Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hadley's Garden and Grieving

Our garden is definitely in the works!!  We have flowers planted, our roses are blooming, and the garden sign with her name on it came in.  Here are some pictures of the process...
 Briley LOVED being outside and planting flowers for her sweet sister!!

On Tuesday it was a rainy day and Daniel went outside to put Hadley's sign in and take pictures of her garden.  I'm so glad it had made her garden look beautiful.
Don't those flowers just look beautiful and doesn't my husband take beautiful pictures?  I just love going outside to play with Briley and look at them.  This week has been a good week.  Unfortunately, Daniel has been pretty busy at work, but lucky for Briley and I we have found ways to stay busy!!  We have friends in from Seattle, and we have had a blast getting our kiddos together each morning and finding fun things to do.   I will post some pictures from our week in another update.  

Last night, I finished my book, I Will Carry You, by Angie Smith.  It was AMAZING.  It was so comforting to read through another mother's journey of grief and how she is living her life now and keeping her daughter, Audrey's memory alive.

When she started talking about her grieving process I became really curious about it and particularly maybe where I am right now.  I remember learning about the process in college but couldn't remeber all the steps so I looked it up.  

Dr. Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross was the first to introduce the 5 stages of grief in her book, On Death and Dying.   They are:

1.  Denial
2.  Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression
5. Acceptance

In her book (according to Wikipedia) a person will not necessarily go through the stages in that order or even experience them all.   

I started thinking about my Christian perspective on these stages.  There are many people in the bible who went through these stages of grief and I feel like God is laying it on my heart to research this more in my quiet time with him.  I look forward to what God is going to show me about this.  I wouldn't say I am in any particular stage right now.  I honestly think I have experienced all of them at least once already.  When I finished my book, I wrote down many verses that Angie mentioned to go and look up later.  One was Psalm 31:9 and it says,

9 Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am in distress;
   my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
   my soul and body with grief.

In this particular passage, David is asking God for help and God answers him.  David is even more stressed later on and God answers him again.  David was simply praying and trusting in his God and he knew HE would answer.

In the book, Angie also quotes from another book written by, Gregory Floyd.  He wrote this...

"Our faith gives us the sure hope of seeing him/her again, but the hope does not take away the pain".

I love this statement.  I know that God understands that I am in pain and grieving deeply for our Hadley.  He doesn't discount that or think I should "move on".  I won't ever move on and He knows that.  While I am here on earth without her, my pain will not go away.  But He and Hadley will take care of me and so will my family.  I will have good days and bad days, just like anyone does.  But I won't let my grief overcome me.  I won't let Satan tell me lies and bring me down.  

I'm going to simply continue to trust in Him and He will answer. 

In Christ's Love,

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Honoring Hadley with a Name Gallery

Daniel and I went back and forth on what names we liked when we found out we were pregnant.  I found Hadley's name while searching online and immediately fell in love with it.  Once we found out we were having a girl we knew right away she would be our sweet Hadley.  

I love what her name means...

It's orgin is Old English and it means "Heather Meadow" and the meaning of Heather is a purple and pink flower.  Perfect for our Hadley, a beautiful purple and pink flower in a meadow.  When we picked her name I didn't realize how well it fit with Briley's.  Briley's means "Noble and Strong Meadow."  I love that both of their names have something to do with a meadow and they couldn't fit them more perfectly.

We have been talking about ways we want to honor Hadley and I found this idea on another blog.  The great thing is I need YOU and many others to help me!!

We want to start a Name Gallery for Hadley.  What is a name gallery you ask?  Well here are some pictures to help you understand...

We would love for you to think of our Hadley and "write" out her name and send it to us.  Maybe you can write her name in the sand or spell it out with candy.  Maybe you have a beautiful picture that you can photoshop her name into.  The great thing about this is you can be so creative with what you do!!

