Friday, May 29, 2009

A Glimmer of Hope

Tim and I learned that we are pregnant with another little girl this week. Our little bean is due October 26th, and we couldn't be more thrilled. It has been a whirlwind pregnancy already, and we can only hope that the next 18 weeks pass as quickly as the last 18.

Friday, May 22, 2009

She's still here...

Hard to believe that summer is almost here. Time seems to be moving pretty quickly here lately, which I'm thankful for. And yet, I miss Cara more than ever. I've been writing this week about our time with Cara in the hospital and it's a bittersweet reminder of how much of a gift it was to spend that day with her, and what we're missing.

One of the lifelines that has helped me through this journey has been trying to tend and care for Cara like she's still here. Not in the physical sense, but in the sense that somehow, in ways I can't totally comprehend, her spirit is still here.

I've heard other parents at Compassionate Friends talk about this. Cynthia's Aunt was just sharing with us this weekend that she misses her daughter so much, while adding, "but she's still here with me."

I don't have a full-proof explanation for how someones spirit can remain, I can only offer these ideas...

Your child or loved one is still here because they are a part of you. Sometimes biologically or physically, sometimes through other bonds and unions. Your loved one was a part of you, a part of your very fabric and being. So they are still here, because for them to be gone would be like walking around with only one arm or leg. Without them, a part of you would be missing.

My second reason is because of things beyond my comprehension. For some reason, the movie Ghost has been playing in my head over the past couple weeks. I think because of Easter and other conversations that have brought up the question of how someone that is dead can still be alive. I started thinking about Ghost and the way in which the dead character in the movie was very much present in spirit. His spirit was there, in the room, walking next to his loved one wherever she went. I don't mean to get all spooky with tales of ghosts, but I do have faith in the spiritual and supernatural nature of this world.

I've felt flashes of things unseen, or holy moments, over the past year. Sometimes while working in the garden, in such a natural, beautiful place. Or sometimes standing next to Cara's grave early in the morning before work. It's as if somehow in these moments, I get a sense of something divine, something beyond me and yet right next to me at the same time.

I have faith that one day we'll get to commune with those we've lost, not in fragmented moments, but for eternity. Until then, I will look for Cara in the places on earth in which her spirit seems close, and deep in my heart because she will always be a part of me...

Coldplay - Fix You
Chris Martin wrote this song for Gwyneth Paltrow (his wife) after her father died.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A new project

I've been a quiet blogger lately. This is mostly because of a new project I've started to work on....

Over the past couple months, there's been something in my gut urging me to write, to get down on paper as much I can about our journey with Cara over the past two years. This urge and feeling, and I suppose what some would say is a "call" has surprised me. I've never considered myself a writer, but over the past year I've realized how much I enjoy writing. This blog is a sacred space for me to write and express my feelings, and connect to Cara as I do so. In the process of blogging, I also get to share my journey with those of you who are reading this now, and whose support through taking the time to read this blog means so much to us. We don't say it enough, but thank you.

So, I've decided that this summer I'm going to focus on writing a book for Cara. I'm going to spend some time writing before work (at 5am with coffee in hand on course!) and during lunch breaks and some evenings. My initial goal will be to spend at least 5 hours a week writing.

My primary purpose is to document our journey with Cara...from Cynthia and I starting to think about starting a family to one year later after her death. Cara means everything to us and I want to be able to specifically remember the ways in which she has changed our lives. I want to be able to share this book with our kids one day.

My secondary purpose is to possibly publish the book and share it with other people. I don't know of any books on stillbirth written from a Dad's perspective, so maybe this book could one day provide some comfort and hope to another dad whose lost his baby.

I told my counselor about this new project on Wednesday night as tears started welling up in my eyes. He responded by saying that it seems like this project was something very near and dear to my heart. He summed it up perfectly. This story is something that is etched on my heart and with me everywhere I go. Like I told my counselor, "Cara's story is something that I can't keep inside of me, I need to get it out." For me, it's a way to connect to Cara and let her voice be heard...a beautiful, little, quiet voice that always lives in our hearts and that has changed us forever.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day is upon us again. Over the past day or so I've been struggling with the "happy" that often goes along with "Mother's Day." Part of my struggle with "happy" is from a point made by one of Cynthia's friends who also lost her baby...she said that for a while in her grief journey she didn't "do happy." I totally can relate to that.

I was talking with Cynthia today about Mother's Day and the Hallmark nature of it, when Cynthia reminded me of the original reason Mother's Day started. She wrote about this last year.

And yet, here we are again this year, trying to make the most of Mother's Day, but feeling empty without Cara here. We should have had her with us today as we made a trip to the local garden center and then spent all afternoon tending to the garden. She should have been here, a little over 1-year old, crawling around the yard.

I feel for Cynthia because I know how much she wishes that Cara could be here physically with us. And, without Cara here tomorrow, it hurts.

I want Cynthia to know that she is an incredible mother. I have watched her grow into motherhood from the day we found out we were pregnant with Cara, to holding Cara in her arms at hospital.  I want Cynthia to know that she still beautifully mothers Cara. Even though she cannot care for Cara in a physical, tangible way...the way she wishes so dearly could be...Cara is still alive, and she receives love and care from Cynthia just like any child would from her mother. I just have to believe that while Cara is up in heaven, she often smiles and basks in the deep, rich, incredible love she receives from her mother....and she tells her friends how lucky she is for such a wonderful Mom.

This afternoon, a Monarch butterfly was dancing around and feeding off a newly planted Verbena we placed just to the right of a garden stone with Cara's footprints. This butterfly stopped me in my tracks, because I felt that somehow God was showing me a picture of Cynthia and Cara's relationship. That it is a dance...and something that could almost go unseen...and yet even more beautiful and rich than a Monarch butterfly finding food and life in a vibrant purple flower.

We love you, Cara...what a wonderful Mom you have.