Thursday, June 28, 2012



the other night dear
when i lay sleeping
i dreamt i held you in my arms
when i awoke, dear
i was mistaken
so i hung my head and i cried

you are my sunshine 
my only sunshine
you make me happy when skies are gray
you'll never know dear 
how much i love you
please don't take my sunshine away

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Charlotte's garden is growing, especially her tree.  Take a look at all the "pretty" on it!  In true Charlotte style, overnight it went from a few traces of pink to an explosion...and there's still more to come.  I just wish that instead of a beautiful tree, I had my beautiful baby girl at home.   One day...

He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:17

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Patrick and I had some time before a lunch date last week so we stopped by Sparkman Hillcrest to visit Charlotte.  He ran right over to her plot and said "hi, Char Char."  My sweet boy.  Of course he wasn't too into taking any photos but Mommy couldn't resist.  I love that he says "hi" and "I love you, Charlotte"... and knows right where her plot is.  

Likely, he'll grow up not remembering her as much while she was with us but rather the memory of her which we keep alive in our hearts.  I pray that his heart holds a love for his sister whom he never really knew, but whose incredible spirit feels like "home."  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


When Patrick Jr. was born, Dr. Oliver exlaimed, "look at the size of his hands and feet!"  Looking back, I know that Charlotte was definitely ours because although she was tiny in the weight department, her hands and feet weren't.  I've mentioned it before, but her fingers and toes were long, just like her little feetsies.  After she passed away, molds were taken of her hand and foot for us to keep, but as I look at them now, they  And those fingers and toes, not so long.  But that's to be put in perspective as she wasn't even 6 lbs and had had 2 major heart surgeries amongst countless others.  Quite an incredible spirit.  I'm glad that we have these molds because I can run my fingers over them and know that is her.  She left her mark for us, in more ways than one.  Remember that saying "lead by example?"  Well, I think she did.  I'm trying to follow in her mighty footsteps, one baby step at a time.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Take a look at this photo I found.  Another feel-good something.  When I saw it, I just stared.  Pink and grey...dotted with a heart.  I can only imagine that our little Heart Hero would have had pink painted nails some day.  And maybe one painted with a heart.  


Monday, June 18, 2012


My favorite story recently is one which a close friend shared with me.  On the day she was being discharged from the hospital to take home her first born, she was asked the name of her baby girl by the birth certificate office.  She answered "Dylan Charlotte.'  Her husband quickly looked over and reminded her of their chosen middle name, but as she was telling me through tears, I nodded while my own crept into my eyes.  I looked down and saw her beautiful baby girl, Dylan Penelope, in my arms and knew.  Charlotte's memory will live forever in the hearts of those who love her.  She will never be forgotten.  Maybe it was the fact that my friend was in the same room, in the same hospital as I was when I had Charlotte.  Maybe it was the fact that her nurse happened to be named Charlotte.  But maybe it was just because Charlotte lives in my friend's heart as well as yours.  So to all of you, thank you for keeping our family - and SWEET CHARLOTTE - on your hearts.  Thank you for honoring my baby girl.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I'm usually caught off guard when I'm out and hear, "is he your only one?"  It's a stranger in a store who's pointed to Little Patrick while asking the question.  I then spit out "yes," completely unaware but usually clue in as quickly as the words fall out...and then I'm left stumbling.  I want to shout, "I have another baby!  Her name is Charlotte."  As I stumble through the next few minutes, I kick myself for not being quick enough to answer the way I want to.  My friend explained that over time, I'll figure it out.  My reality will be so real that my brain will comprehend the question right away.  I can then answer, "no, I also have a little girl named Charlotte.  She would be 4.5 months old."  I know that as I'm living this new reality, I'm not alone.  Charlotte's memory fills up my brain, our house and our hearts.  And as we carry through the days to come, we will continue to carry her with us as we wait to be reunited with her in Heaven.

Thank you for your continued prayers for me, and my family.  We feel your love, and even on the days when I feel despair creep inside my heart, I'm reminded of God's graciousness.  He will continue to carry me as I draw Him near.  And I remember that I am THANKFUL for the opportunity to have mothered such an incredible baby girl.  She has blessed our lives immeasurably. 

