RSS

#62: Again

There continues to be life and joy in the Jonas household! This August we will welcome the final addition to the family. Molly will become a big sister and Benjamin will become an even bigger brother. It is so amazing, it takes my breath away.

We had a miscarriage in November 2013. It was about 8 weeks into the pregnancy and I was genuinely shocked that bad things could still happen. After everything we went through with losing Alex, I thought we would be impervious to any sort of tragedy with our kids. I thought we had paid our penance early, and that Alex’s death had ensured that our kids would have a happy and charmed childhood forever.

The miscarriage changed all that. I prayed for peace. I prayed for acceptance. Most of all, I started to abandon the idea of having any more kids. I had gotten a glimpse of what life with three kids on earth would be like. I had started to imagine bunk beds and mini vans and a bassinet, and then we lost the baby. I didn’t think I could open myself up to that type of disappointment again.

Enter God and another one of his special miracles meant just for us. We conceived this baby the week of December 8th. Just 2 weeks after our miscarriage. Shock. Faith. Awe.

Is that medically possible?!?

It doesn’t matter. God is good. So good to bless us with another child here on earth. I am humbled and amazed and completely dumbfounded by his grace and the blessings he heaps upon our family. As we mourned the loss of a child we never met, we were already growing a new life. Silently. Secretly.

I didn’t realize I was pregnant until I was 9 or 10 weeks along. I was already farther along with the new pregnancy than I had gotten with the previous pregnancy that we lost. Amazing. Not only did He give us a very special life to protect, but he took away the fear and anxiety we would have had if we had realized we were pregnant just 4 or 5 weeks along.

I know that every child is a miracle. I am just so amazed by this baby we didn’t think we could have. I thought about how long we would wait to have a baby… how long we would “try” for, and how long until we just gave up. God had other plans for us.

It is so humbling and gratifying to have a miracle given to you. I know there will be hard times raising three young kids, but I am so over the top grateful to be given these blessings.

To all the parents out there, I know life is hard. There are sippy cups to fill, mittens to find and there is never enough time for a bath. Just remember that things can always be worse. In the hours, weeks, months that piled up after Alex died, I remember the quiet that fell over the house. No noise from a baby. No bottles to wash, no diapers to change. I had plenty of time to myself and I had never been more miserable in my entire life.

I try to celebrate and remember that every task that comes with raising these crazy kids. I am humbled and excited to do it all over again.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

#61: Beyond

I had a conversation with an old friend this week. Someone who lives out of state. We run into each other once every couple of years at a conference, or other event for work. We were chatting, catching up, and he remarked at how “good” things seemed to be going for us. As he elaborated, I realized that the last time I saw him, it was over dinner after Alex died.

This friend had made some special plans to be in town so we could chat and mourn together. In just a few short years, it feels like we are so far on the other side of all that pain. What a miracle.

The cloud of grief that followed me, enveloped me, defined me was very real. Just because I’m not living that now doesn’t make it any less real. Our sadness was profound… pronounced…palpable. The lack of that sadness is reason enough to rejoice. We are in a different place though. A place of love, faith and joy. We have a sincere happiness that radiates through our house and our children. It is a beautiful thing.

I don’t take it for granted. There is hard work involved to manage your grief, but not let it consume you. With faith and hope, I choose joy.

Not a long message today, just a note to remark how grateful we are for all of God’s gifts. All of his blessings. And the greatest of these is love.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

#60: Two

We took a car trip over the weekend to visit my parents in Minnesota. On the way there, the kids were antsy, but manageable. Benjamin, at age 5 is happy to watch movies, or play on his iPod. He’ll ask for snacks along the way, and invariably he has to pee at least once. Other than that, he’s pretty low key.

