Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm thankful for you, Keely

I'm thankful for every second I got to spend with you growing in my belly.

I'm thankful for all you've taught and continue to teach your brothers.

I'm thankful for the time I got to spend holding you and memorizing your beautiful face.

I'm thankful I got to see the final beats of your heart.

I'm thankful your daddy has a little girl.

I'm thankful you continue to grow; just in our hearts.

I'm thankful for you.

Though I wish her chair wasn't empty this Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for every bit of her life and beyond.

XOXO

Friday, October 29, 2010

Keely's new book

We have a little bookshelf for Keely that sits next to the trunk that holds all her things. Each year for Christmas, my parents get her a new book in her stocking (so the stocking's not empty) that we put in her shelves (it also has little brother's book "Someone came before you" and big brother's book "We were going to have an baby but got an angel instead"). When the boys have questions or we just need a minute 'with her', we can go to her shelf to read them. Last year, they put "God Gave Us Heaven", etc.

My mom was having a hard time finding the right one for this year so I did some searching and we ordered "I see the moon" by Kathi Appelt and it came in today. It's just perfect. Gorgeous illustrations, adorable story. Definitely a tearjerker but in a good way. The little girl in the illustrations even looks to be around 3 years old <3 Although Keely had blonde hair (and I'm thinking it probably would've stayed that way had she aged). The last page is about God bringing her home safely.

Here's a link that has excerpts and you can see the gorgeous illustrations: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0802852262/sr=8-1/qid=1288304709/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&qid=1288304709&sr=8-1&seller=#_

Friday, October 22, 2010

for every negative comment, there is a positive one

I was bothered Wednesday by my admissions appointment at the hospital. Yesterday, with my boys at the bookstore they made friends with a little guy playing at the train table. The little boy's aunt was very friendly and was chatting it up with my boys and myself. She asked their names, they told her. After that, Boston speaks up with "and we're going to have a Beckham soon!". The kind stranger said she loved the name and was very sweet to my oldest son as he went on to say with one finger pointed in the air "and don't forget about Keely!". To this,

she replied "oh, who's Keely?"
my son said "our sister"
when she said "and how old is your sister?"

I spoke up here as my son continued to play and said "she would've been 3"
my son added "she's in Heaven!"

The stranger sweetly smiled and didn't skiip a beat while saying "Wow, you have a special angel watching over you!"

My son offered up an enthusiastic "YUP!" :)


Made.My.Day.

When these situations arise, and there is no reasonable moment to slip in her name, all my insides are screaming "there are more of us!!!!" but I only bring it into the coversation when the opportunity presents itself. I try to tell myself if my oldest children were in school or at home or a friend's house, I wouldn't feel the need to tell people where they are or explain that not all of my children are with me right now. So I only mention her when someone asks how many and the conversation continues. I NEED people to know about her. Not many got to meet her but many know of her. Those who do are lucky :)

I was so grateful that Keely's big brother could step up and tell people of her, just as proud as he is of his living brothers. The things he can accomplish astound me. My children amaze me so much everyday; their bond with each other (even the ones that expand beyond this life, this earth) and how much they can teach one another.

A good day.
XOXO

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ouch...

I just returned home from my pre-admission appointment with the hospital. It went pretty well. This is my 4th baby born at that hospital; I'm pretty good at it by now ;)

That said, here's how a portion of our meeting went:

admissions lady: "So how many children do you have?"
me: "This is baby #4"
admissions lady: "Are they girls or boys?"
me: "Boy, Girl, Boy and this one's a boy"

Several minutes and several questions later...

admissions lady: "How many pregnancies?"
me: "4 with one uncomfirmed {by a hospital} loss"
admissions lady: "so no confirmed miscarriages"
me: "well, our daughter was born still"
admissions lady: "so 5 confirmed pregnancies"
me: "no, my daughter's stillbirth is included in our 4 children"

At this time, she went back to where she'd marked "__2__ boys __1__ girls" and scratched out the 1 and put a 0.

