Friday, December 2, 2011

A year in the making: Headstone complete!

If you have been reading my blog for a while you know what a challenge this headstone has been for me. I knew from the beginning it had to be something special. I mean really anything for Addison must be perfect and this, well this was a biggie.

I went to cemeteries and looked at all the stones, I looked online, I asked for help, I talked to other BLM's about the headstones they had done for their babies. You name it I looked into it.

Our cemetery had several rules that we had to follow in order for the stone to be placed in the baby area. It had to be flat and there were only three sizes to choose from. I of course wanted the biggest we were allowed (28x16). It also had to be turned so it was up and down long wise instead of side to side.

I knew her weight, height, birth date, name HAD to be on there, but I also wanted her footprints and a letter to her.

I carried around a paper example in my purse for months and months and made changes whenever I heard a good idea like including mine and Brian's name and stating she was our firstborn.

The last two months family had input and we sat around like some serious business meeting, moving the words around and playing with the layout.

Brian found someone who could do all of the things we wanted and put together all the logistics to make it happen. The stone was done in multiple parts by multiple people...not your average headstone in the least. I needed it a certain way and couldn't trust any old headstone company to do it right. One of Brian's co-workers made it his mission to find us our stone. At first I wanted pink, but wasn't loving the pink granite choices. I saw the black stones seemed to wear the best over time and really let the wording stand out. We chose absolute black and he found it for us. I've never met him, but I love him. Then Brian took it to the place where it was engraved. After the engraving Brian picked it up to take it to his friend Wayne's house. Wayne does a lot of engraving and made Addison's "butterfly" footprints to scale (her actual prints from the hospital). He let Brian use his machine and Brian put the footprints on himself. After this part he took it back to where it was engraved to be painted, laminated (to the bigger stone) and sealed.

This morning Brian picked up the stone and took it to the cemetery. They told him it would be set this afternoon, but no later than this evening. After 4pm it was still not set so Brian went in and took care of business. By the end of today it was set. I am not 100% happy with the way they set it, but I don't want to turn this post into a downer. It's something I believe we can get fixed Monday so I am not going to worry about it. The point it that I love the stone and it is set. FINALLY! I may actually sleep tonight!

The stone is placed right next to a little boy named Angel. It was important to me that Addi's stone be next to his. Angel was born in the hospital room next to us on 12/4. Angel and Addison both had their funerals at the same place within an hour of each other. Both babies were kept in the same room. While I never saw Angel or met his parents I hold him close to my heart.

So thanks to all of you who offered suggestions and to those of you who listened to me worry about this for the last year. Hardest project ever, but I am so thankful to have it. Very bittersweet moment to have it there. For me it feels official like look world, my girl was here! I know not everyone needs one, but I needed this for Addi, for our family and for me.

The process:
First draft...VERY worn.

Life size draft...got a little beat up in my car.

Actual stone with paper cut outs.

Brian and Wayne getting it ready for Addi's "butterfly" prints.

Brian looking VERY serious!

Painted and finished at the shop.

Placed at the cemetery in the plot next to Angel's. The picture before this shows the true color (sun makes it look blue-ish).

18 comments:

  1. I could not imagine a more perfect stone for a more perfect and loved little girl. I love your husband's dedication to "getting it done" and I honestly think the stones says EVERYTHING you need and want it to say.

    I'm sure many years from now, strangers will walk by Addi's stone and admire it's beauty (and cry for your loss). It's so lovely Keleen.

    xox

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  2. Oh it is just awesome! I wish I had put Hayes' weight and length on his marker. I love that Brian literally had a hand in it. So glad it was laid before her birthday!!!! Great job mom!

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  3. What a beautiful and perfect stone for little Addi! And I love that your husband was able to put her footprint butterfly on there himself!

    You did such a great job mama! Praying for you guys as Addi's birthday approaches.....xoxo

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  4. I love it!!! You did a wonderful job in selecting the perfect one for your perfect daughter. My thoughts are with you this weekend as you approach her first birthday.

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  5. It's beautiful! I love that it changes color in the sunlight, and the letter is absolutely perfect. Just in time for her first birthday, too!

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  6. It is so perfect. Everyone who sees it will know how much your baby girl is loved.

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  7. Oh, now I'm crying. It's just so perfect. And next to Angel's stone, too.

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  8. And... now my eyes are all watery. It's stunning.

    I'm so proud of you guys for being so strong to put this together. I know it takes a lot of energy and emotion to go through this as I couldn't do it myself. I love knowing that her stone was placed next to Angel's stone. What a wonderful idea.

    <3

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  9. LOVE LOVE LOVE

    You and Brian are wonderful parents.

    Thinking of you this day, Monday, and ever day before and after that!

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  10. Thank you for showing pictures of the process. What a labor of love. Paul and I just adore it...it's such a wonderful tribute to your precious girl.

    Hugs to you and Brian...I'm keeping you both close in my heart and thoughts this weekend and Monday...

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  11. Well done momma! Your research and heartfelt planning gave you a lovely marker for your baby girl. Thinking of you often this weekend.

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  12. Just perfect. I'm sure others will see that and know how loved she was and always is. I hope it brings you some peace to see such a beautiful product.

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  13. That looks just perfect for Addison! Glad you guys were able to fit in everything you wanted on it.
    Thinking of you both through this difficult time.

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  14. It's beautiful - really special and lovely.

    I will be holding you close in my thoughts today and tomorrow and the days beyond too.

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  15. Its beautiful! I love the butterfly and the fact it is the correct size.
    I am thinking and praying for you and your husband today. Hugs.

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  16. Wow, you did such a wonderful job with her headstone. And the butterfly with the feet is absolutely perfect. You have just given me the perfect idea for my Addi tattoo! (I have a tattoo on my arm for my brother and want something for Addi as well) hugs during this emotional and trying time.

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  17. Hi there. I found your blog when I was googling baby headstones. I was hoping to get some feedback from other BLM's on choosing a headstone. My daughter, Lily Katherine, was stillborn at fullterm on March 16, 2010...so almost two years ago. I want to get her headstone so badly! I am a single, young woman and haven't had the money for it. But, I at least want to plan it for when I can get it. I really love your daughter's stone! It's so beautiful. And it has given me the idea to add Lily's footprints, height and weight to hers. You are so right, it has to be perfect. I don't want to be disappointed in the future with what I choose or how it's made. That's really special about Angel and Addi. Maybe you will meet his parents one day. Thank you for sharing this! I just feel like I NEED this too and it will prove to the world that she was real! I'd love to have you follow along on my blog as well!

    Blessings,
    Hannah Rose
    www.roseandherlily.blogspot.com

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