Monday, August 12, 2013

In Our Arms For A Little While...

Today was a very special day for two reasons.

After a few months of anticipation, we finally had Gavin's memorial garden planted today.  It has been a crazy summer - with drowning rains and high heat that stalled the project.  But today was the day.  We used a local landscaper that we love - Blue Tree Landscaping - and they did a phenomenal job helping us memorialize our sweet boy.
Friends of Ed's from work sent us this beautiful stone bench after Gavin died and we couldn't wait to prominently place it in the garden.  The quote couldn't be more appropriate.
Brian and I couldn't wait for the landscapers to be through and both of us raced out there with our cameras.  He has his own little camera that he got from Santa last year and he has some surprisingly good photos on there! Now, if I could just find the USB cable that came with it so I could prove it!
When I told Brian that this was "Gavin's Memorial Garden" - a place where we could enjoy butterflies that will be attracted to the Butterfly Bushes... or see the Hydrangeas that will remind us of Gavin's beautiful funeral services... or the bench where we could sit and think about him... Brian was not impressed.  And he told me so.
"Mommy - I can think about Gavin everywhere.  I don't need to sit HERE, silly!"
I guess he is listening when we tell him these things.

The one bummer of the garden is that the actual Hydrangeas from Gavin's funeral didn't make it.  Two died inside the house - and two died after Ed planted them.  We had really wanted them to be part of the garden... two were going to go around the bench and the other two Ed planted outside the playroom window that Gavin loved to look out of so much.  Instead, we transplanted a HUGE Hydrangea bush that we had in the middle of BOTH playroom windows.
In the grand scheme of life, it's not a big deal at all.  But you know how it is when you have an emotional attachment to a plan.  The truth is, in a year or two I will forget that I cared about the plants and I'll realize how lucky we are to have such a beautiful garden with dancing butterflies and a lovely bench.  I can't wait to be frustrated when I need to retrieve Hope's little doll stroller from the flower bed.

Speaking of Hope!

This morning was my 20 week ultrasound.  The great news is - she looked perfect.  They checked her everywhere and I am never unimpressed with technology.  How in the world can they check her palate?  It's so fascinating to me that they even know what they're looking at.  She even made a point to show me her labia to prove that she is, indeed, a she - but I'll spare you that photo.  I left with only two photos, which was the big disappointment.  (I'm used to getting a long strip with multiple views, but oh well - priorities!)

Unfortunately, Ed couldn't make the ultrasound - but he got photos texted to him immediately as soon as I left.  Thanks to Miss Sara for making Brian's DAY and hanging out with them while I was at the hospital this morning.  I was smart to choose her as Hope's Godmother for a variety of reasons - but one of the smartest is that it ensures she's stuck in our lives forever!  I love that girl.  And I know Hope will, too.

Here is Miss Hope's beautiful profile...
...and here's a fuzzy shot of the soles of her feet.
It is still a very challenging task to grieve one child fiercely while feeling joy for one on the way.  I'm doing the best I can.


  1. You're balancing very well. I'm so glad Sarah is around to help and love on all of you! Hope has been sent to help in your grief. We all know one does not replace another, but what joy she is bringing to your life! For that we can be truly thankful. She looks beautiful! Glad you could confirm she is a girl. Now you will have a boy and a girl, Lord willing. Keep taking care of yourself. Everyone is blessed when you do.

  2. So much love being sent your way! The only way to grieve one and to celebrate another is to just do it the best you can and to cut yourself some slack :) Love love love your blog, Kate.

  3. Hi Kate, I feel like I know you and your family. I love your memorial garden, and the fact that Brian knows he can talk to Gavin anywhere is a tribute to you and your husband. Hope is beautiful, Love the little feet.
    My you and your family find peace, love and joy everyday.
    Blessings Nancy

  4. I have been following you on here and FB for some time now but have never commented. As a Mommy who has also had to let go of a precious little one to Jesus too soon I can relate to so much of your pain and words. You write so beautifully. I believe my Brayden is up there playing with Gavin and watching over us till we join them again. I was also 3 months pregnant when we lost Brayden so I know the challenging bittersweet ride of grieving over one child while be so excited about new life on the way. Thankful God carried me through those months along with so much support we had around us. After 2 boys we were blessed with our Elliana Grace, whose name means God answered my prayer... and she has brought us so much joy. Praying for you on this journey especially as you wait on your sweet Hope. Feel free to write or contact me anytime if you would like.
    P.S. I didn't find you till I moved to Charleston, SC but I graduated from VFCC and lived in Phoenixville for several years (I also worked for CCIU as a TSS!)... the world is such a small place. Blessings. :)

    BTW- I LOVE, love, love that bench and the saying on it!!!!

    Brayden's Mommy

  5. Dear Kate,
    I can only imagine how challenging it must be to be expecting Hope and simultaneously experience the rawness of grief. I know that my grief visits at the most unexpected moments. Just last week, a friend of mine lost their niece and it took me back to the rawness of maternal grief I experienced 2 years ago.
    Wishing you all the love and strength on your pregnancy and motherhood journey. Whenever I read 'Hope' I'm reminded... All Love, Nathalie

  6. Kate - the garden is gorgeous and will continue to get better as it takes root and grows and thrives under Gavins watchful eye. I'm so glad you have a space to sit and reflect.

    You are doing a great job of balancing everything. Im sure its not fun in your brain. But you are doing a great job. Hang in there! Brian looks happy and Hope looks great!

  7. It occurs to me that you may have been given the gift of balance....the grief you experience over the loss of Gavin and the joy you experience with pregnancy and HOPE's upcoming birth! While one can't take away from the other....they are so separate....they might be able to balance some of your days. (I pray that can happen without the emotional roller coaster making you feel crazy!) Thanks for sharing your journey so boldly!

    I love the garden. I hope it brings you peace and healing. What a great idea to plant it in your own yard. So many people put memorial gardens in a public place! This is so much more special!
    Blessings to all of you!

  8. That is such a hard balance to GRIEVE your one child, LIVE your second child, REMEMBER your third child and ANTICIPATE your fourth. Your heart is getting tugged in so many ways.

    We planted a peach tree in honor of our son that I lost in a second-trimester miscarriage.

  9. The garden is so beautiful. I cannot begin to imagine the roller coaster in your heart. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. ((HUGS))

  10. Beautiful!! Butterflies will dance to not stop.... Hugs.


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