We Never Forget: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day 2018

“If you know someone who has lost a child, and you’re afraid to mention them 
because you think you might make them sad 
by reminding them that they died–you’re not reminding them.
They didn’t forget they died.
What you’re reminding them of is that you remembered that they lived, 
and…that is a great gift.”
~Elizabeth Edwards~

Today, October 15, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. For the last nine years (NINE?) I have taken this day on this site to remember little lives lost far too soon.

In 2006, after years of pushing for it, the day was recognized by the House of Representatives. In 1988, President Reagan had declared October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. But in my opinion, celebrating this day for ONE day is much easier for a parent who has lost a child than for the whole month.

The International Wave of Light is the simultaneous lighting of candles in memory of these babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss at 7pm in your local time zone tonight. The result is a continuous chain of light spanning the globe for a 24 hour period. Just think about that for a minute. How beautiful!

So tonight at 7pm, wherever you are, light a candle or say a prayer (or do what you do) in memory of all the baby angels that are watching over us and in honor of all the parents left behind to grieve the loss of dreams and bright futures for their children. Take a minute to say their names out loud. Remember them. Realize they were here and real and loved and are still loved…

These are our special Angels and members of The Club I will be lighting a candle for tonight:

  • Our first baby: Junebug – miscarriage at 13 weeks, June 19, 2002
  • Our second baby: Charles “Charlie” Fleetwood Anthoine – died at 24 days old from late-onset Group B Strep, born May 21, 2003 and died June 14, 2003 – his story here
  • The daughter of Pam Doherty, Hannah Noelle MacDonald was born still on February 3, 2003 from Group B Strep sepsis. Her father is John MacDonald.
  • Oliver Nelson Wright, son of Chris and Danna Wright, born and died October 2, 2010.
  • Leighton Sophie Taylor – daughter of Amy and Chris, twin sister to Jaxon – born May 26, 2011 and died June 17, 2011 from Group B Strep
  • Stephanie and Anna Causley – daughters of Paul and Robyn Causley – miscarriages at 12 and 6 weeks, respectively in 2003.
  • Sara Kay – born still September 7, 2009
  • Susan and Matt’s baby – miscarriage at 12 weeks – December 25, 1999
  • Emma Jade – Kat’s sweet baby – miscarriage at 9 weeks in 2001
  • Cara Jennifer – daughter of Carrie-Ann – born and died on August 17, 2010 – lived 12 minutes
  • Jill and Kyle Clay’s babies – Baby Clay, miscarriage October 2004 and Baby Clay, miscarriage October 2005 – both around 10 weeks
  • Cora Mae McCormick – November 30, 2009 to December 6, 2009
  • Skye, Dakota and Martina – Nanna Chris and Mommy Staci and Little Sister Joclynn’s triplets – July 7th, 2007
  • Drew and Amanda’s Baby – miscarriage October 6, 2010
  • Brianna Elizabeth Franzen – Daughter of my friend, Julie. Born January 29, 1998 and died March 7, 1998 from a heart defect.
  • Cecily’s Sons – Nicholas and Zachary, October 27, 2004
  • Shauna’s Babies – one at 16 weeks, one tubal pregnancy
  • Erin’s Babies – Baby 1, September 2006, miscarriage; Baby 2, January 2007, miscarriage; Baby Girl 1, December 2008, late miscarriage; Baby Girl 2, born still on August 17, 2009 at 18 weeks.
  • Elizabeth Anne’s Baby – Baby Childs, miscarried June 12, 2006
  • Elizabeth Anne’s Friend’s Son – Jonah Oliver, delivered and died on Thanksgiving Day 1997 at 18 weeks gestation.
  • Becca’s friend’s daughter – Chandler Rivers, born 13 weeks early and died a week before her due date.
  • Jessica and Mark’s Daughter: Hadley Jane, born October 9, 2007 and died October 11, 2007.
  • Trish’s baby “Peanut”
  • Michael and Robin’s babies – miscarriage at 5 weeks in April 2009, and miscarriage at 10 weeks in September 2012
