Two Saturdays ago (wow we are really slacking on this blogging thing!) we left Valor with a couple supergrands and attended a perinatal remembrance ceremony. The social workers and chaplains from Winnie Palmer put this event together every year for parents who have lost infants or suffered miscarriage. Although the word “perinatal” technically defines a range between 20 weeks gestation and 7 days after birth, we treat this ceremony as a way of primarily remembering our daughter Dora, lost at 15.5 weeks gestation.
Abby wrote very eloquently about this service last year, and this year it was mostly the same. This time, though, Abby was invited to read her poem “Tiny One.” And this time it was warm enough to release butterflies at the conclusion of the ceremony. Fittingly, our envelope had two butterflies: one flew away early, and the other preferred to stay for a while.
We attended this ceremony because we needed to set aside time to remember and reconnect with our past. Although we probably blog about it a lot, the immediacy and the intensity of our experiences is eroded by time, and by the new—and normal—adventures of everyday life with Valor.
And sometimes the memories are instantly brought back into focus, like when I heard about Ava Winfield (most recent update is that she’s off the ventilator!) And then recently when we heard some friends who have suffered through infertility describe having the best weekend of their lives, only to be brought down again by miscarriage.
This Thanksgiving, we are certainly thankful for Valor’s health and increasing smiles. But we’re also thankful for the totality of our journey as parents, because it has given us more compassion for others. We can affirm the truth of 2 Cor. 1:3-4: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
We are also thankful for you! The faithful reader. The commenter. The stay-at-home lurker. The work shirker! Especially the ones who have never met us, but found us via Cakewrecks or some other way, immersed themselves in our story, and who now know us better than some of our friends who haven’t read our blogs. You fuel our faith, and you bring us great comfort—because you know how God comforted us, and you met our children, and you will remember.