I probably looked crazy.
I’m here training in Florida for work (I know gag- I’ve said it 100 times) so I’m out of my “sorts” sorta.
Went to the grocery while I had my rental car for the weekend and in my brain I went over and over ‘what do I need, what do I need”.. I only had the car until the next morning.
Then it popped in my head out of nowhere… A CANDLE! I grabbed the nearest lighter and I said to the nearest clerk “Do you sell candles here”.. gripping onto the lighter (a two pack at that) he probably thought this girl is crazy.
He said “Half way down row 4″…
I went real fast- I had others with me and they had already checked out.
I got to the middle of the row and smiled.
It was a whole row of birthday candles.
I thought to myself, “Hmm I could probably pull this off. Lets see Leo would have been 1. I could pick the number 1. He was born on the 14th- I could pick a 1 and a 4.” My mind kept going until I shook my head and went back to him ..
“I mean like candles in glass.”
“Oh I’m sorry, row 7, I thought you were wanting birthday candles”.
It was kinda sad. I’ll never really have a big birthday celebration for Leo. I suppose his day for me will always be that first Saturday in October- and then a private celebration with my family of 5 on his actual birthday. But maybe that was Leo telling me – hey Mom- celebrate my birthday a little louder next time- get me those candles.
So I found a candle, a blue candle, with 3 wicks. I knew I wanted one to be for Leo and the other to be for Milan. Little did I know that my friend would need the other.
So tonight I’m going to light a candle in my hotel room at 7 pm for Leo, MIlan, and Michael and all the other babies that have left us too soon.
It’s never easy being a mom or dad experiencing loss. I know that I can say that for probably everyone that I know.
It makes me sad when I meet another mom who lost her baby because I know what the days right before her baby died feels like…
The hospital stay. The sad drawn out faces. Walking out of the hospital. Having moments of unbelievable grief and shock .. blame, guilt… it’s every emotion and it’s in your face emotion…
and the day after your baby’s birthday.. when you wake up.. and try to get out of bed.. clutching onto your husband wondering “How do we do this?”….
Planning a funeral and hoping you do it in a way that you won’t have any regrets..
praying no one forgets that you are a family of 3, of 5, of 6….. praying no one forgets….
I can honestly say that I have been shown grace and courage from my community. Stillbirth is not an easy subject to talk about. It’s hard. You don’t know what to say. But gosh there has never been a time when I talked about Leo or talked about what pain I was going through where someone didn’t offer a hand… an ear.. a smile.. Support from my community has been BIG and to me that’s a big deal.
I have always said that if stillbirth was something that wasn’t supposed to be talked about then God pick the wrong girl to have go through it.. because I will. He heard my voice, he heard my music, and he blessed me with weeks of soft kicks.. and no morning sickness. He was going to be my “easy baby”…
He was my planned baby. The brother I wanted for Kingston… and just because he didn’t take a breath doesn’t mean that I get to just quit raising him.
Leo gave me purpose. He gave me a new life. He has shown me that even when I feel like my life is over there are still brighter days ahead.. If I’m brave enough to see them, and I am.
so tonight at 7 pm I’ll light my 3 candles for 3 sweet boys.. and many many more that have touched me
Leo gave me purpose.
Milan brought me a friend, a sister
Michael brought me courage
Sam and Adam brought me compassion
Angel brought me my first letter after loss
Emma, Madeline, Grace, Jayden, and Grace gave me a goal
All these babies have changed my life.
To all the moms and dads out there missing their baby – my heart is with you. Light a candle for our babies… it means so much.