Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Duck Pond


A friend of mine who grew up here told me where Reese is buried is often fondly called the "duck pond." I love this name. It is such a peaceful place.

I also like that where she is buried is called a Memorial Garden. Such a better name than a cemetery, don't you think?
Zach and I went to Reese's gravesite this morning. I'm trying to figure out what I would like to call her gravesite. I want to enjoy saying it (you know what I mean...I'll never "enjoy" it) because I know we'll go there often. I may start calling it "Reese's garden." What do you think? Any other special ideas? 

While we were there of course we had to feed the ducks. Zach is so used to us driving through the Memorial Gardens that he immediately begins saying, "Duck duck" when I drive in. 

Now ducks don't scare me, but I like them to keep their distance. I don't want one to bite me. We quickly realized these ducks are VERY friendly when they came up to the car as we got out. They also started coming from underneath the car as I opened the bag of bread. Yes, I even screamed several times, and thankfully no one else was around. I just can't help it.
At this point I am pinned against my car because I did not want one to peck my leg. I had to take this picture to show how close one waddled up to us. 


Z & me

So peaceful...just not when we're trying to feed them. ; ) 

This past weekend I had the honor of meeting with two friends who have lost a baby. One lost a son ten years ago and the other also lost a son five years ago. It truly blessed me to be in their presence and talk for hours about how they have survived, how GOD is working in their lives, how they remember their babies in special ways, and so much more.

My heart is very full of their wisdom, but one thing that stands out to me from our conversations is how grace will eventually come in where I hurt. Grace will fill the places where now only pain now is. I can already feel this happening in the smallest ways. Jesus is so tender with me.
Reese, I love you and miss you so much. You will always be my beautiful baby girl. 

"Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these."

Matthew 19:14

51 comments:

dg darling said...

I think Reese's Garden is perfect. What a wonderful place! I can almost imagine her little angel feet running after those ducks! I am so glad to see that you are doing ok. I cannot imagine how hard it must still be for you but thank the Lord you are able to have faith in Him and carry on...

Erica said...

Hi Katie,
I've been following your blog for a few months. You are so inspiring to me. Your blog posts are always so positive, despite everything you've been through recently. I love that you share the Word of God. It is so encouraging. My husband and I are praying for you and your family. I also like "Reese's Garden." It looks like a beautiful place.

In Christ, Erica

Seraphim said...

Dear Katie, I've been reading a while but didn't comment because I haven't had the right words to say. I'm so sorry about your precious Reese. I love the idea of Reese's Garden.
My brother and I also created a garden called "Rory's Garden" (but it's an online one) in honor of my baby brother who passed away many years ago from SIDS. In it we remember the names of babies and children taken too soon with beautiful photos of flowers and the names of children written on them. It is our way of ensuring his name lives on whilst his soul is in Heaven.
I am so sorry for your aching heart Katie. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers here in Perth, WA.

Sarah said...

Katie- I can't express enough how deeply your words and positive attitude have affected me. I have never lost a child but I hope that under any difficult circumstance I face, I can face it with as much grace and integrity as you have. You are amazing! Remember, "He gives beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning, and peace for despair."

~Sarah

Lynn said...

My family visited the park where my husbands father was laid to rest. My hysband told our girls it was a park. And they were there a few minutes and told him they were not at a park, as there were not any swings. They then began calling it the flower park. When they want to visit Grandpa Jim, they go to the flower park.
I know your family will find the expression to best honor Reese, she is a beautiful baby. God is good. All the time.

jess said...

What a special place for yall to go to remember sweet Reese!! I love the name Reese's Garden. Always thinking of you guys!!
-jess

Mindy said...

Hi Katie,

I love the name Reese's Garden. I think that is perfect!

My heart hurts for you. Just know I am keeping you so very close in my prayers.

You and Z are just adorable!!!

Mindy

The Kahler Family said...

Your words are always so beautiful. Thank you for sharing those bits of grace with us, it is an honor to pray for you.
Angie

Jennifer Lynette said...

I love that picture looking down at Zach with the duck! So cute!
The Dosses still pray for you and Jason everyday.

Mary Ann Miller said...

You are such an inspiration! You are proving to everyone that God's word is true. His grace is sufficient. I like Reese's Garden and I also like Reese's Resting Place. I appreciate your blog.

Hillary said...

Love the ducks! And I can just imagine you're screaming when they were getting too close. You're right, you just can't help it!
Reese's place is BEAUTIFUL. I can't wait to go back with you to visit. Love you!!!!

Kelly said...

