Tuesday, September 11, 2012

After the Storm

Dear Harper,

It has been a while, I know. It's just that after I sent you birthday wishes I have been solemn in my thoughts for you. Not withdrawing but pensive. My birthday was just a month after yours. It is hard celebrating my birthday without you, and your sister takes a toll as well because her birthday is just the day before mine. This year I turned 30, and decided that I would try my hardest to make the best of my 30's.

In celebration of my birthday we went to see Mumford and Sons. To the innocent bystander this seems like a normal birthday proceeding but it was anything but. It was heart wrenching, beautiful, healing, a torrent of emotions inside me. Their music had been my saving grace on days I felt I couldn't cope.

Standing there and watching the opening bands I was getting pumped to see Mumford and Sons but the second that I heard the beginning of Little Lion Man I began to cry, tears flooded my eyes. I turned my phone on and videoed the set because I couldn't see and I didn't want to miss it. Your daddy cried too. It was such a beautiful release as we stood there on the waterfront watching them pour their souls into their music the way we poured our souls out to it.

After the first song we collected ourselves, we watched, we danced, we took pictures, we hugged and we enjoyed ourselves...never resting during their hour and half set. I felt so lifted and happy watching them. I ached for you to be there as we stood watching what has soothed my aching heart for months on end. They played old stuff and new stuff but a song was missing...THE song was missing. The Cave.

I was heartbroken as they said goodnight to the crowd and walked off stage for the 2nd time that night. The first was only to replace instruments broken during a song. This time it felt like they were done and I was at a loss. I was left wanting....needing to hear the cave. I guessed that the iPod would just have to do when we got back to the car. But something told me not to budge as we watched many start heading to the gate.  I wanted to hear The Cave and I wasn't leaving because I had a feeling.

Your daddy and I stood there and watched an empty stage with thousands of other onlookers waiting for the same thing we were waiting for. I felt my heart warming as I watched them file back out to their fans. The sound filled the air as I heard the music start and I was ready...I needed this.

I released all my feelings and cried freely as I stood there watching and hearing, feeling almost out of body as it wafted across the field. I heard nothing and saw nothing but that song, I felt free in that moment. Free of pain for just that five minutes. In that moment I knew for sure you had followed along with us. It was cold that night, overcast and a bit misty but my heart was warm.

I love you sweet Harper. You gave me the greatest birthday gift anyone could ask for, a release that I had needed for quite sometime.

I miss you my little darling...more than you could ever know.



It's empty in the valley of your heart
The sun, it rises slowly as you walk
Away from all the fears
And all the faults you've left behind

The harvest left no food for you to eat
You cannibal, you meat-eater, you see
But I have seen the same
I know the shame in your defeat

But I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again

Cause I have other things to fill my time
You take what is yours and I'll take mine
Now let me at the truth
Which will refresh my broken mind

So tie me to a post and block my ears
I can see widows and orphans through my tears
I know my call despite my faults
And despite my growing fears

But I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again

So come out of your cave walking on your hands
And see the world hanging upside down
You can understand dependence
When you know the maker's land

So make your siren's call
And sing all you want
I will not hear what you have to say

Cause I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it's meant to be

And I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Birthday Wishes

Dear Harper,

My heart breaks on a daily basis. It is an ache so intense that you feel you might implode on yourself. You forget everything but the pain. I flash to your beautiful face, so perfect, so angelic. Death would have been a welcomed relief in those hours. Remembering my heart hitting the floor when I handed you back for the last time, knowing I would never see you again but also knowing it was time to let go. In that moment, actually feeling your heart shatter into a million pieces, knowing it would never be whole again.

Flash forward two years, where has the time gone? How has it been two years since I laid in the hospital knowing you were not coming home with me, not in a way that I wanted. I wonder about the what ifs and who you would be.Would you have my curly hair or would you have straight hair like your daddy? Would you have blue eyes or green? Pigtails or not? All the things I see in my dreams.So many unanswered questions about you and who you are.

I have spent the last two years learning who I am without you. Learning to live with a piece missing from heart and soul. Learning how to walk tall and call myself your mother.  Giving myself wholly and loving more freely because I wanted everyone to know your love. To know the love of a child, never wavering, always constant, and completely unconditional. I stand up tall and strong, proudly saying your name. Showing people that it is possible to move on even without healing.  I have tried my hardest and even with my foul ups I think I am succeeding.

If I had one wish for your birthday it would be to show you the world, the love that fills it just for you. I try to experience that love for you. I try to see everything with new eyes for you. Experience everything for the first time for you. I am not dwelling on your death, I am relishing in your life. The taste of the icing on a cupcake, or licking the spoon after making brownies. The joy that is your sister beating on the pots and pans with spoons. Her ripping everything out of the drawers. It is all beautiful and it has been the most magical experience to see if from the eyes .

Of course if I had my way there would be a million and one wishes that I would have for you. Showing you the world, showing you a life of joy and meaning.  Watching you race across the yard with your brother and sister. Instead, two years have flown by before my eyes...two long and heart warming yet heartbreaking years. We released balloons today, as always, with letters to you and we watched as they were snatched from the sky into the heavens by your tiny hands. A sight most beautiful.

I stand here before you, my heart never healing yet learning how to live without you in my world. Signs of your presence come often and I always say "Message received sweet Bean, loud and clear." I know you reach to touch us and show us you are okay and they always come through, received with loving and open arms and for that I thank you.

You are such a beautiful girl, showing me how to live. I want to live every day of my life to make you proud to call me Momma. Every day that passes is one day closer to us meeting again, though I want to make sure my life is rich on experiences to share with you.

I am living, breathing proof that even when things don't heal, they are bearable, become easier to deal with. My heart still aches daily for you, but it is out of want and need but I can wake up and get out of bed because I know that is what you would want and need from me. I thank God every day for the gift of life so that I can make you proud sweet angel. My hope in life is to succeed.

Happy Birthday my sweet little Harper Bean. I want nothing more than you to know my love.

I love you and I miss you.

Love always & forever,


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Loving, even when I am broken

Dear Harper,

I've been sad lately. Really really sad. That's the only way to describe it. At first I thought it was  your approaching birthday, which that plays an integral role in all things in my life but it was just something I couldn't put my fingers on, I couldn't grasp what was causing this gaping wound of sadness deep inside me.

It's the intense need to be loved. It's the intense need for time to slow almost to a halt. Birdie just turned one, where is the time going? Your baby sister loves more intensely than I have seen in a while. Your big sister and brother have amazing hearts and would give you all the love in the world, but there is just something about her, a love that emanates from her like light from a bulb. 

When I was young I hid the part of myself that loved openly, I hid my heart away from those who could damage it. I cut throats and asked questions later, I thought that was how you survived and it worked for me for a while. After you, it's all about the give and take. It's about giving yourself wholly to someone when they need you and expecting that they will be there when you fall. I have never had many people like this, and after you, I gave my heart away, I loved freely and trusted freely. I still only let few in, I count them among my family.

Today, I sit here before you and the only word that can describe me at the moment is broken. I feel broken, like a chunk of my heart and soul is gone. I've made mistakes that possibly will never be forgiven. But it makes the pain no less. I still love openly, freely. I admit my faults here. I am but a human and all humans make errors in judgement.

When you fall in love with a man, you tell them they are your best friend but the truth is, a friendship with a woman is much more than all the things you tell your significant other. A friendship that is not based out of physical attraction is of more importance. You tell this person everything, you confide in them, you lean on them, you love them more openly and honestly and more intimately in ways that are different from that of a spouse or significant other. When these relationships end they leave you more raw and wanting that a break up. They rock you to your very core, they put your body through a whole different type of grieving experience than the standard "break up" or divorce does. I have had my fair share of those typical boyfriend break ups. I have never had someone that I loved so wholly leave me like this. The grief I am feeling is almost as much as I felt when I lost you.

