Every day, every week, every month, every year I try to honor Clara’s memory. Sometimes the ways we honor are simple, we share a story or a sweet memory. Other times they are bigger, we choose a child the age Clara would be today and share Christmas gifts with her. We laugh, and cry, and smile in her honor. We share our fears and find hope and we love like no other, in her honor.
Clara was born January 21, 2009. She was my third child and my husband’s first. She was loved from the moment we knew we were expecting. I was 26 weeks pregnant at our wedding and she so lovingly danced between us for our first dance. When word of my brother’s suicide broke and emotions ran wild, she patiently waited and grew a few more weeks.
The day she was born she brought light into our family. Her older brothers adored her. They did everything they could to make her smile and laugh. They were at daycare with her the day she left this earth and by the grace of God didn’t know anything was going on until after she was on her way to the hospital.
Clara was born at the same time as several of our friends little girls. Today we watch Alexis and Paige grow and I often wonder what Clara would be doing now. These girls are so sweet and love to offer hugs. Those hugs mean the world to me. They remind me of how Clara might feel in my arms.
The year Clara was born the song “All American Girl” by Carrie Underwood was popular and that seemed to be our vision of her. We dreamed of her growing up, going to school, getting married, having children of her own. Those dreams shattered on May 12, 2009.
The one thing that remains is our love for her. We have found ways to include her in our family as often as we can. Each year we travel to SD to take our family photo at the Run for Their Live’s SIDS run. Each birthday I make a barbie cake to remember her lovely birth. We do something special for another child each Christmas. We take opportunities to share her story when we can and I do this project each year to honor her.
I will never be the same person I was with her in my life but I think she would be proud of the mama I have become. Her life has taught me so much. In dealing with her passing I have found much strength in helping others. It prepared me for the stresses of her younger brother, Lincoln, who has some major medical needs. I have been forced to face my fears and trust in the Lord with all my heart. I am thankful that I got to share my days with her. Today I am thankful for the memories and the opportunity to honor her.
What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose.
All that we loved deeply becomes a part of us.
Our 1st family photo.
The big boys and Clara
A few of the babies born with Clara.
Sharing memories of Clara with her three little siblings.
Clara’s Memory Wrapping Session 2014