What a beautiful place to visit. Reese's Garden is a perfect name. I'm glad your heart is feeling the grace you mentioned. What a blessing.

Sarah said...

I have been praying for you and your precious family. Your grace, strength, and faith amaze me on a daily basis. I think Reese's Garden is a beautiful name.

The Niemeyer Nest said...

I LOVE that you call it Reese's Garden - that's perfect. It sounds so sweet and it will be a good term for Z. Thoughts and prayers are with you. I think of you often especially when I get frustrated with motherhood. It's the best yet hardest thing that I have ever done. I enjoy your posts and hope that you can continue to find people that help you grieve.

Rachel H. said...

I like Reese's Garden...that's beautiful! And looks like Z loves the ducks and is having a good time. Hope you all are coping well...I'm so glad to keep up with your posts!

Brittany said...

You may not feel it, but grace has already taken over. You have exuded grace in every step of this journey. And I know that is because of your relationship with the LORD. You truly are an inspiration.

Continuing to pray.

The Neffs said...

I think Reese's Garden is beautiful! We are praying for your family in NC.

Blessings, Ginger

Sherri @ Luv a Bargain said...

Hi Katie,

I have been reading your blog since Reese was born (from Kelly's Korner) and have been praying continually for comfort and peace for you and your family. I have been so touched by your gracefulness. I think Reese's Garden is just perfect too.

Sunny said...

I think you are so beautiful and I admire that smile you have. God is being glorified thru you.

What about "Reese's Resting Place"?

Jorden and Kristin said...

What a beautiful place for your baby girl to be sleeping in! i love it! I think Reese's Garden is a good name because it sounds more happy than some of the other names i was thinking of! :)

Todd and Courtney said...

Ive been a reader for a super long time. I pray for you all every single day. Really, every single day. I've cried with you, prayed with you, loved on ya'll, and so bad wish I could give you a huge hug. I love Reese's Garden. It's perfect, it's sweet, it's symbolic, and a beautiful name.

run26.2mom said...

When God Planted His Garden
Author Unknown

When the wise God planted His garden,
scattering the seeds from above,
The choicest seed in His packet
Was the flower of Mother-love.

Carefully watched o'er and tended,
Nurtured by sunshine and shower,
Ever growing sturdy and stronger,
It blooms-a beautiful flower.

A flower so sweet and entrancing,
Dazzling and shining and white,
A love that guards us and guides us
Through life~our beacon light.

A love that steadies our footsteps,
That stretches a helpful hand,
That comforts our sorrows and heartaches,
That always will understand.

Mother-love, God's gift to His children,
With heavenly fragrance fraught;
The brightest flower in God's garden,
His truest forget-me-not.

Reese's Garden is perfect. Your blog exemplifies that you are God's brightest flower...an amazing mother to both your children! Comforting Zach and honoring Reese. All while fighting off the ducks :)
Continued Peace.

Whitney said...

What a beautiful place! Perfect for Reese!

Laura said...

Hi Katie,
I just wanted you to know that I still think about you and pray for you every single day. God's grace will fill all your pain and your faithfulness is such an amazing testimony. I think Reese's Garden is the perfect name. A garden is alive and thriving...just like sweet Reese in Heaven. She's alive, well, and rejoicing with Jesus so I think Reese's Garden is just the perfect. You're a sweet and precious mommy and Reese and Zach are so lucky to have you!!
Love,
Laura

stb said...

I love the idea of "Reese's Garden". I don't know what else to say but I am amazed at your strength.

Joy said...

Reese's Garden is absolutely perfect. Don't change it!

Kelli said...

Reese's Garden is so lovely!! I know that God will continue to cover you with His peace and comfort. We will also cover you in prayer!!!

Annie said...

I simply cannot read your blog without crying, yet I am drawn to it every day. Your words are absolutely encouraging and your peace with the Lord even more. My Mom lost her 1st child and I wish she would have had the peace you have. Not that it's ever easier but there is so much more knowing the Lord has a plan. Thank you for your shared thoughts...even if they make me cry!

Lauren Kelly said...

I want nothing more then to be able to give you a big hug right now!!! Reese's place is soooo beautiful!!!! :)

Stephanie said...

I don't know what to say. My heart is hurting for you, I want to be there for you and cry with you, missing your sweet baby. I too struggle with why this has to happen. I have never been in your shoes, but I wnat you to know. When you feel like you can't go on, He will carry you! When you feel like you can't even get out of bed in the mornings, God will pick you up and help you walk through every moment of your day. I know that God is holding baby Reese and will hold you in His other arm, so that you two will always be close. With all my heart I love you and your family. Please feel free to contact me if the Lord puts it on your heart. Email address is steph41581@hotmail.com
Love, Stephanie from Texas

Heather said...

