Everyone, Hope. Hope, everyone.

Does anyone know what in the hell was going on at Kenwood mall this Saturday?  Was there some huge sale going on?  Was it the “Please come out and shop because the economy sucks and we need some business and let’s face it, it’s the middle of January and you weren’t doing anything anyway” sale?  Because that place was packed like it was the week before Christmas…and it was the only mall in America.  You would have been hard pressed to tell that there is a recession going on at Kenwood mall.

Normally I would have just turned around and went home after Jesy and I went up and down at least four isles to find a parking spot.  I’m just not that patient when it comes to mall parking.  Nine times out of ten I don’t want to be there anyway, so why would I put that much effort to find a parking spot three zip codes away?

But it was a special day.  Today was the day that both Jesy and I felt like we could handle going to the Build-A-Bear Workshop at Kenwood to make the stuffed bear that we had planned on making for our child.  You see, before we heard the heart beat for the last time (wow, that was tougher to type that I thought it would be) we went to Build-A-Bear and bought a recorder and took it with us to the appointment to record the heartbeat. Our plan was to then put it in a bear for our baby.  I must admit this was not my idea, I stole it from a co-worker who suggested it.  So, before everything blew up, we had recorded the heartbeat and for the last two months that recorder just sat in the original bag that we bought it in collecting dust.  As a matter of fact I hadn’t even listened to it since that day, couldn’t.

Sooooo, yeah it was worth the Everest-like hike from Scooby Doo 17 to the mall entrance.

Picking the right bear:

Harder than I thought.  I’m an unconventional thinker sometimes and I like to mix it up.  I thought the rabbits they had were very cute and didn’t feel like going all main-stream with this.  But, Jesy hates rabbits because she had a real rabbit when she was younger and it was mean apparently.  So the rabbit was out.  I liked the wolf that they had, it was a special WWF (World Wildlife Foundation, not wrestling) that would be replaced by another animal in the coming months.  But the way it had to sit didn’t make it very cuddly.  Dear God, I just used cuddly and cute in the same paragraph, this is getting dangerous.  So two strikes so far.  Jesy and I just kind of wandered around like zombies staring at the bears and other animals you could build not getting “that feeling” from any of them.  And of course I didn’t want to budge either about getting a traditional brown bear, it just seemed to normal for any kid of mine.

But then there it was.  A white bear with pink hearts.  Perfect for that little girl we had lost.  I mean if they had a frog it would have been an easy choice, but this bear was a fine substitute.  I can imagine a very young Jesy picking out this exact bear.

Building the bear:

Once we had the deflated bear in hand it was time to get her all stuffed.  As we were waiting in line to get the bear innards I noticed that we were the only people in there without an ankle biter with us, I’m sure it seemed a bit strange to the employees there, because several times we were asked, “Oh, building a bear for your little one?”  Ummmmmmmmmmmmm.  Blank face. That was our response.  Pretty articulate right?  What do you say, how do you respond to that?  “Well Build-A-Bear employee that I have never met, let me tell you all about how we lost the baby that we had planned on building this bear for, and please excuse my wife’s tears right now as you have struck a nerve.  Thanks.”

I know it wasn’t their fault at all and they were just trying to make small talk as the machine filled the bear, but dammit I was really hoping to get out of here without Jesy having to even think about re-hashing that story verbally again.  I was prepared just to say yes to shut him up, but Jesy bravely told him a VERY Reader’s Digest condensed version.  He did the awkward shut up and looked down at the ground.

Naming the bear:

The hardest part of all.  With bear in hand we had to sit at the “naming station” and fill out a “birth certificate” for the bear.  Weird.  The bear gets a birth certificate and our baby doesn’t.  Surreal really.  So what do you call a bear that you build for someone who has passed away?  What do you name a bear that the intended recipient will never receive?  What do you name a bear that your wife will cuddle with and cry on?


It was so easy, but I blanked.  Jesy was the one that came up with the name and it couldn’t have been more perfect.  I think she felt like she needed some hope, and Hope is what she got.

Jesy has slept with the bear both nights since bringing it home.  Even I rolled over this morning while Jesy was in the shower and hugged it.  I’m not sure that I will be brave enough to listen to the heart beat again anytime soon, but baby steps right?

It was a powerful and emotional day/weekend, but I’m glad we finally did it.  It was another necessary step in healing and moving on I think.

“You have to admit it’s getting better.  It’s getting better all the time.”

15 thoughts on “Hope

    • Promises were made to be broken I suppose. It wasn’t intentional of course and I think that is what I meant!

      Thank you for the love and support!

  1. Day by day the courage and strength that you two have amaze me more and more. Give that Hope bear a hug and kiss from Aunt Jami…and one for the two of you also. Love you guys!!

    • This reply seems a lot more coherent than the last one, Mason must have let you sleep a little more last night!

      Thank you Jami!

  2. What a PERFECT name for the bear. May Hope comfort you both each and every day as your hearts heal a little bit more each day. Like Jami said, your strength amazes me. Please give that bear a little squeezer & kiss from me as well. Love to you both- Beppy

  3. I love that you did this. I still have a small stuffed dog Landon had with him everyday he was in the hospital after he was born. Which was about 40 days. It’s name is Buddy because he was a Buddy to Landon. I still cuddle with it from time to time. Awesome idea. Hugs to you both!!!

  4. George, I know we don’t get to see much of each other anymore, so I love your openness and willingness to share those things that are near and dear to you. My thoughts are with you and Jesy.

  5. What an absolutely lovely name – I couldn’t have picked a better one myself!
    You two have given me the courage to complete my scrapbook for Johnathan. I have been meaning to do it, but the time never seems ‘right’. I guess there is no time like the present to muster up my emotional strength and go for it. Thank you.

  6. Once again, you tugged at my heart, and made me cry. I am still amazed at the inner strength and courage that both of you are able to draw on, and so happy that you both seem to be more at peace. Your baby girl will always be in your hearts, and I’m sure that she is the one who is giving you hope . LOVE the name of the bear: it says it all, and what a perfect bear she appears to be with little hearts all over. Love you both!!

  7. What an incredible story of courage and healing from the loss of your daughter. The both of you are a source of support for one another. I like how you spoke to us and God in sharing your feelings. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. An Irish headstone. What we have once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us. Helen Keller

  8. First Name: Hope
    Middle: Springs
    Last: Eternal
    Hope Springs Eternal. This is what you give each one of us every time you write! Thank you for being so honest, it really does give me HOPE!
    Love you both!

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