Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sweet Caroline

Here lately, I’ve been thinking so much of Caroline.  I’ve been missing her somehow more than I had been…and it’s always so much.  Sometimes her absence is felt so much more strongly.  Sometimes I feel like I could crumble under the weight of the sadness.  Grief is so very lonely and she feels so desperately far away sometimes.

But something interesting has been happening.  Other people are mentioning my girl.  She’s been brought up, talked about, openly missed by so many others recently.  It’s really doing this happy/sad mama’s heart good.  During the course of this week, 2 of Caroline’s great aunts have mentioned her.  One of them mistakenly called Addalee by Caroline’s name.  She cringed a little when she did it, almost like she was afraid that it would hurt us.  But I just smiled and told her that I was thrilled that Caroline’s name is so easy to come to mind.  I love the fact that she’s on the hearts and minds of those we love.  The other one emailed me a devotional about if people in Heaven can hear us and see us down here.  I talk to her regularly and ask Jesus to tell her all kinds of things.  But to know that Arthur and I aren’t the only ones who think of our girl…that is such a blessing.

I think one reason things might be weighing a little heavy is that we’re having Addalee’s baby dedication this weekend…which I’m thrilled about.  But when you get to the “events” of life, you start really thinking of what “should have been.” 

I am a musical person, love music, wish I could play it!  I’ll be honest; I hadn’t even really ever given Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond a decent listen before we had Caroline.  So, if you ever had a question if her name came from the song…the answer is no.  I don’t love the song, but now appreciate that it says my girl’s name.  I pretty much have to cry every time I hear it, how lame is that?!  Oh well, it is what it is.  But there’s another song, it’s by Brandi Carlile and it’s called Caroline.  I’ve been tearing that song up lately.  It’s a happy little song, about a little girl (her niece).  The chorus:

Caroline, I'm on my way back home to you
Can't imagine what I'm goin' through
Without you by my side
It's been a long long time
Oh won't you say a prayer for me
I hope you will remember me
You're always on my mind
My Caroline

Now, to find a song that says Addalee! :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Uncle Jimmy

I simply love this picture.  It shows my precious great-aunt Thelma (L) and my amazing grandmother, or Grans, as we call her on the right.  But there is someone else in this picture that is so very important.  My Uncle Jimmy.  You see, this precious little boy passed away not too long after this picture was taken.  Little Jimmy was the first child born to my dad's parents.  Unfortunately, he had a heart problem they discovered at birth.  The doctors told his parents that he wouldn't live to be a year old.  Crushing news.  With the famous family hard-headedness, my grandmother (and the rest of the family) set out to prove them wrong.  They did so much for that little guy, worked so hard, loved him endlessly.  Sadly though, he did pass away not long before his first birthday.  My grandparents went on to have 2 more children, both healthy.

I'm now sharing the story of our "Little Jimmy" with you, because he's part of Caroline's family too.  He's always been part of our family.  We've spoken of him, shared his story, dreamed of what he would be like if he'd survived - the oldest child of the family.  It's been over 50 years and he's still thought of.   This warms my heart and gives me hope that maybe our Caroline will be talked about and thought of many years down the road.

My Grans was at the hospital when Caroline was born.  I was so sad that she had to experience the loss of another baby in her life.  But, she got to meet her great granddaughter, hold her, kiss her soft cheeks, and whisper loving words to her...priceless gifts.  And a priceless gift that Grans continues to give me, is that she makes sure to mention how many great granddaughters she has...4.  Not only the 3 living girls, but always including our sweet Caroline. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 12, 2011

A year ago we learned how to really hope again.  Our hearts were still oh so heavy missing our sweet Caroline, and finding sunshine in that darkness was simply a miracle.  We went to the doctor’s office on that icy morning to have a blood pregnancy test.  The results: positive!  We were pregnant again!  We couldn’t believe it.  At that point, we embarked on the scariest 36 weeks of our lives.  Gosh, looking back on it, I don’t know how we survived!  There was a lot of prayer, and thankfully, many many blessings.

My pregnancy with Caroline’s sweet little sister was night and day different than my pregnancy with her.  Everything was different, from the way I carried them, to the morning sickness, to getting gestational diabetes the second time (yuck), to having weekly and twice weekly appointments, a zillion ultrasounds and NSTs, and steroid shots.  I can’t believe how much our lives have changed over this last year (or 2 years, really).

It’s hard to imagine not knowing this little girl.  She’s truly a blessing sent straight from God.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rainy Days and Mondays

I hate it, but it seems like some of my harder days do coincide with dreary weather.  We've had several dreary days, and I think they're taking a toll on me.  The other night, I was laying in bed, and it hit me.  Like a ton of bricks, I realized that we really did lose Caroline.  It was like I had been living in a dream for a time, and crashed back into real life.  I never have forgotten her, not for a second.  But it was almost like I was living a story, almost like it was too awful to be real.  But it was.  It is.  It hurt.  All over again.  All I could do was cry.  And since that night, I've been in a funk.  

I guess it kind of started when we made plans to attend a birthday party for some friends' daughter.  She turned 2.  They invited us, and for the first time since we lost Caroline, I was okay with going to a child's birthday.  I didn't skip a beat, we were just going to be there.  It was Addalee's first birthday party!  I was excited.  After buying a little gift and thinking about what it was going to be like, I was sad.  I was sad because Caroline isn't here and we should have been going to her little friends' birthday parties.  We should have gone to my closest friends' daughters' birthday parties that I had to bow out of because no one wants the scary crying lady at their kids' party!  

Long story short on the birthday party...it was very nice.  A good time was had by all, but it was bittersweet for me.  I guess so many things will be, and I'm just sad about that.  I think something else that's getting to me, is watching the wonders of Addalee growing up.  She's already 4 months old!  She is amazing!  She's funny and sweet and curious and crazy.  She's beautiful and fun and a buddy.  We missed so much with Caroline, and I hate that.

But, just as the weather will inevitably clear, this funk will lift off of me.  I'm ready.  I miss my girl, even on the sunshiny days, but these rainy days seem to get me down.