  • Olivia Grace – daughter of my friend Barbara. She was born January 8, 2004 and died August 23, 2004 from bacterial meningitis.
  • Sunday’s babies – Tomorrow Dawn- December 1993, miscarried at 8 weeks and Samuel- January 2002, miscarried at 11 weeks (named our first son Samuel in his honor and memory)
  • Lindsay’s baby – little one lost to miscarriage at 10 weeks in May 2003
  • Lynn’s 8 babies – 5 lost at 14 weeks and 3 lost early at 8-10 weeks
  • Ms. Marie’s baby – miscarriage October 1977
  • Isabella Pearl De Leon – Stillborn one week before scheduled delivery. March 5, 2011. Paul & Nicole De Leon
  • Nora Henke –  Born still December 30, 2012
  • Mike & Lauren’s babies: miscarriage at 6 wks in 1999; miscarriage at 7 wks in 2000; miscarriage at 10 wks in 2001
  • Carter Austin – March 18, 2006
  • Tucker Harris Neu and Fletcher Thomas Neu
  • Fiona Jane Tully was stillborn on May 8, 2011, and her sister, Brigid Eileen Tully, lived from May 8, 2011 to June 23, 2011 – daughters of Eileen Tully
  • Leah Brook Tomlin – daughter of Bevin and Adam, sister of Taylor. Born January 7, 2013 and died January 13, 2013 from Prenatal-Onset GBS
  • Carl Martin Kerr – passed away in utero at 6 months. Born on January 25, 2013. Baby Kerr – miscarried at 6 weeks on August 25, 2013. Both children of Solanke and Cincia and siblings to Isabella.
  • Jacob, born at 20 weeks in 2006. Lived for 52 minutes. Son of Nick and Melissa Tabbert.
  • Isabella-Rose Elizabeth, born still October 12, 2009, daughter of Tia.
  • Bailey Winter Dumitru, son of Tori and Kevin, born at rest December 8, 2007.
  • Renee’s daughter, Lucielle Diane, born and died July 15, 2013
  • Caleb Andrew Franklin, beloved Son of Julie and Andy. Born at 24 weeks on August 17, 2004 and died August 25, 2004.
  • James Chadwick “Chad” son of Jimmy and Debbie and brother to Kristen and Brandi, born and died November 16, 1980 due to a placental abruption.
  • Asher Vinsant, son of Kylie Vinsant, born January 4, 2012 and died January 12, 2012 due to Early Onset Group B Strep.
  • Eve, daughter of Wade & Kacey Dixon, born October 21, 2010 and died November 4, 2010 from Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
  • Amelia, daughter of Bob and Catherine, born May 4th, 2014 and died June 1st, 2014 from Late Onset Group B Strep.
  • Angel Wills, baby of Michael and Jamie, August 2010.
  • Henry, son of Sara and Brian, born May 29, 2007 and died December 17, 2007.
  • Andrea and Jay’s baby. Miscarriage in November 2010.
  • Heather’s daughter, Clara Edith Webb, who was stillborn on July 1, 2012 at 42 weeks 3 days gestation.
  • William Benjamin Redland, born April 10, 2014 and died April 28, 2014 due to Group B Strep.
  • Beckie’s baby. Miscarriage, March 1999 at 9 weeks.
  • Jo’s babies: John Sebastian – Potters Syndrome, full term, born still November 12, 1999; Damian Paige – late term miscarriage August 20, 2005; Willow Soleil – November 18, 2013 miscarriage; Baby Britt – September 2016.
  • Alisha’s son, Mason Daniel Pablo. Born still at 26 weeks on July 23, 2015.
  • Kelli and Michael’s son, Grady Michael, born and died June 12, 2015 from Potter’s Syndrome. Little brother to Slater and Mykelyn and big brother to baby Canaan.
  • William Barsi, son of Jennifer and James Barsi, big brother and fierce protector. Arrived at at 24 weeks, 1 day on January 29, 2013, and in doing so saved his twin brother and his mother’s lives. He died on Valentine’s Day 2013.
  • Baby Girl K and Baby EE, babies of T.
  • Chloe, daughter of Leesa, ectopic pregnancy in 2001.
  • Angela Talo’s baby, miscarriage February 26, 2006.
  • Skylar Natasha Maine Milner, daughter, younger and older sibling to John, Joanna, Haylie, and Aria. Born June 18 2013 died June 17 2013 at 28 weeks.
  • Elizabeth Paige West, daughter of Schyler West, July 17, 2013.
  • Hope Elizabeth, firstborn of Tom and Misty Duncan, born sleeping September 27, 2004.
  • Baby Frese – Miscarriage November 6, 2017 at 7.5 weeks.
  • Malakai Zachary, son of Jenni W – March 10, 2007.

