heaven in this room.

this week has been exceptionally hard. on top of the normal crazy routine, i’ve chosen to put our business to the side, the house,

planning for our trip (which we leave for in a few hours!)…to focus on the precious little thing called life. as you will read below, our friends

chris and luci, have recently suffered a very traumatic loss. i was there with them through the entire thing and if you choose to read, i have

journaled my experience for them. before you go on, just take a second for me to thank God for your health…including all your major

organs which if you are like me, it’s never crossed your mind to do such thing… for your 10 fingers and 10 toes and your ability to run free.

i could go on forever, but it’s these little things i’ve found myself thanking God for lately. it’s truly amazing when i think about how my

parents were blessed with three healthy, intelligent girls… and that we are still so lucky to have two happily married parents. basic things

that i’ve come to realize are actually more few and far between then i’d always assumed. anywho, seriously i could go on and on but i need

to stop before i become emotional again.


First off I want to thank Luci and Chris for asking me to share in this experience. Everything they have said and done the past 8 mths has touched me more

deeply than words could ever express.  I feel I can’t articulate nor do justice the feelings I am trying to process.  I remember mths ago when the Klares started this

journey. The first phone call from Luci, I will never forget. She told me she was having a twins!…but the twins appear to be conjoined from collar bone to the pelvis

bone and they believe they only have organs for one body. My heart sunk that day and it wasn’t until I saw those beautiful girls on Tuesday I was able to feel the weight

lifted off my chest.  Luci updated me sometimes weekly, while other times were harder and she couldn’t bring herself to talk about it.  It has been such a rollercoaster of

emotions for me, and like I’ve repeatedly said to Luci, I have no idea how you are waking up so happy each day, you are truly amazing. To be so faithful and so trusting

that even in times of deep sorrow, they still felt it was such a blessing.  Though I believed it was a blessing all along, I still wasn’t able to understand it.  Luci and

Chris asked me months ago if I could be there with them on the day the babies came and capture every second I could with my camera.  I knew this was going to

be the hardest experience I would probably ever face, but I agreed to it because Luci means so much to me and if this was something God wanted to happen, then it

needed to happen.  I’ve always been taught people come in and out of your life and each person will have a purpose. Six years ago when I met Luci, I could have never

imagined experiencing this with her.  I truly believe this was my purpose for Luci, and Luci for me.  When Linda, Chris’ mom, called me Tuesday to tell me it was time,

I was unprepared. Though I thought about this moment everyday for months, I became extremely overwhelmed.  I began to sob. I knew it was time for Luci to give up

what she has loved SO DEEPLY for 8 mths.  I was unsure exactly what to expect in terms of appearance and most importantly if I would even get to see them before they

became angels.  Once I arrived at the hospital I was able to share a moment with Luci and Chris before and tell them I couldn’t wait to meet the girls.  We anxiously

awaited their arrival in the chapel.  I prayed that God do whatever will bring the most peace in the Klares hearts.  I prayed that Hope and Grace would have no pain and

that Mary would be waiting for their arrival to take them home herself. And of course I prayed for the strength to pull it together and be strong for them.  At about 6:30pm

the nurse came in and told us everyone is ok and well, and they were ready for me. Instantly BAM, the floodgates opened. I took a step back, took a deep breath and

their family said “just remember, you are photographing angels, and how much more of an honor is that? You can do this.” As I walked into the room they were

just arriving as well. Immediately upon entering, I felt this warmth, this joy, this peace… Heaven was literally in that room.  It was if my tears were wiped away and all I

could feel was happiness. I saw Chris holding his girls with the biggest grin on his face presenting them to his beautiful wife.  He sat on the edge of her bed and they just

gazed at their darlings.  I instantly started shooting everything I could.  I knew they’d be beautiful, but I never imagined them to be this perfect. As Dr. Coppage

explained each of their characteristics, Luci and Chris seemed so proud.  Once Luci was able to hold them she gave them their first few kisses of the million she promised

