Facilitators


Audra White

Audra White, a professional photographer and mother of 3 beautiful children, two here on earth and one in Heaven, is also a step-mom to 3 wonderful adult children, Joel, Jessy & Brandon, and step-grandma to two precious baby girls, Lily and Bobbie Mae.  Audra’s firstborn son, Zane, ascended to Heaven on March 10, 2000, suddenly and unexpectedly.  At 3 months and 10 days, just 5 days after Audra went back to work after maternity leave, Zane’s life was cut short when a child care provider “allegedly” gave him codeine in an Infant's Tylenol bottle to quiet him.  Nothing could ever be proven, the murder case was never solved, and no one was ever arrested.  The finger was being pointed back at Audra by the childcare provider, so the police said "it is her word against yours."  Audra endured heart-wrenching accusatory interrogation while grieving the terrible and tragic loss of her precious little boy.  The nightmare never seemed to have an end…. And so it doesn’t, because grief is a life-long journey.

The devastation left her feeling totally alone, as if the entire world was moving on and Audra was just standing still while it rotated around her with people buzzing around as if nothing horrible had ever happened.  It was isolating, but a compassionate woman named Joanne Cacciatore invited her to a Support Group Meeting called MISS, and eventually that feeling began to slowly melt away. Keeping in contact with her MISS connections in Phoenix, leaning on her faith, and the promise of seeing him again one day, helped the healing to settle in.

The MISS Foundation was there for her when she needed it most.   After her second son, Levi, was born, Audra’s career was put aside. She was never leaving him with anyone, ever.   Once the lie detector ordeal was over, and all the hopes of someone being held accountable were all but gone, the family decided to move away to California.  Two and half years later, the family was blessed with Cheyenne, their third precious gift.   Almost three years later, the family moved back to Arizona, this time, Tucson, where Audra’s parents live.  With the help of her parents, Audra slowly started working again, building up a clientele.  

One day, she was thumbing through a Professional Photographer Magazine, and saw an ad for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, a non-profit organization that recruits professional photographers to do remembrance photography for babies that pass at birth.  Her jaw dropped, because ever since she first met other bereaved moms at her first MISS meeting, she knew there was a need for a service like this.

Once she became an affiliated photographer for NILMDTS, she met other bereaved parents and told them how a MISS support group helped her.  She contacted MISS, and found out there was a Tucson Hope Mentor named Tracy McAdams, but no support group.  With the help of Tracy and another bereaved Mom she had met through her children’s school, they started a MISS Chapter in Tucson in September, 2008, over eight years after Zane ascended.  They continue to meet every 4th Tuesday of the month.

Audra’s favorite quote:  “There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.”  Author unknown.  

The White Family, Christmas 2013


Carrie Westover

   Carrie Westover is a 3rd grade teacher, a wife and the mother of two living children, Ian and Lainey, as well as three children in heaven, Alex (miscarriage 7 weeks), Claire (40 weeks, 3 days stillbirth), and Elise (miscarriage 7.5 weeks).

    In June of 1998 Carrie learned that she was expecting her 1st child. However, her joy soon came to a halt on August 26, 1998 when she had a miscarriage. Joy entered their lives once more when Carrie gave birth to her son, Ian in December of 2007. Two and a half years later, Claire was born still at 40 weeks and 3 days on July 4th. Sixteen months following the loss of Claire, her family was blessed with the birth of Lainey in November, 2010. However, 8 months later, tragedy would enter their lives once more. On July 3, 2012, Carrie miscarried with her 5th child at 7.5 weeks.

    A  year or so after the birth of Lainey, a friend told Carrie about the MISS foundation. Carrie agreed to attend the meetings to be of support to her friend because “she was all good and had this grief thing all worked out…right? Wrong! The journey of grief is not for a moment but a life time. Carrie has been attending group each month ever since. It is a sacred time in which she can be a mother to her angel babies. Carrie is forever grateful to all the amazing families she has met and to MISS.

    In the years that have passed Carrie has learned to redefine for herself what the new normal” is. Carrie is not the same person, mother, or wife she was prior to the birth of Alex, Claire, or Elise. In so many ways, she is a better person. Carrie doesn't take things for granted and holds tighter to her relationships with friends and family. There isn't a single moment in the day that Carrie doesn't think of Alex, Claire, or Elise. They will always be a part of all who knew them, forever held in our hearts!

I Carry Your Heart With Me            

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in
my heart) I am never without it (anywhere
I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
                                 
 I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) I want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
 and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud           
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows                                         Artwork: CarlyMarie    
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)

E.E. Cummings