Friday, May 26, 2017

Bumma's House

This weekend will be tough... my family is gathering together in Crozet, Virginia to start the process of cleaning out my grandmother's house. 

I have lots to blog about when I get back.


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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Lily Remembered in South Africa

Lily was remembered by my South African friend Bianca this week.

Her name was written in the sand in South Africa for the first time! It's on a beach in Durban called Virginia Beach, which is perfect because I'm from Virginia and that's where Lily's final resting place is. Bianca said it's very quiet and good for reflecting. It warms my heart knowing my girl and I are thought of across the ocean. πŸ˜Œ ❤️ 🌊 ☀️ 🐚 🌎 🐳 🐬 🐟 🐠 🐒


Bianca saw this Lily sign at a Nursery on her daughter's school outing and my Lily Katherine popped into her heart. πŸ’• 🌸 


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Lily Remembered at Hilton Head

Lily's name has been written a couple times recently at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The first time was for Mother's Day by my friend, Emily. And this time, my friend Danielle wrote it. πŸ˜Œ ❤️ 🌊 ☀️ 🐚 🌎 🐳 🐬 🐟 🐠 🐒


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Cute as a Button

My friend Stacey in Australia sent me this photo of one of the buttons on her new denim skirt. I love to see Lily's name anywhere and everywhere and it makes me smile that others also think of my girl when they see it! πŸ’•


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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Makes the Missing Lighter

It seems that literally nearly every day, somebody, whether it be a family member, friend, acquaintance, or even a stranger, thinks of Lily and takes the time and effort to reach out and let me know. Some days it's multiple people.

Many of these people send me photos of Lily's name, whether it be written in the sand or snow, or on a sign somewhere, or simply a photo of a blooming lily or a butterfly. Some of these people send cards or notes, flowers, and gifts. I even have a hard time keeping up with sharing all these special things (a good problem to have).

March of course is when more people especially remember her with me, around the time of her birthday. But really people remember her all year, just as I do. And I am grateful beyond what I could say for each of you.

Your remembrance and thoughtfulness lifts my heart and carries me through my days without her. It carries me through the weeks, the months, the years, my life. Having others to care about her with me makes the missing her lighter. Because here she is, a part of each and every day, a part of the lives and worlds of so many across the world. I thank Jesus that He puts it on the heart of many people to make me feel like the mother I am. I don't know what I'd do without you all. Really the opposite of what I fear is what happens... instead of the years passing and the remembrance fading, she is loved by more people with each new year. πŸ’› 🌼 πŸ’›  


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Lily Remembered in Maryland

Lily was remembered by Faith at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, Maryland. πŸ’• 😌 🌊 🐚



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Honor Your Baby at the Stillbirth Summit

This is for my loss through stillbirth mama friends...

You can have your baby honored among the stars at the upcoming Stillbirth Summit with the Star Legacy Foundation. Submit your baby's name by clicking HERE. It will be included on a star that will hang from the ceiling (along with Lily Katherine's)! "These stars serve as a poignant reminder to everyone in attendance of the reason we have all come together." All the babies will also be listed in program materials.

You may be interested in attending this event if you can. It's held annually and I know I would like to go eventually! "Meet researchers, parents and advocates from all around the world who share our passion for the prevention of pregnancy and infant loss." Can't you just imagine how powerful it would be to be surrounded by so many people who "get it?!" Even if I cannot be there this year, it's sweet knowing my girl will be included in some small way. ❤️


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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mother's Day 2017

As usual, Mother's Day was bittersweet for me. I am so deeply touched by those who think of me and reach out through text, message, email, with photos, etc. πŸ’•πŸ’

A couple sweet mamas named Stephanie and Sara sent me this for Mother's Day, "from Lily," with her named hand-lettered on it. The envelope was addressed to "Mom," which was so sweet to receive. πŸ˜Œ


I also received this Mother's Day card "from" Lily. πŸ’•


My sweet friend Brittany took Lily along with her family to St. Augustine, Florida on Mother's Day. A bright spot on a hard day! πŸ’› πŸ¬ 🐟 🐠 🐒 


My friend Emily also thoughtfully wrote Lily's name in the sand on her family vacation at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, in honor of Mother's Day. ❤️ 🌊 ☀️ 🐚 🐳


My friend ChloΓ© in New Zealand thoughtfully sent me this on Mother's Day. πŸ’•


Whilst shopping in downtown Clayton, North Carolina the day before Mother's Day, I treated myself to a couple things that reminded me of my girl. It was special to find these things in the small stores we went in.



My friend Shannon went to a Remembrance Service at her local hospital that was in honor of Mother's Day. She lit a candle and released a balloon in honor of her daughter, as well as Lily, which means a lot to me.