Here is some misc. info about the name gallery:

-We want to do this for ONE whole year!!  So from now and until her 1st birthday in Heaven, on February 28, 2012, please send us pictures of her name.  Around the holiday's will be fun!!

-Please tell ANYONE and EVERYONE you know about this.  We would love to receive emails from strangers that are taking the time to think about our Hadley.  

-We will post all the pictures we receive monthly on our blog so you can see them as well!!

-Please feel free to copy our blog link and email out to your family and friends what we are doing or post it on your Facebook.  The more that know the more times we see her sweet name.

-Please email the pictures to or post on Melissa's Facebook wall.  Please make sure to include your name with the email.

-We will be making all of the pictures into a book that we will treasure forever.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for helping to Honor Hadley.  

I can't wait to see her name over and over again...I know I will continue to "write" her name for many years to come.

 "O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens."  Psalm 8:1

In Christ's Love,

Monday, March 28, 2011


One month ago today, our Hadley was born and then welcomed into Heaven.  

I ask you to please let this song play while you read this post.
I know she is being held by him today...

Two months is too little.
They let him go.
They had no sudden healing.
To think that providence would
Take a child from his mother while she prays
Is appalling. 

Who told us we'd be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We're asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?
It's unfair. 
This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we'd be held.
This hand is bitterness.
We want to taste it, let the hatred numb our sorrow.
The wise hand opens slowly to lilies of the valley and tomorrow.
This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we'd be held.
If hope is born of suffering.
If this is only the beginning.
Can we not wait for one hour watching for our Savior? 
This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we'd be held.

This morning, we got up and drove to the cemetery.  Daniel and I came up with the idea to release a balloon each month on the 28th.  We released one today, we will release 2 for her two months, 3 for three months, etc.  
It was hard driving there this morning.  I kept thinking what was happening a month ago at this time.  I started thinking about when I held Hadley for the first time.  Daniel brought her to me and it was the most precious moment of my life.  I just kept telling her how beautiful she was and how much we loved her.  I told her about her big sister and how we were going to miss her.  I told her that Jesus loves her and he will hold her until I can again.
Most of that Monday it was just Daniel and I in the room.  Our parents had been there since the middle of the night and they were in the waiting room all day on Monday.  They couldn't and didn't want to leave us.  They just waited for when we would need them...we were being "held" by so many people that day.  In their thoughts, prayers, and arms.  The support we received was overwhelming.  I remember our wonderful nurse, Shelly, stayed with us in the room and talked with Daniel and I for over an hour.  We talked about how beautiful Hadley was and what kind of memorial we wanted to have.  We were so blessed to be "held" by her  and others during our stay. 

Daniel had to work today and so we drove separate cars to the cemetery because he was going to go in late.  When he put Briley in the car and kissed us goodbye I told him that I would probably sit there in the car for awhile and not to worry.  He simply said, "I know".  I did pretty well, releasing the balloon and visiting her graveside, but when Daniel left, I lost it.  Thank goodness for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to distract sweet Briley...I didn't want her to see how upset I was.  I sat there for awhile and played our family song and just cried.  It might be a little odd to take a picture of yourself crying (and I'm sorry if it makes anyone uncomfortable) but for some reason I want to remember how I felt in that exact moment this morning and writing on this blog  and including pictures is helping me heal...
Today, Jesus is not only holding Hadley, but He is holding me.  If He wasn't, I wouldn't be able to make it.  I'm so thankful for what He does for us.  He holds me tight and tighter than anyone else can.  I think my tears in this picture are symbolic of the season of rain I'm experiencing right now and that's why I want to remember it. 

When I was typing this post, the doorbell rang.  It was a package.  I prayed while I was opening it that it was what I was hoping for.  

And it was...
What a more perfect day for this to arrive!!  I can't wait for Daniel to put this in her garden.   

She will forever be in our hearts and forever Held by Him.

God is good all the time, all the time God is good.

Please think of our sweet Hadley today.  

In Christ's Love,

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I was having a hard day...