I feel exhausted, I feel like someone reached in and ripped my heart right out. I find myself mourning this loss, like an extension of my body has shriveled up and died. I finally felt like I was breathing again, like I was starting to learn how to live without you. I have laughed harder and loved more intensely than I have in a long time but then like a smack in the face, this bomb drops right on me and I am left standing in the middle of the disaster zone picking up pieces. I am at fault for this, I understand completely but it makes the pain no less. I don't understand how to process these feelings.  It is moments like this realization that I am almost thankful you didn't have to go through all the hurts, pain and struggles life can throw at you. I would have loved for you to know the love and joy that can be found here, like Heaven on Earth but I would not want you to have to suffer the sorrows that are wrecking me right now.

I am me, still standing here, breathing even if only barely. You can take me for who I am or you can leave me. I love wholly and freely for those who are worthy of it. I protect my friends like they are my own, flesh of my flesh. I trust too far, I love too much and I give to often, but that's me. You can take me or leave me, but even when you leave me, when you look in the rear view, I'll still be standing there.

I am thankful you will never have to go through this. I love you Bean. I miss you.

Love always,


Monday, June 25, 2012

The LBD Part 2

Dear Harper,

Things have been crazy but please know that I have not forgotten you. You are always in mind, especially as July comes nearer. I took a hiatus from writing, waiting for the words. You know I don't want to feel forced.

I wish you were here. You've had to watch from afar all the things you should be here for. Your sister's recital just happened. It was her first one, and what she wouldn't have given to have you there. You were there in spirit though, I felt you there.

I was rushing around the house all morning. I snatched Brianna out of bed and rushed her to Sammi so she could get her hair and make up done for recital. We had to be there no later than 12:30 so we were on a time crunch. Her hair and make up were so beautiful but I was still in my pajamas! We walked in the door, pulled Brianna's first outfit on and I went to get my hair and make up together. I only had 30 minutes to get ready.

Your grandma bought me a dress to wear, a cute black and white dress, shoes to match. It was going to be perfect, only when I put it on I felt miserable. I looked in the mirror, scoffing at the image looking back. My hair was good, my make up was as good as it could get for the rush but something was just off about the dress.

I quickly made my way to my room, to dig for ANYTHING else to wear. I tried on shoes with the dress Grandma bought but was still not happy. I put on a hundred things with it and just nothing suited me. I didn't want to even go at this point, I had 5 minutes to get dressed and out the door. I sat on the edge of the bet, almost pouting, almost sobbing.

I stared at the closet begging it to give me an idea, ANY inspiration. And there it was...the little black dress. I shimmied out of the clothes that I had on and quickly slipped it over my head. It was a bit loose but I felt wonderful putting it on. It clings to all the right spots, loose in all the others, gives me a nice neckline. It fits perfect. I had to wear flip flops with it because my heels were nowhere to be found, turns out that it was perfect.

Nothing felt better than walking out the door in that little black dress. Grandma eyed me suspiciously but she understood when I gave her the look. We took our seats at the recital and it was almost as if I could tell you were there watching her, giving her the confidence to get on stage.

The last couple of weeks and the next couple are the hardest ones every year. Life without you has gone on in a way but there is always a spot where you should be. An emptiness that can't be filled. My heart has this shadow where you fit, and while you're there it's not the way I want it, but is it ever?

Thank you sweet Bean for pointing out that dress again. I miss you, I love you.

Love you Harper. Always and forever. Until we meet again, I will keep writing.



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Her name is Karen...

Dear Harper,

I went to spend last Saturday with your Auntie Karen. I have been needing this time with her for a while, she always has a level head, calm, cool and collected, unless there is a spider involved and then it's any one's guess as to how she may behave.

I have been lonesome lately, which is crazy because our house is so full, full of people and full of love. So crazy hectic that it is hard to be lonesome. I have been lonesome as in I miss my second daughter. My heart is aching for you. It seems so incredibly true that the closer your second birthday comes the more lonely I feel in the pain and misery I am experiencing. Distractions are offered, but none work. I needed a day with Karen.

I took your sisters with me and we met Karen for coffee. I have missed coffee, I got a drink I hadn't had in almost a decade, it was so sweet and delicious. The perfect setting for my time with your aunt. After the hour or so over coffee my heart was still heavy and there were things I needed her opinion on so we went to a near by park, while your sister played I aired my grievances, I teared up, I explained my heavy heart, I laughed...oh it felt so good to laugh in her company. My heart was feeling lighter by the minute. The sky opened up and few drops of rain fell, it was like you were weeping with me on Saturday...like you needed a good cry too.

Your big sister needed to go potty so we went to Karen's house and I was able to unwind on her porch and just mellow for a moment. Few words were spoken as we watched Brianna tip toe through the yard bringing us all the things she found. We laughed as she spied on the neighbor boys, and as she swatted mulberries with a stick. Your baby sister sat in my lap making all kinds of faces and noises to make us laugh. It was nice to stew over the conversations we had in the quiet of her home. 

I have very few people that I am as close to as I am Karen. She is my "person", she knows me better than I know myself and she can feel it when I am aching inside, usually calling me on it with a text that says "Are you okay?". She is the big sister I never had, one of my oldest and dearest friend, and I feel lucky to call her that. And when writing doesn't work for me, when crying in the bed doesn't work for me, when your daddy's or Nana's shoulder doesn't work for me, a Karen hug does. It almost as if she helps to validate my emotions, to let me know that my gut instincts are correct, she always has a good idea on how to handle them and how to move forward. She is Karen.

I wish you could know Karen, to know of her love. She loves your siblings like her own, she loves freely for you all. I wish you could know a lot of things, I wish you were here sweet Bean.

I miss you so terribly much, I love you even more than that.

I love you little Bean,


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Little Black Dress

Dear Harper,

Sunday your baby sister turned 11 months old. How can this be? I was just holding you, I was just about to turn 28 and now here I am, about to turn 30 and you would be about to turn 2. Life is flashing away before my eyes. My friend Sarah in Texas said she calls it "2nd year blues" and I think she is right. Her son, Max and you share a birthday.

Sunday was also International Bereaved Mother's Day and it was River's birthday. My heart was laden with love and prayers for Deanna that the day would be easy on her.  What a day already...We were going to spend the day with Sammi & Mallory for our standing date Sunday. I got in the car to go and "She Talks to Angels" by the Black Crowes was on the radio...fitting.

Our friends, Elisha and Daniel, welcomed their second child into the world on Sunday as well, sweet baby Mason. I had gotten the text that her water had broken before we left to go to Sammi's but she was having trouble with labor stopping and so on. I thought it would be Monday before he was born,I was determined to go see her when he was born, that's what friends do, they see each other when their babies are born...they see each other when they die too. Daniel came to see us at the funeral home instead of a hospital with you.

I was looking for something to wear to the hospital. I had been with Sammi & Mallory all day, I had on my old sweat pants and a ratty t-shirt, unacceptable to wear to the hospital. My jeans were in the laundry and it was turning out to just be one of those days where none of my clothes were fitting right...it was a sweat pants day. Sammi was keeping the girls so I could go down and see Mason (and his momma) and I had to find something to wear.

Your daddy sat on the bed in our room watching me filter through everything in the laundry basket and everything in my dresser, even my yoga pants were dirty. I finally gave up and went to the closet, I thought I might be able to find something in there. I did...I found a hefty serving of heartache.

As I was slipping my fingers over the hangers and moving them from the left to the right looking to see what I had that I could wear to the hospital I saw something black in the very back that I hadn't remembered seeing there all the countless times I looked in there. I move everything to the right so I can pull it out, wondering what it is, only to find that it was the dress I wore to your funeral...a little black dress.

The dress had been purchased, I remember the day I bought it, with the intent to wear to your baby shower. We were doing something elegant for you, something like a tea and I wanted to wear a nice dress. It hung in Kaden's closet forever, because I was living in his room while you were in my belly, I wasn't allowed to do stairs. I bought it the same day that Mom bought the invitations to your shower. So much hope, so much intention.

