Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Her Smile

As much as my heart aches sometimes... her smile soothes my soul.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Beyond Words

Stephanie at Beyond Words Designs is creating beautiful, meaningful and treasured art for our lost babies. Please visit her site and have a look at her artwork. Such precious gifts to honour our Angels.


Sunday, March 28, 2010


Each of my parents grandchildren has a special Star on the maternity ward wall at our hospital. The hospital invites you to make a donation to the hospital by purchasing a "star" with your newborn's name on it. My parents have made it a tradition to get one for each of the kids in the family. Just recently, I was back at the hospital and found all of the stars... (Maddie's isn't up yet) and took some photos.

What makes Nicholas' extra special is that he wasn't actually born at this particular hospital, although he was supposed to be. The following is a letter that was published in the hospital's monthly magazine.

~ Letter ~
Southlake Honours All Babies

Dear Editor,

On November 7, 2008, our grandson, Nicholas Warren Reeves was born at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto to our daughter, Leann and husband, Jim Reeves. Unfortunately, Nicholas did not survive the delivery and joins those who are waiting for us all.

Leanna and Jim have two very healthy and active boys, Evan James, 5 and Kyle Gordon, 3. Both boys were born at Southlake and proudly display their "stars" on the wall in the maternity ward along with their cousins.

Our heart felt thanks go to Southlake Regional Health Center Foundation for allowing us to donate a "star" in memory of Nicholas who was scheduled to be born at Southlake and now joins his brothers and cousins on the "baby star" wall.

Ken and Cindy Watkins

Proud of you, buddy

Our oldest son, Evan, (who I am convinced Nicholas would look exactly like) played his last hockey game today and received another medal to add to his collection.

We are all so proud of you, buddy.

Mommy, Daddy, Kyle, Nicholas and Maddie


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

One Hundred Angel Wings!

Hi Everyone, (I posted this on The Angel Wings Memorial Boutique as well.)

I have had an amazing opportunity fall in my lap. I have been asked to create 100+ Angel Wings for a Memorial Service at the hospital in our town! I guess that "excited" isn't the exact word I am looking for because I am certainly not excited that there are so many of us out their grieving our children, but I am truly honoured. Honoured to be able to offer a little ray of comfort to others experiencing such a life altering, horrific loss. Humbled to be a part of such an important ceremony.

I am doing my best to fulfill all incoming wing requests, however, please bare with me. This is a huge task and I must focus on having enough wings completed for the service.

Thank you for your patience and, as always, thank you for all of your support!

Lea xx

Monday, March 22, 2010


Thank you to Michelle for sharing such a profound piece. I really wanted to share with my readers too. Makes so much sense.

Wishing you all a peaceful, gentle day.


I wish my child hadn’t died. I wish I had him back.

I wish you wouldn’t be afraid to speak my child’s name. My child lived and was very important to me. I need to hear that he was important to you as well.

If I cry and get emotional when you talk about my child, I wish you knew that it isn’t because you have hurt me. My child’s death is the cause of my tears. You have talked about my child, and you have allowed me to share my grief. I thank you for both.

I wish you wouldn’t "kill" my child again by removing his pictures, artwork, or other remembrances from your home.

Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn’t shy away from me. I need you more than ever.

I need diversions, so I do want to hear about you; but I also want you to hear about me. I might be sad and I might cry, but I wish you would let me talk about my child, my favorite topic of the day.

I know that you think of and pray for me often. I also know that my child’s death pains you, too. I wish you would let me know things through a phone call, a card or a note, or a real big hug.

I wish you wouldn’t expect my grief to be over in six months. These first months are traumatic for me, but I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over. I will suffer the death of my child until the day I die.

I am working very hard in my recovery, but I wish you could understand that I will never fully recover. I will always miss my child, and I will always grieve that he is dead.

I wish you wouldn’t expect me "not to think about it" or to "be happy". Neither will happen for a very long time so don’t frustrate yourself.

I don’t want to have a "pity party," but I do wish you would let me grieve. I must hurt before I can heal.