Older “babies” we choose to remember today, too.

  • Laura Kaye Anthoine – October 20, 1969-April 3, 1981 – Daughter of Kaye and Roy, Sister of my ex-husband Jason
  • Allison Reid – daughter of Robin Reid and Sean Reid – though she was not an infant when she died, she contracted the same bacteria that Charlie did and suffered long-term challenges. Allison was born on March 1, 2002 and died on January 25, 2008. I had the honor of meeting Allison and she was a fabulous fighter.
  • Cason Heard Adams- January 27, 1989-December 4, 2001 , was called home to live with the angels. He was a bright light to all that knew him and is greatly missed everyday by his family and friends.
  • Chrissi’s Son: Tyler, born March 22, 1997 and died September 15, 2003

** I will add babies if you email me at janasthinkingplace@me.com to tell me you want me to add your angel. I know there are so many more, but I don’t want to publish without your permission. These are carried over from the previous eight years and I’ve added new ones. I have also decided to add a few older children because really, they’re all our babies.**

The Sounds of Summer

Right now, Africa by Toto is playing in my ear. Before that, it was Aja by Steely Dan. I’m sure in a little while it will be Kiss on my List by Hall & Oates.

Yacht Rock Radio is my jam of choice these days, and I’ve decided that it’s because of the feelings that bubble up inside me when I listen to the music. The slow melodies take me to the chair of the orthodontist’s office, and even the first dances and first kisses of my life. But none are as strong as the ones that take me to the Pine Needles Country Club Pool.

I can see it now.

The Kennedy boys and Wendy lifeguarding. The deep end of the pool covered by an all-day natural shade. The pebbled texture of the pool’s walls with people holding themselves up all along the edges. Little kids getting swim lessons in the shallow end. Cannonballs and dives and can openers, one after another, from the diving board. People lined up for the slide that, if you weren’t careful, would tear your bathing suit up because it was so worn down and prickly.

Damp money was pulled from pool bags and cover-up pockets to hand to teens to get snacks from the snack bar.

The kiddie pool was lukewarm and filled with the tiny kids in real diapers. The ones of the young families in town, and even some of our parents’ friends who had “late babies.” The moms like Mrs Andie and Mrs Janie and Mrs Susan and Mrs Jann, younger than I am right this minute, tanning and gossiping and poking straws in Capri Suns for everybody who was left by their parents to spend the day at the pool.

I can smell it even more.

The dressing room smelled like chlorine and sweat and mold and melted Kit Kat bars. There was so much chlorine in the pool, you could smell it from the car. Red clay from the road between the pool and tennis courts wafted through on the dry days. The shady deep end smelled like a moss-filled forest  — like you were miles from the shallow end that was bright like the surface of the sun.

The vision of bright bathing suits and big hair and the scent of Hawaiian Tropic oil combined with Baby Oil and teenage hormones lingers in my memory, reminding me of days that were, for the most part, carefree and easy.

I feel like these memories come to us in moments where we need to be reminded of something. Maybe it’s a simpler time. Maybe it’s to check in on friends that are collected in the snapshots in our minds. Maybe it’s just to roll down the windows and sing as loud as you can without a care in the world.

To the memories I carry, I say, quoting the great Toto: “It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you; There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do.”

 

 

Charlie Blue: The Painting

Charlie Blue: The Painting

For years, I’ve lived by the belief that grief is like a rock in your shoe, an analogy shared with me by a friend only months after Charlie died. It was life-changing in the way that I remember exactly where I was and how my heart fluttered when I realized that YES! This is so true.

Grief is different for everyone. It’s always there.

But sometimes you find yourself surrounded by reminders. Little snippets of memories. They seem to be everywhere. Numbers, names, colors, smells…

*****

My newly joined family recently moved. The thing about being married to someone who wasn’t part of your life when your child died, is knowing how much “Charlie stuff” is too much. I have one photo of Charlie that has always stayed in my bedroom, almost looking over me. It’s the only picture we have, other than the one they took as he left the hospital, where his eyes are both open and he looks awake and alert and you can really SEE him.

This photo feels really private. Really personal. Really real.

