Saturday, January 22, 2011

Handprints on my Heart

From the first week after I found out Rachel had anencephaly, I knew I wanted to get a necklace that had two that I would keep and one that came out of the middle for her to be buried with (that would leave a permanent heart-shaped hole in my heart, just like losing her)  I found what I thought was what I wanted, and when it got here was totally different... I didn't have time to order something else, so I went with it...but would never wear it (I thought it was silver, it was huge and ceramic!)  So, that's what she got buried from me and one from Des.  Two days after her funeral, I found EXACTLY what I wanted, except two days too late. I had a breakdown in the store.  I bought it anyway, just in case.  I've been wearing my heart, and talked to the memorial stone guy about getting her side put into the front of the stone... 

Then the other night, before Matt had to go to the hospital, I almost lost it down the bathroom was barely sticking out and I knew if I touched it wrong, I'd lose it forever... I got my glasses on and prayed as I reached for it... I got it and as soon as I did, I cried...partly out of relief and partly because it's sad that all I have to hold onto is a piece of metal... My thought was "what I really want is her... "  I'm trying to hold on to her with stuff that is temporal...when she is eternal.  sigh.

About 2 minutes later the mail came...It was the handprint necklace I ordered. (2 weeks earlier than expected) They used her actual handprint to make this necklace... I thought about the fact that if that other necklace did fall down the drain, God had a back up plan :o)  He always does.  I put it on and will probably never take it off.  I love her hands... they were so perfect with really cute little dimples on her knuckles. <3

The Back
I also had made us (me & Rachel) bracelets...hers says "Mama" and mine says "Rachel"

Well, this has fallen apart on me too... she was buried with hers... and mine, although I only wear it when I go out of the house, it's already peeling and doesn't look so good.  Her hand touched it... she's wearing one just like it...if I ruin this one, I'll be sad...  even though it's just a bracelet... a temporal bracelet.

Tonight I noticed something on the side of my fridge...

I mean, other than a really cool drawing by Desirae... do you see it?  It's a chalk handprint.  I think it's Isaiah's, not sure, it could be Sam's... I love having a house that's all messed up by kids.  I noticed Sam's prints all over the mudroom window the other day... I don't wash them off.  It reminds me of the life in them...the joy they are in my home.  I will be sad the day that there are no more handprints on my stuff...

Rachel's hand wrapped around my finger.  She held onto our hands the whole time she was alive.  Her hands remind me of the amazing life in her.

But just in case I lose my necklace down the drain...

or if I miss my handprinted house...

brace yourself........

I got a tattoo... her actual handprint. A permanent bracelet.  I'm happy to say it can never be wiped off or lost down the drain.  And, it's going with me when I die :o)  In the ground anyway...I'll be busy dancing with my girl and worshipping at the feet of Jesus.  I look forward to that day.

I got this last week, but have only told a couple of people... it's very close to my heart so it almost feels wrong even sharing.  I'm not sure why... I'm not usually a private person, but I have struggled with this one.  If it wasn't on my wrist, I might have never shared it but it will be kinda tough not to!  When I showed Anne at our pedicures, she asked me if it hurt... I answered, "compared to what my heart's been through?...Nah" 

Matt went with me to get it and we went out for dinner afterwards.  Our waitress, Jessica "happened" to be a student midwife that was very supportive earlier in our journey with Rachel.  We had never met in person, just on line.  She asked if she could hug me.  It never ceases to amaze me the love I receive because of my little girl. 

While we ate, Matt & I talked about what a blessing Rachel has been.  I told him that although I'm scared at the thought of going through this again, I would rather have another baby with anencephaly than no other baby at all.  She might not have stayed as long as we'd have liked, but she brought so much joy.  She is still our daughter and still part of our family....and we are so glad we met her.  We talked about how many people she's touched the hearts of...the people she has given hope to.... the people who have come to know the Lord because of her.  We talked about the way people have come to our aid and walked beside us through this...friendships we have now... all the love we have received.  The people who have been encouraged and encouraged us.  This journey has been AMAZING.  In the sorrow, there has been beauty beyond measure.  All because of Rachel...

Jessica came back over and brought us coffee... she said "your bill has been covered" and walked away with a smile.  I could see that Rachel's legacy had left a handprint on her heart.

I said to Matt "See what I mean?" and hung my head to cry....tears of gratitude for my little girl who left handprints on my heart.  And hopefully yours too.


  1. This blog, like most brought me to tears. Your sorrow, your pain, your happiness and your memories are all amazing and let me know that life is not all that bad. Even though times can be tough and life is full of surprises, both good and bad... there are 3 little people that keep me going, although sometimes they feel like much part of my stress! I love them to death!!! The way you look at things, makes me realize I need to change my way of viewing things too. The handprint on your fridge is one of those!!! I'm sure I have many handprints all over my house too. I would love to sit and talk to you sometime, Even living 3 houses from each other, we dont see each other much. Let me know when you have some time. Maybe I could get a sitter for the kids and take you out. BTW that tattoo was a great idea, its very nice and I would show it off to the world!

  2. I hold on to temporal things too. They are just things but the were hers so they mean so much because I can't have her right now. I jewelry too with her hand and footprints. They are a treasure! And I, too, got a tattoo of Carleigh's handprint and her name. Never got a tattoo before but I know I will never regret this one.

  3. She definitely touched my heart! What a beautiful lesson... I'll keep your family in my prayers =)
    Love, Camila (from Brazil)

  4. Beautiful....I have no other words for it than Beautiful. Inside and out. Loving and praying for you all.

  5. Beautiful keepsakes-the necklaces and the tattoo. A beaqutiful reminder of a precious baby girl who forever has changed lives. Beautiful braclet that you made Rachel. Does your other daughter have one too? Your posts always make me feel some of your pain but also give hope as you strive to please the Lord.

  6. Your necklace is amazing and I love it. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your tattoo. I have always wanted to get a tattoo but have been too chicken.Then I figure I have had 2 kids so maybe I can do it. I always said I would get my kids handprints if I did get a tattoo. I think yours is beautiful and I would show it off as a "PROUD MAMA". That is your baby girl and she will be with you forever. You amaze me more and more everyday. I strive to be such a great mom like you!!

  7. I LOVE your tattoo! SO beautiful. And I just wanted to let you know that your Rachel has changed my life in many ways as have you and your Blog. I can't wait to check it everyday :) You write so beautifully.

    Love and prayers to you and your family.

  8. I completely agree with you that I would rather be pregnant with another baby with anencephaly than not at all. It is our hearts to be pregnant again, and if the Lord blesses us with another child, we will be so thankful to have that child, regardless. Knowing Briar with anencephaly was such an amazing gift, it will stay with me a lifetime..

    Thanks for sharing your sweet tattoo....she will always be your girl!

  9. Love your tatoo-it's beautiful! Thanks for sharing it and for sharing Rachel with us! She most definetly has left an imprint on my heart forever more. Praying for you as always! <3


  10. I also hate to clean my kids' prints off of things. There is a little handprint on the window of my car that has been there for about 2 years, and I love it.

    Your tatttoo is beautiful!

  11. Hi honey, just reading back through your posts in the early days with Rachel, seeing where you were at then.

    Just HAD to write a comment in this one, because your tattoo took my breath away - its the exact same place I want one for myself of Seb -but of his perfect little footprint. Just beautiful. I need to be able to see him all the time too - my right inner wrist is where I'm going to get mine done too.

    Its perfect. Rachel is perfect.



We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes