Dear Evy:

promising to live a happy and simpler life in honor of my evelyn

Dear Evy, Easter Sunday was an unexpected hard holiday. But during that day, I knew it was just a bad day. I knew I was being swallowed up by grief and doubts and questions but that tomorrow would be a new day and I could once again be on my journey through life. I’m glad when I can recognize my bad days and not be stuck in them. I can’t say I’ve ever felt God directly speaking to me, but I can say he uses so many people in my life to speak to me. He puts those people in my life to help me through my sorrow and my journey. A few Jesusdays later I came across this quote:

Everybody has troubles, but not everybody has Jesus. Jesus makes the difference.

Could this not be more true? At church they have been talking a lot about the story of Peter and Jesus walking on water. Peter and the other disciples were out on a boat during a really bad storm. Jesus walked out on the water and called Peter out of the boat. Peter’s bravery and faith in God allowed him to walk out on the water to Jesus. But Peter lost sight of Jesus as the storm raged and became scared. He started to sink and called out to Jesus to save him. Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?”

I feel so much like Peter. Most days I have so much faith and it keeps me going. But when I’m having a hard day or a “bad storm”, I start to question, have doubts and begin to sink. I have to call out to God to rescue me from my grief. Which brings me back to the quote I stumbled upon. Without Jesus, I would be sinking. I would be in a constant state of sinking. But I’m not. Jesus makes the difference.

I am so blessed to be surrounded by so much love from the people God has placed in my life. The cards, letters, church services, bible verses and quotes couldn’t be more amazing. It allows me to continue on my journey to live simply and be happy. I can remember you, Evelyn, with sweet thoughts instead of sadness. Oh happy day! Love you sweet girl!

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I am having such a hard time today. Not sure if it’s because I reminded so much of you from last year or if it’s because I’m struggling with the meaning of Easter. Who would have thought that the pictures I took of you of the joyous Easter Sunday last year, would be used for your obituary? There are so many bible quotes that I have began to love and that help me get through each day. But as Easter is approaching, there are many that just don’t sit well with me.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11

Jesus gave his life so that we might have life. Why didn’t you get an abundant life? Why didn’t you get to live? I know abundant doesn’t mean long, it means full. But 10 months isn’t full. You needed your momma’s love and care for longer than 10 months.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”  John 3:16-17

I feel like I have been condemned. You might have eternal life but you have perished from my side. I feel like my sins were not forgiven by Jesus dying on the cross. That I am still being punished and having to relive the torture of my sins daily because you are not here.

Grief is ugly. I hate the days that it takes over and I can’t see the blessings God has given me. I just see the ugly. It’s easier when I recognize these days so that I can be open to how God will change my perspective during the day. He uses the people he has placed in my life, new bible quotes to help me understand, and God Winks to restore my faith and hope.

As the sun comes up today, I hope my ugly grief perishes with the darkness and I can truly accept the real meaning of today and know that because of Jesus’s death and resurrection that I will one day see you again.

Evelyn Sarah Legge

 

Hello sweet girl. It is so much easier to live a simple and happy life when the sun is shining! I am so happy that spring is here and that I can move past the winter blues. The winter was just so depressing and the new baby on the way was making me so sick that it was hard to stay positive and make sense of things. I found myself asking “Why?” and I had never asked that before.

My questioning God didn’t have to do with just your death, but it had more to do with the many miracles I was hearing all around me. Miracles are wonderful and joyous, but it made me long for a miracle that I felt never came. There were numerous accounts of babies and infants that were really sick this winter and the diagnosis were unknown at first. My heart ached for these parents when I would hear of their babies being sick and in the hospital. I didn’t want any parent to go through what me and your dad went through. I didn’t even want them to have to sit in the hospital with that feeling of helplessness and unknowing. I prayed and prayed for these families and their babies. I prayed for the parents to have strength and faith. I prayed for the doctors that they could work through God and make these babies healthy again.