I held the hanger up, the dress hangs solemnly off of it. I turn it and look at the front and back as tears fall down my face. It was like watching all the intentions of that little black dress fall to the floor. The song "Lightning Crashes" by Live was running through my brain. I felt it through my whole body. I hung the dress back in the closet and stood there, staring at it. My heart was beating sporadically because I wasn't expecting something so small to do so much to me...but then again you were so small and took my heart.

Sunday, it's a day of rest, and for me it was a day of mourning, a day of rejoicing, a day of sorrow and a day of joy. That little black dress left me in a daze and thrown for a loop...I cried all the way to the hospital to see Mason.Second year blues seems so fitting...

Terrible twos aren't just for babies anymore are they?

Time goes on and I can breathe, and I can function without but Sunday...the grief just washed me in a stain of black...a veil of grief. I love you Bean, I miss you so much.

Love always,


Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Dear Harper,

It's funny, we are approaching 22 months since you left my arms. You would think that the longer you are gone the easier it would be for me to live. That's not the case,  I am fearful that I won't remember your smell, your face, you tiny hands and feet. I am fearful that I will forget what you felt like in my arms.

These fears make the pain magnified. It makes my chest want to implode because it is hard to breathe, it hurts, it makes my heart work twice as hard to beat. It is in these moments when I hold my head up and realize that I can move on, that the fears are invalid. I look at pictures and see your face. I can hold your blanket when I  need to remember your scent.  It is forever engrained into my soul, the way you smelled. Like newborn baby, before a bath and that standard pink baby lotion combined to make the most heavenly smell, your scent. Yours and yours alone. None of your siblings smelled like that, it is only you. I forget often, just how light you were in my arms. I see the tiny clothes on the wall in my house and remember just how small and fragile you were. Life flashes before my eyes, all those moments with you played out again, my heart stops, even if just for that moment.

I let the tears fall freely for you. To stop them makes the pain worse. To hinder them is like trying to hide my love for you. The more days that pass the more those fears arise in me. I really thought things would be easier this year and they are not. I think it is because I am watching your baby sister do all the things you should be doing. I am overjoyed because I get to be excited for her milestones, but also saddened because I am missing yours.

I wanted you so bad. I want you before I knew I had you. I loved you with every ounce of my being the moment that test said "pregnant". I loved you while I laid in the hospital, in labor with you, knowing you weren't coming home. I love you still, I love you like you are here. I am so scared that I am going to forget all of the things from your birth. All the pain, the heartache but also the joy because you were so perfect and beautiful.

The fear of forgetting makes the pain ten fold. You won't ever let me forget though, you are always here by my side, in the good times and the bad, you are here, never letting me forget how much I love you. I see you everyday in your sister's smile, or Birdie's giggle. I love you Bean, never forget that.

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.

I love you, always & forever.


Monday, April 30, 2012


Dear Harper,

My heart is heavy today...not totally sure why, I know it's because I miss you. I know it's because I want you here with me.

I am missing you and it makes me hurt so badly. I am hurting for little baby Leah who has been fighting for her life since her birth, and it's a daily battle to keep her here. I watch her mom and dad constantly find strength to carry on. I watch my news feed on Facebook for new pictures of her because she is the most darling little girl. I watch them suffer and it makes me hurt for you. It makes me long to hold you again. It makes me want to reach out to hug them but I know can't because they are so far away.

I think it could also be because there is a mom in Texas fighting for twins' lives. I am hurting for her because I don't want her to suffer the pain I know all too well. This pain is not one I would wish upon my worst enemy. Here I am, nearly 2 years later, hurting still. This is not something I want for Diana or twin boys. I prayed for her this morning, and I have thought over and over today that I wish I could send you to her, to watch over her until her babies reach 24 weeks. I don't know her, but I cried for her because I have been where she is right now. We kept praying to just reach 30 weeks and you would be delivered and tiny but you would make it.It takes a strong woman to hold hope like that, to be an advocate for someone you have only known through wiggles, kicks and heartburn, but then again it so easy to advocate for someone you love. She is so brave for what she is going through.

I read an article about a baby who was born with a disease that will kill her before her 2nd birthday, or so they say. Her story made me sob uncontrollably because I could not imagine holding you in my arms knowing that you may die at any minute. How strong are they? They are Hercules in my book.

Before you lose a baby you never hear much of it, it is so taboo to talk of such things. After you lose a baby you hear about it all the time. I was so shocked to see how many women in my community, women that I went to school with are wearing that same pair of shoes that I wear. It is not a club I wanted to join, but I was chosen to join.

Sometimes, when I am sitting here my chest gets tight while I try to write these letters. My eyes well up with tears. I ache for your, to hold you, to know who you would have been. It's a heavy, the loss of a baby, the loss of a child. It is like a pair of concrete boots that weigh you down but let you continue on in life.

This weekend is my friend Deanna's charity run & ride for her son River. I am guessing you know River, I think you guys brought us together so we could support one another. There are no accidents in things like this, everything is planned, sneaky little kids. It makes me smile when I think about the things you get in to while waiting for us.  I want you to be there for her too, she will need you all to hold her up, she will need your wings.

I hate asking so much of you baby girl, but I know you know who needs you the most.I will send all the prayers I can. I always say them in your name. You do so much good for someone so little.

I miss you so much that when my tears fall it feels like my heart is breaking for you all over again.

I love you Bean,


Hearts for Diana
Princess Leah's Story
River's Run & Ride Rally facebook event
River's Rally Website

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Silver Lining

Dear Harper,

It is hard to believe that 21 months have flown by so fast. Where has time gone? Each day it is a little easier to breathe, each day the steps I walk are easier to take but the wound is still open and oozing. That will never change, no matter how many beats my heart has left in it.

I think when I started this blog people thought I would write to you everyday. Sometimes I feel guilty about not writing everyday but sometimes the words just don't come to me, they feel forced and that's not what I want. I want every word I type to you to come from heart. I want you to know that I mean everything I say to you.

I am so lucky. Not luck in the sense that most people take it but rather Blessed. I feel that way a lot. I feel blessed that I have a home, I have healthy children, a wonderful husband. I feel blessed that storms pass by us without damaging our home. I feel blessed that your sister and brother have a good school to go to, that your daddy has a job. I feel blessed to have you. Even in heartache, it is better to have had you than not.

I see so many people complaining about how bad things are for them, how they need this or that to make it better, how one little thing didn't go their way so they want to just say screw it all.  That bothers me because they just don't understand how much worse it could be. They don't understand the bigger picture, does that tiny minute thing make so bad? Even when things seems to be going exactly opposite of what I need I always try to find the silver lining. If you don't you are going to spend that moment in the dark and not see the beauty that can come from it. Beauty will rise.

Why do they not see that even when you are at rock bottom there is always someone who has it worse than you? I thought I might die because it hurt so bad to live without you. I wanted to die because I had to live my life without you. I couldn't think of anything worse, except if something were to happen to Kaden or Brianna. I did not want to go on without you,  and then I found another blog on here written by a man who lost not only his child but his wife too because a drink driver hit them. That was torture. He was surely ready to die too. I knew one thing for certain, He was definitely battling more demons than I.

I believe that all things happen for a reason. It may be the cheesiest thing for someone to say and the very last thing someone in my shoes wants to hear, but I believe it. I didn't WANT to be the one in a million with you, I didn't WANT you to die but it happened. Looking back upon it, 21 months later, I see that someone HAD to be the one in a million, and God (or whatever your high power is) chose me because he knew that I was strong enough to come out the other side of the storm a stronger person. Even though this is not necessarily the path I would have chosen I feel like it has made me a better person.

I choose not to complain about all the little dark corner, the big long dark hallways but rather rejoice in the light at the end of that hallway, the flicker of a flashlight in those corners. You, my sweet little bean, have made me look on the bright side, you have made me a glass half full kind of person. You, while leaving me wounded, have made my heart better.

