Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dear Ian

Hi, angel. Happy six months in heaven, pumpkin.
Happy for you, not so happy for me.
I think about you every day, but today I couldn't get you off my mind. I kept thinking about all the wonderful milestones you surely would have reached by now.
I still have all your things. I'm not ready to let them go. I can't believe I have lived without you in my arms for six months. That's half a year!
A few weeks ago Tyler asked me if the reason you had gone to heaven was because he used to lay on my belly when you were inside me. Don't worry, I told him that wasn't the reason and to never think that it was his fault. I think your brothers miss you, they just don't know how to express it. They were so excited to have a baby brother. I remember how they would practice holding you with some of their stuffed animals and how they would tell me all of the wonderful things they wanted to do with you.
I love you so much, Ian. Sometimes I close my eyes and picture you laying on my chest like your brothers used to do when they were babies. And sometimes I can smell you on me.
It's hard not to think about all the things you'd be doing by now. It's hard not to wonder how I'm supposed to get through the rest of my life without you in it.
Please know that the day I take my last breath on this earth, I will go with a smile because I know you will be waiting for me. But hang in there for a little bit, because I still have a few things to do here. You have two brothers who need me and I'd really love to make a few contributions to this planet before I go spend eternity with you.
I miss you, honey, but I'm ok. Momma has good days and bad days, but I'll be alright. I smile more often these days, but I still have the need to shed a few tears for you every day. My heart aches every second of the day, but I've learned to soothe the pain with the love of your brothers and all the sweet memories of you tumbling in my belly.  I could have sworn you were going to be an acrobat :)
I love you, angel boy. Come visit me tonight, please. I need to feel you close. Fly high little cherub.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012


Today I watched my oldest boy turn six.

I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. He was soft and tiny and perfect in every way. I remember crying when I had to leave him behind in the NICU for nearly three weeks. I remember the happiness I felt when the doctor said I could take him home.

My baby. I will always think of him as the boy who gave me my most important title. The boy who made me a mom for the first time.

It's hard to believe I lived for twenty-one and a half years without him.  It's hard to believe he turned six today. Where has time gone? Not long ago, I was sleeping entire nights with him on my chest. Our hearts in sync. His skin warm against mine. His tiny hand wrapped around my finger.

I'm so proud of the tiny person he's become. So noble and sweet. Generous and shy. Adventurous and curious. Pleasant and warm.

I love you, my little pumpkin-bear. You make me happy every day. Being your momma is such a privilege. Happy birthday, honey. Momma loves you infinity.

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Sunday, August 5, 2012


When I was eighteen I thought I had the world figured out. I fancied my self a wise woman, when (really) most of my wisdom came from fortune cookies and sappy quotes I read on internet chain letters on AOL.
Boy, was I ever so wrong.
I thought I was brilliantly wise beyond my years when life slapped me on the face during the summer of 2009 when a doctor stood in front of me and told me I may have cancer, while acting as if he had just told me that I had an ingrown toenail. I spent that summer crying myself to sleep, worrying about what my babies' lives would be like without their momma, having nightmares about them watching me die, gushing obscene amounts of blood from between my legs, praying I wouldn't pass out until after Joe got home. God was very present in my life that year. I learned how incredibly fragile life is and how not a single second should ever be taken for granted. He also saved me from very painful chemotherapy treatments, because two days before my first scheduled chemo session, after two very humiliating procedures, the thing they called cancer was gone.
That entire ordeal taught me many life lessons, but still, I wasn't perfect. I continued to make mistakes.
It wasn't long before I was complaining about my life and passing judgement on situations that didn't pertain to me. I opened my mouth and gave everyone my two cents on anyone who wasn't living their life the way I thought they should. I let resentment take over and I spoke unkind words, indirectly hurting three lovely, innocent beings I so love, who got caught in the adult crossfire. I haven't seen them in nearly two years as a result.
Then, life kicks my arse yet again, when I realize the very same thing I once criticized others for is the same that is happening to me. I could sit here and spill the details but that would take all night ....and it's rated R.
Still, life lessons kept flowing my way.
Not long ago, just when I thought I had achieved a new level of inner peace, my five year old son starts having inexplicable seizures, all while I'm eight months pregnant. I thought I had seen scary before. Nope...watching your child twist and curl in ways you'd never seen before in the middle of the night is a WHOLE other dimension of scary.
By this point, I'm quite sure God is through handing me lemons, at least for the moment, but then the unthinkable happens... something I always thought only happened to others.

I love you, Ian.

I'm incredibly blessed to have some amazing people in my life who have offered their support, time and prayers during my toughest moments.

I recently found a notebook with a note to myself that said:

Don't worry about what others think. Don't dwell on your mistakes. Try to be a better you every day. Trust God. See the goodness in everything. Be compassionate. Be kind, even to those who have been unkind to you. Make your own path. Think before you speak. Enjoy the small things. Don't waste your tears on anything that's not worth it. Move forward, not backward. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself. Don't expect anything from anyone. Don't worry about the religious, political or personal beliefs of others. Keep you promises. Life doesn't owe you anything. You want something, go get it. It's ok to get dissapointed, but don't get discouraged. Be you. Give love.

And I wrote that when I was sixteen.

Life has hit me, kicked me, slapped me, stomped on me, chewed me up and spit me out.....but I'm still here. I don't want to miss out on all the wonderful things life has in store because I feel the need to have a pity party.
Everyone goes through things. Every experiences emotional pain. Everyone has something someone said or did to them that left them marked for the rest of their lives. Don't allow those things to define your life. This life is yours. And you only get one.

Sadness is normal. Grief is normal. Anger is normal. Emotions make you human. What's not normal is to sit around, watching life pass you by, waiting for it to hand you all the things others have worked hard for. It's not normal to judge others when you should be focusing on your own faults. It's not okay to point out someone's flaws, in order to distract others from yours.

Lesson after lesson, I still don't know as much as I thought I did when I was eighteen. All I know is this is life is mine and I intend to make the most of it.

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Your Life Goes On

Your life goes on. Mine stopped that day. Just because my heart is still pumping blood throughout my body, it doesn't mean I feel alive. Yes, I know everything happens for a reason. Yes, I'm aware that I have other children who need me. Yes, I've heard that time heals all wounds. Yes, I understand that "life goes on".  I have a calendar. I see the days go by. Yet, every morning since that day, I look in the mirror and see nothing. I see a reflection that shouldn't be there because I'm empty and I feel like I'm nothing. I'm not sure if that makes sense to anyone but me. This sadness is much too deep for words.
Day after day, month after month, my heart aches the same way it did that morning. February 23, 2012 will be forever engraved in my mind. The years will go by and I will always be able to tell anyone who asks about every minute of every hour of that day. Meanwhile, well-meaning people will try to tell me how to grieve properly or how not to grieve at all.
One more day without you. Nearly half a year. I'll never be the same. You taught me more in 39 weeks than I could have ever imagined. You taught me patience and how to love deeper. You showed me how to appreciate the small things and to be humble and understanding. Because of you I speak sweeter and I leave judgement solely to God.
Life is short. I'm not done here yet, little angel. I have to leave a mark on this earth the same way you left a mark on my life. I know one day we'll be together again and I will hold you in my arms for eternity.
Life is short…but a lifetime without you will seem so long.
I love you, Angel Boy. Momma loves you so much. Fly high, sweet cherub.

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