Mothering Caroline Grace

learning how to be the mom of an angel


Memory Monday

Caroline played with her hands.  When we came home from the hospital, we’d first wrap her up like a little burrito, which she loved.  Soon enough, she began exploring her limbs and wanted to be more free.

My husband would lie on the couch with Caroline on his chest, and she would use her hands to prop up her head in a sweet, sleepy in class kind of way.  She discovered them and explored them.  Although her hands were clenched shut most of the time, when she was very relaxed her palms would open.  It always made me smile to see her hands so relaxed, because I knew how happy and relaxed she was for them to be that way.

Once, Caroline found a finger and sucked on it.  We took a video of her doing it – she was always amazing us.  It was so adorable – the fact that she had 6 fingers made it look like she was sucking on air, but she got that index finger in her mouth and did something that so many babies do.  It made her so happy.

At about six weeks old, we had to start putting mittens on Caroline’s hands to keep them warm.  Her hands were cold because of her poor circulation.  I was sad to take her beautiful, six-fingered hands away from her but knew that she needed her mittens.

Caroline received the sacrament of Annointing of the Sick.  Part of the sacrament involves blessed oil on the palm of the hand.  I smile when I remember our priest trying to open Caroline’s hand, and having to tell him that they don’t open on command – he would have to improvise.

I held those beautiful hands the night that Caroline went to heaven.

For hours I held her hand.

Emotionally I will never let go.

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Memory Monday

Yesterday you would have turned 7 months old.  I can’t help but wonder what we would be doing together and what you would look like at that age.  Instead, you are forever just shy of two months old.  Time has flown by at the same time that it has creeped forward.  I miss you so much, sweetheart.  I lied on the couch holding your urn yesterday because I needed to hold you.  It wasn’t the same.  Your beautiful soul is not in those ashes.  It is in heaven, where I can’t go yet.

When Caroline was born, we didn’t know how much time we would have with her.  We were thrilled when she was born alive and we were able to make some precious memories with her.  My husband’s parents were already in town, but my parents hit the road when my water broke.  They drove through the night but still had about 6 more hours of driving left when Caroline was born.  I hoped and prayed that Caroline would still be with us when they arrived, so that she could meet all of her grandparents.  I brought a picture of our cats to show Caroline so that she had the chance to meet her kitties if she never made it home with us.

My parents made it to the hospital in time; Caroline was still alive!  We took many pictures in the hospital and Caroline did not go one minute without being held for those first few days.  We took chalkboard pictures with Caroline, first documenting hours with her, and later on days.  Those first 24 hours were the hardest.  There were a few times where I thought I was going to lose her, tears streaming down my face, but she held on.

The grandparents had left for the night, and my mom called in the morning.  After some pleasantries, she asked, “How’s the baby?”  I was so happy to be able to say, “She made it through the night.”  We arranged for the grandparents to all come back to the hospital that day.  The nurses continued to coo over Caroline and be in awe over how well she was doing.  God showed me a miracle in my daughter.  Those first days with Caroline are the happiest days of my life, and I would do it all over again for her.


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Thoughts on Heaven

I often find myself wondering about heaven.  I wonder what Caroline is doing and if she knows how our family is doing.   I think her great grandma Joan was there to greet her.  I imagine that in heaven, there is no concept of time and Caroline won’t have to miss us because all of a sudden we will be there with her.  I also think that she is wrapped in the greatest love.  I think children have a special place in heaven.

I wonder if we get a glimpse of heaven through dreams.  I often have dreams where I am simply an observer of events, or my perspective jumps around from person to person and somehow that is all normal.  I wonder if Caroline can sometimes take my perspective to spend time with me.

I wonder how old she’ll be when I see her again.  I wonder if we’ll be able to talk or if I’ll be able to rock her in my arms.  Or maybe the connection of our souls will be all I need to recognize my little girl.

I pray that Caroline is happy.  I miss her every second of every day.  Mom will be with you soon, sweetheart.