Saturday, October 4, 2008

Emily Hope

Today has been a day to grieve.

Our local health region hosts an annual memorial service for families who have lost babies during pregnancy, during birth, or shortly after birth. The service was beautiful. There were close to 100 people there... parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends... all grieving in one way or another. There were some comforting words said, some nice music played, and a lot of tears shed.

Today has been a day to celebrate.

My darling one and I made a decision today. We decided that we could no longer refer to our baby as the 'little bean' or just 'she'. She needed a name. I will admit when he first brought it up, my instinct was to say no. How could we name someone who we never met? But during the service today I spent a lot of time thinking about it, and a name floated to the surface of my heart.


We never got to hold her. We never got to find out what color her eyes were, or if she would have her daddy's thick hair. We never got to discover her personality. We never heard her cry or laugh. But that doesn't make her any less of a person. She was real... is real. We had a daughter.

For the happiest 11 weeks of my life, I cherished the knowledge that our little girl was ours. I still cherish that knowledge. I always will.

Emily Hope
Cherished Daughter
Forever With God
September 11, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

One Song... Joy

In the last year or so, after dragging my feet and fighting it just a bit, I have bounded forward into the twenty-first century, and have entered the wonderful world of technological gizmos.

I am, most recently, the proud new owner of a beautiful shiny red Blackberry Pearl. It's gorgeous. It's very handy for text-messaging my better half in the middle of the day, and for playing a dangerously addictive game called 'Brick Breaker'. Oh yeah, and it's a cool phone too!

And who knew that I would enjoy a Wii quite so much? It was only supposed to be a birthday gift for my darling one, but I have reaquired an intense interest in those two wacky and zany guys, Mario and Luigi.

But the best little gizmo in my posession is my mp3 player. How does it work? I have no idea. I mean, I know how to load music onto it and I know how to use it to listen to music... but I have no idea how the technology works that allows me to take all my favorite music everywhere with me. I have had other portable music gizmos in the past... my first Walkman (the size of a small European nation) entered my life on my 9th birthday, a double cassette-playing battery operated boom-box when I was 11 (that made it all the way to college with me), my Discman that made many journey's between home and work with me over the years... but none of them have given me as much joy as this little three inch piece of plastic and metal.

So, you're probably wondering why I am rhapsodizing about my mp3 player. Especially in light of recent happenings in my life, it may seem odd to be extolling the virtues of something that is just a chunk of plastic, metal and gigabytes.

Well, maybe you aren't wondering, but you should be.

The reason I'm having a love-fest for my mp3 player is simple.


Music brings joy.

The first smile that I've smiled in weeks... my first real spontaneous smile anyway... was in response to hearing a favorite song. The first surge of truly happy energy I've experienced since the beginning of September came the other day as I was walking home and felt like dancing to the tunes filling my brain.

A favorite song, no matter how frivolous, has the power to change an attitude, alter emotion, and brighten an outlook. I have no illusions... I know that music cannot heal the painful place in my heart. Only God and time can do that. But joy is a powerful gift.

But joy is something that I am not willing to live without, even in the midst of grief.

So here's to the crazy mix that I am loving right now... from Atlantic Canadian Celtic party tunes to Broadway show tunes, from retro 80's pop to twangy country, from contemporary Christian melodies to power ballads sung by bad boy rockers.

All is joy... and my friend, joy is a good thing!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Looking forward...

When I was first setting up this blog, I had some pretty big dreams floating around in my head and in my heart.

Or rather, they were little dreams.

Wee dreams.

Sweet, talcum powder scented dreams.

I was looking forward to chronicling and sharing this amazing journey that we were on together, my husband, our little dream-to-be, and I. I imagined being able to save this, and tuck it away for some distant sentimental day in the future, when our family would read it and smile. Maybe even laugh at my extreme cheesiness.

I was looking forward to being tired but happy. To laughing at my body and it's quirks. I was looking forward to choosing paint colors and furniture for what had originally been planned as the office, but now would have another purpose. To sharing these thoughts with close friends and family. I was looking forward to that day when I could introduce our little blessing to the world.

I was looking forward... and we got close.

We were so close to that invisible 'safe' line. The mythical twelve weeks... we were so close we could almost taste it. We had even felt safe enough to start telling people outside of our family. We were ready to invite others to celebrate with us.

Two weeks ago my dream turned into a nightmare. As quickly as our little angel came into our lives, she was gone. No, we don't know for certain that she was a she, but in my heart I knew.

The doctors talked about the percentages, about how this happens to so many families. They talked about the lack of a reason, and the absence of blame. They talked about acceptance and procedures and recovery.

People who mean well talk about how it's likely for the best, that there had to be a reason she stopped developing before she was even two months along. People who care talk about how this happens all the time and remind us that we aren't the first to grieve this loss.

But what do I do with these dreams? I can't pack them away like the sweet little stuffed elephant I found. I can't put them in storage like the stroller and car seat. I can't even bury them in the ground somewhere and mark the place because these dreams have no substance. They are like wisps of cloud that are blown across the sky.

There really is nothing to do with them. So, I must (not so) bravely look forward. I must look forward to the day when I can trust my body. I must look forward to when I can wake up in the morning and not feel this ache so deeply. I must look forward to a day without tears.

I must look forward.