Just like that, she erased Keely from our family on paper :(
You would think a hospital (one with a great bereavement program at that!)would have a better procedure for this situation. You can mark whatever box you'd like, lady, but we have 1 girl and 3 boys. End of story.

random Wednesday thoughts

I'm not sure where this post might be going but I felt the need to write today. We had the Walk to Remember last Saturday. While I couldn't go on the actual walk because of modified bedrest, I got to sit in the "garden of peace" at the hospital where Keely was (and the rest of my children were) born. It truly was a place of peace. I was visited by a single white butterfly and the beauty of the day was all encompassing. My spirit was lifted and I look forward to the possibility of taking Beckham there before we leave the hospital after his birth.

Being a parent to a deceased child is a hard job; few would argue with that. There are many tears, many "what if"s, many "should have been"s and a continuous fight to keep that memory alive in others. But there is a lighter side. There is goodness in every life that graces this world, no matter how quickly it moves on. There is pride, joy and more love than imaginable as a parent, whether your child is living or passed on. There are still stories to tell; not as many as we'd like but they are there.

I don't know what's pressuring me from inside to talk about Keely's life and death so much lately- maybe it's the upcoming birth of another little brother of her's, maybe it's that it's October, maybe it's the feeling that others' ('friends' at one time) grief or even tolerance for grief has run dry. It could be that my current state has made me unable to visit her grave (an hours drive away) as much as I'd like to or as I'm used to, maybe it's the fact that that internal pressure is always there but the energy to explore it isn't. Whatever the reason, I'm here. Writing. I'm Keely's mommy. Keely's gone from this earth now, but she's so much more than gone. Does that even make sense? It does in my head so I'm going with it.

In loving memory of my Keely
XOXO

Friday, October 15, 2010

October 15th

Today is October 15th.

Most in the bereavement community have been looking forward to this day with both excitement and dread. A day to share your story, your child with all the world to be rememebered. A day to connect with other bereaved families and remember their children. A day to reflect and look forward.

Also a day to MISS, like every other day, but this day look around and realize how many MISSed children there are. A day to shed a tear for them. A day to shed a tear for the families that love them so and ache for them daily. A day to think of how many families will join us next year, but have no idea this year.

We are at a point in our journey that many of our friends have moved on and expect us to have done the same. They don't understand that while we can move forward, we will not move on. Our children are as much a part of us as if they were living still. I can take this day, this month, to soak up the community that I have in other bereaved mothers, in the MISS Foundation and otherwise that know the journey. We will hold each other up, educate those that don't understand and remember with love and gratitude all that our children continue to show us daily.

XOXO

Friday, October 1, 2010

October 1st

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. An awareness that the bereaved live with daily and share with the world for the month of October. To celebrate, cherish every moment you have, remember every moment you had.

Missing my sweet Keely today and everyday.

One of my favorite quotes:
"Rest your head close to my heart, never to part, baby of mine" ~line from a song in Dumbo

Friday, September 17, 2010

so cliche, so true

"It is better to have loved and lost then to have never loved."

So very true. I wouldn't give up one second of the 22w3d we had with our girl or any of the millions of seconds since she's been in our lives.

I guess there's a reason those old sayings stick around.

even from Heaven, little sisters can annoy their brothers

We just returned from a trail at a local park. The entire time we were there (3 hours) a big black butterfly with blue on it fluttered around my oldest son's face. Butterfly was essentially annoying him to no end. He told me he was pretty sure it was Keely ::giggles::

XOXO

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

good grief

I always cringe a little when I see a mainstream article on grief, especially one where the focus is on celebrities. I immediately get defensive and prepare for what seems inevitable "how they got over it", "how they moved on" and the like. I'm sure that the grieving person, celebrity or not, is cringing right along with me. I have yet to meet a bereaved person who has gotten over it. Learned to live with it? Yes. Found ways to cope? Yes. Found ways to hide it from people who seem uncomfortable? Yup.

