Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Teaching Betsy

I have asked myself so many times how I will teach Betsy about her sisters. I know she is too young right now so I don't ponder the idea too much, but I do want to have a plan. She has a few shelves in her room that are dedicated to Grace and Olivia. One shelf contains their ashes and I almost dread the day she asks me what is in the box. I'm sure when she gets a little older I will move it somewhere else but I really love the way we have it set up in there and I like them all sleeping together at night. It's right next to the rocking chair and that is when I think about them the most.

I remember one time someone had contacted me when she heard about my story. She also lost two of her triplets. Her surviving daughter was now about 8 years old. One of the first things I asked her was how did she tell her daughter about her siblings. She explained to me how she told her little girl about her triplet sisters and that it kinda wasn't a big deal to her daughter. I soaked it all in hoping it would be just as easy for me to tell Betsy. I remember one time I was talking to Betsy, just toddler chit-chat, and just randomly I asked, "Do you miss your sisters as much as mommy does?" Naturally she just looked at me like I was crazy, but seriously, I wanna know. Do you?

It absolutely kills me to know that Betsy has no idea she even has sisters. She has no clue I love two other babies just as much as her and that there are two other names on our family tree that she will never know, yet they were so close to her, all growing in me at the same time. There are days I wonder if she DOES know. If by some miracle she has a tiny memory of them. How silly. Of course not. Of course she doesn't remember them. My heart breaks into a million pieces thinking about that.

So how will I teach her? The one time I mentioned to her about her sisters it made me cry. It makes me upset to even mention them around her because I want them all three to be together. So will I even be able to pull it together to teach her about her sisters. I want her to know all about them..every tiny detail and I want it to mean as much to her as it does to me.

At one point I thought about writing a little children's book for her to read that would explain how she has two little angels watching over her. But I'm just not emotionally ready to deal with something like that. Will I ever be ready? What if I never get to explain everything I want her to know because I can't handle it. I did journal. I have wrote down every detail since we started our fertility journey. I wrote all the way up until Betsy was a year old. That will mean alot to her when she is my age, but does nothing for her now.

I'm sure when the time is right I will find the right words. I can't expect her to know now because she is too young but I want her to know soon enough. The hospital I gave birth in has a PRIDE (Parent's Responding to Infant Death Experience) support group that we have attended since the loss of Olivia. They have a Christmas and a Spring Memorial that they put together to honor all the babies lost. It is such a moving tribute that they do and really go above and beyond to keep these babies memories alive. The hospital has a Baby Memorial Garden and my girl's have bricks there with their names on them along with so, so many other tiny ones gone too soon. There are quite a few parent's that come to these memorials and place roses on their baby's brick, yet some of the bricks from years and years ago will go untouched. It breaks my heart that over time parent's just quit coming to these memorials. It's like they have moved on but have chosen not to remember anymore. I don't know what goes on with them at home, and I am sure they haven't forgotten their angels, but it saddens me to see no one there to honor their baby after so long.

This year was only our second year and I can't wait until Betsy is old enough to understand why we come to these memorials. I can't wait for her to honor her sister's memories and really, really understand just how lucky and how blessed she is.

This is Betsy placing a rose on the bricks belonging to Olivia and Grace.


Lovey said...

This would be a good time to look for the stars that were named for Olivia and Grace. You could sing "Twinkle,Twinkle, Little Star" putting in their names. She is not going to understand about them at this age. I feel that is a blessing. I would be extra sad if I thought she missed her sisters as much as we all do. May peace and comfort come to you and Tony. I love you all.

Nicki said...

It does seem very difficult to want to balance giving Betsy memories of her sisters without overwhelming her with sadness. I think you have the right attitude to approach it from a standpoint of how much you love Betsy and her sisters. One can always find joy in love, even when there is a measure of hurt. I like the idea of a storybook or scrapbook, and I know she'll be grateful to have your journal some day!