All week I’ve been trying to decide how to start this week’s blog as I have a lot of emotion sitting at the surface ready to pour. Sometimes for no apparent reason it just needs to emerge so here it is……
I walked into my favourite florist this morning and there, staring at me, with such softness, was a pretty pink bunch of Lisianthus.
We announced the arrival of our twins on the afternoon of 14th November 2011, shortly after they were born. Two days after they arrived (which happened to be the morning after we lost Charlize), we received the most magnificent bunch of bright Gerberas congratulating us on the arrival of our girls. This was from a very dear friend of my sisters. He knows his bunch of flowers and card is very special to us as it’s the only one congratulating us on the arrival of two little girls. The majority of the flowers and cards that followed were sympathy cards and white flowers.
Until we lost Charlize I had never seen white bouquets of flowers before. They have a real purity and softness about them which is why I guess they are created for when someone we love becomes an Angel.
We received so many flowers after our loss; even the nurses commented that they have never seen a room overflowing like ours was.
The Lisianthus was a prominent flower in all of these bouquets. The flower looks like a rose but a droopy version of the rose and I fell in love with it instantly. Until then my favourite flowers had always been Gerberas.
On the 22nd November 2011 our immediate family and my best friend all made their way to a beautiful Park located right on Pittwater. This is where we had a very moving memorial ceremony for Charlize. We handed everyone a Lisianthus. At the end of the service my husband and I along with everyone else placed our flowers onto the water and watched as the gentle waves took them away into the sea.
It was drizzling on this day and I was upset as I had wanted sunshine to celebrate my beautiful little girl. One of the nurses gave me a hug just before the memorial and said to me “The sun may not be shining today but there are tears from Heaven”.
Watching the flowers drift away to Charlize I was glad the sun wasn’t shining as that meant there was no one out on the water to spoil this moment of utter grief and sadness.
Every time I see the Lisianthus I think of Charlize and all the special moments we have had with her or to celebrate her.
I have told many of my friends when they are expecting their first baby that they walk into the hospital one person and leave the hospital a very different person, a Mummy, a grown up, a new improved you.
When a mother loses her child she too leaves hospital a different person.
Before I had children I think I was quite a tough person, I could be difficult, stubborn, hard, unforgiving. At times I can still be all of those things.
When I held my firstborn, my little man, I instantly changed. I became softer, forgiving, reliant, and generous. I became a better person. My little people made me a better human being. There is no love like the love between a mother and her child, it cannot be broken.
I was mildly worried when I had my second child, a little girl, that I wouldn’t have enough love – but once again when she was put in my arms I melted and the love poured. I became softer again. My patience may be more strained because of her but she made me look at life in a whole new light all over again. For she is a different child to my son and needs to be loved and cared for differently. She made me wiser, more resilient, more open.
Then there were the twins. I was elated, so special to be growing two perfect mirror imaged little human beings. I had to be more organised and spread my time even thinner but I couldn’t wait.
When they were born I knew that feeling of love would be huge and it was. It was so doubly overflowing that I couldn’t contain it. Two perfect little girls created and grown by us. How lucky we were.
The instant they were born we had even close members of family telling us that we could lose them and to be prepared for it. It made me angry; they rode them off so quickly because of their lack of informed opinions on having and reviving premature babies. There was never any doubt in our minds that at 27 weeks we wouldn’t ensure the medical team did everything possible to keep our little girls alive.
In the past two years I don’t think I have ever experienced so much anger in my entire life. You would think that the people closest to you would be there by your side filled with positivity – especially if they are parents themselves.
You would expect total strangers would even restrain themselves from saying such hurtful things like “well you should be thankful that one of your babies survived”
You would expect your friends would rally around to nurture and help you not judge and criticise you.
We have been judged countless times by those we love because of our decisions to protect our daughter from germs.
A runny nose for you can be ventilation in hospital for her.
No immunisations for you can mean death for her.
A cuddle from a child can mean a respiratory infection for her.
She is different, she is premature, she is a surviving twin who remembers her sister and misses her every day. This is okay, this is normal and this is not me being crazy and making things up, even the health professionals believe this.
Because she is different and because her soul mate is gone, because I lost my daughter I am different.
I am angry.
I am sad.
I am bitter.
I am frustrated.
I am grieving.
When you ask me if I’m ok and I tell you no – that’s ok. All I need is a hug and a shoulder to cry on. I’ll tell you if I need more, I am glad that you asked.
I will say her name often.
She grew inside me.
She loved her sister.
She loved me.
She kicked me.
She is a part of me.
She opened her eyes – she had beautiful dark eyes.
She wrapped her hand around my finger. Her whole hand was one third of the size of my pinkie finger.
She was tiny.
She was perfect.
She is my third child.
She has one brother and two sisters.
She has four grandparents and three great-grandparents.
She has ten cousins.
She is missed.
She is loved.
She is my first and last memory every day.
She is my broken heart.
I am different because of her.
She made me a better person;
A person that feels blessed that she let me be her Mummy;
A person who will fight till my last breath for her name and honour to be shouted from the roof tops because she existed and should never be forgotten;
A person who will fight every day to protect her siblings;
A person who has cut people out and let people in;
A person who has surrounded herself with loving, nurturing friends and family and who is very thankful for them;
A person who raises her children differently because of her;
A person who knows that the pain of a broken heart is real and terrifyingly painful.
The Lisanthius reminds me of her and makes me smile and at the same time will make me cry.
She is Charlize and I am her Mummy.