I never wanted kids. I do not get excited about new babies. I am horrible at interacting with children. I find it difficult to come down to their level and I get bored playing pretend. If they are girls I am even worse at princess things. I grew up playing “war” in the woods, boxing with my brother and dad, and when I played Barbies she was on her third marriage, and Skipper spent every other weekend with her pretentious step-mother and her bob haircut. When Mick and I discussed a future we talked about how it was not a goal for either of us but agreed we wouldn’t rule it out. We voiced simplistic generalities about how our kid would be adorable, and athletic and all things that seem ridiculous now. We sounded self righteous using grand statements of never, or three years from now, or before I am 35. We were ignorant to assume we had any say in eternal things.

When we found out Miss Birdie was coming – I had a very difficult time. My introspection was working overtime. I was convinced I would be a horrible mother – cold and mean. About halfway through my pregnancy I began singing to her. I sang in the car, in the shower, resting on the couch – music was always playing and Mick and I would do our best to squeak out harmonies. One afternoon in the hospital we had to make an incredibly difficult decision – our energy was sorrowful and Birdie could sense it. Her comfort level was plummeting and she was maxed out on morphine. I began humming scales – simple C scales up and down, over and over. Immediately Birdie’s oxygen levels began to rise, her heart rate leveled and she squeezed my finger. If I stopped humming her numbers would plummet. I hummed and hummed and when I couldn’t do it, Mick took my place. We hummed together, we made up songs, we sang to her about Buddy and her grandparents, her aunts and uncles and whatever we could think of. When our tears took our voices our sweet nurse turned on music. Other than the moment they finally placed her in my arms, she was never that calm. As I unraveled under the weight of it all, Mick looked at me and said, “honey, you are a natural at this…only her mom would know she needed that.” 

Although we do not have the stories and the photos of a one year old, we are parents, and in that moment, I was a mom. 365 days have passed, and the days are easier yet it still steals our breath. We miss our precious bird.


7 thoughts on “365

  1. You are a mom. You were meant to be a mom And Mick was right. Only you knew what she needed. Your voice as simple as that is was what she needed to calm her. You sharing this is brave and humbling and I am so blessed to be able to read this. Love you dear friend

  2. DeWitt

    Misie your post always touches my heart because I sense the love you and Micky have for Birdie. In most cases the priorities we had when we were younger change with life experiences. There is nothing that can cause that change more than a baby. May God comfort you with the knowledge that you will see Birdie again. That is the what the joy of being a Christian brings.

  3. Weeping as I read this, & sending love & prayers to you & Micky. We’ll never understand this side of heaven, & when you see your precious Birdie there, none of the pain will accompany you. Love you!

  4. Erin

    Birdie, such a beautiful blessing and gift, was giving to you and Mick because God knew exactly WHO she needed in her life, to be there, to love, and to hum her into peace. ❤

  5. Lois Bruce

    Misie, your honesty has been like a sword, slashing through miles and miles of pain. The fact you care enough to share your insights is an amazing gift to all of us who love you so much. One year markers are tough for any grieving process and you and Mic are so smart to go off to such a beautiful place to let natures healing powers wash over you. You and your beautiful families have been on my mind for days. Sending all my love.

  6. Carole King

    My Sweet Melissa! Oh how precious you are to me. The way you love Birdie is how our Heavenly Father loves us every single moment of our lives. No conditions or expectations. Just pure sweet love. You are so brave and amazing. I love your honesty and your heart. I am changed….for the better because of you. I love you and Micky with all my heart! I continue to pray for you. I will be forever grateful I was able to see Birdie and whisper in her ear that she was the best grand daughter ever.

  7. Misie, I have been thinking about you for the past week, and I believe today is the anniversary of the day little Birdie went to see Jesus. You peacefully singing her out of your arms and into his healing ones is a most beautiful and sorrowful image all at once. I am lifting you up in prayer. I hope you can feel all the love I am sending from afar for both you and Mick. You have learned so much, and one of the most important lessons in life: we don’t have any say in eternal things. And we won’t fully understand until we are there with God. I love you, friend!

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