Friday, July 03, 2009




On Tuesday night I was laying on Charlotte's bed by the light of her princess nightlight. Her bed has a pink and blue quilt on it, the one the hospital gave us to wrap her in just before she passed away. I'm glad to have it. Incidentally, when she died she was wearing a diaper and a pair of lavender Mickey Mouse socks. That's it. I have those too. The funeral home saved them for us. We buried her in a cream silk dress her grandmother Hayes picked out, a necklace from her grandfather, lace trimmed socks and a tiny white pair of daisy undies. (No more diapers for Charlotte.) So very sweet. We buried her with her favorite toy, a peach colored monkey with a well worn green crinkle ear she loved to chew on. We buried her with a pink incredibly soft blanket, the kind you would never actually let your toddler drag around, because it was too soft, and too pale, and well, it cost $80. But Grandma Enslin wanted her to have it. We buried her in a white casket, with those cheesy daisies carved on the lid, but now that I think about it, they matched her undies.


When we buried her I whispered "Charlotte, hold my heart!"


On Tuesday night it was Charlotte's birthday, and she got her headstone. When we buried her I thought we would have her headstone in place within weeks. It took months, but it was worth it. It is beautiful. I chose the butterfly for various reasons, discussed in depth here.


I am so happy it is done. I am relieved. It feels wonderful to walk up to her little spot on the hill and have something more to mark it other than lines in the grass. It is perfect.


But...


The night it was placed, a weight was lifted from my heart, but there was emptiness too. I felt, for a moment, I had done the last thing I could do for my Charlotte.


And so begins the next project.


I am going to do a tree for her for the Festival of Trees. If you don't know, the Festival is a yearly fund raiser in early December for Primary Children's Medical Center, where Charlotte received all her health care. Where Charlotte was treated, cared for, saved time and time again, and finally, where she died. Christmas trees are decorated and donated to the festival and then auctioned off. This year, Charlotte will have a butterfly tree. I've just exchanged my first little butterfly in return for a donation to Charlotte's Butterfly Fund.
Even though she's flown away, she's always here, holding my heart.




10 comments:

katherine said...

erin it is absolutely beautiful. take care.

Anonymous said...

Darling Erin,

Your story and lovely headstone are beautiful...and oh so touching.

Love from Aunt LeJeune

JMe said...

Hey Erin...
I'm blog-stalking you again. :)
First of all, can I just tell you: I love the way you write. You should write a book. Charlotte's headstone is beautiful and elegant and perfect. It is different than any I have seen before, which makes it extra special! ALSO, I think doing a butterfly tree is a wonderful idea! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help raise money for your project!

April said...

That was beautiful... Charlottes tree will be heavenly! Wishing her a happy birthday....!

Susie said...

Lovely. . . like the one it honors.

Jessica said...

Although our Eva is still with us, we chose the butterfly for her "symbol" while I was still carrying her. It is perfect for our special daughters. Her stone is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful and gorgeous are the words I would describe her marker. Compliments to everyone involved in the details and in the making.

Much love to all of you.

Aunt Carolyn

Anonymous said...

Wonderful and gorgeous are the words I would use to describe her marker. Compliments to everyone involved in the details and in the making.

Much love to all of you.

Aunt Carolyn

Mrs. Langeland said...

It is amazing what an impression Charlotte has made on us all. What a sweet, special spirit.

I would love to help, or donate, or do whatever you need for the christmas tree.

Let me know.

-Joy

Amanda said...

I think doing a tree for Charlotte is a perfect idea and I would love to help. Please let me know what I can do. And her stone is perfect, like she is now. Love you, love you, love you.