Relationships 

When tragedy strikes your life, it’s amazing, the reactions you get from those around you. Some relationships grow, and others fall. I’ve noticed that some people embrace you, fighting tears for your sake, and wish you well. Often, people will offer to help you in any way they can. Others, don’t know what to say.
If it takes a village to raise a child, imagine the hurt that follows, when that very child is lost. My village is hurting, just as I am. Michael and I have become so humbled at the large amount of outpouring love we’ve seen over the past month since we lost our sweet baby boy. I’m in awe of the people in my life. However, some people have disappeared.

Where there are relationships that have grown, others have dwindled. Some people that were so very close to me, have become ghosts. Some acquaintances now, won’t even speak to me. At first, I understood the change, I understood the hesitation to come to me in comfort as so many had. I had assumed it was just hard for them. But, as time goes on, it seems to hurt worse.

I am grateful for the friends I have, the people that brought us food, the friends that came to sit and cry with me when I needed it. Some even go out of their way, just to make me laugh. There are some that I’ve grown closer with, friends that reach out to me often, to be sure I’m okay. I am so fortunate for the people that have stayed by my side. I just can’t help but wonder, about the people that have disappeared, and why.

But, I’ve never had trouble letting go. My parents had always found such humor in my lack of tolerance for things. I’ve never had time for those who would turn their backs on me. Life is too short, and no one who has been given the power to hurt me and does, will ever be given that power again. I’ve always been so careful to never hurt someone’s feelings, because you never know what others are going through. Therefore, if someone is hurtful, I have trouble coming back from it, what if there was something I was going through? What if I needed them?

When tragedy strikes your life, it is never expected. Imagine being in an argument with close friends just as it happens. People that were so close to you, people you told everything to, suddenly decided they were no longer there for you when you did nothing wrong. Imagine your closest friends no longer speaking to you for weeks, and you having no idea why. Then, being told your baby’s heart was no longer beating.

Imagine the shock. Have you ever lost something dear to you, even just for a moment? You turn around in the grocery store and realize your kiddo is missing. Maybe you walk into your backyard and notice your furry best friend is gone. Or maybe someone calls and says your mother is sick. How does that feel? When your heart skips a beat, when your stomach instantly knots so hard that it sends bile into your throat. In panic, maybe you can’t breathe, maybe you can’t speak, maybe you can’t stand, or walk.

What do you do?

After the ultrasound tech said those words that echo in every nightmare I’ve had sine it happened, “there’s no heartbeat”. She asked if there was anyone she could call for me, if I needed my phone. I didn’t know how to tell Skylar’s Daddy, my husband, that his baby was gone. I knew I must tell my mama in person, as she would not handle it well. Who else, did I want to speak with, she asked.. I wanted my friends.

Imagine how that feels. Imagine sitting in a dark ultrasound room alone, as the ultrasound tech went to get the doctor. Imagine sitting there, looking at your son on the screen, but not being able to touch your stomach like you always used to, because of how angry you are. You’ve failed the one person you loved more than life itself. Imagine how hard it is to breathe.

Imagine, once you get home from the hospital, and you announce to the world how your life has suddenly turned so dark. Imagine hearing from everyone, even the ones that were angry at you. But, some don’t reach out. Some, are invited to a friends house to help you feel better, but don’t show. Some coworkers avoid you in the hall at work, and haven’t said a word to you since you’ve returned.

I try to not be resentful. I try to understand. But sometimes, when I look back on these relationships, it is hard. When I find it bringing me down, I turn to the friends that have grown closer since. The people that reach out to me to be sure I’m okay. I turn to the friends I’ve had for years that I’ve grown so much closer with over the last month. Of course, I’ve lost so much, but I’m always sure to look at how much I’ve gained.

I am fortunate. There are so many remarkable people in my life, and everything I’ve been through has only made me stronger. I have a wonderful family, and an incredible husband who was there for me through it all. Maybe the ones that can’t spend time with me right now are just struggling. I’m always careful, you never know what others are going through.

Compassion

In the years that followed graduating high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. That is, until a woman I now call my grandmother insisted I belong in the medical field. My ‘grandma’ who is of no blood relation to me, had been an RN for years. I valued her opinion far more than others, as she knows me sometimes better than I know myself.
Instantly, I knew I must try my luck within a local doctors office, as I trusted my grandmother and her opinion. After all, she has claimed me as her own for years, and loves me even though she has no obligation to. I am so lucky to have her. But, the story of our relationship is for another day. 

