What does Orange mean?

People keep saying “the color orange will never be the same” or “every time I see the color orange, I think of your son Owen.”  I couldn’t agree more … but it’s different for me.  I’ve been asking myself what does orange mean to me now?  Owen (obviously).  But what else?  What do I want orange to mean?  If there was a message I could give everyone through just a color, what would it be?  What should it be?  What is it supposed to be?

Owen’s life was sacrificed but two others were saved and even more lives have been touched.  Is Orange a reminder of sacrifice?  How to give unselfishly to others.  By living for others you find truth in yourself.  Just look at his story and how it’s flooded the web.  I’ve got everyone’s attention (for whatever reason).  Lord what am I supposed to be telling them?

Perhaps it’s that we live in a reality that is horrid – children die, innocent people suffer from illness.  There is pain and sorrow.  Orange is a reminder to do something to ease the pain of this world.  Be the hands of God and make a change.  Offer comfort to someone who is in pain.  Be a refuge for God’s love.  Be a warrior in Owen’s army to fight for the good.  It doesn’t have to be a big change … perhaps it’s that you are going to hug your kids every night before bed.  Think of the memory you’d be creating for your kids and how it would multiply out to their children.  Four generations down the line might be hugging their kids a little tighter, all because you decided to make a difference.  Maybe it’s a bigger change like starting a ministry at your church or making blankets for others.  These are a few movements I’ve heard about from readers.  But whatever you feel moved to do … is it for the greater good?  What kind of impact are you creating on the world?  How is it spider webbing out into something much larger?

When the triplets wear orange, even if it’s just orange in the screen print on their outfit, I can’t help but think “You’re not alone today.  You’re wearing your brother.  He’s here, right now, with you.”  Is orange meant to be a reminder to those who feel alone?  Owen, the angel baby, is with you.  Where ever orange is, he is near.

Is orange meant to be a reminder to cherish our babies?  They come into this world, but aren’t truly ours.  Hug them and kiss them while we have them.  If they leave before we do, have faith, have the courage to believe they are with our Father.

Is orange a constant reminder that the life cycle isn’t perfect?  We are taught that you die when you get old.  We will leave this world before our children.  I have wondered if Doug or I would die first.  What would I do if Doug went before I did?  What would I hope he knows about me to make sure my final wishes are granted?  But a child?  Never crossed my mind.  It’s not a part of the circle of life.   (whoa just had a Lion Kind flash there).

What is the circle of life when I’m not the only one who has lost a child?  So many stories have come forward and keep coming forward.  I just heard about a 3 month old in the Appleton area who passed.  Do I dare say the number is disgusting?  What kind of God allows so many children to be called to heaven?  What kind of God allows parents to experience such pain?

Someone told me that it was ok to take my pain to God.  It’s ok to yell in my prayers and to cry and wail out to Him.  He’s bigger than our pain and He can “handle it.”  When I look at Jaden and when he gets so upset, I want him to come to me, to cry in my lap and be mad with me.  I don’t care that the shoulder of my shirt gets wet with tears and covered in boogers.  Being his mother, I can see passed his pain and see how this is going to be ok at some point.  I’m not mad or dissapointed that he’s crying or angry.  My heart hurts and I hug him tighter, trying in any way to comfort his pain.  Granted he’s usually crying about an action figure or skinned knee, but is this sort of the same way God looks at our pain?  He is a ‘parent’ to us, right?  I welcome Jaden’s tears and hug him through them.  I blow his nose and offer him a Popsicle after he has skinned his knee.  Is finding comfort in a color my Popsicle?  A special treat from my Father to help me feel better?

Maybe it’s all of these meaning.  Or I might have totally missed the message all together.  I just feel from deep within that there is meaning here.  Orange has a special task here.  Maybe I’ll never know why orange is so important.  Maybe I’ll be given all the answers when I too leave this world.  What I do know is that I’ve been wearing orange for 37 days straight … and I don’t plan on quitting any time soon!  Keep rockin’ out the orange!!

Love, Mel

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21 Comments

Filed under Mommyhood Meditations, Owen's Gone, Posted by Melissa

21 responses to “What does Orange mean?

  1. Laura Deane

    Orange means you are never alone and that there is someone watching over you.

  2. Katie Voss

    Purpose over pain. Love it Mel. I can’t wait to see you all soon!

  3. Amanda

    I have to repost this to my cousins wall.. He lost a friend earlier this week and his Grandpa last night… although he doesnt know Owen’s story (yet) I am hoping he will take comfort in Orange just as i have… For me its “you’re not alone”, happiness and love… I take comfort in a color now because of Owen and the story you have shared… Reading your story has also made me think about the “circle of life” and really live each day as its the last.. When i have kids, (i hope your blog is still available) I will look at your blog and the color orange as a constant reminder to cherish every moment, even the ugly, sad and terrible ones! I got a new eye glass rag the other day and the one orange one left was the one that grabbed my attention. Silly and small, but again it brought comfort…

  4. CJ

    I rarely comment, but always read. I lost a child through different circumstances and I wish she had had a color. But orange, orange will NEVER be the same for me. It’s a constant reminder and, for that, I am grateful.

  5. Jeanette

    I feel as if for sure orange is means we are never alone. Everytime I see the color I think of Owen and your family. Owen is always with us. I love to come on your blog and read everything u are feeling. I hope one day to meet you and your family. What a beautiful family!!! God bless!

