Sunday, July 24, 2011

illuminate, week #2

The focus of this week's illuminate assignments is "light". As soon as I read the assignment, I thought of a beautiful song that my friend Meredith shared with me a couple of months ago. I'm sure some of you have heard it by now, Christian radio stations play it pretty frequently. She sent the link to the music video to me in a Facebook message, and said that the Livie had been on her heart recently, and that when she heard this song she thought of us. It's sung by Addison Road, whose song "Hope Now" really helped me get through some dark months.

This Little Light, by Addison Road

There's a little flame inside us all

Some shine bright, some shine small
The rains will come and the waters rise
But don't you ever lose your light
In this life you will know
Love and pain, joy and sorrow
So when it hurts, when times get hard
Don't forget whose child you are

This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine, gonna let it shine

May you live each day with no regret
Make the most of every chance you get
Let your eyes get wide when you look at the stars
With the same sense of wonder as a child's heart

With the ones you love treasure the time
And for those who are gone keep their memories alive
Hold on to your dreams don't ever let go
There's a fire inside you burning with hope

This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine, gonna let it shine

There will be days when you want to give up
When the clouds settle in
But after the rain comes the sun
Don't you ever forget

One day there will be no more pain
And we will finally see Jesus' face
So until then I'm gonna try
To brave the dark and let my little light shine

This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine, gonna let it shine

There's a little light inside us all

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Illuminate Post #1

The following post is a part of a self portrait assignment for "Illuminate: Lighting the Path to Photographic Healing" course I'm taking. It's offered by Beryl of Be Young Photography.
Click the link above if you are interested in learning about the course!

Sweet Livie,
It's been a long time since I've written you a letter. I have written about you on this blog so many times, but I guess writing about you is a little bit less emotional than writing directly to you... so maybe that's why I've avoided it. I can tell already that this class is going to break me out of my comfort zone in so many ways - and that's a really good thing.

I don't even remember the last time I wrote you a letter. I do remember the first time though. Your Grandma and Grandpa told Daddy and I that they each wrote a letter to Katie after she was stillborn to put in her casket at her funeral. We loved that idea, so the night before you funeral, we stayed up late handwriting you letters. I typed them up so that we would have copies to keep for ourselves... but I still haven't been able to look back at them. I don't know if I'll ever be able to, but I like knowing that they're there for someday.

I remember crying the whole time I was writing. Now that it's been almost 20 months since that day, I am able to write about you and your story without completely losing it... but I remember the days when I could barely say your name without tearing up.  But just because I don't cry as often as I did then doesn't mean I love you any less. I worry that becaue I appear to be "back to my old self" to most people, they will think that I've "gotten over you". I wish everyone could understand that it doesn't work like that. I will never be over you. I might be able to go out and have fun, and wear a smile on my face all day long... but that doesn't mean that my heart isn't still broken. I know it always will be to some extent... and I'm okay with that. I don't want to feel "normal". Or at least, not the old normal... because the way I felt before you was worse than the way I feel now. Because then, I hadn't met you yet. And I wouldn't want to change that for the world.
I still think of you every day, and I know Daddy does too. Now, instead of being sad every time you cross my mind, most of the time I am happy. Happy that you blessed our lives for the thirty-some weeks that we knew you were in my tummy, and the three days that we knew you "on the outside". But even though I am so happy that I knew you, my heart will always ache. I know that until we meet again someday, a piece of my heart will always be in heaven with you. Someday, you will have siblings who will hold their own pieces of my heart, but there will always be a part of it that is solely and uniquely yours. I am so proud to be able to say that you were our first baby, our first little girl. (Okay, maybe I lied about being able to write without crying).

Do you know how many gifts you have given me? I don't know if I can even count them all. You made me a mommy, and taught me how to love in a way that I didn't know existed. In my opinion, that is one of the biggest gifts a woman can receive. You taught me to see beauty in the little things, and to cherish every second of life and never let it pass me by. You death was the biggest tragedy of our lives, but because you died, I will never be able to take life, or time, for granted again... like I'm sure I did before you. Because of you, I met some of the most amazing women and formed friendships baby-loss mamas all over the country. They never would have come into my life without you.

I always knew that Daddy and I would love each other forever, but because of you, we have a closeness and an understanding of each others emotions that probably would have taken years to discover if we hadn't had to deal with losing you so unexpectedly. And on that same note, your Grandma and I were able to grow in our relationship because of you. Two first born daughters, who unexpectedly lost their first born daughters at the very end of their very first pregnancies. My mom and I were always close, but now we understand each other in a completely different way.

I could go on and on listing the ways you've blessed my life, sweet girl, but I think I've made my point. I hope you know how glad I am to be your mama, and that I as awful as those months after your death were for me and your Dad, I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. I can still feel the weight of you in my arms, and if I close my eyes and breathe, I can smell your shampoo and the detergent that was used to wash your blankets and little pink sleeper.

I love you more than the moon and all of the stars in the sky. I miss you every single day.


The one self portrait that I liked enough to post: This is the pink bear that sat on Olivia's casket in the middle of a huge flower arrangement at her memorial service. The priest handed her to me just before her casket was lowered into the ground. He told me to take her home with me and hug her every time I needed to feel Olivia. It's hard to see in this picture, but her face is kind of smashed up because I slept with her for months after that, and still do sometimes.

I'm just throwin' this one in for good measure. I sat outside and hand wrote the above letter with a glass of wine the other night.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I'm back!!

Hi friends.

Sorry for alarming some of you. I've gotten a couple of e mails and comments asking me if I'm doing okay, since I wasn't in the best place at the time of my last post, and I haven't written since then. Thank you all for the sweet messages :).

I sort of let myself fall away from the blogging world for a few weeks. Kurt and I moved into our new apartment about two weeks ago, so between working and packing and unpacking, and having family in town for the 4th, I haven't had time to even think about writing.

Also - my computer has a ridiculous virus and my hard drive is completely shot. My laptop is the only computer we have that has Photoshop on it, and since I haven't been able to edit my pictures, I kind of let my photography stuff go by the wayside too!

Things are good though. I'll post again VERY soon. Sorry for being so lame and boring! Right now, my very tired, sore, sun burned body is going to sleep!