Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our Walk to Remember

Scottsdale Shea's 1st Annual Walk to Remember, honoring miscarriages, stillborns and infant deaths. Saturday, October 25, 2008. An event we wouldn't have missed.

The morning was made all the more emotional but also enriching when we saw my doctor and nurse there. It meant so much that they care about the lives of these lost babies. It takes a certain courage to face death, especially when it's from the tiny and pure and helpless.

The kids had a blast. Caidgen wanted to race. Ami wanted to be carried. And, in the mix of it they naturally found outdoor entertainment.

I was overwhelmed with a mixture of emotions when Blue told me about a little conversation with Amie. We told her it was a walk to remember Jackson. She wondered if everyone was there to remember him. I explained that some were, but others were walking to remember babies they knew and loved.
Later, with Blue, she pointed ahead of them and asked if that was the road to heaven... She thought we were walking to heaven to visit the babies.
How I wished it were true. How I longed for such an idea - that had never before crossed my mind - to be feasible. That all the grieving could meet together on a special day and make a trek to heaven where they might spend a few precious moments with loved ones.
Once again I was reminded that Amaris sees a different world than I do.

Thanks for coming, Mom. Even though I cried a lot, I felt like I was being filled with a cooling strength and comfort. We are not alone in our sorrows. The children are not alone in their experiences, both here and beyond.
I'm grateful for events like this that remind me our community is filled with humble, caring people who want to do something to make life easier, better for others.
Thanks to Susan Friedman, the social worker at Shea who did so much to create this event.
The morning's poem -
I walk to remember
The steps you'll never take.
I carry you with me
As I firmly plant my feet.

Our trek started long ago,
Before my belly swelled.
You were a love that grew-
Like butterfly wings that beat.
Your gentle flutters then became
Kicks upon which I would dwell.
And I would talk to you, sweet babe,
About the world you soon would meet.

The sun always shone upon us then-
When you were in my womb.
And I was eager to show you the world
That would have been your home.
How you'd have loved the sun shining-
Blue skies without a cloud.
The autumn leaves turning-
The snow falling all around.
The flowers in summer-
Would have filled your eyes with smiles.
And the rain that might have fallen
Would have caused you great surprise.

You would have travelled far with me-
Holding me by the hand,
And I'd have shown you all I could-
More than I can imagine.

You hold my HEART tightly now,
As though we're holding hands.
How far we've traveled, little one-
And my life with you has been sweet.
For I carry you in my heart,
As firmly plant my feet.

Kathie Rataj Mayo


Cortney said...

Gosh what an amazing concept...I've never heard of "A Walk to Remember." I would love to do that with you next year if you want. What a beautiful poem too. I really loved Amaris' thoughts on Heaven too...what a sweet little girl who must know alot more than we do!

Shawn H. said...

Amie's words brought tears to my eyes. Life is a walk down a park path with your family. The path does lead to heaven, where we'll see our departed family and friends, so long as we serve others, attend the temple regularly, magnify our callings, keep the Sabbath holy, and strive to be pure in heart. The Adversary loves to create distractions that will have us leave the path, so it's nice having a map of the park so we don't lose our way = scriptures and modern-day prophets.

Blue & Kelly, I think about your loss a great deal. It makes me so sad for you. I cannot image what you're going through or what the healing process must entail. I recently heard a talk by Elder Callister of the Seventy regarding tragedy and terror in the world. He tells of a woman who lost her husband in the attack on Pearl Harbor. She drove to the mountains and poured out her heart in prayer, begging God to stop all of the war and strife in the world. She said she was immediately overcome by the Spirit and felt the following words whispered to her mind: "This does not concern you. Be still, and know that I am God." That hit me like a ton of bricks. Think about how deep that message is. Also, see D&C 101:16 ("for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God").

