Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Remembering Annaleigh - One Month

Today marks one month since we lost our beautiful Annaleigh. I would like to tell you that it has gotten easier, but that is just not the case. Well, maybe it has gotten a little easier. Maybe we cry every other day now instead of every day. Maybe I only feel like I let her down 95% of the time instead of 100% of the time. But we certainly do not miss her any less. There's also a level of guilt that's been added to the mix, the one that comes with each realization of things that will be easier with two babies as opposed to three. We no longer need to buy a larger car. We won't need as much help with the babies and won't require anyone to stay over and help with nighttime feedings. It will be easier to find a caregiver when I go back to work.

Each time one of these thoughts pop into our heads we feel terrible. However, we often get the feeling that in some way our little Annaleigh left this world to help us out - that she sacrificed herself in order to allow us to be better parents to her brother and sister. And that is how we most remember our sweet girl - as our tiny hero. Brave, strong, selfless and noble - a better person in just 8 weeks than most of can hope to be in our entire long lives.

Shortly after Annaleigh's funeral we received a card in the mail from one of Joe's former students, Casey. She had written a beautiful poem in memory of Annaleigh. On the one month anniversary of her death I think it is appropriate to share it with everyone - I truly hear Annaleigh's voice speaking to me as I read it. Thank you, Casey.

I will still remember you
As I look down from up above
As I see you, may family
As I feel your warming love

I will still remember you
And the encouragement you gave me every day
You might not know this but
It helped me grow strong in many ways

I will still remember you
As I look down and reminisce
About all the happiness you brought me
And all the kisses I'm going to miss

I will still remember you
As I fly with the angels up above
As I watch over you, my family
As your guardian angel of love

I know you will remember me
As I watch over you each day
You will always be on my mind
As I watch my brother and sister play

I will still remember you
But how could I forget?
You two gave me the most beautiful life I could ask for
Despite this mournful sunset

I want you to remember me
With each rising and setting sun
I will still remember you
As you could be replaced by none

I will still remember you
As I look down from up above
Waiting for you my family
The ones I truly love


Lauren said...

That's simply beautiful. I want you both to know that I think about Annaleigh every singe day and I talk to her sometimes. She is with you and will always watch over her big brother and little sister. We miss you, Annaleigh!

The Home Cook said...

What a beautiful poem. I know Annaleigh is watching over her brother and sister. ((HUGS))

Colleen said...

What a beautiful poem by Casey. And a beautiful post, Brooke. Thinking of Annaleigh today and everyday...

Marcie said...

That's a beautiful poem. Annaleigh is constantly thought about, remembered everyday by so many people. If you think she left the world an easier place for you, know that she left so many people a huge pile of lessons on life. Although she may not have been sent here for that purpose she made sure she wasn't leaving without accomplishing that...

tracy michelle said...

This is my first time commenting, but I have been following your blog for quite a while now. I think of your family and Annaleigh every single day. Reading your blog has given me a new take on life. I wish you strength on this difficult day. *hugs from a stranger*

JoLynn said...

What a beautiful poem! I have thought about you going through some of the difficulties you described. I won't even try to relate because I can't. But I will tell you that I am in awe by your honesty and your strength. It is clear how much you loved Annaleigh and that you will always carry a part of her with you.

As a side note, I have been wanting to share a book I have read with you. It is called "90 Minutes in Heaven" by Don Piper. Don is a pastor who died for 90 minutes and retells of his experience. Sounds kind of weird, I know, but I thought you might be intrigued by what he described because it sheds some light on the possibility of what Annaleigh is experiencing.

The Mommy said...

I have also read "90 Minutes in Heaven" and my parents went to a "lecture" by Don Piper. It's truly an amazing story. It makes real what those of us who are Christians have always believed. We really do go to not only a better place but the best place.

This poem written for your sweet girl was beautiful. Your honesty is also beautiful. Another poem that has always helped my family through a loss:

Miss Me – But Let Me Go...

When I come to the end of the road

And the sun has set for me,

I want no rites in a gloom filled room,

Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little- But not too long.

And not with your head bowed low.

Remember the love that we once shared,

Miss me– But let me go.

For this is a journey that we all must take,

And each must go alone.

It’s all part of the Master’s plan,

A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick of heart,

Go to the friends we know.

And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,

Miss me– But let me go.

Gretchen said...