them to follow.  Soon the happy parents gave the twins their first bath.  It was then I got to see how tightly they embraced each other and how naturally their heads fell

into a kissing position.  I was in awe of this miracle. I then understood how Luci and Chris accepted this cross to bear 8 mths ago.  These pure and innocent girls, this

miracle in front of me…these angels… they were perfect in every way.  They bathed them as if they were parents of 10 other children.  Chris was exceptionally great and

adorable as he gently moved them to clean every crevice. Each time they picked up a part of them I quickly snapped my shutter. I did not want to set up any shots for I

felt their natural movements with the babies were just right. Soon they were ready to show off the girls to the family. All the grandparents came in and with great joy held

the babies and kissed them all over. Fr. Came in and held an amazing service, though we already knew Hope and Grace were sitting on God’s lap in heaven.  Next all the

aunts and uncles arrived in small groups. Looking at each person as they held the girls tight brought such warmth to my heart.  Even as they teared up, Luci stayed

so strong. She’d call them over and hug them and tell them how happy she was and they should be.  She said it best when she said, “I’m not sure what it feels like for

Heaven to pour down on me, but this must be it. I am just so happy.”  It was true. God gave us these girls to teach us the beauty of life.  To remind us how blessed we

are even in times when it feels quite the opposite. As the hours passed and it was getting late the nurse and I quickly grabbed some inked footprints and handprints.

Even though I took hundreds of photos, you can’t quite grasp the fragility and teeniness of them like you can’t with a print. When we were done, I picked up the girls

for the first time and kissed them myself. I thanked them for allowing me to be a part of their short life.  I thanked them for the peace they brought to my heart, for

teaching me the importance of life, for it can be so fragile and short.  And most importantly for reminding me that everyone I love so dearly, are not mine, they are

God’s children and I must surrender them. As I handed them back to Luci she told them for the hundreth time how pretty they were.  Chris stood by all three of his

girl’s sides and wept.  I knew at this moment, this was the beginning of the unknown for them.  Their faith and families got them through this journey and it

will continue to get them through the rest of their lives together. Even yesterday when I shared the photos with them, they still seemed so happy.  This is just so

remarkable to me.  Everyone I have shared this story with says, “I don’t know how they did it, because I know I couldn’t.” I hope these images continue to give you

peace for years to come.  And as your family grows (big!!), each child will get to see their big sisters and be as proud as we were this week.  You have no idea how much

it meant to be to be part of this amazing journey.  I thank you for inviting me into the most intimate part of your lives thus far.  I am deeply comforted in knowing that

my baby inside me now has 6mths to make best friends with your girls in heaven!! How cool is that?  I know they are and always will be looking down on us.

I will never forget the feeling on heaven upon us.

I love you guys and I am here to share with you every high and every low.


hope is on the left and grace is on the right.

luci is amazing. i hope i can love my babies like she’s loved hers.

chris is definitely luci’s soulmate. there was not a second where he wasn’t saying or doing the right thing. linda and jerry must be so proud

of the father and husband he has become.

dr. coppage holding the babes for the first time since they came out of the womb. they said their eyes were wide open and all four of the

Klares made eye contact with eachother!! i am SO happy they had that moment.

i think i counted four rosaries in the room at one point. luci held this during the c-section. and after it was placed on the girls first blanket!

:)you’d be amazed at their big feet, big hands and long legs!!

look at all that CURLY hair!!

i truly have never seen such perfect feet. i’m going to frame each of their inked footprints next to this for them.

after their bath they got to wear the worlds teeniest diapers. naturally if their arms aren’t embracing, then their hands fall together! amazing…

little hope’s beautiful face. i’m sure you are wondering how we can tell the difference…grace’s spine had a curve in it that kept her head

leaning back a little. even at every ultrasound they could tell the difference between the two! how cool…

the embrace. straight out of the womb they held on tight to each other!

the grandmas meeting the girls for the first time.

though their life was only a short 46 minutes…they have sure left a heavy footprint in this world. heart, melanie.