It is amazing how that tiny set of feet left such huge imprints on my life. I will never be the same.

I love you Sweet Bean,

Love always,


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Your daddy....

Dear Harper,

Today is our wedding anniversary, daddy and I have been married for nine years. It's hard to remember life before I met him. It's funny how we forget things that didn't hold a lot of meaning.

Daddy and I have had our ups and downs, our sickness and in healths and definitely our for better and for worse. I know there will be more to come because nothing is ever as perfect as we want but I feel like as long as I have him I can conquer the world.

When we got married it seemed the cards were stacked against us. A lot of people really didn't think we would make it to our first year. We were so broke and a lot of "they are too young" came our way but we didn't let it get to us. We worked through it all.

Over the last nine years we have fought, we've been mad. We've laughed, we've cried, we've smiled. In the last nine years we have created 4 beautiful children. You changed not only me when you were born, but your daddy. You taught him so many things.

You taught your daddy how to love deeply and how to be grateful in the moment for the blessings he has been given. You have taught him how to let go of the little things and how to handle better the big things. It has been amazing to watch him over the last 21 months morph into the person he is now. I loved him with every fiber of being then and I love him even more now.

Your daddy was a rock when you died. (Today typing that word make my heart feel like a hand is around it choking the life out of me.) He cried, but only when he thought I wasn't awake or when I wasn't around. He stayed steady and strong for me. He held my hand, even while his world was falling apart around him, he stayed strong for me. He took care of me, making sure I ate everyday, making sure I bathed and changed clothes at least every other day. He took care of all the things I did that honestly he was unsure of.  He had help with your brother and sister but he managed them too.

When we went to the funeral home the night of your memorial, he held my hand and allowed me to take the time I needed to walk in there. He held my heart in his hands as it shattered all over again looking at your tiny urn on that table. I wasn't supposed to be there, you weren't supposed to be there. You should have been in my belly and I should have been at home but we weren't. You and I were there in that moment, in that funeral home, I felt you all around me but I couldn't have stood up with out him by my side.

He rubbed my arm after the service and he let me know it was okay to let out a sigh of relief and sit on the pew after everyone had dispersed. I remember he laughed a little and let me know it was okay to smile when I said "Thank God that is over." It is so unbelievably hard to sit in a room filled with people feeling sorry for you. He waited with me for the 30 minutes or so after everyone left before I was ready to go, and he never said "let's go" or anything. He knew that I needed that time, because a lot of those people were at the house waiting for us to arrive. What is it with funerals and people convening and bringing food to you?

He held me every night as I cried myself to sleep in your blankets. I was always afraid they wouldn't smell like you after a while and I would never be able to smell you again and he reassured me as I put them in your memory box for the last time.

He encouraged me as I put up your pictures in our house, and backed me up when others didn't think it was "healthy". What's not healthy is not acknowledging that you were alive to begin with. He kept me busy when I missed you the most, and he would just let me babble on for hours about whatever non-sense was coming out of my mouth.

The truth is, I believe that your daddy is my soul mate. I know he is. I believe fate brought us together.  I believe in happily ever after, even if it isn't all happy all the time, I believe in love at first sight...I believe that I have that with your daddy. He is my knight in shining armor, he has rescued me so many times and so many times from my own faults.

He is one the most forgiving people I know. I know that he loves me with all of heart and soul, and not just because he tells me but by his actions. I would have taught you that actions speak louder than words and I never got to. Your daddy is great with this, his love speaks volumes by the little things and after nine years it is a lot about the little things.

They say you either marry your mother or your father. I never believed that but as I get older I realize that I did. I think my dad, your grandpa, is a great man, a strong man, a fighter for things he believes in and loves, and a man of values. These are also things that I find easily in your daddy. Your daddy has a strong heart and a strong will (like your grandpa, he can be very stubborn.) And I know your daddy would fight for me in an instant. He would give everything and more for his family.

He is an amazing man, and I think a lot of it because of you.

I love you Harper.

Love always,


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

the gift of laughter

Dear Harper,

I cannot begin to tell you how much I miss you. There are no words to put together to write down the emptiness and sadness that fills a spot in my heart where you were supposed to be. But then again, I cannot begin to tell you how much I love you, some things just aren't meant to be put into to words. Your death was so profound that it left an ever growing love yet an ever growing sorrow in my chest.

Then there are days like today, it's so sunny and so bright. It makes my heart light and happy. These are the days I miss you most, I miss the sound of what would have been your laugh. Our house, I like to think, is one of laughter. Sure, we have our days just like anyone, when we are not so pleasant to be around, but we are pretty easy going and fun people. I didn't want to be mad over you because I love smiling and I love laughing and so I chose that. I chose to be happy that I even got to know you.

I bet you would have had a sweet little giggle, a quiet cackle. I bet you would have done things to make my sides split with fits of joy. Even though you left a gaping wound, you left us the ability to find laughter again. I watched a video of your brother from a few years ago and giggled so hard I was crying. It was a moment lost until today when I watched it for what felt like the first time, even though I had seen a thousand.

I blog for your older sister and there are days I have a hard time writing them because I am laughing so hard. She says things you just can't make up. I get to smile when your little sister splashes me in the bath tub or giggles because I sneezed funny. I can giggle at things my friends talk me in to doing, like asking all of my friends to send me a dollar for my birthday. It is a fabulous thing you have done for me.

I think I laugh more now, since you, than I did before you. You made me realize just how precious each and every one of those moments are. My house may fall down around me, and I may have laundry piled to the ceiling but I know what is important above all else because of you. You gave me a gift of almost slowing time. Even though it is not truly slowed, you made it so for me.

Never again will I take for granted your big sister climbing out of her bed for the thousandth time to give me a "huggy" or a "kissy" because those are moment cherished, laughter shared as I tuck her in again.  I am sitting here, the house is all dark save for a lamp on the desk beside me, your baby sister tucked in the swing swaying back and forth with just low breath sounds coming from her, and I am giggling as I write this. It has reminded me of all the funny things that happened over the course of a lifetime.

I am replaying moments in my head and giggling quietly. Several times in the short letter I have been doing the silent body shake as to not wake your sister. Maybe it's because my heart is light in gratefulness for you. Maybe it's because I am tired. Or maybe....

Because of you I can laugh a little longer, and save the dusting for tomorrow because we never know how many breaths we have left. You have given me the gift of laughter back, and there is no way to repay you for that.

My never ending love little bean.

I love you,


Monday, March 26, 2012

Have you ever seen the rain...

Dear Harper,

I was driving home on Saturday night, it was late and you see I had just gone to get Brianna from Aunt Julie's house. It was a sleepover gone awry, your big sister was homesick so I drove the half hour down to get her. Aunt Lee went with me because daddy was already in bed asleep and I hate driving by myself and it was a half hour drive each way. We listened to my iPod on the drive and it was all fun, bouncy, loud songs (and some of your baby sister's baby Einstein stuff.)

On the way home I turned it down low so your sister could doze in the car. I dropped Aunt Lee at her house on my way home and I turned the radio up slightly. Your message was coming across loud and clear, I love when that happens. As I turned the dial up just a couple of notches the song ended and the next began...Tears in Heaven. I smiled a little smile. *Thanks baby girl* I whispered in the quiet dark. This was, of course, one of the songs I played at your funeral. (It still feels unreal to type those words...at your funeral.) We played Somewhere Over the Rainbow too, it just seemed fitting for you. I let it play through, these songs no longer make me cry but smile because of how much I love you.

As I crossed the railroad tracks and headed toward our house the song changes again. Have you ever seen the rain....the words pierced my ears.

"'Til forever on it goes through the circle fast and slow,
I know, and it can't stop, I wonder.

I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know, have you ever seen the rain
comin' down on a sunny day?"