Thursday was a hard day for me.  This coming Monday, it will be 1 month since Hadley was here and went to Heaven and I'm struggling as it gets closer...

God knows I am.  He expects me to.  He knows my heart and exactly what I'm feeling, which is comforting.  But, it still hurts like crazy.

Thursday night we were invited to an event hosted by the HEB school district that honored employees who have gone the "extra mile" for students, parents, faculty, etc.  Tammie (Daniel's Mom) was being honored and recognized for the amazing job she did as school secretary of Bedford Heights Elementary.  Amazing doesn't even cover it.  She touched so many lives while she worked there.  Her principal spoke about her and as her family we felt so honored to be there.  They had a slideshow of pictures of our family going while he spoke and it was so wonderful and SO difficult at the same time.  I am grateful to her principal and her school that they did this for us.  It meant a lot to our family.

Yet, on the way home I was frustrated.  I started my "why"ning act as I like to call it.  I just kept looking out the car window as Daniel was driving us home and kept asking God over and over in my head...

Why is Hadley gone?
Why did Tammie get cancer?
Why can't Hadley still be safe inside me?
Why can't my husband have his mother here?
Why can't my sister-in-law have her mother here on her wedding day?
Why can't Briley grow up with her sister Hadley and her Nonnie?
Why can't I see Hadley go to kindergarten, or prom, or get married?
I was throwing it at Him.  I started crying and prayed for him to give me some kind of insight as to WHY?????????????????????  I wasn't feeling any better and turned on the radio and this song immediately came on...

I had never heard this version of "I can only imagine" before.  With the orchestra and the words it is just amazing.  I started thinking about what God was telling me with this song...

Tammie and Hadley are experiencing what you hear right now, but even more beautiful.  They are in no pain.  Tammie is taking care of our Hadley and she is so beautiful.  Tammie didn't realize she could have even more joy in heaven...and then her grandchild arrived!  I know you are hurting and I am here.  I will always be.   I know it is hard right now but imagine what is to come...

I felt peace.

I'm so glad God is taking care of me.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Our Charlie Jar...letting Hadley's little light shine!!

My Sister's in Christ, Tiffany and Ashley, told me about a website about a little girl name Charlie.  Click on her name to visit the website.

Here is a little of her story...
Her parents went in for a sonogram 2 days before she was due and no heartbeat was found.  Her family was heartbroken (boy can I relate) and her Mom wanted to do something to help remember her sweet little girl.  She made a "Charlie Jar" for her Mom on Mother's Day that had scriptures inside of them to read each day and think of Charlie.  They started spreading like wildfire because her Mom started making them, etc....

And now we have one!!  Thank you to my sweet friend Ashley for ordering it!!

She ordered it to match Briley's room and I'm so glad she did.  I already love going in there and seeing it.  I like having something to remind me of Hadley in Briley's room and when Briley gets older I know she will treasure it.  I hope she will think of her baby sister each time she sees it and reads the scriptures inside...

I love this song that plays while you are on her website.  I hope I can continue to find ways to let Hadley's little light shine for the rest of my days...


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I have a name.

Whenever Hadley died, I wanted to search for blogs of other Mom's that had lost children.  My sweet friend Tiffany made my life a little easier and did the searching for me.  She sent me a whole list of blogs that have helped me A TON during these past 3 weeks.  One in particular that I have made a connection to is about a Mom who just lost her precious 5 month old daughter, Maddie, to SIDS.  Her blog is titled, Another Day Stronger and that is just what she/I is trying to do.  Become stronger.  Kellie (the mom) posted this the other day... 

"Someone posted this on my business page today and it's so true...A wife who loses a husband is called a widow. A husband who loses a wife is called a widower. A child who loses his parents is called an orphan. But...there is no word for a parent who loses a child, that's how awful the loss is!!"

She is right.

