Thursday, October 18, 2012

Capture Your Grief

As you can see, I haven't continued posting the remaining Capture Your Grief posts.  I posted on a few other days, but I have chosen not to continue with this project.  It is just too much.  Grief surrounds us at every angle of our life.  We are part of this "club" no one wants to be in and yet we are stuck. 
There are 3 people I know and am following, 2 of which are babies, who are fighting for their lives.  There are so many hurting people in the world, and I am choosing to focus on the HOPE I cling to--the Hope that one day we will be a complete and united family. 
There were days in this journey that the posts were applicable but there were also days that weren't applicable to me.  I don't have a "sign" that I associate with Callie.  There were posts that I was looking forward to-about birthday/anniversary celebrations and family pictures, but this is the choice I have made. 
It isn't that I don't think about Callie or want to think about her--it is quite the opposite--but I cannot force myself to go back and recount every detail.  It is too painful.  I would rather choose to remember the precious few moments we had with her and not focus on the time I didn't get to have with her. 
I hope you understand, but I'm not sure you will, and that's ok.  You see--this was a journey for me--and it was part of my grief journey.  Of course, I will continue to blog about Callie--but it is going to be on my own terms and in my own time.  Maybe I will keep the suggested topics and post now and again. 
Please, if you ever have questions for me for yourself personally or a friend, I'm always here. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Capture Your Grief-Day 5


We have a shelf that is where Callie's things go. Her picture's are on our walls but this is the place where all of the closest reminders of her are kept. A pregnancy journal that I kept full, her latest ultrasound picture, a baby carriage ornament my parents gave me that Christmas I was pregnant, a doorhanger pillow and bear my sister gave me while I was in labor, a bear that came with her casket, some willow tree figurines that have special meaning to me, roses that were part of the funeral flowers. The most important piece to me is the box that the hospital gave me, with her footprints, lock of hair, baby bracelet and other very personal items. I don't open this box very often.

Capture Your Grief Day 4

Treasured Item
One of the treasured items of mine is this porcelain heart.  It isn't anything fancy or costly.  In fact, if one didn't know the story it might end up on the shelf of a local thrift store.  Yet this heart in irreplacable.  One of my labor and delivery nurses, Dianna, gave it to me shortly after I delivered Callie.  She had been my nurse most of the time I was in the hospital.  She was so kind to us, allowing us time to wrap our heads around what was happening.  Though she was kind and compassionate, she never showed much emotion.  After Callie was born, Dianna came to me with this small box.  She handed it to me and with tears in her eyes, she explained that I could do whatever I wanted with it.  I could keep both pieces or give the small heart inside to Callie or I could give her the larger heart.  She said it was just a small  mememto.  We chose to bury Callie with the small heart in her hand.  So, you see, she truly has a piece of our hearts.  Each member of our family also got a small porcelain stone that has the same small heart on it.  

Capture Your Grief Day 3

After-Loss Self Portrait
I don't have any pictures of the 3 of us, nor do I have pictures of the burial.  I could go on and add to the list of regrets but I won't.  So this is the picture that was taken the closest to Callie's birth.  It was a week later, my birthday.  My grandma wanted to come and "celebrate" with me.  We went to the church where Matt was on staff and put on a happy face, listening to all the efforts to console us.  Some people were very kind and hugged us and loved on us and there were those who just should have kept quiet.  Once I was safe in the car I broke down crying.  I had faced the world now.  I felt fat, had stretch marks, was milk-engorged and wearing maternity clothes but didn't have my baby, because we had buried her a few days earlier.  My grandma was insistent on taking some pictures, which I just wasn't up to--but she was my grandma--so I appeased her.  Thankfully the sunglasses hid my swollen eyes.    

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Etsy Shop Open!!

