Many of you may know that my second daughter, Kelsi, lived only a few days. She was born 16 weeks premature. Yes, 4 months early. She was so small. I have never seen a smaller living human. She weighed only 13 oz and measured a mere 8 1/2″ long. My little girl fought hard, but in the end, we had to let her go. There isn’t a day that goes by that she isn’t in my thoughts at some point.
Today is October 15th and it is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness day. I am so glad that I live in the time I do. Had my baby been born 100 years ago, it would have been a very taboo subject. And it would have been a common occurrence. By having my baby now, I am met with others that can also empathize with all that I have been through. I am able to help them as they walk the path of grief that I walked just prior to them. The subject is still slightly taboo to talk about. There are a lot of people that dismiss the death of a baby, especially when it comes to miscarriage. I am so fortunate that Kelsi was born alive. It throws me into a different group of women where my grief is acceptable and I don’t have to fight the fight of grieving a baby that has been lost. My heart breaks for my many friends that delivered a still baby and watching their grief somehow not be as acceptable. Any loss is horrible at any stage. The lost dreams. The lost memories that will never happen. The lost love and experiences. All of it is a loss. All of it is heartbreaking.
Tonight at 7:00 in every time zone there will be a wave of light that passes over the nation, if not the world, as mothers and loved ones light a candle for our sweet babies that were taken from us too soon.
My dear sweet Kelsi, I will always wonder who you would have been. I will always miss you. And most of all, I look forward to the day we reunite.
November already? How can that be possible? And not only that, but we are already 9 days in. Time just flies by anymore. I could swear we just started this year. I am sure that I am not the only who feels this way. I think that as I get older that time just goes faster and faster. Sometimes it makes it hard to enjoy it.
How was your Halloween? Ours was pretty fun. Riley is getting a little old for it, but she still enjoyed dressing up for school and going out with the girls. We didn’t really decorate this year. I don’t know where all of my stuff it. Imagine that. But the two younger girls really had a great time.
I have been working on my book and I am sad to say that it has been going much slower than I would like. Also, as I was working on it, I realized that I need more experience in the section that I was writing. So I have changed the focus of the first volume. While that is good, it does mean that I am starting over from the beginning on this one. Luckily, it is going much more smoothly than the section on making your own pancake dies.
Because of all that is going on with kids, schools, remodels and everything else, I haven’t really had time to actually get into doing any kind of art at all. I mean nothing. So I decided to give myself a 30 Days of Art challenge here in November. I have to make or work on at least one piece of art a day. It doesn’t have to be finished, but I have to do something. Some days I get 3 or 4 pieces done, others, I am lucky to sneak one in before going to bed.
So let me show you a little of what I have been doing.
Day 1 – Spinner Ring. This is the ring that I made during the demonstration video for Pepetools Ring Shank Bender.
Day 2 – Silver Synclastic Earrings I made using my Arbor Press from Potter USA
Day 3 – A great big bow for my front gate. I have never made a bow before, so don’t pick on me.
I know it doesn’t look all that big, so let me give you a little perspective:
Day 4 – Copper and Silver Earrings. I used the Ring Shank Bender to coil the wire (12 gauge copper.) When I hammered them, they got all out of shape. Without annealing, I used the Ring Shank Bender AGAIN and reformed the earrings. I am really starting to like that tool a lot.
Day 5 – Quick bracelets made from 12 gauge aluminum
Day 6 – This is progress made on my first ever stained glass piece. I don’t know that I will ever master this one, but there is a HUGE panel in my near future. I need to cover up the window that looks out on the AC unit that was installed in the middle of my studio window.
Day 7 – This is just a prototype of a large wire angel. I was trying to figure out how difficult it would be to work with 12 gauge wire, as well as figuring out how much wire I would need. I will be making a Christmas ornament with three angels. It is a commissioned piece for a mom who lost her triplets earlier in the summer.
Day 8 – I was trying to do an experiment with a fold formed piece and the hydraulic press. Well, I made the fold formed piece too large and it wasn’t going to work the way I wanted it to so I made a little bit of abstract art for myself. It now sits in my window and brings me joy.
I actually had multiple pieces. This is a simple formed piece in the hydraulic press.
Day 9 – Doing more work on my book I was playing around with various techniques and this little guy emerged. I just need to figure out a bail for it. I actually really like how it turned out and watching it evolve was so much fun.
All content and images on this blog are the property of Melissa Muir and use of them in any context is strictly prohibited unless written permission is first obtained. Please feel free to repin any of the pictures of pieces done by Melissa Muir only.
Happy New Year everyone. I hope you all had a great holiday season. I am ready for the holidays to be done and on to life with all of its upcoming changes. One year ago, I was preparing to move in two months time. This year, I am preparing to move, but I don’t know when. I just know it is going to happen. I am still a bit apprehensive about moving to Utah, but I am getting more excited about it. I like the prospect that this past Christmas is the last one we will spend alone. I am looking forward to having my family over for Sunday Dinner, or better yet, at my mom and dads place. My mom is the best cook ever! House hunting is also difficult when you live 750 miles away. It doesn’t help that there really isn’t much on the market there that fits our needs and desires. But as I have said before, We have always been put where we need to be when we need to be, and I am sure it will happen once again.
