32/52: A Peach Colored Nightgown

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

We celebrated Riley's birthday last Sunday. After Mass, I took her to get a haircut, bought her a new dress, and then for her birthday dinner, she wanted pizza with root beer. Macaroons for dessert. Later that night, I couldn't sleep so I logged into my old email address for the first time in years and found the original email I sent out to our friends to announce her birth (this was before the days of Facebook). It brought back All the Feelings.

My grandma died unexpectedly not long after I found out I was pregnant with Riley. I cried almost every night of my pregnancy. Losing my grandma shattered my heart into thousands of pieces and not even the joy of being pregnant did much to help put them back together. But on August 17th, this beautiful baby of ours was born and it changed us forever. Her sweet entrance into this world and into our lives reminded me that with death there is also new life. Slowly, she helped mend my broken heart. 

One of the last gifts my grandma gave me before she passed was an extra large, peach colored nightgown. It wasn't a maternity nightgown, but she knew that if she bought it big enough, it would fit throughout my entire pregnancy. Eight years and three babies later, I still have it. Sometimes Riley even wears it to sleep. Seeing her wear that nightgown is a reminder of the healing her birth brought to my grief stricken heart. It's a reminder that even though my grandma is no longer here with us physically, she lives on through my daughter and through a peach colored nightgown. 

Happy Birthday Riley!! Here's to all the Goodness and Beauty you bring to the world! 

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014" 

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