Monday, November 03, 2014

Gratitude

It seems like November is the time everyone starts talking about everything they're grateful for.  Thanksgiving on the horizon tends to bring that out in people.

To be totally honest, I've been feeling very UN-grateful lately.  I've been feeling a lot of things actually.  Anger, sorrow, confusion, frustration...the list can go on.  I was talking with Matt the other night about how unfair I had been feeling about our situation.  How going through this process again is just unfair, and how it makes me doubt myself as a mother in a way.  Now, I know that sounds completely crazy, I get that.  But when a situation is out of your control so utterly completely you make reaches of all sorts.  This is a reach I've been known to make.  That for some reason I'm not a good enough mother to get to have the family I desire.  I sit here on my couch and cry about how I'm a good mother, why can't I have these two other children here with us?

A friend told me after Kale died (and maybe it was before) that I need to just feel what I'm feeling.  Not to try to push feelings down because they may not seem like 'normal' grieving emotions.  Feel what I feel at the time, accept it, and move on to the next emotion that's coming.  So that's what I do.  I feel what I feel at the moment.

Those moments when I'm angry at God for having us go through this again, they come and go, like every other feeling I have.  And I realize that a lot of what I feel seems irrational.  And that's ok.

The other night, when I was feeling ungrateful for everything we've been given the past month, (job loss, car loss, terminal diagnosis for another baby, the death of Matt's grandpa) it all just seemed like more than I could bear, and I was telling him about how I thought it was all unfair.  I mean, I realize other's have it worse off than us.  I realize that there are many situations in life that could be so much worse, but right now, to us, to ME, the situations we have been given just seem unfair.

After talking and crying it out for a bit, he told me to go read this talk, given in LDS General Conference in April of this year.  Grateful In Any Circumstances by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

And so I read it the next day.  There are so many things that I needed to be reminded of.  There are so many ways we are blessed at this point in our life, even as we're suffering and grieving.  And it's not just tangible things, although I will touch on that too.

"Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges.

This is not a gratitude of the lips but of the soul. It is a gratitude that heals the heart and expands the mind."

So I starting attempting to be more grateful, and guess what?  I FEEL more grateful every day.  My heart is turned outwards instead of inwards and it makes a difference in our lives.  When I was pregnant was Kale, I was very selfish about everything.  *I* needed to do and provide everything for him for his short life.  I didn't want to accept help, I didn't want others to help us pay for things (even though we needed it).  I felt like I was a terrible mother if I couldn't provide for him everything he needed.  In his case it was a cemetery plot, a burial, flowers, headstone, and a few other little things--blankets, clothing to be buried in, memorial items.  

I've let go of the selfishness with this baby and it's made a difference.  It's made a difference in how I feel, how I act, in every day matters.  My heart has been opened and I've been reminded (multiple times) about how good of a world we truly live in.  How good people are to others.

On that note, here is the point of this long post.  It's for me (and our family) to say thank you.  The past few weeks have been extremely difficult for us, emotionally, spiritually, and for me mostly, physically. (carrying a baby with no fluid is hard, you wouldn't realize it, but at this point in my pregnancy this is the third time I've had a baby with no fluid and with Martin I was on complete bedrest).

We have been beyond blessed with the outpouring of love and support from so many people.  My sister in law Natalie started a funding page to help us cover some of the financial costs we thought we would need for this baby, from what was spent on Kale.  It's only been going for about two weeks and this morning the goal was reached and surpassed.  So many many people, people we know, people we don't know, anonymous people, have donated money to help us.  Our story has been shared and shared again.  We have cried tears of gratitude as we watched that little green bar get filled.  We have been shocked that people care enough to give us this help we need right now.  We have been reminded of how good people are.  We have been so grateful.

