Thursday, July 24, 2014


There isn't much I get to do for Keely as her mother.  I can miss her with every ounce of my being every day of my life and I do.  But, there is more.

When babies and children die, their legacy is quite simple.  Babies don't discriminate.  Babies aren't jealous of the neighbor's house.  Babies aren't worried about the clock or the number on the bank deposit.  Babies have an agenda, though.  A very simple agenda.  Love.

Jesus called us to be like the little children.  Jesus called us to love.

In Keely's honor today, and every day, I will love.  I will love my children more than words can say.  I will love my husband beyond the boundaries of this life.  I will love my neighbors, strangers on the street.  I will love.

It isn't always human nature and oftentimes I fail.  But every day I will try a little harder.  Another gift Keely gave us; a desire to love more.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

What will I do with today?

We've spent the better part of our adult lives working towards our "forever" house, building a place that our children will grow up in.  We've spent a lot of time saying "after the house is done" or "after this baby comes".....

And now we're here, in this sweet place in life where we are comfortable and very, very blessed.  We have a home we love, a school the kids love, jobs we love.

Now we are in this place we can sit back, appreciate our blessings and remember our girl at peace.

This is my place to talk about her, miss her, remember her and think about how life would be if she had lived.  It might feel sad to read at times.  It is sad.  We miss her with every ounce of being.

But we HAD her.  She is ours.

I would do it all again just to have that little bit of time with her.  She's an integral part of our family, just as each of our babies are.  She is with us always.

Grief is daunting.  In the beginning, the shock is overwhelming.  There is no preparation. Then you come to a point where you realize that grief is a part of you that will follow you always.  It's overwhelming to think that if I live to be 110, that ache for my child gone will still be there.

To look forward in early grief (which is a different time for everyone!), it's daunting to think about a sadness haunting the rest of your days.  I'm here to tell you that the missing, the sadness, the hole is always there, there is happiness too.  There will come a day that you aren't taken aback by laughter or be genuinely happy.  Genuine happiness isn't lost to the bereaved.  If anything, I feel like it runs deeper.

I remember a saying that I clung to in early grief.  It was a part of Keely's 1 year birthday celebration.

Our joys will be greater, 
Our love will be deeper, 
Our lives will be fuller
because we shared your moment.

Soak in those words.  They are so, so, so very true.  Keely gave life a deeper meaning because she reminded us how very short it might be.

If you're in the early days of grief, do what you need to do to get through the day: cry, scream, go on a long walk, watch The Food Network, talk to someone.  It's different for everyone.

But know you'll feel happiness again.  It isn't that you will forget or move on, it isn't that there won't be tears behind your eyes for your little love not there Christmas morning or all the missed birthdays, but it's that you're grateful to have had that little bit of time at all.

Laughter will come again.

So now that are lives aren't as fast paced and hectic as they have been at times, I can reflect on our blessings and thank God for another beautiful day.  A day I have to do something kind in memory of our Keely and a day to relish the hugs, kisses, and love of our living children.

I hope today is a gentle day for all the bereaved.  I hope the sun shines in your windows or on your face or that the sky cries with you, whichever you need more.


"Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." ~Steel Magnolias

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Another goodbye, but of a different kind.

The posts on this page are few and far between now.  It isn't for lack of words or lack of thought.  It's a part of bereavement so heavy, even the veteran bereaved don't mention it.  It's a weight we'll likely carry til our own passing of this life.

At some point, which is different for everyone, the shock wears off.  It sounds like a good thing, but it isn't.  The shock is protecting us from the grim reality that this. is. forever.  Never will we have even a single photograph of all of our children together.  Never will we see a child at each stocking hung at Christmas.  Never will the question "how many children do you have?" not send a lump into our throats.  Never. Never. Never.

When the shock wears off and we realize these nevers, there's a heavy burden that our heart carries.  Yes, it scars over and we have our new normal but never (there's that word again) does it not ache.

It seems too much to mention that to newly bereaved.  They'll all know it eventually anyway.

When other sad things on earth happen, I can go to my grief.  We're well acquainted now and it's almost a comfort.  I know what I'm doing there.  So when my heart is called by worldly sadness, I can go to my grief of missing a child and know that what is weighing on my heart and mind isn't all that bad.


I grew up in a lovely house in an apple orchard on the top of a hill in southern Indiana.  My parents built the house a few years before I was born.  The house sits on property my family has owned for generations and 120 years.  Also on that property is the family home.  It was purchased by my great great grandparents and passed down through the generations.  My aunt lives in it now but that time is passing.  The house will likely be leaving the family in the very near future.

It's a day in my life I never thought I'd see.  It's going to be/already is a hard goodbye.

It was a place that, throughout my childhood, housed many different members of my family in different stages of their lives, through happiness and heartbreak, through struggles and comfort.  Through generations and passings, it has been the heart of our family.

It was the meeting place for many, many family reunions, Thanksgivings, Easters, and Christmases.

I have known harder goodbyes in my life, of course.  The unexpected are always the hardest.