Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Her Picture

As I shuffled Max out of the locker room past the desk, after swim lessons this evening, something caught my eye in the back office. I grabbed Max and took several steps backwards. In the very small office of the swim school, in the corner, are several clear plastic Rubbermaid drawer sets stacked on top of each other. My eyes were immediately drawn to the far left stack, about midway up. There in the front of the drawer, was her picture, pressed right up against the front. My sweet smiley, Elle Belle. Peeking right out at us.

After she passed away last fall, my mom told her instructor that Ellie wouldn't be back for the rest of the session because she'd passed away. For a couple of weeks after Ellie passed away, my mom, mother-in-law and both sister-in-laws helped with swimming so I didn't have to go and see Ellie's class file in after Max's. Eventually I sucked it up and went with, just to watch at first, while my mom got in the pool with Max.
One evening, a girl from the desk came over and asked if I was Ellie's mom, handed me an envelope, said, "I'm so, so sorry" and walked away. In the envelope was a check for Ellie's Memorial Fund, and a session of free swim lessons for Max. Ellie's teacher came over to me later and explained that they thought it would be good for Max to continue with swimming and if I didn't feel like I could get into the pool with him and there weren't any relatives available, that I could call ahead and they would have an instructor get in with him. It was a very kind thing for them to do.
A few weeks later I sent them one of the thank you cards we had made. The cards were beautiful, they had four pictures of Ellie on them and the company altered them so they were appropriate for us. Even though it was almost 7 months ago, they still have their pictures of Ellie out. It was such an amazing surprise to see her little face there today.

On our way to swim lessons, I was thinking, "I should have two kids in the backseat. My mom should be in the front with me so that she can watch one kid while I swim with the other, and then we would switch like we did last fall. There should be two." I felt the tears starting to well up so I turned up the radio to distract myself and at that exact moment, Ellie's song, "The Rhythm of Love" started on the radio. I had to smile. Even though it's not at all what I want, she was there... After spying her cute little face in the swim office on our way out, there is no doubt in my mind, that she is trying to tell me that she isn't as far away as she feels.

Thank you Belle... After these past weeks, I needed that. I love you!!

Remembering June 28th, 2010

A little playroom action...

Ellie always wanted to get her hands on Max and as soon as she would get her chance, she'd take it!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this picture of Ellie. I just love the expression on her face- it's so Elle.


Kelly said...

I love this. :) I love little signs. They always seem to come at the right times. <3

LauraJane said...

I so know what you mean when you look in your review mirror and expect to see her.


But I agree w/ Kelly, it's really nice when little signs/reminds come out to play.

LauraJane said...

Also, how sweet for the swimming school to make a donation to Ellie's tribute fund, and the free swimming lessons for Max. So thoughtful.

ccc said...

What a great sign she gave you with you just happening to catch a glimpse of her picture and making sure that you knew she was still there with you at swim lessons!

Deanna said...

How wonderful to see her picture! Doesn't that just knock the wind out of you, in a good way?
I always think "I should have two"...the husband and I often think we are forgetting something when we load up the car for trips. It's not forgetting something, it's someone missing! Thinking of you, and glad your swimming school is so kind to you!

Raquel said...

I love this post!! It brought tears to my eyes. I know exactly the "I should have two" feeling and it stinks.

Totally thinking of you and your sweet Ellie.


I get the same feelings all the time...there should be a 14 month old with me...it sucks. Cute pictures of her!!

Tabatha said...

So glad she was with you to warm you up after a chilly moment... thinking of you always friend.. (((HUGS)))

Caroline said...

I found your blog through Brandy's and was just captivated by Ellie's story. I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my first to stillbirth on June 28th, 2010. For whatever reason I felt compelled to see if you had any pictures posted of your sweet girl on that day, hence the random comment on this entry. I'm glad you have such wonderful memories and that you are so willing to share your little girl with the world. Her story is tragic, but also really beautiful. Wishing you peace.

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