Today Carly asks us: "Have you done anything special to memorialize your child?" my immediate answer was: yes, I am alive and every breath I take is for her. But I think this project calls for some actual examples, and I have a few.
I've NEVER been a jewelry wearer, the only things that I do wear are pearl earrings and engagement and wedding rings and I actually feel incomplete without those. Since Olivia was born, I have added two more pieces to my never leave home without pieces:
Caroline, Pierre's sister / mine from another mister and Olivia's Tata, got me a bracelet with an O, just like the one she has with a P for Paul, her son and Olivia's cousin/twin (as I was looking forward to calling them their whole lives). Caro gave me this on the weekend of Olivia's due date (July 7th) and I have never taken it off since.
Bea, my mana and one of Olivia's tías, explained to me the idea of birthstones and subsequently gave me the first ever necklace that I actually love: Half a pearl (chiquita's birthstone) with cat ears! Isn't that amazing??? Also one that I never take off.
Both pieces of jewelry are much more to me than pretty things, they represent two women that mean a lot to me and I know that they too are hurting for the niece that they had been waiting for since I got pregnant. Whenever I put those on I feel tata and tía's love for Olivia and I love to feel them loving my daughter.
Please don't jump when you read the following shouting that naming stars is a scam... I know the Royal Observatory has no star named Olivia, but I frankly don't need that much "officialness" here. I had that idea and mentioned it to my mom and her face simply lit up as she loved the idea of being able to look up and know that her first granddaughter is up there somewhere. So, if you know where the Ursa Minor constellation is, smile at it because our Olivia star is shining down on you.
Then we have Olivia's leaf in the tree at Mortlake crematorium, we added her to the “Water bugs and Dragonflies Babies and Children’s Memorial Garden" so she can be there with other babies who left too soon. The memorial is called after a beautiful story by Doris Stickney where she explains death in a very "colourful" way - I encourage you to read it here. By the way, the middle name on the leaf is an inside joke between Pierre, Olivia and I; her middle name is not Gasinettica!
Last on the list of things that already exist or will exist soon is Olivia's bench in Bishops Park. This is MEGA special because it is our friends and family who have raised the money to put a plaque there - THANK YOU! We chose a bench in Bishops Park because not only is it right in front of our home, but it is also the place where Olivia and I walked the most when we were together. Beth, one of Olivia's tías, is helping us coordinate everything with the council and we are hoping that the plaque will be added this year. Once it's there, I invite everyone to go, have a moment there to think about Olivia and if she has been able to bring anything good to your lives (no judgement if she hasn't). I then would like for you to think about yourselves and make sure that you are doing something incredible with your lives, for all the people that don't get a chance to.
Remember, no awesomeness is too small and you can always make a difference to yours or someone else's life.