Molly, at 20 months, is a little more of a wild card. She’s too young to really get into any shows we might put on the DVD player, and she tends to break any headphones she has in about 90 minutes. Coupled with the fact that the throws any snack or nuk you give her onto the floor, crying in frustration that she doesn’t have it anymore, travel with Molly is more time consuming and stressful. On the upside, she’s still in diapers, so we don’t need to make any special potty trips for her yet. 😉

The car ride up to Minnesota was fine, the way back home just a short 36 hours later was a little less fun. Maybe the kids were overtired from the weekend. Maybe getting home isn’t as fun as getting to grandma and grandpa’s house. Whatever the reason, the trip home was a little less fun.

When I say less fun, I mean more whining, more tears and frequent requests to “just get home right now.” And the kids were worse.
I’m not proud of those times when I feel “fed up” with the kids. I’m not. I think about the long journey we had to become parents. I think about the detour we had to becoming a 4 person family again with Alex’s death, and I feel like I don’t have the right to get frustrated, angry, annoyed with these beautiful kids I spent so many days and nights praying for.

When I do get aggravated, I think about how blessed we are, and the feeling passes. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love for my kids and I get a whole new wave of patience. I’m sure it is God’s way of reminding me of all the blessings he has given us. In these moments, I feel like our family is the way it was meant to be. Perfectly fitted for our lives. Not bigger or smaller than was intended to be. God does not make mistakes. Benjamin and Molly are meant to be here on earth. Alex is meant to be in heaven. Everyone is where s/he belongs.

It is a big step for me to find feelings of comfort and equilibrium with our family. I’ve really wanted a third and final baby on earth here for awhile. We were pregnant a few months ago and had a miscarriage.

About 7.5 weeks along, I went to be one night and I was bleeding heavily. It’s like I went to bed pregnant and woke up not pregnant. I remember crying and feeling so sad. Empty and lonely. Those feelings felt so familiar and strong, I remember sobbing and praying to God. How could we be in this place again?

After what happened with Alex, I honestly thought that all that sadness was behind us. It honestly never occurred to me that something as sad as the loss of a child could happen to us again.

When you work in retail, the one week you can’t miss is the week of Black Friday. So, I had a miscarriage over the weekend and made it to work on-time on Monday. I never even told my boss.

I had this feeling of completeness and closure in life when I was pregnant. I had grand plans to surprise our families over the thanksgiving holiday, and to surprise our friends when we saw them.

Now, it feels like this empty void that we have learned to accept and not talk about. Our final baby was supposed to be born on July 10, 2014. A perfect and healthy boy or girl to round out our family and make Molly a middle child. Destined to be a Jan Brady. Lol
As that date looms closer, I’m not sure what to think.

I have moments of sadness where I cry… For Alex, for this unnamed baby we’ll never meet, for both.

But there are moments of sheer joy and gratitude. When I hold two little hands and usher them into the bathroom at the halfway point between Wisconsin and Minnesota. When I squeeze them both into one stall and try to keep them occupied so no one climbs out underneath the door, crawling on the dirty floor. Those moments I cherish.

When I order two chocolate milks. When I pick up two packs of goldfish crackers, when I get to to two of anything, my heart is full. I remember a time when doing just “one” of anything was sad, and left me feeling broken. Doing things in “twos” makes me feel complete.
I think about the babies we have lost. I think about how our family would be different if we had never lost those babies. But then I think about how fulfilling parenthood is right now. There are still two jackets to zip up, two pairs of boots to fasten and two pairs of mittens to put on. There are two sets of arms fastened firmly around my mommy body anytime I want, and there are two little voices yelling, “mama mama mama mama mama mama” when I walk in the door. Thinking about that, dulls the pain. Two is still good.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

#59: Happy New Year

Happy New Year to our beloved friends and family!

We are excited to share the holidays with you, and wish you all a Happy New Year. Things have been very busy for us with the kids, but as you know, we cherish every single moment we have as a family.