  6. Jen

    Orange has a completely new meaning for me. It is the reminder to squish my girls more & how we never know Gods ultimate plan for us — to live in the moment. Owen will never be forgotten 🙂

  7. Sara

    I bought my first orange shirt this week and love wearing it! It feels great to wear orange and know that I am dressed like a warrior!

  8. I think Orange means all of the things you said above! I think that you’ve already told all of us what needed to be told throughout this journey… we all have a new found comfort and respect in the color orange and in your Owen! Hang in there and do tell God about everything you are feeling. He already knows and yes, he does want to be there for us, just like you are for Jaden and the triplets. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I definately hug my kids tighter now! Your little warrior lives on in more ways than one! In every action and reaction, in the little ones who recieved his special and precious gifts, in every one of our hearts.

  9. Barb

    As I read all this and cried I bent my head down with my eyes shut used the neckline of my shirt to wipe away my tears opened my eyes and saw I was wearing an orange shirt. I hadn’t thought about it yet today, with 5 kids in my care for daycare it can get hectic and today I have been pretty calm and we have all been having a good time. Come to realize maybe the color orange is giving me the strength and patience.
    Thankyou for all that you share with us.

  10. sherry merritts

    dear mel,
    keep on rockin your orange ! i to think of your owen when i hear or see orange. your words are so inspirational to all of us ! keep on posting ! love and prayers , sher

  11. Kate

    Mel,
    It was like a previous poster said, yellow is the light of God and red is the color of family, put them together and you get orange. Orange is a day about to begin and orange is a day about to end. I see orange and I think of you and your family, and I send up a small prayer for you and others feeling the pain of loss. Orange is everywhere.
    Kate

  12. s ortiz

    I learned about your blog from a sorority sister that lost her 16 month old only child. She has a smiliar blog and she is constantly referring to the “peanut effect.” How I find more patience with my 4 kids because I think of her and Connor (peanut.) I definately think that somehow Owange – and your blog will be felt by others and hopefully knowing that will in some way… down the line… help you through your pain. I have 4 little boys and now read your blog daily as well. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family… i just pray that you find a way (it seems you are) to enjoy the 3 sons you have with you daily. They are a great blessing.

  13. Lezley

    Yes, to everything! Orange means all of it and it won’t stop there!

  14. tina

    I used to notice orange because it’s my sister’s favorite color (as you know). Now I notice it more than before. It has more meaning, like remember to give the girls an extra hug and don’t get frustrated with them, that life is unpredictable, and that there is a mother thinking about her little boy that left this world too soon. I think of you all often. Tina

  15. Jen

    Mel,

    I just wanted to say that I started reading your blog about two weeks ago and it broke my heart. I have an Owen too, he is four months old. I look at him every night and tell him “I love you” three times and then pray over him. Ever since I have read about the triplets and Jaden and your Owen, I have found a new found appreciation and love for my baby. Every day from our Lord is a precious gift. It must be hard to have faith, I have found that to be true in my own life at times too, but God’s love is something I can’t understand. All I know is that when we go to meet Him in heaven we will have happiness that surpasses understanding. Owen is a warrior, and I pray for you frequently. -Jen-

  16. I’ve been reading your blog since Owen passed away- a friend of mine posted it on FB (I guess you guys have a mutual friend somewhere) asking for prayers. Today, I thought of you guys when my two-year-old INSISTED on coloring a birthday card for a friend all in orange. He even said the word for the first time, and it came out “Owenge”. I almost cried. He’s up there looking down on ALL the kiddos down here 🙂 ❤ from Arizona (I wear orange regularly!!)

  17. Mel,
    Orange isn’t just a color for me anymore, it now means so much more. When we wear something Owenge, I feel that my son is cloaked in warrior’s armor, I feel that inconveniences and problems in my life are put into perspective. Orange causes me to stop and praise God for all that I have, and for learning about you and your story. Orange makes me smile that your family and Owen’s story has brought me closer to my son, but more importantly closer to my faith. We now make it a point to say our daily prayers, give thanks to God for our blessings and trials, because without the trials how could be possibly know how wonderful our blessings are? Although my heart breaks for you every second of everyday since I began reading your blog, my heart is also beaming with joy because we have all gotten an glimpse into the ministry of you and your faith, truth, sacrifice, and determination to make sure everyone knows the awesomeness Owen brought into this world. Orange is no longer orange it’s Owenge – the color of a warrior. I see a lot of people wearing orange and I always wonder if they are wearing Owenge or orange…to me in my Owenge colored glasses everyone wearing it is wearing Owenge. Mel you and Owen have started something so special. Someday you’re going to be on vacation with your family in CA or FL or NC or Australia and see and Owenge shirt walking towards you. That is going to be an amazing moment. I pray that you continue your positive, outlook on life. There is so much good that you can do with the help of God and Owen. I strive to be a faithful servant like you.

  18. Thought of your blog when I hot an email that snappish.com photo color of the week is orange.

  19. Just catching up…You’re awesome!

    I think all of your scenarios are valid and correct.

    When you get to heaven…Owen will come running towards you, arms outstretched…wearing an “Owenge” t-shirt and will say, “Mom…our message was so great it even spread all the way up here. I’m proud of you.”

    I can just see it now. 🙂

  20. metalmouth

    Orange, it used to be just a color. Now, it reminds me of the heartbreaking tale of a baby boy whose life was taken, but, remains used for a great cause. My heart and prayers go out for you and your family. And know that, Owen is okay and in an amazing place right now 🙂

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