February 1, 2011

A Lack of Character

Those of you who have been reading for a while know that last year I was participating in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) as frequently as possible. Then I got pregnant and moved to Russia and I just couldn't do it every day. I am sure that those of you who have been reading recently can understand why I have not been posting all that much, and some of you are probably glad, given the topics of late, but I am writing today to let you know that I am going to participate this month.

In addition, I'd like you to know that the entire month's posts will not be about Addison. Or at least, that is not my plan. Granted, I tend to write about her and my experiences regarding her whenever the feeling strikes me, but really, I have plans to write about other things.

No, really.


The topic for February 2011 is Character. There are so many ways that one can go, yes? Let's take a look at one definition of the word, via Merriam-Webster online:

  • 2a: one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual


Addison does not nor will she ever have attributes or features to distinguish her. Yes, she looked, as best we could tell, like our child. She looked very much like Miss Thing's sister: similar but different. Aside from that, we have no idea what she would have looked like, what her features would be, and we never will. She did not open her eyes, so I will never be able to tell you if they, or her lips, or anything else are her best feature. We will simply never know, which is just one item of many on that list. Features are not really the point of this post, so now that I've gotten that out of the way...

Addison does not nor will she ever have attributes to distinguish her. She'll never love, never know her family, never be family. Yes, it is true that she will also never be hurt, never be teased, never have her heart broken...but since those are the things of which character is made, I'd much rather she have those experiences than be dead. And as for family, yes she is my daughter. She is a member of the family...but she's not family.

You know how there are people in your life who are your family though you are not related? I bet all of you reading this can name them immediately. They are those who "get" you, who are there for you when you're a peach and when you're a pain...they are the people who will do for you no matter what or when and they are those with whom you can have a conversation as if you saw them yesterday even if it has been years since you've spoken. That is family. Luckily for me, I have a lot of those people who are related to me for reals. And I am lucky enough to have some who aren't related to me in the slightest.

Addison will never be one of those people, not for me or you or some future friends. Through no fault of anyone she will simply never be, and therefore will have no actions and no words through which and with which she can show her true character.

We named her, but we will never know who "Addison" is. To pretend or say otherwise is ridiculous, fraudulent and unhealthy. A-d-d-i-s-o-n are just some letters on a piece of paper and on a grave stone. They don't stand for a person of character, but for the lack thereof.


When I was a young child, my family took a much anticipated trip to Disney World. I remember very little. I know that I woke my parents up no less than five times the night before we were to leave to ask "Is it time to go yet?" Amazingly they did not leave me at home. I remember being scared to death of Big Thunder Mountain (the tiniest roller-coaster ever made; yes I was a scaredy cat), loving It's A Small World (go figure), and that we rode the Peter Pan and Pirates of the Caribbean rides a bajillion times if we rode them once. Oh, and that my Dad couldn't let us go on a vacation without infusing some history, so we spent a day looking at battlefields. I am sure you can figure out how that went. If you've seen one, you've seen 'em all would suffice. Also: I had to take naps and my brother did not. So. Not. Cool.

We spent our entire day in a single park, more or less. My favorite day was when we went to Epcot. My Granny had given each of us some money to spend on whatever we wanted in Disney World, and I spent mine in Epcot. There was a whole section on using your imagination and it had a mascot: Figment. He was a light-purple dragon with a yellow belly and orange-tipped scales who wore a little shirt, if I remember correctly. 'Cause you know, a proper dragon is clothed. Oh, he was awesome. I don't remember much of what the display/show said, aside from how important an imagination is, but I do remember how much I loved my Figment.

I slept with him for ages, and every night after Mom and Dad put me to bed Figment and I would talk. As in I would even hold him such that I could move his head around while he talked to me. I don't know what we talked about, but I assure you I was using my imagination. He was so loved, in fact, that his neck got all worn out and his head permanently flopped over to one side...which makes me kinda sad. Poor Figment.


I believe an imagination is a wonderful thing. I had an active one. It helped me to comprehend the abstract, it assisted me with writing in school, it allowed me to make things, whether they be music or writing, aesthetically pleasing and it allowed the books I read to come to life. It helps me to this day with all of those things. I foster an imagination in my child and hope that she continues to have an active and abundant imagination as she grows.

The thing is, in order for Addison to be someone, I have to use my imagination. It is only there that she can exist as more than a dead baby. Only as a figment of my imagination can she be someone, anyone, and yet because I know that "imagine" is not real, even that is fake, false, just pretend.


There is only one who knows Addison. The great I Am. The one and only. He knows her. He knows her heart, her soul, her character.

That is enough for me.

We spend a lifetime raising our children to be responsible people who contribute positively to society. We teach them about God and show them as best we can that He is the one and only God. We hope that our children will know Him, His love, and that they will accept Him and live their lives according to His Word. We hope that He and they will be family, for He is the one true Father.

Addison is His. He knows her. She will be with him when Christ returns.

That is enough for me.

I do not know her. I will never know her. Addison is my dead baby, so I refer to her as such, especially on here as this is where I write, hence grieve. I cannot be expected to know her; for people to insist that I already do or for them to insist that to think of her as a dead baby is wrong is...confusing to me.

I cannot wish or hope to know her; it is futile; there is no promise of that. I can find solace in the fact that God knows her. He and only He, the one and only, the great I Am, knows my daughter Addison Leigh.

If I cannot know her, then my wish is that He should.

That is enough for me.

I know that she is saved. I know that she will be with God. I know that He loves her and that she will know His love. It is all that I can ask and hope for, for my dead baby as well as for my living child...

and that is enough for me.


Britney said...

I enjoyed this post, much as I enjoy most of your posts. I enjoyed it, though, b/c, although we grew up together, I acknowledge there are many things we don't know about one another. For instance, the fact that you had a "Figment;" and perhaps you don't know that I had (umm, have, when times are rough) a Mrs. Potter (no, I have no idea why I called her that...).

I also think it's sad that we won't know Addison, as we know Elena. Elena is such a fun, exciting, intelligent, comical child that I like to think Addison would have been as well, but it's possible she could have been your problem child or rebellious or totally not musically inclined as both you and Matt are. But the thing that resonates is, no matter who she is, who she would have been, she's our family. And while we don't know her, we acknowledge and remember her, and we love her.

I love that you write about this. I think it's cathartic and it reminds me to be appreciative for the very, very small things that each day, moment, second, breath, instant bring us. We never know what the future holds. So, don't take it for granted.

Love to you all.
I certainly miss you.

K.P. said...

Well said Brit! I would add a big Ditto. I love learning about you and following your grief and healing. Addison will forever be part of your family. Others may forget that and people you meet down the road may never know that. But, you know you have two daughters. One with you, and one waiting for you. I'm sure she would have been and is precious!