I was 24 years old when James, Jr. was stillborn and 32 years old when Reita Gale was born silent. I went through some excruciating painful times to get to where I am today. As time went by, I had to find how I fit into society as the mother of stillborn babies. We are talking about 1975 and 1982. Those dates reflect a time when you were not considered a "real mother" if your baby died at birth. I held on to God every second of every day for help. Thoughts would come into my head and feelings into my heart. I could tell (as only a mom would) that these were from my children! God was allowing me to have a relationship with my children in Heaven! I looked to the sky and talked to them mainly saying how much I loved them, missed them, and wanted to hold them. While I was busy parenting our other two sons or just everyday living I could sense being watched by their siblings. They have been a part of my life everyday since they were born even though it probably isn't evident to others. I speak out loud about it more today mainly because other mothers and fathers of stillborn children are demanding their children to be validated in various ways in which I also now participate. The internet has become a lifeline of news, views, blogs, calendar of events, and shops which specialize in items for parents, siblings, and grandparents of stillborn babies. October 15th we participated in "The Wave of Light" which took place world-wide in each time zone exactly at 7:00 PM when candles were lit and burned for at least one hour in remembrance of pregnancy and infant loss. www.october15th.com Our wonderful daughter-in-law etched our stillborn son and daughter's name and date of birth/death on each glass candle holder. Her thoughtfulness means so much to James and me. Maridith also had her candle burning at her home not only for us, but for her friends who had loss their babies to stillbirth. We recently let our granddaughter decorate a helium balloon to honor and remember James Jr. and Reita Gale. When we let it go, my husband, Lawson, and myself felt excitement as the balloon floated way up ever so high in the sky until we could see it no more. I felt happy watching my first-born granddaughter skipping along the pier back to shore after the balloon left our sight, knowing she knew about her Uncle James and Aunt Reita Gale. She appeared confident and glad about them and the balloon. I am more confident too. The "push it under the table" days are gone. It is okay to SPEAK NOW!
Our candles burning October 15th
Watching our Remembrance Balloon Fly Up
James taking a break while edging our babies' footstones in October