If you are new to my blog, you may have wondered about the name, Kelsi’s Closet Jewelbox. Kelsi is my second daughter. Her birthday was 2 days ago, December 30th. She would be turning 8 years old this year. However, 8 years ago today, January 1st, she passed away in my hands.
This picture was taken at Thanksgiving. It was the first time I have had all four girls together at the same time. Kate is holding up 6 fingers because that is how old she is. LOL. Silly kid.
Every year I have made a special piece of jewelry for myself. However, this year I have not made much jewelry and I didn’t make one for her birthday. But I did have something special made. A long-time online friend of mine started making lamp work beads a while back… and she does some beautiful work. I asked her if she would make an angel for me. They were all so pretty that I have ended up having her make 4 of them. Each one of my girls will be getting one of these pretty little beads. I had her make little teddy bears as they go along with the teddy bear that is on Kelsi’s headstone.
Sally Sutherland of Soul Silver is the artist behind these little beauties. I am very excited to get them. Aren’t they beautiful? Just the quiet reverence that portrayed with their sweet little faces…. Please be sure to visit her Etsy Store
for more beautiful eye candy.
Another thing that happens every year for Kelsi’s birthday is that my mom will make a luminary out of a milk jug and decorate it up beautifully. She does this because it keeps the wind from blowing the candle out. It is really neat too because more than once, she will put it out on Kelsi’s headstone on the 30th and the candle will still be going when she goes to pick it up on the 1st, each of the days Kelsi was alive. This year my mother made a white bow and flower for it. You see, at the age of 8, we believe that children have reached the age of accountability, when they are able to know right from wrong when making choices. It is when they reach this age that they are able to be baptized in our religion. The baptismal dressing is all white. We won’t be having a baptism this year, and that actually makes me really sad.
It is strange to think that it has already been 8 years. There are some things that I remember so vividly. I remember going down to the NICU at about 1:30 in the morning to see my sweet little baby. All the nurses were wearing 2005 crowns. And some of the little isolets were decorated up with tinsel and Christmas ornaments.
I have been really thinking about a lot of things lately. This weekend I have been helping a friend of mine move. She is going through a heartbreaking divorce and has had to sell her beautiful home and is facing a totally different life than she had imagined. Through it all she had kept her faith in the Lord and is a genuinely beautiful person. It is sad to watch everything that she is going through. I have seen others go through similar and they have allowed the sad situation taint them with a spot of ugly, if you will. They become cynical and angry. And while it is normal for people to go through that as part of a grieving phase, some allow for that part to stay. Then they get angry and start to ask why God has done this to them or allowed it to happen.
When Kelsi passed away, I went through all the various phases of grieving. I got angry, I was sad, I was confused and broken. But I honestly never really felt angry at God and asked Why Me? Because really, why not me? It has to happen to someone, if that makes any sense. To tell you honestly, it is okay that it happened to me. It took a little while, but I can easily see that the most loving and merciful thing that God did for me in this situation, is to allow my precious little baby to leave this life. Had she lived, her quality of life, and ours too really, would have been VERY different than what it is now. It would not have been fun at all. We knew she was in for a long line of surgeries, possible and likely blindness, possible Cerebral Palsy and a long list of other things including lung issues from being born so early. So while I would have taken that life and loved her all the same, life is so much better for all of us by her not having to deal with any of it.
Also, I am fortunate that it happened to me as I am one of those people that can take something like this and have it make me stronger and hopefully a better person. If not better, perhaps more mindful. I was also very fortunate that Kelsi was not my first child. I had Riley, 4 years old at the time, who still needed me to be a mom. I didn’t have time to withdraw and allow the situation to suck the life out of me. It was also interesting that at the same time I was dealing with her death and making all the funeral arrangements that the company I worked for at the time was HORRIBLE about the whole thing. I can assure you that at the time, I was sitting there going “Why me?!?!?!” But within 2 weeks I knew that that too was a HUGE blessing as I was able to get a better job, with a better company with a huge pay rase and MUCH better benefits. From that experience alone, I have become much more mindful that even though some things REALLY REALLY SUCK, a lot of times it is just a blessing in the works.
We have been dealing with a couple of really difficult things for the last year in our family. It still hasn’t improved and sometimes gets worse. I am still waiting for the time when we can sit and look back to see why those things happened and which blessings they have led us to. And even though we are in the throws of “suckyness,” I can already see several very obvious blessings.
I am really sad about this next move as I was really hoping that Washington was going to be my home. But I am so grateful that I got to live here and experience this at all. I have made some wonderful friends, including the special friend that I have been helping move this week. She has opened my eyes to MANY things and helped me to look at things in a different light. I have met some other people that have taught me some other things and I look forward to taking those lessons and putting them into action in our new home, with our new neighbors and new friendships that are to be developed.
I want to thank every one of you for subscribing to my blog and helping it to grow as much as it has. I was looking at my site stats the other day and was simply blown away. Last December I had 18,000 hits (which was AMAZING in and of itself) but this December I had nearly 86,000 hits. OH MY GOODNESS!!! I am currently averaging over 1,000 views per day. I have nearly 700 people that subscribe to my YouTube channel and nearly 700 here on my blog. While I feel that I am still a small fry, I am truly humbled that you feel that it is worth your time to have my blog be a part of your life. So Thank You!
I hope that 2013 is a great year for all of us. Thank you for letting me be a part of your 2013.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!