Monday, May 20, 2013


From my journal....

Saturday, January 27, 2011: I would feel so lucky and my prayers would be answered, if I could have even just a few moments with you breathing.

Saturday, March 12, 2011: At 3:30 a.m. last night I woke up to you hiccuping. I laid awake feeling every movement.

Sunday, April 3, 2011: We're another week closer to your birth--and my hope grows that you'll be born alive. Maybe we'll even get to take you home.

Friday, May 20, 2011: The happy day that was Allegra's only birthday.

Sunday, December 25, 2011: I remember last Christmas. You were growing inside me, but not so big I'd felt you move yet. Your diagnosis was confirmed only two days earlier. I sat on the piano bench watching your siblings excitedly open their gifts, telling myself to smile even though I was sad and scared. Mitch sensed this and continually asked if I was okay. Mitch's gifts to me were things I'd wanted for a long time, but their significance was unfulfilling--I only wanted a healthy baby.

After six months of wondering which day would be your last, you gave me, Mitch and your siblings the gift of 29 days together. No period in my life is sweeter than that time. The kids behaved, slept through the night and cooperated. My marriage was strengthened as Mitch encouraged me to spend all my time loving you. We saw the very best in people as they served us because they loved you.

I feel lucky to have had you. I gained experience and wisdom. Thank you for waiting, for surviving, for patiently living in your uncomfortable body, then quietly leaving it as I held you. I love you and I miss you. I need a new year.

Happy Birthday Baby Allegra! I think about you every single day.
Love, Mom

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Settling of Stillness

I studied you everyday.
Your body, your smell, your cry, your feel.
All those days spent consuming you
Yet I've already forgotten.

I search
To feel you quietly near.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Dear Baby Allegra:

Happy Birthday.

We released pink balloons for you at the cemetery today. Were you somehow there? Levi wrote "How's your life in heaven?" on his balloon. I've spent the past 11 months wondering the same thing.

How is your life in heaven?

We miss you.

Your Mom

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Dear Baby Allegra:

I loved you before I knew you.

I loved you here.

I love you still.

Your Mom

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Dear Baby Allegra:

You were born 6 months ago today.

I held a friend's baby girl recently. She was wiggly, heavy and healthy. Unlike you. Thank you for staying in your uncomfortable body for those long, quiet weeks together.

Luckily, I held you for your first breath and your last.

Your Mom

Thursday, October 20, 2011


While riding in the car Klein asked, "I'm gonna die. Later. And I'm gonna see Baby Wegwa in heaven?"

"Yes," I said.

Klein thoughtfully replied, "Oh. That's cool."

Sunday, September 18, 2011



Dear Baby Allegra:

Hearing is supposed to be the last sense to fade when a person dies.

I wonder what your one perfect ear heard last. Was it the birds chirping as we sat outside? My voice waking Mitch to tell him you're gone? The sobs of your parents as we bent over you? Maybe it was the sound of water splashing as I bathed your limp body? Or did you hear Cairo crying and Levi offering you his blanket?

I hope it was the "I love you" whispered as I laid your body inside that massive hearse.

I miss you.

Your Mom

Thursday, August 25, 2011


We chose hospice care for Allegra because any medical procedure performed could only delay her death instead of preserve her life.  Noxie, our gentle hospice nurse, helped us keep Allegra comfortable as we loved her at home.

At some point you may need to know about hospice care for you or a loved one. Although I haven't watched it yet, I've read this show is a great way to initiate dialogue on end-of-life care...

"Consider the Conversation: A documentary on a taboo subject" 

You can check to determine if this documentary is scheduled for your local PBS station.

Our friend Loretta, a hospice advocate, is interviewed in it.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


May 20, 2011: A first photo

June 17, 2011: The last photo

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I love walking past our dining room table to see the family photos and stack of cards offering congratulations, support and sympathy.  Despite my current need for visual reminders of our time with Baby Allegra, one day soon I'll put these things out of sight.

Lucky us though because a few families on our kids' swimteam thoughtfully registered a newly cultivated pink rose with the name "Baby Allegra" thereby "allowing everyone to honor and remember the beautiful spirit of a precious girl."  Come spring we'll have this rose plus other special plants blooming in time to remind us of her.

If you would like to grow Baby Allegra roses in your yard, you can order from here in Spring 2012.