Friday, February 18, 2011


I love this idea! Franchesca from Small Bird Studio has created a blog hop. It will be hosted on the 19th of every month. Its purpose is to clebrate hope. The promises, things, people, places, memories, signs, anything that brings us hope.

This week's question:

What small {or big!} miracles have brought you hope lately? I hope you'll share a piece of your journey by joining the blog hop :)

From the start of this grief journey hope is what allowed me to survive. I mentioned it in a post recently. "In those first few weeks my husband and I talked a lot. Planning and talking about the future seemed to help. It gave us a lifeline of hope to cling to." At the time I was not sure it would ever be possible to be happy again. All I could do was hope that someday in the future we would again feel joy.

Our son JJ kept us going. He supplied us with a reason to live when it felt like we had died. When we were expecting JD it gave us hope for the future of our family. He has brought some new energy and lots of additional love to our home. We are grateful and blessed to have him here.

Very slowly over that first year of grief colors started to show through again, aromas smelled sweet again, the taste came back in food...I laughed. At first it hurt to laugh. Then I felt guilty for laughing. Eventually those feelings faded. It felt good to be able to enjoy parts of life again. Although these senses made a comeback none have returned in their original state. It has been 21 months. I hope one day to see the world and its beauty as I once saw it.

"When great souls die, our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us. Our minds formed and informed by their radiance, fall away...And when great souls die, after a period, peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed" -Maya Angelou

As each of these senses returned I worried Janessa was slipping further away from us. I was blessed however to receive some beautiful signs from her. These brought some comfort to me and let me know she is still around me...

While picturing her face a pure white feather floating by me, glancing up when my heart is heavy and seeing an angel and a butterfly in the sky...

...a butterfly flying around us on the beach, a hummingbird flying up to our heads as we broke ground in Janessa's garden, while standing at her grave asking for a sign feeling a warm breeze that wraps around my body like I've never felt before, capturing the faces of babies in the clouds on International Babylost Mother's Day with two other babyloss mamas...(all three of us became pregnant shortly after)...

...thinking of her and in the next moment having a beautiful butterfly knock on our window in the middle of the night...

...a sense of pure peace that fills that my soul every so often. In those moments I know she is close by me. I can feel her. Those moments give me hope that she is not completely gone. She may be gone from sight but not from my heart. I beleive she is in a place far beyond my comprehension. I beleive she can feel the love I send to her each and every day.

I hope one day to see her again. I beleive I will.

I read a quote soon after Janessa passed. It gave me a perspective that I cling to. I hope that one day she returns to my arms. The hope that I will see my daughter again makes it easier to continue on.

"They say that time in heaven is compared to 'the blink of an eye' for us here on this Earth. Sometimes it helps me to think of my daughter running ahead of me through a beautiful field of wildflowers and butterflies; so happy and completely caught up in what she is doing that by the time she looks behind her to see if I am there...I will be."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Baby Shower

On December 5th my mother hosted a baby shower for me with the help of my sweet friend Julie and cousin Jen. It took me a long time to decide whether or not I wanted a shower this time around. You can read about that here. But in the end I came to realize that JD's arrival was definitely something to celebrate. I worked very hard through his pregnancy to grasp at the joy amongst all the worry and stress. We had so much taken from us and I didn't want to continue to let joy be sucked away.

It was a great shower. Good food, great company, games and wonderful much appreciated gifts. We are still stocked up on diapers and wipes for atleast another two months.

A special treat was that one of my friends in real life, Amanda, who was also expecting her rainbow baby was able to make it. (You can read her story here.) We attended the same school and played field hockey together as well. And for kicks here is a throwback pic:

I am #11 & Amanda is on the far right. My cousin who helped with the shower is #14
Amanda and I always got along but were never close. In late February 2010, nine months after Janessa died, I learned her daughter Stella had just passed away twelve days after birth. Even though we had not spoken since high school except some brief FB interactions, I shed many many tears for them upon hearing the news. I knew the pain they were feeling and I was so saddened that she had embarked on this journey of loss. I reached out to her shortly after. Since then we have kept in close contact and it has been nice to be able to talk to someone who understands 100% and that I also knew before Janessa's death. My shower was the first baby shower she attended since losing her daughter so I was touched that she was able to come. Here we are with our bumps.

I am ecstatic to announce her rainbow Eleanor arrived on 1.25.10.

Isn't she adorable?
Even though this shower was for me it was only the second shower I went to since losing Janessa. We attended the shower of my husband's godson last summer. I could never have attended one for a little girl and would probably still struggle through one today. I was a little overwhelmed at first and it took a good hour for me to relax enough to enjoy myself. I am not sure I hid my uncomfortableness very well. In the end I had a great time and we are so grateful for all the wonderful items we received for JD.

My cousin got me a beautiful pandora bracelet with all 3 of my children's birthstones. I am always so touched when anyone remembers Janessa and includes her. Her boyfriend also got us one of the most delicious cakes I have ever had. It was so cute as well.

I appreciate all the work that was put into the shower. Thank you ladies!

            My Momma and I                                    My cousin and I

Somehow Julie managed to escape the photo op! But here she is helping me with the gifts.

I did have two other helpers as well. My niece and son :)

I finally finished up some thank you cards and would like to apologize for them being sent out so late to everyone. Just know I was so happy to see those who came and it meant so much to have you all celebrate this little miracles arrival. I truly believe that each baby that makes it here safe and healthy is just that...a miracle.

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