By: Shannon Duke
When I think about keepsakes, it reminds me of the movie Inside Out. In this movie, we learn Sadness embraced the blues because it was often followed by love from family and friends.
I hope you have a treasure or two that you can keep in honor of your angel baby. It doesn’t matter if you wear it everyday, look at it weekly or just have it tucked away in a safe place. My husband and I have some keepsakes we hold dear in memory of the babies we have lost.
For nearly three years, my husband has worn a dog tag faithfully. Sometimes, he even showers with it. It reads “A piece of my heart lives in heaven. Mackenzie Kadence 3-23-16.”
Sometimes, people ask if he served in the armed services. He politely tells them no, but shares his “war stories” of pregnancy loss.
You can see that the lettering is slightly fading. There are a few scratches on it. He wears this necklace and essentially carries the memory of our baby with him day in and day out.
I have a similar necklace. It includes Mackenzie’s birthstone. She was born in March like me. My necklace has been worn far less than my husband’s necklace. It reads the same and carries her name and her date of birth.
I have it hanging in my bedroom. I love it. This necklace reminds me of my baby. It reminds me of the love shown by my sorority sisters in such a trying time.
In the midst of your heartache, I hope you can see the value of your keepsake. It is not only a memory of your dear child. But, it is a testament of how far you have come, how much you have endured, and even how much you are loved.
As I look at the white box with a stuffed lamb on top, I remember my mother picked it out for Mackenzie. I didn’t know that I would lose my mother just a year after my daughter’s death. Now I cherish this piece even more. I like to know that even though my daughter and mother are not physically with me, a piece of them is here. And that brings me comfort.
I think about the blue bear with red inside ears and a rose that my husband gave me after a D&C and our fourth miscarriage. It really was a rough day. I felt hollowed out physically and spiritually.
But, I remember the love my husband showed me. I remember the tender care that he provided to me on that day. I, also, remember him enduring the movie Frozen because I really wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
I hope you feel free to embrace your emotions and cherish your memories. However, I hope what you receive and see the most from your keepsake is LOVE.
About Shannon Duke
Shannon Duke is the mother to seven babies resting in Heaven including her daughter Mackenzie, who was born at 21 weeks due to severe pre-eclampsia. She and her husband, Marcus, were blessed by the birth of their rainbow baby Gracyn in July 2018. Shannon spent 10 years in the non-profit sector and now works alongside her husband, who is the pastor of New Day Community Church in Columbia, TN. She discusses her journey and faith through writing. You can follow Shannon on Facebook and Instagram (@savingshannond) or on her blog at www.savingshannon.net.