We must capture those moments when something Amazing happens.
Memorialize it forever; in our hearts, on our camera, on our blogs… some place.
Today, something amazing happened.
Tiny pointed right up to one of the butterflies decorating her wall and said “butterfly.” (OK, so it came out “bee-fly” but she is speech delayed – cut her some slack! 🙂
For those of you who have followed my journey closely over the past two years, you understand the significance of this happening today. You see, today is the two year anniversary of the death of Tiny’s identical twin sister Kathryn. Butterflies have always been my “thing” to represent my daughter, who passed away at 8:52 on 12/12/11. She was two days old.
I could spend the day feeling tragically sad and depressed. And I am sad, for sure.
But I am also overjoyed that I have an amazing identical replica of her here, who makes me smile every day. I am happy for my other two healthy children. I am happy for the friends and loved ones that surround me. I am happy.
When Tiny pointed at that butterfly and said “bee-fly” I felt as if it was perhaps Kathryn’s way of speaking through her. Saying, “it’s okay mommy. We’re all going to be okay.”
That might make some of you feel uncomfortable that I feel that way. I know some people are more prone to just shake it off as me trying to make something out of nothing. And to people who think like that, I say to you “How does it change your life if I can find one small, perhaps insignificant thing that makes me smile on a day that hurts so bad?”
But many more of you will likely share stories with me of something “coincidental” that has happened in your life that connected you to someone that you’ve lost. Because belief in those moments is what gets us through the darkest of times.
It’s Kathryn Day
I cannot let the day pass without remembering her, and making sure everyone else remembers her too, but I also don’t want the day to be a sad and gloomy day. I challenged everyone through my Facebook page to do something kind for someone today in Kathryn’s memory. I have received donations for our March of Dimes team – Charis and Kat. I have gotten texts and phone calls. My friend invited the kids and I to join her and her kids for lunch. I have had people post candles burning in memory of Kathryn and all kinds of other wonderful tokens of remembrance. And another friend told me that in memory of Kathryn, today she gave a waitress a $20 tip on a $5 bill!
In order to make new memories, happier memories on this day, this morning Tiny and I visited the NICU where she spent 84 days, and where we lost Kathryn. We took the nurses donuts and reconnected. It was awesome. They were so happy to see how far she has come!
Tiny also had her two year NICU follow up clinic, where she had to go through an hour and a half assessment. I am so happy to report that she is fully caught up to her actual age of two years old. No more adjusted ages for her. With the exception of speech (which is coming along) she is 100% a normal two year old.
So I guess two amazing things happened today.
I guess the point of all of this, is not just to share how I feel (which obviously I enjoy doing – I’m a blogger, duh!) but also to give hope and encouragement to anyone else who may be going through a tough time. And to remind you all that we create the world we live in. It’s okay to be sad and to remember, but it’s also okay to heal and be happy.
And I’m quite certain that is what Kathryn would want.
Can you do something nice for someone today?
If you need some ideas, I happen to have a few! (Of course I do!)
You can donate to Team Charis and Kat – to help give all babies the best shot at a good start to life
You could donate to the GoFundMe campaign for Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother.
We are using all proceeds to donate physical copies of the book to bereavement support groups and grieving parents. I have already given out over 100 copies! But I need financial help to carry on. (Also, I just sent in the paperwork for Sunshine After the Storm to become a nonprofit!)
You could help us build and develop “Kathryn’s Corner – Kathryn’s butterfly garden“
This is in the Henry Michael Powell Children’s Memorial Garden in Columbia, SC. A beautiful place where all children can go and play. We have already bought a bench for it, but still have quite a bit of fundraising to do to finish it out!
To donate to Kathryn’s butterfly garden, click here.
You could just do something simple and nice unexpectedly for someone. Know someone having a rough time? Take em dinner. Drop them a card in the mail… anything.
It feels SO DARN GOOD to make someone else feel good!
Peace and blessings to you all on this day, 12/12, which I pronounce to be forever “Kathryn Day.”