Thinking of Charlotte

Charlotte Vermont

Looking east to Camel’s Hump along Mount Philo Road in Charlotte.

I used to feel anxious driving through the little town of Charlotte. My fear had nothing to do with the actual town itself except for its sweet, lovely name. Five years ago this week on February 19, Dave and I lost a baby when I was five months pregnant.  We named her Charlotte Anne after she was delivered stillborn at 5:50 a.m.

For months, I couldn’t drive through Charlotte without feeling uneasy and sad. Even though the name of the town is technically pronounced Shar-lot, seeing the “Welcome to Charlotte” sign was always tough to take.  Reading the letters of our lost daughter’s name triggered my worst memories of that horrible day, a defining moment that clearly marks our before and after.

As the years passed, it became easier to enjoy the town of Charlotte for all it has to offer: beautiful views, hiking trails on Mount Philo, and backroads with wide open pastures and rambling old barns.  On the first anniversary of Charlotte’s death, I published a blog post about our year of grief with a photo I had taken on the western edge of Charlotte near Lake Champlain.

So yes, time has certainly helped us heal. But more than anything, the birth of our daughter, Phoebe, has made all the difference. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be her mom.

When I look at our family, I am reminded that someone is missing. But truly, I’m thankful to feel whole again.

**Related post:  My Challenging Path to Motherhood.

10 Comments

  1. Margaret
    February 18, 2014

    It is wonderful to see you and Dave so blessed with Phoebe and able to enjoy a fulfilling life in Vermont. Yes, time does heal but your heart will always remember…much love to you both during this challenging week.

    Reply
    • Erica
      February 18, 2014

      Thanks. Margs. Holding Phoebe extra close. She is such a gift and makes us so very happy.

      Reply
  2. Bridget Nardiello
    February 18, 2014

    Sweet Erica, look onto Phoebe, she will teach you all you will ever hope to learn. With Great Big Love~ Bridget

    Reply
    • Erica
      February 18, 2014

      Hi Bridget — Thank you. She has already taught me so much about love and life. Feeling so lucky to have her. *Hugs*

      Reply
  3. Jeanne
    February 18, 2014

    Beautiful, Erica. Charlotte’s abcense will always be felt, yet she remains too, staying on in our hearts and minds and memories. She will always be a part of us. Phoebe is the blessing before us, a feeling of sheer joy. God bless the Child; or as TS Elliot said: The air is full of children. Amen.

    Reply
    • Erica
      February 18, 2014

      Thanks so much. Jeanne. xoxo

      Reply
  4. Claudia
    February 21, 2014

    Thank you for sending me the link to read this. It is very touching and speaks to all the subtle levels of healing that need to happen and do in their unique ways. I am so happy that you feel whole and have such a deep appreciation for the miracle that your little Phoebe is, while honoring the importance and role that Charlotte (in all its forms) plays in your coming to wholeness and contentment. Blessing to you and Dave…

    Reply
    • Erica
      February 21, 2014

      Thanks so much, Claudia. It’s amazing how much Phoebe has helped us heal. I would be lost without her!

      Take care,
      Erica

      Reply
  5. Scott
    March 3, 2014

    I’ve read this post a few times since it was posted, and just didn’t know what to say. Its touching, and very personal – thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Erica
      March 3, 2014

      Thanks so much, Scott. I appreciate your kind words very much!

      Reply

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