Benjamin just turned 5 in November, and he has been in 4K all year. He has taken the transition very well… it has been a little more change than we expected though. Confusion runs rampant in our house. We’re never quite sure if it is a regular uniform day, or a gym uniform day. Benjamin will tell us it is a “dress down” day, and we’re never quite sure if he is a reliable source of this information. Add on confusion regarding hot lunch or cold lunch, and we’re lucky he makes it out the door in time for the bus. 😉

Benjamin had a busy year- he played soccer, t-ball, football and tennis. He didn’t really have a favorite sport… although he really enjoyed the team snack after each practice. He has been taking piano lessons for a few months and is starting to enjoy it. He can play “Twinkle, twinkle little star” and can point out middle C… Other than that, getting him to sit still for 25 minutes a week is well worth the cost of lessons!

Molly turned 18 months on Benjamin’s fifth birthday. She is spirited and independent, preferring to do things “her way” instead of the way we may want her to. At this age, Benjamin was a model citizen… gladly doing whatever you asked him to do. Molly prefers to explore the boundaries of what we ask her to do… She will carefully consider whether or not she wants to listen. We can successfully get her to stop/ start doing something once we ask her the fourth or fifth time.

She is a funny little person! She loves to follow Benjamin around, and likes climbing and jumping all over things. Her favorite activities are emptying the kitchen cabinets or brushing her teeth. She will collect toothbrushes from all over the house and walk around with them for hours. Maybe she’ll be a dentist! She really should spend time brushing her teeth though… she has a major sweet tooth and is always finding candy or treats in unexpected places. She found a container of old jelly beans in Benjamin’s room (at least two years old) and demanded a sample. Big lady is funny!

Our sweet baby Alex spent his second birthday in Heaven. Like last year, we had a party in his honor and released some biodegradable dove balloons that really looked like they were floating up to Heaven. It was bittersweet as always, but we understand that life here goes on. We have two healthy, rambunctious kiddos to chase around on Earth, and for that, we are humble and thankful.

Things with our family have been good. We went to Florida (Disney World) as a family in February, and then to Mexico as a family in March. We went to Mexico again in October without the kids to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. It’s been a great year for warm weather travel!

We feel very blessed to have all of you in our lives. We wish you a very happy holiday season and a wonderful new year!

Ben, TLJ, Benjamin, Baby Alex and Molly

**********************************************************************

I sent this letter out with our cards this year- we do have a lot to celebrate, and we are happy with how things are going. We have special holiday traditions that we include Alex in. We have a stocking for him, ornaments on the tree, and special gifts from him for the kids. It has taken some time, but I feel like we have found holiday traditions that fit our family and still honor Alex’s memory.

Happy holidays to you and yours-

 

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

#58: I Choose You

Today is my tenth wedding anniversary. While I normally write just about Alex and how I feel since he died, today I am writing about marriage. When you lose a child, there is no other person in the world who understands what you feel like. Except… Your spouse.

Because they lost a child too. As time has passed since Alex’s death, I now understand how important marriage is to the healing process. As much as we love our children, our spouses were there first. Remember them, cherish them. You will always make time for your children. Make time for your spouse too.

So here is a letter to my husband, Happy Anniversary!

Dear Ben,

When we first got married ten years ago. I looked forward to a life that we would build together. I had a generally optimistic outlook on our life together and felt relatively certain that life would be as charmed as it had been for the 7 years of our courtship. As I walked down the aisle and saw your sincerely earnest enthusiasm for our wedding, I thought to myself, “I choose you.”

Looking back, I now have the wisdom of someone who has been married for ten years. Life isn’t always easy, and things don’t always work out the way we had planned. Marriages fail. Friends disappear. Jobs are lost. Parents die. Children die.

Marriage is hard work and it’s not easy. The first year is the hardest. Even if you lived together before, there are assumptions and expectations you both had before you got married. Everything takes on a more serious tone. You start to see if you both want the same things in life. You see if you really are working as a team. You put the money together.

There is so much joy to be had in marriage, but it isn’t easy. You learn that life going forward is going to be a compromise. Every day. Every decision. That means at any given time, in any given circumstance, you’re never going to get your way entirely. Succumbing to that means that you understand that your needs are not as important as ‘our’ needs.

