A name and a dress

Kiddo#2 received her First Holy Communion, and I am obligated by the Maternal Convention of 2004 to post pictures on the weblog. You are similarly obligated to post comments about how cute she is.


We bought the dress last May, when I ended up at Sears for something else and passed the “SUPER FINAL CLEARANCE” rack on which were ten FHC gowns. I picked out the two that were one size up from her current size and said, “Pick one.” She picked one. I bought it. This year, it fit. It’s a single-use gown and thanks to the magic of the end-of-season sale, we paid a single-use price.

Shortly after we moved to Angelborough, Kiddo#2 sat on her bed crying. She said, “We’ve moved away from Emily’s grave.”

As well as from everything else she ever knew, but I guess it was easier to voice that maybe Emily missed us than to tell me what she missed. I held her while she cried.

I was kind of desperate for a way to comfort her, and I don’t know how we got to it, but I pointed out her FHC dress and said, “Since we got it this year, and Emily would have received her FHC this year, maybe this was exactly the same dress she would have gotten! Only because she wasn’t here, no one bought it, so it stayed around for you.”

Kiddo#2 perked right up. And then she pointed out that the dress had a giant rose on the waist-line (which I hadn’t previously noticed.)  She said that was for Emily, since her full name is Emily Rose.

FHC-familyThere’s a hole in our family. Sometimes we feel it more than others. Sometimes I know we have a saint, innocent before God, praying for us. But sometimes I wish she were here anyhow, able to pass on her dress to her sister the way sisters should.


  1. barbara the scot.

    ah. yes. grief. I am working with a boy who is exactly the age my first would have been, as is the wee girl next door with whom the boy and I go to the partk…i often think..

    prayers for the holes in your life, that they ache a bit less. but then loss of aching is further loss.

    1. philangelus

      It doesn’t really ache any longer. Emily would have been nine. But sometimes I get wistful and I miss her and wonder what life would have been like if she’d stayed.

      I know what you mean about the loss of the grief being a further loss. Sometimes the grief is the only thing you have left to hold onto, so you hold onto that. That’s actually one of the main themes of my story Winter Branches.

  2. Adie

    You have a lovely family and Kiddo#2 looks adorable in her dress. I love her smile :).

    1. stutterrockstar

      Beautiful family – I know you embrace what you do have.
      I too have holes in my family. Don’t feel as if I really have one. Good thing for surrogate familes we find along the way!

  3. whiskers

    Of course she is adorable! Your whole family, (hole included, as that is part of your family too), is adorable!

    Many hugs on this occasion of transition for your daughter!

  4. knit_tgz

    Wow, your family looks really nice.

    Hugs to you and your babies. I can’t understand what it is like to miss a daughter, of course. But what your dearest #2 said is very sweet.

  5. Jason block

    Being a rule follower…I must admit that both Kiddo #2 and your entire family fit the government required daily allowance of internet cuteness.

    Seriously though, congrats on FHC of Kiddo #2.

  6. knit_tgz

    Side question: How come none of your kids need glasses while having 2 parents who wear glasses? (Says the girl who didn’t inherit her mother’s perfect vision, but her father’s nearsightedness 😉 )

    And, before I do not meet the cuteness rules: you all are indeed cute, but she looks the cutest with the dress 🙂

    1. Philangelus

      Two of the Kiddos wear glasses. Or “own” glasses. It’s a struggle to get them to wear the things. Kiddo#2 is actually forbidden to wear hers fora while, though, because the previous eye doctor over-prescribed her (me too!) and the new doctor wants her eyes to rest before she gives her new glasses.

  7. karen ^.,.^

    all those futures there with you – what will they be? writers, artists, engineers, doctors, priests, lawyers….blessed children of God. many, many blessings to your family. and ((hugs))

    1. Philangelus

      Thanks. I wonder that too, Karen. It’s daunting in a way.

  8. AnotherFaceintheCrowd

    What a blessed day. Kiddo 2 looks so happy and deservedly so. 🙂 As do all of you.

  9. cricketB

    Your kids are sufficiently cute to have pictures on the internet. Won’t be long before Kiddo#1 is taller than you!

  10. Pamcee

    Oh, she looks adorable! I love, love the gap-tooth smile. It is so precious and so fleeting!

  11. stutterrockstar

    Love the story about the dress, and i agree with others, her smile is precious. My 8 year old niece has the same missing teeth smile.