Remember Windland

posted on: Thursday, July 25, 2013


I wrote this on July 8th. 

"The word "tradition" itself derives from the Latin tradere or traderer literally meaning to transmit, to hand over, to give for safekeeping. "

Today, it rained, then the sun came out. It rained again and once more, the sun decided to have the last act of the day, not much different than most days this month. But, July 8th is a day that will forever be noted on my calendar. It was the projected due date of my baby, Windland, that we lost a year and a half ago in a miscarriage. I wrote my heart about that time here and here.

I cried only once, maybe twice today. I realize that I've come so far and grown so deeply. I've grown  in love, in pain, in joy, in compassion, in questioning, in peace,  in empathy, in beauty, and in the raw realities of living. I've lived in the darkest canyons of grief in the deepest ocean, craving water instead of air to fill my lungs and I've been pulled up to the surface of the living, of light and oxygen and love. Cedar really was my rescuer. He's been the sweetest of sweet joys that a soul could be, given to help comfort and heal. I cannot put into words the love and adoration that I feel towards this happy little boy.  In the same tone though, there is a piece of my heart that will always be missing and aching. I made sure that today, I did something to remember my little love that breezed by our lives a year and a half ago.

Recently, one of my closest friends lost her baby in a miscarriage. It was a tragic and devastating loss. While in the process of grieving with her,  I had a dream. I don't typically dream much. But, in this dream, I dreamed of a little girl with curls, like Kael's but a bit longer and lighter. She was around 2 years old, but was speaking more like a 5 year old. She was showing Cedar and Kael how to skip rocks on a creek bank. Almost being a little momma. All 3 of them were giggling. She turned around and smiled at me and I saw her face. She was mine. "Oh, you're my Windland!?" I said. She nodded and smiled,  then went back to playing as if it were the most natural thing in the world. I woke up. I didn't want to wake up. Whether that was a real dream or not, it comforted my soul immensely.

Creating beauty in the mundane and seeing the good in front of me, instead of only the awful is a driving part of me.  I like to think that this passion is in all of my children; a bit of my wild love for life and people, living and thriving in them.   I live to celebrate and to love. So, to pass by today with only tears, didn't seem natural to me. I had to do something. I thought to myself, Windland was and is my child, a small spirit that I want to blow a kiss to. A kiss with love and maybe somehow an embrace.   So, this afternoon as the boys played, I went outside and thought about the winds of love this baby created. My Windland wasn't a purposeless life. There's something about making traditions, physically doing, saying or singing something that attaches the dreams, loves or aches of our heart to reality and something good, some kind of hope? I wanted Windland to have one. I needed to have one.


I let the day play out naturally, enjoying the boys and then I found myself outside, making a tiny little crown of greenery from the woods in our back yard. This is for her, I thought. Cedar came out with me for a  bit, playing with the leaves and curling vines. As I wove the stems together, I reflected on the time I had felt, before the pain, and tried to harness that joy and elation. Then, coming back inside the house, I sat down and wrote out her name, as beautifully as I could. It was a sweet moment, in the middle of the crazy, right before dinner time.  Each bend and curve of my pen felt sacred, somehow connecting me to her. I started off to scribble a little note on the other side of the paper when, what started off as a sweet letter, soon turned into a gentle tear and then into heart gushing, finishing with a settled soul and maybe even a smile.  In a way, it made me feel happy that I found my own tradition to celebrate the tiny heart that forever changed me.

For the short time my baby was here, Windland's  sweet breeze created beauty just by her presence. The wonder of winter turning into spring, heart break fading into love and disappointment evolving into hope is something I know. Cedar wouldn't have even been a possibility if I hadn't miscarried, seeing I got surprisingly pregnant with him 2 short weeks later. Cedar is my springtime, my love, my little hope that carries the gentle truth of redemption. Am I still sad? Yeah, I am. Can I imagine or think of life without my Cedar baby? Not even for a second. That's the complicated reality of life and love, I suppose.


"Willow"
by: Songs of Water
We hung our harps on the willow tree, still the wind formed hands and plucked out its melodies. 
Our hearts rejoiced as if it were a dream, when the seeds of our tears became a field of wheat. 
Look what he's done, look what he's done for us. He turned our songless night into a symphony of praise.

http://www.reverbnation.com/songsofwater/song/5106298-willow

This was written by a friend of ours, who lost his best friend in an accident right before finding out he and his wife were pregnant with their first child.  The first verse is my favorite: "We hung our harps on the willow trees, still the wind formed hands and plucked out it's melodies." The first half of that line is referencing Psalm 137:2, when the Jewish nation was forced out of their land to live captive, pretty much as slaves, in the land of the then current super power. They had lost all heart, joy and hope. "Hanging up your harps" was like "throwing in the towel." They were done with expecting good. The grief and heartbreak was too much.  The part saying, "Still the wind formed hands and plucked out it's melodies..." Good lord. I listened to this song again, randomly after I had already named Windland and gotten pregnant with Cedar. I burst into tears when the words spilled over into my soul and the gently, haunting chorus filled up my car. Somehow, they were good tears. It comforted me. In some way, a song settled the confusion of my heart, as I was looking for a place to put my emotions. It gave word and tone to the meaning of my disillusioned state. My brain thinks in imagery so, it was the language I needed to hear.  Even in the sadness, my little breeze played a melody. A perfect little song, named Cedar.


