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Connected through Immeasurable Loss

Letters for LucasOne of my dear friends, Tonya, lost her parents in a tragic accident several years ago.

They were young, vibrant, generous, and kind.

We spoke last year about what it means to have lost a parent, in my case, and two, in hers.

We spoke of death, faith, and pain and how we will explain our losses to our young children.

She asked me to share with her my thoughts all that time ago and I kept procrastinating, as the answers hadn’t crystalized in my mind as I thought they might.

My father’s death has been so central to who I am and how I approach my life.

Today, I am finally ready to talk and I’m sharing my thoughts over on Tonya’s blog, Letters for Lucas.

Please come visit me there and spend some time getting to know Tonya. Her soul is truly lovely.

I will be ever grateful if you share your thoughts and wisdom with us in the comments.


Always Her Baby

While we were camping, Craig and I spent much of our evenings talking of his mom.

A year ago today he sat by her side.

He smoothed her hair from her face and reassured her.

He told her that he would be okay.

That she could let go.

He promised her that he would never forget.

As his tears slid over his cheeks, he thanked her for all that she had done for him.

He assured her that he would keep her memory alive in his children…that they would know her.

He rested his head on her arm and cried.

In those moments he was just a boy…her baby boy.

Watching his mother die.

A year ago now, but his face, lit by the warm glow of the campfire, still hinted of that little boy who misses his mother.

And my heart breaks for him…an amazing man, but always her baby boy.

You can read of our tremendous loss in So Much to Say and So That You May Know Her.

Said with Such Love

This week, on Small Moments Mondays, my lovely friend, Angela, from Tiaras and Trucks is sharing a small moment that so many of us will be able to relate to.

One of the things that I love most about Angela is that while what you see on the surface is so lovely, what lies beneath is beyond amazing. She is soft and kind, but also has an unwavering strength that I truly admire.

She is funny and sweet, but she is such a powerful writer that she can move me to tears in a heartbeat. She just makes me feel what she feels.

Thank you, Angela, for sharing your words here. Thank you for inspiring me with your writing and for being my friend. I am so lucky to know you.

Said with Such Love — by Angela

Her golden head falling on my shoulder while reading a story stops my breath, leaving me wondering how I can possibly change her life like this, how I could bring a baby into her world, how I can take her mommy away.

Nursing him in the dark, a few tears fall onto his wispy hair. Loving and affectionate, he easily slides into his place in our family, but I desperately worry he will never know the undivided adoration of first-time parents.

More than a year later, Abbey and Dylan’s first egg hunt has her giddy with anticipation, carefully clutching both of their baskets to her chest as we walk to the park. Her nod is serious as she listens to how she’ll have to wait for the “babies” to find their eggs first, while she plays with her friends on the slides and monkey bars and waits her turn.

He is simply happy to be riding in the stroller, feeling the wind in his hair, giggling and tossing his snack cup to the ground, knowing I will pick it up and return it with a tickle or a kiss.

Clouds hang over the park, but colored eggs evoke a festive feeling, kids jumping and running over plastic bridges, their eyes hunting eggs they know they mustn’t yet touch. Parents of older children chat while those of us with wobbly toddlers follow closely, steadying them on small steps and inclines and stumpy slides.

Abbey rushes away immediately, daringly stepping from one moving disk to another.

“Mommy! Look at me!” she calls, proudly announcing the feat that was beyond her grasp only months before.

I clap and smile, my heart a little hurt that I can’t reach out to give her a hug or high five while chasing Dylan from the fireman’s pole.

Ushering Dylan over to where countless eggs carpet the grass for the youngest participants, I hand him his basket, pointing at the bright orbs. This is rare, my undivided attention, and his smile shines brightly towards me. Unsteadily, but purposefully, he walks to an egg and stops. Now he is uncertain, and his smile falters. I crouch near him, pointing to the egg.

“For Dylan!”

His brow furrows. His bright, blue eyes scan the playground.

“Addie? Addie?!”

