Last week the governor of Missouri signed a law granting a tax exemption for stillbirths. When I was reading about it, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Arizona already has a similar law and is one of the now three states that grant the exemption. I hope other states follow suit. Three is such a pitiful number. But now I keep thinking that I want to go back and amend our taxes from 2010. I was an Arizona resident then and I remember being asked, "did you have a stillbirth in the state of Arizona" when I first attempted to do our taxes online. I was emotional and confused and ended up getting our taxes done at HR Block. And I don't even know if our taxes could be amended, because while I was a resident of the state (since I was active duty at the time), my baby was not born in the state of Arizona. A little tricky, but nonetheless it would be really neat if I could go back and give some legal and and official proof of life to Cale. And that's what is so wonderful about the tax exemption. Sure, the money is nice, but it's far more important than that. It's acknowledgment. It's recognition. And that's something stillborns get far too little of.
I have yet to re-apply for Cale's Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth (CBRS). I applied once in 2011, while pregnant with Finley. I was sent the wrong document and instead received his fetal death certificate, something we already have. And I have yet to muster up the courage to re apply. So silly, really. It would take all of five minutes. Just print out a form, mail it off, and hope they don't screw it up this time. Yet I can't seem to bring myself to do it. Funny how daunting and emotional a little bit of paperwork can be.
Speaking of daunting, I really hope to get more organized at some point. I want to weed through all the scrapbooking materials I have and part with most of them. I think I'm coming to accept that I just won't be scrapbooking much ever again. But I do still want to make (or have made) albums for all the kids and I don't know how I want to do those. I have Mary's baby book all filled out, but only a fraction of Finn's done. But what about the things I want to keep? Pictures are easy to do in a photo book, which is certainly a nice space saver, but what about the baby shower invitations and the hospital bands, the cards and the sweet little "things" that just get stored in a box . . . you know, because they are far too precious and special to throw out. Any recommendations for what to do with all that stuff?
|At least my lack of organization is clearly organized?|
Additionally, while I want to clear out a lot of the "stuff," I also worry that I don't have enough pictures printed and need to go through and either print copies of my favorites or make some photo books because I worry about technology failing me and all my digitally stored pictures being lost. I have all our pictures on a hard drive that is backed up by another hard drive, but what if USB's one day become obsolete?! Miles and I watched Return of the Planet of the Apes the other night and there is a scene where they get the power up and running again and a man is glad to get a charge back in his iPad because it enables him to view his family photo. I'm not too concerned we are going o be overrun by apes, but I do think it's a valid point that we rely on technology a bit too much for storage of such important memories. I just need to find a happy medium of digital and hard copies and would love any recommendations or tips!
I'm somewhat motivated to get started on this photo/album organization because I fear memories escaping me and not being able to recall little details that I once thought I'd never forget. On Cale's fifth birthday I re-read all the details and memories I typed up a few months after he died. I wrote about everything from when and how I found out I was pregnant with him, my pregnancy, and then all the details surrounding his birth. It's a 14 page, single spaced word document that was tough, but nice to go back and read through, though I found many typos and grammatical errors I need to go back and fix! But as I was reading it I was reminded of things I had already forgotten about and I'm thankful I had written them down and need to do a better job of that. Like I should write down when we were driving home yesterday and Finn said, "I love you, Mary" and then went on to say, "and I love you too, mommy, and daddy and Roscoe - I just love everybody!" . . . I need to write that down because it was helpful at reminding me that he is a great kid despite the total psychopath he was two days prior when he thought it was FUNNY to roll over Mary's head (made more challenging by the fact that she also thought it was funny) and he couldn't listen to a damn thing I said all day. But nonetheless, documenting this stuff is important and I need to make it more of a priority outside of the blog.