Monday, July 9, 2012


I cannot get enough of
this sweet girl.

She is my newest niece and as
sweet as apple pie!

Hadley is 6 months younger than Liv
and yes,
they will be best friends forever
and awesome play buddies.

I've waited on this sweet little girl

And her parents,
who are family... but I also consider
them BFF's, have also
waited for this little miracle

I am so lucky to be able
to capture her sweetness.
I loved every minute of capturing
this family, how they are everyday with her:

in love.
wrapped. completely. around. her. finger.

I love you all...
hope to see you again, soon...
Aunt Andrea

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Golden Birthday

Honestly, I would rather stare at this blank screen all day
than write about how our daughter, Adelynn, is not here
to celebrate her
 "Golden Birthday".

But, as it is... I am writing...about her...about grief.  I get so
tired of grief but it seems to never get tired of me.

She would've been six tomorrow, our Adelynn Nicole.
How is that even possible?
Tomorrow is July 6... and I dread that day every year.
Every. Single. Year.

I am sitting at my computer procrastinating putting
 up the July 4th party decorations.

I turn around and see balloons, table clothes, napkins,
and party plates.  I don't mind celebrating our 
country's birthday.  But, I would rather be
celebrating our daughter's.

Last year, on (what would've been) her 5th birthday I wrote
a post on the blog.  The other blog, actually.  Adelynn's blog.
And I never posted it.  It was too hard to read after I wrote it.

Adelynn should've started Kindergarten last year.
And there is just something about milestones.
Milestones are the little jabs in your heart and soul
when you're trying to
"get through"

And yet again,
during, what should be a happy time, this milestone felt like
a punch in the gut.  A hard punch that knocks the breath
out of you.

I thought it would be best to try and move past the milestone
of Kindergarten.
I never posted the blog post.  And I never will.
It was ugly.

I don't like death.  I never have.
I still don't understand death and I am in
my early 30's.
And trust me, in my 30 years I've seen a lot of death.
Probably a lot more than people see in their lifetime.
And a lot of the death I've seen has been with children/babies.
Which is so unfair.

So, when I say the post was was ugly.
When I reread the post it seemed that death and I got
into an ugly fight.
I'm pretty sure we did.

I thought it would be best to not post about Adelynn's 5th birthday.

I deleted it.
I couldn't read it again.
It's my choice.
So, that's why you didn't see a post from me last year.
And I'm pretty good about posting on Adelynn's birthday.
It's usually a year of grief built up into one post.
I warn you, sometimes it can get ugly.

Most of the time on Adelynn's birthday, I try to keep
myself busy.  I usually come up with a flower arrangement or
buy new wind chimes for her grave.  I usually clean of her headstone
because that's what I'm "supposed" to do.

I really just want to pack up a sleeping bag tonight, take a
flashlight with me and go park my ass on her grave.
And sleep by her.
And talk to her.
And ask her, "what's heaven like?  Do you miss me?
Do you know me?  Do you know you have sisters?"

And yes, I'm fully aware that she cannot talk to me.
And no, I do not hear her voice in my head.
And YES, I still consider myself a Christian
I believe you can
feel, see and hear things that cannot be
Some say it's God, others say it's
something else...
I have my beliefs and am
keeping them to myself.

This year we had a July 4th cookout with family
and friends.
It rocked.
The party was filled with laughter,
good food, kids playing, swimming,
and fireworks.

Ever since Adelynn died, there has been
a stigma (in my head) around July 4th.
If you know the story of Adelynn, you know why.
It's just the countdown to Adelynn's birthday.
And the day we had to let her go, etc...

I can tell you play by play from the first of July until
July 6th, when we lost Adelynn.
I remember things so well when grief takes

There does come a point when you have to say,
"I've got to pull it together so my children
can enjoy this holiday."  

That's exactly what I've done.
I put my big girl pants on and I smile
and I laugh and I scream with excitement (only
when the fireworks are exploding too close for comfort).

I love having people over to my house.
I love entertaining.
Yes, it is stressful, but it is a reminder
to me of how many loved ones we
have in our lives.
In my girls' lives.

I'm so thankful to everyone
who has made our holidays, birthdays,
and "just because" visits so special.
They are special because YOU are here with us,
visiting, celebrating, etc...

This year was probably the best July 4th
we've had yet.
Yes, I thought of Adelynn a lot.
Yes, people asked me about her birthday coming up.
Yes, I was constantly reminded of my pregnancy
with her when we went to watch fireworks in Germantown, just
two days before she was delivered...
not breathing,

Adelynn SHOULD be here.
There was no reason for her to go.
No matter how you look at it,
there is no justification, in my heart,
to have to close a casket
on my daughter...
any child for that matter.