With slight apprehension, I call her over, knowing she is anticipating her turn, worrying she’ll be disappointed at my request.

“Dylan needs your help,” I say simply, bracing myself for her response.

Immediately, she crouches much as I had, pointing at the same egg.

“Look Dylan! An egg!”

Patiently, slowly, she wanders with him amidst the eggs, telling him their colors, getting excited with him about one red egg so big he needs both hands to hold it.

“Addie,” he sighs happily, handing her the egg and watching her place it in his basket.

Her name, mispronounced, has never been said with such love.

With their few, simple words, I become an observer, a mommy not to Abbey or Dylan but to Abbey and Dylan. Siblings.

See what I mean? Isn’t she amazing?

I’d love it if you went over to Tiaras and Trucks to say hello to Angela. Don’t miss Through Their Eyes, The Best Laid Hands, Runner. I’m a Runner, and Why I Get Laughed at on Walks.

Angela is also one of my favorite tweeps. Go find her on Twitter! You’ll be so glad you did.

But You Are

My sweet baby boy,

We walk to your room…to bedtime.

And I hold my breath.

I place you on your changing table, stripping you of your dinner-stained clothes. I change your diaper and softly sing “You Are My Sunshine.”

And I hold my breath.

I pull clean jammies from your drawer and pull the top over your head, thread your legs through the pants.

And I hold my breath.

We collect your pacifier and settle into your rocking chair.

I feel the weight of your 18-month old body as you rest against me.

I sing you the ABC song.

And I hold my breath.

I ask you, “Matthew, would you like some milk?”

And you shake your head no.

You touch my cheeks with your chubby hands and rest your smooth forehead on mine and melt into me.

You sit up, look me in the eye and then press your face against mine and sigh.

You’re done.

And I don’t feel ready.

But you do.

You do.

So, I hold you.

And I whisper I love yous.

Together, we redefine this bedtime dance.

You need me still. I know that.

I’m not ready, but you are.

So we are done.

I will follow your lead, my darling boy.

I will trust that you know what is right.

But I will count on those moments with you where you touch my cheek and offer me your full weight.

And I hold my breath.

Always yours,


Your joys so much greater…

This week’s Small Moments Mondays guest poster is…me!

I wrote this letter to Katie last Monday and since today is my birthday, I’ve decided to share it with you here!

Thank you so much for reading…

Dear Katie,

When Daddy left for work this morning, he asked you to go easy on me today. Mondays are always rough, as we try to find our groove again with Daddy back to work. He told you that I needed some extra hugs and that you should snuggle with me as much as possible.

And you did.

You molded into me, stroking my arm and squeezing my hand.

You tickled my neck and “read” to me.

You simply loved me.

You are such a beautiful child, Katie. Kind and tender, intuitive and observant.

You aren’t yet four, but somehow you are so much older than your years.

It brings me so much joy to look at what a lovely person you are becoming. I see hints of the woman you will one day be.

I am so grateful to have you in my life.

Life is so filled with twists and turns, my sweet Katie. Sometimes I want to hold you you tightly and refuse to entertain the idea of you growing older.

But you will.

You will.

And I hope to be there by your side, sharing the bits of wisdom that I’ve gathered on my journey.

Small things, like always carry tissues in your purse, to bigger things, like reach for all of the happiness that your arms can hold.

Tiny things, like Dave Matthews must play a central part in any road trip, to more important things, like don’t be too hard on yourself. You will stumble. We all do.

I hope to be there to tell you where I made mistakes and where I made great choices.

And, like all mothers, I hope that your sad times are fewer than mine and your joys so much greater.

Because, if I know anything to be true in this world, it’s that I love you, Katherine. From tip to toe.

You are truly remarkable.

And I’m blessed that you’re ours.

With a heart just brimming with love,



I’m honored to be guest posting over at my lovely friend Natalie’s blog, Mommy of a Monster, where I am sharing one of my less than stellar mommy moments. It would mean the world to me if you would come over and say hello.  Come read, “To Be Sure.”

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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