My sweet big brother, Joseph, and his wife, Kala, brought me these flowers on Mother's Day. πŸ˜Œ πŸ’


A couple days before Mother's Day, I went to a talent show for a local Christian school for boys with my sister-in-law (she has connections through her work). The boys came out during the show with fresh roses and asked all the mothers to stand to receive one. I hesitated briefly, feeling awkward, until Kala grabbed my arm to pull me up. It was so sweet that these young boys are learning how to value women, and also sweet to be remembered. But the sweetest part of all was how Kala knew I'd feel awkward, so she pulled me up to receive my rose.


Janelle sent me this Forget-Me-Not picture for Mother's Day.


Mother's Day was hard, but I am thankful to be Lily's mommy. And I am thankful to spend the day with my own mother. Here she is with all four of her kiddos on Mother's Day 2017 - Joseph and Adam (twins), mom, myself, and Emmaline. We love and treasure our mom. We are thankful for her, love the person God made her to be, and appreciate all she's done for us and continues to do for us. Some things I love about her: how she follows Jesus and seeks to live in light of the Truth in all spheres of life, her incredible interior design and gardening skills, how she loves her grandchildren on Earth and in Heaven, her sense of humor, her servant-heart, among a thousand other things. What a gift it is to celebrate Mother's Day, and every day, with her. Side note: I wore my Lily shirt and earrings and a necklace with her photo on it. :)


I really wanted to pamper my mom on Mother's Day, especially with how much she was missing her own mother...


My friend Tina gave me a lily Bible for Lily Kat's birthday in March this year. My mom loved it when I got it, so I got her one too... with a lily in honor of her granddaughter. And I got her white daisies in honor of her mother (my Bumma), whose favorite flowers were daisies. We had white ones at her Service last month, so I want to make it an annual tradition to get my mom white daisies in her mother's honor each year for Mother's Day.


Mother's Day marked one month since my grandmother's unexpected passing and we were missing her dearly. The tears were flowing freely, especially for my mom. 

It's tough to see my mother grieve the loss of her mother. I can't do anything to ease her pain. And I feel my own pain. Mom is 60-years-old but feels in many ways like a child without her mother. She feels lost and desperate at times to talk to the woman who has been there since the moment her heart started beating. How do you say goodbye to your mother? To the one whose love brought you to life. There are so many different kinds of grief in this world, and Lily has helped me to be much more aware and sensitive of that.

Everyone dies. Those who get as many years as my Bumma got are fortunate. But just because death at an old age is expected doesn't make it any less painful. When you love someone, you don't see their age. You see the very heart and soul of that person. Bumma had 85 amazing years on this Earth. I am thankful for the nearly 28 years I had her here. But I'll miss her the rest of my life.

This photo was taken with my mama and her mama on my 21st birthday in 2010, visiting "our tree friend." ❤️


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Lily Remembered at Panama City Beach

Brooklynn's sweet mama, Ashley, took Lily along with her family on vacation this weekend to Panama City Beach, Florida. πŸ˜Œ ❤️ 🌊 ☀️ 🐚 🐳 🐬 🐟 🐠 🐒





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Lily Remembered in Wisconsin

Lily's cousin Owen's thoughtful grandmother, Melissa, remembered my sweet girl at Baileys Harbor in Door County, Wisconsin this weekend. This is Lake Michigan. πŸ˜ ❤️ 🌊 


She also sent me this photo this past week because it made her think of my Lily. It's a school in Lily Lake, Wisconsin. πŸ˜Œ


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Easter Lily from Deborah

Deborah in California thought of Lily Katherine this week when her Easter Lily from last year started blooming. πŸ’•πŸŒΈ


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Tennessee Butterfly

My sister Emma was visiting a friend in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area this past week where she captured this gorgeous photo of a butterfly. I had to share it because obviously it reminds me of Lily. πŸ˜Œ


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*You* Are Remembered This Mother's Day

Mother's Day can sting for many people for many different reasons. For some it is difficult to believe that it could be anything but happy.

I want to acknowledge mothers of all kinds - those who hold children in their hearts rather than their arms, "typical" mothers of biological children, birthmothers, foster mothers, spiritual mothers, adoptive mothers, single mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, and pregnant mothers.

I also want to mention the women who never got to be mothers, though they longed to be.

I am thinking of the women who desire to be mothers, but because of many different reasons (such as infertility, failed adoption, singleness) they haven't become one yet.

I am thinking of those who are separated from their mothers by death and are fiercely missing them.

I am thinking of those who have broken relationships with either their mother or children.

I pray the God of all hope will fill each of you with peace, comfort, and joy on this day, whether it be completely happy or bittersweet. πŸ’•πŸ’

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