Tears burned my eyes, by this time I was sitting in my driveway, it was almost midnight but I couldn't turn the car off, I couldn't just turn this song off. It was so much of how I have felt in the last year and a half, so much of what I was feeling in that moment.

I realize now, why when the stages of grief are pictured it is done in a circle. It never ends, you are just at different stages at different points. At that moment in the car I felt myself circle through all of them again. I hurt so bad in the 3 minutes, I longed for you. But in that moment I knew that you are always with me.

I had experienced the calm before the storm, I had seen the rain. Everyday, as I look into your brother and sister's faces, I see the rain comin' down on a sunny day

I miss you Bean, and I love you even more.

Love always and forever,

I wanna know...have you ever seen the rain

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Dear Harper,

My friend Keri seems to have said it best when she captioned a picture of her rainbow on facebook "The love I feel for you always seems to be multiplied by two..."

When I look at your baby sister I feel this way. I feel all the love I have for you plus the love I have for her. Looking at her makes me so thankful and then I get even more thankful that I was given you, even if only for a brief moment. 
I find you everywhere, in every beam of sunlight trickling into our house, in the quiet laughter of your big sister and her friends. I find you in the explosion of toys your baby sister leaves in her wake.  I find you in the sparkle of your brother's eyes. You are there and I feel love that is multiplied by two. 

I find you in the storm, you are a guiding light to get me through. I find you when things go just right, or when I am running late and need a parking space, you are always just right there as my ever loving, guiding hand. My heart swells, and often as do the tears. You are there.

I find you in the breeze as it whispers your name, I find you in the leaves rustling the same. I find you in pennies in parking lots, and I find you in the clouds in the sky. Every where I go, you are there and my love is multiplied by two. 

Even though you are not with me I find you in everything. I find you in my joy, I find you in my pain. I find you in the sun and I find you in the rain. And though you are not in my arms, I find you in my heart. 

I love you Bean.



Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there... I do not sleep.
I am the thousand winds that blow...
I am the diamond glints on snow...
I am the sunlight on ripened grain...
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you waken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of gentle birds in circling flight...
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry—
I am not there... I did not die...

Monday, March 19, 2012


Dear Harper,

I need to talk to you, I need to tell you about grief, about my grief. I recently saw a picture that was the stages of grief. It supposedly comes in seven stages.
  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Guilt
  6. Obsession
  7. Acceptance
I can vividly, just as if it were yesterday, remember the moments of each of the stages as I passed through them. Denial was immediate, they told me your heart had stopped beating and in words that I will never forget the doctor, as he ran the ultrasound wand over my belly that still held you looked at me and said "It's not good kiddo." I denied every moment that was happening to me, you were still alive in there, just sleeping. Ashton Kutcher was going to pop around the curtain any minute and punk me. He was lying to me, why would he do something like that. I felt my heart break into a million piece, it is a moment when I stopped breathing, I stopped living for just that speck of time. You were fine and I was going to have you in my arms in October...deny, deny, deny...isn't that what addicts do? I was sure this was just some horrific dream...it wasn't.

Denial seemed to pass very quickly though, apparently my mind is one of action, and all of a sudden as I was slowly trying to make the proper phone calls all I could do was try to bargain with God. I asked him to take me, you needed to live. I begged, I told God that I would do anything for you to live. Bargaining was taking place for the next several hours. I bargained anything and everything that I could think of just for you.

Then as they wheeled me from one room to my private room where I would labor to have you, bargaining left. They gave me medicine to ease the pain and it didn't help. They gave me medicine to induce labor, and after everyone left the room and all was quiet God and I made a bargain, while the bargain I would make would not bring you back to me, it would allow you to live on forever because I wouldn't let anyone forget your name. I asked God to bring me through this pain, I asked God to allow me the strength to make peace with your death. I bargained with him to help me so that I could help others. I decided I would not live in anger from your death, but peace so that I could help others going through the same losses that I was enduring.

It took almost 3 full days for me to be in active labor to deliver you. There weren't a lot of feelings in those 3 days because the hospital and doctors kept me so well medicated that I am not sure that I knew totally what was going on. But then you were born, your sweet face was there for me to look at and the depression set in. I held you and I was proud just like when your older sister and brother were born. I showed you off to my family and a select handful of friends. You were BEAUTIFUL. But I had to give you back, and I would never see you again, not here in this life anyway. I wanted to die, I wanted to curl up and die. I was sad and the medications they gave me didn't work. I laid in bed for days, I only had days to be on my own because your daddy had to go back to work and so did grandma and grandpa. It was the summer, I had your big sister and brother to watch after. I was still very sad, I laid on the couch and let them destroy the house without a care in the world. People came and went and I am not sure that I even noticed. Your sister had a birthday and I don't remember it..I was depressed and I was a non-existent mom in that time.

You were born July 12, 2010 and your memorial service was on July 15, 2010. I laid in bed, on the couch, wherever I could and always in my pajamas for almost a month. But then it was time for Kaden & Brianna to start school and it just snapped me out of it. I threw myself into volunteering for Brianna's class and that helped. It helped me start getting my body back into shape, and getting out of my funk. I still missed you terribly but I was feeling okay.

Anger came in between depression and guilt. Every time I saw on the news someone who was mistreating a child I would go crazy. I was angry because I knew someone who didn't take care of herself while she was pregnant, she smoked, drank, and did drugs but she got to go home with her healthy baby. It made me angry I had to give my baby to God while she did nothing good for her body  pregnancy but her baby went home healthy.  I would NEVER wish the loss of a child upon even my worst enemy, but I was angry at how unfair it seemed to be. I know stillbirth does not discriminate but I was angry that she didn't seem to want her child like I wanted you and she got to keep her baby and I had to give you up. I had to hurt for you, I had to spend my life without you and that made me mad.

Obsession really set in when I came home. Your sister and I were in the hospital for a week after her birth and I was okay while I was there but when we came home it was just me. I stayed up all hours of the night, watching every breath she took. I watched every little thing she did. No blankets, no heavy sleepers. I would sleep during the day when someone else could watch her so I could be up all night with her. I didn't obsess over your death, just found something to shift that obsession over to. It took 7 months before I would let her sleep with me watching with a blanket. The obsession made my body physically tired, you could see the lack of sleep all over me. I obsessed over every little thing with her.

She is now 9 months old, you would be 20 months old. I have accepted that there are things I cannot change about life. I have accepted that I am a baby loss mom. I have accepted that while I will never heal from this wound it is okay for me to live my life. I accept that I may not understand everything, but I do know everything does happen for a reason. I accepted that you are not here with me in this life but we will be together again one day. It has done a great deal for me because I feel like since I have accepted your passing, even without full understanding, that I can celebrate you in a better way. I  have taken your death, moved forward and never let your name be forgotten. I stand here as a shoulder for other bereaved parents, an ear for their cries. And I'll never let you be forgotten. 

I accept that you are my angel, and I feel okay with that. I miss you but I am okay.

I love you sweet Bean.


Monday, March 12, 2012

just a letter...

Dear Harper, 

 I know it has been a week or more since I wrote last. I just don't want my letters to you to feel forced. These words that I write, they come to me on their own, they come from my heart and if they feel pulled it just won't be the same.

I have had a heavy heart, missing you so intensely lately. I am not sure why but it comes just as quickly and easily as the sun sets and rises. I hold your sister and long to hold you again. My heart has openly ached for you this past week. I think about you all the time, and when I stare into your sister's sleeping face I miss you. 

 People say things like "Time heals all wounds." or "It has to be easier now that you have a baby." but the truth in the matter is that those things are false. Time has not healed, nor will it ever heal the open oozing wound that your death left me with. A piece of my soul is forever gone with you. There are days that the pain of losing you is still so raw and new that it feels as if it just happened, then there are other days where the wound is just a dull aching pain. Time does one thing though...it passes.

It has been 20 months since you left my arms, so small and frail, yet so incredibly perfect. There is not a day that passes that I don't wish I had more time with you.  Your sweet smell burned into my brain, and every now and then when I am thinking about you I can smell you. 

