Saturday, June 6, 2020
Home > My Babies > Calvin Phoenix > The 5th Belongs to Calvin: The artist and the writer

The 5th Belongs to Calvin: The artist and the writer

Yesterday was the anniversary of Calvin’s due date, and although my heart was heavy, there were no tears. This morning, though, they are just below the surface of a breath, barely touched by a blink, and ready to spill over. It’s not the heavy sobbing that poured out on Rainbow’s due date and hit me like walking into a glass wall. It’s the ever-present knowledge that I am without my son, knowing that I have been without him for 17 months, and that I will be without him for much longer. I think I’ve reached the point in mourning for Calvin that I recognize the ebb and flow of this grief. I can feel the cries radiating out from my chest through my gut, up my throat, and behind my eyes. It’s a feeling I’m used to, and that is comforting in a way – it’s hard to explain, but I’m sure someone out there understands.

(That is one of the beautiful things about becoming a part of this loss community, finding someone else who makes you gasp because the words that pour out of their heart so adequately encapsulates your own feelings, and in doing so, makes you feel less crazy and less abnormal less like you’re some sort of freak or head case who can’t seem to move forward. Thank you for that, by the way. And thank you also, to those who reached back when I reached out, for the words of kindness and compassion that washed over me and Louie through comments and emails and Twitter and Facebook. I am so grateful to you, so blessed by each of you who walk alongside us.)

I knew the 5th was coming, but this morning, I wasn’t fully aware that it had arrived. It wasn’t until I after I had read through hundreds of blog posts (I am still trying to catch up) – and found myself welling up with almost everyone – that I began to question:

Why this day? Why not yesterday when it was Calvin’s due date?


His due date is August 4. That means today is August 5.

Then it started to make more sense. And here I am.

The artist and the writer

For our wedding, Louie and I wrote our own lyrics to the song “Anyone Else but You” by the Moldy Peaches from Juno. Someday, I’ll post the video. One of the verses went like this:

(Louie) I’ll be an artist,
(Crystal) and I’ll be a writer –
(Louie) we’ll never be rich –
(Crystal) but that doesn’t matter
(Both) I don’t know what anyone can see in anyone else, but you

Some of you know about the day that the genetic counselor told us that the ultrasound tech thought it looked like the tips of our baby’s fingers on his right hand had been amputated by the amniotic bands. Later on, Louie said that it just seemed so cruel because he’s an artist, and I’m a writer. Then we started talking about how he would be amazing, that he would still do everything, and even play the guitar. The next day, we learned the next day, after a 3-hour Level II ultrasound, that our baby’s fingers were just fine, and though three bands surrounded him, he was untouched.

And last month, my mother-in-law, sent me an email with the subject Sheer Talent. I was perplexed and didn’t really believe her at first. Then, she showed us this:

The sky is Calvin's canvas

Tell me what you see. And, in few days, I’ll show you what I see. For now, all I’ll say is that my baby boy is a gifted, and the sky is his canvas.

My amazing little boy, you are wondrous indeed! Thank you for making your presence known to us, and showing us just how whole you are in heaven and for showing me that my failings can be undone through His grace and gift of eternity. Happy 17 months, Calvin! Mommy and daddy are so proud of you.

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.

0 thoughts on “The 5th Belongs to Calvin: The artist and the writer

  1. I see a large bird, a phoenix….one wing in elongated and the bird is looking that direction, that is what I see…I see a sign from God.

  2. Hi Crystal. First, here is a HUGE ((HUG)), Second, I want you to know that you are super strong and a super awesome mother!!! I am coming over from Walking With You, but this sure isn’t my first time visiting. I’m sorry that I don’t visit more and leave comments. I just can’t seem to find time to get through more than a few blogs and I’m either falling asleep in front of the computer, or I have to go take care of a “kid”

    You are a beautiful writer, and my eyes were filled with huge tears as I read your post. Yes, I completely understand the feeling of grief overtaking your entire body. It is so hard. Thank God…. we have God!

    In the picures, it almost looks like an ultrasound picture of Calvin’s face and hands. If that’s not what you saw, then I’m going to feel really

    Thank you again for Isaiah’s cupcake on his birthday. You’re an awesome awesome woman!

    Love & God Bless,

  3. Milestones can be hard, especially when there are a few together. Honestly, I think some of my hardest days lately aren’t tied to milestones, but just moments that make me remember. Thinking of you.

  4. Crystal, I love the artist and the writer piece, and your babies are blessed to have such creative parents. It sounds like you’ve had a lot of milestone days close together. Thinking of you as you press forward.

  5. Thinking of you as you remember & grieve for Calvin and Rainbow. I pray someday soon that you and Louie will have a baby to bring home. Hope your arm is well very soon.(((HUGS)))

  6. Crystal-

    The strenght you have never ceases to amaze me! You are such a strong person and have touched so many lives by sharing your heart with others! I remember you in my prayers always and pray for God’s blessing on you and your family!

"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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