Monday, July 17, 2017

Family Remembrance

Times with extended family lately have been full of reminiscing and stories and laughs shared. Remembering loved ones who have now passed on with fondness.

What I notice is that with each name spoken, there are memories associated with that person. Memories of their laugh, their expressions, things they said, how they acted, what they liked or disliked... basically all the things that make someone who they are. These things are missed and felt when they are gone. 

With Lily, I wish my family could love her the way I do. I wish they had these same memories associated with her memory and name. I wish they knew the sound of her voice and all the quirky, silly, adorable things about her... the things that make us smile and cry now about other family members. I just wish they could have known her like they knew the others who are gone. I wish her name was dropped into conversations in the same way. I wish they could love her the same. Because she is just as real and irreplaceable as each member of the family that ever came before her and will ever come after her.

And even if she isn't spoken of in the same way... even if the memories they hold are of seeing me while pregnant with her or standing over her grave at her burial, I know that her place isn't any less than it is. It just is. It cannot be tainted or torn. It cannot be lessened by lack of days or fondness of memories.

Her precious little life was here and I have the memories of her that I wish others held too. I just want to share all of her and for others to love her with the same depth and knowing as my mother heart. πŸ’•

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Ocean Isle Beach 🌊

I'm thankful for the unexpected blessing of a couple days at Ocean Isle Beach with dear friends.

"Do you not fear Me?" declares the LORD "Do you not tremble in My presence? For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, An eternal decree, so it cannot cross over it. Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail; Though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it." ~Jeremiah 5:22

Of course sweet Lily girl came along for the trip. I took the opportunity to honor her on the beach a few times. With all the adventure and fun life brings, she is always missed and always included. πŸŒŠ ❤️ ☀️ 🐚 🐳 🐬 🐟 🐠 🐒 🌴

We had a gorgeous couple days and were staying at a beautiful place!

The Lord is my favorite Artist! πŸŒ΄ πŸŒ΄ πŸŒ΄

Finders keepers πŸš

We had such fun visiting our cousin Suzie who lives at the beach where we were. She's Bumma's niece and it feels like a little piece of my grandmother to be around her and hear stories I've never heard before. Suzie was the flower girl in my grandparent's wedding.

Our friend Terri is our Bible study leader. She is one-of-a-kind and we treasure the gift she is in our lives! She is truly one of the most hospitable people I've ever known and I want to be like her. Not only that, but she loves the Lord with all her being, laughs with us, and is just all around a fun person. :)

I was introduced to the game Spikeball... it's super fun!

Seaside dining

A couple videos I took:

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Wrightsville Beach Day Trip

Last week, my friend Ashley and I took a fun day trip to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina! It's fun living only 2 hours from my house to the shore. :)

It's summertime, which means Lily's name is being written more than usual, by myself and others. I of course had to get a mommy-daughter photo. I love it!! πŸŒŠ ❤️ ☀️ 🐚 🐳 🐬 🐟 🐠 🐒 🌴

Ashley also wrote Lily's name!

Chick-fil-A on the beach... what could get better?!

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Lily Remembered at Shackleford Banks

Lily visited Shackleford Banks in North Carolina with my friend Tracey and her kiddos, who are on an "ice-cream tour" around the state. πŸ¦ This amazing place has wild horses! πŸ΄ 😍  I want Lily to travel to all the NC beaches... the state where she was born. ❤️ 🌊 ☀️ 🐚 🐬 🐳 🐟 🐠 🐒 🌴  

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Lily Remembered at Sunset Beach

Lily visited Sunset Beach, North Carolina a few days ago! πŸ˜„ πŸŒ… πŸ’• πŸ’› 🌴 🌊 🐚 ☀️ 🐳 🐬 🐠 🐟 🐒 

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Lily Remembered at Corolla

Lily tagged along with my friend Heather's family on their vacation to Corolla, North Carolina on the Outer Banks! πŸŒŠ ❤️ ☀️ 🐚 🐳 🐬 🐟 🐠 🐒 🌴

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Lily Remembered at Myrtle Beach

