Thursday, June 6, 2013

Preparing for Perry's Birthday, the power of a name

I once wrote that the horrible thing about Perry's autopsy papers was that it was one of the last official places where his name would be written. And I hated that one of the last times I would see his name would be that way. While it may seem like a small thing, a written name is part of the huge loss you experience when you lose a child. It is taboo to mention them, and even rarer for another person to actually type it as if it will summon death to them to.

But to a woman who has lost their child that name means mornings watching sunbeams, hands tangling in hair, the milky smell of a newborn held to their chest for the first time. It is love and innocence. Eyes that captured a smiling soul.

I placed a request on my facebook page. I was not original, I stold it from other Moms. I wanted pictures of Perry's name. It gives back new pictures that are his alone, and coaxes warm memories from a clouded mind.

And it is wonderful.

Here are just a few:

Photo: For Perry
This one I did. Every little boy goes through a firefighter stage, and if he were here he would have climbed on this ladder truck by now, wearing a small red plastic kid's fire helmet. We would have taken pictures with me holding them, with that pride in my eye that for one moment in his life I was what every parent wants to be- a hero in their child's eyes.

This one is from Aunt Elaine. She often buys ornaments for the new babies. I cry because Christmas is one of the days when I miss him the most- the memories that should be. I'd already bought him a few Christmas gifts, a monster hat and mittens that he may pass down to Paiden. He was such an easygoing personality, I don't think he would mind a bit. This is (I suspect) from her Christmas tree.

This one is from Zotti. Fenway. If you have read my blog you would know that Perry Bryce was named after his Grandpa Bryce. Grandpa loved baseball. Mom and I watched an old film of him running bases while I held Perry. We both hoped that he might like the game too and carry something forward from Grandpa.
Photo: For Katherine Williams...I happened to be sitting on the beach when you posted :-)
Photo: Cozumel. December 2012.
Some from Beaches- How often I write his name when I am off by myself in the sand on vacation, just to see it again.
Photo: The girls insisted on being in the picture, so we all stuck our toes in. :)

Photo: For Perry
Photo: Happy birthday Perry!
In toys and chalk. He would scrawl his own name one day. Others do it for him. In toys that little boys love. As much as I hate stepping on small pieces, I wish I would more often, because he should be at the age of toddler legos and cars.

There are many more (I wish I had the space!!!), and hopefully some I haven't seen yet as we still have a couple days. Thank you gentle friends for giving me back my son's name. You are adding back a little of the sparkle to his birthday.  I am blessed.


  1. Katie,

    Thank you for continuing to share with us. I agree with the power that a name has. I love the pictures that you shared. They make me smile, yet they make my heart feel so heavy.

    As you know, Bob named our Grace when he was with her in the NICU. When he came back to my room in the hospital and told me that he named her Grace, I felt relief. What a perfect name! At the same time, it continues to be very difficult to sit through church services each week because "grace" is said and sung so many times.

    The day before we "observed" her 3rd birthday, Bob and I were driving with Heather. She was quiet in the back seat, so Bob turned around to check on her. She was writing on her leg with pen. Of course the first reaction was to scold. When we got out of the car I looked at her leg to see what she drew. She wrote Grace's name and put a heart around it. I just smiled and continue to love how she remembers Grace.

    A couple of nights ago as I went up to tuck Heather into bed, I noticed that she wrote Grace's name again. This time it was in marker on the white trim of her window. Again, I just smiled.

    We have a Perry Lane less than a mile down the road. I'll send a picture soon. We continue to think of you and your family as you continue on this with a child in heaven. Praying that your earthly journey will lead you all to heaven one day where you will be together again forever.


    1. Wendy,
      Thank you for your comments. I was just looking at your blog yesterday and wondering about your family. I look at where I am today and think of you a year ago- that second year that you hold out in your mind as 'better' (in that first year hoping the pain will magically dissipate). It looks amazingly the same as the first with maybe just the benefit of knowing what to expect a little more. In some ways the fog lifts more and the realization that it is real sets in a bit more. I am finally just accepting that to some extent this is life until I get to go home. I do allow light in more, Perry is always in the background of my mind. All the emotions are tangled up sometimes.

      I too think of your family whenever I see Grace's name. It comes up a lot on the screen in church. I think of her when I touch the lamb's ear in Perry's garden. I can only imagine how much Heather thinks of her little sister. I know Emily thinks of Perry.

      Emily still thinks about your family as well and was chatting about spiders and kittens. She talks about the duck, and her friend :)

      Write more in your blog as you get time. I know sometimes it feels like the same post you have already written, but I want to know- doesn't have to be pretty. I really enjoy some of the scriptures that you posted- many I have taken comfort in as well and others are a new discovery.

      Thinking of your family,