Progress….? - Aria MacDonald


Ooops- forgot to say Nicoleena is Asher’s made up name for the baby, it wasn’t based on any knowledge of gender ;)

Recently I have felt a sense of progress in our life. We are now past that horrible raw crazy grief yuck. Yes- I know- very well expressed by me. Honestly, never in my life have I thought I was going crazy until that period in my life. But hey- we just lost our 5 year old daughter, it is to be expected.

For a time I felt like I could see a little light at the end of the tunnel, it was exciting and encouraging. It is still there but events of recent weeks definitely caused it to be blocked out for a time. Setbacks I guess are just part of life. I wonder if I got too complacent. I remember thinking at a couple of church services I went to that I didn’t cry or even need to bite my lip hard to distract myself. I was so pleased. What do you know? Nek minnit (kiwi joke-sorry US people) bawling at church on Sunday and not that discreet damp eyes, little sniffs crying either. Sigh.


Yesterday, while hunting for some christmas decorations we brought back from Omaha, I opened Aria’s suitcase from Omaha. Most of her stuff is used by Asher except her clothes. Almost the right size for him but totally the wrong colour. What are we supposed to do with them? No clues or ideas. We brought some summer clothes for her which went unworn, thankfully I could give those away because they didn’t hold any emotion. But all her other clothes do, particularly her hospital gowns, which she loved and lived in (even at home, see pic).

Anyway. If you have a moment you can watch this video from Asher. There is some news in there that is exciting and hopeful.

Ooops- forgot to say Nicoleena is Asher’s made up name for the baby, it wasn’t based on any knowledge of gender ;)

70 Responses to “Progress….?”

  1. Jennifer in Louisiana, USA says:

    Congratulations! : )

  2. Jaime says:

    Congratulations to you all! xx

  3. Maureen says:

    Fantastic news!! Best wishes for you all over Christmas. Our God is good!!! He will be with you and give you a really great Christmas.

  4. Carolyn says:

    Wonderful news. How exciting. Congratulations.

  5. Laurie C says:

    What exciting news! Congratulations. Our prayers remain with you, as always.

  6. Jodee says:

    Wiping the tears away. That is AWESOME News – thank you Asher for letting us in on your big secret.
    Kia Kaha Anita and Hamish.

  7. Karen in Omaha says:

    Congratulations!!! How exciting!!! P.S. when my son died we made comfort pillows out of some of his clothing! the long sleeved sweatshirts worked best. We stuffed the sleeves and teh entire shirt and sewed up the openings. then we could actually wrap the arms of his shirt around us and give ourselves a “hug” from him.

  8. joyce says:

    Loved the precious video’s. What memories it brought and the good news of your doing better. As I prayed for your family last night I thought how hard the holidays can be but then thought of the reason for the season and the love God showed us in the birth of his son. He will never leave us nor forsake us and we can celebrate his love. In his way and in his time we can depend on him.Your family will always remain in my heart.

  9. Kit says:

    Following on from the previous suggestion, I know other people have made or had made for them, patchwork quilts out of the clothes of a loved one so they can always keep them close.

  10. Leeann Morton says:

    What wonderful news! Talk about having a sniff, I have tears rolling down my cheeks!! All the very best for your pregnancy, I am so thrilled for you both. And this new bubby has a very special angel watching over them xx.

  11. Lisa D says:

    Congratulations!! That is just the best news!! Thanks Asher for the wonderful announcement! I know friends of ours that made a beautiful quilt out of their loved ones clothes. All the best over Christmas and the holidays!
    Lisa xx

  12. Carolyn O'Cain says:

    So excited for all of you! Can’t wait to meet Nicoleena! Asher is precious and I love the picture of Aria. You are all one very special family. Have a blessed Christmas.

  13. fiona says:

    Blessings and hugs for you all- may you feel God’s peace and joy over this time. So happy for you

  14. Ang says:

    Congratulations and Merry Christmas!

  15. Cary Farrington (GRC) says:

    What wonderfull news. Praise Him.

