Sunday, November 25, 2007


Hidden Ocean

"She held her grief behind her eyes like an ocean & when she leaned forward into the day it spilled onto the floor & she wiped at it quickly with her foot & pretended no one had seen. "

This is a quote from Brian Andreas, the maker of "Story People".
Check out his quotes/stories at

When I was a teenager, my family and I went to Maine for a vacation. (I think this was our last family vacation before my parents got divorced, but that is another story...) My brother was probably 13 and I was about 17 at the time. I remember Zach and I walking around Boothbay Harbor going for ice cream and browsing some fancy shops. We couldn't afford anything in them but we came across the "Story People". These Story People ended up sort of following me around- wherever I went, I would find stores with them. I now have 7 prints hanging in my house (but that too is another story..) Anyway, my favorite quote I found that day when I was with my brother was:
"She said she usually cried at least once a day not because she was sad, but because the world was too beautiful and life was so short"

I loved that quote and never knew just how true it would become for me...I do cry everyday. Somedays it is just a few tears or those that unconsciously roll down my cheeks at just the thought of Caroline, but then there are days like today where the tears are much like the first quote- an ocean- they just keep coming. I know that the tears are God's gift to me and they help us all to heal. When they come, I accept them. Today I knew they were coming and I was at work and being a teacher, you can't just leave the room, sit down and have a cry. So I swallowed hard, waited until I dropped my kids off to Art, and then I had a real good cry. One of my coworkers cried with me and prayed with me and I of course gained composure in time to get the students and carry on with the day.

It amazes me, truly, how the past month has dragged on like it has been a year. Maybe that is a blessing... maybe that has given us more time to miss her, more time to let it ''sink in". Sometimes I really have to stop and think, "Did this really happen? Could this really happen? Is this all just a bad dream?" I think this is why I often replay scenes from the hospital over and over again in my mind. Somehow it makes it really sink in and feel like a reality. I am also so grateful to everyone who prayed for us, with us, and helped us to make the right decisions. I would so very much regret not seeing or holding my baby. I am so glad that we did.

Many days I also question why this had to happen and although there are no answers to satisfy me, as I was reading another blog written by a mother who has 4 boys and lost her only baby girl, I found her words were so touching that I must share them here-

... I felt like all my hopes and dreams were lost. But what I did not realize then, but know for sure now, is that Madeline would not be who she was intended by God to be if she had been exactly as I had planned her. It really is a blessing that we are not in control of our lives because I never would have written mine with this outcome. God knew how badly I wanted a little girl and He could not have given me a more perfect one than Madeline Grace Hopkins. And even though she is not the child I had planned or dreamed about, she is even better. I knew early on that Madeline would not be "normal" and that I probably would never parent her like I have our other children. I was able to grieve the loss of that dream and it is only recently that I knew that as badly as I missed her and wanted her here to share in our life, Madeline would not be herself if she were able to do that. She was exactly as God intended her and I would not trade her for a healthy daughter anyday because that would mean changing her. Madeline was perfect in all ways, in our eyes and God's.

I am so grateful to have other mothers to share this journey with, but the sad reality is there shouldn't be so many of us....

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