I just opened an Etsy shop!  I'd love it if you stopped by and looked around! 
Silver Lined Harts Etsy Shop

Capture Your Grief Day 2

Day 2-Self Portrait before loss
We went to Hilton Head for a family vacation in May 2007.  I remember many things from this trip.  It was the first family vacation for my nephew, Owen.  Trey celebrated his 2nd birthday and I made a cake shaped like a car for him.  It was the first time we felt Callie move.  My sister, having already given birth twice, asked if we had felt her move.  I wasn't sure that we had.  It didn't feel like her moving, it felt like hunger.  One time it happened and I grabbed her to feel my stomach.  She confirmed that it was the baby moving.  We were so excited to finally feel it!  (I was 7 months along).  I also remember my nephew, Trey, touching my belly and talking to Callie.  It was a great trip.  Matt and I were enjoying our time together, figuring it would be the last vacation with just the 2 of us.  We also celebrated my first mother's day that year. 
One evening we went into the mall and I slipped and fell on some slippery tile in a store.  I was fine.  I got back up and was irritated with the store for not having a "caution sign" up or at least some mats since it had been raining that day.  I'm sure it had no relevance to Callie's fate but I'd be lying if I said I didn't wonder.  I never brought it up but a few years ago my husband asked me about it.  I thought I was the only one who remembered the fall. 
I wouldn't say that I would go back to this place in time, because that would mean I wouldn't have the blessing of my son and daughter, here on earth.  Yet I look at this picture and my heart hurts.  It is the only picture I have of me, while pregnant with Callie.  I was so self-conscious that I didn't want any pictures taken.  I wish I had celebrated being pregnant more and done all the pregnancy things.  But more so my heart hurts for this young woman I see.  I don't know her anymore.  We are different people but I hurt because I know what she will go through in a few short weeks and she has no clue. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Capture Your Grief Day 1

Sunrise (Daybreak)
The month of October I have decided to be part of a project called "Capture Your Grief".  Each day there is a subject to photograph or post.  Today's subject was sunrise, fitting as the project is beginning today. 
I didn't have a great view of the sunrise.  So I chose to take a picture of daybreak.  It reminded me of the song "Morning Has Broken".  I remember after losing Callie that nightime was the worst.  When I closed my eyes, I re-lived everything.  I was so exhausted yet as night drew near, I dreaded getting in bed.  It was such a relief when morning arrived.  The darkness was gone.  A new day had begun. 
I don't know what I hope to gain by participating in this project, only that I may continue one day at a time, on this grief journey.  Feel free to check out the other people participating:
Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word.
Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I just finished reading a wonderful book from one of my favorite authors, Angie Smith.  Her first book was about the loss of her child.  She was so raw and uninhibited with her feelings and I felt an immediate connection with her.  The book I just finished was about the fears of women.  She was just as real in this book as she was in her first book.  One common thread was that everything we go through has been sifted through God's hands.  He knew before we were born the events of our life.  This isn't a new concept to me.  I grew up in the church and have learned and experienced this many times.  Yet this time it struck a chord in me. 
My Lord knew when I was a baby each and every step I would take.  When I was a little girl and I lovingly mothered all my dolls, he knew I would have to give one back to Him.  When I played "house" in my playhouse, God knew what my house would be like.  He knew it all. 
On one hand that is hard to swallow, isn't it?  Couldn't He stop it from happening, then?  Absolutely.  Couldn't He protect me and let me live a carefree, happy life?  You bet.  But then, that would be assuming we know better than Him. 
So, how do we square the fact that the Lord of the universe allows bad things to happen to us, His children?  I believe that He has used everything in my life to prepare me for the trials.  It isn't easy.  It doesn't make the pain go away.  But it does help me to know that He has a reason and is going to use it for good. 
There is still one thing that makes my heart ache though.  My grandma, Nanny, continues to be trapped in her body while Alzheimer's has her mind.  She has been a faithful servant of the Lord all of her life.  She volunteered years of her life to missions and ministry work.  Yet, now her eyesite is about 95% gone.  She no longer speaks or walks.  To all of us, as humans, her work on earth is done and yet she is trapped here.  It certainly doesn't seem fair.  We long for her to be with Jesus in heaven with a new and perfect body.  It hurts to see her hurt.  BUT......who are we to say that we know better?  Maybe the reason she is still on this earth isn't for her but for us.  There are many lessons we can still learn from her about God and about ourselves.  I am going to have to change my thinking.  It's easy to think "this is what I would do" but we don't run the world, thank goodness. 
Her birthday was last month and I made her a small lovey to hold on to.  Hopefully somewhere in her mind, as she holds it, she is reminded of the love we have for her.  So until she goes to be with Jesus, I have to ask myself, "What can I learn from you, Lord, through Nanny?"  One thing I know is that the Lord saw this and prepared her for it all of her life.  I don't know the reason but maybe I'm not supposed to know. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Another Season

