'97 Memorial Celebration - What we did, readings, pictures..
"A walk to remember
The rain clouds broke and the sun shone long enough for us to hold our 1997 Memorial Celebration on October 26. We began our program with Pam Slayback reading "A Walk to Remember" by Kathie Mayo(Bittersweet...hellogoodbye). Then Joel McGinnis, a SHARE Atlanta "older child", led us in our walk to remember by playing the bagpipes ("It's a Gift to be Simple"). We joined behind him as we walked through the beautiful cemetery to where our bench and garden are in "Babyland".
Poems, readings by SHARE Atlanta parents, dedication of bench and garden
Once there, we opened with Mary Joe Hannaford's poem "Separation" read by Phllis A. Then four of our parents read their writings. Our programs guided us through the service. There was a dedication, by cutting a big red ribbon, of the bench and garden made by Lynne and Marcia and a big thank you to Maureen David of Arlington for all of her support. Steve M. led the group in several group readings and Leon M. closed the program.
Slips of paper with special thoughts and rose petals laid gently in the earth
Everyone received roses as they came up and put heart shaped paper, with their baby's names, dates, and/or thoughts on them, under the new SHARE tree. As Joel played "Amazing Grace" folks came up and "sweetened the earth" with rose petals. There was a sense of peace and awe that we finally had a "special place to come to be with our special babies..."
Everyone came to the McGinnis home for a reception.
We shared and then we watched the videos of SHARE Atlanta on various programs (Cnn "Parenting Today's Special on Grief and Healing", Channel 11's News, with Wes Sarginson's interview and taping of some of our parents during a "mock" dedication, etc.). It was very supportive to share these tapes as a group after having spent the afternoon together.
I remember July 30, 1996. That night we found out that I was pregnant - my first, our first. WOW! After work on the 30th, it dawned on me that I was 3 days late. Could it be? It was only our first month of “trying.” Andy got home from work and I told him. We hurried through dinner , then finally found a grocery store with a 24 hour pharmacy so that we could buy a home pregnancy test. My test was immediately positive. We were so excited that Andy took my picture holding my positive EPT, my pregnancy wheel and the calendar turned to April. It is the first picture in Ryan Andrew’s photo/memory album.Lisa and Andy B.
Although it is hard to bring it to the surface ( the pain is sometimes is more than I want to think about), the memory I have of my son, Charles Carlin Moore, is his heartbeat. Sometimes I hear it just walking past his basket of memories. I hear his ultrasound heartbeat. That fast “I am alive” heartbeat. That “Hi Mommy!” heartbeat. That “Hello world! I’m coming” heartbeat. I will always hear that sound of life of my son.”
When my doctor told me, at 39 weeks, that there was no heartbeat and our baby girl had died, I was in shock. The pregnancy had gone so well once we passed the time period of our first loss two years ago in the 18th week. How could this be? I remember the first two days being numb and wanting to find relief somewhere. It was June and all I could hope for was to sit in the sunshine and try to be thankful for all of the things in nature that were miracles of beauty and alive with activity.
Unfortunately, during the months of May and June we learned why Atlanta is so beautiful and green (we had just moved here the previous August). It’s because it rains ALL Spring. The local weather forecaster informed us that it had actually been overcast and rainy for 38 days in a row. This did not provide me with any comfort. Five days after our daughter’s death, we had her cremated and decided to spread her ashes in a park on Emory’s campus with our minister and our mothers. It was still cloudy and had rained off and on all night. The ground was wet, but we forged ahead and held the ceremony on a hill overlooking a pond. Our minister read several Bible passages, our mothers read a poem, and my husband and I said our goodbyes. Just as we began to spread Reilly’s ashes, the sun broke through the clouds and shined more brightly than I had seen in months. It went away as quickly as it came, but for that brief, yet appropriate moment we found our small bit of relief and knew that it was Reilly’s and God’s message to us that she was at peace and would always be in our hearts and heaven.Dawn and Brian K.
Before or after the service: SHARE Atlanta volunteers are here for you if you wish support.
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