This morning it was -10 on my way to work. I as usual disregarded the frigid temps and left for work with wet hair, which instantly froze. I did at least wear boots to work instead of just my flats, and I’m thankful I did.
On my way home tonight I felt the urge to stop by Charlottes graveside. I pass it everyday to and from work but rarely stop. The site is important and meaningful to me, but it does not hold her spirit or many memories for me. It does however symbolize my loss and at times its very comforting to stop by remember her and kiss two fingers and place them on her footprints.
When I stopped today, it didn’t occur to me that it would be difficult to find her gravestone, due to the snow. In the children’s garden where Charlie is buried her grave is nearly centered on a statue. From that starting point I found the area I hoped was hers and began to kick the snow out with my boots. It took awhile and as I was doing it I realized how cathartic it was to unbury my little girl’s gravestone. Wishing of course that it was she instead that was being unburied, but just finding her name and footprints were reliving. It’s a fear of many bereaved parents that their child’s memory will be forgotten or ignored, and her graveside being buried in snow triggered that for me. Uncovering it brought her back, made it so that she could once again be identified and remembered in that space. Once it was uncovered I was able to kiss her little footprints like I do every time we visit. It was what I needed. I didn’t stay long, the air is far too cold today to stay outside long, but the short visit allowed me to grieve and remember her in the quiet space of the children’s garden.
I was grateful I visited but also instantly reminded of our first time at the cemetery. Near Charlie’s grave I saw markers in the snow labeling the spaces for a new child to be buried. The reason they are out signifies someone else’s loss. Someone else had to come to the children’s garden and pick the space where their child’s body will lay, where they will visit and grieve their child. It breaks my heart to think of anyone else having to go through the same loss.
The graveside provides a space for grief, this foundation provides a space to honor and remember. I’m so grateful for that, for an outlet to channel goodness from pain and loss. Charlie Girl’s foundation is providing an outlet to care for others, and to remember and honor her in the process.
With the new year beginning I’m reminded and motivated to do many things: eat better, work out more – or at all :), invest more in my family and faith, and finish what I’ve started. This foundation is part of that. It has begun but there is more to do! We need now to raise money. Money towards research – to eliminate the need for gravestones like Charlottes, money to provide financial support – to children and families dealing with congenital heart defects. It’s time for the foundation to grow!
In recent weeks, multiple companies have reached out willing to partner with us and begin raising funds for A Charlie Girl Foundation. These exciting opportunities will get us started in growing this foundation more quickly. Keep an eye on the website, and Facebook pages for more information about our partners. Our newly created ‘partner’ tab will provide information as well. If you or someone you know is interested in partnering with us, please connect with us by using the contact tab above. We look forward to hearing from you!
In closing I would be remise in not thanking those who recently have donated and supported the foundation. In December alone we had multiple individuals and families donate via the website! Each donation makes a significant difference, and we cannot thank you enough for your support! Thank you all who have donated to this worthy cause!
With Love, Kelly