Day Four: Treasured Item

These were all of Jane’s dolls. We hung the owls at the top of her tiny little bed, Rhino Angel (her valentines day present) held her bible and stayed with her while we were sleeping, and I slept with the rag dolls and then gave them to Jane so she could smell me all the time. Her Papa bought her the blanket for V-day. We snuggled her up in her blanket every time we held her. Her cute little bear beanie…well, that was just the cutest thing ever on her teeny, tiny head!

CHOC gave me the dolls at a pre-delivery conference that we had. We use to always joke that if “Rhino Angel” could talk, WOW, that rhino would have lots to say because it was with Jane day and night. He saw EVERYTHING…LOL It will be so sweet when I get to pass down Jane’s treasure to her little sister and then tell her all about Jane!

Day Five: Memorial

Daniel and I were full of excitement when we found out we were going to have a little girl. We both wanted a darling little princess…and because she was going to be born in February we decided to plant pink flowers to welcome her home. Unfortunately, she never came home to see the beautiful pink cyclamen we planted for her.

So, as a memory of Jane we decided that every year around winter we are going to plant red flowers because her birthstone is a garnet, just like mine. And, in spring we will plant pink flowers to remember the blessing that she was, the beauty that she was…and the great blessing that she was from our Lord. 

In Israel, we planted a cypress tree in memory of Jane.

Day Six: What Not To Say

This is a difficult topic to capture in a photo…hopefully my words can express this.

1. “I understand”—unless you have been in my shoes, you DONT understand. I’m sure you can imagine how I feel or possibly you’ve experienced your own situation of loss and/or life’s daily struggles, but you still don’t understand my pain. It is a pain unique to bereaved parents.

2. “Don’t worry, you’ll have more children”— of course we will try to have more children, but the thought of having another child to “replace” Jane or to have another child to fill the gaping hole in my heart is not possible! The last thing we ever want is to replace Jane or forget her. She will always be our first child. We will always count her as part of our family. I recently read in Colossians where Paul tells the people of Colosse to “remember his chains”. I dont believe Paul tells his fellow readers to remember his chains to feel sorry for him, but to remember God in his chains. To remember God’s grace and to be partakers in the confirmation of the gospel (Philippians). Jane was our gift from God. She was a gift that changed me and Daniel as people and parents forever. Forgetting her or replacing her is the worst thing that could happen, it would be as if her life were in vain.

3. The Silent Treatment—acting as if she were never around or keeping quiet that Jane was never part of our lives is beyond painful. Its unfortunate that I dont get to say her name or talk of her more often like other parents do with their children. The way that I heal, the way that I remember her joy is by talking about her and sharing her story.

Yes, there are many other things people should avoid saying. I also know that most people are not educated on this matter so I have made an effort to let things roll off my shoulder and know that people mostly mean well. Just like anything else in life, when we need to know how to do something we pick up a book, google it, find the recipe…whatever it is and we learn how to do it. Why wouldnt we do the same thing when learning how to support people in life’s tough circumstances.

Day Seven: What To Say

If I haven’t said it enough…forgetting Jane is my biggest fear. Not that I will forget Jane, but those around me forgetting Jane, forgetting her struggle, forgetting the impact she had on our community as we gathered in prayer, forgetting how precious she is that God welcomed her home, forgetting that she is my first, sweet daughter, forgetting her beautiful face… So, avoiding the “topic” isn’t helping me move forward.

1. When all else fails and you don’t know what to say, just be genuine. A simple hug, a reminder that Jane is remembered is sufficient.

2. Ask questions. Keep in mind that I am thinking about Jane every minute of every day. If I cry because I felt loved or encouraged, don’t feel bad. That’s probably not the first time I cried that day and your words didn’t spark my thoughts or emotions. They are always at the surface…waiting to come out.

3. The most encouraging words that anyone has ever shared with me was the reminder that I WILL see Jane and be with her again. I was challenged to imagine meeting her again…when she runs up to me and says, “Mama, tell me what you did while I was away”… how unfortunate it would be if all I could answer her was that I mourned her death. Instead, I want to be able to tell her all the ways I glorified God.

Here is a link that has great information:

http://www.hopeforthemourning.com/What-can-I-say-to-grieving-parents.aspx

 

Day Eight: Jewelry

This perfect piece of jewelry was a gift FOR Jane from her Ts. Leah and Ds. Steve. While they were in Bali they found a jeweler who made this necklace. It was one of those odd pieces that was meant to be Jane’s. On one side it says BIG and on the other side it says HEART. Not only did Jane have a Huge, Loving heart because she fought such a tough battle for her Mama and Papa… she physically had an enlarged heart because of her heart defect. I will forever wear this necklace in memory of my sweet girl, Jane.

Day 9: Special Place

Daniel and I enjoy gardening. It’s one of those things we do together and get super excited about. Watching a plant grow and blossom from a seed is truly a gift from God; I see it as a way that God shares his beauty with us. Needless to say, when we found out about Jane and that she would be born in January we decided to plant pink cyclamen for her because that was her favorite color, of course :) (every season we plant new annual color so that was our choice for welcoming Jane home) I wish I could post a picture of them, but sadly I only got to see them in person once. The rest of the time I was in the hospital.

Nowadays, our garden..our home..is a safe, special place to remember her. I used to tell my friends that Jane and I were going to pick lavender together from our garden. They always made fun of me saying that Jane probably wouldn’t even like to garden. LOL Even so this is the place I come to, to dream about her and fantasize how life could have been…twirling in our dresses in the garden.

 

Day 10: Symbol

God’s Little Lamb

I found this picture online and had to laugh. I always imagined Jane in her cute little outfits running around on the farm at Deda and Babunya Kosareff’s house. She would be having so much fun and getting so dirty and yes, probably dragging around the animals.

…a few years back I went to a Bible study and the teacher always referred to the children as little lambs. It was so precious to me and stuck with me always. Jane was God’s little lamb that He let us raise and be with for 7 weeks. A few months after Jane passed away we received a heart-warming, tear jerking letter of encouragement where the writer referenced how we are children of God, lambs of God….and of course Christ being the Ultimate Sacrifice. She reminded us that God chose us to be the shepherd of our little lamb, Jane. With great joy I lift my hands to God for the gift to be Jane’s parents and to partake of His will.