I have now worked in the medical field for over six years. When my grandma mentioned how good I would do in this line of work, she spoke of it with such joy and excitement. I had worked at the doctors office for less than a month and knew she was right. I now work at a different office, and have changed roles through the years, but my feelings have never changed. I belong in a place where I can help people, where I can put my compassion to good use. 

On a rainy day in June, I was released from the hospital. My beautiful son had been born sleeping early that morning. As requested, my doctors allowed me to go home as soon as they knew I would be okay. I had lost so much that day, but there were also so many things I had gained. 

I was in the hospital for 36 hours, and in labor for 20. I met many people in my time there. So many came to love on us, care for us, and offer their help in what would be the roughest day of our lives. The nurses assigned to my care were remarkable. I often think of them now, and how grateful for them I am. I strongly believe that the only reason I made it through this nightmare was because of them, and their compassion. 

At this hospital, they have a nurse that specializes in cases like mine. She only visits with women like me, who will go home empty handed. I recall, at my doctors appointment when they told me my baby boy was gone, they didn’t want me to leave until I spoke with her. My, how badly I wanted to leave, I needed my husband. But, I’m glad they persisted. I remember thinking to myself, how could anyone want to do what she does? How could she handle this? I remember asking her this, though I don’t recall her response. I then remember telling her how much of a blessing she was. She was there for me from the moment my world turned upside down. Her name is Bonnie. 

I had to go home and wait until the hospital had a room for me. It would be over 12 hours. Once the hospital called, at 4:21 the next morning, Michael and I headed for the hospital. I was admitted an hour later, and who else would be there, but sweet Bonnie. She came in early that day, just for me. The entire time I was there, I remember feeling such relief every time she walked into our room. She helped us with everything from funeral arrangements, to the labor process. She made everything seem so much less scary.

She wasn’t the only nurse that helped me through the roughest days of my life, there were several more. I remember thinking about the ladies that helped me, and what they must have been going through. Their jobs were usually filled with joy, as they often welcomed little lives into the world every day. How hard it must have been, to walk into my room, and feel so much sorrow. My, how much they saw me cry. 

Talking with my family about my time in the hospital, I continue to learn about things the nurses had done for my family members, not just myself. Food, blankets, socks, one even got my little brother urine specimen cups and saline syringes for his contacts. Not only am I grateful for everything they did for me, but I feel so much relief when I know my family was taken care of, as well. I spent so much of my time worrying about them, and how miserable it must have been to spend so much time there, just for me. 

As each one of the nurses left me for the last time before I left for home, they all hugged me so sincerely. They all wished me so well, each one hurting for me. I’ve since gotten a card signed by them all in the mail. They did several other things I’m so grateful for, they did clay castings of our boys hands and feet, and got locks of his hair. They were phenomenal people. I feel so fortunate to have been cared for by every one of them. They are the reason I made it through it all.

I recall holding the clay casting of Skylar’s foot, as we pulled out of the parking lot. My eyes, so swollen, burning, and exhausted that crying no longer seemed possible. I remember thinking about sweet Bonnie, and all the things she had done for us to try to make this easier, like the clay I held in my hand, an exact replica of the toes I had dreamt about kissing, but never did. 

In that moment, I didn’t cry with the idea that we were going home empty handed. I didn’t weep at the thought that we were leaving our son in that hospital, or what might have been. I didn’t dwell on the fact that in the car behind us, a couple fought about getting their new baby into the car, and didn’t know how lucky they were. The only thing that went through my mind was Bonnie, and how deeply I felt I needed to do for others, what she had done for me.

I want to help mommies like me.

I want to be a nurse. 

I’m starting school in October, and helping women like me is what I was supposed to do with my life. 

My Sunshine

When I have to fight back tears on my way to work just for the sake of visibility, I can tell it’s going to be a bad day. On bad days, the littlest things are hard to get through. On days like today, I avoid my phone, I don’t turn on regular TV, just in case a huggies commercial comes on, and when in public, I avoid babies and pregnant women at all costs. On bad days, I stare at the few pictures I have of my baby boy, because I miss him more than I’ve ever missed anyone or anything in my entire life.

I sometimes find it strange that I miss him. I feel as though I never really got to meet him. I did know him, though. My Skylar was a stubborn little boy like his mama; he almost always gave the ultrasound techs a hard time. He liked ketchup like his daddy. I’ve always hated ketchup, but I couldn’t get enough while I was pregnant. Now, I eat ketchup even though I don’t really like it, because it makes me think of the time I had with my sweet boy. He was an early bird like his daddy, and would kick so much in the early mornings, that I couldn’t go back to sleep after Michael left for work.

I miss him, I miss his sweet face. I sometimes get so angry. I’ve wanted to be a Mommy for what seems like my entire life. Even though people tell me I am a mommy, I don’t think it’s true. I never got to bring home my baby boy. I never got to see him open his eyes, or hear him cry. My, how badly I wanted to hear him cry. I remember when he was born, I still had this glimmer of hope that I couldn’t quite snuff out. I knew he was gone, but what if a miracle happened? I held my breath for what seemed like forever, all the time begging god to make my baby boy cry. I would have given anything.

I try to tell myself that I did everything right, but I can’t help but think it’s my fault, and that I somehow failed him. Everything I read that would help him, I did. I slept with his blanket every single night; because people said it would be comforting for it to smell like me. I sang to him every single day, because people said he would be able to recognize the tune, and it would soothe him. It’s almost chilling, what I would sing to him. It’s almost like I knew.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.

You make me happy when skies are gray.

You’ll never know, dear. How much I love you.

So please don’t take my sunshine away.

My momma used to always joke that my mood controlled the weather. The day Skylar was born, there were storms everywhere. It stopped raining just long enough for us to get home from the hospital. It thundered, and hailed to no end. I used to always think my momma was silly for saying my mood and the weather were somehow linked.

Today the sky is gray, and it is raining. Today, it is very real to me that my sunshine is gone.

My Sweet Husband

Like so many other things in our lives lately, so many people have been offering advice on our marriage. Even the nurses at the hospital told us things that would help, and reminded us that everyone deals with grief differently. I thank god every day for the man he has given me. I’ve talked about my sweet Michael briefly in my writings, but I want to shed some light on him for a change.

Life with him hasn’t always been gravy, but it would be strange if it was. In just a few short months, we will have been together for 9 years. When I was struggling with infertility, I recall looking back at our time together as a time ticking away, as if I had been wasting my life. Now, I think of the time we’ve spent together, and I have a feeling of pride and accomplishment. We have been through so much, and my, how we have grown.

I have always had trouble with depression. Sometimes darkness sinks in, and I have a hard time getting around it. Michael would always be able to see when I was slipping into a bad phase, and he could snap me out of it. When we found out what we were about to go through, I remember feeling terrible when he begged me not to do anything selfish. There were times that he would look me straight in the eye, and beg me not to shut down on him, not to close him out like I used to. Now, every single time I find myself feeling the slightest bit upset, I tell him. He hasn’t once complained.

Looking back on everything we have been through in just the last month, I am in awe of the man I have married. Not only did he stay with me for every minute he could while we were in the hospital, he remained strong for me, and I am so grateful. Because I was in labor for 20 hours, there were some moments that things got a little scary. In fact, I recall there being a time when my blood pressure dropped so drastically that I was passing out every few minutes. The nurses were reassuring him that I was going to be okay, even through all that, he remained calm and comforting, which is not how our relationship usually works. Typically, I’m the strong one when it comes to stressful situations.

My sweet man stayed awake the entire time we were there, and he was holding my hand through it all. At one point, he and my daddy had a conversation about taking care of me. Aside from the circumstances, it was the sweetest thing I have ever heard. My daddy mentioned it has always been his job to protect me and care for me, and Michael reminded him that it was now his job. My heart was so warmed by the two most important men in my life sharing their love for me. I’ll never forget the way my daddy explained his concern for me. As I lay in the hospital bed in labor, he said it was like I was about to get hit by a Mack Truck, and he couldn’t do anything to stop it.

The entire time I was pregnant, I recall dreaming about what our boy would look like. I’ve always admired how handsome my husband is, I simply couldn’t wait to have a little guy running around just like him. Just as he was born, I remember the doctor laying that sweet boy on my chest; I could only see the top of his head. My, how much hair he had. It was dark just like his daddy’s. I’ll never forget how Michael described him to me; I was still scared to see his face, as I wasn’t sure if I was able to handle it. He kept telling me how pretty our sweet Skylar was. He was so precious to me, a little boy that looked exactly like the love of my life. His nose, his chin, his eyes. I loved him so very much.