  • Kelly (Daphne Photo Studio) - Your photographs say what words can’t. So beautiful! What an honor to be a part of this amazing experience…I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been and will continue to be :(

  • Lisa Raterman - Amazing journey of faith – thanks for sharing….the photos are amazing.

  • lisa - Amazing journey of faith – thanks for sharing….the photos are amazing.

  • kelly(Daphne Photo Studio) - Your photographs say what words can’t. So beautiful! What an honor to be a part of this amazing experience…I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been and will continue to be :(

  • jackie k - no words. luckily, your pictures say all there is to say.

  • lindsay h - WOW. I havent cried this hard in a very long time…it hit very close to home. It was truely the hardest thing we have ever experienced, and I wish them great strength. I am so glad they were able to have you take these wonderful pictures…..something I wish we could have had. Its amazing they see it at a blessing. It was hard for us to, but we do now. =) If they ever need to talk to anyone that understands what they are going though, you are more than welcome to give them my information. They are, without a doubt, heros…..(parents and babies!) God bless them.

  • jamie m - This is truly an amazing story and I am thankful I got to read it. She looked at everything in the most positive way and was happy for the gifts she got from god. She is very inspiring. Her strength is amazing!! For this couple to celebrate their babies is beautiful they never once asked why them they just stood with their heads high and they are an example for the rest of the world!! Thank you for sharing your story we are truly blessed you allowed us to know your beautiful daughters!!!!

  • daveCron - melanie,what an amazing memorial to those beautiful babies and tribute to two incredible people. i’ve always known luci is a special person,her courage proves that.and to her husband chris,i dont think i’ve met you,but you are a special person also.what is truly inspiring.i have had a rough year myself and this has taught me to be stronger,and for that i thank you.may god bless you all

  • kristan B - These are amazing pictures and my heart weeps for Luci and her husband.Mel, you are a wonderful friend, so generous, kind, and loving.The peace she shows will bring her more wonderful things in life. What an amazing mother, I will think of her every year on mothers day, for she is the strongest mother I have ever seen!

  • lindi - Adam and Melanie,
    These photographs are stunning…I am at a loss for words at their strength, but do know that God was a part of the process and is always there. Please keep posting your amazing stories!

  • annie - Wow. As I sit here with tears streaming down my face, all I want to do is go hold my babies. Thank you so much for sharing this story with everyone. It’s a powerful thing to be reminded how blessed you are and I’m overwhelmed with that feeling… I don’t even know you guys and my heart is breaking for you… “A heavy footprint” is right. From one Mama’s heart to another, I am so sorry.

    As far as inspiring words go, I guess I’ll leave this. It’s always been my favorite bible passage – one that I’ve held close in hard times and passed on many times.

    “‘For I know the plans I have in mind for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for your welfare and not for woe, plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call to Me, when you come and pray to Me, I will listen. Yes, when you seek Me, when you search for Me with all your heart, you will find Me with you,’ says the Lord.”
    Jeremiah 29:11-14

    Beautiful, moving pictures, Melanie.

  • mom and dad tracy - We’re sooooo proud of you, Melanie. You did it and how fantastically well you did it! Through these pictures and your commentary you are reaching so many people to spread God’s message. The image you have created is one of the Blessed Mother holding her Son. What a privilege to be a part of the Klare family. They are truly way beyond their years in wisdom and faith. May the Good Lord wrap His arms tightly around them and bless them with many healthy babies in their future. What fantastic parents they are going to make!

  • Melanie Siler - Mel T… what can you even say? Words dont even compare to the amazing moments that you captured with your camera. You truly have an amazing gift.
    Luci- From and mother to a mother you are so strong and courageous! Your faith has inspired me. May God hold you tightly during this time of loss and know that you are surrounded by friends and family that love you.
    All my love,
    Melanie Siler

  • L - what beautiful angels indeed :)
    I have always believed that when people leave this world before their time, it’s because there are plans for them above, but when they leave so early, there must really be something amazing and beautiful for them to carry out in heaven! they will always be there for you though guys, though. always watching down. I admire your courage and selflessness to accept their early departure and be so brave and loving. congratulations on the beautiful little girls!
    mel – beautiful job capturing their lives. only someone with true talent and love could take such pictures :)

  • JAMIE CUNEO/NEWMAN - Luci/Chris, You are trully and inspiration to anyone who knows you, to me I can not even try to walk in your shoes. To be so blessed with such perfect little ANGELS and to know in your hearts you will always have the blessing of those to perfect angels watching over and being with you.