I wish you understood how my life has shattered. I know it is miserable for you to be around me when I’m feeling miserable. Please be as patient with me as I am with you.

When I say, "I’m doing okay," I wish you could understand that I don’t feel okay and that I struggle daily.

I wish you knew that all of the grief reactions I’m having are very normal. Depression, anger, hopelessness and overwhelming sadness are all to be expected. So please excuse me when I’m quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky.

Your advice to "take one day at a time" is excellent. I wish you could understand that I’m doing good to handle at an hour at a time.

I wish you understood that grief changes people. When my child died, a big part of me died with him. I am not the same person I was before my child died, and I will never be that person again.I wish very much that you could understand – understand my loss and my grief, my silence and my tears, my void and my pain. But I pray daily that you will never understand.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Reflection and some photos....

Why was yesterday a tough day? I don't know. Maybe it was because I was missing my little boy. The one who would almost be 17 months old. The one who would be running around the driveway, in the mud, getting filthy with his brothers. The one who would be trying desperately to keep up with all of the other kids. The one who's smile would melt mommy's heart over and over again.

After spending most of the week (March Break for the kids) in the beautiful, warm sunshine on the driveway playing, I have been forced, once again, to reflect on what could have been... what should have been. Our Nicholas, playing like all of the other 1 1/2 year olds. As I watch them toddle around, exploring everything in sight, I can't help but wonder.... Wonder what our boy would be up to. Would he have walked early, like his brothers? Or would he be happy enough relaxing in his stroller? On one hand, I feel very protective of those children who are close to Nicholas' "age"... and on the other, it stings.

And once again, my heart is torn.

Happy and full, but so torn and bruised.

We had my beautiful girlfriend come by and take some more pictures... family, but, of course, Miss Madison was the star of the show.



Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cheeky Girl

Just had to share..... think she may be a handful? :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy

Dear Daddy,

I know it's your birthday today. I just want you to know how much I love you and how happy I was to watch you blow out your candles with Evan, Kyle and Maddie. I was there, beside you. My blow was that extra little one at the end.... Kind of like when it always seems to take you one extra time to blow out my special candle. That's me, telling you I'm around. I'm especially in your heart, Daddy. I love you very much and I'm very proud to be your son.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Spring.... and a Ladybug

The last few days have been really beautiful here. Not only has the sun been shining but it's also been warm. Warm enough to be outside for hours with the kids. Warm enough to get Maddie out for some much needed fresh air. Spring doesn't officially arrive until March 20 here, in Canada, so we may still be in for another big snow storm, but I doubt it. The air smells fresh, new, light and airy. The driveways are filled with children out playing road hockey, tag and skipping. Neighbours are emerging from a long, cold winter stuck indoors. Our tulips are even starting to sprout in the garden!

The change of the seasons will always be bittersweet for me now. The subtle signs of new life. The brown, dead grass slowly reviving and turning to green. The sun feeling that much closer to earth as it shines to heat our skin. The musical sound of birds migrating back for the summer months....


A constant reminder that our world, the seasons, continue to change. Nature comes 'back to life' in the spring. If only it were that simple...

While I was out with the kids yesterday I had a very special visitor land on my water bottle. What a beautiful sight. What a peaceful and fulfilling feeling.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Grandma...

I went to see my Grandma yesterday. She is old. She is sick. She is just plain tired. She has had her up days and down days for a while now, but with Madison's arrival, me not being able to leave her for too long and not wanting to take her to a 'germy' nursing home, I have put off seeing my incredible Grandma. So yesterday, my husband offered to drive me the 1 1/2 hours to see her. I think he knew I needed it more than I did.

Grandma is so tired. She slept so soundly the entire time I was there. I just ran my fingers through her hair, touched her incredibly soft, perfect skin and talked to her as if she was wide awake. I talked to her about her new baby great-granddaughter. I talked to her about how amazing she is and what a blessing she is in our lives. I talked about the boys and asked her to give Nicholas a huge squeezy hug for us when she could. I talked to her about all of the things I love about her. I thanked her for bringing up such an amazing and strong son, my Dad. I thanked her for the countless meals we shared together as I grew up. I thanked her for being my inspiration in the kitchen. She is a sweet soul. Gentle and kind and she has loved us all so very much.