Each of these babies that I prayed for, returned home with their loving and thankful families. Now, I am by no means saying that it was my prayers that brought these babies back home. What I am saying is that when each of these little miracle babies came home, it left me asking God “Why? Why not our little Evelyn?” Why couldn’t you Evelyn be our little miracle baby. We would have sang God’s praises and learned life lessons, but with you here in our arms.

I had never asked God why until this winter. I hated feeling that way, but being pregnant and winter blues, it was my honest feeling. But as my pregnancy nausea faded and the sun begins to the shine, I remember that all babies are miracles from God. You too were a miracle Evelyn. I was lucky enough to carry you for 9 months in my womb and 10 months in my arms. I wouldn’t trade that for the world or give up the chance to have had those memories.

Today as the sun was shining down, I remembered a passage that a dear friend sent me that seems quite fitting for my why days.

We were comforted by a wonderful nun’s insight. She said that life is like a tapestry that is large, beautiful and intricate. However, on this earth we see the tapestry only from the back. We see dark colors, chaos and loose threads that seem to go nowhere. Nothing in the tapestry seems to make sense, much less beauty. It is only when we die that God turns the tapestry around and we can finally see the amazing result. God is able to bring good out of the evil we see or experience.

Trusting in him during heartrending times allows his love and graces to comfort and inspire us as we continue our lives, still connected to our loved ones in God’s great community of love.

How true are those words! Just what I needed to read to set myself on the path of feeling God’s great love. I had been dreading yesterday’s date of you being gone the same amount of time that you were here. But God has given me peace and serenity during my times of heartache to continue to look at the positive and celebrate your little life and the big impact that it is making. What joy you bring me Evelyn!

We are excited!

March 4, 2015


Just incase it doesn’t play – watch the video here!

This baby will be so lucky to have a loving sister here on earth and one always watching out for “her” from heaven. I say “her” because we don’t find out the sex until the baby arrives! But I’m thinking girl, despite everyone else saying boy 😉

You are non-stop on my mind. Lately though, its been sad memories instead of happy memories. I feel like I’m in a rut. Everything seems so blah. And its not just me. Your dad has been having a harder time lately too. Is there such a thing as real winter blues? Or is it my anxiety of thinking that we are just months away from living our lives a whole year without you in the flesh. It is so heart wrenching not having you here. Tomorrow will make 9 months. May seems to be fast approaching and I just want time to stop. Or is it that in the first year, there are so many first that your dad and me have to go through that adds extra pain to our heartache?

Ash Wednesday was this past week, but a lot of services were canceled due to the weather. It didn’t matter to me. I wasn’t going. It would be another first that I wasn’t ready to face. I clearly remember taking you to last years service with my mom. I couldn’t tell you if your sister or dad or anyone else went with us, but there is a moment that I will not forget.

I stood in line, holding you, waiting to receive our ashes. They placed ashes on my forehead and I thought nothing of it. Then they placed ashes on your forehead and my heart instantly sank as they said the words:

Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

I remember holding you and looking at you with almost fear or panic when those words were said. They struck a chord deep within that did not sit well with me. I have heard those words most of my life, but never did they give a different meaning until I was holding my precious sweet girl in my arms and my momma bear instincts kick in to protect. I wanted to wipe those ashes off and say “No thank you! Have a nice day. My baby and I will live happily forever, together.”

I sat back in the pew and remember making a comment to your grandma about the way I felt about the ashes on your forehead and that it seemed depressing. Never did I think my life would change so much in a year. Recollecting these memories from last year made me really research the meaning of Ash Wednesday. I had forgotten the meaning of what the ashes meant and why we celebrated this day and what Lent is really about. The ashes just seemed like a mark of death. When you go through the motions for so long, you forget the true meaning of the religious holidays.

So the late night research began. One quote that really struck me is by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, “Lent is the time that the Lord invites us to come back home, come back to the Church.” Maybe we have lost focus. Maybe Lent is what your dad and I need to get out of our rut, focus on our faith and delve a little deeper into our relationship with God.

