I have been thinking a great deal about how I will share Mr Loco with Baby Loco. How will I share the awesomeness that was Mr Loco? How will we celebrate his life? How will I help Baby Loco get to know the dad she will not remember? I think about this constantly and have put a few plans into action. Here are my ideas to share her daddy with my daughter . I am sure I will come up with more or change things as time goes on. The great thing is that the house was already filled with lots of memories as far as trinkets and photos. We were not into having lots of stuff just to have stuff so if it is hanging up or on a shelf, it has special meaning. I have just added to what was already here.
Photos: Our house is full of pictures of Mr Loco. I like being surrounded by photos of very happy times. We caught a lot of spectacular moments in pictures. I am glad. I spent a lot of time working on a Shutterfly album with pictures of Baby Loco and Mr Loco. The book is huge and covers her first year. I want to make a few more books. I will be a Shutterfly expert when all is said and done. Baby Loco LOVES to look through this album. We also have lots of photos around the house. Baby Loco finds daddy in pictures and shouts his name. She also does her version of signing I Love You and says “Uv Oo”. It is the sweetest thing.
Mementos: I also find comfort in things that remind me of Mr Loco. The house is full of all sorts of little reminders. Here are a few ideas.
- The organ donor team was amazing. They made two plaster casts of Mr Loco’s hand. I got two because they underestimated the size of his hands and did not mix enough plaster. One is of his fingers and the other is his whole hand. It sits on my mantle. I am so thankful that they took the time to do this.
- I found a shop on Etsy that makes cut wooden quotes when I was looking for anything that said “Be excellent to each other”. This hangs over my back door.
- A great friend brought an elephant and an ice cream cone to the house for Baby Loco. They went to lunch one day and decided to fill the office with a bunch of crap. These are two of the items from their shopping spree. Apparently, Mr Loco came around the corner saying “Ice cream!” with this giant ice cream cone. The funny thing is, Mr Loco, Baby Loco and I went out for ice cream after I taught a class at work and they spent the morning at the children’s museum. They had a similar ice cream cone and Mr Loco told me the entire story and we laughed.
- I created a piece of artwork as a bit of therapy. I really enjoy the end result. I think of Mr Loco each time I look at it.
- A mommy from work created beautiful prints with quotes that I posted. They also hang in my bedroom.
- The neighbors created an amazing photo blanket. I wrap up in it every night after Baby Loco goes to bed.
Celebrations: Mr Loco will be remembered and celebrated throughout the year. Each family has their own unique celebrations and special traditions. People find meaning in different things. These are the things that have meaning to us.
- Mr Loco’s Birthday- We have a special plan this year with friends. I would love to create an annual tradition.
- Day of the Dead- We will be doing this our way. We will create an alter with photos and other mementos. We will eat foods that Mr Loco loved. We will share stories about Mr Loco. We will do a few crafts. I want the day to about remembering Mr Loco in many ways.
- May the 4th Be With You- Mr Loco and I talked about having a Star Wars party. We even bought Baby Loco a Yoda costume on clearance after Halloween. Eventually, Baby Loco will watch the original Star Wars movies.
- Pi Day- in true nerdy fashion, we will share some of Mr Loco’s favorite pies on Pi Day.
- Halloween- We really enjoyed Halloween. It was fun to brainstorm costume ideas and execute a plan. We had already started brainstorming ideas for Halloween 2014. We will continue to play up Halloween and have a good time with neighbors.
Trips: Mr Loco and I were married on Leap Day with the plan of taking a trip every anniversary. I plan to take Baby Loco on those Leap Day trips.
Mr Loco took a road trip with his mom to a bunch of National Parks as a kid. We planned on taking Baby Loco to as many National Parks as possible. I would like to follow through on this plan.
Little Ways to Remember Every Day: I think about Mr Loco a million times every day. There are so many things that were HIS schtick.
- Pizza on Sunday nights
- Pancakes on the weekend (I need to work on my pancake making!)
- Cinnamon Roll Waffles
- Peanut Butter Panda Puffs- It was Mr Loco’s favorite breakfast cereal. I like always having a box in the house.
- Wearing our Chucks- Every time I put my Chucks on or slide a pair on Baby Loco, I think of Mr Loco and how proud he was when he could slip his Chucks on again.
- Snow Days- We would call a snow day as a way to slow down life. The sun would be shining and we would pretend there was a storm and the roads were not passable. We would stock up on snacks and stay in our jammies. We would watch tv, read, play cards against humanity and just talk over cups of coffee. We watched Firefly on a few of our snow day weekends. I hope to watch Firefly with Baby Loco
Donations: Mr Loco had a list of places to donate money to as part of his Amazon Wish List. We always made a list of organizations to donate to for the year. We will continue to make those lists and donations each year. I will talk to Baby Loco about who we choose to support and why. I know soon enough she will be helping me make the list for the year.
Jewelry: I was never a jewelry person. I wore my engagement ring. Then I added my wedding band. Finally I added my Mother’s Day gift, a mother’s ring. After Mr Loco died, I added his ring to the stack. I putzed around on Etsy again looking for ways to memorialize and remember Mr Loco. I found a necklace with three little stars, one for Mr Loco, one for me and one for Baby Loco. I purchased it. Since then a few other necklaces have made their way to me. Some are for me and some are for Baby Loco when she gets older. I love each and every one so very much. I wear one almost every day.
Packages from Far and Wide: We have been receiving little packages from friends and they are so very special. Baby Loco loves to open packages and I must admit that I do as well. They are little happy spots in our day. The items may be a memorial piece for us to remember Mr Loco, a piece of jewelry, or a book for Baby Loco. I try to jot down in the book who it is from so Baby Loco can look back and see all of the love and support that was sent her way.
Amazon Wishlist: Mr Loco had an Amazon Wish List as I mentioned before. He had a wish list for Baby Loco. I bought all of the items on that wish list so that Baby Loco can have a gift from her daddy at birthdays or Christmas for a good number of years. I am so happy he had a list. I wanted to buy things now before they were no longer available. They are packed away in my closet. There are stuffed animals, t-shirts, games and lots of books.
Emails: I created an email address for Baby Loco. I am encouraging Mr Loco’s friends to send her emails telling her stories about her dad. I am hoping more friends take me up on this request. I would love for her to have a great number of stories about her dad. They don’t need to be detailed. They don’t need to be spectacular. They just need to be from the heart. If you would like the address, please contact me.
Other Ideas: I have several other ideas of more permanent ways we can remember Mr Loco. I hope to implement them over time. I am in an online grief support group and it is interesting hearing how people choose to remember their loved ones. As I work on my ideas, I am sure I will post what I come up with.
In the beginning I was desperate to have as many things as possible to remember Mr Loco. I didn’t want to miss any opportunities. I am really glad that I worked to pull together the things that I did. I feel good about all of the pieces I have pulled together for Baby Loco and I am very comforted by the pieces I pulled together for myself.