So THANK YOU.  Everyone of you.  Everyone of you that has said a prayer on our behalf, that has sent a good thought in our direction, that has given us some financial help, that has given me a hug, sent me or matt a text or email or card or facebook message.  We are grateful.  We may not response quickly, as emotions make it difficult, and sometimes 'thank you for thinking of us' just doesn't seem like the adequate response.  

But here it is anyway: Thank you for thinking of us.  Thank you for remembering our little family.  We are so grateful for so many people.  I want to give everyone a hug.  

To quote President Uchtdorf again: "How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings."

Friday, October 17, 2014

Capture Your Grief- Day 16

Day 16--Retreat

I did exactly that today.  I took my dear husband and we spent the day together.

And now?  I want that every day.  It's been 15 months since we said good-bye to Kale.  And today when we were expecting exciting news we once again received an announcement that a sweet little baby I've been carrying for the past 20 weeks has Potter's Syndrome.

We're doing this again.  We're walking this road of grief and pain all over again.  Only this time we're already carrying a boulder of grief with us down this road.  I can't even put into words the emotions I'm feeling right now, the pain my heart feels.  My brain can't even wrap around the concept.  It's not real, it's a horrible nightmare, a joke someone thought would be humorous.

Shock would be a good way to describe it.  I'm in complete shock.  My thoughts are unfocused, but I need to talk.  Lightning striking our family twice.  The odds...it's unbelievable.  We saw the perinatologist that we saw with Kale, and she was just as shocked as us.  No kidneys, no bladder, no stomach.  It's a 1 in 100,000,000 chance of it happening twice.  Unless there's a genetic link, which apparently there is.  We speculated before, but were always reassured that it was a fluke.  However, now at this point, it's no longer a fluke.  Both myself and Matt probably have some sort of recessive gene that when put together causes this.  There are about 14 different types of 'genetic variations' that could cause this.  And those variations?  They raise our odds in having a Potter's baby to 1 in 4. Twentyfive freaking percent.  The fact that we have two happy, relative healthy children is amazing, as odds are generally NOT in our favor.

I'm getting side-tracked.  There are many details that really don't matter, as they don't change the situation any.  The point is, we are having a second baby with Potter's Syndrome.  Unfortunately we have walked this exact path before, we know the steps that need to be taken.  We know what we would change, and we know the final outcome.  We know any time we get to spend with our sweet baby is through the grace of God being willing to give it to us.  We know that our dear child could pass away at any moment.  There is only so much room in there and with the added complication of a cord possibly being laid on, the risk is great.

And while progress is slowly being made in regards to treatment for Potter's, and there is a miracle baby out there, we aren't fortunate enough to receive such treatment.  Our precious child is missing more than kidney's, which makes the treatment (a saline solution to help lungs develop, and then hope for dialysis until a kidney transplant is available) impossible.

Our hearts are broken.  I don't think it matters at what age you loose a child, every dream you imagined for them, being stolen away so quickly and replaced with heartache is unbearable.

So here we are again.  Preparing for a baby that we don't get to keep with us.  Katryn's response broke our hearts: "Dang it.  I wanted a sister".  And I wanted to give her a sister.  Martin doesn't understand yet, but he understands that Kale is in heaven and so I think he'll grasp this quick enough. Having done this before, we can anticipate this baby being born around Christmas time, about 2 and 1/2 months early.

And so we're retreating.  We're taking steps to protect our hearts right now, as they are VERY fragile.  We're drawing our family in closer than before and cutting out the excess as needed.  We know that God has a reason for these babies to be called back to Him so quickly, and I wish we could know the reason too.  I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it.  Going by faith alone is HARD.

And there it is.  Potter's Syndrome take two in our house.  Preparing to bury another child, to have to say goodbye too soon, to have to deal with 50% of my children not being here with me.  It's a heart-ache I can't even begin to describe.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Capture Your Grief-Day 15

Day 15--Community

Day is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  At 7pm, everywhere around the world, people will be lighting a candle in memory of their baby, and all babies.  Each in their own time zone.  In a way, this creates a wave of light across the world, each group after the other, lighting their candles in remembrance of our babies.