But this article was a pleasant surprise; focusing on how very normal grieving behavior is even when it doesn't seem like it to the non-bereaved. This article isn't specific to child loss and while I do feel that burying a child adds another layer of the mourning process, grief is grief and most bereavement is misunderstood in mainstream society.

http://www.shine.yahoo.com/channel/life/the-way-we-grieve-now-2389801/

I've read that immense grief can exaggerate normal behaviors for some people and that was certainly true for me. I'm a list maker. Every morning, I have my to-do list. I've been itemizing, alphabetizing and ordering numerically Christmas lists since I could write. When Keely died, it was like some sick obsession. Lists for the funeral home, the hospital, her belongings, the photographs, lists for thank yous, for cards and gifts, for the cemetery and of course, a master list. I didn't think much of it at the time; it seemed healing for me to have tiny sort of control. I didn't think anyone else would notice my list-making. Sometime in the last 3 years, my mom and husband both admitted that they had noticed. I tell her goodnight everynight and ring the windchimes that were given to us from friends for her funeral; it's my way of saying hello. When I leave her grave, I kiss her headstone 4 times and rub the heart on the front. I've always felt that if someone could read my mind, I'd be committed. Now, 3.5 years on this journey, I realize that death is very much a part of {my} life. Most lives. And that's okay; it's a pretty important step!

I love seeing articles like this, that normalize what's actually normal behavior but may not feel like it or seem like it to outsiders.

XOXO

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

a big brother wise beyond his years

My 5 year old was the leader in his class today and had to give a presentation on his family to the rest of his classmates. He brought in photos for each family member: a photo of mommy, one of daddy, one of himself, one of his brother Callum, an ultrasound picture of brother Beckham and a photo of a butterfly (he wanted to bring a photo of her headstone too but I thought that might be too much to explain for a 5 year old). He also brought in a family picture where I'm pregnant and wearing Keely's necklace and our dog is in it (the whole family).

He carefully explained to them that this isn't a picture of his sister, but she's in Heaven and has wings so we think of her when we see a butterfly. He explained that he got to hold her and she would be 3 years old now "if she didn't live with Jesus". One of the other children giggled and said "your sister's a butterfly?!?" and he calmly replied "No, she's an angel" very matter of factly.

He has so impressed me with his wisdom and calm nature and the way he can keep his sister 'alive' in a way only a big brother can. It absolutely made my day.

I have to add, as well, that his teacher was great about it. She asked me some questions about it and didn't get weird or awkward at all. I'm glad it's all out there, so there isn't any confusion if/when he talks about her.

One of his little buddies said "I have a sister you can't see too, because she's in school" So maybe no great lessons were learned but he did great and I'm proud of him for including his entire family on his own terms.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

letters to Heaven

My Keely~
I just needed to say your name today, sweet girl. Not a second goes by that you aren't on our minds and felt at our side. Loving and missing you so very much.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO
Mama

Friday, August 27, 2010

i saw her in my dream

I have very vivid dreams and can remember them {most nights} in great detail. Sometimes, that's good. Sometimes, very bad. Last night, it was good. Very good.

It was a short dream; just long enough to make me smile though. Keely was in our house, the age she would be now if she'd survived (3 years old). She had hair much like our son Callum; blonde and straight though hers was slightly darker than her little brother's. She had pale skin and dark under eyes, like her older brother and mommy both do. She was barefoot and wearing a little sundress; white with pink flowers on it. She didn't say anything to me, but motioned me down the hallway after her, grinning.

My mind is playing tricks on me now. Is that what she would've looked like? Walked like? Smiled like? I will never know for sure, but I do like a little peek of what might've been.

XOXO

Monday, August 23, 2010

22w3d

We have made it past that fateful day in this pregnancy. 22w3d was how far along we were when we went in to the OB, only to watch Keely's heart start strong and then slowly fade away into silence. Every ultrasound, I can't help but think of that one. We are SO very lucky to have gotten to see those final beats of her heart; I feel that is a special gift we were given.

