Our sweet Rosalie celebrated her first birthday last Sunday.
While life continues to have its ups and downs, I can honestly say that this past year has lived up to every hope and dream that I held onto during the many pregnancy losses I experienced prior to Rose's birth. Rose is loved and cherished by everyone in our family. Ginger, Benson, and Olive melt my heart on a daily basis in the way that they care for and interact with Rose. She has brought so much happiness into our lives and I am so grateful for her spunky personality and sweet spirit.
The changes to my life during this time of pandemic have brought about many challenges, as I am sure it has to for you.
My voice studio and income vanished overnight. My scheduled concert with the Utah Philharmonic was canceled. The desk I had just set up in our bedroom for the purpose of this blog and my recipe creations was taken over by my husband's need to work from home. Homeschool dramatically changed the amount of time I’ve been able to devote (or not devote) to my ideas and artistic creativity. The social isolation and lack of being able to live life “normally” has reminded me of the many years where pregnancy loss crippled my ability to function and progress in ways that were important to me.
After years of instability, life was just beginning to feel stable. It is this instability that has been the hardest to cope with emotionally and mentally.
However, this past week as I have spent time creating this little video in celebration of Rose’s life, I have been reminded of an important and hard learned lesson from years of struggle and grief.
There was a time, there were actually several times, when I thought my life was over. The pain and desperation was so relentless that I wanted nothing more than to curl up in a ball and die. Yet, I used those moments as an opportunity to create a beautiful life regardless of my circumstances. It wasn’t beautiful in a physical sense--believe me--I look like a hot mess in most of the pictures, my house was a torn up construction zone, and the activities we engaged in were far from glamorous.
But over the past week, as I’ve looked back on old photos and videos of the months following the losses of each stillborn daughter, I can see and feel so much peace and joy. We really made the best of a time that was far from ideal--in truth, the challenges and grief gave us the opportunity to make something wonderful. There are smiles and happy moments together and memories that our children still hold onto and cherish.
It was during this time, on the day that we found out that our daughter Joy had no heartbeat, that I bought a ukulele on a whim for my son. Little did I know that my husband, the man who had never picked up a music instrument in our married life, would turn to this ukulele as a way of coping with his grief and that together we would create and share in some beautiful music making memories. The grief that had been pulling us apart found a new home in a much more harmonious environment and created a way of spending time together that we still enjoy to this day.
In anticipation of Rose’s birth, Nate and I recorded the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (Nate on the ukulele and me singing)...we are just now getting around to sharing it! I hope this video and Rose’s story will bring hope to your life and be a beautiful reminder that happy days are ahead and that happy days can happen now.