I would like to start with a belated thank you going out to Heather at In Our Hearts Photo Pendants. I received Gracie's pendent in the mail last week and it is fantastic! Thanks so much, Heather, for offering this for the rest of us!!!
I would like to thank Katie (who hasn't started blogging, but has thought about it) and her husband Chad for the wonderful gift that they gave us Monday night for Gracie's birthday. Katie made a photo board for us to display some of Gracie's pictures, and it is simply beautiful!!! We cannot thank you enough for thinking of Gracie as her birthday approaches.
I finally got everything together to physically donate the pins that we bought for our hospital's infant loss memory boxes Monday night at our support group meeting. I have had the pins for almost 2 months now, and have just not had the time to get things together until Monday. Our initial donation was 10 sets of pins, which should hopefully last almost a year (hopefully longer than a year, since that would mean that babies are not dying). Here is what we did with them.
And, of course...more butterflies. The lady who facilitates our support group had a crafty evening planned for us on Monday. She had purchased little wooden 'albums' for us to decorate for our little ones - and they were in the shape of a butterfly. Since I have been the one to work on most of the stuff like this for Gracie, I made Jeff participate in this and make some decorating decisions. :-) We do not have a finished product yet, but I think we will be working on them again at next month's meeting while we chat. I wasn't sure how I felt about doing this at the beginning of the evening, but it was nice. It gave us somewhere to focus our energy, and it gave us (there were 2 couples in addition to us) a chance to just have open conversation about whatever happened to come up. It was good. We also learned on Monday night that our participation in this year's Memory Walk is going to be questionable. The date has been set for September 25th, which is two days after Jellybean's due date, so we have no idea where we will be or what we will be doing until the day gets here.
Overall, I think it has been a better week for me than last week. I think that the last half of the week was better than the first half of the week. Thank you all for your kind words earlier in the week. We went to NYC last weekend - to visit some friends and just to get away for a few days. It was a fantastic trip, but in a way there was definitely some 'suck factor' lingering right under the surface. A really nice part of the trip was lighting two candles for Gracie at Saint Patrick's Cathedral. It took less than 5 minutes, but was significant. Another nice part of the trip...we stayed with one of my college roommates. It was fantastic to have the opportunity to just catch up, but it was kind of difficult. Her daughter was born 4 1/2 months before Gracie's due date (so, 3 1/2 months before Gracie was born). When we were both pregnant, we got a kick out of what would happen if they had a boy (they were going to use William if it was a boy) - we would have had Will and Grace. She ended up having an Abigail instead, so that quickly ended the little Will and Grace thing...but even so, it was kind of difficult to watch the things that Abby was doing and think about think about how she and Gracie would have played together. Abby eats fruit like it is candy, and absolutely devoured the fresh-picked blueberries that we took with us...I just kept wondering if Gracie would have been doing the same thing. On Sunday morning, the 5 of us went into Queens to visit with other friends from college. They just had a baby in June, and their oldest is 22 months. So, again, Gracie was missing. There should have been 3 little girls ranging in age from 11ish to 22 months playing together, and instead there were only two. I try so hard to not think about this, but sometimes it is so hard to not...
Despite this, I think that, for me, it was a better week in general. (I think Jeff is going the other way again, though...) I have not had quite the feeling of dread that I had at the beginning of the week. I keep thinking about what was happening a year ago, and thinking about her birthday - again, it's difficult to not. I know that her birthday will come and go, and the world will continue to turn. I think back to the days before her funeral, and how much we were dreading it. We even said that we weren't going, but in the end, it wasn't the completely impossible task that we anticipated it to be. Don't get me wrong...it sucked ass, and it was the second worst event of our lives...but we got through it. So I know that the anticipation is worse than the 'event' and I know that it will be fine. It just really sucks to plan a birthday memorial for a baby that is not here.
If you haven't read my reminder post from earlier in the day, keep reading...you're almost done. :-D
Wishing you all a peaceful and restful weekend...