I set up a little corner in our living room for Kale.  One of my sisters in law crocheted this little blanket for Kale's 1st first birthday and it's perfect.  it's the perfect size, and would have fit him just right too.  Another sister in law gave me the little candle and candle holder in the middle.  I didn't have the chance to tell her, but it's so perfect.  I have been on a sort of hunt to find something I could use each year for the Wave Of Light.  And this is exactly it.

And so tonight, at 7pm, I'll be lighting that candle and thinking of Kale and all others who are no longer here with their families.  I have a list of of names in my head and heart of those I'll be thinking of, but at the risk of accidentally missing one I'm not going to post them all here.  Just know, that I am remembering your sweet babies with mine, and my heart is hurting with yours.

Capture Your Grief-Day 14

Day 14--Dark/Light

I don't have a picture for this.  I don't know how I could represent it appropriately.

But I do want to discuss it.  Because there are light and dark sides to this 'after-life' of having a child die.  A before and after.  There are moments when I'm totally at peace with what happened, and then there are moments when I am angry at everyone and everything, when I honestly want to yell at God and tell Him that He was wrong, that my boy should be here with ME.  When I don't understand that there's a purpose behind it all, and a great plan in place.

There are moments when I feel like I'm living a dream, that this life, the life I'm living without one of my children, is really my life.  I wonder how on earth we got to this place.  10 years ago, when Matt and I were dating, I never would have thought something like *this* could happen to us.

There's a quote going around facebook right now, in the baby loss community that says "1 in 4 in not just a statistic, it's me".  And that's how I feel sometimes.  Sometimes I feel like a statistic and that makes me angry, but it's true.  It's me.

It's like living on a yo-yo.  Going back and forth between the good moments and the bad moments.  The light and the dark.  Yes, the dark times suck, but I get through them and enjoy the light times.  I imagine it will be like this forever, and because I'm in a light-time, I'm ok with that.  When I'm in a dark time I probably won't be pleased, but right now I understand that this is how it is.

Capture Your Grief- Day 13

Day 13--Season

I remember the day we drove to the hospital and Kale was born.  I remember thinking that this wasn't happening, I couldn't believe that I was actually in labor, because I wasn't ready for him to come.  I wasn't ready to say goodbye.  As we drove I distracted myself from contractions and feeling my heart break by watching the sunflowers on the side of the road.  It was fairly early in the year for them to start, but yet, there they were, already blooming.  There weren't a lot of them, but I loved seeing them.  It was a nice symbol, a good reminder for me to face the light in spite of what troubles I was going through.


For that reason, I made sure we had sunflowers at Kale's graveside.  I almost put them on his headstone, but in the end we decided not to.

We also planted a grouping of sunflower-type flowers (a cone-flower I think) at the foot of Kale's tree this summer.  When we were tree shopping, we visited 2 local nurseries to pick the exact tree we wanted.  After purchasing some other things at one of the nurseries we were offering our choice of a free plant, and 1 of our choices was the sun flower type plant.  So we planted right in front of the tree, and it's done wonderful this summer, and it's been so nice to look at it and be reminded of Kale.

I call it sunflower season.  It's really summer time, but whenever I see the sunflowers start popping up all over it makes me happy, and makes me think of Kale.

Capture Your Grief- Day 12

Day 12--Music

I can't say there's something specific in regards to music that just gets me every time.  It completely varies from day to day.  Some days I can't listen to the radio at all, because so many songs make me miss Kale and make me cry.  Sometimes I'll be sitting in a church meeting and the song will just hit me and I have to stop singing.  I just never know.



