Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Waterbugs and Dragonflies

Quite a few people have been asking me about the significance of my latest tattoo. I thought I'd answer here.

I love tattoos and love them to have significance for me. I posted here ( about the last tattoo I got about 20 months ago.

My latest one was inspired by a book that Samuel was given when Emilie died. He still has the book next to his bed and whenever he sees a dragonfly - or an image of one - he tells me it reminds him of his sister. I'll let the story do its work:

Waterbugs and Dragonflies
by Doris Stickney

Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they werevery busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in awhile one of their colony seemed to lose interest in goingabout. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.
"Look!" said one of the water bugs to another. "One of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you think she is going?" Up, up, up it slowly went....Evenas they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn't return...
"That's funny!" said one water bug to another. "Wasn't she happy here?" asked a second... "Where do you suppose she went?" wondered a third.
No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled. Finally one of the water bugs, a leader in the colony, gathered its friends together. "I have an idea". The next oneof us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why."
"We promise", they said solemnly.
One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up, he went. Before he knew whatwas happening, he had broke through the surface of the water and fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.
When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn't believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silverwings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings...The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved hiswings again and suddenly found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly!!
Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by the new dragonfly lighted happily on a lily pad torest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There they were scurryingaround, just as he had been doing some time before.
The dragonfly remembered the promise: "The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why." Without thinking,the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water...
"I can't return!" he said in dismay. "At least, I tried. But I can't keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my newbody. I guess I'll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they'll understand what has happened to me, and where I went."
And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air.......

So - my latest tattoo is a permanent reminder and testimony of the fact that I will see Emilie, and my other babies, again. One day I'll be able to look back and all of this will have been made new.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

1 Year, 9 Months, 28 Days.....

1 year, 9 months and 28 days...
95 weeks
667 days
16,008 hours
I should have a nearly 2 year old now. A walking, talking, temper tantrum throwing, food refusing nearly 2 year old.
I can't believe how quickly the past year and 10 months have gone. From the sheer torture and pain of grief to learning what a 'new normal' is, rebuilding our lives and now moving forward in what we believe the plans for our futures are.
There are parts of the past (nearly) 2 years that I simply can't remember. There are huge chunks of cloudy and blurred memories and I struggle to work out timescales or order of events over, certainly the first half of, the last 2 years.
That blurriness and haziness has gone now but the pain and loss are still there on a daily basis; not as close to the surface as they were and much easier to manage but still there. Pregnancy announcements still sting as we try hard to grieve the loss of the dream of a bigger family and learn to be content with one biological child but we are gradually learning this contentment. It is not something that will come over night and, as my closest friends will know, there are days when I am at peace with the finality of the situation and other days when the pain creeps up on me unawares and I will have a day, or days, of seemingly unexplained emptiness before realising that there may actually be a trigger; maybe the approach of an anniversary of loss, another due date come and gone, a hospital appointment, negative test results, the thought of the 'what could have been' moments.

And then something happened in our lives about 2 months ago to make us sit back and reassess the situation. We felt God whispering into our lives to trust him as our lives took a very unexpected turn and so we began, once again, on a path that we hadn't chosen for ourselves. It is a path that still has the potential to cause us immense pain but is also a path where we have already seen incredible blessings and joy poured out into our lives. At the point of this event we both, independently to each other, came to the same decision; a decision that could have been shattering to the other had it not, as we believe, been a God inspired decision. We decided to stop trying for a baby and we are at peace with our decision.
I can't fully explain this sense of peace as it does not take away the pain (and sometimes jealousy) that I feel but it reassures me that we are exactly where we are meant to be at the moment. This point is also something that has taken me 1 year, 9 months and 28 days to get to and I am glad to finally be here.
We still need all the people around us who have supported us over the past (nearly) 2 years and who have helped us to be accountable to them. We need reminding of God's timing, of His plan, of the sense of peace we have felt with our decision, of words that have been given to us and of where we have come from to get to this point. But most of all I need reminding that 1 year, 9 months and 28 days is not long enough for people to forget our daughter.