Hailey’s 3 Month Birthday, This Little Light of Mine

March 1, 2010 at 7:05 AM 3 comments

Hailey would have turned 3 months old today. I can hardly believe it. Time really has been flying by.

One month ago, when I wrote a post on her 2 month birthday I was really struggling with my grief. I wrote about how I didn’t feel like celebrating and I felt more sorrow than joy that day. Well I’m happy to say that I feel like I’m able to celebrate her and find more joy than sorrow today on what would have been her 3 month birthday.

When Hailey was with us, we knew we wouldn’t be able to celebrate any ‘year’ birthdays with her. She would have no first birthday party. She would have no sweet sixteen. And so on. We also knew that we might not even be able to celebrate any ‘month’ birthdays with her. So we decided to celebrate her ‘week’ birthdays.

Thankfully, God blessed us with 5 (‘week’) birthdays that we got to celebrate with her, and we were even able to celebrate her 1 month birthday. I am truly thankful and feel very blessed that we had those opportunities to celebrate her birthdays.

I remember listening in on a phone conversation Josh was having with a friend while Hailey was with us. I heard him talk about how we were celebrating Hailey’s birthdays with some sort of Birthday cake and how we’d sing her “Happy Birthday,” etc. And he said to his friend that we did those things more for me (and us) than for Hailey.

He was right. I wanted and needed those memories. I wouldn’t get to be that mom planning and throwing the perfect themed birthday party complete with cake, balloons, and gift bags.  So that ‘inner mom’ in me needed something that could come close.

So how would we celebrate her birthdays?

Her 1 week birthday was celebrated in a private room at the Children’s Hospital. The nurses so kindly met our request and ordered Hailey a cake. We had a small, round, vanilla cake with rainbow sprinkles on it by Sara Lee – it was sooo rich and delicious. That morning I ventured down to the gift shop and ordered her two helium balloons and bought her a birthday present, a little stuffed dog (since Opie couldn’t be there with us). So we showed her all of her birthday treats and took lots of pictures with her that day.

Her 2, 3, 4, and 5 week birthdays were celebrated at home. Most of the birthdays I would decorate the living room with shiny silver signs with rainbow lettering that read “Happy Birthday” and I would blow up some balloons. Instead of the typical birthday cards, I made her birthday ‘signs’ and we took her picture with her sign. I would also usually have a birthday treat – a chocolate cake, brownies, confetti cupcakes, etc. that I would decorate and put candles on. We would light the candles and sing “Happy Birthday” with her. I also had this white teddy bear my dad bought me when I was in college to help celebrate birthdays when he couldn’t be there with me – you press it’s paw and it sings ‘Happy Birthday’ and moves and lights up (it has a birthday cake for a hat and the candles light up). So we would also get birthday teddy out and play it for Hailey. We took some pictures with Hailey and the bear – it was bigger than her! I would also buy her the occasional present – usually an outfit (as seen in some of the pictures). Many of the outfits would look somewhat ridiculous on her little body as they were too ‘mature’ for a little itty bitty baby like Hailey – but that was another one of those things I knew I wouldn’t get to do with her (dress her up, go shopping, buy clothes, etc.).  And last but not least, every birthday we would video tape and take tons of pictures with her.

Obviously those ‘week’ birthday parties we had for Hailey were really for me so I could make memories that I could keep forever in my heart to bring me joy and warmth. Hailey couldn’t truly appreciate them – she couldn’t eat the chocolate layer cake I bought or the confetti cupcakes I baked; she couldn’t blow out her candles; one could argue she had no clue what was going on as we sang her ‘Happy Birthday.” She was too little to understand. But that’s okay.

I know she felt love everyday she was with us. But I also know that she felt the extra love and joy we all felt for her in celebrating her wonderful little life on those special days.

So last month I had a difficult time when she would have turned 2 months old. I couldn’t do any of those ‘birthday’ things for her or with her. To say it was difficult or hard is an understatement… it was probably more like devastating. And I’m sure there will be other ‘anniversaries’ to come in the future where I will feel more sorrow than joy – that’s just the way grief works. But I’m glad today God is enabling me to find the joy in remembering her.

I had a strange idea last night as I tried to fall asleep thinking of Hailey and today. Today I can’t hug her, I can’t tell or sing her ‘Happy Birthday,’ I can’t do any of those things we used to do with her. Those old traditions don’t work. So I decided I need to make a new tradition. I need a special way of remembering her on these ‘would have been birthdays.’ I need to make ‘these’ days different from the days that are anniversaries of her death and life in Heaven.