Once you understand, accept and embrace that, life gets really good. There is joy in sharing your life with someone who shares your hopes and dreams. Someone who shares your fears and disappointments. Someone who shares your life in a way that you never before understood. Someone who is your friend, companion and partner. That’s what it means to really hit your stride in a marriage.

Then you have children. Children test you as people and as parents more than you ever thought possible. You learn to adjust. You celebrate the small moments as a family. Even a trip to Target can be an adventure! You start going to the zoo.

Your family grows and you learn to shuffle the demands of multiple kids. Life becomes that storybook picture you had imagined. The Christmas card picture in front of the fireplace goes out on time and all is right in the world.

Then your child dies. Your world changes and you see what your marriage is really made of. We didn’t choose for Alex to die. But we choose to live in a way that honors his memory, but still permits us to go on. As parents, as a family, as individuals. Our marriage is strong enough to help us move on.

Our life isn’t easy. It isn’t perfect. I have learned to expect happiness and contentment instead of perfection. I’m still learning. Through everything though, I choose you.

Love, TL

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

#57: Relevance

Sometimes, it just feels over-done. I sense my grief building up, so I permit myself to roll around in the sadness just to get with over with it. It takes different forms, but mostly it is listening to sad, familiar music and reading old blog posts about Alex.

During this process, there are typically tears, a sense of warm release, and a deep gratitude for my faith and my fabulous family. That is a formula that has helped to get me through the past two years, that didn’t work today. I read through the blog posts and listened to the music. It didn’t get me there. While I could recall the familiar pain and sadness, it didn’t quite seem like it was me. It wasn’t my experience anymore.

All those ramblings of grief just didn’t seem relevant anymore. The grief I feel today isn’t the same grief I felt before. I had deep grief, obsessive grief, guilt grief, confusing grief… That’s not the grief I have today. Not the grief I struggle with now. I have nostalgia grief. Nostalgia for the happy times with Alex, or the predictable nature of the sadness after he died.

There is confusion in life that I didn’t have back then. It seemed like if I could make it through the day without collapsing, life would go on. Now there is a legacy of Alex that seems to have faded into the distance and I don’t know if that’s good or bad.

We have turned a new corner in our family and when grief strikes, it is just different. Our family goes on and Alex isn’t a relevant detail we deal with on a regular basis. Ben and I don’t talk about him. People don’t ask about him. Benjamin doesn’t ask about him. Molly will never know him. At some time, she will be old enough to wonder who baby Alex is, and why we remember him at prayer time. For now, Alex has become a detail that has faded into the background.

I’m not sure if I am proud that we are “better” and “moving on” with our lives. I’m not sure if I feel guilty that we don’t preserve his memory in our lives in more concrete terms. I just know that the grief from before isn’t relevant in the same way. What’s hard is the same things that used to make me feel better don’t work.

In the meantime, we enjoy the life we have. We hug our kids, we juggle busy schedules and we negotiate bedtimes. We take family pictures and do family outings. As we continue, the loss of Alex changes shape. As we grow in our lives together, we adapt to our loss.

Alex’s role in our family has changed. We keep the memories. Maybe the grief is what’s irrelevant.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

#56: Hope

Things are going well for our family. Benjamin is now “4 and three-quarters” as he proudly tells anyone who will ask. Molly is just over 14 months and shrieking loudly 24/7. Things are good. The kids get along and we are reminded everyday of what a blessing children are.

Things are fine, which is why I get so confused by the clouds of sadness that randomly appear in an otherwise sunny life. I’ll be going to the grocery store, or driving into work, and I sense the darkness spreading overhead. Out of nowhere, the grayness creeps in and I can feel my heart get a little heavier. I try to shrug off the weepiness that is looming, and I try to understand where it came from.

Enough time has passed that I can look at these times with a more discerning, clinical eye. I can rationalize the event and try to identify triggers that set off the sad thoughts. Maybe it’s hearing the name Alex when I don’t expect it. Maybe it’s the time of year, or sometimes it’s just the memories of being pregnant with him… those were such special times.

