Monday, January 16, 2012

Clinging to Her

I'm sitting on my bed, photos are edited, and Pandora is playing.
The song is, "Heart of Worship."
"...You search much deeper within, through the ways things appear,
You're looking into my heart..."

Tonight I want to share about how I'm clinging to Madelynn.
How I long to have her here with me.
I want to have things around me that represent her.
After all, that's all I have.

I am aware of families who have suffered loss then plummeted into financial despair.  
 Because they are searching for something that will fill 
that ache left by the loss of a pregnancy or a baby.
It's something to keep us busy so the ache doesn't overwhelm us.
It's a way to keep from sharing with others.
It's a way to hide.
I have to work hard to keep my urges to go thrifting and bargain hunting in check.
This new found pleasure has only kicked in this last year.
It becomes an obsession.
There's a need met in that moment.
For me it's the red stickers at Target or the yellow stickers at Hobby Lobby.
Searching for the next best deal.
The deal that's going to fill that empty spot.
I'm so thankful that I'm aware of it's place in my life and am able to contain it.
Thankfully God has placed other things in my life that allow me to focus on Him.
No need for interventions just yet.

So, what do I have to keep her with me?

Everything about our journey with Madelynn sits on a shelf in our house.
This basket holds her life as it was with us for 36 weeks.
It's our memories.
A special blanket.
Her ultrasound pictures.
The multitude of cards sent to us after she passed away.
Special things to pass to her sister and brother when they get older.
The candle we light on her birthdate.
The special baby shoes made by a dear friend.
A big "M." 
The polka dotted "M" also made by my friend.

It's what we see when we come in the house.
Right below her memories, our "Family is..."
She's represented by the smallest sand dollar.
She's always a part.

Tucked away in a cupboard above Nathaniel's closet is the bedding set I picked out for her.
I labored over deciding what design of bedding to get.
I decided only two months before she was born.
I just couldn't get rid of it.
I have kept it in hopes that Janell and/or Nathaniel might use it for their babies one day.
I'm sure it will still be in style right?

On Mother's Day last year, Jason designed a beautiful canvas that had the kids' initials and the verse,
"...and her children shall rise up and call her blessed."
I framed each of the kid's footprints from the hospital.
They each have their school picture there.
Janell's and Nathaniel's will change over time.
Madelynn's will always be the same,
 always be a part of our family and part of who we are.

My first Mother's day after losing Madelynn was a very tormenting time.
Oh how I wanted her here with us.
She was going to be dedicated that day along with her cousin, Kate.
They would have been nine months apart.
How exciting for my sister and I to have our daughters be so close together.

Kimberly was so thoughtful and had this necklace made for me.
It had all three kids names on it.
The rose was especially thoughtful.
Roses had become so important to me.
You can read about the symbolism of roses here.

I wear it all the time.
You can probably tell by the wear of the silver.
How treasured to have my three kids close to my heart.

That same year I had told Jason about this necklace I had read about from Angie Smith.
It was a necklace made by Lisa Leonard to honor 
Angie's daughter, Audrey, who passed away shortly after birth.
It was called the "Marked by Love," necklace.
Please check out her designs.
They are so inspired and inspiring.
Marked By Love Necklace
I had even bookmarked it on my computer.

Well, Jason's gift to me that year was this necklace.
When I wear it you see the love stamp along with a disc for Nathaniel and Janell.
What you don't see is this:
Madelynn is stamped behind the heart.
She is close to my heart every time I wear it.

I wear this necklace quite a bit too.
They are treasured pieces of handmade jewelry sure to be family heirlooms.

For Christmas, Jason's family gave me this necklace:

It represents our family, or life.
The rose resting on a cross and then in the heart.
Madelynn is with Jesus and always in our hearts.

You might know someone who has suffered the loss of a pregnancy or the loss of an infant.
They might also be clinging for ways to remember their baby.
If you're looking for ways to show them you are there for them,
perhaps find them something with their child's initial,
a decoration at Christmas, a special piece for the garden or yard,
monogrammed handkerchiefs (made for us by one of my dearest friends for our memorial services), 
a candle with their initials.
Something small that says, "your precious little one is remembered always."

Finding the blessings,


  1. Wow!!! Thank you so much for sharing that story. I am not a father yet but I am both encouraged by your faith and rocked into tears by your loss. God shows me that He is watching over you and yours...

    -jeremy weaver

  2. Thank you for sharing, what a beautiful way to find the blessings in matter how short of a time they are with us. xo Leah

  3. Such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing the pictures and the courage. Especially placing her memory box where you see it every day. One day I hope to do the same. I bought two special book boxes, but just can't seem to put the cards and memories in them. We lost Hailey Jasmine at 37 and a half weeks, still with no cause. May God continue to give you the strength each and every day.