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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Remember that time, months ago, that I decided to start a Lop + Lore blog? Yeah…its been a while. Which is pretty typical of me and blogging, if I’m being honest. The radio silence this time wasn’t due to distraction or laziness however. It was due to well, grief.

In October, my nephew Kohen passed away shortly after arriving in this world. A perfect, adorable little boy that sped right through to the arms of his eternal loving Father.

It was unbelievable. Shocking. Devastating. Heartbreaking. Faith Altering.

I find that in this new world, a world without Kohen, I am unable to proceed with Lop + Lore without acknowledging my new perspective on life, babies, and childhood. As a new mother-to-be at the time of his birth, I walked the last three months of my pregnancy in a constant contradiction, trying not to deprive myself and my baby of the excitement of his life, even as every celebration was a reminder of the loss of Kohen. Now that Luke is here, I think of Kohen and his mamma often, each time I marvel at my new status as Luke’s mom. Each new thing I learn or struggle through or cherish, I find myself in the quiet moments, thinking of and imagining my sweet nephew. I am learning that it is by sharing these moments that we honour his memory – since we have so few of them. So, I’d like to take a moment and share how I think of Kohen.

In memoriam — I remember Kohen

When Luke managed to employ his newest skill today (grabbing) to keep his soother in—
I remembered Kohen. He’d have mastered grabbing months ago.

While I watched Luke sleeping yesterday, peaceful and squishy
I remembered Kohen. A full two pounds heavier than Luke at birth, he would have been so big by now!

When I stuffed the cloth diapers for the first time last week
I remembered Kohen. Its because of his mama that I felt brave enough to try going green!

When I fed my boy the week before last, still uncomfortable with this new skill
I remembered Kohen. When my arms are full I recognize the pain of their emptiness, having never held that sweet boy.

When I looked at Luke in wonder when we hit the one month mark
I remembered Kohen. Each milestone we hit is one we’ve missed.

When I looked up at Mount Baker on a bluebird day, covered in crisp white snow
I remembered Kohen. Sometimes it just hits you.

When I watched Luke’s Grandpa hold him and get misty eyed (multiple times)
I remembered Kohen. I know he’s thinking of his other grandson.

When Kohen’s Mom met Luke for the first time
I remembered Kohen. How could we not! And I was blown away by thankfulness to our God, who shaped that meeting to be beautiful and full of love.

When the excitement of delivery had worn off and I held my brand new baby boy
I remembered Kohen, and my heart broke once again even as I marvelled in the crazy love of motherhood.

When I considered the small wooden cross the Church provided each person one sunday—I remembered Kohen. And I remembered how much more hopeless the remembering would be if I couldn’t imagine him being loved and cherished in glorious heaven. To remember Kohen is to remember the cross and truly understand its significance.

Baby Kohen is a miracle that I will not forget. He has taught me so much about love, about family, about loss and about God. A quote from Martin Luther recently landed on my heart, and speaks to the hope that bring me peace when considering these things: “I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”

Photo from our maternity session by Jenni Marie Photography. These booties were given to me for my birthday by my sisters shortly after Kohen was born. They will always be a reminder to me of him, and I asked for this photo of bump(Luke) and booties to be taken in his memory. 

If you or anyone you know has dealt with infant loss I encourage you to read my sisters blog, as she works through this journey with so much transparency and wisdom: Kohen’s Mom: A Journey Through Parenting A Child in Heaven. 

Big News Baby!

bignews2

Hello there! Thanks for visiting Lop + Lore. I really mean it, thank you! This little project of mine means a lot to me, and its about to get a lot more meaningful! I’m Laura, or the “Lore” half of this little metaphorical duo, and the one behind everything that happens here.

When I first caught the vision for Lop + Lore, all I really knew was that I had finally found a vision that my artwork could get behind. I love illustrating, but could never really see how I could apply my work to something I could create on my own in a way that I could actually sustain. Basically, I lacked purpose! Artwork for children not only fit my style, but captured a piece of myself that I’ve never really known what to do with as an adult.

Defining my vision for Lop + Lore was the first step, the second was creating a body of work I could actually share. Once I had a collection going, I had to actually press “go!” and see what happened! The truth is, going “live” with this little vision blew away my expectations, but mostly because I set them so low :D! I sold a bunch of prints right off the bat, and then…well, then what?

Well, then I got pregnant of course!! I had been struggling with what to do with Lop + Lore beyond just sharing my prints, knowing that I was not in a place to really create any kind of mothering community with no experience of my own. Now that’s all changing, and it only seems natural to enter into this blogging world with my new mantle of “mother-to-be” under the umbrella of Lop + Lore. Of course, I am motivated to see how far I can take this little business, but I am also motivated to keep this going so that I can keep creating. Some people seem like creative guysers, spouting ideas endlessly – I feel more like a steady well, waiting for the bucket to get thrown down so I can fill it up with what its looking for.

So let’s see what happens! I have already learned a lot about this whole mothering thing – abstract, preparatory things like which diaper bag to buy, where to find tall maternity jeans, the importance of convertible strollers, and how opinionated people can get about cloth diapering! Want to follow along? I’ve got questions for you, and maybe a few “what not to do’s” :D.

 

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The Lop + Lore blog is all about exploring design, motherhood, and living creatively.

Lop + Lore is crafted by Laura Vanderwel and inspired by her childhood partner Lop, a plastic mouse shaped like an “L” who has been encouraging imagination longer than Laura can remember.

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