Sometimes, I don’t have any answers or explanations. I am left with this heaviness in my heart, a feeling of emptiness in my arms… I know I have rationally accepted the loss, but I still wonder when the reality of missing him will go away.

Unexplained sadness. So much joy in my life, yet these pockets of unexplained sadness. Times when I revel in my two children on earth, but sigh deeply at the thought of my Alex that’s missing.

I guess it’s okay. To still be sad, to not know when I’m going to be sad, to not have an explanation for how long I’ll be sad… I just I thought I would have more of this stuff pulled together by now. I would have all these conflicting emotions compartmentalized and color coded, laminated and filed away.

I long for a time when I have fresh memories of Alex that aren’t clouded with sadness. A time when I can share stories of how special he was without the inevitable gloom that accompanies any of those happy tales. I want to carry him with me in a way that I do my other kids. I want him to be present in family pictures, sitting in the backseat of the car, singing songs on family trips.

I want something impossible. I understand that. I guess that until my hopes become reality, my heart and my mind will be at odds. I am hoping for something that can never be, and it makes my heart sad every time I realize that. I need a new perspective, a new vision for our family and a new hope for our lives.

I keep working on it. Appreciating what I have. Not fixating on what I don’t. I keep trying, and some days are better than others. There is more joy than sadness, but amidst both of those things, there are tears. But there is Hope.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

#55: Going Back

I go back. Not often, but I go back to that time and place in my mind and my heart where I lost my sweet Alex and I’m honestly stunned. It still hurts.

On Sunday it will be two years.

I go back when I think of how our house feels a little empty. Like the joy and laughter of Benjamin and Molly aren’t quite enough. My ears and finely tuned, acutely listening for the happy shrieks that should be coming from Alex. His second birthday has come and gone. Another anniversary looms… Two years since he died.

I go back two years in bits and pieces, remembering the sleepy exhaustion of juggling life when Alex was just a few days old. I think about the most vivid images of Alex in my mind, sleeping peacefully or smiling shyly. I consider the scene of his death. I recall the weight of his body, the gray of his skin and the heavy feeling in my heart. My sweet boy was gone and no CPR or medical measures would save him.

As if that’s not enough, I think about the minutes and hours after he died. The call to Ben, explaining what happened. The ride to the hospital, praying silently for a miracle. The arrival at the hospital, the wait for permission to see him. Begging the doctors to let me touch him. The shock of the chaos of the emergency room- so many people, so much commotion, the singular focus of trying to get my sweet boy to do one simple task- b-r-e-a-t-h-e.

The arrival of our pediatrician. The simplified medical explanations. The recollection of any pertinent details of how I found him, or left him. The grasping at straws to find any information that would unlock the key to this puzzle, that would explain why this tragedy happened. Trying to recall the exact time he woke up that morning. 7:25? Struggling to remember the exact last time that he nursed and fell asleep. 8:20? Realizing that none of these details mattered, but clinging to them because they seemed like all I had left.

Waiting for a miracle. Praying for good news. Bargaining with God for a reprieve from the hell and promising to live a life free from sin, anger, greed, anything bad. Denial. Hearing that we were transferring Alex to children’s hospital. While I entertained a fantasy that he would regain consciousness. A fantasy that we would be warned that he would not be the same child and that we would be warned that he would for sure face developmental delays and permanent brain damage. And vindication when he happily blossomed into a perfect, beautiful young boy and eventually man. Shock.

Driving to the hospital. Not behind the ambulance because it had already left. Discussing who would drive over to the hospital. Me taking the keys, Ben making the calls. My folks. His mom. Rebecca. Scott. Work. Not sure what happened. He’s not breathing on his own. Acknowledging the unspoken in my mind. He’s not going to make it. I’m driving to the hospital to say goodbye to my boy. Pain.

We get there. We park. We wander in. They know who we are and why we are there. It’s written on our faces and painted in their kindness. The tragedy of an infant not breathing. We watch from the outside. Then a doctor is talking. Explaining what’s happened. Explaining what’s next. I look at the clock. It has been hours now. Numb.

