Monday, June 18, 2018

My Reason to Hope

This life without my baby girl can be messy and complicated. As much as I want to appear to have things together emotionally and spiritually, I struggle often. I battle with jealousy and feeling forsaken.

Lately there have been a handful of friends who lost babies who have had healthy rainbows, or are anticipating an upcoming birth soon.

I see the faces of these perfectly precious babies, these children who fill the empty arms left when their older sibling/s left so soon... and I marvel at how so many conflicting emotions can reside within me at once, taking up space side-by-side in my heart and mind.

The part of me that is happy for them and rejoicing with them is angry with the part of me that resents them and wonders why it can't be me as well. The part of me that cries with joy for them scowls at the part of me sitting alongside that weeps over how I feel left behind.

Always left behind...

I see all these people talk about how long they've waited for their rainbow and I resent them for saying so when they don't know what waiting is. I say in my head when I see pictures of their babies "it must be nice." I wonder why I've been waiting for the better part of a decade and God seems in no rush to change my circumstances, even as the big 3-0 is now breathing down my neck. The passing of the days and the turn of the calendar month after month is a reminder that this internal clock of mine is tick-tick-ticking away.

As much as I want to have a positive and uplifting thing to say to tie up this post with a pretty little bow, and as much as I want to see the sunshine in the midst of the storm, I can't.

All I know is God is still good even when it's hard for me to see His goodness.

God is still trustworthy and kind, even when it seems He is unkind.

God is still sovereign and knows what's best, even if what He chooses for my life is the opposite of what I would choose.

It was a lot easier for 20-year-old Hannah Rose to proclaim the goodness of God, even in the days following the death of my baby. It was easier to hold onto hope for the future when I was still young and assuming all my dreams were certain and would be coming true in just a few year's time.

Almost 30-year-old me has a few more scrapes and bruises, more years to learn the reality of life and how our dreams and plans aren't always realized, at least not in the time or way we'd anticipate or desire.

In ways, I like the younger and more naive version of me. But I also know that in the last decade, God has made my faith real. He has made it deeper and truer and has walked alongside me in all the complicated mess. He has proven Himself faithful in my agony. His love doesn't take away my questions and pain, but it rises above it all and that is my reason to hope.


Father's Day 2018

Father's Day makes me think about all that Lily's father is missing out on with her. His love for his daughter, as well as his anguish over losing her, are both clearly written on his face in this picture. My thoughts and prayers are with all the bereaved fathers who've lost children through stillbirth, abortion, and any other way. πŸ’”

Lily's hands with her daddy's... she had his hands and feet.

And happy Father's Day to my Dad!


On Newborn Baby Cries

New life emerging
Is there a more beautiful sound
Gasping, drawing that first breath
A tiny babe's voice is found

Knife to my heart
Sound of a newborn's cry
Sweetness contradicted
In the pain of why

By silence and stillness
Soul-piercing, heart-wrenching
Like a perpetual illness

Her perfect heart stopped beating
Catapulting me into this world
A world of forever silence
Dreams for her life unfurled

Her new life emerged
Somehow already having ended
A grieving mother emerged
Previous self apprehended

Silence somehow screams
Resounding through the years
Reminder of life that slipped away
Echoing silent tears


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

It All Started with Those Two Lines in June

Nine years ago this June
Your life within me began
Summer came and with it came you

I was 19 when those two blue lines
Changed my entire life
Telling me you were mine

Afraid of what was to come
Still feeling so young,
At first I wanted to run

Like a delicate bloom,
Slowly opening in Spring
In my heart, for you He made room

As my belly grew
Throughout those months
So, my darling, did my love for you

Nine years
You whispered "hello" and "goodbye"
I am left with missing-you-tears

That positive pregnancy test
Something so small changed it all
With your life, I have truly been blessed

I ache with missing, my dear
But I smile with such joy
I am so thankful God sent you here

That positive sign too soon
Turned to words etched in stone...
It all started with those two lines in June... πŸ’•


Kept Safe

I'm always a bit concerned that something will happen to my Lily keepsakes, those irreplaceable handprints/footprints, lock of hair, foot impression, etc.

My most treasured possessions.

I've wanted to get a safe for years, but somehow it kept getting pushed to the back-burner.

I recently shared these items with a friend and mentioned how upsetting it would be to lose them in a natural disaster of some sort.

Just a couple days later, this friend got me a small safe.

I'm thankful for peace of mind and thoughtful friends.