  16. Lisa Robertson says:

    The opposite to the damp eyes sniff crying is what I fondly refer to as ‘the ugly cry’ and I am well practiced too.
    Good to hear that there are things to be hopeful for and look forward to, life is an amazing thing and I just know your future is going to be wonderful – just how Aria would want it to be for you all! xxxxx

  17. Kiwi Hannah says:

    Firstly, that is a beautiful photo of Aria. And secondly what wonderful blessed news – huge congrats to you both and thank you Asher for sharing your special news with us. That sushi looks very yummy.Psalm 112v4. Arohanui, Hannah xx

  18. Coralie says:

    Wonderful news Anita and Hamish, thanks so much for sharing. XXX

  19. LeeAnne says:

    HUGS and Congratulations Anita, Hamish and Asher…
    Dearest Anita I could not help but think reading your post how fresh this loss is still and always will be in some ways. Time eases that gut wrenching, breath taking, awful, incapacitating grief, but the pain well…your described so well how life and grief are. I am so very happy to see a wonderful new blessing to love and cherish is on her way! You have my heartfelt prayers for a wonderful pregnancy, delivery and healthy baby. May God bless all of you and may your precious angel Aria smile down at a new little sister I am sure she will be well pleased with.
    Hugs and God Bless,
    LeeAnne, Sammi and family

  20. Jill Marshall says:

    Praising God with you, and continuing to pray for you all.

  21. Joan Marshall says:

    Even more warmfuzzies for you all and make sure you take care Anita and look after yourself. Like the idea of a quilt – unsure about stuffing clothes and getting a hug as it would hurt me too much. Have a blessed Christmas and I look forward to a progress report on Nicoleena (lovely choice – where does it come from).

  22. Cecilia says:

    what wonderful news… congratulations to you all. .

  23. Cousins Kathleen & Anita says:

    So glad we can “tell the world”! We are so, so happy for you.
    Asher has a particularly tender heart and will be a very special big brother.

  24. Grandad says:

    Great news. Sensational!

  25. Jude says:

    Congratulations on your news, that is so wonderful for you all! I really like Karen from Omaha’s suggestion about the comfort pillows from special items of clothing..what a really great idea! :) xxx

  26. Sherry Boyle says:

    So happy to hear your wonderful news. No child will ever take Aria’s place, but Nicoleena will be her own person and will brighten your days in her own special way. May God bless you all.

  27. Judy Palmer says:

    A new baby. How wonderful of God to give you a gift to ease your grief and give you someone to look forward to and care for. Praying that everything goes smoothly for you and baby. Have a blessed Christmas and New Year. Judy.

  28. Karen in Sydney says:

    Wonderful news! Praise God!

  29. Lyaine says:

    congratulations on the news of “Nicoleena”, what a wonderful gift for you all to look forward to in 2012.
    I too loved the idea of the stuffed toy and quilt idea out of Aria’s clothes.

    Lyaine from Sydney.

  30. Kathie Hands says:

    That is the best news I have heard in a long while – Congratulations.

  31. Rochelle says:

    Why is it that you can still make us cry – but this time it is tears of joy for you and your family :) As said above, this new baby has a wonderful little angel watching over it – God Bless and CONGRATULATIONS to you all

  32. Moya says:

    That is SO luvly. M x

  33. Angela Robinson says:

    WOW congratulations that is such wonderful news, and thank you for the beautiful Christmas picture, so lovely. I am now living in Melbourne but have still been keeping up with your blog and what a great christmas gift that is for you all and thank you so much for sharing that gift with us in such a joyful way from Asher…he has grown up in the past few months. From my family to yours I wish you peace and love this Christmas

  34. Bland family says:

    Dearest Anita, I am so full of joy and thankfulness at hearing your voice, and hearing that you are in an ever so slightly easier place after all you have gone through this past year and longer. I am really too full of relief and joy to find other words. I had a deep hope that maybe you would be blessed with a baby in the near future, and so I am pretty choked up about that too. What a special gorgeous picture of Aria at the Christmas tree. What a special wonderful girl. In my heart forever. A very blessed Christmas to you, Hamish and Asher. My fullest love to you all.