And now we are making Keely a big sister yet again, to another baby brother. And we've passed that milestone in this subsequent pregnancy but not without some complications. I've had some bleeding and a shortening cervix so I've been put on some restrictions and a higher watch level. There are times I'm optimisitic and times I'm scared out of my mind. Today is a scared day.

I think back to the time I spent pregnant with Keely, completely unaware of how our lives were about to change and the clock was ticking on us ever so silently. That innocent time of pregnancy is gone to me, despite many around me feeling that we're "normal" now. If only!

I know how lucky we are to have our living children. I know how lucky we are to have Keely. I know how lucky we are. I also know that life will never be the same, in both good ways and in sad.

So as we limp along in pregnancy, aching for December to bring a healthy, screaming baby into our arms, we can think back to our time with Keely and be so very grateful.

XOXO

Sunday, July 11, 2010

quotes I love

"Tis a fearful thing to love what death can touch. To love, to hope, to dream, and oh, to lose. A thing for fools this, but a Holy thing, to love what death can touch." ~ Judah Halevi, 12th Century

Friday, June 25, 2010

time slips by quickly

Though much time has passed that I haven't blogged, not a moment goes by without Keely on my mind. Thought of, spoken of, loved and remembered daily. Always.

XOXO

Saturday, May 15, 2010

a delicate few

There are moments in your life that you want desperately to remember. With every thread of being in you, you want to capture every color, every smell, every sound in the eye of your memory. They are the moments you look back on and recall with great detail; defining moments of your life.

There are moments in your life that haunt you when you close your eyes to sleep. Moments that creep into your dreams and turn them to nightmares that you've already lived. Moments you try with every bit of you to forget, willing away the horrible feeling you had in you at that time. They are moments forever etched in your memory, however unwillingly they may be; defining moments of your life.

Then there are a few memories that are a delicate balance of both. Memories that defined who you are from that moment on. Memories that pain you to remember and pain you to forget.

My bittersweet defining moment was closing the casket. A relatively quiet moment, just my husband and living son at the funeral home, saying our final goodbye to the body that once held the soul of our little girl. A body that desperately needed to rest, earth time having taken its toll. A body that I desperately wanted to keep, willing that heart to beat again.

"I smell the blizzard in the air, winter's bitter love affair" OAR, delicate few

Monday, May 10, 2010

a day for mothers

Yesterday was a day colored in bittersweet, like most all special days of our family because one member is missing. I was given a gift by my Keely, though.

In church, we sang "Near to the heart of God". We sang that song at Keely's graveside at her funeral and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I sang the first two verses proudly and on the third, out of nowhere, I burst into tears. I'll take that song as my special mother's day present from my girl.

XOXO

Friday, April 30, 2010

butterfly season

"A butterfly lights beside us
and for a brief moment its beauty and glory belong to this world.
But then it flies on again
and though we wish it would've stayed, we feel lucky to have seen it at all".

It's butterfly season and each flutter reminds me of my girl, so very missed, so very loved. Always remembered. XOXO

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We survived
















We survived April 11, 2010, 3 years.










Into another year without our girl, determined to pass on her legacy. We had a lovely balloon release with just a few of the closest family members present. We released balloons for other MISSed children as well. Before our balloons were sent into the sky on a beautiful sunny day, we wrote message of love to our Keely. I made her a butterfly cake that we all shared after the balloons were far gone.










Friday, April 9, 2010

intuition

As I begin the journey of the subsequent (after loss) pregnancy for the second time and the worry about my 4th child is a constant companion, it's had me thinking back to my time carrying Keely; the last time I could be a "it won't happen to me" pregnant girl.

This pregnancy, I'm afraid that I'm mistaking my fear and worry for intuition. Is my being scared a way to warn me about something or cushion a blow that has yet to be seen? Realistically, probably not. It is what it is: fear and worry when you know all too well what can go wrong so very quickly in pregnancy.