Lily Remembered in Thailand

My sweet girl was remembered by Dorothea on Jomtien Beach in Pattaya, Thailand! πŸ˜❤️🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐒 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe


Lily Remembered in Jamaica

Lily's name was "spoken out loud and written with love" by my friend Hannah in Negril Harbour, Westmoreland, Jamaica. ❤️πŸ˜„πŸŒŠ☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐒 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe


Lily Remembered in Spain on Easter

Lily girl was remembered this Easter by Corinne on her holiday in Gran Canaria, which is one of Spain's Canary Islands, off northwestern Africa. πŸ’•πŸ°πŸ£πŸŒΈπŸŒ· #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe


Friday, June 1, 2018

An Update and an Extra Sweet Day of Being Lily's Mommy

Hello, blog readers! πŸ‘‹πŸ˜„

I haven't posted in 2 months and I know some of you are wondering where I am/if I still plan on blogging here in this space.

The answer to that question is absolutely, I will continue writing here on my blog. I have several posts tumbling around in my head that need to be written. I need to catch you up on what we did to celebrate Lily's birthday, what a sweet Mother's Day I had, the places Lily's name has been written in the sand lately, etc. Life has just been busy and I've been embracing it. With my little girl always in my heart and thoughts. Family birthdays, graduations, a new job, among other things somehow have left my blog on the back-burner. That and needing a bit of an emotional break.

I will post more soon, but for today I want to share about this past Sunday. It was an extra sweet day of carrying the title of "Lily's mommy." :)

I went to a church I'd never been to with a friend, over an hour from where I live in Virginia.

My friend Chelsea, who was an acquaintance from high-school, attends the church. I hadn't seen her in years, but we've been connected on social media. She has always been so sweet and tender-hearted about Lily. Then last year, she also had to bury her sweet baby. It was amazing to talk to her and hear what Lily's life and legacy has meant to her and how God used my story to prepare her heart for what was to come in her own journey. Isn't that just how He works? It was so good to hug her and connect with a fellow bereaved mama.

She told me she had something for me. She has been doing a fundraiser and selling sugar scrub. A lady bought a couple jars of it on Saturday and took one for herself, leaving one with Chelsea to "give to a friend." She looked on the bottom and saw that the scent was "lily." She knew she was seeing me the next day and thought how perfect it was to give to me.

At the greeting time at the church, a young woman came up to talk to me. It was someone I met in Raleigh in January at an event where I spoke! I have been meaning to blog about this, but I met a teen girl named Lily Katherine, sharing my girl's first and middle names! She too was visiting the church that week (hours from where we originally met and where we live) with some of her family. I also got to meet others in her family, including her grandmother who has also heard me speak. It touched my heart to hear how my little girl touched their hearts.

God knew how uplifting and encouraging it would be for me to go to a church I'd never been to and for my sweet girl to be known and cared about even there. He knows my love language and that it's in the small details that I feel cared for. I feel like Lily's mommy. And she will never be forgotten. I mother her the way He calls me to and He takes care of the rest. πŸ’•πŸŒΈ 


Lily Remembered in Mexico

The grandmother of a sweet babe in Heaven wrote her granddaughter's name and Lily's name together in the sand in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Sooooo sweet! πŸ˜❤️🌊☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐒  #LilyandAndiJay #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe


Lily Remembered at Redington Beach

Angie thought of Lily at Redington Beach, Florida! πŸ˜„πŸŒŠ☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐒❤️ #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe


Lily Remembered on the Kāpiti Coast

Lily Kat in Wellington, New Zealand on the Kāpiti Coast. Kāpiti Island in is in the background. Thanks, ChloΓ©! πŸ˜„πŸŒŠ☀️🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐒 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe


Lily Remembered in the Caribbean

My sweet friend Bex thought of Lily on her cruise and wrote her name in the sand at Baie Aux Prunes (Plum Bay) Beach, the French side of the island of St Marteen in the Caribbean! πŸ˜πŸŒ΄πŸš’🌊🐚🐳🐬🐟🐠🐒 #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe


Lily Remembered at the Isle of Palms

Lily was remembered last Thanksgiving at the Isle of Palms, South Carolina by my sweet friend and sister in loss and love, Liza. πŸ’›πŸπŸ’›  #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe


Lily Remembered in New Zealand

My sweet friend ChloΓ© remembered Lily in Tauranga, New Zealand! ❤️🌊🐚🐒☀️🐬🐟🐠  #LilyKatsNameintheSand #LilyKatTravelstheGlobe

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