Monday, November 23, 2020
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Happy 6th Birthday, Calvin Phoenix

Calvin's 6th birthday quilled cupcake

Calvin's quilled cupcake
Six years ago today, my first son was stillborn. We named him Calvin Phoenix. I held his tiny body in my arms. And in those too brief moments, I was filled with such a tremendous amount of love and peace.

That love, I’ve come to recognize, comes from my mother-heart. It is the same love I feel for each of my children. That peace, I hadn’t been able to understand until recently. Earlier this week, I read the following words in God of Surprises by Gerard W. Hughes and gasped at the realization:

Their will and God’s will are in harmony, so that their lives are characterized by a continuous peace, tranquility, freedom and joy, even — perhaps especially — in crises and suffering (63).

Louie and I struggled with the decision to see Calvin after he was born. We tried to rationalize that going through labor and delivery could be enough. God knew our needs better. He met us where we were, broken and afraid and alone in that hospital room, and by His grace, we said yes when my nurse asked us again.

That time with Calvin is what saved me; it kept his dying from destroying me. With him in my arms, I felt the joy and tranquility Hughes described. And I am so grateful to have that. The poem I will keep you is about this time.

Calvin's 6th birthday quilled cupcake

Will you help me honor Calvin today?

Send Calvin a Birthday Greeting

I first set this page up (on a different website with a different system) several years ago and finally figured out how to bring it over to Dandiewinks. Please feel free to give Calvin some birthday love Kisses for Calvin.

Join our March for Babies

Each year, Louie and I participate in the March of Dimes March for Babies to fundraise for research and programs to help moms have stronger, healthier babies by preventing prematurity and birth defects and supporting families with preemies. If you are local, please consider walking with as part of our team. We would also be grateful if you sponsored us with a donation — any amount will help! This year, in honor of Calvin’s birthday, I’m hosting a custom pendant giveaway for people who donate $10 by the end of the day today Learn more »

Dear Calvin,
How has it been six years already? I know I say that every year, but thinking about all that I’m missing still makes me catch my breath. There are so many questions that I should know the answer to: What is your favorite food? What do you like best about school? What do you want to be for Halloween? What books do you like? What TV shows would we be arguing over for “5 more minutes”?
I miss you. I love you. Always.

Crystal is a mother-wife-writer whose explorations include parenting, grief, food, and semi-crunchy living. She is currently an MFA in writing student, a content editor for Still Standing Magazine, and the technical editor for Switchback.

One thought on “Happy 6th Birthday, Calvin Phoenix

  1. Dear Calvy,

    You are my sweet nephew I never got to play with and hold and wrestle. But I love you in absence of your physical presence with the same heart as I do your little brother. You’ve left such a big mark on our hearts in the little time we knew you when you were in your mommas belly. Help us to be brave, and strong, and patient to hold that love so true for you until the day when we can give that love to you face to face. We remember and miss you.

    Uncle Mucky

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29)

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