A Walk to Remember

I got to be a part of this Remembrance Walk on Saturday - Honoring and Remembering our babies together. It was a sappy "sad/happy" day, but it is always a good thing for me to be able to create good memories alongside such painful ones.

I also wanted to spread the word about Dupont's new support group. I do actually look forward to going! This is a place where I "belong," where I feel like I can breathe deeply, share honestly, and I don't have to explain anything…the other moms just get it. We meet the first Thursday of each month at 7pm.

A Walk to Remember
By Kathie Mayo 

I walk to remember the steps you’ll never take.
I carry you with me as I firmly plant my feet.
Our trek started long ago, before my belly swelled.
You were a love that grew like butterfly wings that beat.
Your gentle flutters then become kicks upon which I would dwell.
And I would talk to you, sweet babe, about the world you soon would meet
the sun always shown upon us then - when you were in my womb.
And I was eager to show you the world that would have been your home.
How you’d have loved the sun shining - blue skies without a cloud.
The autumn leaves turning - the snow falling all around.
The flowers in the summer- would have filled your eyes with smiles.
And the rain that might have fallen would have caused you great surprise.
You would have traveled far with me holding me by the hand.
And I’d have shown you all I could more than I can imagine.
You hold my heart tightly now, as though we’re holding hands.
How far we’ve traveled, little one and my life with you has been sweet.
For I carry you in my heart as I firmly plant my feet.


October 15th

And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do
Every beating of my heart says
"I Remember You"

For those of you who are wondering about all the candle pics popping up, today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day - No, we Don't need one day to Remember…we remember them EVERY day! But I am thankful this is becoming less taboo to talk about!

I'll be thinking about and praying for the moms tonight who, like me, have loved and lost. We all light candles tonight as we remember. We create a #waveoflight. It's nice to be able to feel we are NOT alone on this journey. We gather. We honor. We remember.

My heart aches for the day I get to see my children again. I saw a quote that went something like, "I miss you with all of the pieces of my heart." Yep, a heart once shattered has begun to heal.

The world may never notice
If a rosebud doesn't bloom:
Or even pause to wonder if the petals fall too soon.

But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be
Touches the World in some small way
For all eternity.

The little ones we longed for
Were swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.

And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do

Every beating of my heart says
"I Remember You"

Author unknown


Mother's Day

We traveled up to Michigan to spend the weekend with Mike's mom.  A bittersweet day for me...wish I could hug and squeeze all 5 of my kiddos.  Thankful, still, for the blessing of being a mom.  Hopfully I can do as good of a job as both our moms did for us!  Love you, Mom!
Dear Lord, it's such a hectic day
With little time to stop and pray
For life's been anything but calm
Since You called on me to be a mom
Running errands, matching socks
Building dreams with building blocks
Cooking, cleaning, and finding shoes
And other stuff that children lose
Fitting lids on bottled bugs
Wiping tears and giving hugs
A stack of last weeks mail to read
So where's the quiet time I need?
Yet when I steal a minute, Lord
Just at the sink or ironing board
To ask the blessings of Your grace
I see then, in my small one's face
That you have blessed me
All the while
And I stop to kiss
That precious smile 


Beautiful Riddle

Matthew 13: 34-35

Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:

“I will open my mouth in parables,

I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”

Beautiful Riddle

Emilie Alyse, what a mystery,
You, dear child, are a beautiful riddle.

You've left us here, left us with questions,
For you, sweet girl, are a beautiful riddle.

Even your name, Industrious and Noble,
Emilie Alyse, is a beautiful riddle.

Just like the disciples, we don’t understand this parable,
We need Jesus, little one, to explain this beautiful riddle.

We miss you so dearly, while we await the final answer,
To you, Precious Babe, and your beautiful riddle.

We love you, Emilie Alyse.
We love you, Beautiful Riddle. 

~Written by Uncle Kevin ~ April 2011


A Purpose...

I came across this illustration while I was reading Death of a Little Child by J. Vernon McGee.  I wanted to share this today as I think about my little girl.
"There is a story of sweetness and beauty which enlightens the heart of every parent who has lost a child. It concerns a custom among the shepherd folk of the Alps.  In the summer time when the grass in the lower valleys withers and dries up, the shepherds seek to lead their sheep up a winding, thorny, and stony pathway to the high grazing lands.  The sheep, reluctant to take the difficult pathway infested with dangers and hardships, turn back and will not follow.  The shepherds make repeated attempts, but the timid sheep will not follow.  Finally a shepherd reaches into the flock and takes a little lamb and places it under his arm, then reaches in again and takes another lamb, placing it under the other arm.  Then he starts up the precipitous pathway.  Soon the mother sheep start to follow and afterward the entire flock.  At last they ascend the tortuous trail to green pastures.
The Great Shepherd of the sheep, the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, has reached into the flock and he has picked up your lamb.  He did not do it to rob you, but to lead you out and upward.  He has richer and greener pastures for you, and He wants you to follow.
Will you follow Him?"
There is a new lamb cradled on Thy breast tonight,
A sweet small lamb, so lately mine
I scarce can keep my arms from reaching out
As though to snatch her back from Thine.

