Monday, 4 November 2013


So those are my parents. 
This picture is from 1980.  I think.  This was before any children.  My mother was 22ish, and my father was 27ish.  My mother is 100% Lithuanian, and my father is 50% Scottish and 50% English. 
After Alexander died, I studied my childhood pictures - A LOT.  How I looked verses how my sister looked.  Who got what feature from what parent, whose expressions were more like mom or dad.. and so on.  My sister and I are both girls (obviously) and we are 22 months apart in age.  People used to tell me that I looked more like my dad and my sister looked more like my mom.  But then my brother was born, and my sister looked more like my mom, and my brother looked more like my dad... and I was always "the perfect mix".  As the 3 of us got older, our looks matured and everyone's comments of who looked like what parent pretty much stayed the same.  Sister, mom.  Brother, dad.  And me... a 50/50 mix. 
Now that Theodore is here, and is growing and changing every day .. the enormous loss of our first born son and all that we will forever be missing idles along side Theo's ever changing self. 

And I think...


Alexander would have looked like Daniel. 
In the early days out from Alexander's death,  I used to find comfort in watching Daniel sleep.  When he was sleeping, I saw a spitting image of my son.  The shape of his cheeks, his eyes... the shape of his chin.  Alexander was all Daniel.  He had the fullness of my lips and the shape of my mouth, but I saw so many of his features mirror Daniel's.  As Daniel was sleeping - his face relaxed and his muscles still - I saw Alexander. 

I went through the few baby pictures that Daniel's mother had, and I looked for my son.  That's what he would have looked like, I thought.  He would have been this fat... his hair just like this... his expressions just so...
My dad used to take our pictures... all... the... time.  This was back in the 80's, before anything was digital.  Before any filters or previews or touch ups. He had a really good camera (he used to carry his lenes around in a briefcase everywhere he went!). There are hundreds of pictures of me and my siblings, all frame worthy.  He was a true photographer. 
He would get the three of us together, line us up against a wall.. or on a couch.. and just candidly snap away.  I didn't even think it to be anything less ordinary than having a meal, he used to do it so often. 
And I get it now.  When you have your children, you don't want to miss anything.  You want to freeze time and have every.single.second documented and captured because you know you're only going to have the here and now ONCE... and then it's over.  And they change.  And they grow.  And all that they once were is in the past, and you wake up and they are new and different and amazing and you have to once again capture it because it's all over before you get the chance to soak it all up. 
My father behind the lens...

I apparently think my baby brother is the BEST THING EVER!

My brother was approx 2 years old here, and I remember my sister and I having to contain him.  He was more interested in being anywhere but exactly where we needed him to be. 
My socks make this shot, just sayin'
All 3 kids, alive and well.  No one missing.  No one dead. 
We all grew up.  A lot less pictures were taken (especially of me, as I ducked out of every shot my dad attempted when I hit age 12).  
you can kind of see why the camera and I didn't get along.  I was, for lack of a better phrase, a fat kid growing up.  I think I was about 14/15 in this picture.  And my brother was The Tallest 11/12 year old you'd ever seen.
But we all grew up into our own selves.  We are Grown Ups now.  Wow.  Sorry mom and dad for making time fly so damn fast.

Oct 2010.  6 months after our father died.  A different life time for me.  Before my baby died.
Siblings.  Born March '82, December '83 and October '87.  Looking like mom and dad.  Looking like each other.  But so very much looking uniquely like ourselves. 


And I think about Alexander.  As genetics once again play their determined role in shaping the way someone will end up looking... I think about Alexander.  Big brother to Theodore.  Who would he have been?  Would he be tall like his uncle?  Be chubby like his mom?  Be a total short fry like his Italian dad? 

And tell me again why I cant kiss his face as he changes every day... ?


When Daniel and I were weeks away from welcoming our first son, we gave in, and let my mother throw me a baby shower.  Because we had JUST MOVED into our new house (and I mean we had been there for a WEEK before the shower date) I took a lot of the planning into my own hands.  I was so nervous about having 20 people over to a half moved in house... with no where to sit... nothing to look at... nothing to do... no where to put their drinks and plates... I needed to know everything that was being planned so I could relax a bit in how I was envisioning everything.

