Counting My Blessings

I never thought I would have just one child.  It had always been “my plan” to have at least two and they were going to be two years apart just like my sister and I.

My daughter had taken us nearly four years to conceive so I couldn’t believe it when I became pregnant right away the second time around.  And then it happened.  My first miscarriage.  Just as quickly as it came, my pregnancy went.  I had only been a few weeks along, and while I was sad, I still remained hopeful that it would happen again for us, and it did.

This time, I got to see my little peanut.  I can still remember laying on the table in my doctors office looking over at the black and white monitor and seeing the little heartbeat for the first time.   But two weeks later, I was back in that same office laying on the same table, looking at an empty monitor.  The heartbeat was gone and I had lost my baby again.

In life I’ve learned that some things are simply indescribable.  My miscarriage is one of them.  How can I put words to losing a life that I so desperately wanted?  The future I had always thought I would have was no longer.  We would be a family of three, instead of four.  There would be no brother or sister for our daughter.  I would have just one car seat, instead of two.

But that’s just it.  I HAVE one car seat.  I HAVE a family of three.  I HAVE a daughter.  And she is amazing, and she is healthy, and she is here.

For me, life is about choices.  I can choose to be sad and miserable over what isn’t, or I can choose just as equally to be happy over what is.

But that doesn’t mean I will ever forget.  This year my baby would’ve turned five and started kindergarten.  And while I will always, always count those birthdays, I will count my blessings too.

My Ladybug Surprise

A few months ago, I read a book by Signe Pike titled “A Faery Tale, One Woman’s Search for Enchantment In a Modern World.”   I had learned of the book from Marianne Williamson who had posted it as a recommended read on her facebook page awhile back.   The book itself is about a woman who travels the world in search of proof of the existence of fairies while making little discoveries along the way.   Somewhere in between Mexico and Scotland, Signe is hiking with a native of the land who teaches her about respecting the earth.  If there is a beautiful rock, or feather, or a pretty pinecone, you should ask permission before pocketing whatever treasure you find.  But more importantly, you should be thankful for the treasure, and appreciate it’s beauty and where it came from.  The belief is, by acknowledging and appreciating what you are taking away from the earth,  you are respecting it.  To take something without thought for your own purpose or pleasure, without acknowledgment or appreciation was disrespectful.   Basically, it’s like karma.  Respect = Good .  Disrespect = Bad.

After reading A Faery Tale, I made a mental note to start being more respectful to the things I found and before I would take whatever little treasure the earth had to offer, I would say thank you.  If thanking the earth meant better Karma, then thankful I would be. To me, it’s simple.  Karma is like luck.  I believe we create our own luck, and the better we can make our own karma, the luckier we become.  Who wouldn’t want a little extra of the good stuff in life?

I thought of this two days ago, when I was on vacation with my family.  We decided to take the kids over to Rose Island off the coast of Newport, RI, where there was a lighthouse you could tour and walk to the top.  We had to take a  ferry to get there, but it wasn’t a direct ride over.  The ferry ran all day hopping from one location to the next.   When we finally got off the boat and onto the wobbly dock, we were told when we were ready to leave the island, to put up the yellow flag 15 minutes before we wanted to go.  That way, if people were enjoying themselves, and wanted to, they could stay longer than the usual hour or so.

Touring the lighthouse only took us about 15 minutes.  It could’ve taken longer, but when you have a four year old and two six year olds, attention spans cut short real fast.  Of course, I then had to take advantage of the photo opportunity and get the kids together for a quick picture.  Except, taking pictures has never been a quick thing.  I am obsessed with getting that one good shot.  Even if I have to take fifty of them for it.  The kids?  Let’s just say they’re not so obsessed.    It went something like, “Say cheeeeeeeeez!  Nope, Arianna’s hand was in front of her face.  Try again.  SMILE GUYS!  Ugh, Connor wasn’t looking at the camera that time.  One more – this time say CHICKEN BUTT!  Hmph!  I have to take another one- Autumn’s eyes were closed.    Come on guys….let’s try this again! Will all of you just LOOK AT THE CAMERA AND SMILE!!  PLEASE!”  The kids were done with the pictures before the camera ever came out of the bag.  I did however, finally get a good one, so we decided to head back for the ferry.

But before throwing the yellow flag up to leave, we wanted to let the kids climb some really cool massive rocks on the beach.  It was on our way over there, when I looked down to find millions and millions of beautiful seashells beneath my feet.  Before I knew it, my fingers were plucking away and I had over fifty shells in my sweatshirt pocket.  I was starting to fill up my other pocket when it suddenly hit me.  The little voice in my head said, “You forgot to ask.”  So I did.  In my head of course.  I didn’t want anyone thinking I was some crazy lady talking to the beach.

I thought to myself, “Rose Island, these are some of the most beautiful seashells I have ever seen.  May I take a few?”  No sooner did I finish the thought when I looked into the palm of my hand, searching through more broken shells when I saw it.  A ladybug!  A ladybug had flown into my hand onto the pile of seashells I was holding.  The funny thing is, there were no other bugs flying around anywhere, and it was so windy that I don’t know how it could have landed in my hand.  I can’t recall the last time a ladybug landed on me, but I’ve always believed they were good luck!  And since I don’t believe in coincidences and I do believe in karma, I’m pretty sure my respectfulness and appreciation brought her to me.

So next time you’re walking the beach, around the block, or hiking a trail, and you find a treasure, don’t forget to show your respect.  You just never know what good may come from it.