Hope: the feeling that this horrible, gut wrenching feeling won’t last forever.
Yesterday, Darcy and I toured Ronald McDonald House. When we announced Everlee’s funeral in the Telegram we had said that flowers would be gratefully accepted, or donations could be made in her memory to Ronald McDonald House. It was our thought that we would love for her to be honoured through helping other families, and other babies who may be fighting for the life that Everlee never got to have.
At her funeral we were blessed to have so many flowers sent from all over the world, dozens of beautiful arrangements for our precious little girl. To be completely honest, I took every single one of them home. I know most people usually end up donating the flowers through the funeral home to hospitals or retirement homes, but I just couldn’t bare to leave them all behind. They were gifts to Everlee and I wanted them to come home with me. Even now that most of the flowers have wilted and died, I have made a display in our kitchen of all of the beautiful glassware that the flowers came in. I look at them every day and think of her.
I grasp at everything I can to make a physical memory of her.
But yesterday at Ronald McDonald House we learned that in addition to all of those beautiful flowers, over $1100 had been donated in her memory already, and that there was still a large portion of money still not tabulated in their safe. $1100 in her name to help other families the way ours couldn’t be helped. And I was proud. I am proud. So proud of my little girl. All of the love people have for her is doing something good, and helping others. She has a legacy. She has brought people together like I never thought possible.
Anyone still wishing to make a donation to Ronald McDonald House in her name can still do so, you can find more information here: http://www.ourhousenl.ca/donate.asp
And the cards.
We’ve received well over 200 cards from people we didn’t even know were thinking of us, childhood friends, former colleagues, neighbours… I even received a beautiful handwritten card from the Premier of the province yesterday telling us that she had been thinking about Everlee every day since she heard the news. But what has shocked us most is the frequency at which people say that this kind of tragedy has struck them too, or someone they know. Angel babies, just like Everlee. Does this happen more than we know? Do people just not talk about it?
I will never let anyone forget Everlee. I will speak her name every day. I keep thinking about going on our upcoming vacation and meeting strangers, who will inevitably ask Darcy and I “do you have any children?”. I know it will happen. It’s a natural conversation to have. And I will say with pride that I have one daughter who is no longer with us.
This week has been a roller-coaster of emotion for me. I still haven’t been sleeping, and I have to force myself to eat everyday. I hardly had the energy to pull myself out of bed today. Truth be told, I spent more time in bed sobbing today than I did upright. But I got up, I went out and I faced the world. But it’s important to remind myself every day to get out of bed, and breathe in and out until I don’t have to remind myself anymore (thanks for that lesson Sleepless in Seattle). I have to have hope. Even if right now all that hope is, is the feeling that this horrible, gut wrenching feeling won’t last forever.
Rhonda, you are right that this kind of terrible thing happens more than you may know and people should be more open to talking about it. I myself have several relatives who have experienced your pain. I can only guess how hard it was for them. but I guess to speak of hope, all of them now have at least one child. Thinking of you and sending you strength.
Your daughter is already leaving her legacy behind. She is an amazing little girl already
I’m so glad you are writing (and crying and eating and getting out of bed–all the things your body needs right now). It does happen more often than we know and people don’t talk about it. My friend, Katie, still meets with parents who have lost a child to share her story. Many of them are relieved simply to see that she is alive and functioning and whole (and chasing her two daughters around). Our city has a support group for parents who have suffered an infant loss–she said it was invaluable to her. Is there something like that where you live? The hospital social work department would know.
I raise money for the Leukemia Society every year in Richard’s memory, for the same reasons you’re supporting the Ronald McDonald house–to keep his life important. Everlee’s life is important.
You are wonderful and amazing to continue to share, even for those of us that have children, it puts into perspective what life is about. You are a proud mama bear, and that will never leave you. Your feelings are yours so please continue to own them. I am very happy to hear about the donations, you did something unselfish and wonderful.
Rhonda, we haven’t met though Darcy was a very close friend of mine through high school. My heart bleeds, and while I cannot truly understand the feelings you are experiencing, I feel both your pain and your strength coming through in your words. You and Darcy are in my thoughts daily. Everlee, what a lovely name! Know that I am sending you my thoughts, caring, and hopefully some strength from a teenage friend.
Darcy and Rhonda, I am thinking that no one talked about it years ago, because it was common. From the stats I have researched.. My Son Nick was born sleeping… April1/13 he will/would have ( I am still not sure how to say this will or would..) been 15..we remind our kids about him all the time..I make a decision that day that I will always regret…I never seen Nick but his father did. he was beautifull his father told me.I will alway keep you in my prayers and cry, laugh and talk..I will have my day April 1 with Nick’s Dad which we have done every year, we spend it together..even though we are no longer married, it is a very important day in our lives.. hold on to everything you can..Hugs Exie
Rhonda and Darcy I feel with you writing these blogs they are going to help you immensely. Thinking of you Darcy and Everlee each and everyday. Love Aunt MARY.
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2013 23:40:53 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org