Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Walking The Steps They'll Never Take

As you may know, October is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness month. Having experienced pregnancy loss myself as well as having so many close friends who have also miscarried or lost their little ones, it has become very important to me to honor those precious lives. Last year, we began the tradition of participating in the OC Walk to Remember, a 5k walk to take the steps our babies never got to take. We walked for Sprout and for every other Angel baby. We really wanted to support other parents who had suffered a loss, including our neighbors, who you may remember lost their 5 month old daughter to a congenital heart defect last year. It is a special event to walk side by side with these families and honor their children.

This year, I am saddened over even more heartbreaking losses within our community. I have been in tears so many times this year, hurting for those who have had to say goodbye far too soon. Having Snow Pea home with me, happy and healthy, has made me more grateful and happy than I ever could have dreamed, but it also makes me more aware of just how incredibly painful the loss of her from my life would truly be. This year, as I registered again for the walk I remembered our Sprout & how much that loss hurt, but I registered to walk in honor of two very special little ones, Bayli and Thomas Jr. Their names, along with their sisters'- Ayla & Juliet, will be displayed and read aloud during the flower ceremony preceding the walk. If you aren't familiar with these names, or their mother, Lis, you can find her blog here

Since I first registered for the walk I have had so many other precious lives on their loving parents on my mind and in my heart. I registered in honor of 4 amazing babies gone too soon, so that their names would be spoken aloud and seen and remembered, but there are so many other precious names that deserve to be honored as well. I have said it a million times but I will always say it again, the "virtual" community I have become a part of is so incredible, loving and real. I have not met most of the parents whose children's names I will be wearing in the real world, I don't even know some of those parent's real names, but I still feel a strong connection to each of them and a deep hurt for each of their losses. I have shared so much with them, been there through the darkest moments of their lives as best as I could, just as they have done for me. So I have designed a shirt to wear during the walk that has not only their names displayed but the names of many other angels that our community will always miss and never forget.

If you would like to see the shirt or order one for yourself, you can find it at my newly update CafePress store "Angels Remembered". A portion of your order will be donated to support groups for grieving parents. It is the same design for both the men's and women's shirts and you can order it in any color or size you wish. I had to quickly create & order to be able to receive it on time for the walk which takes place on October 15th- Worldwide Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day, so if your angel's name is missing and you would like to add it, let me know and I will be able to create an edit just for you so that your shirt will have it.

I really wanted to find a way to make the shirts myself to see if I could get them any cheaper and raise money for the cause at the same time, but then I remembered I have pretty mediocre crafting skills and almost zero time (this blog is already days overdue!) Since most of the money for the shirts goes to the printers and not the charity, I have created an additional fund raising page for the OC Walk to Remember that will collect donations in honor of sweet Bayli and Thomas to support grieving families. If you would like to learn more or make a donation you can do so at my site Baby Steps For Bayli & Thomas.

On October 15, I will walk, alongside my husband, daughter and friends to lovingly honor, remember and cherish the memories of each of these precious lives. It is truly an honor for me to be able to celebrate them and although the event itself is only one day, the impact it's had on me will last a lifetime.


Courtney said...

You are beyond amazing, Holly. Thank you so much!!!

Tillie said...

you are my hero. I love you so much. xoxo