The Last Day of January

There was a time, about two weeks before Callie’s birthday, when I considered driving straight to my therapist’s office and camping out in the waiting room until she could work me in.  I haven’t been back since my last visit, and I know if I needed to it would be ok.  When I stopped to think about what was behind that feeling, I realized that what I was really craving was the time to grieve.  At therapy, I always had time to grieve.

It’s not that I couldn’t grieve at home.  I could, and I did.  But life, as it should, has marched forward.  Most of the time, this is fine.  More than fine…it’s wonderful!  But with Callie’s birthday looming on the horizon, I found myself needing the time to remember, to cry, and to feel.  I was so busy with life that I couldn’t find much time to deal with it.  And so, the flashbacks snuck in.  Not quite as vivid as before, but still sharp and scary.

Thank goodness for a snowy January.

I was given lots of little gifts of time this month.  So, I took advantage of them.  If I felt like looking through Callie’s scrapbook while Charlotte napped, I let myself.  If I wanted to smell the hat that she wore, I did.  If I wanted to reread our own story on the pages of this blog, I gave myself permission.

Most importantly, on her special days, John and I took time off to spend them together.  We reread every single sympathy card.  We napped on the couch and watched the clouds go by.  I let out a few big ugly cries.

We coped.  We got by.  We did it.

John and I were so touched by all the messages, cards, gifts, and phone calls that we received to tell us that you were thinking about us.  We especially loved seeing all the yellow that you wore.  It made us smile to think of how many people were wearing our sunshiny color in the middle of such a blustery winter.

And wouldn’t you know it?  It was a beautiful, sunny day, ending with an amazing sunset on Callie’s birthday when we tied balloons to the cross.  And when we let them go, the sun peeped out and shot sunbeams all around us.  She was with us then, just as she always is.

The sun peeping out on the way home from releasing our balloons

The sun peeping out on the way home from releasing our balloons

It’s the last day of January.  Thank you for doing so many acts of kindness!  Many of you used the K4C theme of “Yellow”:

Basket of Sunshine for Sorority Recruitment

Basket of Sunshine for Sorority Recruitment

"Table of Sunshine":  Yellow Donations for the Food Bank

“Table of Sunshine”: Yellow Donations for the Food Bank

Yellow foods for the food bank, a yellow basket of sunshine for sorority sisters during recruitment, a yellow car freshener and free car wash to the next car in line.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!  And so many others wrote to me to tell me about sponsoring meals for those in need, paying for the next meal in line, picking up the tab for a friend, and the list goes on and on.  Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!  Knowing that so much kindness can come out of something so sad, really has a way of changing the way you look at things.

Thanks for the smiles.  We needed every one of them.

Stay tuned for February’s K4C theme:  Hearts!

xoxo

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Callie’s 2nd Birthday

Have you ever stopped and listened to the lyrics of You Are My Sunshine?

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
You make me happy when skies are gray,
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you,
Please don’t take my sunshine away…

To my ears, it ends with a desperate plea:  Please don’t take my sunshine away.

Why did she have to go?

The second verse:

The other night dear, as I lay sleeping,
I dreamed I held you in my arms,
But when I awoke, dear, I was mistaken,
So I hung my head and cried…

My very last thought every night for the past two years is of holding you in my arms, Callie.  As I settle into dreams, I often pretend I can see you.

Can you see me?  

2:37 a.m. this morning marked two years since your birth on January 27, 2012.  This is our song.  It is a happy song, but one with a sad ending.  I wish I could change the lyrics, but then it wouldn’t be our song anymore, would it?

Happy birthday in heaven sweet girl.  You are loved.  You are missed.  You mattered.  You were here.

Now, you are there.

…But remain forever in our hearts.

Please Wear Yellow for Callie: Jan. 27-28th

 

Please wear yellow in Callie’s memory tomorrow and Tuesday.  It would mean a lot.  And please go do something nice for someone else.

 

Thank you so much for the thoughts, prayers, cards, and gifts.  We are lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful people.

 

I will always carry you, Callie.  All my life.

Charlotte’s Time Capsule: 9 Months

9months

For some reason, 9 months feels really big.  Charlotte has almost been in the world longer than she was inside the womb.  Lately when I look at her, she just seems so much bigger.  Here’s what’s happening now in Charlotte’s world:

–  This month, Charlotte celebrated her first Christmas (which you can read about here)

-She is officially ON THE MOVE!  Army crawling is her preferred method of transportation.  It’s amazing how fast she can move by just dragging herself along…and it’s quite comical!

-Now Charlotte can get into a sitting position from lying down all by herself.  It was quite a surprise to find her in her crib like this:

sitting up

-Those chunky little legs are getting stronger every day.  Charlotte has stood unassisted for short stretches of time (and by short, I mean like 5 seconds!).

-This month, we started swim class with our little fish.  She absolutely loves putting her face in the water to get toys and splashing and kicking the water.  swim1

-A few weeks ago, Charlotte gave her Daddy a wave goodbye.  She won’t recreate it on demand, but we do catch her waving to the dogs quite a bit 😉

-We experienced our first illness with Charlotte this month…the flu!  I can’t believe she made it nine months without getting sick since she has two parents who work in schools and goes to daycare.  We thank our lucky stars for that, but it was still SO sad to see her feeling bad.  (I won’t lie though…I did enjoy the extra snuggles!)

Thanks so much for all the yellow acts of kindness this month!  I’m so excited to share a wrap-up of them later.  You have no idea how much it means to us.  xoxo

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge: Best Faces of 2013

iheartfacescontestedit

When I saw this contest come up, I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring 😉  Here is my favorite little face.  Charlotte was definitely the best thing that happened to me in 2013.  This IHeartFaces challenge is being judged by Kelle Hampton, whose blog I absolutely adore.  I found it after we lost Callie when I stumbled across her birth story for her sweet little Nella.  She is a wonderful writer and has a great book called Bloom.  You should pick it up!

Keep your fingers crossed for me! xoxo

Oh, and thank you SOOOO much to those of you who have already sent me your “yellow” acts of kindness this month.  One friend passed a yellow air freshener to the car in line behind her after she paid for their carwash!  How cute is that???.  I can’t tell you how much it means to us.

If you want to enter a photo to the contest too, go to the iHeartFaces website!

Kindness for Callie: January is Yellow Month

January belongs to Callie.

And for that reason, this month’s Kindness for Callie theme is YELLOW!

Some ideas for some yellow acts of kindness:

K4C201401_edited-1

 

  • Give someone a box of sunshine:  My friend Brittany did this for me after we lost Callie and it was such a sweet act of kindness that completely brightened my day.
box of sunshine

example of a box of sunshine

  • Send someone an anonymous bouquet of yellow flowers.  Some great options are sunflowers, roses, carnations, tulips, or daisies.
  • Bake some “smiley” cookies as a surprise for someone.  They are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face.

smiley cookie

  • Buy some yellow study materials like highlighters and post-it notes and mail them to a college student living away from home.  All college kids love getting a random package in the mail!
  • Bright yellow school bus drivers do an important job…and it’s not easy!  Show them some love by handing them a hot chocolate at the bus stop.

Do you have any other “yellow” ideas for Kindness for Callie this month?  Please share them in the comments below!

Don’t forget to hand out a K4C card and send me an email if you would like your act of kindness to go on the blog!  I can keep it just between me and you if you’d rather not share it, but I love hearing all the ways that Callie’s life is touching others and making people’s days just a little bit more sunshiny!