Wednesday, February 29, 2012

leap year again

Leap year. Once every four years, we get an extra day. Four years ago, 2008. It had been less than a year since Keely's death and we were still a couple of months away from the birth of our rainbow boy. Looking back, I made the following post:

I noticed that during some of the other 4D scans; Callum has his big sister's eyes, but I hadn't thought much about it other than thinking that would be nice. I've realized today that those beautiful eyes that he shares with his big sister haven't ever looked back at me. I'm still glad he has features of hers and of his big brother, but I think to see her eyes looking back at me is going to be very powerful and I'm a little nervous. Has anybody felt that way about their rainbow baby's features? I just cannot wait to hold him and hear him crying and feel his warmth. I cannot wait to do all these things special with him and at the same time, wonder what her cries would've sounded like or if she would've stayed calm like she was in utero. :blush:

MISSing our angels and praying for our rainbows

Much has changed in those 4 years. 2 more beautiful children have been born safely into our arms in those years. We've grown and grieved, healed some and missed more. The raw, terrifying fear has subsided. Our grief has matured and we've found some solace in acceptance. At times the acceptance is a bitter pill and other times, a soft foundation. 4 years of being built up by our beautiful children, both living and dead, teaching us more than we ever could teach them. 4 years of moments spent wondering what Keely's contribution would've been should we have been allowed more earthly time with her.

I can look back on the words written 4 years ago by a frightened, broken hearted woman carrying a rainbow baby she wasn't sure she'd be able to hear cry or laugh or see smile and understand her a little better. I look back as a broken hearted mother whose mind may still wonder 'what if' but whose heart is full, hands are full and life is blessed by all her children. I am left to wonder what 4 years from now might bring. 4 years is just a blink in life but filled by so, so many beautiful moments I'm just not willing to forget.


a drawing and a clue...

I am an artist by trade. Just for fun the other night, I did quick studies of my children. I did very quick pen and ink sketches of each boy and they asked me to do one of Keely too. So I did my version of what she might look like today (we have several sketches I did of her while we were in the hospital after she was born so I wanted to try something different). It was a little of each brother but with my sister's nose and her daddy's chin just like she had at birth. I made her hair slightly longer than her shoulders and partly pulled up with a bow, like it has been in dreams of her.

When I finished the drawing, I showed it to my sons for their approval. Middle brother liked it and ran off. Big brother liked it and ran off. As Big brother ran off, he said "but she doesn't always have a bow in her hair!"...

So sometimes she does, sometimes she doesn't? :) I love their beautiful minds.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

a dream

I had a dream last night.

My Nana was on a misty beach, throwing a ball to her beloved dog, Jake. Also chasing after the ball was Keely. In my dream, she was about the size of a 4, almost 5 year old, with skinny legs and wild blonde hair flying behind her. Up on the beach were many umbrellas with other people <3

I love those dreams.

"Everybody will be happy over there" ~hymn

Saturday, February 25, 2012

retreat, retreat

Coming up on 5 years down the road, some things have become more clear to me in my grief.

Springtime is hard. It's a time all about rebirth, renewal, refreshing and now...retreating. When I was 9 years old, my beloved grandmother passed away the day before Easter. Last year, my Nana fell ill unexpectedly in early April, just before Easter and passed away a month later. 6 weeks after my Nana's passing, my Gramps was gone too. And, of course, my Keely died April 2nd, was born April 11th and that year, Easter fell in between. Lots of sadness among the magnolia blooms. Daffodils blooming but the winter winds still whip around often; never allowing one to know what to expect. That's deep, right?

5 years now and I've finally realized why I don't like springtime. I'm irritable and short with those outside of what I see as my safe little circle, the nest I have around my family. Easily annoyed and easy to cry, I realize now the calendar and familiar spring air that gets under my skin. So to protect my heart and protect unknowing strangers, I retreat a bit during this time of year. Just enough to allow a little cushion and time to cry if I need it.

So as my annual retreat is upon me, I may post less and I may post more often. I don't know for sure what I'll need but I do know that for now, my grief is mature enough to allow whatever I need, whenever I need it to honor the lives I'm missing and protect the lives living around me.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Just missing my little girl tonight. As the time comes to plan what should've been her 5th birthday but will be a celebration of her short, but oh so important life.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

one more goodbye

After 5 years, many, many beautiful souls and countless incredible moments, I have decided to resign from the bereavement photography organization I joined shortly after Keely's death. I served as area coordinator and a photographer for those 5 years and have been lucky enough to encounter some truly amazing families and spend time with beautiful little souls, whose time on earth was far too short.

I will continue my work on bereavement paintings in Keely's honor.

In loving memory

Friday, February 10, 2012

a coincidence or a sweet hello...

And I choose to believe the latter :)

Yesterday, as I perused for shirts for my sons to go to Disney World in the spring, etsy thought I might also like a little embroidered shirt with a leopard print Minnie Mouse outline, pink polka dot bow and the child's name across the bottom, matching the bow.

The sample name on the shirt read "Keely"

<3 <3 <3

A coincidence yes, but also a sweet reminder of what might've been. She would've just turned 5 when we'll be going. But her mouse ears (that we got with her name last time) will sit on the shelf, unused.

Thank you for the hello, little girl!