    I will hold you in my prayers. Jamie

  • Kim - WOW – this story is amazing! Thank you for sharing this. How beautiful and precious!!!

  • BMI Brad - Chris,Luci,Jerry,Linda and family—i have known you guys so long i feel like part of the family. For what it’s worth i know this was the hardest thing you have ever had to endure. However the time you got to spend, the pictures that were taken, and the memories you will always be able to share, I hope will only make your family stronger than it already is. What an unbelievable job the photographer did with this allowing you guys to have something to remember and cherish forever. I sit here in my desk supposedly being the toughest guy in the world on these telephones trying to work while wiping the tears that are streaming down my face feeling the pain and the joy in everything you guys have been through. We love you guys and will remember this time and will pray that God will continue to give you strength to somehow go on. Im only a shortwhile away if there is anything, and i mean anything that i can do. I love you guys like family and i promise i always will….

    Brad Mathis
    BMI Produce

  • Kerri Compton - I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Ps 139:14. And they surely were. May you grow in faith and be strengthened by God’s peace with every new day. Romans 5:3 has always been a source of support for me. God bless you.

  • Karen Placke - It is a gift to all of us that the parents of these beautiful babies share these intimate moments. I wish that somehow the tears we cry while seeing their story could take at least a little of their anguish away.

  • Robert Mills - Powerful images and such a moving story. Thanks for sharing this.

  • dave cron - i always go back to this when im feeling down. it is so inspiring and puts things in perspective.

  • Liz - This entire job, from day one, is probably one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. Your images are beautiful, what you captured was absolutely gorgeous… you did an amazing job being there to support them and capture this. You have given a gift they will cherish forever and ever. What a bittersweet thing…

    I just… cannot imagine. I’m speechless. Except for everything else I just said. :)

  • Pienta - The images are beautiful. Thank you for your willingness to capture such a moving story. Luci and Chris, thank you for your “yes” to life. Your daughters are beautiful and they are so lucky to have you as parents and you are equally blessed to have two little saints in heaven praying for you. Luci, what a privilege to have carried them within you. You are incredible parents who surely know what love is all about…the willingness to suffer so another can fully live. Thank you and prayers to you!

  • loft3 photography » sweet baby maria - [...] down. they became angels shortly after their birth, and i was there with them through it all.  i journaled their story here, in hopes to [...]

  • loft3 photography » yo preggers, read this! - [...] say a word cause i totally respect people’s privacy, and well that’s kinda rude. lol. then, my dear friends, the klares asked me to be at the birth of [...]

  • a beautiful beginning: christopher joseph’s birth story. » Beautiful Beginnings Birth Photography - [...] birthday. You can go back to read more and see their pretty little faces in my old blogpost, heaven in this room. Their journey with Hope and Grace inspired Luci and her mom to start an organization, One Heart [...]

  • guest post: Hope and Grace’s birth story. » Beautiful Beginnings Birth Photography - [...] you will likely sob. So many of you remember 4 years ago when I posted on my Loft(3) blog about Heaven in This Room. That was my account of the beauty that took place that day and now finally Luci was able to tell [...]

  • Steph Goetz - What faith filled parents. I have read this story many times and it gets more incredible each time. So exciting they have a third on the way!

  • a beautiful beginning: gianna rose’s brith story. » Beautiful Beginnings Birth Photography - […] place in my heart and I truly can’t explain what an honor it is to be welcomed to each one. (Hope and Grace, Maria, JoJo) Luci tells me each time, “As soon as I see you, it’s real. You come and […]

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