Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Quiet Memorial

Taison and I shouldn't have been surprised that we started Julian's birthday weekend under a fabulous sky. On our drive to Montreal last Friday, we actually pulled the car over so that we could take in this sunset. There was even a tiny rainbow a few minutes before we took this picture: 

Sunset in Vermont-7/19/13

I'll share more about our trip to Montreal in another post. This post is about the first anniversary of Julian's birth, Monday, July 22, 2013.

I was grateful that the sun was shining when I woke up on the 22nd. Taison and I both took the day off from work. We didn't set an agenda or any expectations for how the day would go, just did what felt right. This even included a few laughs and smiles.

 I can always find something to smile about at a farmer's market, especially the smell of just-picked tomatoes on a warm day.

We ended up buying something for baby even though it was Julian's birthday. We went to a local plant shop and Taison asked an excellent question: "Why don't we have a plant in the nursery?" So, now baby has a plant. You can't see in this picture, but the pot has some sort of  nursery-esque illustration on it (I think it's a baby giraffe). The plant was a great idea. It's nice to have something green in that room.

Of course, just about any quiet day of healing includes some time in the kitchen for me. I pulled out my favorite orange pot and made some tasty, bacon-y baked beans, among other things.

We had a nice dinner together outside on the back porch... 

...and had some "birthday cake" later on the front porch. 

This is the same cake we had last year on the day after Julian was born-the day we had to come home from the hospital without our sweet boy. Momma Scott just happened to pick up a small cake from Whole Foods that day as she shopped for groceries for us through her own fog of grief. Somehow, despite all of the pain, I still had a decent appetite, and was able to appreciate how delicious this cake was. Even then, we referred to it as birthday cake. Although Julian's birth was incredibly heartbreaking, giving birth to him and meeting him was still something to celebrate.

At 9:22pm, the time he was born, we lit a candle in memory of our first son. It was surreal to sit in the nursery holding a candle for Julian while his little brother kicked away in my belly. I'm so grateful for the chance to get to know both of these baby boys, for whatever amount of time.

Julian Thomas Bell
7lbs, 11oz, 19.5 in

Mommy and I love you and miss you more than words can say.


  1. I thought of you a lot that day. I'm glad it was a beautiful day, that you found a way to celebrate and have some birthday cake in his honor. Happy Birthday, sweet Julian! *hugs*

  2. Sending soo much love. Love the yummy food pics. The plant is beautiful.