As I am sitting here, writing the thoughts of today,  both of my boys are laughing and screaming as loud as they possibly can, as their daddy tickles and chases them around the living room. Cedar, the pure delight of my soul, goes from moods of happiness to frustration, as he realizes he can't run and jump like his big brother can, although he's walking. What? How did that happen?  Kael's curls are a glowing crown of wild, in the early evening light, and I want to kiss his chubby cheeks a thousand times over. I'm soaking up this sweet moment, as if it were the last time my ears would ever again be able to hear the sound of joy. Soaking in the moment has become a gift that has been strengthened in my heart. The art of clinging to the good, pausing and acknowledging the beauty that is in front of me has become my moment by moment practice. Telling my children that I love them is my mantra, holding them to my heart is my physical prayer.  Life has taught and is teaching me this gift.


Today, I'm remembering. I'm remembering the joy of telling my best friends that I was pregnant, jumping around ChickFila like a crazy person. I'm remembering the elation that I felt, when calling my friend Kristina in Florida, squealing on the phone and talking forever that night about this baby being redemption, after such a sad season. There was joy. I'm remembering the look on Sam's face and him instantly telling me girl names that he loved. I remember feeling Windland's goodness inside of my soul, at the kitchen sink and singing to her. I remember loving and dreaming. This is what I'm remembering today.


Windland Sweetheart, 

You were and still are a beautiful dream. Our dream... my dream. 

I love you forever. 

Momma




29 thoughts:

  1. gorgeous photos!

    www.modernsuburbanites.blogspot.com

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  2. I miscarried on june 28th, 2010 and I gave birth to my baby girl on june 28th, 2011. I don't want to believe this was a coincidence. Now I have another baby boy and life goes on but I often think about my 1st baby and I miss him. Thank you for your beautiful words . Lots of love from Paris

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    1. awww sweet friend, oh my heart. so much love to you.

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  3. Jess, this is beautiful. Thinking of you sweet lady.

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  4. This is really beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
    xox
    giedre

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  5. lovely words, so important to remember and love but what you have now and what was only yours for a short time. did you find out the sex of the baby before you miscarried?

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    1. truly is. no, we weren't able to. it was an early miscarriage.

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  6. the power you have to form beauty in a story is astounding. i'm always so grateful for the way you share your heart and what God has done and is doing in it :)

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    1. oh my goodness...thank you so much. what a sweet and kind thing to say! xoxox

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  7. you have got such a way with words, Jess. I am always SO impressed when I read your posts - especially the ones that are so thick with emotion. you are so lucky to be able to express yourself so clearly and beautifully.

    lots of love and light toward you and your sweet family. xo

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    1. really, thank you so much. what a sweet encouragement. xoxo

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  8. This is beautiful and such an intimate moment to share on your blog. Much love to you

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  9. Thank you for sharing. I feel like I've learned so much about life and love and carrying heartache with joy just by reading your blog the past few years. Thank you for your open heart. You and your family are precious. <3

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  10. This was beautifully written, and my heart goes out to you. Lovely words.

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  11. Remembering Windland:

    Beautiful Windland,

    Grandma cannot wait to meet you someday. When your mommy describes you, I ache to see you. Tears begin to pour down my face. Even though it makes me sad, I am glad to remember you. I am reminded that I will get to see you, know you and see what kind of beauty God created when he made you sweetheart. Until that happens, we will celebrate and remember you honey. You have a one-of-a-kind, very special momma, that will make sure of that! =) Please give our heavenly daddy and Jesus a big hug for us sweetie!

    Love you so, so much! ~
    Grandma <3<3<3 xoxo

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  12. So, so sweet. Though I have never miscarried, I remember my mom going through this when i was little. I still think about who that brother or sister would be, how old he or she would be now, what our relationship would be like. I get it - it was your little person, and even though for a brief time, that heartbeat beated with yours, and felt your love. Of this you should be sure.
    Your tribute is absolutely beautiful, and if it heals you to honor Windlan's memory year after year than so be it. You are such a lovong mama to your babies - every one of them.
    xo

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    1. you are so sweet. thank you so much. gosh, you comment really got me. thanks, for reals. xoxo

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  13. Beautiful! Jess I am so blessed to have come across your blog. This is Sarah D from years ago. I have missed your spirit and your heart and am so glad that I have found you in some way again. I loved reading this...I recently lost my baby boy at 3 months and I understand every word you have written. Thanks for being you. Prayers for your beautiful family!

    ~Sarah~

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    1. love you so deeply sarah. and sweet levi....little angel.

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  14. This spoke to me so much. I lost my little one to miscarriage April 8, 2013 and think of he or she every single day. The tears always come. But I find so much peace hearing the stories of other Momma's who share the same heart break. I know I am not alone. Waiting for God to send me my rainbow baby! <3

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  15. This made me weep. My parents chose to have an abortion before they were married, and it has since been the biggest regret in their lives. Knowing that I have a big brother/sister in heaven makes my heart overwhelmed. I wish so badly they had a chance here on earth, but I know they are surrounded by the greatest love of all in heaven. One day we'll meet these sweet angel babies. Lots of love your way, Jess. You have the sweetest spirit. <3

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    1. awwww liv....it will be a grand reunion! xoxoxox love you sweet friend!

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  16. Bawling! I love your heart! <3

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  17. Beautiful!
    It's amazing the connection you feel with mamas who have gone down the dark path of a miscarriage alongside you. We lost our sweet Sky last October. I am due with our first son a day after the anniversary of losing Sky. I find comfort in thinking that my Sky and your Windland are playing, laughing and dancing along with all those other sweet souls that were taken too soon.
    Thank you for sharing your story. :). Much love to you!

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