• Charlie,  Life as a Lawrence,  Watercolor

    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…

  • Charlie,  Group B Strep,  Sad Stuff,  Writer

    Thirteen. 13. A Teen.

    Thirteen. It feels as awkward rolling off my tongue as it actually is to be thirteen. It’s hard to fathom, really, the possibility of Charlie being here and being thirteen. Waking up with scruffy hair on his head and a hint of facial hair. He would surely talk back to me with a cracking voice and when he might smile, the little boy in him would likely peek through every so often. He would have an attitude like he’s either king of the world or the most sullen teen who ever lived. Lived. If only he’d lived. Damn, there are so many things I would have — WE would have — done. All…

  • Charlie,  Group B Strep,  Writer

    Twelve. 12. XII.

    It’s been a dozen years since you stubbornly and dramatically took your first breath. Counting that many years without you is more than I can fathom, really. If someone asked me right now, I would say that it felt like just yesterday they placed you in my arms, all pink and mad. But if another person came up right behind them, I may say I could barely remember the smell of your skin or how your lip curled just a little at the corner. While there’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think about you, there are long stretches of hours when the hole in my heart feels plugged up and…

  • Charlie,  Disney Running and Travel,  Just Jana,  Team RMHC

    Goals. And Reaching Them.

    It’s not a secret, if you’ve been around here for a bit, that I have a love/hate relationship with running. I had never been a runner until one random morning in June 2012 when I decided, “Hey, I should run.” Yes, just like Forrest Gump. Short version of the story: I started Couch to 5k and a few days later was talked into signing up for the Princess Half Marathon, which would be run a short 8 months after I got my ass off my couch. It was with the team from the Ronald McDonald House in Macon. I’ve been a part of the RMHC in Macon since before it…

  • Charlie,  Life as an Anthoine

    The Photographs

    We had been talking about getting a fancy digital camera. In 2003, there weren’t a million choices like there are now, and the choices that were out there were either expensive or Capital E Expensive. We’d done our homework and knew which one we were going to get. But we had time. After all, the baby wasn’t due until June. Until it was time. As I moaned and groaned in the L&D room, my husband gave his work-wife instructions on EXACTLY which camera it was. The lens size. The case he wanted. The extra memory card he would need so he could fill it with memories of this day. And to…

  • Charlie,  Group B Strep,  Sad Stuff,  Writer

    Dreams of a Tiny Casket

    Originally published at Still Standing Magazine, July 5, 2013 Yes, you read the title right. When I was pregnant with Charlie, I dreamed of a tiny casket. I dreamed about  weeping over a flower-covered, mahogany casket that was the size of a baby. I have nightmares even ten years later about foreseeing the death of my son. I must’ve been about 7 months pregnant when it happened the first time. I remember waking up in a cold sweat with a wet face, probably from crying in my sleep. At the time, I didn’t think much about it. And I didn’t tell a soul about it. And then I dreamed it…

  • Charlie,  Sad Stuff,  Writer

    Eleven. 11. XI. Part 2.

    I have seen death. I have held it in my arms.  I have seen the beauty that comes after the darkness. I have seen the light that shines brightly on those who remember.  I have witnessed the transition from a perfect child to a perfect angel.  I have seen death. I have held it in my arms.  I have experienced the most perfect love. I continue to hold it in my heart. Happy 11th Angel Day, Charlie.

  • Charlie,  Group B Strep,  Sad Stuff,  Writer

    What Happens Next?

    On May 23, Lucy posted a comment on Charlie’s Story. It moved me and prompted me to respond however I could. I am crying for you. Devastated for you. Life is so beautiful, so heartbreaking. I don’t understand why these things happen. Perhaps you have a better idea than I? I want to know more about your journey. What happens next? How did you survive? Lucy, there are no answers. And yet? There are a million answers. Now I’ll speak of my story specifically. This is mine. Not Jason’s and not anyone else who has lost a child. Because grief is like that. You can’t speak for others. There’s no…

  • Charlie,  Writer

    Eleven. 11. XI.

    Eleven years ago today, you graced us with your presence. You caught us off guard by coming a little bit early and taking forever to be delivered. You caught us off guard by being so aware, so beautiful, so wise. From the moment you arrived, your eyes told your story. They were wide and bright, inquisitive and alert. They knew too much. They knew you had a short time. When I look back at your pictures, so very few of them, your eyes are always open. I see wisdom and love and know that you lived the life you were meant to live. It wasn’t to be a long life,…

  • Charlie,  Sad Stuff,  Writer

    A Look Inside The Private Folder Of Grief

    Tonight, on Lifetime, a movie called Return To Zero will premiere. The movie was a labor of love for writer/director/producer Sean Hanish, whose own experience with stillbirth and loss drove his passion for creating a film with a storyline based solely around the loss of a child. Return to Zero will take the audience through the highs of pregnancy, the lows of the loss, the struggles of anger and marriage, and hopefully, share that there IS hope after loss. Over the last 11 years, I’ve heard so many people say, “I don’t know how that feels, so…” when a friend or loved on loses a child. They’re paralyzed with fear…