Family is Forever
Nothing can change the fact that our family will always feel incomplete. We will always have a school picture that won’t change when everyone else’s does. People will always notice our large age gap between the big boys and the little boys. What we can change is how we acknowledge our gap.
For our family, our favorite way to acknowledge Clara’s place in our family is by taking our yearly family picture at the Walk, Run, Race for Their Live’s event. Although we started creating a team in Clara’s memory in 2009, we didn’t take our first family photo with her banner until 2010. It has been both healing and a way to make new, meaningful memories together. This year a professional photographer shared her talent to help all the families take a picture with their little one’s image.
With each picture, these images remind us of the good times we dedicate to making new memories with Clara. It isn’t the way I ever imagined it to be but I am thankful for the opportunity to create new traditions with the kids. The time the kids spend talking to family and friends and hearing stories of their sister make it a meaningful way to knit our family a little tighter.
Things have really changed since our first year. We no longer use blue Christmas lights on our tree. We still try to find a girl and boy Clara’s age to go Christmas toy shopping for. Our first year we didn’t really know what to do for Clara’s birthday. We wrote messages on balloons and let them go. Of course, Mason’s got stuck in the tree. We explained that Clara couldn’t read them all at once (and hoped the balloon moved by morning). Thank goodness it made the move overnight!
It was on Clara’s second birthday that we thought a cake might be different and yet normal. I wanted to create something that didn’t need a candle. It wasn’t like we could add one anyway. So it was decided that the doll cake was it. Each year her dress changes and we find new ways to capture who she might be. Three years ago we began adding a white butterfly to the cake. It is a quiet reminder of the baby we miscarried. A pregnancy that was detected mid-May with a due date of January 23, 2013. (crazy close to Clara’s birthday & passing dates).
Recognizing her birthday brings comfort, smiles, tears, and love. For us, the cake celebrates the time we held Clara. It reminds us of the good memories and some sad ones. It helps our kids to know that she was born and lived. It helps Chris and me to remember the journey to her birth. It is just one of the ways we celebrate all 111 days of memories on earth and remember each one of her Heavenly Birthdays. <3
Lincoln has really taken a liking to lemonade. In fact his favorite reason to visit the Ronald McDonald House is to drop off pop tabs and pick up a fresh can of lemonade. I can’t help but look at him and think of our “Pink Lemonade”. He is just a much a part of that as Clara. His legacy is one we hold in the live aspect. We hold him and see him overcome so much everyday. To see this little boy who is always smiling through it all is amazing. He shows us just how many good things can be found in the tough times in our lives.
Today we went looking for girl scout cookies and his choice: Lemonades!
Love this boy!
It has been 4 yrs, 5m, and 5 days since we last held Clara.
As time has passed we no longer count the time in days or months but in years. What seems like an eternity ago sometimes feels like just yesterday. Our life is forever split by “before Clara” and “after Clara” when we refer to memories. No one knows when our time here is done…remember to hug and love the special ones in your life.
“Time is too slow for those who wait,
too swift for those who fear,
too long for those who grieve,
too short for those who rejoice,
but for those who love, time is eternity.”
~ Henry Van Dyke
Clara looked so beautiful in the color green and while she was here we dressed her in as much of it as possible. We delightfully declared it her favorite color. However since Clara’s funeral we have used pink and yellow to remember her by. Every year we bring new pink and yellow flowers to the cemetery. Our balloon release often times is pink, yellow, and green balloons. When we do things in memory of her we use pink and yellow.
She is forever our pink lemonade.
Day #10: Symbol
Today was a hard image to come up with. I have a hard time really deciding what is Clara’s symbol. We have several things in our home that are symbols like pink flowers, angels, peanut or sweet pea things. I really had to dig through my thoughts and heart to find the right one to share. Then, just like that, it came to me! DUH!! Pink Lemonade!!
Pink Lemonade reminds me of the night of Clara’s viewing when my husband spoke such beautiful words to the crowded church. He spoke about our girl who added so much pink to our home. He also spoke about the sourness and pain the lemon of a situation we were in at the moment. From that time on Pink Lemonade has stuck around. It is our team name for the annual “Run for Their Lives” SIDS run in Sioux Falls, our birthday and special Clara day snacks (pink lemonade cupcakes), and is the name of my blog (alittlepinklemonade.blog.com). It truly symbolizes Clara.
The picture I picked today has our soft pink flower to symbolize Clara and the sour lemon to symbolize our loss. The beautiful thing is now that they are mixed together we get a wonderful opportunity to remember Clara and help spread the word about SIDS and help other families who are experiencing the loss of a child.