This week I’m participating in an Instagram challenge hosted by The Rising Tide Society. Today we’re encouraged to share our unique signature. I could show you images of my favorite design work, or talk about where I get inspiration from, but instead I’m going to share with you something that has been on my heart... (which, in a weird way, IS my style).
I believe my signature style is creating spaces that not only reflect my client’s story, but that also encourage community and conversation. My logo is a perfect example of this. The illustration is of one of my dining room chairs, which have been in my family for four generations. The image of that chair is personal to me. The chair also reminds me of my love for hospitality, and for sitting down and having intimate conversation with people.
I had one of those sit-down-let’s-talk opportunities on Monday night. I was at a Christmas party with the Frederick area Pursuit Community group, and the evening was winding down. I stole my friend Anna Kerns and we sat by the fire and talked about how we’re really doing. (None of that “I’m fine” stuff here!)
Sweet Anna went to the hospital last July to deliver her healthy son Camden, but left the hospital with empty arms. Oh, I ache for this friend. As I listened to Anna share about her struggles, I thought I know that place well. I was in that place this time last year, mourning a baby stillborn in June and a baby stillborn the previous July. I remember how much effort it took to do anything — simply getting through the day was a huge accomplishment. But, as we chatted, I realized: I am not in that place anymore.
My feelings about my losses have evolved over time. The anger has lessened. The desire to hole myself away and not talk to anyone has lessened. The crying in the shower, crying in the car, crying on the couch, crying everywhere... lessened. I have held babies. I have watched a couple of tv-drama labor scenes without losing it. I used to sob on the way home from social events or substitute teaching jobs because holding my emotions in took so much effort, but that rarely happens anymore.
I remember wondering if I was ever going to be able to be social again. Would I ever feel strong enough to host people in my home? Would I ever be able to control myself around pregnant women or babies or toddlers or even families with grown kids? Would the pain ever lessen?
I still have times of deep, deep grief. I am still very sad. I miss my babies. I miss being pregnant with them, because back then they were alive and they were safe in my womb. I grieve my loss of innocence. I grieve my empty arms when I’m surrounded by friends and their children. I grieve so many things. But my days are less sad and my time is more filled with laughter and people.
"It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” - Anne Lammot
It felt good to talk to Anna and to be able to say, this place you’re in SUCKS. I don’t know how long you’ll be in it. You might feel this way for a long time. Eventually though, it will be less suck-y.
It feels a little weird, to write about my grief on my decorating blog. Dear reader, you’re getting more than you bargained for! Thank you for listening to my story. I have so much love and appreciation for the men and women in my life who encourage me to keep sharing, to keep being me.
So if you’re new ‘round these parts, know this: Laura Rennie Interiors isn’t just about creating pretty spaces. We’re about creating connections, celebrating home and honoring our stories.