August 4 is a very special day for Aleece Geist. It was the day her late daughter, Zentaviah, was born. Tragically, the baby girl passed away from undetermined causes at five months old, after being hospitalized with an ear infection. The family honors baby Zen on that day every year, but this year, they couldn’t keep the tradition of lighting paper lanterns and candlelit boats because they were busy bringing another little girl into the world.
Geist had no idea she was even pregnant and her boyfriend Cassidy Rector took her to the hospital before the memorial because she was having abdominal pain. They were shocked to learn she was pregnant and in labor. A short time later, the couple welcomed 6-pound, 7-ounce Mira - short for Miracle.
The couple was totally unprepared for the birth of their baby, and the fact she was born on Zen’s birthday makes it all the more incredible. “I guess it was just meant to be,” Geist says. “I don’t try to give it a reason.”
Photos: Cassidy Rector