My little guy began Pre-K this week.  We all have been a little concerned about how things would go at his new school.  He certainly has had a lot of changes in the past few months.  He loved his preschool in Georgia and we were apprehensive about a change. 
I'm pleased to report that he has done very well this week!  He has made a couple of new friends (the boy with the blue shirt and the boy with the red backpack), likes his teachers and is learning the new routine with ease. 
I've gone down a trip through memory lane as this new season in his life (and ours) begins.  I think of the apprehension and fear we had throughout his pregnancy.  I went on leave at a very stressful job to ensure that nothing interefered with a healthy baby.  We had a weekly standing appointment with my doctor and each week we would get a glimpse of our baby on the ultrasound.  We had enlisted true women of faith from our church to pray for he and I every day.  And we chose the name Corban (Mark 7:11 says "Corban" was a gift devoted to God) to express how we felt about this child we had anticipated meeting. 
So when things didn't go as expected in delivery, you can imagine our surprise and heartache.  The first news I heard of my baby was from a NICU doctor (6 hours after waiting) explaining to me that he would be in the NICU for a few days, which turned into a few weeks, and then nobody spoke of time after that.  He was a very sick baby and to say that our faith had bottomed out would be an understatement.  This "gift devoted to God" might not make it and we were terrified to be going through this with another baby.  A baby we loved so dearly already and hadn't even held.  Well, you know that he came home eventually.  And despite everything he had gone through was the happiest baby I have ever seen.  He was always smiling, and as I look through pictures, I am reminded of that.  I am reminded of how much joy he has brought us.
Though he continues to struggle with some minor delays, I know without a doubt, that he will rise above it all and succeed.  I am excited to see how he learns and grows this year.  I know it will fly by and next year Kindergarten will be upon us, with all the emotions that brings!  God has been so faithful to us--and I am reminded of that each time fear creeps in my mind.  Corban is so loved.  He came into our lives at such a dark and hopeless time.  Happy 1st week of Pre-K, Corb!  We are so proud of you!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Christmas Tutu Giveaway

Well the giveaway is almost over!  It ends on Saturday, 9/1.  Last chance to get your entries in!  Find me on facebook:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fabric Tutu Giveaway

Everyone loves free stuff.  I certainly do!  It's a wonderful feeling when the mail comes and there is something with your name on it that didn't cost you anything!  That is why you are here, right?  Would you like a free fabric tutu?  Head over to and like my page.  There is a section in the notes that details the rules for the giveaway.  It's that easy!  You could win a Christmas fabric tutu in the size of your choice! 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Silver Lined Harts

There is always a silver lining....isn't there?  To be quite honest with you, I am not an optimist.  I never have been.  I am a realist.  A skeptic.  I don't remember ever believing in Santa Claus or other mythical characters. 
But, though I am not an optimist, I still am a "hopeful".  See my last post if you want to read more.  One thing that has brought me a lot of healing has been sewing.  It ties my past to my present and also to my future.  My Nanny taught me to sew when I was little.  Together, we made a doll outfit that I came across when we were cleaning out her house.  She is now in a nursing home, her body trapped here while her mind is gone due to Alzheimer's Disease.  I have her sewing machine that she purchased and used maybe twice before she lost her eyesight.  I also have a lot of her sewing notions so  I feel connected to her when I sew.  I love sewing for my children, especially all the ruffles that little girls love!  I save every outfit I have made my daughter for her to one day look at and pass on to her children or at least play dress up with! 

