Saturday, December 29, 2012

Her Meaning

counsel, wisdom


derived from the word olive. The dove brought Noah an olive branch after the flood to prove to him that there was life after destruction. A sign of life.

Words and their meanings have always been very important to me. Though some may use words such as like and love, pretty and beautiful as synonyms, to me, they are worlds apart when it comes to what they actually mean. I love the depth of vocabulary.
When choosing our children’s names, it was important to me to have deep meanings behind those combinations of letters that they would carry for the rest of their lives. I wanted the characteristics of those names to reflect what we would pray they would grow into.
Some parents pray for their daughters to be beautiful, to be kind, to be a lady. Though I believe she was all of those things and more, I desired Quinn to be a baby, a girl, a woman, of wisdom.

A woman who made sound choices and thought with purpose, who had a deep understanding of the world around her.

A girl whom others would look to for advice and counsel.

A lady who was wise.

To us as parents, this is the trait we would be most proud to see our girl live out. 

On the morning of September 13th, we dedicated our little girl before we said goodbye forever. We entrusted her back to God, to the place from which she came, and let go of the gift that we had been so briefly blessed with. We could not dedicate her life to him, as she already danced in the place where she was created to be, so we dedicated our lives instead. We dedicated ourselves to being parents that Quinn would be proud of. We dedicated ourselves to trusting God, though we wanted to lash at him with raw anger at the betrayal we felt. We dedicated ourselves to being changed because of our little girl.  

And so now, I am not the woman I once was. She has altered me forever and my baby is still teaching this mommy many things. She is teaching me wisdom. Quinn is teaching me to search for knowledge and thirst for truth. Her spirit has made me desire to be what I prayed for her. In her perfection, she reflects the one who made her. I can only hope that because of her, I am able to portray a small glimmer of Christ’s spirit. 

I pray that each of my children, and the names we choose for them will do the same.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lady of Sorrow

I wish I could hear Mary’s side of the story. Jesus’ mother and I share a sorrow that no mother should ever have to feel - losing your precious child, watching them die and knowing that you can do absolutely nothing about it.

We think about the miraculous visit of Gabriel and how amazing the immaculate conception would have been. But what about Mary? She was a Jew. She knew that a saviour, her son, would come into the world and ultimately have to give his life. In that moment, was she feeling joy? Or was she suddenly hit with the weight of desperately loving a child, yet knowing each day that she would have to watch him die?

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”
Luke 1:38

I am no theologian. Perhaps what I am saying is completely blasphemous. But in these words, I don’t hear joy. I don’t hear the elation that a woman feels knowing she is pregnant and going to become a mother.  I hear heartbreak. I hear consent to living with sorrow each and every day of her life. I hear a woman after my own heart. 

Altar of Annunciation, Meinrad Guggenbichler.
Mondsee Kirsch, Mondsee, Austria

Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, Adriaen Isenbrant
Church of Our Lady, Bruges, Belgium

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tell Me.

I’ve always loved favourites.

What’s your favourite colour? Teal.
What’s your favourite thing to do? Create.  
What’s your favourite song? The Girl by City in Colour.

Daniel and I play this game a lot, asking each other favourites. Asking our friends their favourites, asking our friends kids their favourites. It’s lighthearted, it’s fun, it’s something we would have done with her, with our daughter, with Quinn.

Now, we imagine her favourites. I think we do a pretty good job.

What’s her favourite colour? Purple.
What’s her favourite thing to do? Giggle.  
What’s her favourite song? The Girl, by City in Colour.

It’s our “family thing”. You know. You have a family thing too.

Today, I ask you, what’s your favourite thing about Quinn? Tell me what you remember. Tell me what you loved about her. Even if you never got to see her sweet face, if you know me, you knew her while she was growing inside of me. You got glimpses of her too. What was your favourite?

My favourite thing was Quinn and her Daddy. She had him so wrapped around her little finger from day one. She would hear his deep voice and go giddy with joy inside of me. I can just imagine her flinging herself into his arms when he got home from work each day, a gleeful "Daddy!" singing from her lips, so like his. I remember telling several people how excited I was to see Daniel with his baby for the first time. He's such a proud papa. Such a good papa. My favourite.
P.S. I'm making her a baby book. These sentiments will be included. Only share if you wish. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012


What do I say in that inevitable moment that is to come?

“Do you have kids?”

“No.” A lie. A disservice to my beautiful girl. Yet, the easiest way out.

“Yes, she’s 3 months." Another lie. Though she would be. 

“Yes, she’s dead.” Truth. But so, so callous. And inappropriate.


I do not welcome your feedback unless you too have walked this road, have struggled this struggle, have lived this nightmare. Perhaps this is harsh, but only you, mother of my heart, will understand that each word chosen in this moment, though simple, holds so much weight. Each word speaks to a life that was lived, but is no longer here. Each word tells the entire story of a little girl, my little girl, my Quinn. And so, you can see, why these words must be chosen so carefully and so deliberately.

I am not ready to choose these words, to speak them aloud just yet. And so, I sit in the stillness and warmth of my home, my safe place, and dream of her. I dream of her beauty, of her button nose, the delicate curve of her lips, so like her daddy’s, of her hands and feet, so large and awkward in comparison to her delicate face and body, of the feel of her cheek upon my lips as I kissed her for the first time, of her fingers curled around mine, of the soft, downy feel of her perfectly round head, covered only by a light fuzz, a testament to the curls it would have held.
I sit and I close my eyes and hear the echo of her laugh. A bubbling and full laugh, free from being tainted by the troubles of this world. Pure and utter joy, that girl.
I sit and see her looking at me, pausing for a moment from her dancing and skipping, her round eyes wide, her brow furrowed, but a smile dancing at the corners of her mouth. And in her 4-year-old simplicity, she cups a hand around my face and she says to me,

“Don’t be sad, Mommy. I’m not sad!”

I’m trying, my girl, I’m trying. For you, I’m trying.