Katie, this place looks so peaceful. I love the name Reese's garden, it's so sweet. Continuing to pray for you. What a blessing it must be for you to talk with other women who have walked in your shoes. I pray that you draw comfort and strength from that and that the Lord continues to be close to you. Thank you for sharing, and I pray for you everyday. Blessings to you.

~Nicole~ said...

I love that you shared this - a few days after burying our baby I went to his gravesite (which I do often by myself - it's just our time together) and there is a pond near where he is buried full of ducks also - and this particular day I was sitting on the ground in front of his grave and I was crying and praying and out of nowhere one of the ducks came wadling up to me just quacking the whole time. He stopped about a foot in front of me and kind of tilted his head and quacked some more and I just remember I started laughing and I looked up to God and told Him thank you. I know that was His way of letting me know I was not alone and sort of sending me a sign from our baby that he is having fun in God's Garden and why am I crying. I will never forget that as long as I live. Now every time I see a duck it brings a smile to my face :) Still praying for you immensly and you are so right - God's grace will fill the parts that pain has taken over.

-Nicole

Linds said...

A friend of mine who also lost a daughter several days after her birth calls her daughter's (and now son's too) gravesite her "doorway." It's their doorway to Heaven. I LOVE that title because it reminds me that this world is not our home and there is hope that we will one day be reunited with those we've lost! She recommended a book titled "A Grace Disguised"... it mentions God's grace like you said... to come in a fill the hurt. I cannot fathom the weight on your heart, but am praying that Jesus would take that burden for you daily. We are praying for you guys!

Sunny said...

I've already commented this morning, but am keeping myself grounded in Psalms today and came across this; it made me think of you.

Ps 34:15, 17-19

Alex and Jill said...

I can't believe how close the ducks get!! :) I appreciate you always sharing your heart...it allows me to know specifically how to pray for you and your family. I think Reese's Garden is perfect.

mbl said...

A friend of mine calls it "her doorway to heaven". I'm impressed that you can go to the garden alone. I still struggle, because the times I go alone it's almost too much weight for me to bear. I love hearing your thoughts as you walk through each day. Your heart is so tender and God's faithfulness and grace is so evident. So glad Zach is your little buddy!!

2 little Boys said...

I am like dg darling, I think Reese's Garden is perfect. I totally picture Reese's Garden as a place where God walks with Reese and tends to you and your family, such a peaceful place to connect through that beautiful environment. Although the pain of your loss still stings your hearts, I can already see through your beautiful expression in pictures and words that God is already tending to His most precious seeds, through you and your testimony of this moment in your lives God will have a GREAT HARVEST. Keep strong in Him and know that I daily lift you up to the Master.

Daily laying it at the Master's feet!
Laura Ann

Harris Family said...

Oh Katie, I just tear up every time I see beautiful Reese. She is amazing!
Thank you Jesus that you know us deeper than anyone else does and for your Grace that covers us in hard times! I know HE is beginning to provide little bits joy to fill the emptiness. I am praying that there will be more and more in the days, weeks, and months ahead! Your words have stuck to me so closely...GOD IS, INDEED, EVERYTHING!
Reese's Garden is PERFECT! I have a terrible fear of all birds up close, but the duck pond is absolutely beautiful!

ashley said...

I can totally imagine you pinned up against your car screaming at the ducks getting too close - HA! I would have loved to watch that. "Reese's Garden".... beautiful.

Adventures of Laura said...

I can't see a picture of Reese without tearing up - she's so beautiful. I love the name "Reese's Garden." It makes me think of the verse in Genesis that says God was walking in the garden in the cool of the day. I've always thought how amazing it would be to do that with Him. Reese is doing that, so to me the name fits perfectly. Thank you for sharing the pictures of the day.

I liked the zoo pictures as well. It's good to see you enjoying your family. Praying for you so often!

Ann said...

dear sweet Katie...I agree with Brittany! Grace is even now crowning your life and flowing out to us.

Thank you for continuing to write. You will not know the impact of your radiant faith until 'that day'.

So glad those who have walked this path are coming along to comfort you.

And I, too, can hear you squealing about those ducks!

Still praying every day,
Miss B.

Sarah Sharp said...

