Thanks for stopping in. There isn't really a rhyme or reason to this blog. It's just what comes to my head as I go through each day. If something I say resonates with you (positively or not), please leave a comment. It helps to know that people care. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Capture your grief--Days 8-13

I've dropped the ball a bit in the last few days.  Mike has an odd schedule since he's a police officer, and he's been off M-F this week.  When that happens, I spend as much time with him as I can.  Normally I blog and lurk on the message board after Meemers goes to bed, but not as much when he's not working.  He went back today, so here are days 8-15.  If you've forgotten, here's the assignment, again:

If you've not seen this before, my photo journey started here and continued here.

Day 8: Jewelry
I got a charm bracelet from my family for my 30th birthday, just last October.  It cost way more than I'm comfortable with, being 14K gold, and so it only had four charms on it.  After Charlotte died, I got my fifth charm: a pair of angel wings.  I debated where to put it.  Mia has a little shoe with her birth stone in it (on the left), and my intention was to get the same shoe with a different birth stone for my second child and put it on the same link.  I still plan to do that.  But that didn't make sense for Charlotte.  Instead, I put her exactly between the shoe, representing Mia, and the starfish, which represents our wedding.  That way, symbolically, baby Charlotte, our angel, is always in the center of our lives and watching over us. 

Day 9: Special Place
I debated on this one for a while.  Whenever I'm asked for a special place, regardless of the context, I usually come back to the beach, specifically the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  I picked this photo.  We went to the beach two weeks after Charlotte's death.  The trip had been planned for months, and we decided not to cancel it.  We took it as a healing place.  I remember one night, after Mia went to bed, I walked out the back door onto the steps leading to the beach (the same steps from which this picture was taken), walked down into the sand and just sat.  I cried.  I talked to Charlotte.  I asked for peace and hope.  I asked that Charlotte not forget us.  I asked for a sign that it meant something.  I looked up at the sky, and I saw a shooting star.

Day 10: Symbol
As I've written before, I see butterflies as a symbol of Charlotte's continued presence in our lives.  I took this photo in July of 2010, after our miscarriage and right before Mia was conceived.  We were in a very dark place in our lives.  We wondered if we would ever have a child.  We were sad and depressed and losing hope.  Mia was conceived, literally, two weeks later.  Butterflies have always been good luck for us.  I wonder now if Charlotte has always been a guiding force in our lives, even before we knew her.  I think I might like the idea of that.

Day 11: Supportive Friends/Family
OK, this one was hard.  If you are a reader of this blog, you know that I have felt consistently let down in terms of support by many of the people to whom I felt closest.  So, this is a picture of Mia's baby shower.  All of the women pictured have been relatively supportive (note the big white box...not even remotely supported by that person).  To show the LEVELs of support, because some are CLEARLY head and shoulders above the rest, I've played with the color saturation.  The three that really have been there for me, cared about me, and actually let me talk are in full color.  The others have been supportive, too...just in lesser ways, for various reasons.  There are a few other people I would characterize as supportive, but these are my biggest.

Day 12: Scents
This was the gown that Charlotte wore when we first met her.  Early in the morning the day after she was born, they took her briefly to weigh and measure her, and they changed her gown so that we could take this one home.  I put it in a plastic bag to preserve the scent.  It's a very antiseptic hospital scent, but it's a scent that has a strong scent-memory for me, and one that I therefore want to preserve.  I also, irrationally, don't want other people to touch this.  Only Mike, me, our daughter, and our nurse ever touched this gown.

Day 13: Signs
I never used to really believe in signs.  Now I have butterflies and wind charms and this bottle cap.  Again, if you have ever read this blog, you know that my belief process involving reasons for Charlotte's death includes another child. I believe that we will have a healthy, happy child soon who will be protected by his or her big sister, and that Charlotte wants this to happen and will help us.  I believe that a small piece of Charlotte will come back to us with this new baby.  This belief is central to my personal grieving and coping process.  As my body finally got back to normal in the last weeks, and as we were finally able to start trying again, we got this bottle cap from a bottle of Jones' Soda.  I used to get Jones' Soda all the time, and I loved the fortunes under the cap.  I hadn't had one of these sodas in years.  When we went out to dinner last week, Mike suggested we get one. This is very unusual for him, as he almost always insists we split a fountain soda to save the $1.82 (or some other paltry sum) of getting our own drinks.  For whatever reason, he wanted this soda.  This was the fortune.  If you don't know, a baby born after a loss is called a rainbow baby.  

My photo journey continues HERE.

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