Years ago, when I was expecting my first child, I bought a kit to make a chainmaille necklace. Life got busy and the kit got put aside and buried under other things.
Then, in October 2009, I was expecting my 3rd child. And, things went wrong. Very wrong. I delivered Adam at 3:54am on October 17th at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax in a dimly lit room with just his father and our nurse present. He weighed 18oz at 21 weeks 1 day gestation. My water had broken weeks earlier and the membrane didn't heal, so his lungs couldn't form, his heart was pushed out of position, and his chest was starting to become deformed. He was beautiful. He had the same nose as both his older brothers. He was like a kitten, with pale lines where his eyes would have opened. We had the nurse take photographs of his hands and feet, but not of his face - no one else would want to see it and we would never forget.
A few weeks later, while still needing to keep my hands and mind occupied at all times, I came across that forgotten kit. I thought it would keep me busy in the quieter moments for a few days, but I had it finished that night. Doing a little bit, messing up, taking it apart. Over and over until I figured out what I was doing. I've never worn the necklace - it's a bit too chunky for my taste - but I will never part with it. It's connected to my grieving.
The day after making the necklace, I started gathering materials to make more chainmaille - the repetitive nature of weaving the rings together was relaxing, allowing my mind to wander enough, but not too much. As I learned to do more patterns, I realized that I had found my creative outlet. And, the added bonus - I could work on it for a few minutes at a time and pick it up where I left off without too much trouble. What began as a sort of therapy became a love in its own right.
The chainmaille will always be intertwined with Adam - I think of him often as I work. The jewelry is a connection to him. Chainmaille is a gift Adam gave to me. That is where "Adam's Month" comes from - it is a way to give back to him, to have something positive come from it all.
This year, 20% of the price from each item sold in October will be donated to the IWK Health Centre Foundation. And, I've introduced the first in a series of pendants that will have 50% of the price go to the IWK year-round. Trying to create some meaning by helping the children's hospital where Adam was born in some small way.
So, there it is - why October, why the IWK, why "Adam's Month." Maybe someday I'll be able to tell Adam's story more fully than this, but today is not that day.
"A wife who loses a husband is called a widow. A husband who loses a wife is called a widower. A child who loses his parents is called an orphan. But...there is no word for a parent who loses a child, that's how awful the loss is." --- Ronald Reagan