Happy birthday Delilah Evangeline. You continue to be an unparalled force of nature in my life and the driving influence behind all that i have learned and accomplished these last six years.
LOVE – All of this starts and ends with love. If you strip everything down, I do what I do because its a way to honor my love for you and to make sure that love is known to others who never have chance to meet you.
LIGHT – You are my sun and my moon, the guidance in times of joy and places of darkness. I am always captivated by the way little coincidences don’t seem so coincidental anymore when I look at the path I’ve been navigating since you left.
STRENGTH – I continue to find strength in you and have been able to provide strength to others who need it to endure overwhelming heartbreak.
PURPOSE – I can’t say (and never will) that there was a purpose for you dying, not in a real way. I mean, there is a logical medical reason, but there is not a universal acceptance that will make sense that can explain reasoning for the loss of one so wanted, and so loved. Awful things happen to those who never deserved it, and that has been one of the most difficult things to wrap my head around as I searched for an explanation. But my experience with grief and loss has opened up a world of intriguing information and passion that I would likely not have found otherwise. You are behind everything I do; sometimes in a very lucid way, and sometimes so subtly that I don’t realize it until in hindsight.
It’s these reasons that I started the Tangerine Owl Project in your memory. Its for these reasons that it continues to evolve, because little girl, you are the essence of it all. Sharing you with the world is an honor and a privilege that I am thankful for every moment.
With love, always.
Today I had the opportunity to take part in something so beautiful and meaningful, it filled my heart and soul.
I serve on the bereavement committee for the Mother’s Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes (www.milkbankwgl.org). Together, we look for ways to acknowledge and honor mamas who have donated their milk after a loss. Those of you who know me know that I donated Delilah’s milk after she died, I didn’t see any reason not to. I know that other mothers struggle with the idea of milk that was meant to sustain their child going to someone else. It can be a painful thought and only mothers can make the choice that is right for them.
That said, for many bereaved moms, donating milk has been a tangible way to connect with their baby. They find hope and peace knowing that their child can provide for another child in need.
Most often, donor milk is used for NICU babies who aren’t able to get milk from their own mothers for a variety of reasons, and IT IS CRITICAL to their survival. Donor milk from mothers of preemies, is even more rare, and provides a different makeup of essential nutrients than normal full-term babies mother’s breast milk. Donating Milk saves lives.
We reveled in that yesterday at the unveiling of Poppy’s Dream, a gorgeous tile mural at the milk bank that accompanies personalized stars with the names & birthdates of donor babies. We held a ceremony for the unveiling, and had an unprecedented attendance from donor families. It was a mix of emotions for those who attended as they reflected on their experience. I was asked to share Delilah’s story, and again was reminded of how meaningful she has been to others who were able to thrive and grow with her milk. This mural serves as a reminder to the staff of why the milk bank exists, and its a stunning representation of the delicate balance in life, and the good that can come from bad.
It is an honor to serve on the bereavement committee for MMBWGL and allowed me a bit of space to be present with my thoughts on Delilah (who was also recognized in the candlelighting ceremony). And what better timing as her birthday is tomorrow…..
There goes the universe working in mysterious ways again.