Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My Keepsake

I have mentioned before how much I appreciate hearing from people who read my words or have heard my story.  Last week, a woman contacted me and said that she had stumbled across my blog and was touched by my story.  She works for an online retailer called Everlasting Memories -a website that specializes in cremation urns and memorial jewelry.

Memorial Jewelry.

I remember how much~ especially in those early days... months... years...~ that I felt I NEEDED to have something to wear.  
Something to touch. 
That would remind me of him.

It seems that most people I have met on this journey long for SOMETHING.  A piece of jewelry, a tattoo a keepsake...

She sent me this LINK to the website and asked that I look at their products and choose one as a gift to me!!  As I looked through all the jewelry, I was so impressed with the pictures that I saw.  They had pendants in all shapes and different kinds of metals.  They also had cremation jewelry which was also beautiful, but since I do not have any remains from E, I felt that I didn't want to go that route.  With so many choices, I hardly knew what to pick. So I didn't.

 I sent her a picture of four of my blessings that was taken last summer.  I remember trying to get them to smile at the camera and it was an epic failure. That was when they turned, still hand-in-hand and looked to the sea. I captured perhaps my favorite picture of them.  A moment.

Looking out at the sky ~ beyond~ as I often do.

I knew which picture I wanted her to use and I gave her some writing that I thought would be nice on the back.  I asked her to please choose a jewelry piece that SHE would like for me to have.  She said the picture made her cry~  That she'd love to surprise me, but asked which color I preferred.  I told her I thought I would like something in silver and for her to choose the rest.

She did.

Two days later (yes... two days!!!) I got this.
A beautiful keepsake indeed.
Something precious and perfect that will hang around my neck
as they do my heart.

I opened up the box and saw what at first glance looked like a smooth mirrored diamond and then it caught the light~ just right~ and there they were.  Four of my blessings.
It was so beautiful. Clean. Perfect.

I turned it over and saw my words~ in a beautiful font she chose for me.
To watch four grow
And see two again.

It came with a thin petite chain of 20 inches.
And stole my breath.
I very much recommend you check out this site.  For yourself.  For someone else.

A beautiful keepsake.
Thank you, Hallie.
I will treasure it always!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Living, Breathing Reminder

A living, breathing reminder.

That was what Jonasen was.

There were moments that I would look at him and instantly find myself wondering...
~What would Andrew's laughter sound like?
~What toppings would he want on his ice cream?
~What kind of book would he have chosen at bedtime?

Those moments still find me.
They found me tonight.

Jonasen (Andrew's twin) is at that lovely age where his permanent teeth have come in and (un)lucky for him, they have come in quite crooked and on top of each other.  To make room in his mouth, he currently has an expander~ an awful thing that is attached to his teeth and slowly pushes them apart.

When he got it, I knew it would hurt.
Moving one's teeth can't be a pleasant feeling.
My husband had had one when he was younger
and sadly in no way sugar coated what it would feel like.
I believe the words "worst pain ever" came out of his mouth.
Each night, you have to take a tool (called a key) and turn it.
This pushes the teeth out and expands the jaw (hence the name).

There was no way my husband would turn the key...
He said he'd turn it maybe a week or so later when it no longer hurt as much.
And so I prepared myself.
To hurt our son.
21 turns.

I was so fearful before that first turn.  
He got ice cream.
I had wine.
And we did it together.
He held the side of his face as he felt the pressure and tumbled into my arms the moment it was over.
And we just sat there.
Holding each other.

Dare I say it was nice?
I don't recall the last time my ten year old son climbed into my arms, on my lap and I just held him.

And so this has gone on~
16 turns.
16 nights.
And each one ends with him climbing into my lap and me holding him.

Tonight after I turned the key and he crawled into my lap I said, "Joey, does it still hurt?"
He looked up at me, smiled and said, "Not really..."
He folded back into my lap and I held him there as I have every night for the last 16 nights.
I won't let my husband turn the key.
I now look forward to an excuse for my ten year old to still need to cuddle his mom.

As he sat there tonight I thought of how blessed I was~
And Andrew was there.
Joey became a reminder...
And I wondered~
What would Andrew's laughter sound like?
What toppings would he want on his ice cream?
At ten, would he have crawled into my arms and found comfort?
Just like his brother?

And tonight I realized...
It doesn't matter.
Though there will be times that Andrew comes into my thoughts.
That I compare and wonder.
I will just treasure what he gave me.

A few weeks after I delivered Andrew and Jonasen, I asked my doctor,
"Why did you have me come in a week early to be induced?"
(my pregnancy was perfect and she was going to let me go two weeks late)
Her reply, "God just put you in my head."

Andrew died the day I delivered him.  They could tell by his coloring.
Like Andrew, Jonasen was wrapped in so much cord. 
Had we waited, this post would not exist.
There would be no living, breathing reminder.

So today, as Jonasen sat so warm and lovingly on my lap~
As we just held each other~
I didn't wonder about Andrew.
I thanked him.
For my sweet Joey.