Friday, May 10, 2013

Parke's Beads...

Today would have been Parke's 4 month birthday. I've told several friends lately that this is an interesting milestone for us. I remember when Landry turned 4 months old and Micah commented that she came to life all the sudden. She was smiling, she was acknowledging that she knew if we were there or not, she started showing preferences to different things. We looked forward to this milestone with Collier knowing that the "newborn" days were short lived and soon we would have a baby that would be fun to interact with in ways besides feeding and snuggling. It was a fun transition for us from newborn to baby. 

That would have been today. Parke would have been changing, developing, learning new things. I've struggled with seeing some babies lately and wishing I had him back. I've broken down at the most random times...I can feel it coming on, and can sometimes excuse myself before I make a spectacle of myself boo-hooing over a strangers baby at Target. :) 

Tough times, but God is so merciful. He gives me so many bright spots in my day with sweet memories of Parke. Landry says the most precious things about her brother in heaven, unprovoked. She talks about him all the time, and even said "Something is missing! Oh, it's Baby Parke." the other day. 

We have such precious memories of him, and try to find neat ways to honor him as a part of our family. Here's something we finished about a month ago...

When Parke was at Arkansas Children's Hospital, he was accepted into a program called Beads of Courage. You an read about the program here, but basically they provide beautiful beads for different milestones for critically ill children. While kids are in the hospital, they get different beads for each night they stay, each IV poke, each x-ray, etc. They beads help tell the child's story, and they have them on lanyards that the older kids wear. We saw some kids with 10+lanyards full of beads! 
Since Parke was only there a few days, he had just the right amount of beads for us to put together some sweet keepsakes. 
I knew I wanted Landry to have something special to remember Parke, so I picked 3 beads to make her a necklace. The middle is a blue heart (showing P was a heart patient) and two glow-in-the-dark beads (for x-rays and or echo-cardiograms). After that, I knew I wanted to have a bracelet made for myself. I took the leftover beads into a local shop planning to add some things to it to make it a complete bracelet. Once the sweet owner put it together, it fit perfectly without any additions! I am thrilled with the way it turned out, and I have worn it every day since I got it back. My favorite bead is the big pink was the "parent bead" given to me at the hospital. All the beads are hand painted and unique. I just love this sweet reminder of our boy! Landry doesn't like to wear her necklace much yet, but she likes to show people and tell them it was from Baby Parke for her birthday. :)

Happy 4 month birthday Baby Parke. Give Jesus a big grin for us! 


  1. I can't even imagine what you are going through. I love the beads of courage program at ACH. I think it is very special that you now have a necklace and bracelet to remember Parke by.

    1. Thank you Katrin! Hope you guys are all doing well...especially sweet Evan!