  35. Rod & Margaret says:

    Wonderful news – congratulations! God is SO faihful and what a special time for you all to look forward to. Our love and prayers are with you all. xx

  36. Andrea says:

    What fantastic and wonderful news!!! I am so happy for you all, Anita, Hamish and Asher. :) What a timely gift for the MacDonald family. Not sure if New Zealanders refer to the time before Christmas as “Advent” – but it is a time to reflect and prepare for a new beginning, a new ‘coming’, before the celebration of the birth of Christ our King. I’m certain in both very painful and joyous ways, this will be one of the most meaningful Advent and Christmas seasons you experience. I can’t wait to hear if Asher is right… if it will be a ‘Nicoleena’ or maybe a ‘St. Nicolas’ ?? ;) Prayers and love to you all!

  37. Andrea says:

    Oops, I almost forgot… Happy 4th Birthday Asher!! (a teeny bit early, but don’t want to miss his special day!)

  38. Fiona McNair says:

    Congratulations, what fantastic news, having a new little brother or sister will keep you busy and occupied, little Aria will be watching over you all she will be very excited as well…..go well…..

  39. Viv says:

    Congratulations !!!

  40. jen says:

    awwwwwwwww Im so pleased for you all

    yum!! sushi are you allowed to be eating that Anita?

    Im off to be with a smile on my face

    all the best and Im still praying for you all

  41. Tiffany Keller says:

    I am so very happy for you! You’ve been through, no doubt, the toughest time of your life. So, it is so wonderful to know that you have some happy news! :-) I think it’s natural to mourn after losing a child, the way you have. I have heard about people making kids’ clothing into pillows, if you wanted to do that. I hope you are having a good day! God Bless!

  42. EVE GILKES says:

    Dear Anita, Hamish and Asher,
    What wonderful news ……. I like everyone else am so pleased for you.
    I think it a lovely idea to make a cushion or cushions out of Aria’s old clothes. I made a duvet cover out of all the old pieces of left over material from things I had made, predominantly cotton. It brings back memories of many things, not just my children who wore most of what I made, but it also brings back times and places, as it will when you make your cushion. It will not just bring back Aria, but also the time and place where she wore it. I would encourage you to go ahead with it. You could make a collage and frame it?
    Praying for such a wonderful, wonder filled Christmas for you all.
    With my love
    God bless you all

  43. Bridgette M. says:

    I know I have already congratulated ya’ll but CONGRATULATIONS again! What a sweet perfect blessing from the Lord. Nicoleena will be VERY blessed to join your family and to learn all about her sweet big sister. Shadow box some of the gowns/clothes. :) Much love to you all!

  44. Lois says:

    What a wonderful blessing and congratulations. Asher is so sweet and will be a wonderful big brother. God Bless your Christmas together pray that you have a wonderful time.

  45. Robin Demby says:

    What wonderful news, a baby! Aria would be so proud and I’m sure she is looking down from Heaven smiling right now. Asher is going to be great! God bless your family.

  46. Jan P. says:

    Wonderful new I wish you all the best. Can’t wait to hear how all is progressing. Still in my thoughts and prayers often.

  47. lisa says:

    Dear Anita, thank you for sharing this wonderful news. Congratulations! I think about Aria every day and miss her so much. She was such an amazing child. The photo was gorgeous. All the best for Christmas and the New Year. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you face it without Aria. xxxx

  48. Anjela says:

    AAWWW beautiful wee video …… congrats! if only having a baby was a bit like ‘nek minnit’ – one foot in front of the other is the way to walk into one’s future when the past still holds great tenderness. You continue to inspire, as a family, you bless us, your readers, your known and unknown friends… xx

  49. jeannie overall says:

    Wonderful, wonderful news for you all-Isn’t God just amazing the way he blesses his children! Thank you for sharing the glad tidings with us all – God bless, Jeannie

  50. Belinda (LF-Aus) says:

    Dear sweet Asher, thank you very much for telling us all about what is in your sushi :) and thank you for telling us the wonderful news that there is a baby in your mummy’s tummy! :) You are going to be a big brother Asher and I know that you will make an AWESOME big brother just as you are an AWESOME little brother! :) xxx

  51. Taryn says:

    Praising God with you! And praying for your hearts, as they continue to mend.

  52. Peter says:

    God’s blessing on you and your new child. What a gift from the Lord!

  53. Amanda says:

    What wonderful news – so pleased that you have something special to look forward to. Best wishes for a Happy Christmas – I know it will be a tough one for you.