In the Bible Dictionary, under "Prayer," it gives some great counsel. Notably, it tells us that our prayers will never change the will of God, but rather, we are to pray for blessings and strength. Kelly, all of this is in God's hands and is part of His design. You and Blue went through this for a reason. Maybe it was to strengthen those around you, and to prepare you for a great calling. In the temple, you'll find answers to these questions. Go to the Celestial room with Blue, in prayer and fast, and let the Holy Ghost comfort and teach you. Those are two of His greatest responsibilities as a member of the godhead. There is no greater place to receive personal revelation than the temple. Already, your blog has strengthened me on many occasions. It has made me very reflective about my wife and kids, and what changes I need to make to ensure that we’re on target. Amie's words will be a part of talks that I give for the rest of my life. Thoughts of Porter Jackson ("the little Rye flower") will be a constant source of strength to you, as you strive to stay on Amie’s road to Heaven. You’re an awesome family. We love you guys!

JennC said...

Only a child could come up with such an innocent concept! Don't you wish we could be like children sometimes? What a good idea to have a walk to remember. I loved that poem....it goes so well with what you were doing that day. It must've been so emotional for you. How nice that so many people were there.

Pam said...

The words of a sister, an innocent child, can bring people to their knees, with tears in the eyes, can't they? I love your blog, Kelly, and hope you find a sense of healing every single day. There isn't a day goes by that I don't think of you and your beautiful family.

Bri said...

What an incredible day. I am so glad you saw your doctor and your nurse...it really helps to remember that they are just people, and your loss is in some ways their loss too. I love how Amie's mind works; they call it "magical thinking" for a very good reason. But I hope she is right...maybe baby Jack will somehow inhabit that tree out back, and when you walk and think about him, he will come to be beside you. I talk to people who are gone all the time...what can it hurt, right?

Katie said...

It looks like you had a beautiful day to walk with your family and reflect on your experiences with all your children. Each day it seems like someone else shares with me their story of baby-challenges (some good, some bad). It almost seems that there is a "hidden culture" where it's not okay to talk about these kinds of things. The reality is that there is a community of mothers, fathers, grandparents and friends who want to take a morning of their lives to remember and reflect. Was this a fundraiser?

laura said...

That is so neat the hospital put that on this year and what a great doctor to come support you! We love you guys!!

The Scotts said...

Kids are so sweet. I would love to have a walk to heaven for a day. What a neat thing that they have to remember lost babies.

Sara Schletter said...

Wow. How wonderful for us to have little ones say and do things that help us more than they know. I love that poem.

S. and A. Millar said...

Kelly - I love how Heavenly Father sets our lives up! He sent you a sweet girl like Ami to help you through these hard times, knowing you would need her strength and "wisdome" at this time! She truely is a Child of God, as well as the rest of your kids :) It was nice they had the walk to remember, and I'm sure it was nice for you to have the strength of all the other walkers, who have been in your shoes, around you.

Kaitlin Hakes said...

Thats awesome! What a wonderful program. Your daughter is precious:) I think about you daily.

laura said...

That's awesome you got a lot of stuff done! Sounds like you are on a roll!! Hope you guys have a fun Halloween :)

the lucas' said...

I would love to help you with your service project. I actually started going through things a couple days ago and was going to take them to D.I., but I would much rather send them your way. Let me know when you would like them. Email me at jbabe007@hotmail.com.
I'm glad you were able to participate in that walk. I would have liked to do one. I have had 3 miscarriages. My last one was 2 years ago next week. I was 18 weeks along and there was a umbilical cord "complication", needless to say it was very devastating for us. I think of you often, and hope and pray that you will continue to heal and find comfort in knowing you will be with him again. =)

Nuestra Familia said...

Hi Kelly, I love the picture of all you walking together. It totally makes me think how Families are Together Forever. Your poem is so beautiful and your Amie is just so sweet, her comment is so pure. Love, Ale
send me your email sometime so I can send you an invite aleray123@aol.com

Ashlee said...

Hello, I read your little side note on helping out families less fortunate than ours. I would love to help. I am a scentsy(wickless) candles consultant. If you would like to do a fundraiser for the month on November, then I will give 15% of the sales to you to give to a family in need. I have never commented on your blog, but I do read it often. I used to babysit your husband,lol. My family and Butch and Kathy's family grew up together in Chandler. My email is adurham17@cox.net Let me know what you think, and we can find a time to get together so I can give you all the Scentsy information and catalogs. Thanks!