ARLINGTON — Every year on October 15, the Pates light a candle and remember the sixth family member who is only there in spirit.
Seven years ago, a normal and happy pregnancy ended in stillbirth... and heartbreak.
"I remember hearing the nurse every five minutes," recalled Elizabeth Pate. "She would say, 'Five minutes,' then, '10 minutes,' then, '15 minutes.' And they continued for 15 minutes to resuscitate her... and were unsuccessful."
"That was the most I've ever cried in my entire life," added Gavin Pate. "When she died, I cried until my eyes literally couldn't make tears any more."
Tiny footprints and precious memories are all they have of Eveyn Elizabeth. Instead of avoiding the sadness, the Pates are drawing attention to it for Pregnancy and Infant Death Awareness Month in October.
The annual awareness day is October 15.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, about 26,000 babies are stillborn. Yet talking about it is difficult — even taboo — for many parents.
The Pates want to change that, and to let other families know about available resources.
"To know that you’re not alone in this," Justin said.
"Just to know there are so many other moms going through the same thing, and it might be a different experience in how they lost their baby," Elizabeth added. "But ... they're still grieving. They've still lost that child. And we understand each other in that sense."
Elizabeth and Gavin Pate have three children now — Elijah, Ella, and Emerson. All three are happy and healthy.
That doesn't diminish their love and anguish for their angel, Eveyn.