Also might I add, that in my research, there are two different options that can be said while ashes are being placed on the forehead. The first I already cited. The second: “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” Wow. Much more up lifting. Maybe that should be used a little more often. Just a suggestion from a mom.

 

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I’m not sure how you do it Evelyn. My heartache keeps me from writing. Finally I get the nerve to write and I’m crying so hard that I can’t see the keyboard. But by the end I’m smiling and I can think of you with happy thoughts. Why do I put this off when I know my misery will turn into happiness? I don’t know, but you are there for me every time. Love you.

Hello Sweet Girl. I’ve been on a month hiatus from writing. Between surviving Christmas, starting a new year without you, our work catching on fire and just not feeling well, it’s been hard to find the right words to say. But I just came back from a work trip in Florida and all I did was talk about you.

It was wonderful. I met so many new people. No one knew my story or that you were no longer here with me. People would ask if I had any kids and I was able to answer that I had two beautiful girls. Some I told the whole story, and some I did not. They of course would ask for your ages and I would say one will be four in March and my other will forever be 10 months.

Most just thought I didn’t want you to grow up when I would say forever 10 months. That I just wanted you to stay my little baby. If only they knew that I would give anything to watch you grow up. I don’t care if life moved so fast that it seemed like you grew up in the blink of an eye. I just wish you had the chance.

Others I told that you had became an Angel at 10 months. It just depended on the person. I told them about your rare infectious disease that took your little life and how it still baffles me, but that was always the short part of the story. I loved to tell people who you were and what made me laugh and stories that I remember so well.

It was just wonderful to talk about my two girls. I am so blessed to have had you in my life. While Ava is our rock and keeps us going, you Evelyn, make me strive to be a better person. Love and hugs.

I need your help Evelyn. I had my Christmas game plan, 25 Days of Kindness, and was on the road to my simple stress free Christmas. The last two days it has all fallen apart. I’m a mess.

Where did it all begin to unravel? Did the lady who asked if I was the one who lost my baby start my mess? Or was it her response after I said yes, I lost my sweet baby. Her reply, “Well, you look like you are doing really good.” Those words haven’t left my mind. How am I supposed to take that? Should I be happy that I let myself have some joy and it is showing to others? Or am I supposed to look like a mess all the time so that people can see physically my broken heart? I’m not sure but as soon as she said those words it stirred anger and sadness deep inside me. I felt like I betrayed you Evelyn. That people are seeing me happy and think that I have gotten “over it”. That time can heal. If people see me out and I’m happy that I have moved on. Am I supposed to be a hot mess of tears and uncontrollable emotions at all times so that people can see how much I miss you and that my heart aches for you?

Is it just a compilation of things building? As I was writing my Day 3 of 25 Days of Kindness, it brought me right back to the first day you were gone. I couldn’t even finish writing. The tears just wouldn’t stop. I wanted to thank people so much for all their kindness, but it seemed I started to relive each day like it just happened. It’s just like the thank you cards for flowers, donations and support. I was able to send out a few thank you cards, but most have never received one. It’s so hard to thank someone in writing. The only reason I am thanking them for their kindness is because you died. I have about 230 to send and only have sent 25. It’s so hard. Its much easier saying thank you with a hug than words.

I was Christmas shopping with my Mom yesterday. I know she was hoping to get some more shopping done but knew I wasn’t much in the mood. She needed ideas for me. But once at the store and looking at all the “things” and “objects”, I just don’t want anything tangible. We talk about you all the time to your sister to keep your memory alive. But on the way home from our busted shopping trip, Ava asked when you were coming back home from Heaven and that she just wanted you here with us. How am I supposed to answer that when I feel the same way.

I always feel better after writing to you. I hope that getting this off my chest will pull me out of my darkness. Last weeks church service was about Christmas and how the birth of Jesus was a light in complete darkness. There was so much darkness, but Jesus is the light. So I’m putting all my eggs in one basket and counting on you, Jesus, to pull me out and into the light again. As my friend on Facebook said, “Christ is Christmas.” So how can we not celebrate?