I have decided to begin selling some of the things that I make.  I have a Facebook page, , and have named my business Silver Lined Harts.  My heart yearns for the silver lining.  Let me know if you are interested in purchasing something.  I have very reasonable rates and will work with you to hand select fabrics that match your personal taste!  I am excited about this new venture to share my passion with you!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Hope.  It is a driving force in my life.  I honestly don't know where I would be without hope.  A few days ago I read this "Hope is a golden cord connecting you to heaven.  This cord helps you hold your head up high, even when multiple trials are buffeting you....Hope lifts your perspective from your weary feet to the glorious view you can see from the high road."  Wow.  I couldn't have said it better so I won't try.  Hope is what gets me through each day, especially the tough ones. 
I am looking to expand the topics in my blog to include sewing, crafting and cooking.  I began this blog as a way to tell my daughter, Callie's story, and to help hurting people in their grief journey.  It will still be an emphasis in my blog but I want to add other things from my life, too.  Just as there are many dimensions to our lives, grief is only one of those pieces and my blog will begin to reflect this too. 
**Excerpt from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young**

Monday, July 16, 2012

Muffins for everyone......even for Ellie!

     My daughter, Ellie, has been a mystery to me since the day she was born.  Many of you know that she has struggled with many undiagnosed health issues.  I will go into that more another time but to summarize, we are now on a gluten- free, casein- free diet. 
     This has been a huge learning curve for me.  But we are seeing a drastic change and that is my motivation to press on!  I wanted to pass along a family favorite recipe that I recently was able to make gluten and casein free.  Now we are able to enjoy this treat again without the fear of what it might do to Ellie’s little system. 
     Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are a staple in my house.  I remember a few years ago there was talk of a shortage of canned pumpkin.  My Mom, sister and I raided all the stores in case this happened.  The following month the shelves were stocked full.  I heard the same "shortage" claim last year but didn't fall for it again. 
     I made these with our old family recipe and used a homemade gluten-free flour blend and dairy-free chocolate chips.  This recipe is moist and delicious, which is hard to find with gluten-free bread products.  It also freezes well, which means you can make multiple batches at one time and thaw for tomorrow’s breakfast.  We enjoy mini-muffins at our house because they are the perfect size for little hands. 
     Enjoy!  Let me know if you make them and your impression!  I promise you won’t be disappointed. 
 P.S.  If you aren’t on a gluten and casein free diet you can use your regular flour and chocolate chips!  The same amounts of each can be used!  That is what we did in the good old days! 
                           Gluten-Free, Casein-Free, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 cup pumpkin                                               
1 large egg
1 cup sugar
2 cups dairy free chocolate chips                                                                                                     
½ cup chopped walnuts                                                                                                             
1.5 cups gluten free flour
 ½ cup oil                                                          
½ tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice                            
¼ tsp baking powder

Mix pumpkin, sugar and egg.  Add oil and mix well.  Blend in other ingredients.  Fill lined/greased muffin pans 2/3 full.  Bake in a preheated oven @ 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Once they are cool you can pop them in a freezer bag.   It’s that easy!  I will warn you……..these babies are addictive!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Confessions from a not-so-together Mom

I have your attention now, right?  Often we read blogs and Facebook posts and see happy kids and hear stories about funny things that have happened.  It is easy to think other Moms have it all together.  They are raising happy kids, keeping clean houses, fixing healthy and fancy meals .

Let me tell you about my world for a minute.  We moved a month ago for my husband’s job to Canton, Ohio.  We signed a one year lease on a house that we had seen only in pictures.  After moving in we noticed a strong cat odor that is wreaking havoc on my allergies and there are a number of problems (some are safety concerns) that aren’t being addressed by the landlord so we started the process of getting out of our lease.  Long story short, after wasting time and energy looking at other houses we cannot get out of our lease without incurring tremendous expense.  So we are here until next May and will begin looking at that point for a new place to move again. 

My daughter is going through an extreme independent, identity phase.  She dresses herself in the craziest outfits complete with hats or tiaras—no big deal.  The big deal is the attitude and personality that comes to life with those outfits. 

My son is out of his schedule driven preschool environment and doesn’t really know what to do with his time or energy.  We have a loose structure in our house but he needs more than what I’m giving to him.  He wants my attention at all times. 