Always though, Tribute by Jon Schmidt will get me.  We played that song as Kale's graveside service and it will always be very meaningful to me.  I actually haven't even attempted to play it on the piano since he died.  I don't think I'd be able to get through it.  The first part of the song is very lonely sounding.  And then it pauses and it's upbeat and happy.  It's rejoicing.  I picture the first part as life without Kale.  Life without any of those we love, when we're lonely.  And that pause. That pause is us dying and going through to the other side.  And then we're rejoicing, we're reunited with those we've missed and those we've loved.  Just picturing that moment makes me cry.  Some days it's all I can do to not wish that time would just BE here, and I could be reunited with Kale.  But I know it will happen eventually, so I just keep going, and imagine that sweet moment when my family is whole and together again.

Capture Your Grief- Day 11

Day 11--Altar



I remember talking with Matt at some point while I pregnant with Kale, or shortly after he was born.  I wanted to make sure we were on the same page in regards to how we display Kale in our home.  I felt there was a fine line of what to do to make sure we didn't have a shrine, and we were tactful in how he was represented here.  We certainly have plenty of items all over our house that remind us of Kale, but most people wouldn't realize it.

For example, the orchid plant on our end table.  Last year I bought the orchid because it was a beautiful blue color. The color reminded me of Kale, the orchid reminded me of my grandpa.  Kale headstone wasn't set yet and so I took one of the flowers and carefully stuck a toothpick through it and placed it on his grave.  The flower hasn't bloomed again, but it sits there and reminds me of him.

We have a blue paper lantern that hangs in our living room room.  It's always lit.  I could walk down in the middle of the night and our living room would have a very soft blue light shining. I love it.

And we have little things like that all over our house.  And I love it.  I wouldn't change it.  And we have things we're planning on adding too, projects that are half done and I need to finish.  I want to make a shadow box with his blanket, the outfit his wore, some pictures.  Lots of things.  As time goes, I'm sure I'll add things all over.

Capture Your Grief- Day 10

Day 10--Support

I have received support in so many places during this journey.  The best support, hands down, has been my husband Matthew.  I hear too many stories about marriages that are ripped apart when a child dies, and it breaks my heart.  And makes me so very grateful for my relationship with my husband.  I have been able to turn to him during all of it and not feel like I'm crazy for feeling a certain way, or reacting to something unexpected.  I know that at any time, I just can turn to him for a healing hug, or when I break down he knows he doesn't have to try to say something to 'make me feel better', because he knows it won't make a difference.  He helps me realize that when people say insensitive things that their intentions are probably good, they just don't know what to say, or realize that it could hurt (note: never start a sentence with "At least"). It helps me so much to have someone by my side who understands exactly what I'm going through, because he went through the exact same thing I went through.



I have also received support from so many family and friends.  They acknowledge Kale, and talk about Kale, which means the world to me.  They've let me share stories about him, even if they've heard them all before.  They've donated to the causes we've participated in his memory, giving me flannel to make bereavement items, or buying a tshirt for our Running With Angels event, joining with us as we do things to remember him.

And yes, we've also received a lack of support from people as well, which is hurtful at times, but I try my best to overlook the pain it can bring, and focus on those who genuinely support and care about us and Kale.  It's not always easy, and it is certainly painful, but I realize I can't let myself be affected by others that way.  I need to surround myself with those who will buoy me up.  And it helps.

Capture Your Grief- Day 9

Day 9--In Memory

Oh, the things we have done in memory of Kale.  That sweet boy is such a large part of our lives.  This summer he celebrated his first birthday.  And so we planted a tree in our front yard for him.  It was wonderful, and healing, and I love seeing that tree every day.  I can't wait to watch it grow bigger and stronger every year.  We hope to expand around the tree, create a little garden bed, with flowers, and pinwheels (since we can't leave those at the cemetery) and other things that are meaningful to us.