That poem is beautiful and I think that it was inspired by Annaleigh. She was this tiny little fragile baby yet her time here made such an impact on so many people, people like me... that don't really know you but was drawn in one day by... Baby Annaleigh. She has taught me things and a lot of people probably wonder how that is possible seeing I've never met her but in her pictures... her beauty... her strength... her courage... the way her eyes sparkled like stars...! I know that you may feel that you let her down but God makes the ultimate plan and I really think that Annaleigh is His beautiful Angel side kick that did something so noble for her family and for her brother and sister, I think she was given a choice and though she loved you more than humanly possible, she chose to be able to take care of you from above, to watch over her family from above, she was so strong and ultimately wanted to look out for her family and she didn't want to suffer and she certainly doesn't want you to suffer, she wanted to make things easier on you, not more difficult and you need to truly believe that and Be comforted by the little things she does for you and sends to you for comfort on the days she can knows are more difficult than usual! By the butterflies that have made a new home, that were sent by your precious baby girl, she must love butterflies! Be comforted in hearing her precious little voice that she sent to you through a poem from a student and most of all be comforted by your two little miracles, Charlie and Lily. Know that they have a very very special guardian angel and don't forget that Annaleigh lives on in both of them, I know that she is there helping them get stronger everyday! They are after all triplets (that bond can never be bent nor broken) she is as much a part of them as you as their Mommy and Daddy are! I pray that by each passing day you don't forget Annaleigh in any sense but have her memory live on, but as a happy one, one that makes you smile, think of the precious time you were given with her... though cut short still a blessing and a gift (not many people get that much time with a true Angel), I know that she wouldn't want you to be sad about not being there with you anymore, but instead happy and thankful that you were so lucky to have an angel here on earth with you for the time you did and know she really will be with you all, as a family in one form or another... Always and Forever until that sweet day you are together again! It wasn't a goodbye... in any means!

I pray that you find comfort today! Keep on being the wonderful and strong parents I have come to know you as, I can't imagine the pain and heartache you must feel, but do let sweet Annaleigh comfort you from above and through her precious brother and sister!

hopefuls #1 said...

Prayers for you today....

Kristine McKowen said...

Beautiful poem!

Rachel said...

That poem is just beautiful! Simply says everything.

Valerie said...

My prayers continue to be with your family.

jennifercrane said...

That poem is beautiful. I can't believe it's been a month already. I'm sending you warm thoughts and wishing you a great day with Charlie & Lily to help dull the pain a bit. I know it won't be easy. I admire your strength and courage.

Kiane (from SAIF) said...

What a beautiful poem! You all continue to be in my thoughts & prayers every day and I am amazed by your strength. I hope you can find comfort today. Annaleigh is a true angel. She will always be with you and watching over Charlie and Lily & the two of you.


Anonymous said...

This is also my first time posting. I have been following your blog for many weeks now, and I want you to know that you are always in my thoughts and prayers. I think about all of you every day and I smile when I see that things continue to go well for Charlie and Lily. You have a beautiful family and are lucky (yes, lucky!), to have an angel watching over you. Not everyone is lucky enough to have that. Stay positive and support each other everyday!

Hugs, love, and prayers,


Flutterby918 said...

Wow that was a wonderful poem. I am glad to hear that some days are a little easier. I am also glad to hear that Charlie and Lily are doing so well. I can't wait until you are all home as a family.


Mom2Be said...

I can't believe it's been one month already...don't feel too bad about those things you're thinking. Everyone deals with grief differently...maybe Annaleigh did leave this world early to help you guys out. Anyway, I'm blabbering and probably not helping you feel better. Beautiful poem, so appropriate! (hugs)

Anonymous said...

Your blogs never cease to amaze me. This poem is absolutely beautiful. You continue to have strength & should be so proud to be the wonderful parents you are to all three beautiful babies. I, as many do, think of your family everyday & think of your little angel in heaven. Tonight I will pray even more than I already do.

bethanyjg said...

Beautiful poem. Thinking of you guys every day. -Bethany (lilcrablegs)

Anonymous said...

Your honesty and ability to convey your thoughts in writing continues to amaze me. Your beautiful angel UNDERSTANDS. She does. And she's giving you the strength to get through her absence. I might also add that she is doing a fine job listening to mommy and daddy's wishes to look after her brother and sister-- how they've grown! I will say an extra prayer for you all today. I am so sorry that I forgot-- I could have sworn that the 27th was the day for some reason. God bless you all.

Sandi B's Mom-Eve said...

Annaleigh your little cherub spends her waking hours in God's love and glory now. Protecting her in His arms and sending you her kisses in every sparkling star you see above. God bless you little cherub. God bless her loving family and all those who surround them with their love. Amen.

Jill said...

Thinking of you...

Rebecca, from CT said...

What a great poem!! And I can't believe it has been a month since Annaleigh left you. She may not be with you in person, but she will always be a part of Charlie and Lily...she will always watch over all of you!!

Lindsay said...

Thinking of you today.

Jen & Jeff said...

That poem was really beautiful and certainly reduced me to tears. I just can't imagine the pain of losing your beautiful girl. I can't imagine.. It just isn't fair. I hope you are finding all the comfort you can in Charlie and Lily's continued improvement. Many hugs..