I know I will miss this one day but right now it just seems that everyone needs me for something different.  I am trying to do fun things with my kids but also have Mom things that need to get accomplished.  I’m going to be trying a schedule in the next few weeks to see if that helps everyone out a bit. 

On top of this we had the new youth group to our house last night for a hot dog roast.  It was good to get to know new people and open up our home.  I enjoy having people over and my kids enjoyed having playmates.  I guess we upset a skunk though because after letting my dog out around 11:30 she got sprayed by a skunk.  So we de-skunked her with ketchup, baking soda and just about anything else I could think of and find in our cabinet. 

I don’t really know what the point of this post is…..other than to confess to you that I don’t have it all together.  There are so many days right now that I need a do-over.  I’m trying to allow creativity and independence while also teaching respect and boundaries to my head strong daughter.  I’m trying to give attention and also encourage independence from my son.  I’m trying to be a good wife to my husband and not take it out on him when all my energy is gone.  Thank goodness tomorrow is Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-Fil-A.  Free food and Chick-fil-a……could it get any better? 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Callie

Many of you have asked how we celebrated Callie's birthday this year.  I like to blog about our family celebration because it becomes a timeline to one day show my kids.  Yet I really struggled this year with the entire day.  We had been talking to Corban about Callie's upcoming birthday and tried to involve him in the planning process.  He was really getting excited!  Thursday night we were sitting at the dinner table and our conversation went like this:  C:  "Where is Callie's birthday party going to be?"  Me:  "I don't know.  Where do you think we should have it?"  C:  "I think we should have it at church in the nursery so Callie can see our new church.  She can close her eyes and we'll yell surprise!"  I left the room at this point knowing that this dream would never happen.  It began to occur to me that Corban wasn't understanding things the way I thought he was. 
Friday was a day of confusion and frustration.  Corban didn't understand why Callie wasn't going to be at her birthday party.  He asked a million questions, as most 4 year olds do, and each one was more difficult to answer than the last.  Each one made us verbally acknowledge the pain and void without Callie.  5 years later and yet still so raw. 
We got balloons and sent letters to her that the kids had drawn.  Corban didn't want to release his because he wanted to save it for the birthday party.  This wasn't the party he envisioned and dreamed.  It wasn't like any he could remember.  I agree.  A birthday party without the birthday girl doesn't make much sense in his 4 year old mind. 
It is at times like these that I question our decision.  Should we be so open with our children about Callie?  Should we expose them to death and dying?  Should we have them go through our "celebration" with us?  "Is it just for us?" 
I've come to the conclusion that it isn't just for us.  To not celebrate her life, though as tough as it is, would be to ignore the profound impact Callie has had on our lives.  Everyone has a birthday and we take that day to celebrate who the person is and has become, to celebrate how far she has come and simply to make that person feel special.  Though Callie isn't with us, she deserves a day that is all her own, to be celebrated. 

I can't make the decision for you as to how to remember your child.  I would just urge you that even when it is difficult to continue to press on.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June Baby

June is a tough month.  There are good things too, don't get me wrong, like the beginning of summer, Father's Day and remembering bringing my baby boy home from the NICU after a month long stay.  Yet I am haunted by the entire month.  I dread the end of the month and all the feelings that surface.  Feelings that are buried and have put on a happy face burst to the fore front.  We always have a celebration on June 29th for Callie's life.  Being in a new town I am already thinking about where to go and what to do for Callie's birthday.  Corban wants to buy her a gift but doesn't know how to get it to her.  We are just kind of stuck for now but will think of something grand before the day arrives. 
This past Sunday was Father's Day and one of our pastors addressed miscarriage and loss from the pulpit.  I've never heard this done before but his illustration was a very good one.  He told the story of how his children bring him Father's Day surprises and tell him to close his eyes and hold out his hands.  He doesn't know what the "surprise" might be (a slimy critter, rocks, candy) but he trusts their mother so he obeys the boys' wishes.  He stated that when we have a relationship with someone we can trust what they do even if we don't know what to expect. 
After losing Callie my friends asked if I was angry at God and how I was feeling.  I admitted that I couldn't be angry at God.  I wanted to be angry with someone--God, the doctor--anyone.  But I couldn't.  How could I be angry at the one thing that got me through her death?  I have often said that I don't understand it.  I wish it were different.  I have so many questions.  But what I do know is God and his character.  That is what I have to trust.  That is what I have to remember.
It was honestly such a wonderful illustration of what I have felt in my heart and have vocalized to a few.  I wanted to pass it along to my friends who have suffered loss and still wrestle with the questions.  I think we will until we stand with our loved ones in Heaven and then all the questions will fade away. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy Birthday Corban!