But it has me thinking back to when I was pregnant with Keely and my mom got me a frame for one of our ultrasounds. We had just come from a successful visit at the OB and had seen Keely fluttering around, so very full of life. The frame is lovely and to this day, it sits on our shelf housing that very same ultrasound photo from the day we picked it up. We didn't know the gender at the time so it's green and says "love you now and forever". Immediately upon reading the phrase, it read to me like it was for a baby that had died. I didn't say anything at the time because I did like it and didn't want to sound morbid or like I didn't like the gift. That was the moment I look back on and think "maybe I knew". Maybe on some level, I was being prepared for the fact that we'd end up with a grave for our child instead of our child. Maybe something inside me knew.

But, maybe everybody has a random moment like that and nobody remembers them except the bereaved mothers, the ones who go back over every second of pregnancy wondering about sliding doors. What if?

I prodded friends and family recently to make sure I was a paranoid during my pregnancy with my first rainbow baby. They assured me I was a nut :)

"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again." Maya Angelou

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

the purpose of life

A topic that has been pondered by every generation since the beginning of time and every conclusion has been drawn from people being the center of the universe to our existence being inconsequential. Regardless, it's still a question that is pondered daily.

I would never be so bold as to suggest I know the meaning of life aside from knowing that our true purpose is to live a life that guides us into the gates of Heaven upon our death.

But as the mother of a child who is (Lord willing) paving my way there, I believe that beyond the one true purpose, each life has a million little, everyday purposes. Furthermore, our purpose doesn't cease to exist when our soul finds its way Home. A legacy lives on in our name, a purpose of guidance to those left behind.

This may very well be coming out as a rambling mess, but I trust I'll feel better just getting it out there. Keely's life was so very short. Too short. But we've always known that her purpose far surpassed her years. Not only does her purpose surpass her years, but it goes beyond herself or even her siblings and parents. Many people love her. Many people are moved by her existence. Many people want to see her again. Many people are trying to be better people to be able to see her again. And it's not just Keely. Every soul who passes through this world, however quickly, has a purpose and while I can't pretend to understand, my faith lies in the fact that each path I cross is intertwined with my own and even without conscious, we are part of each other's lives. A very short life has done a whole lot of good. Good beyond measure.

"like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand" Bob Dylan

Friday, April 2, 2010

3 years ago today

At 11:20 am, 3 years ago today, our sweet Keely slipped into Heaven. She changed our lives in the blink of an eye and we miss her every second of everyday. So very, very missed but even more loved.

"rest your head close to my heart, never to part, baby of mine"

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter and an angel day

We had originally planned to have her celebration on her angel day since I was going to be racing on her birthday but when I had to drop the race due to a 3rd degree muscle tear, we decided to switch it back to her birthday and I've found that to be such a relief. I like being able to celebrate her birthday and would rather it just be us for her angel day because it tends to be the most emotionally sad day for me. I like to think of her birthday as our chance to hold her and celebrate her life and remember the immense relief upon laying her to rest (such a strange sensation). So Friday, we're going up to the cemetery and instead of leaving a bundle of pink roses that will eventually die and I'll have to collect them and throw them away, we're going to get two bags of rose petals and throw them into the wind around her headstone. They can fly all over the place and we don't have to worry about dead flowers there, but some might stick around for a bit <3 We had pink and white rose petals lining the aisle at our wedding as well.

Kind of as a sidenote: We've started a tradition where each year, in Keely's Easter basket, there's a new Easter decoration for us to put up in the house. That way, we collect some fun things to decorate our house and not everything that reminds us of Keely is a "sad" thing.

On Friday at 11:20 am, it will have been 3 years since we watched that beautiful heartbeat stop and our world forever changed. We love, love, love you little girl. We miss you times a thousand, but love you even more.

Monday, March 29, 2010

She gave us a gift for her day!

This Friday is Keely's angel day. 3 years ago, at 11:20 am, she slipped into the arms of Jesus.

Yesterday, at only 8 days past ovulation, I got a positive pregnancy test. We are expecting baby #4 in December.

