My Lila Stone

I've had my Lila stone since I first got it at Lila's memorial. I held it up during my memorial speech to her and told everyone about the stones. I've carried that stone with me wherever I went since that day. There have been some close calls where I've almost lost it. It fell out of my pocket in DC by the Washington Monument but for some reason I realized it wasn't in my pocket and I was able to find it. I almost lost it over a friends house while playing with Evie and her friends. We got home and I didn't have it, but it ended up being in between their couch cushions. And there have been countless times that it has fallen out of my pocket but miraculously has never broken.

But two days ago, it fell out of my pocket in our kitchen and shattered on the floor. I had a feeling that this would happen eventually since I take it everywhere with me, but I was stunned and just stared. That stone felt like it was a living part of Lila that I took everywhere with me and when I saw it in pieces all over the floor, I got a rush of those raw emotions that I had the days and weeks after Lila died. I did not expect that. I got choked up telling Jenny that it broke. Evie was asking me what happened to my Lila stone and I could barely tell her the story without getting upset. I had my Lila stone for 4.5 years, took it with me every day, it became a part of me and now it was shattered. I has been a while since I had those raw feelings and it took me by surprise since I wasn't expecting that. 

Evie and her barely 3 year old wisdom asked me "if I pick out a new Lila stone for you, will that make you happy?" I said yes and she picked out a new pink one for me. She was really cute while picking it out and it did make me feel better. I was able to slowly superglue most of the original stone back together. Maybe this was Lila's way of reminding me of how far we've come and how we've had to slowly glue the pieces of our life back together. It is mostly complete but there are still holes that can never be filled since all the pieces could not be found.  - Mike


Lila turns 4

Lila's 4th birthday was on Tuesday, January 31st. Four years is so unbelievable. It just does not seem possible that it has been that long and we still miss her as much as we did four years ago. The past three years, we had some people over on Lila's birthday but since it was on a Tuesday this year, we decided to do something different. We thought of several places that we went while Jenny was pregnant with her that were memorable. We picked four places to go visit and sprinkle glitter to celebrate Lila on her birthday. We went to Simmons Farm, where we picked out pumpkins in the October that Jenny was pregnant with Lila. We visited our old apartment where we lived when Jenny was pregnant with Lila and when she was born. We went to the North Shore of Pittsburgh by the stadiums. I ran the Turkey Trot that Thanksgiving and Jenny sat on a bench and had a nice conversation with a homeless man while watching me run. For some reason the bench was no longer there so we took a picture of where it used to be. And finally we went to Phipps Conservatory where we saw the Christmas lights display in the December before Lila was born. At each location, we sprinkled glitter. That was definitely Eve's favorite part and there are heaps of glitter at all four locations. 

This was therapeutic for us and it was helpful for us to have something to on Lila's 4th birthday. That night we went out and got lobster rolls downtown. There is nothing special about lobster rolls, we just really wanted them since they were something really different than what we are used to. Eve was also singing songs from "Frozen" very loudly at dinner so she helped us out in her own way. Even though we did things differently this year and we were a little nervous that it would be more difficult, we were still able to remember and celebrate Lila on her birthday. - Mike


The Holidays

No matter how many years go by all these tips below (Carly Marie Project Heal) are so true. If one person did just one of these things it makes all the difference in the world. This will be our 4th holiday season without Lila. Her sister Eve is so excited about Christmas that it is hard to not imagine what Lila would be like at this time. The holidays are especially trying for us because when they are over we know that we then go into Lila's birthday month which brings along its own challenges and reminders. This year is also the year we were supposed to be pregnant with baby #3 and welcoming that baby in early February but we suffered a miscarriage and that dream was taken away in July.

As much as I am looking forward to Christmas because E is loving it and her joy is contagious, sometimes hearing that someone remembers our Lila is one of the greatest gifts of all. 

Advice from the wonderful Carly Marie

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

The whole month of October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, but October 15th is the one day that stands out as the actual day to remember all the babies gone too soon. On Saturday the 15th, we are asked to light a candle and let it stay lit for one hour in honor of all the babies we remember. This year Mike, Eve and I will be lighting candles in honor of our Lila and the baby we lost to miscarriage in July. If you look on any type of social media with the hashtag wave of light you will be able to see pictures that other people will be sharing from all over the world and all of the candles that will be lit. Please join us in lighting a candle. #waveoflight 

International Bereaved Mother's Day

Today, May 1st, is recognized as International Bereaved Mother's Day. It is a day to remember all babies and children who are lost and all the mother's who are left behind. I personally had never heard of this day until this year, but wanted to write about it. There is a woman named Jessi Snapp ( who painted a gorgeous print for me earlier this year in honor of Lila's birthday. She also has experienced the loss of a baby and started a shop where she designs things in honor of all babies gone too soon. She is the one who produced this amazing video and is the sweetest person and I am glad to have gotten to connect with her over the past few months. (Click here for link to video). 

If you watch this video you should probably do so alone or in a quiet space as you need to hear what she is saying and it is quite emotional. Although this video is incredibly sad it is important to remember, educate and inform people through all of the grief and sadness. Plus you get to see a few cameos of Lila and I.