     I remember this day, 4 years ago, very well.  We were just about to leave for the hospital for a scheduled c-section to meet our son!  My husband and I were cherishing one last moment in our home, just the two of us.  I walked around the nursery as I had done countless times before just dreaming.  This time I was dreaming of a little boy.  All the pink clothes had been taken down from the closet and emptied from the dresser.  Each was replaced with various shades of blues and greens.  I was so nervous.  Nervous I would lose this baby too.  "I hope he is ok.  I hope everything goes well" I whispered.  This whole pregnancy had been stressful.  We saw my doctor weekly, rotating between a high risk perinatologist and my doctor.  Each week we saw our baby on the ultrasound screen and were reaffirmed that he was still alive.  Yet I still could not relax.
We had approached 2 Godly women in our church and asked that they join us in praying each day for our son's health.  Fear gripped me.  "I won't be able to relax until I hold my baby" had been my motto.  Not necessarily full of faith, I admit.  Matt confided to me before we left the hospital that he had walked each morning around in the nursery praying for this little baby.  Trusting. 
     It was an exciting and yet scary morning waiting for the c-section.  The doctor was talking to me during the surgery and I remember letting out a deep breath as soon as I heard Corban's cries.  They showed me a little bundle and as I reached out to touch him, they told me 'no'.  I would just have to wait but now I could relax.  He was here.  He was alive.  So I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Finally, I was getting settled into a room and an entourage came into the room.  Matt.  A doctor.  My family.  Matt's family.  I don't remember exactly what was said but I remember being terrified.  Where was my baby?  Something was said about his lungs hadn't switched over to breathing room air and he would be in the NICU for a few hours. 
     Hours passed.  Some NICU nurses brought pictures to me of my son.  I took him in.  This was my son.  This was what he looked like.  I began to pester my nurse about when I could go see my son.  We had to wait until the anesthesia wore off.  Finally they gave in and wheeled my bed down to the NICU.  I remember feeling so pathetic.  Matt warned me that he didn't look like the picture anymore, he had tubes and wires on him.  I couldn't really imagine what he was saying.  Then I saw him.  There was my baby.  He looked uncomfortable.  He looked like he was struggling.  I didn't like how he looked.  This wasn't what I imagined.  Where was my sweet, sleeping baby I had pictured? 
     This is where our journey began.  Initially he got worse each day.  New machines were added.  Medicines were added.  Mother's Day, 2 days after birth, brought talks of a new machine--a respirator.  I began having panic attacks.  What was God doing?  Hadn't we been through enough?  Hadn't this baby been covered in prayer?  This simply wasn't fair.  I didn't want to pray anymore yet I did.  I went through the motions.  But I didn't believe.  I prayed because it was all I knew to do.  But I didn't believe that God was listening or that He would do anything.  I knew He could.  But I didn't believe that He would.  I was at a very low point in my faith, perhaps the lowest I had ever been.  First, losing my daughter.  But another child?  I couldn't bear the thought. 
     A few days on the respirator and we still were not seeing any improvement.  A few days went by and talks of transporting him to a children's specialty hospital in Indianapolis began.  The doctor would try their last resort machine, a high frequency respirator called an oscillator.  If he didn't turn around in a few hours he would be transported for a very high risk machine called the ECHMO.  How could we be back at this place of losing another child?  Matt called our church and pleaded with them to pray for a miracle, as many others were doing the same thing.  Well, he did turn around that very day.  We still had a long road ahead, but he was alive! 
     So as we begin to celebrate Corban's birthday, I experience a flood of emotions.  I'm reminded today that the same child who I dreamed what his voice would sound like one day is the same child who drives me crazy asking questions all day.  Questions that no one knows.  Hundreds of questions.  Each and every day.
     I'm reminded that the same child who I dreamed what his eyes would look like now are the brightest blue eyes filled with such compassion and sensitivity. 
     This little boy who sometimes doesn't sit or stand still, who runs around the house and has to be told to slow down is the same baby who was on paralytic medicines and couldn't move for the first few weeks of his life. 
     This little boy who had signs hung above his bed that said "no stimulation" is still over stimulated by even the smallest things such as a fly buzzing, a tag bothering him, something in his sock, sandals, holes in ANYTHING and it goes on.......
     But this little boy that wasn't going to live is living.  And my God performed a miracle and spared his life.  And his parent's lives.  We had wonderful doctors and even more wonderful nurses that encouraged us and loved us all along the way.  And somehow this Mom who had no faith and hope has been made new. 
     Happy 4th Birthday to my miracle baby.  You have overcome the odds and I know you will continue to overcome the challenges you face!  You are our pride and joy, my one and only son. 
We love you Corban Boyd Hart!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fresh Perspectives and New Eyes

