"As we grow up we realize it is less important to have lots of friends,
and more important to have real ones."
The last few months have been painful and a testing of my strength but, I believe I've also grown through all of this. Its been nearly 8 months ago that Everly was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 and when I look back I feel as if that was years ago. Its humbled me and taught me in more ways that I can communicate and I have relied heavily on others to help get me through this. I've learned that sometimes the people you thought would be there for you aren't able to and then there are others that step up in a way that makes you realize they were faithful companions all along, they just needed a big opportunity to show their stuff.
My friend Deeana is a great example of stepping up. She has counseled me, accompanied me to doctor's appointments and coordinated the most special of baby showers which I know was not easy given the situation. She worked with my friends and family to put together an event that showered this special baby-to-be and me with love, joy and happy memories to draw from when I'll need them most. She knows how sentimental I am and included all of the tiny details that would make it memorable to me: my favorite color combination of orange and pink, my obsessive love of flowers and balloons, Everly's ham sandwich, my favorite brownies, bacon, white wine, a candle lighting filled with well wishes and hope, a garden that will be planted in the spring in honor of Everly--and the icing on the cake was that everything was covered in glitter.
Here are just a few photos from the special day:
Candles covered in pink glitter for a lighting of words, wisdom, encouragement and hope.
Everly's special banner so she knows we will...
a whole lotta' Kleenex,
Deeana had everyone bring a rock with a special quote or saying for Everly's Memorial Garden that will be planted in the spring.
Even my sweet brother and his wife shipped a rock so it would be there in time.
My friend Barbara collected five sentimental rocks each denoting a purpose to also be placed in the garden.
Beautiful roses from my friend Debra.
Flower pots with orange and pink seed balls and pink glitter soil were given to everyone so they could plant their own flowers and save some to be planted in the garden.
It was bittersweet opening all of the gifts for Everly but my heart continued to fill up.Megin completed Everly's hospital outfit with beautiful baby booties after hearing I was worried she wouldn't have anything on her feet.
On my gift registry I requested a Random Acts of Kindness campaign to spread more good into the world. My friend Megin as well as my Aunt Sarah and grandmother, Mema, took on this project. It warms my heart to know that our loss will only mean many others' gain.
I kept opening gifts and feel incredibly showered with love and support from everyone around me and those that contributed that couldn't even be there.
The last gift was a lighting of candles to allow everyone to say some words to me. I was honored beyond words at what was said but can't help feeling that many of those same words describe the very women (and token male--my brother) who surrounded me that day.
and my hope is that my daughter may get the gift of meeting each of you as well.
"A single rose can be my garden...a single friend my world."
A very special thank you to my brother Josh, his girlfriend Ginny, and my friend Robin for making such a long trip to be a part of this day. And thank you to my sweet Mom, brother Cameron and his wife, Sharon, my Aunt Susan, cousin Ashley and my wonderful in-laws for sending gifts and shipping rocks so they could be there in spirit although not in person. I love all of you so much!