I received a lovely package in the mail the other day, and am reminded again how special it is to have something tangible by which to remember our babies.
Several months ago, I added my babies’ names to the request list at Lil Angels Hankies. What these ladies do – embroidering handkerchiefs with names and dates – is such a sweet thing because they, too, know how special it is to have something with the names of our babies on it. I had no idea when my hankies would arrive, but I put my name on the list and donated something to their cause, knowing that they don’t charge, but rely on donations to buy hankies, thread, and postage in order to send something beautiful to people missing their babies.
When I went to the mailbox, it was such a pleasant surprise to find my handkerchiefs there, embroidered in pink and tied with pink ribbons for my girls, Fiona and Brigid.
They made me tear up.
There are just times right now that I feel like the memory of my babies is slipping away. I think, “Was I really pregnant with twins? Did we really go through that agony of losing them one after the other? Have I really buried two babies?” Though there are some times that I can be right back there in the moment and relive the heartache, the pain has dulled some over the past few years, and the memories have faded a bit, too. They become fuzzy and I can’t remember the details as well – the smell of my baby, the feeling of tiny Brigid’s three pound body in my arms. I miss knowing those things, and the forgetting hurts my heart. I love them so much, and will love them forever, but part of loving someone is knowing them, and I wish I could know more about them or remember those few things that I do know.
Our family took a vacation last week (and, as an aside, I can’t even count how many people commented about the children – about the three boys and finally getting “that girl.” About “fourth time was a charm, huh?” Sometimes I said something about the twin girls we’d lost, but usually I just smiled and nodded. I know from the many comments on my post How Many Kids Do You Have? that you all can relate to the torn feelings those comments can bring.) Before we left, I was going through some pictures that were stored on an older camera to make room for the new ones to come, and on there, I discovered some photos I’d taken of Brigid in the NICU. It was like finding a thousand dollars in the pocket of an old coat – glimpses of our tiny girl that I’d forgotten I’d captured. My husband and I looked at them and cried as we remembered. We cried about the forgetting.
(How could we have forgotten?)
But it happens. We forget. We are human. We’ll love them forever, and as long as we’re living, our babies they’ll be, but we forget some of the details about them. And right now, I find that some days go by in which I don’t think of them at all. Life is busy and crazy, and sometimes I just forget to think about them. I don’t know what to make of that – it feels like I’m betraying them or that I don’t love them enough, but I also know that it’s just part of the healing process. But I am thankful for little reminders – like my hankies or those forgotten photographs – that can help me remember all the love that I have in my heart for them.
So, to help others remember, I’m offering 14% off the price of any orders in my Etsy shop for the month of February. Just place an order and use the coupon code LOVEYOUFOREVER14 at checkout to receive the discount off your order of a sketch or a Their Names painting.
I hope it helps you to remember. We will love them forever, but having a tangible reminder of our little ones is such a special thing.