Monday, November 30, 2009

At the cemetery over the weekend, I looked above my head to see some birds flying south for the winter. They were flying in the shape of a heart <3

Coincidence? Probably, but I choose to believe otherwise.

"Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to" Miracle on 34th Street

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

giving thanks

In a few days, Americans will sit around a table with their families and give thanks for all we have. I will sit around a table with most of my family and give thanks for all I have as well as that which I don't have. We may not have Keely with us, but we have her, we had her and she continues to gift us with lessons beyond this life. I will be thankful for those other chairs at the table that used to be filled with loved ones, who are now at Keely's table. I am thankful every day for my children. Each and every one of them.

Monday, November 23, 2009

always the little things

Just seeing a post on a message board directed to "moms of girls" is enough. I am, but I can't answer.

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, November 19, 2009

full circle....of friends

When Keely was born, we were blessed with a photographer from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep to photograph our girl and are blessed daily to have those beautiful, tangible memories of her. A few months later, I became and affiliated photographer and later, area coordinator as well. In doing so, I've been blessed to spend time with some truly amazing families and honored to be in the presence of angels. Who gets to say that? Not just anybody <3 I feel so very lucky to have crossed paths with these lovely creatures and the families that love, and miss, them so very much. In an odd twist of fate a media person that I came into contact with a year and a half ago through NILMDTS lost their own child and remembered mine name. Such an honor to get to meet and spend a few precious moments with their child when first, they had come to me about mine.

I'm an oil portrait artist and have been for several years now. Since losing my girl, I have started my own non profit organization wherein I do oil paintings of children for the families they said goodbye to much too soon. I can't begin to describe the kind of peace this brings me and, I hope, the families as well. I love being able to do this in Keely's memory and give the gift of tangible peace to a grieving family. I have a waiting list that is, most likely, a year or more long. Again, I am so very blessed to be a small part of the lives of these beautiful souls.

And MISS. Mothers in Sympathy and Support. What could I possibly have done these past 2.5 years without MISS and the friendships brought to me through that wonderful organization. Lost. Some of the best friends on this earth were met there and I'm so very thankful for that.

All of these things were huge blessings in my life, huge blessings that wouldn't have been without my little girl's life. Every email from a MISS mama that makes me smile is because of my Keely and her angel friends that brought us together. So many little blessings.

I think of other bereaved families as kindred spirits, members of an exclusive club that no one wants to belong to but feels close to and protective of its members. For no matter how much others might try, they can't truly understand and all of us who do wish we didn't.

Monday, November 16, 2009

so very final

I had a lovely conversation with another bereaved mother. Though I often feel like a veteran at 2.5 years on this road, she had me trumped at 12 years. It was both sad and amazing at how very similar our feelings are. There are ups and downs, bad days and good, days when you feel like you could crumble up into a million pieces and times of such peace. There are days of purpose and lost days. There are days of missing her and days of missing her more. Not a minute goes by without a thought of her. 9.5 years from now, when I've been on this journey 12 years, it looks like those days will still be present. It's like the little old lady I see at the cemetery from time to time, putting flowers on Pearl's grave. Pearl's headstone says she was born and died on the same day in 1949 and her mother (I'm guessing it's her mother) faithfully visits her place and, I pray, finds some peace. If I thought about it, of course, my love and loss will still be there to the day I die. I just hadn't thought of it or maybe tried not to. So few things in this life are so very final. We can't know how long we'll be blessed with the loved ones we're lucky to walk beside, but we know that we can't in this life walk beside those we've lost. What this world is missing...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

they played her song

Hubby and I had our first solo date with each other since having in over 4 years! We went to see Dashboard Confessional perform with the Louisville Orchestra. I can't even put into words how good the show was. I'm not often left speechless but a.m.a.z.i.n.g.

They could've chosen hundreds of songs, literally. The second to last one was the one I was hoping to hear. My eyes teared up and my heart swelled. The song came out not too long before Keely's birth/death and we've always thought it special and appropriate. It's her song. It made a concert and night that would've been incredible nonetheless, unforgettable.

"We watch the season pull up its own stakes
And catch the last weekend of the last week
Before the gold and the glimmer have been replaced,
Another sun soaked season fades away

You have stolen my heart

Invitation only, grant farewells
Crush the best one, of the best ones
Clear liquor and cloudy eyed,
too early to say goodnight
You have stolen my heart
And from the ballroom floor we are in celebration
One good stretch before our hibernation
Our dreams assured and we all, will sleep well

You have stolen
You have stolen my heart

I watch you spin around in the highest heels
You are the best one, of the best ones
We all look like we feel
You have stolen my
You have stolen my heart" Dashboard Confessional

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I have plans for Keely's 3rd birthday. They were kind of made for me.

I'm a marathoner and our town is planning its inaugural full marathon for next spring. Last week, the date was announced: April 11th, Keely's 3rd birthday. I deliberated for a long time if I would feel like racing on her day and have decided to run, but run it in her honor. I will wear a tank that shows her angel wings on my shoulder and paint "running for our angels" across the back of my arms. If I am able to get permission from them, I'll have the MISS Foundation's website on the back of my shirt, along with Keely's name and date. I feel so good about this now. I can be active in my grief and maybe even spread a little awareness to my little girl's life and passing. I kind of feel like it was fate. We'll still have her balloon release as usual on Saturday and I'll run on Sunday. I only hope she'll be running with me <3

'Ask yourself: "Can I give more?". The answer is usually: "Yes". 'Paul Tergat