We didn't have a single picture/piece of artwork hung on our walls.  I needed to have something for our guests to occupy themselves with in between games and food and gift opening..

I put together a "slide show" of pictures from when Daniel and I were wee and little.  It kind of went like this...

One of me..

then one of him...
One of me...
one of him...
One of me...
And then, you guessed it, one of him

While I was co-planning this shower with my mother, I started getting really giddy.  I know, I'd been pregnant for nearly 8 full months, and I was JUST NOW started to get giddy?!?  But yes, it's true.  My unbridled excitement didn't start to set in until the very end.  We were house hunting, I was selling my condo... work was busy busy busy all while I was gestating this perfect man child.  I didn't really have the time to focus to get all gaga over baby life.  I figured the time will come when the baby is here, and I'll without a doubt be busting at the seams with everything baby.  And I was excited throughout my pregnancy... but I just didn't have a lot of time to ACT OUT my excited state.  And planning that shower gave me the time to FINALLY ooze with all things baby that were living inside me.  (no pun intended).
And I put together this little slide show (of about 150-200 pictures) and I was getting more and more anxious to finally meet this baby.  To finally SEE this baby.  They are such unknown little creatures inside the womb.. feeling pokes and jabs.  But not ever able to put a face to the fetus - the mysterious world of growing babies.  So suspenseful.  We didn't have a 3D ultrasound because I wanted my first time seeing this baby be in the flesh, as I put it.  I wanted to see him OUT, and no other way before that.  (HUGE regret now, but such is life).
As Theo is looking more and more like me as he grows up into his babyhood.. I cant help but think that Alexander would have been the spitting image of his father.  Maybe Theo will change and look more like Daniel as he grows into boyhood.  But for now, he's his mommy's son for sure.


That's me and Daniel.  It was January of 2009.  An innocent time.  A time before life and my waistline was blown up and changed to the point of no return by the loss of our first child.  I remember that couple.  I remember smiling like that.  I miss those days.

Now we are people who have made babies. 
One that fills our lives with the business of having a child, and the sleep deprivation of having a baby...

cat watching

And one that will never grow.  One that will always be just a baby.  With tiny chubby hands, and perfect lips.  One that I will never know how he would have grown up to look just like his dad, or be a pretty little boy and take after his mom. 


I think back to the time when it was just me and my sister. 


When it was her looking just like our mother... and me looking just like our father.
Two siblings, same gender, so close in age. 
And I want to know Alexander.  I want to see him grow up. 
Instead, I look at pictures of Daniel when he was a boy... and I look for pieces of my son who I will never know.

I don't believe in signs anymore.  Or maybe I do, but I cant bring myself to ponder what kind of sign my stillborn son might have been.  But recently I noticed a picture hanging in Daniel's parents house.  It is in their bedroom, above their light switch.  It caught be off guard.  I have probably seen it before.  I most likely had seen it before I ever had any children. 
It is baby Daniel.  With an "A" and the number 1 next to him.
Is this a sign?  Would Alexander be daddy's boy?  Daddy's little twin?
Who ever he would have been, and however he would have turned out after taking a dip in our gene pool, I miss him.  I miss everything about him, and everything I'll never know.


  1. I love all these old pictures. And I've had all these same thoughts. Zuzu is such a blend of us... would Eliza have been my mini-me? Or would she have taken after her dad? Would she and Zuzu look alike? How different would they be?

  2. Lovely post. I've had these same thoughts. I love how much Theo looks like you. I think Cale would have been more like Miles. He has my lips but I feel like he would have aged more like Miles whereas Finn, even though lots of people think he is all Miles, is more of a blend. His pictures look so similar to my dad and brother as little boys.

    But always looking at pictures, searching for the boy who never was. Who only was a baby.

  3. I also wonder how genetics would have played out for Liam. Leif is a spitting image of his papa and there is no sign of me yet. The Chinese gene is a strong one it seems and I wonder if Liam would have also taken after his dad or if he would have taken after me? Recently someone told me that one child always takes after one parent and the other from the other parent and that made me so sad. Maybe Liam would have been my mini me. I'll always wonder.

  4. Love the baby Daniel A picture! I only believe in beautiful signs. I also miss everything we'll never know. xoxo

    Also love all the cute family photos