Michele from FTHS said...

What a beautiful, special poem for a beautiful, special angel. My thoughts are with you today as always. I speak of you all often to my family and friends. You all have touched so many people and continue to be in so many thoughts and prayers. God bless you all including Annaleigh who is watching over all of you.

Stephanie said...

That is a lovely poem. You are both so brave and so strong- I am sure Annaleigh is watching down and will continue to make things "easier" for you and your family.

cejer said...

Brought tears to my eyes .. such a sweet poem ... Your family has been such an encouragement to me a total stranger .. I will continue to follow your blog:) Always in my prayers ..

Robert and Carmen said...

What a beautiful poem. Thoughts are with you.

Quince Family said...

I miss Annaleigh. I know I never met her, but I miss her for you. I know she is just fine up there in heaven and I know she's super busy watching over her family...but I think about her every single day. I think of her when I see my boys because she reminds me to appreciate every moment. I think of her when I get overwhelmed with housework, working full time, etc. because she keeps me focused on what is truly important--my time with my babies. She has made such an impact on me and has forever changed me for the better. Thank you, Annaleigh, and know that you are missed by many.
So I am thinking about you and Joe today and I'm glad you have Lily and Charlie to snuggle up to. That poem is just beautiful! What a talented and special author.
Hugs to you all,
Melissa (shady06)

Anonymous said...

My dear sweet Annaleigh. You already know that there isn't a day that goes by that we don't talk and I don't cry and I just thought I was an overly emotional menopausal woman. Mommy and Daddy need your help to get through all of this.

Joe and Brooke. You are doing a wonderful job by keeping Annaleigh alive in your hearts. Your words -your tears for her but know that she is in a perfect life watching over you - waiting until you all meet up again. Until then be there for each other and stay connected.

Thank you Casey - the poem is really beautiful.

All My Love, Auntie :) xooxo

Anonymous said...

You guys are truly such an inspiration! You are in my thoughts and prayers always.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful poem! My thoughts are with you now, as they are always. I truly feel that this special little girl was never meant to stay on this earth... she was meant to be an angel, watching over her mommy, daddy, brother, and sister. Maybe her guidance was necessary so that Lily and Charlie could thrive... she's their own personal angel.
My mom passed away 6 months before I got pregnant with my miracle baby. As much as I missed her and wished she could be there, part of me felt like I wouldn't have gotten pregnant without my mom's help from wherever she is. I feel like it's the same for Annaleigh... Charlie and Lily need her up there!

Sonya said...

An absolutely beautiful poem for such a beautiful little angel. I think about your family often and especially your precious Annaleigh...I know she's up in heaven playing with Carynne and Sydney. They will take good care of her...

Staci said...

Thinking of you all...*hugs*

ONE OUT OF SIX said...

Beautiful. Thinking of all of you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brooke,
Beautiful post. I've followed your blog from the Bump. I have a similar situation since I lost one of my twin girls 5 months ago and understand all the feelings you expressed.
If you've ever need support, you can find me on the Bump on the Loss Board.
Fellow Jersey Girl, Lewis514

Jo Ann at FTHS said...

Once again and always: thank you for sharing! The world is a good place, but it is imperfect and unpredictable; so much is out of our control, even though we wish it to be otherwise. So, grief, yes; but guilt, no, never!

A human life, however long or short, is significant in as much as it has made a difference, has had an impact. Annaleigh's life was significant, IS significant. Look at all the people she's touched! Include me among them. If I can ever be of any assistance, you know where to find me.

Amy said...

How sweet!
Annaleigh has touched many lives and will never be forgotten.
~ "Macchiatto" from Multiple Mamas

Katrina said...

She will always be with you.

Anonymous said...

tears in my eyes and i have the chills... i can't believe it's been a month... but i think Casey really captured Annaleigh's voice-- she will forever be such an important part of your beautiful family...
love, nikki joy

Jennifer and Daniel said...

What an absolutely beautiful poem,
God Bless You Little Angel... You were truly an inspiration...Even though we never had a chance to meet we think of you often. We know you are having fun in heaven with all the other little angels, and looking down and protecting your brother and sister.
God Bless You All !!

Rach De La Rosa said...

I found this poem and found it achingly beautiful. I thought you might enjoy it as well...
"I Couldn't Stay Long"

"You planted me, Lord
In the womb of my mother
and let me know love
unlike that of another.
I couldn't stay long,
but I'll never forget
the way mom and dad
took care of me yet.
Please trust the Lord
and soon you will see,
to some that's a lifetime
that will never be.
God must have loved us
an awful lot
to let our souls touch
though our arms could not.
I have to go now,
But please know I'm okay.
Remember I love you
and I'll see you one day."

- Sue Lueck Carlson