Evelyn - Dec 2013

Evelyn – Dec 2013

 

 

25 days of kindness

Our very own Elf on the Shelf - Evelyn Sarah

Our very own Elf on the Shelf – Evelyn Sarah

Why?
I have been struggling with Christmas this year. Not just because of our grief journey or our re-energized faith, but because this is the first Christmas Ava will really remember. I want to start her out right. I do not just want it to be about toys and getting gifts. We bought her an Elf on the shelf last year for Christmas so that she would have it for this Christmas season. I struggled with getting it out. I hated the idea of bribing her to be good just for the chance of getting more gifts from Santa. I really want her to understand the meaning of Christmas. I have been teaching her the last couple of weeks about advent and Jesus’s birthday. But I really wanted more. Enter Facebook. Last night, just hours before Day 1 of the 25 days of Christmas, a post showed up on my feed. The Kindness Elves.

What?
The Kindness Elves are an alternative to the traditional elf on the shelf. Here is the link to where I found the idea. These elves love to help and notice kindness in others. So instead of getting gifts, we are rewarding people who have been generous and kind. I loved the idea that we would be doing a lot of giving without getting anything in return. A great lesson for Ava. The Kindness Elves help us come up with ideas. At the end the Kindness Elves will reward her with gifts (but she doesn’t know that yet!)

Who?
We thought we would name our elf Kindness. It seemed appropriate. This year we thought we would pick 25 people who have been so kind to us during these last 6 months that we would return the kindness. It has been a tough 6 months, but there are so many people who deserve a great thanks for all that they do for us or for some who work at keeping Evy’s memory alive. So I started a list and in about 5 seconds I was over 25 people. How lucky are we that we have so many people who love and care for us? To go over our 25 people (one per day) might not be so simple and would go against my new life motto. So other acts of kindness might be given throughout the year so that we can thank everyone or we’ll just keep an ongoing list for every Christmas to follow!

Follow!
To follow our 25 Days of Kindness, you can click on this link here. Day 1 was wonderful. It was great spending quality time with Ava and talking about our chosen person and what makes her so great. Can’t wait for Day 2!

Sweet girl, today is the day of thanks. Thanksgiving brings up a lot of memories, but I’m thankful for those memories. Two years ago on this day, your sister announced I was pregnant with you. Ava was around 18 months old and we had her learning everyone’s names. When we pointed to my belly, we taught her to say, “Baby.” So we sat around the table and was pointing to everyone as Ava would say, Uncle David, Aunt Trish, Aunt Joan, ect. Then it looked like Adam was just pointing to me instead of my non-showing belly, and Ava, right on cue, said “The baby!” It was perfect. Everything about you was perfect. It was the perfect pregnancy, the perfect birth, and you were my perfectly happy baby. I will always remember that we announced you on Thanksgiving. Since you lived such a short life, all of the memories are so very important and I cherish them all.

Every night we have family prayer time before bed. We just liked the idea of Ava learning to pray at a young age and it also gives us great family time. We started Ava off simple by praying for 3 people and thanking God for 3 things. After you passed, Ava of course includes you in one of her 3 people who need prayers. I am so grateful that Ava continues to remember you, but I know you do not need prayers. You are perfectly placed next to God and exactly where you should be. Prayers are for someone who is having a hard time or lost or needs something. So we always change it so that we are praying for you to give us strength and to continue to look out for us.

I always include you in the thanks and praises portion of our prayers. I am so very thankful that I was blessed to be your Mom, that I got to spend 10 months with you, and that I have two amazing daughters. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the JOY that you brought into our lives Evelyn Sarah (and all the God Winks you keep sending us.) Love you.

Pictures from last years Thanksgiving and the girls' outfits. 
thanksgiving dresses

Evelyn Sarah Thanksgiving Thanksgiving with Evelyn Sarah