All of the accolades in the world couldn’t heal the pain that Prince and his former wife, choreographer Mayte Garcia, suffered through by losing one of the most beautiful things life has to offer.
As fans and followers of the iconic musician continue to heal from the April 2016 death of the 57-year-old superstar, Garcia, who was married to the Minneapolis-born entertainer for four years beginning in 1996, has also attempted to do the same by way of sharing her memories of the singer in a new memoir, The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince.
“I knew there was going to be a lot of stuff coming out about him after his death,” the now-43-year-old inspiration of Prince’s “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” shared with People about the tome, “[but] I wanted mine to come from love.”
— Prince Hits (@PrinceHits) March 9, 2017
Part of that love, which began after the star hired Mayte on as a background dancer for a 1990 world tour, ultimately led to the two marrying in 1996 and a then 22-year-old Garcia becoming pregnant with the singer’s first child, a son they named Amiir, which is Arabic for “prince.”
Sadly, shortly into her pregnancy, the duo faced a sudden complication when Mayte began spotting without prior warning or reason. After seeing a doctor, it was suggested that she undergo a procedure known as amniocentesis, which tests for possible abnormalities and genetic conditions on unborn children and can, on occasion, lead to possible miscarriage.
Prince, a known and devout Jehovah’s Witness, outright refused the medical offer almost immediately.
“Sometimes the body is trying to release the fetus for a reason,” Garcia recalled the doctor saying to her and Prince in in The Most Beautiful, “[but] my husband said, ‘No, we’re not doing that.'”
Instead, the two returned home and did as they normally did when it came to trying moments — they prayed.
“Please, bless this child,” the performer asked in his holy request.
“We know you won’t allow this child to be harmed.”
A later visit to Mayte’s doctor did prove momentarily hopeful.
“It’s possible that we’re seeing a form of dwarfism,” the medical worker reportedly told to the couple.
“[Prince] and I looked at each other and shrugged,” Mayte writes in The Most Beautiful.
“‘And?’ he said. ‘I’m totally fine with that.’ I laughed. Of all the possible outcomes that had been offered to us, this was the first one that didn’t terrify me.”
What the doctor said next, according to People, however, was beyond terrifying.
“[They were] warned [once more] of genetic abnormalities that could be life-threatening and again recommended an amnio,” the publication explains, “yet Prince continued to refuse medical intervention.”
Months later, on October 16, 1996, Amiir entered the world via c-section and was embraced wholeheartedly by his parents, but their happiness would be short-lived.
“I don’t know how to describe the look on my husband’s face [when Amiir was born],” Garcia expressed. “Pure joy.”
“And then, they held the baby up to those harsh lights,” she continued, “[and] the elation on my husband’s face turned to pure terror.”
While they didn’t know what they were dealing with at that moment, it was soon discovered that Prince’s little “prince” had been born with a form of Pfeiffer syndrome, a deformed skull anomaly.
“Pfeiffer syndrome type 2 is a genetic disorder that causes skeletal and systematic abnormalities,” Mayte mentions in the book.
“The premature fusing of the bones in the skull, sometimes resulting in ‘cloverleaf skull,’ in which the eyes are outside the sockets. The fusion of bones in the hands and feet causing a webbed or paw-like appearance … I learned all of this later.”
Doctors and nurses tried their best to tend to the sickly child, but even as a first-time father, Prince knew that something was gravely wrong.
“Why is he not crying,” the singer purportedly asked the hospital room staff.
When Amiir was placed into his mother’s arms shortly after, it became obvious that the baby was literally unable to do what most infants do after being born.
“They brought the baby over to us,” Mayte remembered.
“He was curled on his side, gasping shallow little gulps of air. Because there were no lids to blink, his eyes looked startled and dry. I caught hold of his tiny hand, saying over and over, ‘Mama loves you, Mama’s here.'”
Six days and numerous surgeries later, Amiir was no longer of this Earth.
— emermylo (@emermylo) March 15, 2017
“I said to the doctor, ‘He’s not leaving here, is he,'” Mayte wrote.
Amiir was consequently memorialized in the Prince tune “Sex in the Summer,” which featured recordings of his heartbeat and was completed and featured on the singer-songwriter’s three-disc 1996 set, Emancipation, before his death (another offering from Emancipation, “Let’s Have a Baby,” is also themed around Amiir’s conception).
Almost 20 years later, Amiir would be reunited with his father in the afterlife, which Mayte admits helped her to find solace following Prince’s accidental drug overdose in 2016.
“I loved him then, I love him now and will love him eternally,” Garcia remarked in a statement to People last April.
“He’s with our son now.”
The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince hits shelves on April 6, 2017, and is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.
[Featured Image by Jeb Jacobsohn/Getty Images]