Keely~ Baby, please watch over your little brother or sister <3

Thursday, March 18, 2010

springtime at home

One might think this is the time of year I'd fill pages and pages with words of remembrance of Keely. But in truth, this is the time of year that it's all I can do to get through each day without tears. Sounds dramatic, right? Well, it is. The smell of the flowers, the day starting chilly and warming up drastically, the cloudless sky; all markers of spring and of that time we held our girl and said goodbye. Everyday is a look back and a look forward. Another day gone without her. Another day blessed to be her mother. Another day blessed with her brothers at my side. Another day to look back with both happy memories of her life and sad memories of our heartbreak.

As we ease our way to "her days", I may post less and less and conserve my energy for having any energy at all. Grief is exhausting and ongoing. 3 years down the road and it's hard to express the gaping hole at our family dinner table. So very gone, but even more loved.

"Oh, they tell me of a home far beyond the skies, Oh, they tell me of that home faraway." hymn

what's the address again?

Boston requested we make cards to send to Keely. He specifically wanted the butterfly thank you notes in the drawer from her last birthday so we got them out and the boys drew the most beautiful pictures for Sis. Boston's even had her name on it <3 I love it when they come up with ways on their own to remember their sister and keep her an everyday part of our lives. The hard part came when he wanted to address it. So, we addressed it to "Heaven" and will leave it at her grave on Sunday.

"We cannot always assure the future of our friends; we have a better chance of assuring our future if we remember who our friends are." Henry Kissinger

Monday, March 1, 2010

17 pages in and I have to stop...

but not because I won't finish, but because I have to rave. I've wanted to read this book since it was published and finally picked it up yesterday. 17 pages in and I'm hooked. Already, I have to stop and tell the world to read it. It's about stillbirth and a subsequent baby, but it's an insight into the mind of a bereaved parent. While I don't agree with everything she says (I don't think there's a person in the world I agree with 100%!), I found myself nodding and wishing I'd been able to so eloquently express what she did. I want to buy a copy for everybody I know; both bereaved and non bereaved. I want people to understand and while I know they can't, this will take them closer than before.

"An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination" by Elizabeth McCracken

"But mostly, I just missed my own child."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

October 15th

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day...

We celebrate every year, along with the families of so many children gone too soon. We celebrate it every year and, for some reason, I've failed to share that on my blog. So share I will. Here are some pictures taken of our "Sunday candle" last October 15th, as Keely's waterglobe played Brahm's Lullaby.












Friday, February 12, 2010

a heart in the snow

I was finally able to go visit the cemetery. It was still a bit treacherous, but I've been there in worse. It's so peaceful there in the snow. The sun was bright and the snow drifts sparkled. I dug out around Keely's stone so that I could repair the butterfly that had fallen off from wind and uncover the candles we placed for Valentine's Day as well as the rose left by my mom, Keely's Nannie. Only tracks from bunnies were there. I drew a big heart in the snow, above where Keely lays. I wish I'd had a camera to take a picture of it because with the wind, it's probably gone already. But now it can be special between just her and her mama.

"Dawn is born at midnight" Carl Jung

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

this is the time we had you, Keely

This time of year always makes me think of my girl.
This is the time of year we recorded a video diary everyday of pregnancy.
This is the time of year we got snowed in so I could take advantage of snuggling up my belly and my living son.
This is the time of year we braved the cold to go baby shopping.
This is the time of year that gives us peeks of spring weather, enough to go to the park one day or be tricked into thinking it's later in the year than it is.
This is the time of year Keely lived.
This is the time of year we could feel her kicks so strongly.
This is the time of year we chose names.
This is the time of year I felt SO sure she was a boy (you can't be right EVERY time!)
This is the time of year I last was naive, so sure, invincible.
This was the time of year I had you, living.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

my favorite movie spawned another special moment

Steel Magnolias has been my favorite movie for many years. I've often quoted a line from it that is probably my favorite quote (which is saying a lot for a quot-aholic like myself).

"laughter through tears is my favorite emotion".

So very, very true.

