"Grieving the loss of a child is a process, it begins the day your child passes and ends the day the parent joins them."

Saturday, June 4, 2011

And so we went...

***this post was done a year ago. I knew I had done a post about our donating books to Carly's elementary school and to her classmates,,,but....I never actually posted it. Soooo, below you will see the post I did, a year ago. Followed by an updated post from today!***


....to visit Carly's school.

Last Friday, Paul, Ashleigh, my mom and I (we couldn't get Brad or my dad to go) headed to Dansville Elementary School. It proved to be much more difficult than I had thought it would be. Actually, it was very difficult, for us, for the kids and the staff. Many tears were shed today. Carly is deeply missed.

Several weeks ago, we received a letter in the mail from the Elementary Principal, informing us that the staff and kids were really wanting to do something within the school, in Carly's memory. The letter stated that the staff had talked with the kids in Carly's classroom, shortly after Carly's passing. The kids were asked what they would like to do, within the school, to remember Carly. Well, the kids knew Carly so well and they knew her love for books was so great. When asked if they would like to "make a Carly's Corner" inside the library, complete with a primary size table and chair set. The kids were thrilled with the idea and all said "yes" And so, it was decided. Carly's Corner would be set up in the spot that Carly always sat and read her library books. The principal even had a name plate made and placed on the table. The letter invited our family to come to the school and view, Carly's Corner.

After receiving that letter, I knew that I wanted to donate some of Carly's books to the school library. I wanted to insert name plates inside of each book. Paul and I headed to Office Max, bought some labels and then hit my brother and sister in-law up for the project!! I probably could have done it myself, but my mind is a scattered mess these days.

We placed Carly's first grade picture on each label with a memorial message. After deciding to donate to the library, I decided that I wanted to give each classmate one of Carly's favorite books too. Carly loved those kids and they loved her. We had name plates made up for each of those books also, the message was just a little different.

When last Friday came, I was a nervous wreck. We walked into the school office where we met up with the school secretary, Mary Fran. Mary Fran has been there for 22 years! She saw both, Ash and Brad through elementary school. Seeing her really set the tears in motion. She hugged us each and cried with us. And then we headed down the hallway toward Carly's classroom. Oh my gosh, was that ever a hard walk. The tears were flowing down each of our faces. We tried to pull ourselves together before heading into the classroom. We tried, but didn't really succeed. Thankfully, the teacher had explained to the kids that this may be a very sad visit for us. Carly's aide, resource teacher and OT were there as well and cried along with us.

Once we settled ourselves down, I managed to finally speak to the kids. I told them how much Carly loved her friends and how she would be so happy that we were giving each one of them, one of her favorite books. I handed out a book to each child. The two most favorite books, went to Carly's two best friends; Hannah and Shanna. The kids were very happy to each receive one of her books. I pointed out the name plate that was placed inside of each cover. Their faces lit up when they saw Carly's pictures. One little boy kept saying, "look, it's Carly. It's Carly!"

One little guy asked me, "what's wrong with your eyes?" The aide explained that I was sad. The little guy said, "because Carly's in Heaven, and that makes us sad right?"

Hannah, broke into some horrible tears. She was a mess. The poor little girl just loved Carly. And when she found out that she had one of Carly's favorite books, the poor little girl just lost it. I sat and talked with her, hugged her and told her how good of a friend she was to Carly. She told me, "but I miss her so much." That broke my heart. Hannah was one of 7 of Carly's classmates who came to visitation at the funeral home.

Shanna, who has been Carly's friend since they were 3 yrs old, told us that she was going to take special care of her book. Shanna is the little friend who came to the funeral home and absolutely insisted, that Carly would come back from Heaven and play with her again. In fact, the class made a poster the day before the funeral and delivered it to the funeral home. Each child wrote something special to Carly and to us. Shanna wrote, "Carly, please come back from Heaven and play with me again." That almost knocked us to our knees..


One year later. Wow. I can not believe I never actually posted the above post. In fact, I discovered several posts that have yet to be posted. Oops. Guess I'm a slacker. I really do need to get several of them posted. Hopefully I will get on that, before another year passes.

We decided that we wanted to continue to donate books to the Dansville Elementary Library, each year. I went online the other day and ordered 10 nice new books. I placed a name plate in each one and we will head off to the school next week.

I went to Amazon and browsed several hundred books! I wanted to get a few of the "easy readers", which is what Carly was into. I also wanted to get some books that I knew Carly would enjoy having read to her, but were at a higher level of reading than where she was at.

The Big Book Of Bugs, would have been one of her FAVORITES. She would have flipped over this book! Carly was all about bugs, frogs, snakes, turtles...everything I disliked!!

She would have also loved having me read The Random House Book of Poetry. She loved listening to poems and fairy tales. I used to read to her, a book that my brother and sister in-law got for Ash, when Ash was a toddler. It came from England, where they were stationed while in the Air Force. That book was full of poems and fairy tales. In fact, one day while I was reading that book to her, she spelled her first word! She saw a toy box full of toys and toys on the floor surrounding the toy box, Carly signed to me, T O Y S! Anyone who knows sign, knows, you actually spell the word out. I almost fell off the couch.

These are all the books I picked out this year. I know that Carly would have sat and read each and every one of these books for hours on end. She loved her books! She had about a million of them. And I'm not exaggerating! She would ask me to get, "all books, all mama" then she'd head to the couch and I'd carry her a STACK off one of her book shelves. She would sit and look at those books for hours on end.

I hope the kids enjoy these books, as much as I know, Carly would have.


Becca said...

Wow, that was a really powerful post that I was *not* expecting. What an amazing outpouring of love from those children when you took the books to them last year! I bet they really needed that, the little bit of Carly that they could hold on to every day. Whew, wiping the tears from my eyes.

my family said...

WOW, although this was a year ago tears are streaming. I can only imagine how difficult this must have been.
What a wonderful thing to do to keep C's legacy alive by donating her favorite books. I think that would make her very happy.
Can you imagine how special her classmates must have felt when they got one of her books? I bet they treasure their's forever, sounds like she had a great group of kids in her class

I Just Love You said...

i think you should hold a book drive once a year in carly's memory. What a great way to help out the school and honor carly.

Bulldogma said...

Tears... and hugs!
What a beautiful and heartfelt gift for the school.

Lisa said...

this. is awesome.

And why do I always forget to have tissue handy when I read your posts? Such love...

Jeana said...

What a beautiful way to honor and remember Carly. She was very loved by her classmates, that is so special, just think of all the loves she touched and continues to touch.

Kristin said...

I know Carly is smiling down on you for this!! Great way to honor your princess :)

Lacey said...

I love the book drive idea, and I love those inserts that you put in every book. So the kids will know where the book came from. Carly would love it!

Cindy said...

Tears are streaming down my cheeks as I write this. What an excellent idea! I love the special book name plates too. What a perfect way to honor sweet Carly.

B said...

I have tears in my eyes. I am so touched that those children cared so much about sweet Carly. So touched that you would donate books in her honor. Your amazing little girl has touched my heart even though I never personally knew her. Those kids are very lucky to have some of Carly's favorite books, I hope they cherish them forever.