So anyway, we moved. And the first thing I wanted to do was hang his photo. Why? Well, all our other kids were there, in the house, with their own spaces. He should be there, too.

But it felt weird. I didn’t want to make it feel like he was sneakily watching us. I didn’t want it to feel like a shrine to my dead kid. I didn’t want to make someone else uncomfortable. I didn’t want to be the person who brings the sad into the family.

So I carefully hung his photo on the wall behind the door and went to change out the laundry.

I felt immense guilt within 5 minutes and went back to my room, took down the photo, and hung it on a wall that faces the side wall but not the bed. It wasn’t something that would be seen all the time.

I felt much better. He’s mine to see and to share with my new husband and family. Right? Right. No more guilt.

*****

In March, my step-daughter turned 15. I knew that she and Charlie were the same age; I’ve known it since day one. She was born exactly 2 months before he was. But it never clicked until all of a sudden there was talk of driving and learners’ permits and college.

It didn’t really hit me until her birthday when I seemed to have Charlie Kisses* all week. The knot in my stomach that lasted a week was as intense as it was when I realized he should be starting kindergarten or turning double-digits.

It’s amazing looking at her interact with Henry. Most of the time I don’t think anything of it, but sometimes I see a glimpse into how he and Charlie would interact if he were here. But if he were here, would Henry be? Would I be where I am today? Questions…

*****

The Charlie Kisses haven’t stopped, and they had for a while. I missed them terribly.

I’ve come to believe there are times in my life when I NEED to know he’s there, hovering over my shoulder, nudging me to remember. To remember he was real. To remember he breathed and smiled and cried and ate and nuzzled up under my chin with his baby milk-breath and snored his tiny baby snore of happiness. I NEED to remember. I HAVE to remember. I don’t know the rhyme or reason behind when he shows up, but he does.

The other day I was poking around on Instagram, clicking on Stories which is something I never do. I’ve followed a woman named Bridget Foley for years, since I read her novel, Hugo & Rose, and fell in love with the characters and thus her. We’re friends on Facebook and have interacted a normal amount for people who kinda once-removed know each other.

See, Bridget is an artist as well as a writer. She’s brilliant at both, but that day a painting of hers, in her IG Story, stopped me in my tracks. It was a giraffe. With Charlie’s eyes. I know you’re like, “what does that even mean?” But you know when you see someone and automatically know who their grandmother is because they have the same exact smile or eyes or way they tilt their head? That’s what it means. I knew this giraffe.

IMG_2158

Photo: @wonderfoley on Instagram

A little back story: When I was in labor with Charlie, I was given an Ambien to help me sleep for a bit since my water hadn’t broken. Little did we know, I was allergic to it. I was one of the people who hallucinate and get violently ill. My hallucinations, before the violent puking started, were of giraffes who were not only talking about how filthy under my bed was, but they were cleaning under my bed. Their necks kept pushing my bed and making it bounce and I kept yelling at them to stop. They had brooms and mops and were yelling back at me, wondering why my area was so gross.

The giraffes had blue spots. It was so insane. They had what we now call Charlie Blue spots. Everything surrounding Charlie’s life made no sense and all the sense in the world. This color, and giraffes, has spent the last 15 years haunting me in a happy, magical way. Charlie Blue and giraffes show up when I least expect them.

Back to Bridget. Here was a painting of a giraffe. With my son’s eyes, staring at me. Big, almost black they were so dark, wide, aware. So very aware. Eyes that knew things. Eyes that knew they would never see past 24 days. Eyes that weren’t supposed to grace this world with the knowledge and beauty and soul that was behind them.

I messaged Bridget. I said, “Do you do commissions? I NEED this giraffe, but done with a different color spots.” I’m pretty sure she thought I was crazy, and I felt a little crazy asking. She answered with a simple, “Ha! Sure! What colors?”

A few days later, a painting appeared in my mailbox and left me speechless. It was the perfect giraffe. It was just like the ones under my labor & delivery bed. It was the same one I’ve had in my head for years, waiting for it to just appear magically in front of me. It had his eyes.

*****

I framed the giraffe and wondered where to hang it.

This painting felt and feels really private. Really personal. Really real.

I knew.

I walked confidently upstairs with a hammer and a nail, pulled the other picture off the only-see-it-if-you-want-to wall, and hung them both front and center, right beside my bed, so they could watch over me and my husband every night.

