Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day

The town over from us has a Memorial Day Parade.

It's a small town.


It's home to a candy shop, restaurants, riverfront trails, and a green field on a hill made fertile by my child, and my tears.

We sit on a stoop with Charlotte the wonder dog, who barks at everything, and nothing, just because she can.

A young couple with a dog, we blend into the background here.

The high school band sends a rush of excitement through the waiting crowd with their beating drums.

People rise to their feet.

It is at this very moment that I see her.

Young, and waddling, and so much the way I imagine my own child would be.
The way she should be.

She struggles to navigate a stoop.
Waves a small flag.
Smiles and claps awkwardly.

"Do you see her?" I ask. "That's what Peyton would be doing. That's how old she would be now."


Why is there always silence?

She is our daughter, I shouldn't have to whisper her name into the wind.

Flags round the corner and the little girl laughs at a pug, then cheers for the veterans - the Lion's club - the firemen, all the while clinging to her mother's leg.

Would Peyton do that?

Would she reach for the security of her mommy at this age?

"Mommy." I whisper.
I never even got to hear her say it.

I repeat the word to myself.
About myself.
It feels foreign and untrue.

I watch in envy, desperately wanting to return to the normalcy that surrounds this family.

I am hurt.
I feel robbed.
What happened to my life?

We wanted her.
We were ready.
We should be here, watching our daughter wave a flag.

A familiar heat rushes to my eyes.

I feel the tears coming.
And the lonliness.
And the anger.

My child is gone.
I am infertile.
My life is ruined.

Hundreds of faces are smiling around me, and I am fighting the urge to cry.

How can they smile when a dead baby, my dead baby, lies buried not even a half a mile from here?

Do they even know this type of heartache exists in their quaint town?

The band passes, their tap, tap, tap falling off as they march into the distance.

The crowds disperse and I am left in silence, reality laying a heavy boot across my throat.

My child doesn't dance in the street.

She doesn't wave a flag.
Or pet a pug.
Or smile.

My child has died.
And with her, so has my chance at normalcy.


  1. My heart aches for you. Even 16 years later, I spend alot of time looking at other boys and go through what you described. I do want you to know this, tho. It does get easier with time. Lots and lots of time. Maybe "easier" isn't the right term. More like "the pain dulls and I can function". I'm sure you are sick of hearing things like that (because I was) but it is true. Please hold on to that knowledge.
    Keeping you in my prayers, honey.

  2. I am so sorry. There are just no other words. I wish that I could just give you a giant 10 minute hug and cry with you.

  3. Some of the normal things in life become abnormal when your child is missing from the picture.

  4. I feel the same, like I am afraid to whisper her name in the wind. What would she be like? Do people know I think of her all the time? Do they know the heartache of the person sitting next to them?

  5. My heart is so broken reading this. I ache for you, Kristin.
    I am so very sorry.

  6. Oh Kristen...

    I often think about how many times I've been walking around in public, utterly devastated, and how odd it is that everyone else is going about their business, the sun is shining, traffic flows by, people are probably thinking about what they are going to do that evening, just regular, ho-hum days for everyone else.

    It seems surreal that we could be living such torture and anguish... and the rest of the world goes on. It doesn't make sense.

    I'm so sorry you don't have little Peyton to hold and to take to parades. I hope the next few days will bring you some peace. I think about you often.

  7. ((hugs)). it would be so nice if the world would just stop sometimes and acknowledge this missing.

  8. i feel your pain kristen, its so hard going out in public, sometimes its when you are surrounded by so many people that you feel the most isolated, sending love and hugs xxx

  9. Kristen I am so sorry. The pain is so hard to handle and the normalcy of life seems to make it even harder. I don't think I can truly wrap my mind around what you have been thru but reading this post really did help me to understand. It's so vivid and real and I felt like I was reading your heart. It is beautifully written although I wish I could change things so you never had to write it. You are in my prayers as always.

  10. You put this into words so beautifully! The word mommy does sound so foriegn and untrue when I say it too. Its not fair. I hate those silences too in conversations. I can so relate to this. *HUGS*

  11. I don't even know how to respond to this post, your pain at the loss of your precious Peyton is so tangible and yet I don't know what to say.

  12. I'm so sorry Kristin. It's all just so wrong.


  13. Ack, computer ate my response. Stupid machine.

    This was such a powerful post Kristen. I identify with it so much. I will never have another little girl, and I can't understand why we can't have her either. She was wanted so very much. It's hard to watch the world go on when our hearts are so broken. Maddening.

    I am so sorry Peyton isn't here. Sending you much love.

  14. Sending love. Wishing I could help your heart. ((hugs))

  15. Oh, what a powerful post ! I look at all little girls, I even turn my head to keep watching them, when passing someone on the street, and I imagine if this is how my Madicken would look today.. Sometimes it brings a smile, but mostly tears

    Sending you love and hugs !

  16. This is beautiful and heartbreaking rolled up together. I'm so, so sorry we have to see what should have been ours in the lives of others---others who don't even know.

    Praying for peace for your heart.xoxo

  17. I know I have children to cuddle and love....and so it's true that I've been able to enjoy mommy-ness in a way you haven't yet. But...I think of them. Simon and Alexander. Every day. I look at pictures of their brothers at a year old...and I think of what they should have been doing right now. and aren't.

    This memorial day was about loss for me. Loss on multiple levels. At some point, I crumbled into my husbands arms sobbing for my twins...demanding that life SHOULD have been different. I sobbed for all the babies stolen away from you, and all my dear friends who know this brand of pain like a scorching heat that burns the heart and soul of existence.

    Yes...they should have been waving little flags and clutching us close....they should be dancing to the music in the band...carried high on our shoulders so that they could see the parade....they should have been.

    I'm so sorry dear heart. So very very sorry...

    All my love.

  18. So so so so sorry.
    Hugs from the east.

  19. everytime i come to your blog and see your sweet daughters photos, its trully heartbreaking to know that she is not with you...learning and growing.
    but she was trully beautiful! and so lucky to have you as a mother who doesnt let time take away from the love you have for her.

  20. Hugs Kirsteen

    Your write beautifully, I am sorry you do not have Peyton here

  21. My heart aches for you. So much promise. So much loss. So many tears shed. I have no other words.

    I'm thinking of you daily.

  22. I just want to send you a huge hug...
    8 years old. Strawberry blonde hair. Going into 3rd grade. Sleepovers. Would she call me mommy or mom by this point? The only thing I am sure of is that one day, I will get to wrap my arms around her again :)
    Thinking of you Kristin...and simply crying with you.

  23. I am a little late on responding to this. I just want to hug you right now. I don't have any words to makes this better for you, I am sorry. I am heart broken with you.

  24. *hug* I'm sorry for my late response...I've been a little under the weather. I was thinking today how I never will get to hear Lilly call me "mommy" *hug* *hug* *hug*

    love and prayers

  25. I am so damned sorry Kristin. That's all I can say and it seems so small and meaningless compared to what you've been through. My prayers and love are with you.

  26. Heartbreaking. I'm so, so sorry that your precious girl isn't here. x