On Sept. 2, our child was born, too soon to live in this world, but forever alive in our hearts. This is what I didn't get to say to her.
You were born on the second of September and I can't even remember how we were going to spell your name.
Was it Katreena or Katrina? or had we decided on Caitrina? I only remember it meant pure, and was a companion to Hope.
You came on the day we drove along the Columbia River to see the waterfalls. Your mother had been spotting and I could only pat her hand and say it would be okay, and quietly all day we prayed that it would be. We hiked to a place where the water rained down from the cliffs above, drenching everything in wonder. It was a place so wonderful you could feel Heaven coming near. I went back to get your brother, to carry him on my back to where he could feel the mist billowing from the cascade, and I dreamed of bringing you back there.
You came shortly after dinner, and we were thankful to be able to hold you, suspended in your little amniotic sphere. You lay sleeping in our hands, curled inside your little orb ... floating in our dreams for you ... and I imagined you swimming.
We gazed into your world as if we were looking into a crystal ball that could tell us what to do with those dreams and our anguish. We found no answer as your little world clouded over, but you were already etched into our hearts.
We suspended you in tears and carried you in an ordinary little bowl. We traveled for 10 days between your birth and your laying to rest. We traveled through grief. We traveled across a continent, with your mother desperately knitting for you, and I folded paper into an oragami box and painted it with knotwork and flowers.
We found humor in your travels - of your great journey in the week after your birth, of riding in the car unbuckled, of giving you a proper Irish wake. And every night we poured more tears into your bowl, and your mother knitted and I folded paper into a proper oragami box with thistles and shamrocks.
We carried you to Riversong. We carried you in your bowl wrapped in knitted knotwork. We carried you down to a tree by the river and built you a stone house while Liam gathered wildflowers with Meaghan. Our friends played drums for you and we danced with you while Liam took pictures. We burned incense and candles and placed your little clouded sphere into an oragami box decorated with knotwork and flowers.
We closed your riverside home with a flat stone door, but we opened windows in our hearts to Sheol. We were able to leave because we know Heaven comes near in this place, and when we think of you beside the river, we will come swimming in your dreams.