IMG_2237

If I can’t have him here to see, hear, touch, and love, then the best I can do, I can see him first and last thing every single day. He is part of this family, too.

*****

 

*Looking at the clock at 9:19, morning and night, the time he was born. Happens all. the. time.

Alway In Our Hearts: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day 2017

“If you know someone who has lost a child, and you’re afraid to mention them 
because you think you might make them sad 
by reminding them that they died–you’re not reminding them.
They didn’t forget they died.
What you’re reminding them of is that you remembered that they lived, 
and…that is a great gift.”
~Elizabeth Edwards~

Today, October 15, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. In 2006, after years of pushing for it, the day was recognized by the House of Representatives. In 1988, President Reagan had declared October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. But in my opinion, celebrating this day for ONE day is much easier for a parent who has lost a child than for the whole month.

The International Wave of Light is the simultaneous lighting of candles in memory of these babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss at 7pm in your local time zone tonight. The result is a continuous chain of light spanning the globe for a 24 hour period. Just think about that for a minute. How beautiful!

So tonight at 7pm, wherever you are, light a candle or say a prayer (or do what you do) in memory of all the baby angels that are watching over us and in honor of all the parents left behind to grieve the loss of dreams and bright futures for their children. Take a minute to say their names out loud. Remember them. Realize they were here and real and loved and are still loved…

These are our special Angels and members of The Club I will be lighting a candle for tonight:

