Clara's one year birthday was definitely a celebration for me. I was worried that I would have a rough day but it ended up being a nice day. The Saturday before Clara's Angelversary I hosted a luncheon with the women closest to me to remember baby Clara. It was a nice time. My mom, sister and best friend attended. To invite them I wrote each of them a personalized invitation. I wrote about a non-traditional first birthday celebration and I wrote something personal to each of them and at the end I asked that they please join me at the certain date and time to celebrate Baby Clara. They all showed up and it was nice. We all ate and they all listened to me jabber on about how important they weree to me. Without the support of those women, there is no way that I would be as strong as I am today. I would probably still be laying on the couch and crying my way through Ho.bby Lo.bby. Instead, I'm breezing through school, taking care of my house, being an outstanding mom to Noah, succeeding in life and overall just thriving. I'm so astounded as to how far I've come. When I was sitting up in my hospital bed at 4am pouring my soul into a fluffy fleece blanket, I didn't think that I would ever recover.
No, I'm not the same Victoria that I was in 2011 but this is who I am and I think I'm doing well. I feel empowered and brave. I feel stronger than I ever have and I'm learning to trust myself again. This year, I hope to work on my not for profit organization in honor of Clara and seeing how far I can succceed with that. One day I hope to offer financial support to a family who has a similar story to mine and Claras.
Another thing that I wanted to touch on was how Noah has handled all of this. I think he's doing amazing. After Clara was born, I knew that I wanted Noah to see her. I wanted him to hold her and cherish her just like I did. Noah did see his sister . He chose not to hold her and that's okay. He gave her kisses and told her how beautifel she was. I was worried that he would forget, that he wouldn't want to remember her but he does. He loves his little sister. He talks about her and even changes the bow on her urn. He's even a protective big brother!! He hollers at the cat if she gets too close to Clara's urn and area. The other night he had his first sleep over and he even corrected his friend when he got too close to Clara's area and when he tried to open the door to Clara's nursery. He hollered and said "we don't go in there". I love that he cares about her. Sometimes it makes me sad when he says things like, maybe next time we can have a baby that we can bring home from the hospital. Ouch... I know that he'll make a fantastic big brother and I only hope that he gets the chance.
Everyday, we try to do something to remember Baby Clara. She is very much a part of our family and we all love her very much. I only hope that we will all be together one day and that she isn't alone in Heaven. I imagine that she's a petite little thing, with silky strawberry blonde ringlet hair. Clara has her own littlee space in our living room. It was a little rough, trying to figure out where to place her urn. At first, I kept it in our bedroom. I didn't want anyone to touch it, or look at it, or even know about it. Then I felt like I wasn;t being fair. I wanted to love and honor Clara and so she found her home in our most visited spot, the livingroom.
Clara's urn is proudly displayed in our home and is clearly visible for all of our friends and family who enter our home. It is my hope that by sharing Clara, her story, her legacy, her urn so freely, that it will help honor her memory and let her live on.