While I was pregnant, I read “I Will Carry You” by Angie Smith and it became a little mantra I had for our time together. It’s the story of a family who received a similar diagnosis and also chose to carry their child no matter what. It was the first time I found someone with a story similar to ours and while heartbreaking, it also confirmed my decision to carry Zoey.
After Zoey died, I tried to choose books carefully. I didn’t want to intentionally find triggers for my heartache. Why cry over a book when you can cry over real life so readily? When we went to Jamaica to spread her ashes I loaded four books to my Kindle. In three of them children died. I clearly chose very poorly. I love to read, but I haven’t done much of it since then.
If you’ve been following our story for awhile, you know we read to Zoey while I was pregnant with her. That’s remains one of my favorite memories I have with her. Just the three of us (and that cat) sitting on the couch. It’s when Joe felt her kick for the first time. And it was just a beautiful time together.
We read to her before leaving the hospital and there’s a video of me reading the same book to her later. That one is “God Gave Us You” and it is a beautiful story. I also connected with “Wherever You Go” as the last line is “you are my angel, my darling, my star…and my love will find you wherever you are”. I used that line when I spoke about her at her memorial service.
I still appreciate all the books everyone sent to us to read to Zoey. And they still sit on the bookshelf in her room. I always found it amazing how much emotion even a children’s book could stir. There were some from my childhood, some with beautiful messages and some were just fun. So if you haven’t read “The Day the Crayons Quit” and it’s follow-up “The Day the Crayons Came Home”, check them out. And then go buy yourself some adult coloring books and pencils and just relive a more carefree time.