  • Our first baby: Junebug – miscarriage at 13 weeks, June 19, 2002
  • Our second baby: Charles “Charlie” Fleetwood Anthoine – died at 24 days old from late-onset Group B Strep, born May 21, 2003 and died June 14, 2003 – his story here
  • The daughter of Pam Doherty, Hannah Noelle MacDonald was born still on February 3, 2003 from Group B Strep sepsis. Her father is John MacDonald.
  • Oliver Nelson Wright, son of Chris and Danna Wright, born and died October 2, 2010.
  • Leighton Sophie Taylor – daughter of Amy and Chris, twin sister to Jaxon – born May 26, 2011 and died June 17, 2011 from Group B Strep
  • Stephanie and Anna Causley – daughters of Paul and Robyn Causley – miscarriages at 12 and 6 weeks, respectively in 2003.
  • Sara Kay – born still September 7, 2009
  • Susan and Matt’s baby – miscarriage at 12 weeks – December 25, 1999
  • Emma Jade – Kat’s sweet baby – miscarriage at 9 weeks in 2001
  • Cara Jennifer – daughter of Carrie-Ann – born and died on August 17, 2010 – lived 12 minutes
  • Jill and Kyle Clay’s babies – Baby Clay, miscarriage October 2004 and Baby Clay, miscarriage October 2005 – both around 10 weeks
  • Cora Mae McCormick – November 30, 2009 to December 6, 2009
  • Skye, Dakota and Martina – Nanna Chris and Mommy Staci and Little Sister Joclynn’s triplets – July 7th, 2007
  • Drew and Amanda’s Baby – miscarriage October 6, 2010
  • Brianna Elizabeth Franzen – Daughter of my friend, Julie. Born January 29, 1998 and died March 7, 1998 from a heart defect.
  • Cecily’s Sons – Nicholas and Zachary, October 27, 2004
  • Shauna’s Babies – one at 16 weeks, one tubal pregnancy
  • Erin’s Babies – Baby 1, September 2006, miscarriage; Baby 2, January 2007, miscarriage; Baby Girl 1, December 2008, late miscarriage; Baby Girl 2, born still on August 17, 2009 at 18 weeks.
  • Elizabeth Anne’s Baby – Baby Childs, miscarried June 12, 2006
  • Elizabeth Anne’s Friend’s Son – Jonah Oliver, delivered and died on Thanksgiving Day 1997 at 18 weeks gestation.
  • Becca’s friend’s daughter – Chandler Rivers, born 13 weeks early and died a week before her due date.
  • Jessica and Mark’s Daughter: Hadley Jane, born October 9, 2007 and died October 11, 2007.
  • Trish’s baby “Peanut”
  • Michael and Robin’s babies – miscarriage at 5 weeks in April 2009, and miscarriage at 10 weeks in September 2012
  • Olivia Grace – daughter of my friend Barbara. She was born January 8, 2004 and died August 23, 2004 from bacterial meningitis.
  • Sunday’s babies – Tomorrow Dawn- December 1993, miscarried at 8 weeks and Samuel- January 2002, miscarried at 11 weeks (named our first son Samuel in his honor and memory)
  • Lindsay’s baby – little one lost to miscarriage at 10 weeks in May 2003
  • Lynn’s 8 babies – 5 lost at 14 weeks and 3 lost early at 8-10 weeks
  • Ms. Marie’s baby – miscarriage October 1977
  • Isabella Pearl De Leon – Stillborn one week before scheduled delivery. March 5, 2011. Paul & Nicole De Leon
  • Nora Henke –  Born still December 30, 2012
  • Mike & Lauren’s babies: miscarriage at 6 wks in 1999; miscarriage at 7 wks in 2000; miscarriage at 10 wks in 2001
  • Carter Austin – March 18, 2006
  • Tucker Harris Neu and Fletcher Thomas Neu
  • Fiona Jane Tully was stillborn on May 8, 2011, and her sister, Brigid Eileen Tully, lived from May 8, 2011 to June 23, 2011 – daughters of Eileen Tully
  • Leah Brook Tomlin – daughter of Bevin and Adam, sister of Taylor. Born January 7, 2013 and died January 13, 2013 from Prenatal-Onset GBS
  • Carl Martin Kerr – passed away in utero at 6 months. Born on January 25, 2013. Baby Kerr – miscarried at 6 weeks on August 25, 2013. Both children of Solanke and Cincia and siblings to Isabella.
  • Jacob, born at 20 weeks in 2006. Lived for 52 minutes. Son of Nick and Melissa Tabbert.
  • Isabella-Rose Elizabeth, born still October 12, 2009, daughter of Tia.
  • Bailey Winter Dumitru, son of Tori and Kevin, born at rest December 8, 2007.
  • Renee’s daughter, Lucielle Diane, born and died July 15, 2013
  • Caleb Andrew Franklin, beloved Son of Julie and Andy. Born at 24 weeks on August 17, 2004 and died August 25, 2004.
  • James Chadwick “Chad” son of Jimmy and Debbie and brother to Kristen and Brandi, born and died November 16, 1980 due to a placental abruption.
  • Asher Vinsant, son of Kylie Vinsant, born January 4, 2012 and died January 12, 2012 due to Early Onset Group B Strep.
  • Eve, daughter of Wade & Kacey Dixon, born October 21, 2010 and died November 4, 2010 from Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
  • Amelia, daughter of Bob and Catherine, born May 4th, 2014 and died June 1st, 2014 from Late Onset Group B Strep.
  • Angel Wills, baby of Michael and Jamie, August 2010.
  • Henry, son of Sara and Brian, born May 29, 2007 and died December 17, 2007.
  • Andrea and Jay’s baby. Miscarriage in November 2010.
  • Heather’s daughter, Clara Edith Webb, who was stillborn on July 1, 2012 at 42 weeks 3 days gestation.
  • William Benjamin Redland, born April 10, 2014 and died April 28, 2014 due to Group B Strep.
  • Beckie’s baby. Miscarriage, March 1999 at 9 weeks.
  • Jo’s babies: John Sebastian – Potters Syndrome, full term, born still November 12, 1999; Damian Paige – late term miscarriage August 20, 2005; Willow Soleil – November 18, 2013 miscarriage.
  • Alisha’s son, Mason Daniel Pablo. Born still at 26 weeks on July 23, 2015.
  • Kelli and Michael’s son, Grady Michael, born and died June 12, 2015 from Potter’s Syndrome. Little brother to Slater and Mykelyn and big brother to baby Canaan.
  • William Barsi, son of Jennifer and James Barsi, big brother and fierce protector. Arrived at at 24 weeks, 1 day on January 29, 2013, and in doing so saved his twin brother and his mother’s lives. He died on Valentine’s Day 2013.
  • Baby Girl K and Baby EE, babies of T.
  • Chloe, daughter of Leesa, ectopic pregnancy in 2001.
  • Angela Talo’s baby, miscarriage February 26, 2006.
  • Skylar Natasha Maine Milner, daughter, younger and older sibling to John, Joanna, Haylie, and Aria. Born June 18 2013 died June 17 2013 at 28 weeks.
  • Elizabeth Paige West, daughter of Schyler West, July 17, 2013

Older “babies” we choose to remember today, too.