Anyone who has wanted to buy a car understands this strange phenomenon:  You had only seen this car once or twice and you fell in love with it.  You bought it and now everywhere you look you see it.  It’s as if someone sent out a message to go buy this car and now everyone has it!  But maybe those cars have been there all along and it is only now that you are aware.  Fresh eyes see a fresh perspective.

Loss is much the same.  I’m certainly not comparing the loss of a loved one to a car but it is only after you have experienced loss that you are able to see loss with fresh eyes.  Easter 2007, I was pregnant with Callie and my family had all come to our church for Easter Service.  A young single girl in the congregation approached me and asked if I wanted to take some baby items from her co-worker.  She proceeded to tell me the story of her co-worker whose baby was born without a skull and passed away.  They didn’t want any reminders of the baby and just wanted to get rid of the stuff.  It was really an awkward encounter and I remember just feeling very sorry for this couple.  It was tragic.  After the service we went to lunch and my sister brought up the situation again and encouraged me not to worry about it.  It is so rare.  I honestly wasn’t worried.  I honestly didn’t give a second thought that it would happen to me.  I remember holding the baby in my belly a little tighter that day….but I never thought I would join that club, just 3 months later.

Until I experienced it, I don’t even think that I knew about stillbirth.  Everything can change overnight.  Unfortunately.  One day you are the glowing, pregnant woman and the next you are the “poor girl who lost her baby.”  The awkward run-ins with people who didn’t hear…..”Oh!  Did you have your baby?!!”  Returning the baby stuff and explaining to unsympathetic clerks without losing your composure.   Having your milk come in, and then eventually drying up leaves you with the realization that your last connection with your baby is gone.  Seeing babies.   Everywhere you look.   Those clothes and strollers and car seats……all those things in the patterns you had picked out for your baby.  Your whole world makes you half sick. 

But one day, when you are in a different place emotionally, and everything isn’t so fresh and raw, you realize you have new eyes.  Now everywhere you turn you see hurting people.  You hear stories of loss.  You meet people who have experienced loss.   In another life you would have been saddened by these stories, but now that you have experienced this, you empathize on a whole new level.  You have a bond and a connection that others would not understand.  I am a shy person and don’t typically strike up conversations with random people, but I can talk to people about loss. 

         I have chosen to see my loss of Callie as an opportunity.  I see the opportunity to reach out to hurting people in an effort to help.  I don’t know if it ever works but I want to try.  This doesn’t just apply to loss.  Think of any situation you encounter—divorce, job loss, cancer, abortion—think of the good you can do to help others through similar situations.  Maybe if we all see with fresh eyes the hurting hearts that surround us we can truly transform our world.  Until then I will continue to share Callie’s story in hopes that it touches someone on just the day she needs it!

Blessings to you friends!