Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Connecting With James Collins, Jr.

August 19th was a day of remembering my first baby through Carly Marie's Project of International Day of Hope & Prayer Flags.  I had only heard about this through mom's blogging about last year's project.  This year I immediately knew that I wanted to participate.  The purpose of this project, at least for me, was to be a time set aside to quietly think of my two angels as I made a flag that represented my feelings and hopes I had dreamed of for each baby that did not live.  This post will focus on my first angel.

Although my firstborn son died 38 years ago in my last days of pregnancy due to a tightened double-knot in his cord, I never have forgotten my hopes and dreams for my first baby.  Part of that dream was to name him, James Collins Fitts, Jr.  I have always loved my husband's name and looked forward to the day when we would have a son to carry it on.  It is a name rich in family history.  That name ended up being the only part of my dream for him that could come true.  Although it was suggested for us not to "waste" the name on our dead son, we gave him all we could, the legacy of his father's name.  We carried out our plan and never one considered it a "waste" of a name.  As I planned my prayer flag for him, I wanted his name to be big and bright on his flag.  James Collins, Jr. was born and died on May 2, 1975.  I always thought May was a good time to have a newborn.  Nature always planned the spring season to be a time for giving birth.  I could take him outside for strolls in his antique pram and show him the blue sky, fresh air, colorful flowers, butterflies, kites in the sky.  He could hear the birds singing their sweet songs.  I looked forward to all of this with him.
As I made his flag, I hoped  to reflect these things.  Here is a picture or two of his flag I made using some of my rainbows baby clothes hand-stitched by his grandmother Fitts.

The blue satin bordering the flag was left over from making my grandson's baby blankets.  The purple background material was left over from making a doll bed bedding for my granddaughter.  The green at the bottom came from an outfit my mother-in-law made for my first rainbow baby.  The heart in the middle has a hole in it, which represents the hole in my heart that will never be filled until I see my son again in Heaven.  Notice how big and bright I made his name!  The right side of the flag represents my grief.  The rain from the cloud are my tears and the flower bent over with the petals falling off represents grief and death.  The kite is for the things we never saw together.  The left side shows a healing phase.  Sunshine rays are peeking from the cloud, a balloon flies, the flower blooms, the bird and ladybug show life.  The dog is being playful showing happy days.  The blue balloon also represents the balloons I design for other parents that have experienced the loss of a child in honor of my son's memory and my daughter's memory.  Her flag will be my next post.


  1. He's flag turned out so beautiful <3 I love all the symbolism you used :)

  2. Such a beautiful flag in honor of James Collins Jr. <3

  3. I watched you design James Jr.'s flag and as each step came together I was once again in thought of all the things missed I wanted to pass down to my son. How to be kind and understanding to others. How to have a love of the water I received growing up with my dad. My love of water skiing and boats, hunting and fishing together. all of those things a dad wants as he watches his son grow from a baby to a little cute boy, to being a man with his own family....I miss you son and cherish the day all of the things we missed together in this life will be filled with more than I could ever wish for. Your loving dad....