Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween.


This one actually made me laugh...we could all use a little more of that. If someone could have taken my thoughts and put them into a cartoon for this craptacular day~well, here ya go.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Freezing.

Today I was in need of little kid hugs.
Bad.
But there was one problem...all of the kiddies that I wanted hugs from were 2000 miles away.
If there is one huge thing I miss about teaching, its that a little hug can go a huge way.

So as I ate my words spoken to a friend last night (that I had turned a corner in this whole grief thing), I answered back to this brutal day with much indifference...and by refusing to get out of my bathrobe until 2:00. And as I did meaningless tasks around the house I wondered if it is quite possible to have a midlife crisis before you turn 30.

I think in my case...you could grant an exception.
I also think that this whole downward spiral of today was set off by attending support group last night. And it just kind of spilled over.

So instead of little kid hugs, I face planted myself (more like flung my entire body in utter disgust) on the bed and sobbed. Sophie provided some comfort and let me hug her until I think she finally became disgusted with me too...and left. Apparently, her smelly bed on the laundry room floor was more appealing than listening to me wail at God.

Whatever.
I know this too shall pass. I'm just too impatient with the whole process...and as it gets to be freezing cold (my eyes bugged out of my head when I looked out the window and saw flurries this morning) I'm starting to miss the warm sunshine. So look out Cali friends, I'm determined to make a visit out there before I turn into an icicle. And I'm also pretty sure this is the palest I have been in 6 years...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Time

How can it already be a new week?? Not complaining...but this whole life in fast forward thing is getting a bit old. I keep waiting for the day when I suddenly wake up and I'm 80. As I try to recall what I have spent my time doing, that is where I have the problem.

I can't remember.

All I know is that I subbed a couple times, had three Tastefully Simple parties last week (those were the highlight), have been dealing with Tim's little fender bender, and somewhere in there went to the dentist for the first time out here.

Ah. The dentist.

Super nice office people here. Told me I had great teeth (do they say this to everyone???) and then the dentist told me that I must grind or clench at night.
Yucky.
I was actually shocked...and
I was mortified.

And if you know me...you know that there is a story behind why I feel this way. Because Tim grinds his teeth at night. Hard. And when he came back from Iraq, it was SO bad. I told him to either find a mouthguard or find a new wife. Seriously. It would wake me out of a dead sleep, and he didn't realize he wasn't sleeping well at all either because of it. So, he listened and problem solved. Who would have known that a mouthguard could save a marriage?!

Well, now I guess I have the problem.
Including headaches when I wake up.
No doubtedly, brought on by stress.
Shocker.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Back to the dentist.
The assistance was super nice. Talked to me for awhile. Due to filling out the new paperwork with being a new patient, I had to give my history...meds I was on...all the fun stuff.

So of course, she asked about the baby.
I had to tell her.
And of course...she started to cry.


And she looked at me and just said,
"I know there is nothing I can say...but just know that I am so sorry."

And as I think back, it made me remember something else. Because I had said the exact same thing to someone not so long ago...Standing in the kitchen with a Marine wife, whose husband had just been killed. On her fridge was a little kids picture...a countdown calendar...

87 days until daddy comes home!

The family had just found out...the countdown had remained untouched. The answering machine unchanged. And as I stood there talking to her, she said something I understood even back then.
"There is nothing anyone can do for me..."

She was just saying something that anyone who has ever lost someone close has felt, it wasn't mean, she was just being honest. And I knew she was right. Nothing anyone does or says can make it magically disappear. And I cried, because I felt helpless and wanted to help, but knew that I couldn't. And as I looked at her little kids, I would have done anything to try and make it disappear. But I couldn't. I also knew the one thing NOT to say..."I understand." Because the truth was, I really didn't. My husband was still alive. There weren't any kids I had to make understand why their dad wasn't coming home.

And at the time, when I brought her over food. It had felt so inadequate. So besides the food, I have made a point to pray for that family, and remember that Marine...every single day. Because you don't want others to forget someone you loved...or love...or still remember every single day when other people go humming about their lives.

Why am I writing about all of this? I have just felt compelled to share with everyone, that I know how much people must fret over saying the right things, or what to do, when something like this happens.
I've been there.

But now, after having gone through this...still going through this...I wanted to share just how much I am grateful for all the things so many people have done. And all the things people continue to do. What has been a light in this endless black hole. I have truly appreciated the thoughts and prayers. The cards and notes, even months later, probably...honestly...I need even more now. Because life gets "insane" and busy...and people seem to forget.

But we never do...and when people do remember...it just means a lot.

This weekend, I came across an awesome website. It is from Focus on the Family and the topic is "What NOT to say..."
Its great.
It speaks in relevance to miscarriage...but I think it can be applied to so much more. I especially like the "God has a purpose" bit.

Words can play such a crucial role in grieving. Actions speak even louder. When a long time friend stopped by out of the blue with bags of groceries from our favorite store just a day after we came home, I was so touched it brought tears to my eyes. And it was the most perfect thing for so many reasons.

Because Tim and I have a weakness. And that is asking for anything...especially help. So when people say, "Let us know if we can do anything...Or, let us know if you need anything"
We don't.
Even though there was a ton of things we had to do but just couldn't.
Like go to the store.
Or cut the grass.
Or even walk Sophie because we weren't ready to face the world outside of the walls of our house.

And I know people want to help.
They want to know what to do.
They want to know what to say or how to make it better.
And the truth is, even if its only the words that the dental assistant spoke...it is better than saying nothing.

And honestly, what she said was perfect.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I don't get it.

So, just when we're getting life back together.
Just when I am starting to feel better...almost optimistic that life will start to be okay.

I thought it was against the rules to get punched in the face when you were already down in the ring...oh yeah...
In life, there are no rules.

