Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I could never use Peyton's room for another baby. It is just too full of sadness. I look at the room, and remember what it was to collapse into it. I see the gifts that lay unopened, and the life that went unlived. I pass that room with my eyes cast downward, and only rarely, when my heart or mood compels me to do so, venture in.

I feel taunted at times by that little room. It calls to me from behind its closed door with an emptiness that reminds me of what I will never have. Peyton is gone. She never came home and she never will. The bunny waiting in her crib will never be cuddled. The hand crocheted blanket will never give her warmth. That room remains empty, and in doing so, that room remains cruel.

I have given a lot of thought to that little room. If I had it my way, I might cement the door shut. Or cut it off from this house completely. But then there would be the cement, reminding me of what is behind it, and I would be back at square one.

When we bought this house, we termed the little room with the big windows "the baby's room," long before we even started trying to conceive. It just felt like the perfect little room - bright, full of sunshine with views of trees and birds outside the window. It faces away from the street, so passing cars would never interrupt a child's sleep with the sound of their engines, or the cascade of their headlights across the walls. For months we planned Peyton's homecoming. Decorating the room. Washing and folding tiny clothes. Plugging outlets. Now, over a year and a half after her death, this little room sits stagnant, veiled by a layer of dust and time.

There is this Superchick song "Beauty From My Pain," that has become a bit of a rallying cry for me, a mantra, my theme song. If you'd like to hear the song, it's in my playlist. The entire song really touches me, but especially these lines:

Here I am, at the end of me
Trying to hold to what I can't see
I forgot how to hope
This night's been so long
I cling to your promise
There will be a dawn

After all this has passed
I still will remain
After I've cried my last
There'll be beauty from pain
Though it won't be today
Someday I'll hope again
And there'll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain

This song has gotten me thinking about this journey, and though it has been the most difficult time of my life, there has also been beauty, in the form of a gift that my daughter left for me here on earth - my words.

I always "liked" to write, but was too busy to invest any time into it. Peyton, in her own little way, reminded me as she was leaving this world, that I should write how I was feeling, and for me, that has been the "beauty from my pain."

My writing has comforted me. It has been cathartic and healing and therapeautic, and at odd times, through exploring fiction writing, has allowed me to escape all of this, and so it just feels right that when I finally feel peace about packing up Peyton's things, and filling that little room with new purpose, that it should be as a writing space. Long time readers of this blog will say, "yes, we know, you have mentioned this before" and I have, but something I received recently makes the transition feel more possible, and makes me feel a little more brave.

I was speaking with my friend Angie over at, among other places, Still Life 365. Angie is an incredibly talented writer and artist. I expressed to Angie that I needed something beautiful, a piece of artwork to breathe new purpose into that little room. I wanted a starting point, something that would make the process of  transitioning the room from a place of cribs, changing tables, and diapers, to one housing books, dictionaries, and inspiration, feel more possible.

I needed a focal point.
I needed something to remind me of the beauty of this journey.
I needed inspiration.

Anyone who knows Angie, knows that her life has recently gotten a little more busy with the birth of her adorable son, so you can imagine my surprise when she contacted me to let me know that she had something coming for me in the mail. I went to the post office, and found this waiting for me...

Angie calls the piece "Inspiration and Instinct." Isn't it beautiful?

The quote along the top is a favorite of mine by James Thurber. It says, "Don't get it right. Just get it written."

She explained the piece to me, saying :

"The image itself I wanted to make fantastical and accessible. I made your hair long and flowing to give it an air of exaggeration, as well as extend your arms out to encompass novels and ideas. I have an old dictionary/ encyclopaedia, and I thought it would be cool to cut out the definitions for inspiration and instinct...

I thought it would be cool if you were inspiring not just painted swirling ideas, bits of paper, literature, but also these butterflies and moths, each an inspiration. Moths I always associate with night, and butterflies day, so they are supposed to inspire work day and night. I actually thought of painting them, but liked that between your hands was both fiction and non-fiction; painted and from a book."

Seeing this painting, holding it, brushing my hands across the canvas - it just felt "right." It is beautiful, and inspiring, and compels me to write. This painting needs a home, and I know that home is the little yellow room. Having this painting here, I am feeling a little more brave because it helps me to see myself in there, writing away and feeling Peyton all around me.

Thank you so much Angie!

*Angie's artwork, as well as many other fabulous items, are available at her Etsy store. You can visit that here: Kenna Twins


Please join me in praying for a little baby boy named Gether who was born on 5/19 at 5 weeks premature. He has overcome many battles (including his heart stopping twice) and needs prayers for strength and healing. xx 


  1. That painting is beautiful. The feeling that is evoked through it is powerful.

    I pray for you.

    Your writing is both beautiful and powerful -- full of wisdom and meaning.