From the moment I got home from my doctor’s appointment on the day I learned our boy was gone, Michael has been stuck to me like glue. Since I’ve been back to work, he reaches out to me often, making sure I’m alright, and I’m sure there’s no way I would be, if it weren’t for him. He now puts up with all my new quirks. I often feel bad for waking him in the middle of the night, but when I have nightmares that wake me, panic always sinks in, and I have to make sure he’s breathing. After all this, I couldn’t imagine losing him, too.

There was a point when someone told me losing our sweet baby boy would either tear us apart, or make us stronger. I instantly remembered the moment I laid staring at my sweet husband, snoring like a bear. He was curled up with me in my tiny twin sized hospital bed after labor had come and gone. I recall thinking to myself; I had never loved him more. Isn’t it funny, how silly you seem when you look at your past, and realize how wrong you were. I thought I loved him more then, than I ever could. I love him more now than I ever have. I’m not sure how I’ll ever love him more than I do right now, but I’ve thought that in the past.

 

Time Heals All Things

There was a point not long ago that this very expression would upset me. I remember thinking to myself, how could this hurt possibly get any better? But, those who said it were right.
Time heals all things.

It’s been almost a month since I found out my little boys heart was no longer beating. I recall telling myself it would be okay, telling myself I was strong, and then immediately questioning how I thought I would ever make it through something like this.

In five days, I will be 4 weeks postpartum. In five days, I would have had a 1 month old.

Last night, when my husband and I got home from my parents house where we had dinner, there was a small box on our porch. In this small box, was the hand made ceramic urn I had ordered to put our baby’s ashes in. I wanted something a bit more than what the funeral home did for us, the new one has his name and birthdate on it. It’s absolutely beautiful. The moment my honey saw what was in that box, he was on my heels at every step. He’s been so very good at making sure he’s there for me every time I break down, and I could tell he was expecting it.

I looked at the new urn, and headed toward the baby’s room, Michael at my heels. The room doesn’t upset me anymore. In the first weeks, I wouldn’t even look in. But, we never closed the door. I have spent some time in the baby’s room since, holding the blanket and teddy bear from the hospital, weeping to my hearts content. But now, his room doesn’t upset me if I’m having a good day. Yesterday was a good day.

I opened the beautifully hand carved box the funeral home gave us. It brings me back to the Wednesday after he was born. The funeral home called to say his remains were ready to be brought home. Michael and I went as soon as we could. It was exactly one week since we found out his heart was no longer beating, exactly one week, down to the hour. As we walked into the funeral home, we were asked to sign a few last forms. Thankfully, Michael, was responsible for all the forms, as I could not have done it. Then, the director offered to “lead us to him”, as she put it.

We followed her down the hall of the old funeral home we were not unfamiliar with. We’ve said goodbye to many family members here. As she opened the parlor doors, my heart stopped. Much unlike the first time I was told my baby was gone, and much unlike the moment I first saw my baby boys face, my heart stopped. Seeing rows of chairs spaced out facing a small table surrounded in magnolias, sat a tiny dark finished box with forget me not flowers hand carved into the top. Unlike everything else, this was something I hadn’t had the chance to prepare myself for. I hadn’t realized going to get our sons remains would so much resemble a legitimate funeral service. In that moment, it all became very real.

The first time I held this box, Michael almost immediately took it from me, as I was trembling. Thinking about this now, I find it so remarkable that magnolias surrounded this little box. Magnolias, the favorite flower of so many of my family members, and the state flower of my home state. A magnificently old magnolia tree probably stands outside my grandparents home, the grandpa our sweet boy was named after. Magnolias have always brought me so much joy.

Yesterday, I picked up that very box from the funeral home, opened it, and removed the small velvet bag that held my baby boys ashes. I then placed them in the new urn, as I could feel Michael’s eyes on me, making sure I was alright, and as surprising as it sounds, I was. Yesterday I managed to do this without tears in my eyes, and without a lump in my throat. I placed the urn next to the first ultrasound picture we have of him, and I diddnt even cry.