These arms of mine are wonted so to her, dear Lord,
They curved about her little form
So sweetly, and from dawn of time my breast was meant
To be her pillow, soft and warm.

What does one do with aching arms and empty hours,
With silent rooms, and dragging days?
The things I knew before will not avail me now-
Teach me new lessons and new ways.

Take Thou, I pray, these idle folded hands of mine
Which can no longer busied be
With dear, familiar tasks for her...In mercy, Lord,
Fill hands and heart with tasks for Thee!
                                                           -Martha Snell Nicholson


Oh Brother!

"I am smiling because you are my brother. I am laughing because there is nothing you can do about it!"

"First a brother. Then a bother. Now a friend."
- Unknown


We Remember You...

By Connie Dyer

We do not need a special day
To bring you to our minds,
The days we do not think of you
Are very hard to find.

Each morning when we awake
We know that you are gone,
And no one knows the heartache
As we try to carry on.

Our hearts still ache with sadness
And secret tears still flow,
What it meant to lose you
No one will ever know

Our thoughts are always with you
Your place no one can fill,
In life we loved you dearly
In death we love you still

There will always be heartache
And often a silent tear,
But always a precious memory
Of the days when you were here.

If tears could build a staircase
And heartaches make a lane
We’d walk the path to Heaven
And bring you back home again.

We hold you close, within our hearts
And there you will remain,
To walk with us throughout our lives
Until we meet again.

Our family chain is broken now
And nothing seems the same
But as God calls us one by one
The chain will link again

Today was Joanna's actual due date.

We will never forget...

My heart hurts for the little girl that is not with us. 

My arms ache to hold her while she sleeps.

My mind tells me I should be awake at night with my baby, sleep deprived. 

I long to sing her lullabys, kiss her chubby cheeks, and tickle her little toes. 

We sure miss you Joanna Claire!

We find comfort knowing you'll just have heaven before we do...

These candle's were lit in honor and memory of both my babies, Noah and Joanna, and many other babies whose families live in the area.  We lit these earlier this month, participating in the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrace Day

In the rising of the sun
And in it’s going down,
In the blowing of the wind
And in the chill of winter,
In the opening of buds
And in the rebirth of spring,
We will remember you.
In the blueness of the sky
And in the warmth of summer,
In the rustling of leaves
And in the beauty of autumn,
In the beginning of the year
And when it ends,
We will remember you.
When we are weary
And in need of strength,
When we are lost and sick at heart,
When we have joys we yearn to share,
We will remember you.
For long as we live, you too shall live,
For you are a part of us,
And we will always remember.


A Beautiful Service

I wanted to share a bit about Joanna's Memorial Service. In two words: BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING! It was all that I could have asked for as we remembered with friends and family our "shining light," Joanna Claire. The music was beautiful (Thanks Ellen, Hillary, Doug, and Jerry). I wish I could post it for you all to hear! The poems and scripture were shared from the heart. (Thanks, Jen P, and Jen F, Dad, and Brianna) Then the message John brought so encompassed what Mike and I wanted to remember and share with you all about what we learned through our short time with Joanna. Though she never took a single breath of air, she was very much alive. I still cherish each kick! Though she never cried, she spoke volumes about The Perfect Designer and the Love, Grace, and Hope we can have through the death of His son. It was BEAUTIFUL!

Mike and I also shared a note at the end of the service and I'd like to share that again here...

August 15, 2009
Dear Family and Friends,

Mike and I first want to share how thankful we are for you. It is surreal to be here at this place again, saying goodbye to our child. Many of you sat in these chairs 2 ½ years ago as we remembered our son Noah. We can't thank you enough for the prayers of strength, grace, and peace that have sustained us these 7 months. Our God is gracious to give us what we need, just when we need it!

Emotions come at any moment and without warning. We know this makes for some awkwardness, so in these times, thank you for crying with us, offering a hug, or just extending grace through your quiet patience. Sometimes there are simply no words. We will never forget her life and so please don't feel you have to avoid mentioning Joanna's name for fear of "reminding us of the pain"...knowing you haven't forgotten is a gift to us. Joanna and Noah will always have a special place in our hearts. They will never be forgotten.

