One month

I haven’t been very organized about commemorating Alex and Julianna’s little milestones. I didn’t take pictures of them every month. I see these photos a lot, the ones with little signs that tell us how many months old a baby is on a certain day. And I love them — was that not around when my children were babies? Or were they, and I just didn’t notice?

Today, it’s been a month. One month since I was able to hold Julianna and kiss her forehead.

It seems perverse to remember and document the one month anniversary of Julianna’s death when I didn’t document the one month anniversary of her life. I have no idea what we did that day.

I thought about doing nothing, but that didn’t seem right either. How can I not remember and acknowledge it, this horrible loss?

It doesn’t really matter, of course. It’s just a day, and I’ve been acknowledging this horrible loss – for years. As difficult as this past month has been, the years before it were much worse. (Not the glorious eighteen months in hospice. Those were a gift, better than the most wonderful dream.And yes, “glorious” and “hospice” go in the same sentence — I’ll write more about that later.)

The time before that was the hardest. I knew, but I denied, and I struggled. Fear permeated everything then, and with it came despair.

I’m not afraid now, and I wonder if I can be again. There is sadness, of course. I miss her – so much. But there is also joy and gratitude. When I was afraid, I could not begin to imagine that these would be in the mix, and that they would keep me afloat.

Though Julianna was the girliest of girly girls, I imagine her in pants and sneakers now. She is always running, doing all the things that she couldn’t do in this life.

This weekend, Steve and I received a beautiful gift. I have been wanting to get a little angel for our yard (to put near Julianna’s tree when it gets planted). Kathy, the gifted artist who did Julianna’s princess room furniture, just “happened” to have the perfect one:

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It looks like her, and it is clothed. (A lot of these cherubs tend to be partially draped. J valued modesty.) I thought it was perfect, but wished that it was a bit smaller, a sitting angel perhaps. Then Steve came up with the perfect response to my unspoken thought: “She would have wanted to be standing.”

 

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This morning, a Julianna sunrise. For the last month, I’ve gotten up every morning before the sun, but it hasn’t been pink. It’s a pale pink, for sure, but according to J, the perfect shade of pink is “like a pig” — so I think that this counts.

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I tried to find a picture of J at one month, but couldn’t. Instead, this is one of my favorite memories: the way Alex made her smile. 

 

PS — a  Cool New Thing:

These lovely items (a bookmark and a 3×3″ card) were made by the wonderful Oscar’s Print Shop. We printed a bunch, and will hand them out everywhere.

If you would like to do the same, please do. You can download each image individually to get a high-res pdf.JYLongJYLongbackJYSquarebackJYSquare

14 thoughts on “One month

  1. My heart aches with yours. I love the idea of Julianna running around in sneakers and jeans…I bet she is also wearing a pink top, a crown full of gems and little angel wings. She will never be forgotten.

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  2. Thank you for sharing once again !!!! I downloaded the pic of Julianna with the famous words “love is a superpower” to my computer, Julianna is now a part of my daily slideshow on my work computer. She is one of my heroes forever, now when she pops up on my screen I can share her story and picture with my co workers ! Thank you , she is always with you guys, in your hearts, and is your guardian angel, that’s for sure! If you are able to send me one of the toys you were giving away at the tea party let me know 🙂 I will send you my address !!!

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  3. Oh – yes. I remember, Julianna values modesty & there was a post you made a long while ago, where Julianna made some comment about modesty (lack thereof) because she wasn’t wearing pants quickly enough .. or something !?!

    & yes! It’s a bit strange that our pink & girly princess might be in sneakers & pants & running around but – hey, that’s what she’d have wanted, and if girls can be blue too (ref her blue unicorn in the book), surely they can wear pants too! So maybe she really is 🙂

    Love the idea of a Julianna tree so much! (I don’t know why I never suggested this before – that’s exactly what my pastor+wife did to remember the baby they miscarried recently, it was a Star of Bethlehem – but I’m glad you’re doing it nonetheless!)

    The postcards are lovely, & I’m glad I can share them too cos there’s a virtual equivalent … though it slightly irks my English Nazi self that the book is printed as Julianna’s Adventure – it should be AdventureS, of course. Oops. I love the image you’ve chosen for that though – Julianna(‘s flowers) blooming seems to be so apt.

    Hugs y’all – getting up before sunrise for the past month sounds really tiring (& sleep-depriving), I hope you’re taking good care of yrself M! xx

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  4. I just love the picture on the card with her pretty flowers in her hair. She was a beauty inside and out. Beautiful face. I’m sure she is running around and playing.

    When my days are rough I think of Julianna she always makes me smile.

    Julianna has touched my heart like no other and I will never forget her. Her happiness, her beauty, her love and her spirit lives on. Julianna’s eyes sparkle with love.

    Thank you again!❤️❤️🙏

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  5. Michelle,
    I was very touched by your remembrance and tribute to Julianna today. I especially enjoyed the photos
    of her and Alex. I thought the statue is a fitting reminder of the most amazing and inspiring person I have
    ever known, adult, teen or child. What a unique and beautiful soul. She said God will take care of her and
    I believe He is doing just as Julianna knew He would.
    All the very best!
    Valentino
    Thursday, 14 July 2016
    3:25 PM

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  6. Wow. When I saw the photo of the garden angel, I didn’t even need to read what the following caption would be. I immediately saw Julianna; it looks just like her! what a blessing. I know God will forever be sending you these signs that she is with Him. I feel blessed to have been able to read about a real life angel, and can only imagine the pride you feel as her mommy. May God always comfort you.

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  7. Get my naked off I laugh so hard at that one.get me dressed. She is a little angel. I would not like to have to depend on someone to dress me every day.
    To go through what she did at such a young age and be continue to be her happy self. Miss her!
    Thanks for keeping us informed.
    Focus!

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  8. I was up the whole night, and I remembered the one month. Time- you could keep track of one month, a lunar cycle, anything. It is all subjective. I never believed in spending a lot of time at a gravesite, and I never believed in getting caught up in anniversaries. Yes, it seems to hit harder but the math is constant, how we perceive the time is rather subjective.

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  9. In A Few Months your days will start getting Better,,
    then one day you will wake up and have a good day,
    But it takes time, before that will happen,
    don’t worry you never ever forget her.!!

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