When I see other children that are her
"should be" age, it's veeeeery bittersweet.
I see a healthy six year old playing in the mud.
I see Adelynn lying lifeless in my arms.
I see a six year old playing coach pitch softball.
I think of how our Adelynn never took a breath.
I see a happy Kindergartener graduating K5 and then
smiling and running to his/her parents.
And I smile...

I smile
and I think of her...
 I see those parents
(the GOOD parents)
so in love with their child and it makes
me happy.

Yes, it's bittersweet...
grief won't let me have it one
way or the other.

I will tell you this;
today, I wrote...
and I cried...
and I was upset.

And then I realized I have
yes THREE,
beautiful girls here with me.


In the present.

As I type this at night,
my three beautiful girls are asleep
in their beds.
Well, my (almost) five year old
has decided to bunk up with her
older sister because
she's not used to sleeping
in her new 'big girl' room, alone.

And I'm okay with throwing down
a sleeping bag and pillow on the floor,
next to her big sister's bed.
Even if it means taking her back to
the sleeping bag a few times because,
"I'm scared Momma.  I'm not used to
it yet... in my own room... let me get
used to it one more night, 'k?"

It's the little things, right?

And for NOW,
they are here...
with us...
being kids...

I don't get to hear Adelynn's laugh.
Or her excitement.
Or smell her morning breath.
Or brush her hair (it's long and dark by the way).
Or kiss her goodnight.

I DO get to:
hear laughter in my home from my children,
brush my girls' hair,
smell the sweet breath of a new baby,
kiss the scrapes on wounded knees,
give/receive the BEST hugs you could ever imagine,
watch a softball being hit for the first time,
see the excitement when 'Daddy and Momma' surprise
the girls with movie theater night,
mark the growing heights of my children,
be the "tickle monster, raaaaawwwrrrr",
make waffles with my girls...
my list could go on for an eternity.

I get to be a mom.
Even if that means my heart still
aches for Adelynn.

I am STILL her mother...
and she would be right in the middle
of our craziness here at the Reed house.

And she would be a perfect fit.

Happy Golden Birthday
my sweet Angel,

P.S. I have never posted the eulogy/writing from
Adelynn's funeral.
Below is something my brother in law,
Brian Reed,
wrote and I read it again today
while going through Adelynn's box.
Brian is one of the most
talented writers I have ever read.
It seems perfect to read again on her
Golden Birthday.
Thank you "Uncle Fuzzy" for this
priceless gift.

When you all get home.  And find yourself alone.  You will hear the silence--the
final words of Adelynn.  Our Adelynn.

She won't grow up.  She won't turn one, two, or three.  Or learn to count--one, two, three.
We won't get cute snapshots attached to emails or construction paper cards signed with
X's and O's on our birthday or Christmas.  She won't fight with her sister over baby dolls, bathroom time, or whose turn it is to use the telephone, again.  she won't graduate from high school or college--3.9 grade point average by the way--she made a "B" in Algebra.  But who really understands algebra anyway?
She won't get a phone call, on a rainy Thursday, about how the new baby girl, the one due just any day now, was found lifeless in the womb of her mother.  No heartbeat.
She won't know this feeling.  She won't go through what we go through right now--this horrible feeling, like playing musical chairs without any chairs.  We walk in circles with no comfortable place to sit least not yet.  So let's keep walking and praying and crying.  Maybe this pointless loss will start to fall somewhere within the realm of tolerable.

Death, do not be proud of this one.
Go back to your wars in middle-eastern holy lands, where at least someone has a tiny chance of escape when staring into your dark, empty hood.  You walk away with a useless prize because we still have her soul in the rich blood that courses through every part of our collective body.  We are family.  We are together.  And we are strong.  We made this child, and we will keep her, thank you very much.  She's the first spring wildflower or the last leaf to fall.
She's the well-spoken word at just the right time.
She's the light that shines in Lila's apple pie eyes.

And thank God for Lila Rose...
How much more difficult would this have been without her?
She carries a basket full of smiles wherever she goes, fast pitching them, slapping one right across your face when you come into the room.  You'll grin like a monkey while she tells you about her new best friend.  His name is Elmo.

Adelynn will never meet ol' Elmo.
She won't take first steps or say first words.  She will never have to say anything more than what she has already said.  Her silence says it all.  The most beautiful sound in the world, it is the voice of our Adelynn, our angel.  An angel made so perfectly pure, even God could not let her go.  She's with Him now... and with all the other babies that never got to take that first full gasp of fresh, clean air.  They sleep, in peace, in that place we all came from.  Remember that place?  It was a nice, quiet place.

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