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 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 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.