Today is a very special anniversary - and it seems like the perfect day to announce a big change in our family.
It was FIVE years ago on this day that I was feeling strange symptoms. My obstetrician sent me to the Emergency Room to get checked out - he was worried about me, based on what I told him I was feeling. I was not at all concerned and drove myself to the hospital. After a long, long wait - I was finally seen and they said I was fine. I asked them if they could check on my baby - the little girl that we had named Darcy Claire. I figured - hey, it's a free visit with her! The nurse got the doppler and he tried... and tried... and tried. Another nurse came in and she tried... and tried. Then they sent for an ultrasound tech who confirmed my worst fear. Darcy was dead.
I wanted to deliver her. I told my obstetrician that we felt she deserved to be born and held and kissed goodbye. He admitted me and they placed us in a room that was far, far away from the other Moms who were joyfully delivering their breathing, crying, beautiful bundles of joy. It would take an unprecedented FIVE days to deliver her body and she entered the world sleeping as the calendar announced our first Mother's Day together. It was a torturous wait for Ed and me, but I will never forget the time I spent with my first daughter. Ironically - or maybe not - we kept her with us for FIVE and a HALF hours before we had to hand her over to a hospital chaplain who would bring her to the morgue.
I think it's safe to say that our family has been through its share of tragedies. Our home has been a place of refuge for the last 13 years. These walls hold stories of love and redemption and courage and tears. These walls have supported Gavin as he learned to crawl and walk. They have held the secrets and wishes that Brian whispered from his brother's bed at night. When Gavin died at FIVE and a HALF years old, they absorbed our tears and caught flying boxes that I flung in the garage late at night. And these walls eagerly anticipated the birth of Hope.
So, it is fitting - in this fifth month of May, on the fifth anniversary of Darcy's death, that I share our news. Today we officially signed the Agreement of Sale on our new home. We have decided that it's time for a fresh start for the Leong family.
We were in no rush to leave our home and were casually looking on the weekends for fun. Brian loved doing this and if a weekend went by that we didn't go to an open house or schedule a showing, he was bummed! We saw house after house - but none of them were "home." Until this one. We are so excited to create new memories - while never forgetting our old memories - in our new home. Brian will still get a bus with his friends to his current school - we are staying in the same area!
I couldn't believe it when we came to a final agreement with the kind family who is selling us this home - and finalized the papers on this five year anniversary. There are too many little "winks" from Heaven to call any of this a coincidence - especially if you know how I feel about the number 5, which seems like a consistent number in our life for whatever reason. There are even little reminders of Gavin and Darcy on the peaceful stone patio in the back yard. Right outside the family room is a trickling fountain - something Gavin would have loved. And right outside the kitchen window is a gorgeous pink cherry blossom tree - just like the one that was planted for us when Darcy was born. This house was meant to be our home.
So now we will be selling our home! I haven't been online or writing much lately because we've been furiously working on the house! Today I did something that was both heartbreaking and cathartic at the same time. I dismantled the big playground - the gift we gave to Gavin when he turned, you guessed it, 5 1/2 - and made our formal living room an actual living room. Apparently, not everyone likes their formal living rooms decorated in a style I like to call "Early Fisher Price." Who knew? Many things will go into storage until we move. Brian has been amazing and mature and actually chose all of the items of his that we could either donate or store. He is so excited about his new house!
If any of you know anyone who is in the market for a new home outside of beautiful Valley Forge Park in Pennsylvania, send them my way and I will put them in touch with our realtor! We have a 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath with a finished basement and close to an acre of land that is perfect for children - or for peace and privacy!
Our neighborhood - which I've written about so many times - is incredible with it's beautiful tree lined streets and peaceful, park like vibe.
We have neighborhood activities and groups and everyone just looks after each other here. We have been the recipients of meals after each of the children were born - or died. And I'll never forget hearing that all the neighbors lit candles in their window as Gavin fought for his life. Anyone would be lucky, I mean it, to get into this neighborhood. And I like to think we have a lovely - and love filled - home. It is not officially listed yet, so you all are the first to know!
We are so excited for this new and exciting journey!!