Friday, January 6, 2012


It feels like everytime I say their names, I brace myself. I say them, and then flinch-wondering what will swing my way. I post something on facebook, then immediately delete it. I mention them in a conversation that's NOT about death or pregnancy or baby loss and I slur my words, trying to move on to the next topic in such a hurry.

"She really needs to just move on."

"She needs to get over it."

"She must be depressed."

These are, of course, what I imagine they're thinking, instead of what they actually say. Well, they probably actually say it to each other.

I want to talk about them ALL THE TIME. I want to go outside and SCREAM their names. I want everyone to always remember that they were here. They were inside of me, and then they were born, and then they wrapped their little fingers around mine, and they EXISTED.

I think of them all day, long, still. Almost 3 years later. I wonder when it changes. I wonder when a day will go buy, and I'll be making dinner and I'll realize that I haven't thought of them.

Do you guys remember that I am my mom's rainbow baby? That my sister, Mary, was stillborn over 30 years ago, in between my sister and me? I want to ask my mom. I want to ask her when it stopped. When she stopped thinking of my sister every day, all day long. But things were so different with her. She grieved SO differently than me. She also had a totally different experience than most of us-she never got to see her, or hold her. She was whisked away. When she arrived home from the hospital, my grandmothers had gone over and taken down the nursery, taking the stuff to an undisclosed place. There was a statue of the Virgin Mary in my house, though, all my life. I remember it very clearly when I was a little girl. It moved with us, and with my mom once she and my father got divorced.

I always wondered a little about the statue. My mom is Catholic, and went to church every Sunday, but we didn't have any other religious figurines, or bibles, or anything in our house. But I never thought to ask. I recently found out that that statue is in memory of my sister, Mary. That my mom got it as a gift after she passed away and it is all she has. The ONLY momento. No hospital bracelet, no blanket, no lock of hair, no photos. So she did what she had to do-she chose something. A symbol.

But when was I told that I had another sister that had died? I don't know. How was I told? I don't remember.

Somehow, my mother has weaved Mary's existence into our lives.

This is what we do. We are expert seamstresses. We weave in and out of grief. We take the needle and pull the thread through, trying our best to wrap up and pull in those memories. Their names. Their entire, short, existence.


Hope's Mama said...

Three and a half years on, two more babies, and I still think of her all day.

Jen said...

Seriously, that last sentence is beautiful and so true...

I never knew about your sister and I'm so glad that your mom made sure that you knew about her ((Hugs))

Catherine W said...

I try. Sometimes I think I am a bit clumsy but I'm trying to weave her in. I hope that they know that she was here and how much I loved her. I hope that they don't remember being told or finding out, just as you don't remember being told about your big sister, Mary.

I want to talk about her all the time. But I can't. It's horrible to feel judged, to feel that others will consider us depressed or that we are dwelling if we even mention the names of those we love so much.

I also think about her all the time. Every single day. Those little fingers wrapping around my own. Every day.

I'm so sorry Christy. Life shouldn't have been so cruel to you and your babies. Remembering your son and your daughter, Aiden and Sophie, and your sister, Mary xo

Angela said...

I don't know when it will change, ever. I think of Ella every day. Some days I smile, some I cry. I recently lost a "friend" who basically told me she was only friends with me because my baby died. And she was supposed to be a very close friend. Nice, huh? A pity friend! I LOVE the last sentence you wrote. It is perfect. Gonna steal that sometime :) My heart breaks to think about your Mom losing a baby in that way...its devistating to imagine not having what I have of Ella's. My grandma lost a baby boy, Raymond in the same fashion. The nurse walked in and said, "hey you, your baby died". So heartbreaking. She never saw or held him either, and was whisked away. So sad. I can't imagine.

Lori said...

My mom had a stillborn baby girl at 39 weeks after my sister and I were born. She did not get to hold her, did not get to see her—my grandmas came and basically did the same. Didn't even get to go to the wsa the whole, "Out of sight, out of mind" deal and in our house, and our lives, it was always, "That baby mom had that died," and never really "Our sister". My mom died almost 9 years ago, and as we were talking about her impending death (it was cancer, and bad, and we both sort of knew...) she said she wanted to be cremated and have her ashes spread over Angel's grave. I was SOOO mad at her. So mad that she had THREE living children who she SHOULD have been worried about and all she wanted to do with all that would be left of her was leave it on that baby's grave??????? That baby, who had been DEAD for 28 YEARS? We got into SUCH a huge fight over that.

I pray that one day, I will be able to run to my mother, throw my arms around her, and tell her how very, very, very sorry I was that I behaved that way.

That I GET it now.

That no matter HOW our babies are remembered by anyone—the world, their family...whoever...

They will NEVER not be precious to us. We will NEVER not wish with all our being that we could have with them...they be with us.

And that even as she was dying, my mother's heart still grieved my precious little sister. Her baby. A REAL person this world never got the chance to know.

So because of her legacy in this...we have vowed that will NOT be the case in our house. Or our lives. Matthew continues to remain a part of our every day, and people who think I need to get over it, or stop dwelling, or whatever—they can bite me. Because if they aren't comfortable with our WHOLE family, they don't get to be comfortable with ANY of us.

Love to you , friend...those who love you and them will NEVER forget. And I loved seeing their names at the top of baby names list! <3

Tiffany said...

What a perfect post. I relate 100%. Im going on year 5. 2 rainbows later, boy and girl, and I still miss her every single day. I don't know that it ever goes away.

Ava's mummy said...

Another one weaving every day. I too have my rainbow and Ava's twin but she is constantly in my thoughts. I think it will always be this way. xx

Holly said...

Almost 3 yrs for me and I still think of her every day.

Hannah Rose said...

I found you on faces of loss, faces of hope. I was drawn to your blog because I have twin brothers. I'd love to have you follow along on mine as well:

crystal theresa said...

♥ beautiful post, especially the end. i'm coming up on three years without Calvin, and I think about him everyday, too.