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.