Our latest projects

Ted and I working on a few art projects.  We are working on a big piece for Baby M's bedroom - it will be something for Baby M but also in memory of Max.  The idea came from one of my blog readers.  I think it will be really wonderful.  I am making a baby board book (a book for babies on thick cardboard) about his big brother, Maxie.  I want to introduce Maxie to Baby M early so he always knows that he has a big brother watching over him.  There will be pictures of Maxie in the book and little things about him - Maxie likes to take baths, Maxie likes Greek Yogurt...you get the picture.  I am also working on Baby M's baby scrap book - it will be filled with photos of Ted and I, ultrasound photos, and other announcements and stuff from his birth.  Here are a few shots of Maxie's book.

Pictures of Maxie in the womb

Card from Auntie Beth and Sadie and a card from my 
darling husband

Trees and Israel Bond for Maxie

Ted has been quietly working on a project of his own.  One that he didn't even tell me he has been working on for several weeks.  He didn't want to upset me.

Ted has been working on designing Maxie's headstone.  The thought brings me to my knees.  Maxie will have a headstone - because he is dead.  I hate that this is our reality.

My sweet husband has been coming up with the language and artwork to honor and memorialize his child's life.  His child, whom he loved more than life itself.  It hurts my heart and I know it has been incredibly emotional for him.  He wants it to be perfect because his son is/was so precious to him - his very reason for being.  He left me out to start because he wanted to protect me.  Ted is the most incredible man I have ever known.  He sits in the other room at his computer with his face hanging sadly.  With his heart in his throat, I am sure, diligently designing the stone that will cover his son's grave.  It is heartbreaking.  How can I be so blessed to have Ted and at the same time SO cursed to have lost Max?

We visited the cemetery on Sunday.  Ted wanted to look at the various headstones to get an idea of how they look over time.  It was the first time I had been there in several months.  It rips my heart out to go there.  When we go to the cemetery, Ted always tells the guard at the gate that "We are here to visit our son".  The sentence hangs in my mind - I can't even fathom its meaning.  There was a fresh grave being covered up with grass a few spots over from Max.  Max's area was tented from a recent funeral, which gave us some shade.  The special stones and rocks that have been put on his temporary marker are still there.  There are several pinwheels, still in the ground.  My heart sank deep into my stomach the minute we drove up.  I sat there for a while, talking to Max, crying tears that came from deep in my soul.  How could the little monkey that lived inside of me, that I gave birth to, be lying in a box under this ground?

Later, while Ted walked around the cemetery looking at headstones, I got up and walked to my grandparents graves.  I wasn't sure what to say to them.  I am trying to censor myself on this blog these days so I am not going to tell you everything that I was thinking.  Some thoughts however are: Are they protecting Maxie?  Are they with him?  How did this all happen?  I've heard a lot of stories in these past months about people dying and then coming back to life knowing that their deceased great- aunt or other relative "saved them" and sent them back to the living.  Without getting into it, I sometimes wonder where my deceased relatives were when they saw my baby was about to join them. (I'm not censoring enough - go ahead and get mad.)

When I ran into Ted again, back by Maxie's grave, he suggested we go up to visit my grandparents.  He picked a nice stone from Maxie's grave and we walked up there together.  We asked them to take care of Maxie.  I told them silently that I miss them.  It was good we went back up.

Ted had come to a decision about the material that we will use for the headstone.  He has nearly finalized the design.  We will be unveiling Maxie's headstone in a private ceremony in June.  I really hate feeling like this.  I am being careful not to drag you in too deeply - but the feeling in my heart around all of this (and really - ALL OF THIS) is SO heavy.  I am so grateful to have Ted as my husband.  I am so grateful that he is talented and artistic.  I am so grateful that Maxie has such a good daddy.


Jenny Romanowski said...

Your ANGRY...it is what it is! Don't be sorry. I picture myself clawing at the ground coveredron grass and mud...nothing would suprize me short of that. Keep going! All warm wishes your way! Always thinking of you Max and Ted.

Lindsay Pickering said...

Please let Ted know that I understand the feeling of having to sum up one's life in 4 words. It is an excruciating task. My mom's headstone was originally a companion stone, that we had to replace after Darryl was buried next to her, so I have had to design 3 headstones. My heart breaks for everything you both are going through. Loving you...

jessica said...

Maxie has a wonderful Daddy and a wonderful Mommy who love him very, very much. No parent should ever have to design a headstone for their beloved child. I am so sorry that this is the way it is. My heart bleeds for the two of you, for Maxie and for Baby M.

Leslie K. said...

The image of Ted sitting at a computer designing a headstone for his baby is so, so heartbreaking, and also such a poignant expression of how you both give everything you have and everything you are to honor little Max. What amazing, loving parents you both are. Please, please try not to worry about dragging your readers "in too deeply." We come here because we care about what you are going through and feeling, the whole range of it. We can handle it.

robyn said...

the projects that you and ted are working on sound fabulous...a beautiful way to remember maxie and to let baby m know who his big brother was. i am sure working on a headstone for the son you shouldn't have lost has to be so painful, but it's a beautiful thing that ted is doing. he truly is a great person, as are you and i am so happy that you have each other. love to you all.