I have also done a lot of sewing for bereavement groups.  Particularly Teeny Tears and Angel Outfitters. When Kale was born I had a little Teeny Tears diaper I made him, and a tunic from Angel Outfitters he wore that matched.  He was buried in one of the tiny diapers and I keep the other one as a memento.  Providing this items for other families who are heartbroken at the death of their baby is such a peaceful feeling for me.  The service I'm providing in Kale's memory, and the little cards they receive that have his name on them, help me move forward sometimes.  They help me know that Kale will never been forgotten and his memory will live forever.  The families that have, or will receive a little diaper set for their baby, or a bunting and hat set will always remember his name.  They will probably treasure the little card that has his name on it.  They might have even googled his name and found my blog with his story.  I don't know.  All I know is that it's done for him.


Capture Your Grief- Day 8

Day 8--Resource

(From CarlyMarie) "When we become bereaved, in the beginning, many of us look outwards for help. We set out in the night with a blanket and a lantern in search of others like us. Along the road we usually find someone or something and it is with that discovery that we can walk this road with understanding company we watch the sun begin to rise over our worlds again."

I find that the be very true.  And I did that same thing.  After Kale's diagnosis, I turned to a friend of a friend, who had lost her little girl to Potter's 9 years ago now.  Just to be able to talk to someone who knew what I was going through, knew the choices I had laid in front of me was healing.

There are so many support groups out there.  There's national groups, and local groups, and groups specific to the type of loss, and religious groups.  They all had something to offer me, at different times.  One wasn't better than the other, they each had their place.  It's nice to hear about other's who understand how carrying a terminal baby is so very very difficult. But it's also nice to participate in a general loss community who just want people to remember and acknowledge their babies.

I'm not an active participant in any of the groups, but I have turned to them in silence research to help me get through things, and to remind myself that I'm not alone in the journey.  

Capture Your Grief- Day 7

Day 7- Sacred Place

Oh my.  What a large topic.  There are many places that are sacred to me in regards to Kale.

The first would be his grave.  I love being able to spend some time there with my family and by myself.  And it means so much more to me ever since his headstone was placed.  I can look at his picture, and his tiny hand and feet prints.  I can sit and talk to him and if anyone sees me or hears me, they don't think I'm crazy!  It's a place I can take care, make it look nice and clean for him.  I love being able to put flowers and decorations out for him, (especially in fall in winter, when they don't take things like pinwheels away!) things that have a special meaning to me.  It's healing for me.  I don't get to purchase clothes or toys for him to use, and this is my way of giving him something.  Of making sure he's remembered.



For his birthday, we took the kids up to the cemetery and had lunch and left balloons for Kale.  We wrote messages to him on balloons, things the kids wanted to tell him and let them go.  They love going and 'visiting' Kale.  Whenever we leave, they say "I love you Kale!  Bye!" and it melts my heart.

His grave is special to me.  I have come to notice my emotions come in waves, where I'll be completely fine for a few days, sometimes a week or two, but I slowly feel myself reaching the breaking point emotionally.  When I start to get to that point I make sure to visit the cemetery, because I know I can collapse there and not have to explain myself.  It's very healing actually to sit at his headstone and just cry and tell him how much I miss him and wish he was here.

Another sacred place to me in regards to Kale is the temple.  I don't get the chance to visit as often as I wish I could, but I have had a few special experiences there that have helped heal my heart.  There's a part during the ceremony there, where they talk about the veil between this life, and the next life in heaven.  We can only pass through that veil by dying.  Every single time we reach that point, my heart just leaps inside of me and I picture Kale standing there, just waiting for me.  Sometimes it just breaks my heart that it's not really happening, that I'm not really going to get to see my boy, and I still have to wade through this life.  But it still reminds me that he's there on the other side, and he is waiting for me.  It reminds me that families really are forever, and at some point in the future I will get that chance.

Capture Your Grief- Day 6

Day 6--Books

I have a few books that I found really healing after Kale died.  And I have a few I want to purchase but haven't yet.  These books, as much as I love them, I haven't even finished them.  Sometimes I just need to read a tiny bit of them to remind me that I'm not the only one who's gone through this.  I mean, I know I'm not. I'm part of many support groups where people have lost their babies and are suffering.  But something I feel like I am.  Because not one experience is the same, and it's hard to fit it when you feel like your experience is so different.  Or it's hard to FEEL like you fit in.  And we're all in different stages of our grief, even years after the event.