My thoughts are that I will celebrate her life here on Earth, forever 36 days old, every birthday. On the anniversaries of her death I will of course be reminded of our tragic loss, but I will try to focus my feeling on celebrating her life in Heaven.

So what about this strange idea I had you ask – well let me try to explain…

I had the lyrics ‘This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…Let it shine…Let it shine…Let it shine…” in my head all weekend. I had watched the movie Corrina, Corrina on Saturday and the little girl sings it several times, but the most memorable for me is when she sings and teaches it to her sorrow-stricken grandmother whose husband just passed away…

Also, one of the things, as a Christian, that I desire to do with my life is be a light to the world:You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16). And one of the ways I hope to let my light and Hailey’s light shine is through this blog.

We would light candles for Hailey’s birthdays and sing to her. Well we can’t do that anymore like I said. So in combining the song lyrics and God’s word, I got a little idea in my head last night.  I’ve decided to light a candle today and on those future days to come that mark her ‘would have been’ birthdays. I will remember her and celebrate her 36 days of life by lighting a candle for her. It’s symbolic and meaningful for me in many ways (as I’ve mentioned some above). But also, her little life shines in my heart every single day and the candle light is a reflection of her shining life and the fire and love that still burn inside of my heart for her.

Today I lit just a regular old candle and I will let it burn most of the day (don’t worry I will practice fire safety). But I hope in the future to either purchase or create a special candle just for her on these days.

And I hope this new tradition I’ve created will help me in the future when some of these markers of birthdays that could not be fill me more with grief than happiness – it will be reminder of what Hailey’s life was and what I want mine to be – lives that are lights to the world, that shine before you and others, so that you (and I) may praise God and see His love and goodness.


Dear God, Thank you for blessing Josh and I with Hailey. Thank you for her 36 days of life and for the memories we were able to create with her. I praise you for your love and goodness today and always. I praise you for allowing me to find comfort and joy in the darkest of times. Thank you for giving me this idea of how I can remember and celebrate Hailey’s life – what a new tradition packed in meaning it is! Lord, I pray that you will bless everyone reading this post. I pray that you will continue to use Hailey’s life and my own life for good and to bring you glory. I pray that others will come to know you and your love. And please continue to sustain me today by providing me with your peace and comfort and even the miraculous joy only you can give in the midst of tragedy and sorrow – keep the Evil one away with his lies who constantly tries to keep me down in my grief. Please give Hailey even more hugs and kisses and smiles and giggles than you already do, from me. Tell her that her momma loves her and misses her. In Your Son’s name I pray, Amen.


Dear Hailey, Today you would have turned 3 months old. I miss you so much, but I love you so much more. I know I’ve told you these things before, but I am so proud to call you my daughter. I know we weren’t able to spend much time together, but I pray that I was a good momma to you and that you felt covered in my love while you were here. I have so much more to say…but not enough time or words to say it…and that’s okay… someday I’ll have an eternity with you to tell you my heart. Love you forever! Mom


Entry filed under: Hailey. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Out sick The Great Sadness, I live in the past and in the future

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ileamarie  |  March 1, 2010 at 7:16 AM

    You know, I was just looking up memorial candles for our wedding over the weekend. I think it would be really special to make a pretty pink one with a Bible verse or some other little quote with meaning that you can set out. I’m sure you’ll find just the best one….and it doesn’t look like real candle making is too hard if you wanted to try that. Just google “candle making” and a bunch of things pop up!

  • 2. kvanderlip  |  March 1, 2010 at 8:14 AM

    You read my mind Ilea! 🙂 And I think I finally understand how meaningful memorial candles are now!

  • 3. ileamarie  |  March 1, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    Yeah, I’m not too sure the best way to do the candle….I want to do something though. It’s mostly for our parents since THEIR parents can’t be at the wedding…But I don’t really know how/where to display it. I don’t want to put a candle outside during the ceremony, how awful would it be for a memorial candle to blow out?! I think it would be pretty bad. So…I don’t know. But anyway, love the candle idea, you are so creative 🙂 You should make it baby scented-mix in baby powder or a little of the soap you used on her or something, so that when it burns you get a little Hailey Smell 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


"God gives, God takes. God's name be ever blessed." ~Job 1:21

In Loving Memory of Hailey Marie

Pick a day, read a post!

March 2010
« Feb   Apr »

Your love O Lord Reaches To The Heavens Pslam 36:5


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Email me

If you have a private comment, a story, or a question, I'd love to hear from you! Please feel free to email me at k.vanderlip@gmail.com. I will do my best to reply in a timely manner.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 13 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 31,230 hits

%d bloggers like this: