Friday, July 5, 2013

Kindness of strangers

When Evangeline was born we really didn't have much that was truly hers. Yes, her crib was set up and clothes were in her closet, but since we didn't know if she was a boy or girl we didn't get to buy things especially for her, our little girl. We didn't take baby clothes to the hospital because I figured we could make do with what the hospital had, until our baby came home with us... Unfortunately we never got to bring her home and on her birthday I didn't know what in the world she would wear...

We received a few beautiful items from the hospital that will always and forever belong to our Evangeline. A nurse left the room after she was born sleeping and brought us a beautiful handmade gown, a knitted baby hat, and a soft, pastel knitted baby blanket. In the midst of my sadness I was so overcome with relief that we had such beautiful things for our little girl.

I got to carefully dress my girl in a gown that was lovingly handsewn by a woman in Lancaster. It means so much to me to know that she spent her time and love sewing this beautiful gown for a baby who would not be going home with her family. It is such a lovely print with butterflies and flowers. My daughter looked so beautiful in her dress.

We wrapped her in a blanket that was knitted by another lovely lady in our community. She too put so much love and time into a blanket for a baby who would not be going home. It is the prettiest mix of pink, blue, yellow and white yarn and feels so soft against your cheek. I couldn't have picked a more perfect blanket for my girl.

When we were ready to leave the hospital I asked a nurse to please find another outfit for my daughter... I needed to take her blue butterfly dress home, but certainly couldn't leave her naked. She brought back a generic Carter's sleeper and I carefully took the dress off of her and put her in the warm sleeper. I wrapped her up in the hospital blankets and kissed her sweet face. As much as her dress and knitted blanket were hers, I knew I needed to take them home with me since they were two of the only things that I could always remember her by.

Her blanket and dress are so incredibly special to us. Her blanket became my lifeline in the first few weeks. Anytime I needed comfort I would wrap it around myself and cry, while taking in the smell of the blanket... It smelled like her. "Blankie rainbow" as Mariah calls it, sits on a shelf in our living room with other special reminders of our girl. Her dress is one of only two things I ever saw her wear. It is what she wore in the only pictures we have with her. A dress is exactly what I needed to be able to give my daughter to wear rather than some generic hospital onesie. I keep her dress in her room and hold it close to me often.

Lately I've thought about the two women who made these treasures for my girl. Have they had losses of their own or are they just very intune with the needs of a family going through such loss? Either way they are beautiful women who deserve to be acknowledged for their kind hearts and compassion.

Looking back I am so overcome by the kindness of these strangers. But the funny thing is, even though I only have names for these women, they do not at all feel like strangers to me... I feel as though they could see into the depths of my soul, and knew that I would need what they could provide.

Lynn and Tina, I could never thank you enough for the love you gave to my sweet baby girl and her grieving family. I do not know you, but you forever hold a place in my heart. <3

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