Friday, May 25, 2012

The Little Reminders

So many little reminders that say she isn't here. They come almost daily, oftentimes taking my breath away. These moments, big and small, say there is something...someone missing...

Walking past the baby section at Target and remembering all the time spent shopping there for my baby. All the outfits that will never be worn by the little girl they were meant for.

How hard it is to say congratulations to someone when I find out they are pregnant or just had a baby. Sometimes I don't say anything right away. It takes courage to say it.

When mom sees all her friends having grandchildren and there's nothing in this world she wants more...

When she gets asked at church on Bereaved Mother's Day if she has any grandchildren and tears can't help but fill her eyes as she explains that yes, she does. But, no, she has none on earth. Of course she gets asked by a lady, about her age, with close to twenty of her own. 

Every time I read about, see, or hear another girl named Lily. And it makes me cringe. Maybe that sounds silly. But, it just feels like it's my girl's name. I feel like others don't realize what a truly beautiful name it is. Especially the meaning of it. I don't get to call to my daughter, "Lily..." I only get to use her name when talking about her. But, I promise I will never let her name die. It will forever remain on my lips.

Not only is it hard to hear of others named Lily, but it seems like I see lilies everywhere I go...whether in paintings, bouquets, names of shops and places, among many other things.

painting I saw at a restaurant in Colorado. The last time I ate 
there with a group of friends, I sat at a table with all different chairs, 
not noticing until the end that I sat on the chair with a lily on it.

a salon I saw in a shopping plaza about 15-20 minutes from my house

When the lady at Walgreen's says something that catches me off guard. I go in to pick up a prescription and she says, "this says you are pregnant. It doesn't look like you are. Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?" Kick in the stomach. No, I'm not pregnant. I haven't been for over two years. And no, I'm not breastfeeding. I never got to do that because my baby died. Of course this is what I only think in my mind. In reality, I simply respond, "No, I'm not. That was over two years ago." And with that, she says she'll update it and I'm on my way. She doesn't realize how much that affected my day.

Hearing the rain fall outside my window and realizing it's just another thing Lily will never get to experience.

Seeing photos of the son of one of my close friends from high-school. Out of all days to be born, he made his grand entrance into this world on March 16, 2010. He shares her birthday. And now I see picture updates that remind me how he is growing so fast. And I will never get to post a picture update. Not a single one. I won't get to show off how adorable my sweet girl is. Nobody will get to ooh and aah over her.

Seeing photos of babies that were in utero at the same time Lily was. Seeing photos of pregnant women. Seeing pregnant women out in public (I'm telling you, they're everywhere)! Ultrasound photos. Photos of any baby for that matter. Hearing babies cry.

Realizing that I will watch my cousin, Owen, grow up...and I will always remember Lily when I look at him. I will remember the age she'd be (just three months younger than him). What will it be like when he turns 10? 15? 20? What would she have been like at that age?

Feeling like I don't belong anywhere...what other single, 22-year-old knows the grief of losing a child? And those that are grieving the loss of their baby, are in the place where they can try again. I am not in that place. It hurts to see everyone that had a loss around the time I did (or after) now having a baby or pregnant with one. Or at least in the place where they are thinking about "trying again." And I don't know when and if that will ever happen for me. 

Getting balloons for a 2nd Heavenly birthday balloon release at the same time a family in front of me gets balloons for a 2nd earthly birthday party.

Thinking lots on what sort of headstone to get for my daughter.

Every song somehow makes me think of her.

Seeing a girl I once worked with walk out of Target with her little girl, born two weeks before my little girl. My head turns to watch how she walks away. Seeing what a little person that age is like. And realizing Lily will forever remain my baby. She will never be my toddler. Or little girl. Or young lady. My forever baby. I will never get to see her hair in pigtails...or how her curls would fall...

These are the little things that remind me of how different my life is from other's lives. How different I am from most 22-year-olds. How different I am from other mothers. How different my love is for my child. How can I possibly love someone so much I held in my arms for a day...

These are the little reminders, the everyday moments, that can be the hardest. The moments when nobody else realizes how difficult they are for me. The moments when I'm desperately aching for a child to hold, to raise on earth. The moments when I miss the little girl I had to let go of before I ever even got to know. These are the reminders that dangle what could have, should have, might have been in my face.

In these reminders, I am reminded that it only hurts so much because I love her so much. The pain reminds me that she was real and important. I wouldn't be hurting for her, unless she was real! Unless she existed! Oh thank You, Jesus, she was here...her footprint forever left in my heart. And because she was here, she will be forever. I would choose to hurt this much, if it meant I get to have had her. Still have her. Still, forever love her.

Her story is still being written. Though her life was only nine short months, never having breathed in this world. The Author of LIFE continues writing, each chapter being more beautiful than the one before. Lives are still being touched and changed. This is just the beginning of her legacy. There are plenty more pages to be written...



  1. I know how you feel and I am so very sorry. I have developed a severe dislike of shopping now for the same reasons you don't like going. I can't stand walking past the baby departments of any store, seeing all of the things I will never be able to buy for my son... I literally turn my head and look another direction, I just can't stand it! I'm so sorry that the people at the pharmacy won't update their info where they don't have to keep scraping scabs off of your wounds. :( If they ask again, I'd talk to a manager. I hope that these little reminders go away for a while so you can have a peaceful Saturday afternoon.

  2. Hannah I am so sorry for your pain, The pain that comes out in your writing wrenches my heart.

  3. Hannah this made me cry. I have to say I forget how young you are. Your writing is so mature it is easily to forget you are 22. I can not imaging all that you have gone through so young. At 22 I had two babies and a really difficult marriage. I remember feeling like I did not fit in anywhere but for very different reasons. It must be really hard to do this without a husband I am glad you have a supportive family. I am sorry seeing babies is so painful for you, right now my arms ache to hold a newborn. How I wish I was cuddling with my week old son. I am so sorry my friend I hate to think of the pain you are in. It breaks my heart to think you looked at the picture of my teen as a newborn and it hurt your heart. I am praying for you. You are such a beautiful testimony and encouragement to so many. THANK YOU!

  4. Thank you so much for the kind words on my blog. I am sorry for your losses, Lily and Luke. Our baby, Ellie Rose gets her middle name Rose from my Grandma Rose, who passed away in April 2010 (Ellie passed in April this year). My Grandma Rose LOVED babies and was always first in line for a cuddle of a new baby. Its a lovely name, for lovely people.
    The photo of Michelle Duggar and her baby just about broke my heart, I have not seen it before.

  5. well-written...she sure is a beautiful girl.


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