Saturday, August 29, 2009

I will celebrate

Last weekend we were dong our usual, running around in the car getting errands seen to. We were also visiting yard sales and some stores, looking for something that would look nice on our daughter's grave. The atmosphere was a bit tense, because we didn't have a lot of time left if we wanted to mail it in time to arrive in Scotland for today.

You see, today, 8 years ago, I became a mother.

So last weekend we were looking at all the little angel statues and bear photo frames and cute little baby figurines. We were also hunting out some bargains and generally getting on the with mundane. I scored a bunch of perfectly conditioned gymboree sweaters for Turtle, for a quarter each!

It felt like a normal day, but tense. I noticed that my fuse was very short and I couldn't understand it. I was getting cross with the kids and Rene for silly little things, but there was no reasonable explanation. As far as I was aware, I felt fine. I wasn't hormonal, I got up on the correct side of the bed, I had had my wheetabix. We continued stopping at yard sales and looking through for treasures.

And then I heard myself just melt down. Rene and I had a disagreement about something, I can't remember what. I went silent for a while. My head was just empty. No thoughts at all. It was strange. Silent. Then I heard myself burst into tears. I sobbed and wept and I'm sure it was quite relieving, if I'd have felt it. But I was hovering over myself watching it play out.

I expected to come out with some argument to whatever it was we were fighting about. But I didn't. I heard myself say, "I don't want to buy a bear or an angel or a statue or figurine or a baby for my daughter's 8th birthday. I don't want to buy it in advance to mail it to Scotland. I don't want to make sure it's weather proof. I want to buy a craft kit or an mp3 player or some trendy pajamas and jewelry, and I want to take it home and hide it in the closet until the next morning. I want to stay up late and wrap it at watch her face light up when she opens it. I want her to hug me and say, "thanks mum". I want her to play with it and enjoy it, not for it to sit on a cold stone being rained on. This just sucks."

And I crumbled. And he stopped the car and he held me. I hadn't been aware that I was even feeling this way. I guess it was all tucked up inside. We just cried. And the kids asked questions, and talked about her. And then Rene had a good idea. Why don't we go shop for clothes for an 8 year old girl and then donate them to the homeless shelter.

So we did that. It felt so good to look for clothes for her. I chose styles she'd like, based on her being a Docherty. My kids don't like wearing denim, or anything scratchy. I bet she'd be the same. I chose colors she used to look great wearing, because of her complexion. White, deep purple and green. I chose comfortable, yet trendy. It was so satisfying. Kaya used her money to buy a pretty pink t-shirt to donate on her behalf too.

We donated them today. We also went out to a re-diaper sale/fun day with a bouncy castle and face painting and way.too.much cotton candy. There were balloons and free treats, kids music and lots of our friends. And I pretended the whole thing was her birthday party. That's ok to do, right? It might seem a little crazy, but us bereaved mothers are a little crazy, and we're perfectly allowed to be. So we spent 5 hours at her birthday party today. The kids made bead people and danced and jumped until we all about crashed. And she smiled down. I'm sure she did.

Or God at least did and he knows where she's at in the whole space time continuum, Heaven/paradise, new body, spirit, temporary place or wherever. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but thankfully he does and he's in control and I do know I'll see her again. I'm certain of it.

Meanwhile I will celebrate her birthday. And I will cry on it. And I'll do some less than sane things, like pretend a re-diaper sale is really her birthday party with tons of guests. And I'll remember that day when I pushed her into this world late at night, and I sat and stared at her and could not go to sleep. Because she was perfect and beautiful and I could hardly believe she was really mine. I guess she never really was. None of them really are. I'll remember staring at her tiny tiny face and holding her little hand in mine and memorizing every little detail. The way she'd pucker up her lips, her little lamb like cry, her perfect eyebrows, how she could look across the large hospital room from day one, and focus on objects far away. She was so smart

I'm so proud of her. Happy birthday Peach.


Rene said...

Im so glad weve been able to do something for her, in her name even. My heart cries out for her...

DJ said...

A moving post and a truly lovely, generous-spirited and life-affirming way to celebrate your little angel's birthday.

Serina Cooper said...

You did something else for Heather today .. you made this crazed mom appreciate the little girl in the other room and be thankful for the fact that I was able to throw her a wild and whacky birthday party today and watch her open up presents. Thank you. I think its wonderful what you did in her honor today and I think you should do that every year. I love you Niecey and I can never express how sorry I am for Heather's death. Heather will never be forgotten, she is alive in all of us who knew her.

2Shaye ♪♫ said...

I now know that I wasn't ready for this when I started reading it. Because I could see where it was going and had to stop reading. So while the tears leaked out of the corners of my eyes, I tucked my little ones to bed and tried not to think about this post that I definitely wasn't thinking about--not one little bit. And, of course, when I came back to it tonight, I just let loose and it felt good. I wish I could sit with you and look at pictures of her and celebrate her birthday with you at a re-diaper sale and buy beautiful, comfy clothing for another 8 year old in her name. What a lovely day it turned out to be. You write it all so perfectly, Niecey.

Krystal said...

I know we don't know each other, but I have enjoyed reading about your life and looking at your beautiful pictures. I am so sorry you had to lose a child. I can't imagine. But today, the way you celebrated her birthday was beautiful. I'm glad you got to have a "birthday party" for her. And I think buying clothes for another little 8 year old was absolutely perfect and should be a new tradition. I'm praying for you today. And what you did today def. put a huge smile on our Heavenly Father's face!

Krystal in TX

MrsW said...

and terrible
and heart-breaking
and strong
and undoubtedly, unquestionably, OK

Herb of Grace said...

*crying with you*

She is so beautiful.

Riahli said...

An absolutly touching post. I think what you did in memory of your daughter was beautiful.

Michelle M. said...

Beautiful post! Happy birthday to your beautiful girl. I think this was a little too much for a new (and still hormonal) mom to read- I could hardly get through it. I am glad that you found a special way to celebrate her birthday.

Di said...

I don't know what to say but want to say something. Having watched my mum go through the same thing when my little brother died (over 30 yrs ago now), I feel your pain. And the solution, so simple, so perfect for her birthday. And to cry like that. Healing. I'm sure it's a good release. I know thats what my mum needs to do. But that's a whole other story :(

Anyway, I just want to say how I admire both of you in dealing with your loss. It feels and looks so healthy. And how can you even know what to do? No one should have to know what to do in that situation because it shouldn't happen...

love you guys

Tracy said...

I've heard a friend (well, you know, the IRL kind) say the same thing... that every year around their child's birthday and then again around the anniversary of their child's passing, he and his wife are short with each other, impatient, just sad, before they even realize why. Thank you for helping me understand a little better. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. ((hugs))