A chaplain is at our side. Alex will be baptized using a styrofoam cup. By a woman we don’t know. In a hospital we shouldn’t be at. I don’t even have the composure to scream. Or collapse. I mutely regard everything around me. Processing the bare minimum. More denial.

We are going to take him off the vent. We are going to stop artificially pumping his little body with air. We are officially accepting that he is dead. We are taking our last kisses and cuddles and hugs. A photographer arrives. She is respectful and professional and efficient. She takes pictures of my sweet boy. She captures the essence of how much I love him in sweet tones of sepia and black and white. Someone else takes casts of his hands and his feet. I am momentarily comforted by the weight of his body in my arms. Even though he is gone, feeling him heavy on my chest feels normal and I can breathe a little easier.

Time is passing and I need to let him go. Benjamin is at daycare and we need to go get him. I need to give more information to the police. Ben and Rebecca go for Benjamin. I go home to the crime scene. Thankfully there is no yellow tape. There is no media and there are no bystanders. I walk into the house and answer questions. I explain where Alex was laid, and how I found him. I draw a diagram on a yellow legal pad and I reenact the scene with a doll for a prop. It is painful and cruel, but I am not mad.

Everyone is trying to figure out what happened, while being kind, patient and respectful. I can’t imagine seeing Benjamin yet.

The police leave and I have a brief few moments alone in the house. The messy chaos of our lives is still there in a way that doesn’t exhibit the emptiness yet. There is breast milk spoiling on the counter top, burp cloths littered throughout the house and diapers overflowing the garbage. Things look normal. None crushing sadness.

Benjamin comes home. He’s only 2.5. He runs into my arms and I hug him like usual. Maybe a little longer, tighter. We separate. I hold my breath, but I needn’t worry. He does not ask about Alex. He prattles on about his good fortune. Papa and aunt Becky came to pick him up today. Today was special day for him.

People come to the house. There is food and tears and numbness. I go through the motions. I talk, and cry and hug. The pain is palpable.

I do not sleep. We take a bath at 4am. We are quiet and somber. We talk. We pray. We do not sleep. Funeral home, church, gravesite. Hymns, casket, flowers. Time, date, music. Pictures, details, food. Favors from everyone. Talking to people. Accepting sympathy. Waiting to hear from the people who haven’t called. The silence hurts.

Another day is almost done. I sleep hard that night. More people and flowers and cards and an achingly sweet cookie bouquet. One more day. I hold him one last time. I see him dressed in an outfit he’s never worn and my body aches like my heart has been ripped out of my chest. His body is stiff and cold. His face looks the same.

I hold him and walk him and talk to him like everything is normal. His body loosens up and his skin warms. I cling to him for hours, finally releasing him when my arms are quaking with soreness.

We say goodbye. There are people and pictures and music and food. I am eternally grateful for the people who are there. People I didn’t expect and people I did… All sitting together, there to celebrate the short life of my sweet boy.

June 9, 2011. I can go back in an instant and it’s all still there. The memories of the sadness. The quiet resolve to honor my child. The unforgettable relief that Benjamin was at Chuck E Cheese during the funeral.

It still hurts. There is a space in my heart and my mind, forever dedicated to Alex and to his legacy. I turn the sweet memories over in my mind and I’m grateful they’re still there, while a little perplexed that they’re so vivid. Not faded like old pictures, dusty from neglect. They are bright and pristine, covered in shrink wrap and in mint condition.

Beautiful, but cold.

Flash forward to today. There is prayer and there is life. We are humbly grateful and timid for our Benjamin and Molly still on earth. I breathe a little easier knowing that Alex will stay in my life even though he’s out of my arms.

I go back, not often. Because it still hurts.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on June 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

#54: Pause

It’s finally here. Time has flown and before I realized it, it’s finally here. Molly is turning one! What a triumphant occasion. What a cause for joy and celebration and for shouts of thanksgiving.

What’s so special in my mind about turning one? Everything. It feels to me like reassurance that everything is going to be okay. That everything will work out with Molly and that I can stop worrying about whether or not she will stay with us here on earth.