Lily visited Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with Tori! The ones with her name written in seashells are beautifully unique. πŸŒŠ ❤️ ☀️ 🐚 🐳 🐬 🐟 🐠 🐒 🌴


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Lily Remembered on the Outer Banks

Lily was remembered by my friend Kristen in Avon, North Carolina on the Outer Banks! πŸŒŠ ❤️ ☀️ 🐚 🐳 🐬 🐟 🐠 🐒 🌴

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Lily Remembered in Maldives

Lily was remembered across the world πŸŒŽ  by Yazka in Maldives, which is a country in South Asia on the Indian Ocean! πŸŒŠ This is most definitely the first time it's been written in this amazing place. πŸ˜ There's an extra "l" in her name, but that's okay. It's still her name and it was she who was honored over 9,000 miles from where I call home. πŸ˜Œ ❤️ ☀️ 🐚 🐳 🐬 🐟 🐠 🐒 🌴

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She's My Baby - Not a Stillborn or a Tragic Circumstance

When I shared a letter I wrote to Lily, a comment someone wrote about it rubbed me the wrong way. I know I'm not the only person who has lost a baby who struggles with well-meaning people who just don't get it. It is my hope that by discussing this it will help others to be more sensitive.

This was the comment: "Goes to show how much even an unsuccessful pregnancy changes the heart of a woman..."

I agree that every life in the womb, whether they are here for a matter of weeks, months, or however long, changes hearts and lives forever... but, I want to clear something up.

My Lily Katherine was NOT an "unsuccessful pregnancy." She IS and will forever be my daughter. My precious child. My beautiful baby girl. I held her in my arms and marveled at her perfect form, her every detail from her nails growing out to her eyelashes and eyebrows. She has a headstone. I have her handprints, footprints, photos, and a lock of her lovely hair to prove she is real. She was here.

I have never liked the word "stillborn" or "stillbirth." Lily was not "a stillborn." She is a sweet little girl. My child who looked just like me. I'm getting to the point where I don't even want to use that word when talking about Lily. In someone's mind, it seems to take away from the devastating reality of what this loss entails. Rather, I will say, "I lost my daughter at full-term." In a way, I don't even like saying I "lost" her because I didn't lose her. She might be gone from this world, but she isn't lost. She is safe at Home with Jesus. She is found in Him. I have assurance that my future is with her in Heaven.

People seem to think that because a stillborn child never lives outside their mother's womb, never takes their first breath in this world, that they somehow matter less. That the loss somehow "doesn't count."

As my friend Tina wrote to me (her daughter Lillian was also stillborn): "They were flesh and blood... who lived and moved... whom we held within the depths of our insides... so near our hearts. As the months went by and as we changed with our growing children, so did our anticipation of meeting them outside of our womb. Too many people truly do not understand and they lessen and cheapen our loss because our child died before birth. It is added agony to something that is already so unreal."

Unless you've walked in someone's specific shoes, you can't fully comprehend what they experience. So, please, let's not compare losses, whether in word or thought.

My daughter is a very real, important, loved baby, who could never be replaced by simply having another. Yes, I hope to have more children on Earth to raise one day, but they will never, ever replace my first-born. Each and every life is precious and valuable. made in the image of God, and irreplaceable.

It is sad that I lost Lily, but she herself isn't a "sad thing that happened to me" or a "tragic circumstance."

She is my beloved little flower. She lived a beautiful life and has a lasting legacy.

If your sweet baby was stillborn but still born and loved, feel free to share their name in the comments. πŸ’•

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Lily Remembered at Myrtle Beach

My new friend Michelle who is a local blog reader (she works at the hospital where Lily was born) sent me photos of her daughter writing Lily's name in the sand at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

She wrote a sweet message with it: "When I told my daughter Carly about you and sweet Lily months ago she wanted to do something. So today, she got to design Lily's name however she wanted, complete with an "i" dotted with seashells πŸš she picked. It was sweet how she wanted everything to be perfect."

Even little kiddos care about Lily. This is quite the masterpiece she created! The special touches are perfect indeed.

Even if Lily's name was written the same place 100 times, I would love it because it means she is cared about by that many people. ❤️ 🌊 ☀️ 🐳 🐬 🐟 🐠 🐒

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