  54. chrissy Hallberg says:

    Well that did it,I’m having a little weep now,for joy that is,how wonderfull.May your beautifull family have a truly blessed xmas,ps,love the photo of Aria and the xmas tree.Glad Asher likes sushi YUM,xxxxxxxx :)

  55. Doc and Sharon says:

    Congratulations on the wonderful news. You guys all remain in our thoughts and prayers. I had a meeting at the Lied Center yesterday and I was washed over with the memories. I was telling everyone there about precious Aria! We are so very happy about the new baby coming! You must keep up posted on all the news!!! How you are feeling and all that! God Bless your family and wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas!

  56. Wayne Barnett says:

    Some days it must be bittersweet, I know, but this will give you another reason (besides Asher!)to look forward to a future of hope and promise. I can imagine that Christmas this year will be pretty tough at times…next year’s might be a bit better!
    Blessings to you all.

    Postscript thought: Hamish needs some blokes to hang with – I assume he has some, but just thought to mention it anyway. “Bloke time” can make a difference.

  57. Patricia says:

    That’s awesome news, congrats!!!

  58. pippa says:

    Lovely, lovely news! Congrats and more hugs :)

  59. Nikki says:

    Congratulations from my husband and I! :-)

  60. Melanie says:

    Congratulations on your news. The love that comes with a new baby can be very powerful amidst grief. My daughter would be 14 now and I can’t imagine there will ever be a day that I don’t just want my baby back. The grief that comes with the loss of a child is something that those who have not experienced this will never understand the immensity of (and I am happy for them that they do not), it is a unique ‘club’ that I would not wish anyone to join. However, having said that, and I never ever thought I would say this… it took me ten years to see that it also gave me a special gift.That is not to say I would not swap it for my daughter back in a heart beat. My experience with this grief has been nothing like I would have imagined. Your experience will be unique to you and no one can say what that will be. Grief does not follow a plan or fit into a box. I had another daughter after I lost mine and one day when she was about 8 she asked me if she was my “replacement baby”. I guess she had heard me talking to someone about how I had been feeling during the initial grief and my overwhelming desire to have another baby. I was so shocked by her question (although I guess I shouldn’t have been) I took in a sharp breath. My answer to her was that I did want another baby to love, but boy how lucky was I that I got her. My love to all family, those that are with you and those that are not.

  61. Ruth says:

    I have just watched Attitude, Anita, Hamish and Asher. It reminded me all over again what an amazing and beautiful little girl Aria was – and what amazing and brave parents she had. I have watched Aria’s journey on this site and on Attitude and remain in awe of you all. I too travelled a similar journey – my wee girl was eight when she died – and I was seven months pregnant so I know your new baby will bring you joy and laughter. You are strong people, and your faith is strong, and these things will get you through. We never forget our ‘lost’ children, but the pain dulls with time. We can never replace our lost children, but we love our new children for who they are. My love and congratulations on the new baby, and wish you all joy, peace and contentment at Christmas.

  62. Stacey says:

    Congratulations! So happy for the gift that God has given you in the midst of your grief.

  63. H Wilkie says:

    So happy for your wonderful News, I praying for you over the festive seasons God Bless you xxx

  64. Marybeth Weber says:

    Merry Christmas and congrats on your wonderful news! I know your little sweetie Aria is watching over her family in bliss <3 best wishes for the new year <3

  65. Uncle B says:

    What a nice Christmas dinner we had at your place, and Christmas wouldnt be Christmas without someone getting hurt like the uncle nearly decapitating the nephews with his cuzzies’ new remote control helicopter (So so so sorry Ashie Bashie). Got home filled with the nausea from my gluttony-literally, I dont think I’ve had cockles, kina and shrimp mixed with russian fudge and pineapple shortcake before lol. love you guys xoxo

  66. Kiri says:

    So lovely that you have some special news to share. Just reading what you said about Aria’s clothes, I thought I would pass on this link. A friend of mine who lost a child to cancer creates beautiful memory bears out of treasured clothes you can’t bring yourself to part with. I know they have brought comfort to a lot of other parents, siblings and family.

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”- Jeremiah 29:11