Last year, at the end of February, we had a memorial for Calla. I'm not normally one to write down what I'm saying when I speak to a group; I'm more of a wing-it kind of girl. I didn't think winging it would do anyone any favors that day, though. C and I both spoke, and this is what I said:
I’m not really sure how this goes. The past almost two months have been the hardest, and saddest, of our lives. Since last summer we’d been anticipating this time of year, knowing it would be a challenge; we didn’t count on just WHY it would be so hard.
It’s a strange task, trying to tell all of you about our daughter. How can I describe someone I knew only by feel? Someone I loved, sight unseen, instantly and wildly--someone I had to say goodbye to even before hello. This isn’t how it’s supposed to work. The timeline is all wrong, the events out of order. It’s as though the record I was listening to skipped, the lyrics all jumbled.
But truly, this is about our little girl, Calla Valentina Scott. A daughter, a sister; instantly loved and equally missed. A little girl who was supposed to be here with us, who we could hold and care for and love. Someone who will forever be a mystery to us: would she have been funny? tall? curious? kind?
Every day while I was pregnant with Calla I’d read Eliot stories and sing him songs; in response, Calla would kick and roll and wiggle. I have to believe she was having fun. So, for her, a story:
Once upon a time there was a little girl. A tiny girl; a baby. She lived in a place that was dark and warm. She was rocked back and forth all day. The little girl had a mother and father and a big brother. Everywhere her mother went, the little girl went, too. Her mother took her out for runs, and grocery shopping, on vacation and to concerts. While she lived with them they couldn’t see her, but they loved her all the same.
The little girl grew and grew. Her mother made more room for her as she got bigger and bigger. Sometimes her father would talk to her; sometimes her brother would kiss her. Her mother and father thought about her all the time, and told her big brother about her. The little girl came along when her mother took her brother to music class. She listened to the bedtime stories and danced to the songs. She liked to wake her mother up in the middle of the night, just to let her know she was there. They couldn’t see her yet, but loved her all the same.
Suddenly the little girl was gone. One sad day the little girl died, and the next day she was born. The mother and father cried oceans of tears. They were so sad that their little girl was gone. After many months of waiting they finally got to see their little girl, and she was so beautiful. They gave their little girl the most beautiful name they could imagine. The mother and father held and kissed their little girl as much as they could, and then had to say goodbye.
Some time has passed, and many things have changed. The mother and father still think about their little girl every day. The brother wonders, and makes his mother and father smile. There is someone missing. She will always be missing. But the mother and father and brother will love that little girl for as long as they can imagine, and even longer than that. She is not here with them, and they love her all the same.
There’s a hole in our lives: it’s a little-girl shaped hole that will forever be empty. But our hearts are so full, overflowing with love for our missing little one. We love you Calla, we miss you, always.