So sometimes I need to just read a certain part of the book, just a chapter or two.  In a way, it causes me to relive my experiences with Kale.  The time I was pregnant with him, sitting in the ultrasound room when we got his diagnosis, preparing for his arrival, my labor, his birth, the time we spent with him, the time after he died.  These are all moments I think about quite often, but reading books about others experiences reminds me of things I forgot.  So much of my time with Kale blurs together.  I hate that, but that's what life is like, right?

And then there's the books I want to read but haven't gotten around to getting them yet.  One author in particular, Angie Smith from Bring the Rain.  While I'm still going through the only book I have of her's, I want to read some of her other ones.  I love that her writing comes from a Christian perspective.  Believing that Kale is in heaven brings me a lot of peace usually, and it's truly helped me handle the past year and 1/2.  Reading books written by someone who believes that too, and has felt the pain I'm feeling, is very helpful to my heart.

Capture Your Grief-Day 5

Day 5- Journal

I have a journal.  I don't use it very often.  Too many times the thoughts and emotions going through me are impossible to put into words.  Or they're a sentence on repeat when I'm really struggling.

But about a year ago I purchased one, with the intent to write letters to Kale in it, and have the kids write in there on his birthday and on holidays and such.  It's beautiful, and the perfect shade of Kale Blue.  Instead, I decided to write about the special moments I have felt in regards to Kale.  Experiences that touch my heart and remind me that he's on the other side just watching out for me.



I haven't had many, or maybe I've had loads but I need to be figuratively smacked in the face with a 2x4 to notice them.  And they're special to me, and something I hold dear to my heart.  I don't want to ever forget them, and I want to be able to share them with those that are close to me.

So it's not very full, but it's very meaningful to me.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Capture Your Grief-Day 4

Day 4- Now

Who am I now?

I don't know how to answer that.  I heard an analogy shortly after Kale died that really hit me, but I didn't think it was possible.  It was describing grief as a rock.  Right after the one you love dies, you are given a ginormous boulder, it overwhelms you, it overtakes you.  Everyone can see it, everyone notices it.  It's impossible to miss.  But as time goes on, that boulder shrinks.  It's still a heavy burden to bear, but you carry it in your arms, people can see past the grief-rock to your face.  Eventually, and usually with much help and support, the rock keeps getting smaller and easier to carry.  You always carry the rock, it's a part of you now.  But it gets to the point where you carry it around in your pocket.  You take it out sometimes because although it's small, it's a huge part of who you are.  However, you don't share it with everyone anymore.  Many people don't even know or realize you carry around this rock of grief, but it's always always with you.

That's about who I am now.  I'm got a rock in my pocket I carry around with me.  But most people don't know.  Most people don't realize how much I actually am still grieving, because I do it in private, and move forward with life still.  But it's very much a part of my everyday life.  Kale's death affects most things I do, and like all my other children, he is constantly a part of my thoughts.

Last year I posted about how I'm a person who doesn't wear mascara anymore because I would cry it off.  I now only very rarely wear mascara.  Because it seems like the day I choose to wear it, is the day I'm going to cry.

But who am I now?  I don't even know sometimes.  I'm me.  I could easily slap the labels on me: Mom of an Angel, Bereaved Mother, Mom of Three kids, etc.  But I'm just me.  I still like to quilt, I still like to read, I like to watch my TV shows, I love my naps.  So much of me hasn't changed, but it is 'tainted' (for lack of a better term, I feel that word has a negative connotation) with the death of my son.  I feel like my vision on everyone has a filter over it in a way.  It's hard to describe.  It's just a way I view life now.  My new routine involves regular visits to the cemetery.  It involves projects in his memory, to help other mourning families. It involves support groups.  It involves talking about Kale with my other children and letting them talk about them whenever they want.  It involves making new traditions for our family that includes Kale, which means being very creative.

But I'm still me.  I'm different now yes, but I'm very much the same.  I know my roller-coaster, and I know the feelings that come before I have an emotional break and take care to protect myself during that time.  So if I can't give you a reason why I flaked on you, or why I can't do a certain thing, understand that I have my reasons, they're just very difficult to put into words.

This picture is the most recent picture I have of me, taken this summer as we celebrated Kale's 1st birthday at the cemetery.


Saturday, October 04, 2014

Capture Your Grief--Day 3

"Before"

I don't even know where to start with this one.  Sometimes I feel I have to go way back.  Way back to before I had any kids.  When I was so naive.  When I didn't know that things could go bad.  That babies die. Because I've always felt that it's not fair when children die before their parents.  At any age!  It just seems to go against what's right in the world.

I remember being pregnant with Katryn, and my friend lost her baby.  We were due around the same time.  Looking back (because hind-sight is 20/20) I realize what  horrible friend I was.  I was so selfish, and didn't give her the support she probably needed.  I actually see that in many aspects of my life 'before'.  And even now.  But we're all growing and changing, right?  We're all hoping to become better everyday.

It was probably when Martin was born that it really hit me that things CAN and DO go wrong.  Too often.  Many people don't bring their babies home with them from the hospital.  I remember reading Martin's chart once, while we were hanging out in the NICU, and seeing the first sentence the doctor wrote about him right after he was born.  "Infant male born blue and unresponsive".  The shocking feeling I had at the point is hard to describe.  It was a realization that my little boy almost didn't make it.  There was a very real chance he wouldn't be here.  It was terrifying to realize how close we came to having to say goodbye to him.

After all of that, and Martin's "aftermath" as we like to call it (y'know, the O2, the feeding tube, the RSV, the years of therapy...." I felt I could handle anything a pregnancy could throw at me!  We thought we had dealt with it all with him.

Turns out there are things much worse than what we went through with Martin.  Much worse. Our eyes are definitely opened to reality, and we are fully interested in those 'there's a small chance' situations because those are where we tend to find ourselves.

Sometimes I do miss the before me though, the one who didn't cry at a drop of a hat at random things.  That's a little hard to deal with sometimes.


Friday, October 03, 2014

Capture Your Grief--Day 2


[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

BY E. E. CUMMINGS
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


Today's theme is 'Heart' and it's based off the above poem.  The above poem that I see referenced many times in the support groups I'm a part of.  I imagine I have read the poem before, probably during an English class in college (because being an English major, Creative Writing no less, required lots of poetry classes!). But I don't remember.  

I had the chance to spend the day in the mountains.  Granted I was chaperoning for a elementary field trip so it wasn't as peaceful as I could have hoped for.  But it was still nice.  My heart kinda of turned out more like an upside down triangle, but I'm ok with that.  My heart isn't perfect either.  It's pretty damaged, and some days I do wonder how I'm able to do what needs to be done.  

I remember hearing many times after Kale died, and even before that, after we got the terminal diagnosis, "I could never do that".  It made me very angry sometimes, I wanted to shake people and tell them "what makes you think *I* can do it?!  Because I don't think I can."  And there are still days where I think I can't do this, I can't be the mother who buried one of her children, who is missing a child and aching to have them here every day.  

But every day, I know I carry Kale with me.  He's not physically in my arms like other babies, I don't get to snuggle him, or make him laugh.  But I also never have to leave him with a babysitter, or watch him struggle through life's trials.  Sure, I wish I could do that, but I truly do get to carry his heart in my heart every day. And sometimes, that's a little bit of peace that a heart-broken mama needs. 