  2. The art is amazing! Such a precious gift.

    I feel like Matthew's room sort of taunts me too...kind of mocks my stupidity in believing that after 10 years, I'd actually get to use a baby's room for my baby.

    It will always be the room that wasn't used for it's purpose.

    I hate that, and am so glad to see you are able to find something beautiful to try and bring out of your pain. I love that song!!!
    Thinking of you!

  3. Praying right now!

    I love that song... It speaks to me in places so deep within.

    I think to use or not to use is such a personal choice. For us, it was the exact opposite reaction. I had to use those rooms. I needed to. I needed/wanted them to share those things. And yet, I cant deny how hard it was at the same time. To have those spaces reclamated, as it were. But, at the same time, it was the right thing for us... The only thing that would have felt right and fitting.

    I know plenty of folks, bloggers and IRLers, who didnt reuse rooms or items. One actually did wall off that room. They had built the nursery out of a large walk in closet, and they ended up sealing the wall, with their son's items inside. It was too painful for them to go in the room, but at the same time, they couldnt let it go. I saw her a few months ago (she's the daughter of an old coworker) and she told me that they are expecting again and have converted their office. They couldnt fathom the idea of unsealing their son's room.

    It is so deeply personal. I know that the right answer for you is in your heart.

  4. Keeping you in my prayers. I absolutely love the art pice. You do with Peyton's room what you feel in your heart you should do. You have suffered a great loss and nobody but you understands why you feel that way!

  5. what a beautiful piece of art!
    praying for Gether

  6. Kristin, in the midst of the debris that is the aftermath of Peyton leaving, you continue to show beauty, strength, inspiration, truth and most of all....love. Hugs from one mama missing her little girl to another :)

  7. What an absolutely beautiful painting with such a lovely explanation behind it. From one extremely talented lady to another! x

  8. I did at one time have that on my playlist too (not sure if I still do)but I agree that the lyrics are so powerful..I love the piece of art, its beautiful. I think whatever you decide to do with Peytons room will be perfect..everyone has different feelings about what to do with "the room" after loss..I know you will do what is right for you and your husband..((hugs))

  9. That is a powerful painting, I love it. If you decide to put this in Peyton's room, I think it will be great. This is great starter piece for a fresh beginning. I know you will know when the time is right to change that room. Follow your heart. Keep on writting because it keeps me reading, you are so talented. ((HUGS))

  10. I love that painting. Angie did a fabulous job on it. I can almost feel the inspiration oozing out of it.

  11. That is BEAUTIFUL. Rebirth. I love that idea so much that I tattooed it on my back.

  12. Incredibly beautiful! Wow, what a heartfelt gift.

  13. Kristin

    Another remarkable piece of writing, celebrating an intuitive and intelligent gift from your fellow creative spirit.

    Such heart and beauty out of - Mama Grits said it perfectly - the debris of your loss.

    You are an inspirational writer, and a truly - that word again - remarkable spirit.


  14. What an absolutely beautiful perfect gift. Truly a gift from the heart.

  15. Kristin...

    First...let me wipe away these tears.

    What a wonderful gift, from a wonderful friend. Your writing IS inspirational, and I am so glad you see that it is also a gift. I too have found words to be my healing balm in losing Simon and Alexander. A writer has been born out of loss...in both of our lives.
    Sending you so much love...

  16. Isnt it wonderful when someone thinks of us and out of the blue, our day is improved?
    That was so sweet of Angie.

  17. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your creative process too. I love cross-inspiration. Your writing is wonderful. Can't wait to read your novels. With love.

  18. Gorgeous. Your sharing about transitioning Peyton's room to your creative space and Angie's beautiful painting. xo

  19. Beautiful. That was so nice of Angie.
    hugs and prayers.

  20. What a beautiful painting...how sweet of Angie to create such a beautiful piece to inspire you. Praying for you as you take the next step...praying for inspiration to flow over you...and for a healing balm to surround you as He carries you.

  21. kristin, that is a lovely painting, and i hope it helps you move forward in creating a space to write. it's my first time visiting your site, and i wanted to say that Peyton is beautiful. i am so sorry that she is not here in your arms. i am grateful to have found you and am honored to bear witness to your journey and how Peyton has changed and blessed your life.

  22. "Inspiration and Instinct" is beautiful. Whenever and however you choose to display it, I'm sure it will be a source of joy and peace for you.

    I've been thinking of you and Peyton often.

    ((Big Hugs))

  23. That song actually is the title to my blog. I still cannot really listen to the song without many, many tears. I still believe quite firmly that there will be Beauty from my Pain of losing Noah and have seen glimpes of it to be sure. There will be Beauty from your Pain as well. Because God works all things for his good......On that promise we can stand.