Saturday, August 24, 2013


Moving to Louisiana has been quite an adjustment as far as weather goes. It doesn't snow here, like at home, and summers are sauna-like. All day, every day. Every time someone from home asks how the weather is, my reply is always "like a sauna". It hasn't rained much this summer. There are pop-up thunder storms in the afternoons, but they are very spotty, and most of the time, it's not raining at our house. Once in a while, however, we get a really good storm. It pours and pours and pours. Thunder and lightning, power flickers on and off. Diva is trying to climb into my lap or running around and crying.

This pattern of storms is parallel to my grief at this point. It has been 9 weeks since we found out Harper was gone. I don't cry every day anymore. Sometimes I go a week or more without crying, and then the storm comes. Yesterday was a stormy day.

It started out like normal, hanging out playing with Joey. We didn't have any plans, so we were home playing trains and cars and crashing things, like boys do. Then the phone rang. It was an 800 number, so I already knew it was either a computer or someone I didn't want to talk to, but I answered anyway. It was someone calling from our insurance company's pregnancy program. She wanted to check on the birth of my baby. I felt like I had been punched in the gut. In a not so nice tone, I stated that my baby was stillborn in June. She said she was sorry for my loss, but that I needed to answer some questions about the pregnancy and birth, to ensure that they didn't call me again. I answered them all in an angry tone, just dumbfounded that they were actually really asking me these things. After 20 questions was over, she told me she was sorry for my loss and to have a good day.

I threw down the phone and the tears just flowed like Louisiana rain. I was sobbing and sobbing and didn't know if or when it would stop. I was trying to be quiet, so as not to alarm Joey, but I couldn't. Joey kept asking me what was wrong, and I told him, "Mommy is sad". He replied just like any man does, trying to fix it, pulling me by the hand and telling me to come "have fun". I just couldn't right then. I had to let it storm.

I finally managed to compose myself 20 or so minutes later, and we went on with our day. Then, Steve came home from work and told me that Harper's headstone was done and we could go see it. So, we piled in the car, and drove over to the cemetery. The whole way there, I just felt like I was in the twilight zone. Who does this? Who goes to the cemetery with their 2 year old to see the grave of their stillborn child? It's just surreal.

We knew that she was the first baby in the new section of the angel garden, but when we got there, she already had another little boy buried next to her, and there was another hole waiting for a tiny casket. There's a sense of comfort that her body is not alone, but sorrow that other families are experiencing this pain and are members of the club that no one wants to be a part of. I took a couple of pictures, ran my fingers over her name, and we left.

For those of you from Rochester, the cemetery where Harper is buried is very much like White Haven. There are not huge headstones, the markers are flush with the ground, and most of them have vases to put flowers in. After we left, we went to try and find some decorations for her grave, but having a 2 year-old with you isn't exactly conducive to shopping thoughtfully. We gave up and decided I could try again after Joey went to bed.

I went to a different store later that evening, when I could take my time, and found beautiful things that were just right. Some purple, yellow, and white flowers, a purple angel, and small wind chimes with a yellow butterfly. The girl at the checkout commented how cute everything was. I didn't tell her what they were for. I was excited that I found things that I really liked, but just so sad that I even have to do it. I should have a 2 week old newborn, and be completely sleep deprived, not shopping for things to decorate her grave.

Through it all, God is still here. He still hears my cries, He still loves me, and He still carries me when I don't have the strength to go on. I bend, but I do not break. The storms come, but they don't consume me. I am knocked down, but I get up. Praise be to God!

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