This is a season of new life. Spring is my favorite season of the year with freshly bloomed flowers spotting the green earth. Bees and butterflies dance and flutter in the breeze. I love the sound and smell of light showers falling from full clouds. Near my town, there are hills painted with bright poppies with the roadside littered with parked cars where people snap pictures of the beautiful scenery. I love this season because it reminds me of hope and a new beginning.
Over the past year, I have been slowly adapting to my new life as a bereaved mother. I’m getting used to the unfamiliar colors, sounds, and smells. Each day I embrace unique experiences. All the while, with my daughter in my heart and mind, a greater purpose for this season has risen. I never thought I could be like this. I thought my life was forever doomed for a bleak, lifeless existence.
You see, another valuable lesson has erupted from the ashes. There is a time to mourn, but there is also a time to rejoice. “But, Kaitlin, how can you rejoice after losing your daughter?!” Seems crazy, I know, but I do rejoice in my new life. I belong to a close community, yet at the same time Wendy gave me a perspective of life like I’ve never known. I have started to think for myself and take care of myself more deliberately. I have gained a better appreciation for my friends, family, and especially my husband. Yes, I see the world in different colors, and they are more vibrant than I could have imagined.
All because of Wendy. I rejoice in that.
I rejoice in new experiences every day, because I believe that suffering such incredible loss has developed me into a better version of myself. I have grown in many ways I wouldn’t have otherwise. However, rejoicing doesn’t take away the deep yearning I feel for my daughter every day. I wish she lived. I wish I could watch her grow up. I wish I knew the true color of her eyes.
It has taken me over a year to get to this place. The ability to stand amidst the charm of lovely, flowering elegance cost me crawling desperately through the dark, mournful mud. I know how hard life can be after losing a child. I know that you may feel like life will never be happy again. I know the feeling of immense loss, but it will not last forever. I promise you. It is a season, and a new season awaits. Spring will come.
Kaitlin McLaughlin is currently a grad student at Grand Canyon University, obtaining her Master’s in Education in hopes of becoming a single subject high school teacher. She’s also an Intake Specialist at a local non-profit which specializes in helping at-risk youth finish their high school education and get connected with paid work experience. After Kaitlin and her husband Ryan experienced their daughter being still born due to a neural tube defect, Kaitlin has developed a passion to help her new community of bereaved parents. They reside in Southern California with their one your old Golden Retriever. Also, they spend their time going to the beach, hanging out with friends, and exploring new eateries around their neighborhood.
Several years ago, Forever Footprints learned that families at many Orange County hospitals did not receive memory boxes. Worse yet, we heard stories of families being sent home with their baby’s precious memories in empty milk containers, torn paper bags, or used boxes.
We immediately went into action, purchasing memory boxes and supplies. And an amazing group of volunteers has lovingly decorated more than 400 memory boxes that have gone directly to families who have had a baby die in pregnancy or infancy.
Erin, Eve, Becca, Lindsay, we are so grateful for your dedication and love to Forever Footprints and all the families we serve. Thank you for all you do.
If you would like to make a donation toward our memory box program, please visit Our Donation Website or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are in need of supplies to continue this program and would be so grateful for your financial support.
Registration is open for the 11th annual OC Walk to Remember, a Forever Footprints event, sponsored by ViaSat Inc., on October 10, and the IE Walk to Remember, on October 24.
We encourage parents to invite their loved ones and friends to join them as they walk in remembrance of their child or children. The walk is preceded by a Memorial Ceremony, where each baby’s name is read in remembrance and celebration of each life. After the Walk, we have a Celebration of Angels where there is food, vendors, fellowship, and helpful information.
OC Walk to Remember Registration: Click Here
IE Walk to Remember Registration: Click Here
Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Oak Creek Golf Club
1 Golf Club Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
11:30 AM Registration
1:00 PM Shot-Gun Start
5:30 PM A Night to Remember (Taco Bar Dinner, Silent and Live Auctions)
The OC Walk to Remember is proud to announce the 2nd Annual Golf to Remember Tournament sponsored by White Nelson Diehl Evans, LLP, to be held on Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at Oak Creek Golf Club with a 1:00 PM shot-gun start. Over two million babies die each year due to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, pregnancy loss and infant death. Proceeds from this annual event will contribute to help fund our supports groups for families, assist with educating the medical community to improve quality of care and response and allow us to continue creating opportunities of remembrance like our annual 5k Walk in October and several other events.
DISCOUNTED FOURSOME- $550 Single Golfer- $15 Golf Includes:
- Range Balls
- Putting contes
- Boxed Lunch
- Green & Cart Fee (Shared Cart)
- Taco Bar Dinner (A Night to Remember)
- And other contests, raffle and fun surprises!
SIGN UP NOW BY CLICKING THE ‘REGISTER NOW’ BUTTON:
To pay by check, please make checks payable to: OC WALK TO REMEMBER
with a reference to Golf to Remember in the notes.
Mail your payment to:
OC Walk to Remember
151 Kalmus Drive, Suite L-4
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
For more sponsorship and golf opportunities, please visit the OC Walk to Remember website for more details by CLICKING HERE
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND TO OUR SPONSORS!
On June 7th, one of our Board Members, Allison DeGeorge held a wonderful Girls Night Out Event! The night was filled with good conversation, drinking and eating delicious desserts, while shopping all for a great cause! 100% of the proceeds benefited OC Walk to Remember! Thank you to everyone who attended the event and to those who helped make it such an exciting night!
Allison raised around $3,000 with just online and purchases of tickets. Donations are still being added up because….
You still have time to SHOP until June 28, 2014 on the STELLA & DOT ONLINE SHOW where the commission will be donated back to OC Walk to Remember!
Here is the link to share with your family and friends- http://www.stelladot.com/ts/ua4z5
Below are some pictures that were taken at the event on June 7, 2014
Looking for a fun way to support OC Walk to Remember?
One of our board members, Allison DeGeorge has organized a Girls Night Out fundraiser featuring an open bar, dessert bar, Stella and Dot trunk show, and more fun!
If you’re free June 7th please visit this link for more information and to purchase your $40 ticket, and of course 100% of the proceeds will benefit OC Walk to Remember.
If you can’t make the event, but still want to support us in a fun way, check out the online trunk show for Stella and Dot, where commission will be donated back to us and a purchase of $40 or more automatically enters you in a raffle!