If there is one word that does not describe me at all it would be skeptic. I believe in the forces of nature, and the forces of spirit completely. I believe that you are able to "visit" if you will, with us and let me know you are okay. I have always believed in the supernatural and a person's ability to commune with spirits. It started about 5 days after your memorial service, I still find it hard to believe it was MY child being memorialized. I had not read your obituary, I was reluctant because it made it so real. They laid on the wall separating the kitchen from the hallway for a week or better. I finally decided that I was going to read what was written about my sweet little love in the paper and all of a sudden our entire house was filled with your scent. You came to let me know I would be okay, you knew then what I needed. 

In the past 20 months, when my heart is aching in such a way, you filled my head with your scent. It is a scent that only you could have, so different from your sisters' smells. Brianna's is sweet like candy and Harlie's is almost floral but yours is just a hint of sweetness, and almost metallic. It is what you smelled like as I held you close for those few hours, it is what your hat & blanket smell like. I keep them tucked away but when it is exceptionally hard for me to breathe without you I open your cedar chest and hold them close.  

How has it been 20 months? I don't understand how the world can keep moving without you in it. How have I had another child and you don't know her? There are so many things I need you to know, so many thoughts I have for you.As I laid in the hospital, in labor with you,I thought about the choices I had, that I could let this rule my life forever and I could be mad about the hand I was dealt or I could pick up, try to mend the pieces of my broken heart and move along. 

I chose to let it strengthen me, to not let it define me but become a part of who I was in my life and to let it lead me to help other women who have suffered this travesty in their lives too. You have brought me to some of the most amazing women I have the pleasure of calling my friends, Corin & Deanna to just name a couple. They know you, they love you the way that I do and they know the suffering that is child loss. 

When my heart aches to hold you, I call upon those women who know this ache so well. They are there to hold my hand in a way only they can. So 20 months have passed, and I ache from this open oozing wound proudly calling myself Harper's Mom. Even in my weakest hour, in my misery, in my pain, in my tears, I am proud to be your mommy. You have taught me so much with so little. 

I love you Harper Bean, I miss you even more.



Thursday, March 1, 2012

Angel Kisses

Dear Harper,

 I am not sure that this note will be terribly long but I need to tell you thank you.  I know it has been a few days since I have written but I am compelled tonight, as the wind is blowing gently through my windows and your siblings are snug in their beds, to write you a letter of gratitude.

Yesterday your sister went in the hospital to have a routine procedure done, just placement of ear tubes. But the way I see it, there is nothing routine about a routine procedure when general anesthetic is involved, things happen...things do go wrong. You are my proof of that. 

YOU, now.
I held on to you all night the night prior, and just prayed my heart out that your sister would be safe during surgery. I thought about it non-stop until my body was so tired that I just passed out. I believe this was you tucking me in so I didn't worry anymore. You know what I need and when I need it, you are just ever present and all knowing. This saving grace you gave me on Tuesday night was more than I could have asked for, Thank You Bean

Then my alarm didn't go off at 4:40 AM like it was supposed to but some how by the Grace of God, your daddy woke up before me and woke me up on time. He was the calm one and I know he was just as worried as I was but you were his ever guiding hand telling him that things would be alright. You are always there, just long enough to guide us through the storm. He made sure that I had finished everything the night before, he even made sure we had a bottle just in case, and your favorite toys. He was able to calmly load your sweet baby sister into the car and help me get there in the rain when I forgot my glasses. Thank You Bean.

When we arrived at the hospital and I registered her it said I would owe a $275 copay that I didn't have but some how, I no longer had to pay it right away. It just kind of went away and again, I knew it was you just showing me you had my back in all of the worry. 

We were whisked upstairs and the surgery check in person, Bonita, was so sweet and calmed my nerves, just asking if we needed anything and what your sister would want to drink after she woke up. Then I blinked and we were in the surgery prep room, a teeny tiny hospital bed with rails that came up and turned it into a crib. My heart was heavy, because I know how badly things can go in the blink of an eye. All of the what ifs were swimming in my head. But nothing was intimidating your sweet baby Bird. She laid there as they took her blood pressure, and her pulse/ox levels, and measurements to make sure she got the right amount of medications. She just smiled and babbled the whole time, no idea what was coming. 

I knew it was getting closer as they  brought in a tiny but oversized hospital gown for her, it was white with green animals all over it and it said "lions, tigers and bears, oh my!" all over too. She let me slip her out of her pajamas that had been so warm and snug on such a nasty rainy & stormy day. My heart was clenching and the nurse said "We are going to take her for a test run to see if she is okay going with us, if not we will get her anti-anxiety meds." I knew you had wrapped your tiny hand into hers and told her it would be okay because she willingly went with the nurses and smiled as she looked back. You kept her calm so she didn't need any more medications,  Thank You Bean.

I didn't cry as I watched her being taken away, I wanted to but I felt a gentle squeeze on my heart, and a relief in my mind, that said all was going to be okay, and with each breath those what ifs disappeared. Twelve minutes passed after they walked out of the room with, only twelve and the nurse came in and said "She did great!, and Dr. Brown will be in in just a moment." Twelve minutes, a coincidence? I think not. Dr. Brown came in and gave us her ear drops and said her ears were still very bad but she should be on the mend now. She went out quickly and was already beginning to wake up. In the doctor's words "She did beautifully." Thank You Bean

Post Op Nummies
Ten minutes after that we were taken back to see her. She was there in the teeny tiny hospital bed with one side of the crib railings up and her lungs were letting everyone know just where she was.I immediately held her, whispered in her ear that I was there and daddy was there but you were there too. We were told to be prepared that she would not act normally when she first woke up, that there would be a lot of screaming and crying but it would subside after 2-4 hours. This was not the case, I calmed her and she gently sucked her binky, and then daddy wanted a turn. He was able to feed her and she fell asleep in his arms just as if she were wanting a nap. And then I saw it, a few tiny glimmers on her forehead. Hmmm, what could it be? It was glitter you left behind when you gave your sister reassurance with your angel kisses. They were not there when she went back but they were there when she came out. You wrapped her in your arms and took care of her when momma couldn't...Thank You Bean

Just 5 hrs post op
Seeing that glitter on her forehead, smelling your smell wafting off of her, I knew that it was you watching over, guiding her and telling her not to be scared. You made sure she was safe and you carried her through for me. And for that I cannot thank you enough my sweet love. We are home now, and she bounced back so quickly, I am sure you know that because you are on her side watching every step (or scoot) she takes. She woke up from her nap smiling and cooing just like she had been the day before just 5 hours after surgery.  It is amazing, I know you know that though. Without you I couldn't have her, so Thank You Bean.

I hate that I only got to know you for 25 weeks and I am missing so many things with you, but I love that you gave me her to help ease the pain, and you are here with her. I know you are always watching over us and when my heart aches for you I know that you are just a blink away in my dreams.

Thank You Bean.

I love you,


Friday, February 24, 2012

After the storm...

Dear Harper,

Time is going so quickly since I had children. When I was younger it seemed like "life" would never get here, I was going to be 7 years old forever. Now that I am an adult all I want is for it to slow down, to take a minute, to breathe. I want an infinite amount of time.

I need a minute to breathe. I always need a minute when I talk about you. At first my eyes water and I try to continue and then my voice cracks and I choke. It's not because I am ashamed to talk about you, but because some days talking about you takes every ounce of energy and every fiber of my being...I get sad, I am at a loss for words and saying "I miss you" just doesn't cover it. 25 weeks didn't cover it, I had a life time of words, hopes and dreams for you that just got shattered the moment your heart stopped beating.