I watched the movie Friday night, as I have many nights. My sweet husband came in from working at the computer to the scene where M'Lynn is standing alone at her daughter's casket after all the other mourners left the cemetery. He said to me "I bet when you watched this movie as a little girl, you never thought you'd know how she felt".

It means so much to me that he thinks it and maybe even more importantly that he said it.

"there was no sound, no tremble. just peace" M'Lynn's description of Shelby's passing, a description very similar to my memories of Keely's final moments

Friday, February 5, 2010

we'll always be different

In the early days of Keely's passing, we were overwhelmed with support. So many came out of nowhere to hold our hands and shed tears with us. As time passed, the numbers willing to say her name were less and with each year, the "rememberers" are fewer.

Now, nearly 3 years into this journey, I feel more "normal". I can walk through the mall not wondering if every stranger could see it in my eyes, wondering if they too, had lost a child. I can confidently and without fear tell a stranger that I have 3 children and if the convesation persists, explain my stance. I am a proud mother and while not all of my children can be seen at my side, they are there and they are represented. But while I'm becoming more comfortable in my new normal, there are moments, days, sometimes weeks that the blaring, vast differences between myself and the non bereaved pound away at me. Sometimes without great "aha" moments, most of the time completely unforeseen, I'll remember or be reminded that we are different.

This difference has introduced me to some of the best friends I have in this world. I have been introduced to friends who "know". Despite loving Keely and trying to know, these other mothers KNOW. We can say our children's name in celebration without an awkward moment of trying to find words when we know all too well that there are none. I'm am so grateful for these moments with these mothers, who are like me. I'm grateful for my other friends who try to know but am filled with reminders that we are different. At least in this one, profound way, we are different. That's okay too.

"There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it." Charles F. Kettering

Thursday, February 4, 2010

missing...

The snow and ice is keeping me from visiting the cemetery (an hour's drive away) yet again. I miss visiting my little girl's resting place. It feels strange to not get to visit often right now. My mom will run by to check on things for me, though, so that's a comfort.

Monday, February 1, 2010

the new Duggar addition...

I watched the Duggar birth special last night. In fact, I'd been waiting for it since their little girl's birth.

1 lb. 6 oz. Just 3 oz bigger than Keely. It's so rare that you see a baby so very tiny and even more that you see a baby so very tiny alive. A little screaming, breathing miracle; just about the same size, just about the same age. If Keely had the chance to take a breath on this earth, she might've made it. The little diapers, the little hats; so similar.

I cried so hard last night. I cried for my girl and our heartache. I cried for the Duggars and how afraid they must be. I cried for all of us missing those little tiny hands and feet. And I cried tears of joy for them because Josie is alive and tears of joy for us because we had the gift of Keely and our boys. I will count my many blessings and name them one by one.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

easter and taxes

The yearly sting of taxes has already hit our house. Dependents: 2. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't want the money, I want her included. **sigh** It's the little things, isn't it?

Despite the surprise 7 inches of snow on the ground outside, the stores are filling up with bunnies and eggs and reminders that eventually spring will arrive and with it, Easter. Easter makes me think of Keely. Now it could be because she died the week before Easter and we chose to wait to deliver until the next week, so she had passed away but I still carried her when we had Easter that year. But I suspect it would remind me of her anyway. Easter seems like a girly holiday to me. My memories of Easter as a little girl are of frilly dresses, white gloves and hats. I think Easter was the only time in childhood I wore a hat. It's hard to find good boy Easter clothes and I've never had a problem with that at Christmas or any other time, but Easter I only seem to find dresses that I like.

Tax day and Easter are both months away but anyway...

Friday, January 22, 2010

another day, another flower

I visited my girl this morning to find another little white flower stuck into the ground next to her headstone. My girl has a secret admirer <3>

I needed that today. You always hear that there are "some good days and some bad days" and that rings true nearly 3 years down the road and well,....forever. I've had some bad days. Days where it still seems surreal. Days I want to cry for no new reason. Days I do cry for no new reason. Days that the wonder consumes my thoughts.


