Sunday, October 13, 2013

Remembering Zoé and the Girl Scout Plate

This post is going to be a a personal indulgence, so my regular readers will have to bear with me for a moment...

Last year I became pregnant with our third child, but alas she did not survive the first trimester.  We decided to name her Zoé Hope Hartness. As a pro-life individual, I truly believe she is in heaven, waiting for us at this very moment.  The translation of her first name means "Life", and we have the Hope that she is indeed alive, yet in another realm.

If she had gone to term, her due date would have been October 13, 2012.  She would have been one year old today.  I no longer lose sleep or cry over this loss, but I think every year at this time I will think of her, and wonder what it would have been like to have had a daughter in his house of men.

Recently my husband noticed something about a craft I made back in 1978, when I was a second-grader.  I was a member of a Girl Scout Brownie troop, and our project in October of that year was to decorate a plate with special markers, and the plate would be dishwasher safe after the art dried.  See my pretty blue "sky", the strip at the top?

May 2013
I mistakenly wrote October 31, tried to wipe it out (silly), and then inserted another numeral one before the three, thickening it for emphasis.  Little did I dream that this date, October 13, would become significant for me as a mother.  Some may consider it coincidental, but in my mind it was God's way of noting His knowledge of our special day long before we did.  I've kept this little plate, constructed by a little girl, and it will always remind me of my little girl, waiting for me on the Other Side.

In the meantime, I love and enjoy my two precious boys who are with me now.  They are among the greatest blessings of my life, and I'm grateful for their healthy entrance into this world.

Post update:  A friend noticed something about the plate that had never occurred to me before.  When I was pregnant with Zoé, we used to talk about becoming a "five family": Husband Jonathan, myself, Matthew, Colson and Zoé.  The observant friend noted that there are 5 flowers on the plate-- with one tiny little one in the middle.  Some may say coincidence-- I say no-- It's a wink from God.


  1. Cute plate! I remember doing those too. Mine wasn't a fine piece of art either. Glad you have good thoughts about your baby and know that you will see her again in heaven. Interesting about the flowers... ;D

  2. What a beautiful post, Laura! Thank you for sharing. I think that it is great to celebrate and remember her. That's pretty cool about how one flower is smaller than the rest!

    1. Yes, I'd never thought about that 5th little flower, and neither had my husband. Kinda cool.

  3. I love you. I've been praying earnestly for you since around 2am on Sunday, October 13th. I had dreamed of you and awoke very scared and in a panic. I have been meaning to call. I really with I had called before now.
    I love this post. But I have to say my favorite is your tree ornament of her picture. It's lovely.
    God's foreknowledge, and planning even before we know of things is mind-blowing. . . And truly LOVE.
    Thank you for posting this. I'll keep praying. I love you.
    (And I'm happy mine have Zoe to play with now! Benches!) HUGS.

    1. Carol:

      Wow-- the Lord really spoke to you on Sunday morning. At 2am Sunday, I was in an awful state. I went to bed with a headache, and knew if I could just go to sleep, it wouldn’t be a problem. I didn’t think I needed to take any pain meds. This was about 9:30pm. At about 11pm, my son Colson woke up with a tummy ache and vomiting. It was intense there for a bit, but once his system was clear, he was fine and went back to sleep (and has been fine since).

      Unfortunately, I was now wide awake, and the headache was worse. I tried to go back to sleep, but couldn't. I started digging around for pain medication, but as I was staying at my parents', I was only limited to what was in my purse-- and for some reason I didn't have my usual stash of Advil. I drank some water and tried to sleep, but it was getting worse. Then I started rooting around in the guest bathroom, and then throughout my mother's kitchen, trying to find something for relief. There was nothing.

      I laid there for a bit, crying and pressing the heels of my palms against my temples. I didn't want to wake my parents for assistance, but it was getting to be too much. I either had to borrow their car to hit a 24-hour pharmacy (mine was first in line in the driveway, so it was blocked in), or I had to go into their room and wake them up. Borrowing the car would have awoken my mother at least, and she probably would have been alarmed, thinking someone was stealing her car. I didn't want to do that. And coming into their room-- I didn't want to wake them either. But I didn't see any other choice. This was sometime after 2am.

      At 3:15am I finally worked up the courage and tiptoed into my parents' room, using my iPhone as a flashlight. I went into their bathroom, quietly shut the door and started digging. The first thing I found was a bottle of aspirin. I literally (and earnestly said), "Thank GOD!" About an hour before (around 2am), I had been crying out to Him for help, and I was so grateful to find that little bottle. It took about 40 minutes to kick in, and then I was able to get to sleep for a few hours, before my son Colson woke up at 7am.

      I was very concerned about my 4-hour drive from Charlotte to Savannah that day—I was afraid I’d get sleepy at the wheel from lack of sleep. And I was the only adult in the car, so there was no chance for a break. I was also concerned that Colson had a stomach virus (which he did not), and that any of us could become sick on the way home. Fortunately, when it came time to leave, I felt okay and we made it home just fine. My boys were extra sweet and compliant for me, not giving me a lick of trouble on the way home. I let them have as much DVD time as they wanted as they rode.

      Carol, I write all of this because your statement really touched my heart. It’s so amazing that the Lord you woke up in the middle of the night like He did. It once again emphasizes that He sees all, and He has many ways of reaching out to show us that He cares for our well being. No, He didn’t immediately take away my headache when I begged him to around 2am. He had other things in mind, and I hope telling this story is a part of that. He loves it when we call out to Him, and He also loves it when we intercede for each other. Even in our pain, we are blessed. I hope this comes to mind for you this week, as you are dealing with so much more physical pain than I am. Prayers continue.

      Love you too!


  4. HIS mercies are new every morning!

    I love you. HUGS.

    HE is amazing!! Praise God for HIS generous gifts (in soo, sooo, sooo many ways)! I miss you. HUGS>



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