Friday, January 21, 2011

Boxed Memories

The other night I felt this intense sadness for Preslie. I remembered my Mom saying to me after she died that when I am deeply sad and missing Preslie, she is missing me too. I really felt that way the other night, that she was really missing me at that same moment.

I decided to pull out her memory box that the hospital gave us. I have not opened it since Arista has been born, and I didn't realize the emotions I would feel when I looked into the sacred box. As I pulled out each item I reflected back on the short moments I had with Preslie after she was born. I felt such guilt and regret. "Why didn't I hold her tighter? Why didn't I kiss her more? Why was I scared to hold my own daughter?" I kept thinking the recurring "If onlys". My heart ached to hold her tiny body again. All I have of my precious baby is this box, and the memories.

I have known a lot of babies that have been born the past few months, and I can't help but feel a little sad when I look at the pictures of them. I wonder if I will always feel this way. I would NEVER wish our situation on anyone, but I can't help but think about why Chris and I were chosen to say goodbye to our daughter way too soon.

I feel guilty for not doing more lately to remember Preslie. Chasing after a 14 month old has occupied much of my time, but I feel like I need to do something once in a while to let Preslie know that Mommy has not forgotten her. I have volunteered to be an area leader for a infant loss group in the area. The link is on the side of my blog, Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. Our group Face2Face is going to meet once a month to share our stories and to meet others who know what we are feeling. I am excited to be able to talk freely about Preslie, and not feel judged or bad.

I know I shouldn't feel bad about talking about Preslie, but lately I have met a lot of women who happen to be pregnant who ask about Preslie. I explain what happened, and the women look terrified afterwards. I end up apologizing a million times, hoping I didn't scare them. I want to tell them that it won't happen to them, and that they shouldn't worry. Unfortunately no one has that guarantee. I've been attending different ward and church activities, and it seems like the minute Preslie is brought up the conversation ends. I didn't think it would be this hard to make friends. I am a normal, fun, Mom, who just happens to have an angel in heaven.

When writing this post It didn't even occur to me that 27 months ago today at this very time, I woke up to a still baby. A baby I would never feel move again. A baby that would eventually be buried with Grandpa in Utah. A baby that I would never see smile. A baby that won't grow up. A baby that was taken too soon. A baby that became an angel.

Preslie's headstone was laid a few weeks ago. My sister-in-law took and sent us pictures. It turned out beautifully. It looks exactly like the temporary we had in Michigan. Seeing the headstone made it seem so surreal. I, Rylie Quinn McDonald Martin have a child buried in a cemetery. Whoa.


Brittanie said...

It's the same way for me. I've had some people approach me out of concern that I'm "stuck" in my grief and need counseling because I talk about Cora...and it's frustrating. It's hard to be so...set apart.


Polly Scott said...

You are a beautiful writer. I'm so sorry. I really enjoyed chatting the other day, about Preslie and everything else. You are strong and I really admire your strength - especially that you're willing to talk . . . it's important and you're helping a lot of people.

Aubreydoll said...

I wish there was something I could do, like come down there and tell all those women what an amazing person you are and how they don't know what they're missing out on! (Especially all your awesome parties and desserts!)

That's so great that you're a leader for the infant loss group. You will be wonderful and help so many other people while they're grieving. Your strength, along with your kind heart, will help others more than you know.

Nancy said...

Rylie, I think you're beautiful and amazing! With my experience I learned that people just didn't know how to act around me and I would explain, "it hurts, I might cry right now but I'll be ok, I appreciate you asking." I found this made the awkwardness easier. You definitely have a mission in life and you're doing awesome!

Brian and Erika Hogge said...

I love you Rylie! You are amazing!

Michelle said...

Her headstone is so beautiful, just like you and miss Preslie! You both are such beautiful people...Rylie you have been such a strength and I am so blessed to be able to follow your journey. preslie is so proud of her mama and I am sure can't wait to be with you again!