Friday, September 19, 2008

In Memory of Olivia Marie

Today is a day of very mixed emotions. It’s one of celebration but also one of grief. Rarely are celebrations sad.

Today would have been Olivia’s 1st birthday.

It’s hard to believe that one year has past and it may sound weird but I think we kind of wished time would stand still and the day would really never come. Not because we want to ignore this day or because we’d rather not move on, but because we wanted it to be done right and we aren’t sure what “right” is. We promised ourselves that we would always honor her birth in some way and this will be the first time we have a chance to celebrate her very short earthly life. But as we do that we remain comforted that she continues to live in heaven, aside the God we put our trust in.

We don’t mean for this post to be morbid in any way. The purpose is not to make you sad or for us to seek your condolences. Rather it's only for Olivia and to make certain she is remembered for the child and human she was. We were very torn about whether to post this or not. But at the same time it is our responsibility as Olivia’s parents to celebrate her birth as any parent would. Olivia will never have the chance to carve out a path and meaning for her own life and so that responsibility lies solely with us. What we do BECAUSE of her birth and to honor her memory, is what will define that meaning. That’s a lot of pressure and not something we take lightly.

Going to the hospital at 4:30am one year ago, we were totally unprepared for what was going to happen. We aren’t going to rehash all the details but we will say that if the hospital had not been prepared and given us things to remember her with, we would not have coped as well as we have. They gave us her hand-made baby blanket, hat, photos they took, and number of other memorabilia that at the time we assumed came from the hospital. We learned later, that there is an organization called Heavenly Angles in Need that makes all of these things for babies born prematurely, and then gives them to the local hospitals for the family. Without these, we would have nothing to look back on and we are eternally grateful to them. Because of this, we have made a donation to them in Olivia’s memory so that other families can be as blessed as we were.

We write this mainly so that all of you can remember her just as fondly as we do. She was born with perfect features, from the fingernails, eyebrows, and right down to the toes.

The anger and guilt have mostly passed but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t sad. In reality, this day will always be sad. But we’ll never forget that God created Olivia for a purpose; a purpose that we will help fulfill for the rest of our lives. Of course selfishly we wanted the chance to raise her and watch her grow but she is in heaven now with the Ultimate parent and we couldn’t ask for anything better.

So in the end we can still celebrate the time we had and whisper a "Happy Birthday" to our beautiful baby girl.


Aunt Judy said...

Joe & Myra,
What a beautiful tribute to your daughter.

Lisa Harrington said...

My heart is heavy with thoughts of your loss. I find comfort with the knowledge that as our eyes fill with tears and we wave good-bye to little Olivia, Heaven is rejoicing with her arrival. How much I have missed of your life Myra. Please call me. Lisa Harrington 315-668-8233

Matthew said...

Wow. So incredibly touching. Thankfully God is in control even when life is nonsensical. Someday we will all be together...thank you for sharing. Katherine