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Capture Your Grief 2014

Last year I participated in an event of sorts called "Capture Your Grief".  And it was amazing.  And healing.  And it made me dig inside me where I hadn't wanted to venture after Kale died.  I shared many pictures on facebook, and short snipits about the subject of the day.

This year, I want to take it a step further.  Which is why, after many months of NOT blogging, I'm going to blog.  I'll wait for the cheering to stop. ;)  I decided to do it this way so I can dig a little deeper, and really get the most of this event.

So here it is.  Capture Your Grief 2014.


Today's subject is sunrise.  This morning, this is what I got.  To be totally honest, the sun doesn't come up over those mountains.  It's a little to the south a bit, but I can't see that area through the houses and trees, so I took a picture of what I could see.  


It was cold this morning!  Fall is most certainly here, and by the looks of the mountains some might even think winter is here.  It was interesting to me this morning, when my alarm went off at 7am (which I understand isn't early for everyone, but it's early for ME, and it's very difficult getting up to get K-girl off to school at that time) I didn't feel the tired crankiness I usually feel.  I didn't moan and try to push Matt out of bed (which never works anyway).  I did hit snooze and lay in bed for a while longer, since I hadn't heard any children awake yet.

Carly Marie posted on her site about Day 1:  "Send some love out to everyone else in the world who is grieving the death of a child and remember those gone before us who were made to grieve in silence"

I could feel that this morning. I could feel the peace and love others were sending out and it was wonderful. It truly made for the start of a good day. I spent a few minutes talking to Kale in my head, as I'm known to do, before the kids were desperate for breakfast.

I was reminded of last year, when I was dreaded winter coming because there was no headstone for Kale yet, and it was extremely hard for me to feel like he had no recognition yet.  This year, I don't feel that.  I don't know if it's because his headstone is in place, or I'm more at peace with his place in our lives.  He is acknowledged in our family and talked about constantly.  Yes, it hurts a little when someone thinks my baby is a "trigger" and they don't think he should be mentioned, but I don't let it bother me anymore.  Those who mean the most to me don't mind me talking about Kale, they even bring him up so I CAN talk about him, even when they've heard everything there is to hear about him! And my dear children, K-girl who prays and tells her Heavenly Father "thank you for my two brothers".  THAT'S why I'm at peace, because Kale holds a special part in our family that cannot be shaken by outside forces.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Time...

I haven't posted in forever.  To be honest, I had this mentality that the more I posted, the further the posts about Kale would get pushed down, and eventually they would no longer be the forefront of the blog.  Which since it's still the fore thought in my mind, I didn't want that.

But here I am.  Posting anyway.

So much has happened in the past 6 months since Kale was born.  Katryn started Kindergarten at a local charter school.  She turned 6. Martin started speech again, and is doing great. We moved.  Sold our house and moved into a new house.  Well, into my grandparents basement first, and THEN into a new house.  And it's been wonderful.  We have more space, it's newer (read: nicer), closer to everything, and almost everyone save our friends we left in our old town.

We painted, spruced things up a big, and are loving it.  (House tour to come later.  After more boxes are unpacked) But for the first time, I have family pictures hanging on my wall!!

These are the pictures we had taken in November.  It was hard to choose a family picture, so I'm just going to share two of my favorites.


We almost went with this one for our wall, but ended up going with the ones below.  The light was reflecting off the picture of Kale a bit, and they didn't turn out quite nice enough--aka, he looks kinda splotchy.  But we didn't want to take the glass out of the frame, because it was raining pretty good!


We hung this on our wall, and underneath it, put pictures of all three kids.




The picture of Kale was cropped to fit into a 8x10 frame (so no, I don't really have a picture with my knees hanging out like that on my wall).

I'm glad we have FINALLY put family pictures on our wall.  It truly does make our house feel more like a home.  And for me, it helps me feel like Kale is acknowledged as our son, and an important part of our family.  Very important to me.

And that's all I'm writing today.  Maybe I'll keep up on this blogging stuff...