There are opportunities to continue learning our whole lives. Life’s lessons keep coming at us, they never end. We can let them beat us down, or choose growth - gaining wisdom and understanding from them. As hard as it is to walk through the school of suffering, Mike and I desire to graduate - not shaking our fist at God asking “Why?” but looking to the future asking “What is God going to do with our experience? How will He use our daughter’s life to impact others?” You being here is already testimony to that fact! Joanna Claire’s life has made a difference!

We trust that in your life, AS HE HAS DONE IN OURS, you recognize that God gives us beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning, and peace for despair. Our suffering is not in vain, our pain will not go unredeemed. He works in our lives amidst the pain to draw us near to Himself. Though we couldn’t control how Joanna’s heart was formed, we can control our response to this deep loss. Lord, may our response be beautiful and pleasing to You!

Mike and Kristin

The Cord

We are connected, My child and I
by an invisible cord, not seen by the eye.

It's not like the cord that connects us 'til birth
this cord can't be seen by any on earth.

This cord does it's work right from the start
it binds us together attached to my heart.

I know that it's there, though no one can see
the invisible cord from my child to me.

The strength of this cord is hard to describe
it can't be destroyed, it can't be denied.

It's stronger than any cord man can create
it withstands the tests, can hold any weight.

And though you are gone, though you're not here with me
the cord is still there , but no one can see.

It pulls at my heart, I am bruised , I am sore
But this cord is my lifeline as never before.

I am thankful that God connects us this way
A mother and child, death can't take this away.

-Author Unknown


An Uncle's Thoughts

As I wait to pen my thoughts and the events these last few days, I wanted to share the letter Joanna's uncle wrote. I think it captures perfectly my heart as well. THANK YOU for this SPECIAL GIFT, Kevin.

To my tiny niece Joanna,

I'm so glad I got to see you, Joanna, the day that you were born.
All bundled up, I held you, such a tiny baby's form.
Little Joanna Claire, such a great big shining light.
You have shown us God is gracious, and that His timing is right.
Without speaking a single word, you've already said so much.
Kicking in your mommy's tummy, did you know how many lives you'd touch?
See, just like your older brother, you are fulfilling your design,
God made you with a special heart, that now beats in perfect time.
You've shown so many people that God controls all of our days.
You are proof to the whole world that God is perfect in His ways.
We can not always understand why things happen like they do.
But we are certain that God is Love, because He created You!
I'm a little disappointed, Joanna, I have to wait so long,
To get to know my little niece, and ask you how you are so strong.
So til we get to see you, Joanna, we'll feel like we are apart,
But we know that you're with Jesus, living in rhythm with His heart.


Birthday gifts

Yesterday was Noah's birthday. We continued the tradition from last year and released balloons. The boys really liked doing that and asked if we were going to do it again this year. Trent wanted blue and Drew (of course) asked for green. They each drew a picture/wrote a note to Noah and we tied them to their balloon. It was sooo windy and so Mike and I were trying to untangle the balloon ribbons. Meanwhile Trent was getting anxious and said, "Can we start singing NOW?!" He lead in singing "Happy Birthday."

Later on in the evening we went to the hospital to drop off all of the goodies that my friends helped make or donate. The boys were excited to help carry the teddy bears! My nurse friend said she is "so excited and honored to be able to share these, in memory of Noah, with other moms who are hurting." A big Thank You to all of you who helped me even be able to do this, it is truly a blessing!

(Drew was so sweet, he had to make sure that my friend knew that "this one has a heart on his foot!")
Someone who attended our church wrote this "song" for Noah and gave it to me just after his memorial service. It hangs in my bedroon under a picture of Noah and I thought I'd share it today.

Hello Noah.

I'm glad to see, you've finally come to be with me.
With other boys who laugh and play,
and great adventures along the way.
By the shores of crystal sea,
in heaven here with you and me.

I've made a place just for you,
prepared before the world was new,
where all that's joy runs through and through,
and you can be with grandpa too.

By the shores of crystal sea,
in heaven here with you and me.
We'll dance amidst the fields of green,
such beauty mortals have not yet seen.

Play "hide and seek" and "king of the hill"
"catch the flag", or better still,
run through clear streams with great amaze,
with shouts of joy - our hearts ablaze!
Catch salamanders with speckled spots,
and frogs that jump from rock to rock.
We'll climb a tree or fly a kite,
Then take a sailboat late at night,
to hear the call of

Father's Love,

Which surely brings our gaze above.

You'll sing to him who gave you grace,
it's here we find our resting place.
By the shores of crystal sea,
in heaven here with you and me.

And someday soon, your mom and dad,
will rest with us in this land of glad,
and clasp the hand that once

let go

My perfect love they'll soon know,
Where all who come can be truly free.
By the shores of crystal sea,
in heaven here with you and me.