I don’t have any tangible reason to worry about her health or well-being. She doesn’t have the same heart defect that Alex had and she doesn’t have any other issues we’re aware of. She is a typical, happy, healthy, messy one year old girl. We are so blessed.

I can’t help but flashback to the absence of things when Alex died. The lack of bottles to wash, the absence of laundry, the missing tasks that would fill my busy day. Life was calm, serene , and very sad. Today our days are jam packed, hectic and brimming with life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything and I try to remember to stay grateful. I try to remember how blessed we are and how lucky we are to have our two beautiful kids on earth.

My eyes brim with tears when I think about it. I feel like I have crossed a threshold where I can take more joy out of the two kids I have on earth, and it eases the pain of the one who is in Heaven. It feels like the happiness outweighs the grief and I am grateful. Humbled, and grateful.

I vowed that if I ever had the chance to celebrate a first birthday again, that I wouldn’t try to “simplify” or “save money.” This is an event to be celebrated and remembered. I am so excited to sing Happy Birthday to Molly and see if she relishes the attention, or cries at the commotion. I suspect she might cry. Benjamin loved all of the attention, but I suspect she might cry…

I get weepy when I think about my kids. All of them. Not just because we lost Alex, but because I was so unprepared for how consuming my love for my kids would be. I always felt like life was so full without them, and then they got here. Priorities shifted, life came into focus and I really understood what mattered. The things we work hard for in life are the things that make things better for our families. Success in the workplace matters because it provides family vacations and college educations. Not because it means more responsibility and prestige.

I want to just pause life right here because I know that things will always get more complicated. There will be fights and arguments and sleepless nights and overall parental drama. But right now, things are so heart-achingly lovely, I just want to take a moment to pause and soak up all the joy we have right now.

Molly is on the cusp of walking. She can fly up a flight of stairs in 14 seconds and she can eat an entire box of macaroni and cheese. Benjamin is so gentle with her and wakes her up every morning because he just can’t wait to play with her. They hold hands when I push them in the double stroller on a walk, and they share a bag of Teddy grahams. Benjamin even lets her have the last cracker. I reflect on my good fortune and know for sure that God has blessed our family.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

#53: A Letter From Mommy

Happy Birthday Buddy. I can’t bring myself to add the exclamation point at the end of that, because I’m still having a hard time getting excited about the fact that you’re not here to celebrate with the rest of us.

I love you very much, Honey. I think you know that, but I don’t think it’s possible to tell you that too much. I love you very much, and that never changes, no matter how long you’ve been gone.

It seems like an awful long time since you were here. A long time since I heard your little voice, your little noises, your little sounds that only you made.

I don’t remember much. I want you to know that it doesn’t mean that I’ve forgotten you, or that you’re any less important to me. Sometimes I wish I could drift back in my mind and remember every single detail of your perfect face, and cuddly body. I have images of you from pictures, but the specifics seem a little blurry in my head. I remember your essence, but not every part in detail.

I think about you still. Not every minute of every day like I used to. Not even every day. I think it means that I’m learning to let go. Learning to accept that you are in Heaven with God. Learning to accept that we are both where we are meant to be, in our proper places. I desperately wish that we could be together, but you are intended to be up there, and I am intended to be down here.

It’s hard. I long for a picture with all three of my beautiful kids together. I want you to be able to hold hands with Benjamin, and Molly. I want to see all three of you dissolve into a pile of giggles while I’m trying to get you all smiling for the camera.

It’s going to be okay though. I only know that because I remember how hard things were when you first died. How much my heart hurt, and how much pain I carried with me everywhere I went. Now my heart hurts less, and I carry joy alongside my sadness. There’s room for both.

We all love you, Buds. All of us. We think about you and we love you. Now, tomorrow, next year, forever, Always. 

Please send us a rainbow or something so that we know you are okay. Okay? Thanks.

All my love,

Mommy

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 11, 2013 in Uncategorized