Keely's big brother wanted to show me the alphabet he made. They put a word next to each letter to represent it. There it was: B for Boston, C for Callum, K for Keely.


One of the strange things I've always lamented in her passing was never getting to read her name scribbled sloppily on a kindergarten paper. Well now I can't say that. It wasn't her writing but it was so, so special. I cannot wait to get that paper home and cherish it, with all of his other works. I don't even think he realizes what a special boy he is. But I do.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Valentine's Day decorations

Boston helped me decorate Keely's grave this morning for Valentine's Day. I had planned to take down the red garland and leave up the purple but B liked them both so they stayed. We did take up her stocking and the golden leaves from around her butterfly. The butterfly stayed and so did her pinwheel. We added two pink heart shaped tea light holders with candles in them. We'll light them on the day.

<3

"What the heart once loved can never truly be lost" I can't remember where I heard that, but I like it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Quotes on grief; yours

If anybody's reading this, what quote or verse or passage do you find comfort in? In times of grief is there a song verse, Bible verse or poem that you look to? Whether you're a bereaved parent, you've buried a grandparent or a pet, what helps you grieve?

I have many, many, many that I love. I can remember reading 23rd Psalms several hundred times as I was in labor with Keely. Lines in many songs ring close to my heart: Dashboard Confessional's line "my heart is sturdy but it needs you to survive" is one.

A verse close to, if not at, the top of my list is Psalm 4:8.

Boston had a dream about Keely

He awoke and told me a bit about his dream before telling me that he wanted to go back to sleep so he could see her again.

<3

I'm feeling like a lacking mother lately. The ice and snow have kept me away from my little girl's grave. Never a minute from my heart or thoughts but I miss that peaceful place she's laid to rest. Lord willing, I'll be heading there Friday to check on things and put out her Valentine's Day decorations that her brothers lovingly picked out.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

quotes I love

This is a quote we used in the paper for Keely's angelversary and it's part of a little shadow box of her belongings. It's been one of my favorite quotes since I was sitting in the hospital in labor with her.

"Our joys will be greater
Our love will be deeper
Our lives will be fuller
Because we shared your moment"


No words have ever been more true <3

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

escape

This word has been coming up a lot lately. Escape. People wanting to escape the cold. People wanting to escape their pain. People wanting to escape from the holiday obligations.



Admittedly, I read far too much into things. I read between the lines and, at the same time, manage to read each word quite literally. Lately, I've found myself looking up actual definitions of words so I could dissect meaning or intent.



the definition of escape:



1. to break loose from confinement

2. to issue from an enclosure

3. to avoid a serious or unwanted outcome



It seems to me that escape is a temporary thing. It's putting off the inevitable. Is it possible to escape the cold? Yes, so long as you can afford a plane ticket or vacation home. Is it possible to escape holiday obligations? Maybe, so long as you have a good enough excuse. But, the cold returns or you return to it. The holidays roll around next year and eventually, someone will be onto you. Is it possible to escape pain or bereavement? I don't think so. You can stifle it temporarily or you can have a good moment, a genuine and good moment but the grief is still there, waiting. Sounds ominous, right? Well, I don't see it as a bad thing. I think that's hard, nearly impossible, for the non-bereaved to understand. Pain is a part of grief and grief is a constant reminder of my child. Yes it's a constant reminder that she's not here with us, but a reminder of her is good. A reason to say her name is good.

"Life must be rich and full of loving--it's no good otherwise, no good at all, for anyone" Jack Kerouac

Monday, January 4, 2010

first post of a new year

We've made it into 2010. This year, we'll celebrate 5th, 3rd and 2nd birthdays and, Lord willing, a new birthday at the end of the year or beginning of next. What the year coming has in store for us is up for guessing. I've fully accepted the fact I have very little control in that; not an easy pill to swallow for a self proclaimed control freak! Hopefully a sold sign in front of our house, some beautiful celebrations, some miracles realized and some tears, both happy and sad. I can look ahead in hope, knowing that we have a little angel watching over us and with faith, we walk.