Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Blogoversary

And now for something completely self-serving. It's my blogoversary . . . well let me tell it as it played out in my living room.

"It's my blogoversary."

"Your what?" DH asks barely listening.

"Blogoversary, you know like Julie from "Julie and Julia." She blogged for a year and then had a blogoversary and left the pound of butter beneath Julia Child's picture."

"Butter? Your what?"

"Blogging. I've been blogging for a year."

"Oh, that's great, dear."

OK, that's not exactly what happened, but close. Ha!

It's been a year, and I've been reflecting about what the blogging activity has done for me and my goal of becoming the kind of mother Caitlin should have. She saved my heart, you know. She transformed me when she came 7 weeks early and gave me the gift of motherhood. And I was afraid. I doubted my ability to parent her and protect her and help her grow in a cruel world that isn't particularly friendly to children with Down syndrome. And I was afraid that she would see in my eyes, that I had wished for her to be something other than what she was.

Caitlin was very sick when she was born. She had a heart defect and she slept most of the time I parented her in the hospital. I cherish the times she opened her eyes and looked into mine. And, I know she only saw that I loved her. "I'm sorry," I told her one day,"you don't have a perfect mother, but I love you perfectly." DH would say, "I can't wait until we can bring her home and find out who she is." On the eve of her heart surgery, her bowel perforated and she died in my arms to my singing. I was torn open.

I was (and am) well-supported by family and friends, but grief overwhelms takes control, and commands attention. I surrendered. I tasted words, and wrote poetry. I saw images, and longed for skills to bring them to canvas. I created montages of pictures of her and music that I sang to her. I wrote my grief in short stories, as I remembered every detail of a conversation or an experience at the cemetery. I worried that family and friends would grow weary of my grief and my DH was taking care of me postponing his grief. Outwardly he grieved in different ways than me and I was afraid he wouldn't know where to find me when I was in deep mourning.

I found the MISS Foundation and other bereavement forums and I posted and read and read and posted. I had found another place for my anguish to go. MISS Foundation remains a source of great comfort for me. I also discovered the blogging community of bereaved parents, mostly mothers who showed me that this e-life was different than the frivolous, the mean-spirited, the commercial, the everyday, and the academic blogs. Bloggers in this community sent e-hugs, but you could feel them "for reals." They revealed their hearts without fear; the deaths of their children destroyed any fear that remained. I learned that you have to be willing to be vulnerable if you wish to be held.

I needed a place to put my longer posts and the ones that were personal and exploratory. And that's when I started this blog. I can't say that on this blogoversary that I'm celebrating, rather I'm grateful. That when my precious child, Caitlin died and I couldn't seem to find enough fuel for the raging grief fires that ravaged my heart, mind, body, and soul, there was another place for it to burn. This e-space offered something real life couldn't deliver, a place of pause. A Fifth Season where the world could and did stop turning while I ruminated and made meaning of Caitlin's life and death.


  1. A year of writing and we are all grateful for your words and honestly. Caitlin is beautiful. I cried when I read what your apology to her. So very perfect and beautiful.

  2. You and your thoughts of, memories of, and love for your precious Caitlin have blessed my life tremendously. You make me want to be a better person, I mean that sincerely.

    I know Caitlin must be so very proud of you. You are an amazing and beautiful woman. Thank you for sharing yourself with me...I don't know that I deserve it, but I am so very grateful for it.

    Love, peace, and tremendous thanks.

  3. I am glad you have this place of pause and so glad I found you here. I hope writing and being part of this community continues to be healing or somehow helpful to you.

  4. I am a late arrival, having only discovered your blog recently.

    I just wanted to say how beautiful your daughter Caitlin is. The look in her eyes in the second photograph. I can't begin to describe it. I think she knew how perfectly she was loved. I'm so sorry.

    A fifth season. Such a wonderful phrase.

  5. Hmmm, that didn't feel so self-serving to me.

    I am struggling with the words to say right now, because what brought you to blogging was so hard and full of hurt, but you have brought so much beauty into the world. Your words bring so much light.

    She was so beautiful.

    Thank you for writing.

  6. Congratulations on a blogging turn around the sun.

    "I'm sorry," I told her one day,"you don't have a perfect mother, but I love you perfectly."

    That, my friend, is perfect.

  7. I'm glad you have this place of pause, thank you for sharing your journey and your daughter.

    Caitlin is beautiful. That look, breathtaking. I'm glad the last thing she heard was her mummy singing. I'm so sorry you had to find this place. I wish there was no fifth season for you.


  8. I'm so glad you found the blogosphere and share your thoughts and your beautiful daughter with us - and for a full year now. Hard to believe so much time has passed isn't it?

    I love the picture of Caitlin looking into your eyes and I know she felt your love.

    ((((hugs)))) and peace

  9. What a beautiful post. The picture where Caitlin was looking up at you made me cry. She is beautiful.

  10. Happy blogoversary... I am so glad you decided to start writing!

  11. What a beautiful picture of your beautiful little girl.

  12. So glad you found this space, and so grateful for all you share here.

  13. Breathtakenly beautiful. All of it.

  14. I cried with your words--that you are not perfect, but you loved her perfectly. Thank you for sharing this year with us, and here's to many more.

  15. very beautiful, very sad, very moving. I am so sorry you lost your beautiful little girl. I'm so sorry for all your heartache. Your site is very moving and your words minister to my grief. It is a lonely journey mourning a beloved child and other mothers are the best guides, it seems.
    Hugs to you on your blogaversary.