Lately this happens more than not. I look at your baby sister and see her growing and I long for the moments I missed with you. I never got to hear you say "mama", she says it kind of drawn out.. "mmmmama" and only when she is mad or sad. Every other time it is "dada". I wonder what your little voice would have sounded like breaking the silence at 3 AM. It's the little things that get me more than anything. You forget all the little things that you would have missed because you are so focused on the big ones, like birthdays and such. I have a constant reminder of the little things, her name is Harlie Bird. I am thankful for those gentle reminders of the small things. Would you have been a booty scooter or a backward crawler?? Would you like veggies or fruits? Would you like grape juice or would you like apple juice? All the little things.

Last night severe weather moved through our area and I had the windows open in the house because yesterday was so incredibly beautiful for this time of year. The wind was blowing gently into the house. I love that smell, the smell of rain on the wind, the smell of a quick shower blowing through with lightning flashing in the background. I was thankful for the windows being open. Your baby sister was sleeping in the swing just next to the window and it made me even more thankful for her.

A lot of women call the baby they have after a loss their "Rainbow Baby". I figured this meant the wish that was "somewhere over the rainbow" but that's not the case. In fact it means  getting through the storm, there is always a rainbow after the storm. And last night as I watched the lightning and smelled the rain I was so thankful for the beautiful mess you left in your wake.

You have made me more thankful for the little things in life. You have given me an appreciation for all the things I would have overlooked, like messy feedings and extra messy bubble baths. Because of you I relish in these things. I take the time to BREATHE, I take the time to be thankful for everything I have been given in life.

It's a funny circle, I miss you so badly that I can feel my heart breaking and it makes me thankful for everything I have, all the small things and it makes me thankful to have known my sweet Bean. You are perfect in every way because you made me open my eyes, to see the beauty that is a messy floor & dirty diapers. The wonderful in a screaming baby at 3 AM. You have given me the power to know when a relationship needs to be nutured and when it needs to be let go. You gave me a set of sisters that are truly amazing women, and you made bonds with other baby loss moms for me. You have made me a stronger woman, and while everyone has faults (I know I do.) you have made me a better person.

I have so many people that I know I can talk to, who know exactly what it is that I am going through because of you. And now I have this amazing gift you have given me, to write you letters. There are so many things I have left to tell you.  It is amazing how something so terrible can bring so many together. We are all united in broken hearts.
I am forever grateful for the things you have given me....even if it is just the small things. I am so grateful for you, my sweet Love. You have breathed new life into me, you have given me great purpose. You have given me great love and a deep appreciation for the things I have in life. I have so much gratitude for you, even amidst the pain and tears there is so much to be grateful for. When I have a bad day I just remember my love for you, and the beautiful disaster you left behind. It made for a beautiful rainbow.

I am thankful for you...never forget that.

I love you sweet Bean.


"May God give you...for every storm, a rainbow.  For every tear, a smile. For every care, a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for every prayer" ~Irish Blessing

Monday, February 20, 2012

A sister is a forever friend

Dear Harper,

I am compelled to tell you about your sisters. You only had one when you were born but now you have two beautiful sisters in your life, or what would have been your life. 

Your sister, Brianna, was so very excited that mommy was going to have a baby "lizard". She was only 4 when I found out I was pregnant with you and was going to turn 5 just a couple of months before your were to be born. As little as she was, and not understanding things when "it" happened, she is is a very intuitive little girl. She remembers now being only 5 months away from 7 years old. She holds me when I need to be held and she snaps me out of it when I am in a daze dreaming of holding you again. She is beautiful in every way, even when she is at her worst. She has this cute little nose, and you had it too. You looked a lot like her when you were born. Her almost almond eyes that are as big as moons, you were even going to have her little gap in your teeth (which you get from your momma), I saw the ridge in your gums. You had her long "piano player" fingers and I am not exactly how you all got long fingers because mine are short and stubby. You were beautiful just like Brianna...just breathtaking.

Your sister was so cute when you were in utero, she wanted to share her room with you, her bed with you and was even willing to maybe share a few of her stuffed animals with you. In her eyes, you were being born to be her best friend because at 4 she didn't have one yet. She helped me pick out clothes for you and we would buy them and hang them in "you all's cwoset" as she would say. 

There are days I look back now and think that I might have known your tiny feet would never grace this Earth. I had an urgency about EVERYTHING. We told our friends right away, we even gave your grandpa the test for his birthday just a mere 24 hours after I took it. We wanted everyone to know about you as soon as possible. Your grandma said she would buy the crib for us and I had it picked and waiting for her. It arrived and rested under your sister's bed until we found out if you were a boy or girl. I bought clothing for you because I just didn't want you to be naked, we bought diapers and wipes, and burp clothes. Everything we would need for you. There was hardly anything to register for which I didn't want to do...odd, I wanted to do it with your brother and sister. In all of my preparing I wanted to find a "big sister" shirt for Brianna. I would always find darling ones and I never could bring myself to buy it. 

It was almost as if there was a tiny hand holding me back saying "wait" because I knew if I bought it that she would want to wear it and it would make me have to explain that while she was a big sister that she wasn't really. I wanted you to myself, I didn't want to share you day in and day out. I wanted all of you to stay right with me. I was afraid I would lose pieces of you. These were all feelings that I had before I learned that you grew your wings early.  A sense of urgency to let the world know you existed but an extreme need to keep you to myself. These are the feelings I recognize as knowing you weren't staying. 

Then just a short 7 weeks after your death, there's that word again...death, I found out that that we were having another baby. I panicked, it was ugly because it lasted so long. At 16 weeks we found out that we were having another girl and I was excited because Brianna was going to be a sister and I was going to get to tell her all about her big sister in heaven. I panicked the whole pregnancy, even rented a heart doppler so I could check on her any time I wanted or needed to because I was fearful. It was a long pregnancy and I was so thankful when she was born. I knew you were there looking over her. 

She knows about you, I tell her all the time. She is beautiful & perfect and always happy! She has worn everything that I bought for you and every time I put something on her I get teary eyed and tell her it was her big sister Harper's. I think you gave her a touch of your personality, or what I think you would be like. She is only 8 months old now but she is going to know who you are because I'm going to make sure to tell her.

Sisters are forever friends, Harper. I have no blood sisters unlike you but I have a couple friends who are my sisters without being blood related. They are always there to catch me when I fall, to hug me when I cry, to knock me out of my funk when I am down. I can always count on them for a laugh, and to catch my tears when they fall. They are my sisters, my forever friends. Your brother and sisters call them "auntie" because they are my sisters.

 I could not have survived without them...I would have dried up and become nothing without their help, their friendship, their sisterhood. Not even your Super Daddy could have fixed the aches, pains and broken things they did. Your daddy pieced back parts of my heart only he could, but my sisters pieced back the rest that only that kind of love and friendship can. Your Auntie Lee raced back to hold me when she was in Flordia. She held my hand and was my rock when I needed her, she caught hundreds of thousands of tears and cried with me when I mourned you. Your Auntie Karen reached out with her ever loving arms and embraced me in a way only she can do. (Thanks for urging her to come back to Kentucky...I really do appreciate that!) And your Auntie Holly, she held my hand, she cried for me but never with me because she was placed here to be my stone of strength. These are women that I am not sure how I could survive without everyday because they know me, they understand me and they still love me even with all of my faults.

I often find it hard to remember my life before having kids, and like that, I find it hard to remember my life before my sisters came into it. They have just always been there, just like your brother and sisters. Always there for me, walking the rough roads and the easy right beside me. I love them, and it's a bond like no other.
These are my forever friends, my sisters. They love you, Harper, in only a way they can. They miss you as much as I do, and even cry for you just like Mommy does. Sisterhood goes beyond death into eternity and these are things I need you to know. That when your sisters cross over to meet you, you will have a bond like no other with them. This is one of the greatest blessings I could have ever given you. You gave me the blessing of having another daughter and bringing me even close to the women that God brought me as sisters.  

I love you Harper, to the moon and back. 


Friday, February 17, 2012

By Grace Alone....

