Monday, December 20, 2010

lots of love

Today marks five months since Ellie was born and died. It seems like it's been forever and just an instant at the same time. Craig and I think about her so much, right when we wake up and before falling asleep and at all hours in between. We're settling into our "new normal" - life that on the surface should be the same as it was before we knew we were going to be having a child, but isn't. We made space in our heads and our lives for our daughter, and that space is still there. We expected it to be filled with her, but instead it's filled with her absence and her memory.

This holiday season has been hard. I've seen little "Baby's first Christmas" clothes, tv commercials with parents and their newborns, lots of family togetherness images in general. Just last week someone at a downtown store who hadn't seen me since I was pregnant asked me how my little one was.

But we're healing, little by little. We can think about our wonderful Ellie and smile, though the smiles are still shaded with sadness. The sun seems to be shining more often, even though it's winter now.

We have so much love for Ellie, for each other, and for our friends and family. And you guys have given us so much love and support. Thank you.

Our good friends Kevin and Katrina Graber surprised us with a beautiful bouquet today. This holiday season has been hard, but the love that we feel from you all has made it so much better.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Commitment to Remember

A friend recently sent some writings she came across while reading for a class (Helen Wells O'Brien - "The chaplain as bearer and giver of blessing" in Spiritual Caregiving in the Hospital: Windows to Chaplaincy Ministry. pgs 78-79).  One of the sections rang true for me—the Commitment to Remember:

Commitment to remember
In the rising of the sun and in its going down,
we will remember her.
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,
we will remember her.
In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer,
we will remember her.
In the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of autumn,
we will remember her.
In the beginning of the year and when it ends,
we will remember her.
As long as we live, she, too, shall live,
for she is now a part of us as we remember her.

I wrote this in response: “When we first lost Ellie, there was this little fear that I would forget about her as time went on and especially if we have another child.  I have learned that this is definitely not true.  She will always be our daughter and we will always remember her. There is no replacing her or forgetting her.”

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Tree!

We put up our Christmas tree yesterday.  Well, I have to admit that Kathy did most of the work.  I helped a little bit, but she did most of the work.  We decided to leave off our normal decorations and go for simple this year.  There are white lights and cranes, and I think the effect is quite nice.  Another way to celebrate and remember our dear daughter.

Here is the whole tree:


And a close up:


Saturday, December 4, 2010


I have been doing a lot of reading about photography recently.  It is a passion of mine that has been much neglected the last few years.  Our library has quite a few books and I check out a whole big pile at a time. 

In other words, you may see more thoughts about photography coming up on this blog. =)

The book I am currently reading is Andreas Feininger: Photographer (ISBN 0810909197) and I found this quote interesting:

This series seems to me to demonstrate particularly well certain qualities that a photograph must possess. They are: Stopping Power—some picture element must draw attention to the image. Purpose and Meaning—the picture must have “something to say.” Emotional Impact—the viewer must feel something when contemplating the picture. Graphic Interest—the picture must be well composed and present graphically pleasing design. In short, I believe that a good photograph must be more than simply an illustration, it must be an interpretation.

Mostly it is the last sentence that caught my attention.  Illustration is easy enough: just point and click.  It’s the interpretation of the subject, the scene, the lighting, all mixed together that makes a one photograph stand out from another. 

Here is one of Feininger’s more famous images:

My other favorites are this helicopter and Coney Island.