Monday, October 20, 2014

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day 2014

The Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Movement began in America in October 1988 (less than a year before I was born), when President Ronald Reagan designated the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

Last Wednesday, October 15th, was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It's a very special day for me as I remember my beautiful daughter Lily Katherine, as well as my Aunt Rachel Ross. For the second year in a row, I was with my grandmother on this day, remembering our girls together.

To recognize the day and raise awareness, I found some pink and blue nail polish the exact colors of the PAIL Awareness ribbon (on sale for $2 each at a store called Icing). I painted my, my sister's, and my grandmother's nails pink and blue. As I have gotten compliments on my nails (from friends, family, and strangers, such as a cashier at Target), it has been the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about pregnancy and infant loss. Each of our nails were done a little differently.

After we did our nails and spent time visiting earlier in the day, my grandmother, sister, and I decided to go to a place we had seen while driving around called The Cupcake Company. We were staying at Massanutten for the week. I was wanting to have a red-velvet cupcake in honor of Lily since red-velvet is my thing for her, started at my Valentine's-themed baby shower and now continued on each of her birthdays and other special days. We "just so happened" to be there on the cupcake shop's second anniversary of being open, so they had free cupcakes and other treats in celebration of the special day. One of the cupcakes they had were mini red-velvets. It felt like God was reminding me that He knew what special day it was for me and that He had both my girl and I in His care.

After the cupcake shop, we dropped my sister off to visit with one of her friends and my grandmother and I made our way to downtown Harrisonburg, Virginia. We went to a diner downtown called Jess' Quick Lunch that has been open close to 100 years. Apparently, my uncle really liked going to this diner many years ago when he was a student at JMU. As I drank my coffee and ate my grilled-cheese sandwich, we enjoyed chatting with our nice waitress. I told her about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and the event we were going to. We were in no hurry and took our time enjoying at the diner.

The special event was being held in Court Square, right across the street from the diner. It was a "Remembering Our Babies Walk" in recognition of PAIL Remembrance Day, hosted by The Sadie Rose Foundation.

In recognition of the special day, people worldwide were invited to light a candle at 7 p.m., letting them burn for an hour. Then just as their candles were burning out, other people in the next time zone lit their candles. This created a Wave of Light that lasted for 24 hours. Thank you to everyone who participated in this. I meant to write about it before the day, but didn't get around to it.

The event took place at 7 p.m. so for the Wave of Light, there were luminaries lighting the steps of the court house for our babies.

my grandmother and I at the special event

Lily and Rachel's luminary

We were able to write Lily and Rachel's name on the poster that the founder of The Sadie Rose Foundation carried during the walk around the square. Other people had posters as well, but I didn't bring one.

Before the walk, the names of the babies being remembered were read aloud. Here is the video of that:

We then took a brief walk around Court Square to raise awareness.

After the walk, there were light refreshments and everyone was able to mingle. My grandmother and I met a couple really nice ladies. I enjoyed chatting with the founder of The Sadie Rose Foundation and hearing about what they are all about. I am so impressed with what they do, the events they hold throughout the year, and how they reach out to those who have lost a baby. I only wish I could be a part of this group!

I noticed that there were news cameras there for the event. We were told the walk would be on the local Harrisonburg news station at both 10 and 11. So, my grandmother and I went back to our unit at Massanutten and watched the news. And what do ya know, we spotted ourselves twice during the coverage! That was pretty neat. ;) You can click HERE to see the news story. My grandmother and I can be seen at seconds 0:05-0:08 and then again at the very end of the video. So glad to see the news is bringing awareness to babyloss!

Here are screenshots of us on the news.

The day turned out really lovely. I was concerned that we weren't going to be able to go to the event because it had been raining and foggy for several days and the weather forecast showed a chance of thunderstorms. But the weather was beautiful!

It was neat to be in a different city on PAIL Remembrance Day and to do something different, especially because I haven't had an event to go to for a couple years. In 2010 I went to a candelight service in Raleigh, in 2011 I was in Colorado and went to Lily Lake, in 2012 I tried to go to a candelight service in Raleigh as it was advertised, but they didn't have it after all, and in 2013 I was with family at my home where we lit candles. This is the first year since 2011 that the Raleigh, NC area where I live was going to have a service, which I was disappointed I would be missing since I was out of town. Then, I thought the event in Harrisonburg would be rained out. As it turns out however, the event in Raleigh was rained out and the event in Harrisonburg wasn't. I'm not sure where I will be next year on the day, but I hope to make it to a service or walk then!

When we got home from the event in Harrisonburg, I lit my candles for Lily, Rachel, and all other babies in Heaven.

These photos were from my friends who remembered Lily on October 15th:

Thank you, Brigette
Thank you, Naomi
Thank you, Denae
Niagara Falls was lit up pink and blue for the day! How special! :)

My Facebook and Twitter feeds were beautiful places on October 15th, filled with so many posts remembering loved and missed babies on PAIL Remembrance Day. I hope everyone had a peaceful and special day. Yes, we are sad that our babies are not here, but even more than that, we are rejoicing that they LIVED and they will live in our hearts forever.


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