  • Laura Kaye Anthoine – October 20, 1969-April 3, 1981 – Daughter of Kaye and Roy, Sister of my ex-husband Jason
  • Allison Reid – daughter of Robin Reid and Sean Reid – though she was not an infant when she died, she contracted the same bacteria that Charlie did and suffered long-term challenges. Allison was born on March 1, 2002 and died on January 25, 2008. I had the honor of meeting Allison and she was a fabulous fighter.
  • Cason Heard Adams- January 27, 1989-December 4, 2001 , was called home to live with the angels. He was a bright light to all that knew him and is greatly missed everyday by his family and friends.
  • Chrissi’s Son: Tyler, born March 22, 1997 and died September 15, 2003

** I will add babies if you email me at janasthinkingplace@me.com to tell me you want me to add your angel. I know there are so many more, but I don’t want to publish without your permission. These are from the previous six years and I’ve added new ones. I have also decided to add a few older children because really, they’re all our babies.**

When Your Heart’s Content

When Your Heart’s Content

Left.

Left.

Left.

Ugh. Left

Good God this is horrible. Left.

Why am I doing this? Left.

I can’t believe I got talked into downloading this stupid app. Left.

I’m going to turn this stupid thing off. Left.

Oh hey, he’s cute. He likes fun and food and beer and whiskey?

Pause. Lef…. Right.

Shit. Shitshitshit.

I should just delete this app.

I’ll definitely do that tomorrow. This sucks. Whatever.

Being single is fine. I don’t need anybody.

………

Apparently, he thought I was cute and since I declared my love for bourbon in my profile, too, he swiped right. We talked for hours, learned we were both from Middle Georgia, and set a date to meet for drinks three days later.

I knew from the minute I saw him, he was going to be Trouble with a capital T.

But he was easy to talk to. He made me feel calm, like a human Klonopin. Being around him made me smile on the inside, and according to many, on the outside as well.

One date turned to two, then three and four and five and the next thing we know, we’re making plans together. To go away for Christmas. For him to go to Disney with me. A surprise weekend away in Savannah. Germany to celebrate his 40th birthday at Oktoberfest. Restaurants to try. Cities to visit. A whole list of things we wanted to do. Together.

IMG_8725

It all felt a little like being a teenager again. The butterflies and the cheesy late-night texts and date nights. The nerves over saying the words “I love you” to him when you think you know he loves you, but you’re not quite sure.

The difference, though, between now and when I was a teen, is that there were kids thrown in there. Mine with me during the week and at his dad’s on the weekends. His two girls at their mom’s except every other weekend. I grew to love his girls (well, I didn’t really have to grow to love them, I adored them from day one) and he and Henry developed a mutual love for each other.

Our kids all met and from the minute they were introduced, they acted like siblings – arguing one minute, coming up with ways to make their dad marry his mom the next, and finding shows to binge and enjoy together. All of their conspiring led to a last-minute trip to Hilton Head Island for a weekend. We all piled in the car (my new one that was bought with the idea that it needed to seat not one, but three children) and headed off on what really was a Family Vacation. It felt like we’d been this little crew forever.

We had become a family. Me. Him. One boy. Two girls. Far from the Brady Bunch, but a motley crew nonetheless. It works. We all work. We fit together like pieces of a puzzle.

fam

This past week, Brian and the kids (14, 12, 8) kept a pretty big secret from me. With Henry’s permission, on Sunday morning, after having me watch an incredibly sweet (and cheesy) video of all the things we’ve done together and as a family, Brian asked if I would marry him.

Of course, I said, “YES.”

And once I settled down a little from being so excited and surprised, I realized that this is what your heart feels like when it is truly content.

It feels like being outside on a cool, crisp day, wrapped in a blanket. It feels like the first sips of hot chocolate on a freezing day and a cold beer on a steamy day. It feels like a blissful dream where you’re lost in a field of gorgeous flowers under a bright blue sky, never be found. It feels like the promise of a new day with every sunrise. It feels like an ocean being warmed by the sun*. 

It feels like home.

It feels like love.

It feels like this.FullSizeRender

 

*Lyrics Courtesy of The Shins, Simple Song

PS: Fun Fact of the Day. My word for 2017 is content. And I’ve found it.

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