Today, I even took the baby’s swing out of the living room, and put it in his room. Today, I took the bassinet out of my bedroom without a single struggle.

There are still bad days, but people are right when they tell you that time really does heal.

Inspire

Two very close friends of mine are getting married this fall. Today, I was at her bridal shower. I remember being so excited about going, because I am of course so thrilled about them getting married. The thought never crossed my mind that at a bridal shower, there are women. Women often come with babies, either pregnant or infants. Both of which were there, and both are a ‘trigger’ for me, meaning they can throw me into a tailspin of emotion without warning. As I leave this shower, I did tear up a tiny bit on my way to my car, but I managed to pull it back together. As I did, a glimmer of pride snuck in, I made it. I had only made it through this because of one reason. Compassion.

At this shower, the mother of the bride was there, and she is a saint. Generally in this kind of setting, things can get a bit awkward. Often, you find yourself sitting alone for a moment, while everyone socializes. Luckily, the mother of the bride, who should have been soaking up the experience of her only daughters first bridal shower, instead stuck to me like glue. It was obvious she could see my struggles, and she cared. She cared enough to have concern for me, on a day she should have been nothing but happy. I now find myself feeling bad about bringing darkness into a day that should have been so happy for her and her daughter.

As we talked a bit about my recent experience with loosing my baby boy, she complimented my strength, as so many have recently. She also mentioned she admired my writing, and said I’ve inspired her. That’s a word I hadn’t yet heard, inspired.

To inspire is to ‘fill someone with the urge to feel or do something, especially something creative’.

If I’ve inspired this wonderful woman, with whom I’m not all that close with, who else have I inspired?

Since I’ve been home from the hospital, I’ve been thinking I wanted to do something, something in honor of our sweet boy. If I’ve inspired anyone, I ask that they do a random act of kindness in memory of this sweet boy of mine. Long before my life was stricken with tragedy, I always wished there were more compassion in the world, more people doing nice things for one another, more people that care.

If you choose to do something in his memory, please let me know about it. Rather than my days being filled with sadness, as so many are. It would be wonderful to hear stories about how nice things are being done to make life on this earth a little brighter.

What if my wish, in memory of my sweet Skylar, managed to brighten the world around me. That, would be the only thing that could really make all of this any better.

Sometimes

Sometimes, in the very moment you’re struggling, god sends you someone, or something, to remind you of how strong you are. He reminds you that you’ve been through so much, and he reminds you that he is in control. Sometimes, you must listen.

After losing our boy, I returned to work quickly. I had been back to work for exactly one week, and had been doing so well. However, this particular morning, I was not. Grief is like the ocean. At times, the water is calm, and breathing is easy. Others, you are hit with wave upon wave of drowning, breathtaking emotion without warning.

On this Wednesday morning, as I’m sitting at my desk fighting tears because something had triggered me, I was trying to pull myself together, trying to weather the wave I was just hit with. As I took a large number of deep breaths, I start listening to my surroundings, searching for a distraction. I hear a conversation about a family going through the process of adoption. Something tells me to get up, and intrude. I must hear about their story, how they got where they are, this is something I’ve been interested in for years. I must know. Without hesitation, I rise.

I ask the family if they feel comfortable telling me how they’ve gotten where they are. How hard has it been?

The mother begins to tell me about their deep need for an addition to their family. They have a daughter, and she is also a mother of loss. Three years ago, she lost her second daughter at birth. She is also the mother of a baby born sleeping. She then moves on to tell me about how the adoption process proceeds, as I swallow the lump in my throat. She sees my eyes welling up, the look of concern and interest on her face.

“I lost my son three weeks ago. I was 36 weeks.”

Her hands rise to her mouth in shock. I see you mama, you know where I am. You feel for me on such a different level than everyone else. How cruel is it that I find such comfort in those that know my story because they’ve been there.

We begin to exchange our stories. The remarkable similarities comfort me, until we connect on a much higher level. We share the things we do to remember our babies, I mention my tattoo, and she mentions they’ve just celebrated their sweet girls third birthday. She mentions the date. Until now, I had been so proud of myself for containing my composure. Until that very second, I didn’t know our babies had the same birthday. My tears keep me from being able to form words. Instead, I expose the now healed tattoo on my right collarbone, his name and birthdate now visible.

