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"Between big and little..."

 Monday, July 20, 2015

My sweet little Bailey, 
I see you across the room.  Sitting in your chair coloring the pages in your coloring book.  I see you looking upon your task with such fury, purpose, and passion.  I see you pouring all you have into that one piece of art. How you get so excited over choosing just the right color to fill between the lines. How you bite your lip with such a look of concentration. How when you are finished with your run over to me with pride shining so much from you that when you smile it reaches your eyes....with a grin you say "Look Mommy!" 
I see you on the playground.  Climbing.  Swinging.  Jumping.  Sliding.  I see you giggle as the water splashes up at you when you jump in the puddle.  I see you try to hide under the very large bridge.  I see you try to run into the green field and enter into your pretend play. I see you gazing at the larger slide....contemplating in your head whether you should take the risk. Choosing between the safer slide and the unknown fear of the larger one. Ultimately, you choose the smaller slide....over and over again...all the while looking at the large one....wondering. When right before we climb to the top....hesitate....big breathe....and then giggle all the way down. Overcoming your fear of the unknown. 
Oh, dear sweet innocent Bailey.  I see you gaze into the distant horizon.  Looking, pondering, and mesmerized with this life.  I see you ponder all that happens around you.
I see you try to brush your own teeth.  I see you try to dress yourself.  I see you helping yourself to food from the fridge. How you step on the inside of the refrigerator and try to get sweet tea out you love so much. I see how you open the door to the laundry room all on your own and grab your favorite color juice. 
I see you.
You’re growing.  You’re growing up.  You’re growing out of your baby skin.
And then, I see you.  I see you stumble on the stairs on the front porch.  I see you skin your knee on the sidewalk.  I see you use way too much toothpaste for your own good. 
I see you.
You’re still little.  You’re still a child.  You still need help.
But, you don’t know it.  You’re somewhere caught between big and little.  You’re caught between growing up and being a baby.  You’re caught somewhere between running fast and snuggling tight.
Oh, my dear sweet innocent Bailey. How I want to sit and show you a movie of my life back in the old fashioned form, with the speckles of light and gray and white.  To show you, in life’s urgency, all the lessons there are to learn. How I want to protect you from this world.  But, instead, I sit and watch.  I see you.  Living life.  In it’s fullest.  Living life for the ups, for the downs.  And I am proud. And envious. You see my dear sweet Bailey, you teach me on a daily basis that life consists of the small joys. That running through the sprinkler is whats its about.  I fear that as you get older that I will forget to enjoy things. I cherish this moment. Somewhere between big and little.


"How do you celebrate a life that didn't get to live?"

 Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"Grief is strange....

It's Unpredictable.

It never fully goes away, but comes in waves that just get spaced further apart over time. 

Grief Changes...."

The Mamas who had walked a mile in my sorrow, they told me to expect the extra heart weight and heart ache on my due date…and when any of my girlfriends announced a pregnancy…and when a friend gave birth to a baby…and on the anniversary of my baby’s death.
And those sweet grieving Mamas, they were correct. All of those occasions hurt, some more than others.
But nobody prepared me for what it would feel like on the day I should have been hosting my baby’s first birthday party or the weeks leading up to it. That party would have been "should have" been in two weeks. 
If you have known me for any length of time you know I’m all about my babies’ first birthdays....or really all birthday's for that matter. Birthdays are my the one day out of the year that we get to celebrate your life. We get to celebrate you. But the very "1st" birthday is something special. Every other birthday is all about celebrating the child, but the FIRST birthday is about celebrating the child’s mama, too. Because we both “made it” through the first year. That first year feedings and burpings and snuggles and growing pains. All those milestones that flood life one after the other. The first birthday is a chance to celebrate all of those hard and wonderful, irrepeatable things....
Unexpectedly, this month has been full of grief for the child I lost, for the little one whose first birthday would have been in two weeks. Not being able to host a first birthday party reminds me, I suppose, of all the milestones and memories I do not share with my sweet girl…all the things we didn’t get to experience together.
It’s a strange sorrow, because even as I yearn to know and hold the baby I lost, I fully realize that my sweet baby girl is playing on the streets of Gold awaiting the day that we can play together. And so it makes my sorrow for my Little One in heaven all the more…confusing. Strange. I don’t know how else to describe it.
This last Sunday in church was our Homecoming. As a church we remember all of our past members and loved ones that have passed....and we light a candle for them. Oddly enough, I was asked to stand up front and light the candles. After all the names were read...the congregation was asked if there was anyone we had missed. In my heart I wanted to speak up and say yes....but something held back the words...and instead while standing in front of the congregation and lit a candle....a candle for the baby girl that I so longingly want to hold in my arms. 
I sat down in the pew and grief settled back in my heart. The grief that I have fought so hard to overcome. 
My sweet Bailey turned 3 a couple weeks handsome Khristian turned 14 last week....and I was supposed to be getting ready to celebrate my 1 year old...
So how do you celebrate a life that never got to live? Do you eat cake? Do you take flowers to a grave that doesn't exist? Do you release a balloon? Do you light a candle?
I feel like I should do something...I want to celebrate her life. This is unknown territory for me....I always make a huge deal out of my children's birthday....but again, How do you celebrate a life that never got to live? 
I don't know right now....what I do know is this...
Don’t let anyone tell you when the hard times will come. Yes, it may be extra hard around the baby’s due date or anniversary of death. And then again it might not be hard for you. Either way, it is fine to feel any and every emotion that you do. But know that sometimes your grief will come and knock you over, completely by surprise. The “red-hot jab of memory” will seer your heart and consume your thoughts. And that’s okay too. Life is hard, and so is remembering the ones we’ve had to let go.
 Sweet Little One, you have my heart forever. And I miss you


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