braceletThe bottom half of my “H” fell off. My “H” – the fifth and last letter on the pearl bracelet that someone gave me when Luca died. The necklace has tiny metal angels and shiny letters that spell “F-A-I-T-H” on it.

I have worn the bracelet a handful of times on special occasions. It’s a beautiful way for me to remember my angel son during important events in our family.

So I put it on last week when we were walking out the door to get our family pictures taken.

We were all in the center of the studio waiting for the photographer to switch cameras when I heard something ping to the floor. My boys and I crawled around looking for what fell.

My 10-year-old found half of my “H.” I snatched it up and tucked it in my husband’s pocket. My poor little bracelet.

Many of you know that I LOVE pictures and photography. I’m always snapping pictures wherever I go. My kids have all been trained from birth to smile for the camera. I love printing pictures. I love seeing what we all looked like in years past. I love beautiful photos hanging on my wall.

But I don’t love one thing about pictures – family pictures to be specific. I don’t love that we will never have a completed picture of our family.

Because our little Luca was stillborn six years ago, long before the last two of our kids were born, we will never have a full picture of our family. For some people that might not be such a big deal. For me, it hurts my heart.

So every time I pick out outfits and stress over what color tights or shoes to wear – thank heavens for my mom and sister who helped me out this time – I get a lump in my throat and a bittersweet excitement. We are going to get pictures taken! But we aren’t ALL going to get pictures taken.

We have a beautiful photo of Luca and a sweet bright green frog that we bring along to represent our baby brother in the pictures. And I have my bracelet that I wear.

The bracelet that is now incomplete. Kind of like our family.

When I heard that little metal piece drop to the floor it reminded me of my angel son. It was a sweet reminder during a crazy get-ready-for-pictures-and-smile-or-I-will-spank-your-butt sort of afternoon.

I’m not certain how it broke or why. I very rarely wear it – it sits in a black velvet bag inside a “Luca” box in my closet. So I know it hasn’t been used and abused.

But I know it helped me think harder about him during our family photo session.

Maybe he popped off the piece and flung it to the floor. Maybe he wanted me to know that he’s still with me.

That he will always be with me. Even if he isn’t pictured.


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