All that 2018 brought ….

As 2018 comes to a close I find myself reflecting on so much. Both a year of highs and joyful things and the hardships this year brought on through grief and new realizations to take me into the coming year.

This was the year that brought us Thomas Jo. The little brother Everlee sent us to have and hold in arms. BF5D8799-8177-41B7-B79E-89ECD1BEA75FHe looks so much like both Alice and Everlee, but I’m finding so many things of Everlee tied up in Thomas it feels like she’s here with us sometimes and that is such a gift. I’ll never forget that moment I first held him. Our Rainbow baby we had tried for for so long finally in my arms. And when I got to bring him home. A pivotal moment I’ll never forget.

Getting pregnant was one long step for us, and pregnancy after the loss of Everlee and miscarrying baby Joy, harder than I thought. Nine long months of fear. Fear to love him to much, fearing you would have to give him back. It was a difficult period to go through but it gave me Thomas. I would do it all over again to always end up with him. Something I’ve always said about Everlee too even though I couldn’t keep her, I would still do it all over again.

It took all a lot of faith, a lot of patience, a lot of hope in the dark, a lot of trusting in things you do not understand. But when I held that sweet boy in my arms, I understood it all. And the dark moments in waiting for this miracle of ours suddenly were surrounded by peace. Thomas has taught me, when I feel like giving up, to hold on to that little bit you have left, if you hold onto that little bit of hope, faith, and strength left it can grow into amazing things. I’m happy I didn’t give up. And we are here today with him. He’s such a huge part of this past year. We waited soo long for a year like this. I hope my story, and Thomas can offer someone hope that is still in that waiting period. It will be worth the wait, I promise.

This was also the year we welcomed Jorgia into our home.

She saved us in so many ways too. I wouldn’t change anything about her she’s absolutely perfect. And I can see Everlee giggling from heaven at her just as I so often hear Alice giggling and playing with Jorgia. She was exactly how we needed to start out the year. I swear the desiscion to get Jorgia and saying yes to her opened up so many other yes’s in our lives.

 

This year we remembered Baby Joy along with Everlee. The only comfort I’ll ever have knowing I have two children in heaven is they have eachother. Until we can all be together again. We planted a hydrangea tree for Baby Joy on the due date we had been given. We will always remember the baby that should have been our Rainbow baby.

Thankyou for the ones that remember Joy with Everlee.

With each year that passes I can feel that there are those in our life that move on from our time with Everlee. So I’m so grateful for moments when others speak Everlee’s name, or remember her in a sweet way, or bring her along on their travels. It’s one of my greatest fears that she’ll be forgotten by others. I know she’ll always live in my own heart but it’s a rare gift these days when others remember her openly too. So Thankyou to everyone who still carries her in your heart too and sharing these moments with us.

I’ve also taken this year to grow in my photography. Something I feel I’ve gained after Everlee. These moments we are given on earth are precious and treasured. I want to capture so many of them. Everlee has shown me this importance and opened my eyes to the beauty I never really saw till I started to look for heaven on earth. I’m hoping 2019 is the year I can start using this growing gift for other grieving families and give them these last moments with their children to forever remember.

I’ve never saw a sunset or sunrise the same way as after Everlee. 84E37934-358C-4B56-BB32-2C2B640935B0This sunrise I caught above the garden. It had taken me so long to learn to use my camera in that way to get all the right colors that I saw in person. It was my first picture I felt I had Captured the pure essence of . As pure as heaven is I suppose. As close to heaven we can get here on earth.

This year I took all my pictures of Everlee back into the beautiful color that was always her.

There was a time I needed them in black and white, but this year something changed. The room we held her in was filled with light and color just like her. She has shown me and added so much color to my life. She was not black and white but beautiful and colorful. This year was about finding the color she left us. The year of our Rainbow.

Another year went by, another year she turned three in heaven and celebrating this birthday was just as hard as all the others. If not more. The more time goes by the farther I know I get from the moment I shared with her. But we will always celebrate her, she will always be our daughter, or a sister, and celebrate the fact that she is ours. So we make her cake and September 8th will always be her day. The day we celebrate Everlee. 2291188F-9D10-4D2D-950B-56E9C0DD9EC2

 

With all the joys I can’t ignore the hardships of the year. This year I realized how little friends will stick by your side in pain with you. They turn around the pain you carry to somehow affect their lives. I somewhat get it. They simply just don’t understand. Or they wanted to old me back and that won’t happen. And I’m happy they don’t carry the lifelong pain of grieving a child. But why the outside world is so intolerable to this type of grief, and judgemental of how we decide to go through our pain or attempt healing , the only think is that same reasoning they don’t understand or care to open their hearts to try. And I hope to find peace with the betrayal that plagued my heart this year. Peace and forgiveness to move on from the ones that held my daughter and stole moments from me and then left without even a conversation as if years of wonderful friendship and memories didn’t mean a thing.

And Jeremy took a job out of state for the winter. It’s been hard managing a family by myself but mostly I miss the constant companionship of him. But it’s made us more thankful for the moments we have, taught us even more how to be present with eachother and communicate better. It’s also taught me to find more strength in myself which I needed to find. And we are thankful for the family that continues to always help and support as a family unit was meant to do.

But when I think of the year as a whole, I can find more Joy this year then pain. It outweighs it, and that’s all a grieving mom can ask for.

I know the coming year and the years to come despite welcoming more into our family we will always find hard times missing Everlee. She’s simply not replaceable and our grief our pain surrounding the hard moments is just great love we have just for her.

Im leaving the year, with a rainbow in our arms growing, safe in our arms. Thankful for every smile, every snuggly moment even the ones he doesn’t stop crying, the hard moments of parenting.

I feel thankful I’m on the other side of a fearful pregnancy after loss.  Im thankful for the new friends I found this year and the ones that have stayed with me.

All in all I’m looking forward to what the new year brings, it’s been many years since I’ve felt that. I’m going to carry the love Everlee leaves us and bring it forward, with understanding of the hardships of grief but ok with it. Looking forward to finding more peace towards the further losses and continuing walking through the scared place of Joy alongside pain. Giving myself credit that I’m doing it the best I can and always following my heart through it all.

2018 had more Joy present than pain. It’s the most I could have ever hoped for.

 

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