"Life isn't about surviving the storm...it is about learning to dance in the rain." Anonymous

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Keep Calm and........

I saw a shirt the other day with this saying...
I almost laughed out loud!  What a great shirt.  Ever since then, I have seen this "Keep Calm" saying everywhere.  There is:

 and my favorite....

What would life be like if we just lived in one big state of calm?  Probably much nicer.  I think if I could design a shirt with my own "keep calm" saying, it would look something like this...
I have been on this crazy journey of grief for almost four years now.  And what I have learned is that it is a journey, not something that can be fixed.  But something that I have to experience and be better for. 
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, which begins my countdown towards my Elizabeth's birthday on December 1st.  I mentally go through this every year....this week reminds me so much of the day she was born, which is also the day she left us.  I remember that four years ago, in 2009, my family came to my house for Thanksgiving because I was pregnant and had been on bedrest.  It was such a great day!  We ate a lot and she was moving so much.  I think she loved turkey :)  We were all so happy.  I didn't go shopping on Black Friday that year, because I was on bedrest, but I did a lot of online shopping on cyber Monday.  In fact, that is what I remember most.  I bought her a gift.  It was a playmat with ocean creatures on it.  I also ordered her the cutest little Baby Lulu outfit.  That was on Monday.  On Tuesday, I woke up, dressed in a black and white polka dot shirt and khaki corduroy pants, brushed my teeth, and started hemorrhaging.  On Tuesday, she was gone.
The black and white shirt hangs in my closet, untouched since then.  I don't know that I will ever throw it away.  It is a last link to her....the last thing "we" wore together.  The Baby Lulu outfit is in her memory box and the playmat is in the garage, in an unopened box that was delivered the day we came home from the hospital without her.
For a long time, when I relived that, I would be so angry with myself for taking too long brushing my teeth.  Maybe if I had not been up for too long, the bleeding would not have started.  Did I move the wrong way?  Did she know what was happening?  Why in the world did this happen?  So many why's. 
After December 1st, so many things changed.  I am an amateur photographer and have a passion for documenting everything.  It drives my family nuts.  I stopped taking pictures for a long time.  It is almost as if I subconsciously want that time to be undocumented.  Like I want for all that pain to not be there.
I started having panic attacks and not wanting to be in crowds.  I am a very social person and this was very disconcerting to the people who know me best. 
So many other things happened, all of which is normal grief.  I think I had to feel it, to go through the emotions, to love her the way I needed to and to feel the pain of that heartbreak of losing her.
But today, I am pretty calm.  I am journeying on.  I know that I am better for it, because she is my motivator.  I spent almost a year of my life helping her grow inside of me and planning for her and naming her and waiting for her.  I am so thankful for that time.  On a day when we are all thinking of what we are thankful for, I am thankful for my family.  And my family includes her.  She is such a part of who I am and who my family is.  She is always teaching us. 
This year is so different than the past 3.  I am looking forward to Sunday, which is December 1st.  We are making pink cupcakes.  I want to celebrate her and thank her for being part of my life.  She is such a part of my story, just as I am such a part of hers. She was born still, but she was still born and I am going to celebrate her this year on her birthday.  I want her to know that I am taking pictures again....lots of pictures.  I am annoying everyone with my camera.  I am also hosting a Christmas party for our friends.  I didn't realize it until I started typing this that I am evolving.  My grief is changing.  That doesn't mean it is gone, because it never will be.  But, it is changing.  I have turned onto a new road on this journey of mine.  And, at least for right now..... I am calm.


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