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.
|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).|