Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Planning to plant.

After the rigors of almost two years of chemotherapy for Piper, and prior to the subsequent eight months of chemo, radiation and transplant, was a beautiful time in our little family.

Even after Pipers first relapse, she was happy and seemingly healthy. We, of course, were in utter shock that the cancer we were certain had gone away had in fact, only hidden and was rearing its horrifically ugly head.

We had our wits about us and we knew this time to focus on details, to pour out affection and time and to hope. Big hopes that we never would have breathed without clinging to.

We now know the end of the story.

It's not okay with me.

It's in Gods infinite sovereignty but while I trust this, and while I hope for the eternity that awaits us all, I hurt.

Three months feels like both too many moments without Piper and yet, also as near as though these three special pictures had only been taken yesterday. This is how time apparently will be working for me as I grieve and hurt and miss this sweet face.

I have received more than a few emails and phone calls from friends who wondered how we were planning to celebrate Pipers birthday this Saturday.

I wasn't sure what I was capable of but I don't ever want to be too overwhelmed in my grieving to smile.

I plan to plant something. To put in the ground something that will grow and that will allow me to smile when I look at it. And to remember how much my girl loved wandering the flower aisles at Lowes and getting her hands dirty while planting pretty things. Even while at the hospital, she loved to visit the flower gardens and water the plants and pick a flower for me and to be outside. This is my plan and I would be blessed if anyone joined me.

Put something in the ground. Water it and pray when you see if and smile.

And if you are so inclined to do this for Pipers (should be) birthday, please share this with me...

Help me know that she is remembered and that she is loved.


  1. After reading your post throughout Piper's 'journey', I feel the need to respond. My heart breaks for you and your family. I am planting a miniature pink rosebush which I will name Piper and will think of her daily. I am going to put a little plaque on it with her birth date. It will also say, "You don't know me Piper, but I love you. Grandma JoJo"

  2. Planting and praying alongside you! I have a crop of sunny black eyed susans that need to be planted that I picked up a few days ago. We'll plant them for Piper. I'll post pictures on the blog. Even now you are never far from my thoughts and prayed for daily.

    Much love from Rome!

  3. Hugs to you. We passed Tyler's 3rd birthday 3 months after he died as well. So many parallels to Tyler and Piper. I see her pics and I see a girl version of Tyler. I've always felt close to her and I tear up seeing these pictures. So spunky, so happy. I love the memories and I hate that we won't have new memories of them to share. It's hard knowing he would've been 3, seeing other 3 year olds grow, look older and learn so many new things. It's so hard being in that next year that they were deprived of. I love your idea of planting something. I will be thinking of her, as I often do, on her birthday. We're celebrating Dawson's birthday this weekend as well. I'll make sure to blow up some pink balloons in her honor. Love you all!

  4. We will be praying for you and planting in honor of your sweet Piper!! Lots of love from the Erickson family!!

  5. She is so loved, so remembered, and we will be planting in her honor.

  6. I have some pink and purple coneflowers that I will be planting in honor of your sweet girl. My favorite pictures are #1 (sleeping with her pink fluffy butt in the air and #7 (she just looks so CUTE in this one!) I've been following you and praying for you and your family; I look forward to your updates and celebrate with you during the good times and cry with you during the hard's to many, many more good times in the days to come.

  7. I found your link on Pinterest while posting a link for a speech client of mine that I am trying to fund raise for. What a beautiful little girl. Just know that by sharing your life with us, I will now never forget your little girl that I don't even know. I am planting flowers this weekend and will now find something pink just for little Piper. Many prayers and strength to you.

  8. Crying over her little life so missed, and wishing that there were many more years of planting to share in. I want to plant 2 hydrangeas and give you 2, pink and purple for your two wonderful girls and many blossoms of hope to come. I love you so much my friend.


  9. I'm often at your blog and want to comment but I never remember my darn password! Anyway, maybe this time I will get lucky. Because I want you to hear me, representing the hundreds of people youve never meant who think of Piper often and for us, Piper represent things in our life that we need to reprioritize, really experience. For me, she is a reminder to slow down, be patient, love on my children, don't sweat he small stuff, rejoice in those sounds they make that often make my skin crawl or eardrums burst. I am awful at gardening, however I always keep trying! Today I was planning on planting my little green beans and basil into a larger pot outside. I will do so while saying a prayer for Piper. Hope that works :). Basil smells lovely after all, and the green bean seeds, my 5 year old planted and now they are growing and ready to leave their little plastic cup. I will include her in the repotting, with your presh little girl in mind and prayer.

  10. I love your plant something to remember her by. To remember she was here and loved. My father died when I was 23, suddenly without any warning. It was a shock. I felt like I could not breath....for a year. I saw him everywhere. I knew it was not him, but yet he seemed to be everywhere. At one year, I had the need to go and visit his grave in Oklahoma. I lived in Texas. A good friend of mine had endured the death of his two older brothers in a car wreck a few years earlier and understood grief well. He went with me on the trip to Oklahoma. I had no clue why I needed or wanted to go. But, I think it was to be able to say to him, "You were here, I loved you and you mattered, and I miss you." At about 20 years I had that feeling again. Actually, I had had it for several years, but thought it was stupid to write a tribute for the newspaper! I shared my desire to put a testimonial in the newspaper with an elderly friend who had endured the death of 2 children and her husband. She was so encouraging and she said to write the tribute, that is was not stupid and if I had been thinking of it for so long I needed to do it. So, I did. And the reason was the same. I wanted the world to know I had a dad, that he lived, he was important and that I missed him. It felt so good to do and I still have a copy of my little testimonial to my Daddy. And I remember feeling at the beginning as you do now. I knew that time would ease the pain. But I realized I did not want that...because at least the pain was something tangible. I had no dad but the pain was at least something. It has now been 35 years since my Daddy died at the age of 57. Not the same as losing a child at all but I recognize some of the same feelings that you have spoken here. I am sorry beyond words that this sweet, smiling face is not here. She is not mine nor did I know her but I still grieve that her little chair sits empty and know how much your heart aches over that void. Praying for you....thanks for sharing your heart here and your little glad she was sorry she is not here now but glad she is waiting for you in Heaven....Weeping with you as you walk along....

  11. Here you go...

    Much love and prayers from Rome!

  12. Planting for wonderful. Please know she was loved and is missed by thousands of people who only knew her through your words and pictures. I weep for you and continue to pray for you and your family. Be strong in the Lord.