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 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.



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