Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bailey's present

I have mentioned to many of you how very important it was to me to get a headstone to put at Bailey's grave. After all of the funeral expenses, the burial plot and the medical bills that we are still working through, I just couldn't find enough money to do it. Our initial goal was to do it for Christmas. It was going to be our Christmas present to Bailey. However, it quickly became very apparent that we still weren't going to be able to afford it that soon so I made an alternative goal - Bailey's 1st Birthday. I decided if I couldn't do it now then I would save and get it in to celebrate her 1st Birthday next year. This was the best I could do.

I visit the cemetary often - normally at least once a week. Everytime I go there I struggle because there is no headstone. I did have the funeral home make a temporary and it is actually much nicer than I expected so there is something there but it still breaks my heart every time I go for some reason. I can't explain it - I don't know why - but it really bothers me that we havent been able to properly mark her grave.

One day a few weeks ago my Sister, Melinda, called me and asked me if Chris and I could go to lunch with her that Friday. Of course I said "Yes". We set a time to meet and I didn't think another thing about it. However, as the day came closer, my suspicions (and Chris's ) became stronger. We had no idea what was going on but we knew something was. Finally on Thursday night (the night before we were supposed to be meeting for lunch) Melinda called me and told me she couldn't keep it a secret any longer. She was concerned that we were going to be upset with her and she wanted to tell me what she had planned. She had made an appointment for us to go and pick out a headstone for Bailey that she wanted to purchase for us. I was so happy I was speechless. I hated to accept such an expensive "gift" as I had been looking into them and knew how much they cost. However, I really didn't want to turn down the offer as I so wanted to get this done. I still have no idea how to show my gratitude to my Sister for this wonderful thing that she did for me!!!!

We met Melinda the next day and were able to pick out a headstone for our sweet Bailey. Melinda paid for it and made all of the arrangements to get it set. We were actually suprised to hear that they were going to be able to get it in before Christmas. How excited I was. As Parker put it - "It can be Bailey's Christmas present.". Unfortunately, due to the many snow storms that we have had over the last week and a half or so, they have been unable to put the stone in yet. However, we are still hoping that it can be Bailey's wonderful Christmas gift. I know that it is for me. I am so very grateful for my Sister and her willingness to help us do this. It is so important to me and I feel such a sense of relief knowing that it will be done soon.

Thank you, "Annie". We love you!!!

Parker's talk

I have been asked several times to post the talk that Parker wrote and then gave at Bailey's graveside service and I keep forgetting to do it.

As many of you know, when we were planning the program for the graveside service Parker asked if he could "say a few remarks". Of course we told him he could. I asked him a couple of different times if he would like me to help him write down his talk and he kept telling me "No Mom, I am good." To be honest, I was a little worried about what he was going to say or that he was going to get up there and freeze so I kept pushing. Finally he said to me "Mom, when you love someone you don't write down your remarks, you just speak from your heart." Boy did I feel stupid. How smart my little boy is and how strong!
Eventually, however, I did get him to write down some of what he wanted to say "just in case". He wrote almost an entire page of feelings consisting of "being able to play with her in heaven" and "loving her even if she was going to be in a wheelchair", etc. With my help he cut it down to a short but very sweet talk that he delivered so bravely at his sisters graveside service. Those words are below:

"I love my sister, Bailey, very much. I love her more than anyone in the World loves her. Me and my brother, Caleb, wanted to play with her and take care of her. When we found out she was sick I was very sad. I will miss her very much but know I can play with her when I see her in Heaven. My little brother, Caleb, doesn't understand what happened but I will tell him about Bailey when he is older because she will always be our Sister and we will always love her. Bailey will always watch over me from Heaven and be my Angel."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It happened again

Chris and I have come to call it "ruining their day". It is when people ask you "How is the baby?" and you have to respond by saying "Actually, she passed away when she was 2 days old." It just seems to ruin their day. It is uncomfortable - they don't know what to say and I do my best at trying to make them not feel bad for asking but no matter what .. there is that tension in the air.
Today I had to go for an ultrasound on my leg to check for blood clots again. The radiologist asked me why I had been on Lovenox shots for the last several months and I told her it was because I had been pregnant. She then proceeded to ask me what I had and I told her a little girl and then it came ...
Radiologist: "How are you feeling since she was born?"
Me: "Good."
Radiologist: "And how is the baby doing?"
(Silence while I decide how to respond.)
Me: "Actually she passed away when she was 2 days old."
(More silence.)
I HATE these conversations. Not because they make me sad but because I am still struggling to figure out the best way to handle them. Should I just avoid them by saying "Fine" and moving on. I just have a hard time with that because she isn't "Fine". However, sometimes I am just not up to explaining over and over what happened to my precious Bailey.
Hopefully I will figure out the best answer someday. For now, I will just continue to "ruin peoples days".

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

2 Months

Today was the 2 month anniversary of Bailey's birth. It has been a very rough couple of days at our house. Parker came home from school the other day and told me that he never wanted to leave home because he is afraid that if he leaves that the rest of his family will die, Chris was mad at the World because he lost his precious baby daughter. He told me he has a hole in his heart and he doesn't know how to fix it. Unfortunately, neither do I. Meanwhile, I miss my darling daughter immensely. I was supposed to be able to shop for her this Christmas, to buy "girly" things, to have my baby to celebrate the Holidays. I have to keep telling myself - and reminding my family - Angels abound at Christmas time and we have our own.

Sorry to be such a "downer" but I felt that it was important to make sure that even the "bad days" are documented now and then. I have received so many emails from other Parents that have lost Children telling me that they read our blog often. I think people need to know that it is normal and ok to hurt. (At least this is what I am told.) Although our family really does try to be strong and has done fairly well, we recognize there are going to be those "bad days" too.

After having my long talk with Parker after school the other afternoon, he indicated that he needed to go see Bailey. I have never taken him back to the cemetary since the graveside service. I go weekly but usually go alone. We had already planned to go as a family next week to take a little Christmas Tree to put on her grave but he said he couldn't wait. As we were talking he kept saying "I just need to see her" and I realized that I probably needed to make it clear that he wouldn't see her in person. He said that he realized that and told me that he just needed to see her name or something. (Unfortunately we haven't had enough money to purchase a headstone yet but I did have the funeral home make us a temporary marker which is there - phew!) Anyway - we drove over and Parker had a talk with his Sister. He then talked to Bailey's "friend" (the grave next to her is a baby boy who died at 5 days old). Little did I know that he was going to "bring them home" with us. Once we had gotten back in the car to head home he started talking to both of them. Yes, it is very disturbing to me when he does this (he has done it a couple of times) but I have been told that it is normal for him to have her as an "imaginary friend" from time to time.
Anyway - he told me that she goes with him to school sometimes and that she has been watching him practice the song for his School Christmas program. He said that she learned it really fast and she sings VERY LOUD. I told him that is because she is an angel and angels love music.
Who knows? Maybe she is there with him - when he needs her.

I love my boy and the faith, hope, and love he has for his Sister.