Of course, in the conclusion of our conversation, we exchange contact information. As they leave, I can’t help but think to myself, how remarkable that was, how I needed to talk with someone in that very moment.

I’ve learned that there are no coincidences, there are only reminders.

A Rose By Any Other Name

Skylar Franklin

When the labor and delivery nurse asked me if we had a name for our son, I couldn’t speak. Tears welled up in my eyes, and the lump in my throat wouldn’t allow it.

I heard my husband tell the nurse our sons name. It then became so real. It’s astonishing how quickly your life plans can change.

We had just begun the labor induction process. It would be an estimated 24 hours before I would get to see my sons face, but we already knew his eyes would never open.

We had such a hard time choosing a name. I had collected a long list of possible names, with the intention of listing them in rapid fire at my husband the next time I caught him unoccupied. 

Skylar

When I said his name, amongst the list of several he said, “that one”, and I was sold. 

The idea of picking our sons name was so exciting. I had waited my whole life for this.

Franklin

It was the middle name of my grandfather. He had died when my mom was 16. She always talked about her daddy as if he had hung the moon. Using his name was a precious token to me, I’d never met him, but from what I had heard, he was loving and kind. Carrying on the name of someone like him was important to me.

I remember the morning before we shared his chosen name with our family, I laid in bed saying it over and over in my mind. I imagined what he would look like, oh how I couldn’t wait to see his face.

I rolled over to my sweet husband, Michael, and said our sons name with conviction. “I’m a southern girl” I said, “I have to make sure it sounds good when I yell at him” 

He saw the uncertainty in my face.

“You better make up your mind”, he said. My husband, though sweet, has always believed in though love. Plus, he already knew we had made the right choice.

I said our sons name again, and I remember thinking to myself, that’s him, that’s his name. We’ve named our son. I was so excited to be a mommy.

Three days after he was born, my tattoo artist had me verify the correct spelling just before he began marking that very name into my skin permanently. 

Oh, how I love the way it sounds. That’s his name, my only son, our boy.

Skylar Franklin.

My memories of him aren’t always sad. I remember my entire pregnancy as the happiest time in my life. The anxiety I had over such big decisions now, seem so silly.

Brown Recliner

In this brown recliner I bought at a garage sale, I weep. Holding a tiny light brown teddy bear, and a soft white blanket with my sons name printed all over it in blue and gray, I weep. These being the few sentimental items from my hospital stay just weeks ago. This, the blanket he was wrapped in when we said goodbye, and the bear the hospital gave us after they took pictures of them together.

This recliner, in the corner of the nursery I put together with so much hope and joy. I look at the clouds my mama and I painted on the wall, my baby’s name was Skylar, it all seemed so perfect. I follow the clouds on the wall until my eyes fall onto the corner shelves my daddy helped me hang. On them, a framed picture of my first ultrasound, a willow figurine of a mother and father with their new baby, and a small wooden box that now holds my precious baby boys ashes. 

I sit here sobbing in this brown recliner. The recliner I planned to spend countless hours and late nights in, rocking my baby boy, my Skylar. I remember sitting in it for the first time. How I tested it to be sure it was just perfect, proper swivel, rock, and reclining were all necessary. On a hot summers day I tested this chair at an older gentlemen’s driveway garage sale, boasting to him about how my sweet husband and I were having a baby boy in just a few short weeks. I’ve never been so proud or excited in all my days. 

It’s funny, how you get so much advice from even strangers about how becoming a new mom will be. Most will tell you how hard it is, how tired you’ll be, how your life is over. You’ll never have time alone again, you’ll never sleep again. Some will tell you to enjoy every second you have, because babies are miracles, and they grow so fast. Not one person warned me that my life could literally shatter in an instant. No one mentioned that I could be sent home from the hospital empty handed. Now I weep in a brown recliner in a nursery I have no need for. Wishing I had my baby boy in my arms. My, what I wouldn’t give to suffer exhaustion at the will of my beautiful boy. I would give anything in the world to hear him cry.

If I could give the world advice. It would be to never say negative things about motherhood to a pregnant woman, or her family. There is no possible way to know what they are about to be put through. Think about your words. Do you want them to echo in her mind? Your statements of negativity about your sweet baby. 

I read something recently that said “the love of a parent of loss is so much greater”. 

Love your babies. You never know who might be wishing they had them. 

You never know how lucky you are.

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