It is awful.  There isn't a word to describe it.  The pain at times is unbearable and I want to scream at the top of my lungs and ask God, "WHY AM I NOT STILL PREGNANT WITH MY SWEET LITTLE GIRL?? WHY CAN'T SHE GROW UP WITH HER SISTER? WHY CAN'T SHE HAVE A 1ST BIRTHDAY PARTY? OR GET MARRIED? WHY? WHY? WHY?   When I get like this I start praying right away and ask God to bring me peace at that moment...because if he doesn't I'm afraid the pain will overtake me and my body can't handle how strong the pain is.  

And then, just like that he does.  I feel...peace.

I had heard the above passage before Hadley passed away.  I think it was on the radio and a parent had called in to KLTY and talked about losing their child.  A parent that loses a child doesn't have a name.  I even mentioned this the other night when I was talking to my friend Sarah on the phone, before I read Kellie's blog.  

I've decided I don't really like this.  A parent that loses a child doesn't have a name??  

I have many names...even after this.

My name is....
Daniel's Wife
Briley's Mommy
Hadley's Mommy

Do you know what my most important and treasured name is?


Yes, we lost our Hadley.  It is definitely not what I saw happening in my life.  Ever.  But my name is Believer and I will continue to believe, trust, and follow Him.  

I'm almost finished with the book, I Will Carry You, by Angie Smith, that I talked about here
a couple days ago.  Here is one scripture she quotes that has stood out to me this week.  

 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.

I love this passage.  I'm rephrasing it for my life right now...

At times I feel like I can't bear the pain anymore, and then you bring me peace.
I know that this painful season in my life is worth everything that I will be a part of in the end.
I'm not going to focus on that Hadley is not here with me, but instead on BELIEVING and trusting in the eternal life you have waiting for me when I come home to her...and you.

I do have a name after the loss of my baby...and it's because of Him that I do.

Have a wonderful week of BELIEVING in him and who you are!!

In Christ's Love,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Zoo Day!!

We had a busy Monday!!  

In the morning, we got up early to get ready to go to the Zoo with some great friends.  But, before we left Briley and I decided to plant her "gardem" as she calls it.  Daniel and I had bought this little flower/garden kit at Walmart the other night and I was excited to do this with her.
(Side note- please ignore our table...I'm in the process of redoing the pictures because we took a bunch out to bring to the hospital with us.)
So, Briley loves anything "pincess" and couldn't wait to get her hands on those stickers!!
Cheese Mommy....when can I put on the stickers??
I hope that it works and we can get some pretty flowers to plant in Hadley's Garden from it!!

After working on our garden, we headed to the Zoo!!  I am taking a full 6 weeks off from work to heal (in more ways than one) and spend much needed time with my family.  I miss my kindergarten kids so much but I know God is giving me this time to enjoy and I know I will miss it once I get back to the craziness of school.

Here are a few ALOT of pictures from our fun at the Zoo...
 Elliott and Briley (Best Friends Since Birth)
Even Best Friends have their moments!!  Ha!
 Waving at the Kangaroos!!
 She LOVED the penguins!!
Now onto the cutest pictures ever...seriously there are way too many of the same picture but I couldn't resist!!!

They loved being "big girls" and getting to hold hands and walk at the Zoo!!

Briley is getting so big.  She was so frustrated at me that I wouldn't let her walk most of the way while we were at the Zoo.  She is still learning how to walk with Mommy and hold my hand but I tried to let her have as much freedom as I could.  She is so independent, just like I was growing up and I love that about her.  She is going to give her kindergarten teacher a run for her money!!  But by golly she will know all her letters, sounds, how to write her name, etc. (haha coming from a kindergarten teacher/mommy).

I had such a great time at the zoo walking around with my best friend Tracy just talking, laughing, and watching our girls have a blast.  Luckily, Tracy's sister snapped this cute picture of us and Tracy jazzed it up and I have to share it...
Thank you God for great friends!!
 In Christ's Love,