It's her time. As strong as she is, I don't want her to fight anymore. I find it really amazing how our views change so drastically once faced with such tragedy. Before losing Nicholas I think I would be beside myself right now. Worrying about Grandma's death. Worrying about how to deal with such a loss. Since losing Nicholas, I know that there will never be a greater loss than that of losing a child and while I am sad that Grandma's time with us on earth is coming to an end, I feel at peace with it. I feel like she is at peace with it. She is 90 years old. She has had a full, rich, beautifully graceful life and we are lucky to have her wisdom and love shine in all of us.

This picture was taken last Thanksgiving. More upbeat days.

Love you, Grandma. xx

Friday, March 5, 2010

Thank you, Katy!

Thank you so much to Katy at In Hannah's Honour for these beautifully stunning gifts! I won a giveaway from Katy a little while ago, but, to be honest, I kind of forgot about it. Imagine my surprise when this package came to my door! Absolutely amazing. I am continuously blown away by the kindness, thoughtfulness and compassion in others....

Nicholas' Blessing Ring. So inspiring!

Madison's baby blocks. A lot of work went into these! And the colour is just perfect!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Session

Well, I had my first session of therapy and it went well. Dr. ____ is very nice and I think that we will be a good fit. Her office is in her home. It's very comforting and welcoming, just like sitting in your very own family/living room.

Of course, the session was mentally draining and emotionally exhausting, but talking about our experience in "the raw" again was also nice. As painful as it is to talk about losing Nicholas, I find comfort in remembering everything, reliving our experience, because it's then that I realize that I will never forget... something that so many of us are terrified of.

I often wondered if I blocked certain things out. Blocked out parts of the most horrendous experience of my life, just to survive. I often wonder if there are things that I just don't remember. There are. There are definitely moments of pause, of unclarity. When you are living an unimaginable nightmare something just takes over. Shock, I guess... and you are somehow guided through each moment without too much emotional participation. I remember feeling like that. Like no matter how hard I wanted to remember each and every moment in that delivery room I felt like someone else was in control. Like I was out of my own body, trusting another power to remember for me. I am grateful that I remember what I do. That I remember how truly beautiful and perfect our son was/is. That I remember his sweet smell, his gorgeous hair, his peaceful face. Every day I remember what a true blessing he is to us.

As we dig deeper in upcoming sessions I'm almost positive that other things will come up. Things that will help me heal. Things that will help me remember. My goal in these sessions is to find a way to manage the range of emotions that come to surface in my mind each day. I hope to learn how to better allow the love and the loss in my heart to co-mingle. I hope to learn how to navigate through the constant anxiety I now feel in my chest. I hope to learn peace. Peace within my own soul and peace for our sweet Nicholas.

The doctor asked me if I was angry with Madison. The question somewhat shocked me. I felt myself become a bit defensive, however the more I thought about why she asked me that the more I understood. My instant reaction was NO, of course not.... and I stand by that 100%. What I do feel is quite the opposite. I feel horribly heartbroken that I am so crazy relieved and grateful that she is here, safe and in my arms. Sometimes those feeling are so strong that I feel like it's a betrayal to Nicholas. I am not angry that Maddie is here and Nicholas is not. I am just angry and sad that Nicholas is not. Period. Margaret said in one of my last posts that she believed that Madison would have been a part of our family in some way no matter what. I think I believe that. If Nicholas were here I don't think that we would have thought about having another baby, but I would like to believe that Madison is meant to be and she would have made her presence known in some form or another.

More to come.... xoxo

My Sweet, My Lovely

A friend of mine gave me a beautiful cd after Madison was born. It's by Plumb, called Blink. The songs are so gorgeous. Here are a couple of my favorites.

I will often hide out in Maddie's nursery (with her, of course) and just listen. Take in every comforting word. Enjoy the soothing melodies...

My Sweet, My Lovely (Madison's song)

God Will Take Care Of You