Friday, July 20, 2012


I needed to find pictures of my mom with my kids for a book we're making with her. And we need to finish the book by Sunday morning, so the time had come to find those pictures.

I sat down tonight and started flipping through the folders of photos on my computer. I didn't have time to look at them really, just scan for my mom. Still, I couldn't help seeing, noticing.

2007 almost stopped me in my tracks, because as far away as it sometimes seems, it still comes pouring back. The NICU and the fear and coming to terms and accepting and waiting and anxiety . . . the oxygen and surgery and home and back to the hospital . . . the fear and the waiting and the anxiety.

In among the photos that Brian and I shot are sprinkled a few that people have sent to us that they found on their cameras. Among them, three photos from the friend who commented on all our children. Months after Henry died, she found these on her camera and emailed them to me, and it was a little gift getting these new pictures of my baby who I could take no new pictures of.

The 2008 folder is almost empty until the very end. We were too tired and worn and grieving to take pictures. There are a few from a trip we took to Maine. I remember crying in the car with Brian. Among them are two of the very few shots of me pregnant with Kathleen.

And then things pick up. Baby pictures, family holidays, playing in the yard, working in the garden, hiking, visiting family, enjoying the beach, jumping in leaves, playing in the snow, introducing sisters . . . We look so happy. We look so normal. I suppose in some ways we are.

I forget sometimes to get out the camera or don't want to be bothered, but I found pictures I love. I found pictures I don't remember taking that I now love. I found pictures that weren't that great but that reminded me of how one of my babies used to be. I flew through five and half years in an hour. Sometimes it feels like time is moving that fast.


  1. I've been going through old photos lately, as I merge the old laptop contents on to a new one. So yeah, I get this.

  2. It always takes my breath away finding those pictures. We got this computer right after Calla died, and somehow whenever I want to save an imported pic the only folder that comes up is the one with her name on it.

    Oh gosh. And the pics of me pregnant with O? Every one--and there are very few--shows me with not a smile but a grimace. I get this, mightily.

  3. Oh old photographs. Especially in these days of computers it is so easy to flick through years and years in minutes.

    Strange, I have no electronic copies of photographs of Georgina. So although there are lots and lots of 2008 photographs, there must be hundreds of Jessica, there are none from the final weeks of August. Because we didn't take a camera to the hospital. How I regret that.

    The NICU is one of those places that I think I will never truly leave, it still comes pouring back to me. There is not a day that passes that I don't think of that place.

    But yes, we are also normal now. At least in appearances. And for that I am actually extremely grateful x