I just weep everytime I come and read your blog. You are so honest and your words are so pure. I am amazed at your strength and faith. I would hope that if I ever had to walk the same path that I could cling to God like you do. I will keep praying for your pain to be eased and for God to continue healing you and your family. What a beautiful little life Reese had!

MyFairLadies said...

Katie,

We continue to pray for you, Jason, Zach and your families. God's presence is so evident! As you continue to renew your mind with His Word day by day, I am praying He will bring you strength and comfort for each one.

I mentioned to your mom at Reese's beautiful memorial service that I could picture you as a 9 or 10 year-old girl, encouraging me in my own daily "quiet times." The many, many verses you have studied throughout the years are carrying you now, and producing fruit in the lives of so many others you are touching in ways unknown.

You have always had a growing faith, Katie. I am certain God is growing it in even more amazing ways through this difficult season.

Praying for you,
wendy

"In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame.
Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,to which I can always go; give the command to save me,for you are my rock and my fortress.
For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD,my confidence since my youth." Psalm 71:1-3,5

(The subheading for this psalm in the ESV is "Forsake me not when my strength is spent" - that seemed so appropriate for these days.)

susan said...

Katie, I'm Susan Nations, Paige Nations'Code's mom. I've been hearing about you for days from Paige and I just wanted you to know that you ,your family and little Reese are in Maki's (that's what my grandchildren call me) heart. You have a vital faith. How wonderful. Imagine moving through this without Jesus! But I will be praying for your continued trust in God's plan for your life. Reese was beautiful during her short time on earth. I can't imagine how beautiful she is now shining in the light of God's Glory. Know that you are loved and prayed for in Florida.Maki

Rachelle H said...

I love Reese's Garden. . .Rebecca, who lost her little girl about a year ago calls it "Molly's doorway"

Sarah Fries said...

I wish so bad I could bare some of the pain for you to just lighten your sadness a little bit. I know you are reaching so many people right now and I'm so glad you were able to meet with people that can empathize completely with you. You are an amazing woman and we are still continually thinking about and praying for you!

The Rothman Family said...

Reece's Garden sounds lovely. Someone I know whose child passed, calls it their "doorway" as in their doorway to Heaven, I think that is nice too :)

Cuddles and Chaos said...

Katie
I think reese's garden is perfect. I can see Reese smelling the roses and watching over her family with the Father holding her hand. I can see the grass growing greener, the flowers smelling more wonderfully, the rainbows brighter in Reese's garden.
Yesterday, I was in Hallmark for the upteen time this week trying to find a card to pick somebody up when I called to look at cards for you if I had your address. I was stopped in my tracks, got down on my knees and prayed for you. Prayed for Reese. I thought of you with the pictures of the oneies made for Reese and thought about how difficult it had to be to put those things away and to see them.
I didn't lose a child after birth but many during pregnancy. It was hard enough to put away the stuff that was purchased for those babies, so I totally couldn't even imagine your pain. So I prayed for your family. I know that over time some things will come with less tears but it doesn't make any part of it easier. My thoughts are often with you.

hi-d said...

I love Reese's Garden. That is so tranquil sounding. That is so cute that Zach says, "Duck duck."

You are so funny with the ducks...ha ha...I wouldn't want them biting me either. :)

Lisa said...

Katie,

You don't know me; I found you through Kelly's blog.

I'm so sorry for your loss. My second child passed away at 9 weeks of age--almost 17 years ago. He is also buried in a memorial garden. As a matter of fact, your photos look exactly like Woodhaven, where he is buried. We've made many a visit there with our other children and always call it Clint's place.

(I'm not too happy when the ducks get close, either.) ;o)

Take care,
Lisa @
All That and a Box of Rocks

Shannon said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. I lost a baby girl, Olivia, 2 years ago. We call the place she is buried "Olivia's special rock". We had to move out of state only 8 months after we lost her but we still celebrate her birthday by having a party and releasing balloons. The first birthday we weren't able to be back to "see" her so a group of our dear friends went to the cemetery and prayed and had pink cupcakes with her monogram on them and released a sky full of balloons. We had our own private celebration in our new city at the beach.

Thinking of you right now...going through all of the "firsts" is so difficult. A book that really helped me is called "Tear Soup" you can find it at any Barnes and Nobel. It's actually a children's picture book. It's one of the few books that really summed up the emotions of such a loss.

Please contact me if I can be of any help or if you need an outlet from someone who has walked where you've walked.

Shannon King gsbbking@aol.com

By the way, I found your blog through your sister's blog. I don't remember how I came upon your sister's...probably through someone else's links...We did live in Little Rock, AR but are now in Jacksonville, FL

 
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