Friday, June 15, 2012


This is what I saw when I picked up my photo order, which happened to be of my Sweet Charlotte.  Dotted with a heart.  Makes me happy.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Last night Patrick, little P and I busted out in dance at dinner.  Thankfully we were safely in our kitchen  but it was strange because as happy and as much fun as we were having, I immediately remembered that Charlotte was missing.  And yet, no matter what we do, she will always be missing - not in our hearts of course - but in our daily lives.  I wish that she were in the thick of things, alongside of us as she claimed her space in our family of four.  

Now that we've been on our own for awhile, (despite a little Mimi visit not long ago!) I am getting into the swing of being a full-time mom again.  When you actually stop and think, I haven't answered to my usual calls of mom and wife fully since I went on bed rest after Christmas.  Jokingly, I say that our Christmas company never left.  It's true - we've been blessed beyond measure to have had our moms and even a dad help take care of us throughout.  So although natural, having the full ownership of "mom" recently is bittersweet.  It's nice to be back, but I can't help and think about her as I'm pushing Patrick's swing at the park.  Most days they're "daydream" thoughts of her which make me feel warm and fuzzy and are a gift from Him.  He knows my heart and He continues to comfort me, lifting me up with tender mercy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I started a blessing ring when Patrick was born.  It holds all the cards from the first year he was born.  Everything from his arrival to his baptism to his birthday.  It hangs on his door and has been swatted by dog tails and little boy hands as he's grown over the past 2 years.  So it's expected that I would want the same for Charlotte.  Hers was a gift from my best friend and it holds all that is precious to me.  I had just threaded all of her cards shortly before she died.  I thought it would be so touching for her to later read the words of encouragement, love and support of so many who loved her.  I thought we'd have to get another one because they were so many of you who supported her that with two more surgeries and many special occasions ahead, we were going to quickly run out of room.

We now have a huge, black leather box from SH that holds cards with signatures or hand-written notes of sympathy.  Someday, I'm sure that I will string those too.  They deserve to get swatted by a dog tail and slapped occasionally by big brother's growing hands.  After all, just as Charlotte is, they're a part of our family.

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22 - 23  

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Sometimes life seems heavy, to use a word that Patrick Jr. says all the time.  He's usually holding a toy truck in his hands while saying, "mommy, heavy.  heavy, mommy."  

In the most minor of events of my life, sadness has a way of making itself known.  It's like I've been served a full glass of it and I'm not supposed to spill, but yet I'm asked to run and jump and play like I used to.  How can I do that if my glass is full?  Much like the way of grief, I have to learn to balance the glass.  I have to incorporate the sadness into my life.  But every once in awhile, it spills and I'm left to clean it up.  How I do that is different every time because sometimes, I'm in the grocery store while others I'm comfortably in the privacy of my own home.  And while I recognize that my cup of sadness will always be full, I also recognize that I have a full glass of happy too.  It keeps me afloat through the harder times.  I know that when I'm overwhelmed with anxiety, sadness, desperation for her, that my God lifts me up.  He gives me just enough hope and strength to make it through.  He always has, just as He gave to my sweet and wonderful CHARLOTTE.  

I was reading about another little one who just went through her third surgery for HLHS and with each word I read, I felt like shouting out, "I know!" or "Me too!" or "I wish that Charlotte were here."  The hardest trial of my life was walking alongside of my baby and watching her endure all that she did.  Time and time and time again, she did I.  It was - as it still is - up to me to trust and to be patient.  I trusted my precious baby girl's life in His hands and I know that, now, He is holding me as I trust in His perfect plan. 

Part of me finds comfort in what was hospital life.  It's like running into someone from your home town.  You're like, "hey! i know you."  So if I happen across someone who knows what Milrinone does or what an arterial line is, it feels like home.  Just like when a hometown friend texted me the day that Charlotte died.  She said, "would you believe me if I told you that once you're home you'll actually miss the NICU?"  I read the text aloud to my kindred spirit who was "our" nurse the last few days of CRM's life...and I agreed, even before I lost her.  So it's natural that I would find comfort in the place that was Charlotte's home.  Would it be so bad if I showed up and asked to work a shift? :)  

My peace is knowing that Char Char, my sweet and wonderful Char Char, is with her Maker.  He gave her wings and He has made her whole.  She is my hero.  The first thing that I'll do when I arrive in heaven is to whisper in her ears that she is my girl.  I will await that day so I can tell her how amazing she is.  How beautifully perfect and wonderful she is.  I will hear her little girl laugh and smell her hair and feel her skin as I hold her and am finally...AT PEACE.