big or small just a little harder, and remember…

“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.”  ~Psalm 31:24

PS Curtis and Sally run the most beautiful theater where they collect donations for a special child who has been critically and sometimes terminally ill. Find out more about Hopebox Theater

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