Dear Harper,

I have never been much of "group share" kind of person. I don't want to sit in a circle and say "Hello, My name is Sarah and I lost a child." The whole concept of that was foreign to me when you died. I knew right away that I couldn't benefit from that, and it would only sadden my heart further. I did join several online support groups where we could just basically blog or status whatever we were feeling and there were a million hands just like mine stepping up to virtually pat my back or hug me. I never really posted much on any of them, still don't even though I am still a member. Mostly I comb through the stories and I cry at almost every single on I read. It is a release that I need and some would say that it is torturing myself to do this but I need it. I need to know that I am not alone in this grief, and more so that I am not crazy for crying at random.

More therapeutic than that though is creating. When I was in college I was an English/Journalism major. Writing has and always will be one of my strong points, though as the years pass and the distance between me and my college years grows further I am noticing more in my grammatical errors. It used to be a pet peeve, now it seems I just pound away at the keyboard to get it all out, punctuation mistakes and all. Writing has been so incredibly releasing for me. I get to talk to you whenever I want and I can tell you all the things I need to make sure you know before my time comes. There is no urgency here though, I can tell you slowly or quickly, whatever my heart is feeling at the moment.

Not only have I found an outlet for my pain in my letters to you but in creating something that came years before you were even a gleam in my eye. I have been making accessories for little girls since your big sister Brianna was a wee tot. Only recently, when you were found lurking in my womb, I started painting. When I read that back it seems funny to say it that way, I started painting...it makes it sound like I am in the Sistine Chapel and painting works of Gods on the ceilings. Nope, not me, when I started painting it was just some unfinished wooden letters, more importantly, the letters H, A, R, P, E, and another R.

I found out on June 3, 2010 at 12:30 PM that you were in fact the girl that I had suspected, that the Chinese gender chart told me to expect and what your daddy had said not moments after that test turned positive. I had the perfect name for my Bean, Harper Lynn. A beautiful name for a beautiful little girl that was going to be here in just a few short months! Your daddy immediately took me to the craft store so I could buy letters to paint for you to have hanging above your crib. I had bought Brianna's first set but knew that I could do it because nothing out there suited my tastes for you.

I started my project the night we came home with the funky retro letters and the hot pink paint. I primed and then base coated them. Brianna had dots on her letters and I just didn't feel like dots suited you, you needed more. It came to me exactly what I wanted and the paint began to flow on to them. You would have the pink letters with white daisies. I felt like you were a free spirit...little did I know, huh? I finished them that night, and your daddy hung them the next day right over your crib. They were perfect just like you.

In the weeks following your death (again, a funny thing, to see death in a blog of letters to my daughter) I moved the letters to the living room so I could see them all the time. I displayed your birth certificate and foot prints along with a handful of black and white pictures of you. Above your pictures was a tiny plaque that read "By Grace Alone..." I was so unsure of what it meant but I knew it was perfect there. Also in those weeks I found it difficult to do anything, I quit working on the bows and stuff that had kept me wildly busy while I was pregnant. I let it all go for a while but then I found out that I was expecting your sister and I knew it was time for Grace to take me where I wouldn't lose my sanity. I began creating again. I made hats and named them after you, Harper's Haute Couture. The bows had been named after Brianna for some time and I thought it was only fair to name that part for you since technically you wore the first hat I ever created. But it was also time for more.

Over the course of the 38 weeks I was pregnant with your sister I began painting letters again. I painted for friends and for people who loved my bows and loved the pictures they saw. I painted letters for  A LOT of nurseries. I realized how releasing it could be for me. I painted polka dots, striped, but never flowers. Flowers were left for you. I redid your sister Brianna's letters once I found out that the rainbow baby we were expecting was another girl. Hers were with butterflies and Harlyn's were with tiny birds, still no flowers. It has been 19 and a half months since you passed away and there were no flowers on letters until tonight.

girly and something you would be proud of.

It made me realize what By Grace Alone meant as I put the final touches on Faith's letter and it can be summed up in one statement...
 You will never let me forget that I am always protected by Grace Alone. I love you Harper, and I am glad that you will always know that. It grows more and more everyday.

Thanks for my flowers tonight, you always seem to know what I need. So much like your brother.



The funny man is also the lover.

Dear Harper,

Today I feel the need to tell you about your big brother. Ah, what a lover. He wanted you from the moment that we told him we were having a baby. He wanted a sister, not a brother. He knew he could protect you from day one, or at least he felt he could.  He was so young yet so incredibly wise for his years. We told both your  brother and your sister about you very early in the pregnancy.  I had a sense of urgency in the matters that involved you. 

We told him about you when I was just 6 weeks pregnant. We showed him a picture of a baby at 6 weeks and immediately he chimed up that he was going to be a big brother again. And he said you looked like a bean on the ultrasound and so you became His Bean.  Your nickname will always be Harper Bean because of your brother. His bean.

He told all his friends at school. He talked to my belly, and rubbed my belly trying to connect with you. You knew it too, the moment I could feel you kicking and squirming which was early because I knew what I was feeling. Every time he spoke a word while I was in the same room with him you started wriggling all over the place. When you were having what I called a "quiet day" all I would have to do it call for him and he would tell you all the things he was going to teach you or he would read you a book and you would just jump like the little bean that you were. 

Your brother is wise beyond his years, what we here on Earth call an old soul. He has always known just the right thing to say at just the right time. In the days following your passing I remember his sweet baby face crawling into the bed with me and saying "It's okay Mommy, you did your very best but Harper is in heaven now and she is all better." How did he know that I needed that? He is so smart and so sweet. In the 19 months following your passing he has guided me with short bursts of wisdom like these exactly when I need them. I believe in my heart that sometimes your hand is gently guiding him to these things. He is so in tune with my soul. 

Kaden sending you a balloon on your first birthday

Your brother is a funny man too. I married your daddy because he was a funny man and I guess he passed the torch to your brother. I wish you knew him and all his crazy jokes and antics. The other day we were driving in the car to school and a song that was played at your funeral came on. (Funny thing talking about MY child's funeral, doesn't seem real or that I am at a point in life where I could lose a child.) I was tearing up but he was in the back so he couldn't see my face but he could read my body language, tightened grip on the steering wheel, head in a lower position that normal, shoulders rolled forward. See he is so intelligent in reading me. And out of the blue I hear his beautiful voice carrying to my ears, not an "I'm sorry you are sad" or "It will be okay mommy" but I hear "Just so you know, you should never play the name game with the word truck." So with a giggle on my breath and the tears subsiding I ask him why. He coolly responds with "There's a bad word in it". And I giggle some more. These are excerpts from the Kaden's Book of Knowledge and we are labeling that one #22. He knows when I am in need of a good laugh and that's why I married your daddy, he always knows when I need a laugh...the lover and the funny man. 

Your brother is an angel among us I think. His little body grieved you as hard as I did. He doesn't let a moment escape without a thought of you, what will happen to your ashes when mommy and daddy die. You never want to talk about death with your kids but for your brother and sister it was thrown in their faces. I never thought  I would have to think about who would take your ashes when I died, mostly because I never thought I would have a child's ashes to think about. But now, your brother, the funny man, has decided that he wants them when I die. I asked him if he wanted mine too and he responded with a quick "Nope, just Harper's. Your urn will probably be big and take up a lot of space". Again, the funny man. I am sure some people will read this and think how morbid it is to talk about such things but you have to find the silver lining in everything or you will just sink into a pit of dark. I found this considerably funny, given the circumstances. His random facts are my silver lining. They take me away from the grief when it is abounding. 

Your brother misses you in every inch of the world, in every cell of his body. I think sometimes he is torn in happiness in and in grief because of the birth of your sister. I tell him this is okay and he continues on. Just like mommy proudly announces that she has 4 children but only  3 got to stay with him, Kaden proudly announces that he has 3 sisters but one is in heaven. 

This world is a better place because of him. I am so proud to call him my son, and I am proud of who he is. I think you would be proud to call him brother. I just hope you are watching so you can know him more.

I love you sweet Bean.