Tim (who works 6 days a week from 7-9 nearly every day) left for work this morning at 8. Yes, we actually decided to sleep in an hour since its Saturday and all...you could say we were living it up.

Someone runs a red light in a desolate intersection.
Tim slams on the brakes...fishtails out of control.
Avoids the other car...
Doesn't avoid the curb.
Curb saves him from rolling over in the ditch in his Jeep.
Other car keeps going...never stops.
The Jeep is towed, back wheel is nearly falling off because he hit the curb so hard.

I've gotten enough bad calls to last me a lifetime.
Didn't need one more, "I've been in an accident."
At least it wasn't from the state police though...

Tim is pretty shook up now. Hard to imagine. As he stood there in the rain and talked to the police I couldn't help but laugh at the different experience levels. Tim is amazing. Always keeps his cool, never freaks out, and is standing there laughing with the cop. I can tell they are talking about the Marines...probably about snipers.
That always seems to come up when they see the stickers on the back windows...

But I'm done.
We're frustrated.
Someone else is an idiot and we get stuck with the $500 deductible and scrambling to find a rental car. Oh yeah, and our insurance company sucks.
We went through Costco thinking they would be with someone good.
Hardly.
I plan on using my writing skills to light up Ameriprise in a very colorful letter to Costco.

But in the meantime...I'm frustrated, sad, pissed off. All the emotions I was finally starting to overcome. So now I just have to wonder,
What is God trying to do anyway?
And does he really have a purpose for these things happening?
I really don't think so...I think he's up there just as sad as we are.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Check it out!

Okay. So its Friday night...I'm finishing my blog that I started earlier and got distracted...
No shocker there.
However-
I found something insanely cool.
And I had to share it with all of those I love:)

Check out this site:
http://www.unclaimed.org/

I have to warn you, its addicting. And your significant other may walk into the room several times and bother you to watch a movie as you search for your family members...your friends...and anyone else you can think of.

If you find something...Wahoo!
And if you find a fortune,
you know where to find me:)

Whoever said money can't buy happiness obviously didn't have any...just joking:)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Whew! That's done...

There are many things for which I am thanking God today.
First, is that yesterday is over.
Second, is that I am finished with those ridiculous tests. And I don't know what the heck flossing has to do with elementary education, but there was a question on the test about it...maybe its the fact that now teachers have to literally teach everything from math to personal hygiene...

It doesn't matter, all I care about is that I am done with it. And hopefully for good. Thank you for all who thought about me and prayed today. I went there this morning with a sense of peace, which was a huge blessing.

Tonight we are goint to attempt to go hear Rob Bell speak about his new book. Super excited, but preparing myself for complete chaos. I'm guessing everyone else will be there too. Since Saturday nights are soooo exciting in Grand Rapids (just a hint of sarcasm there).

Just another attempt to keep moving forward...but even as I type, I'm remembering Will.
Its 5:51 pm on a Saturday night...
Only this time...
I've actually lost count over exactly how many weeks its been.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Three months

Seriously, there are no words today.
The memories are like it happened yesterday...and so are the tears.

I didn't know it was possible to miss someone so much.

Tomorrow I take the Michigan tests that I have to pass in order to transfer my credential over to this state. I pray that my brain goes back to normal for just the day...so I can do what I need to do and pass. I don't know if the added stress from the test is wearing on me or what.
But this is the hardest day I have had in a really long time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

National Day of Remembrance


Its so cold out today...a typical fall day in Michigan.
So this morning, I broke down and finally turned on the heat.
After a little while, something seemed different...
Sophie was MIA. Usually she is glued to my side while I'm home.
After some searching, I found her curled up tightly on her bed in the laundry room.
Then I laughed...she had shoved her bed and was sleeping directly under the heating duct that is positioned about a foot above the floor on the wall.

Our California dog is going to have a rough winter ahead.
And as I knelt down to pet her (and she was very warm!) I thought about how I was going to miss never watching her and Will together.

A little boy and his dog.
There is just something about that...especially when you have a dog as sweet and loving as ours.

And then I remembered what day it is....so today I am remembering Will.
And I am picturing him in heaven with our first baby. Its strange to think that Will would have never been in our lives if the first pregnancy would have gone the way we all thought it would.

But in a large sense, I believe it worked out.
Because we love Will more than we ever dreamed possible. Even if he is only with us now is spirit. This was always according to God's plan, even if it was never considered in ours.

I've been remembering more about those 52 hours with him. Like what we said to him, how I held his little hands...and how grateful I remember feeling that I was able to be there with him. After the c-section, I was so terribly out of it. I thank God every night that he allowed Will to hang on until I could really mentally be there to take in how perfect he was. I was able to stand next to his bed and laugh as I ran my finger across the bottom of his tiny foot. He jerked it away so quick~extremely ticklish just like his dad. And although I never heard him make a cry or any noise, I saw how his eyes opened slightly and took in what a beautiful shade of blue they were. He laid with his little shades over his eyes because of the lights, but his hands were up by his head...how I sometimes sleep. Tim was head over heals in love with him, just as I knew he would be. The role of daddy...one that he had worried so much about...had come so naturally to him. It took him by surprise, but not me...He was a little piece of us all...Will had Tim's skinny legs and cute chin. He had my mouth and nose, along with my Opa & Dad's beautiful distinct blue eyes. His toes were a surprise, they looked my mom's side of the family. How could you not fall in love with him?

Its hard to believe that its been 3 months since we held him last. But we've survived those first three months, we've made it through the toughest. And our faith, although tested beyond belief, managed to grow and become stronger through the suffering.

And so it goes. Just like so many of the things I read while stuck in that tiny room. The one place where I had no distractions, no opportunity to leave...only time to reconsider how strong I had thought my faith was. And so I learned that suffering is God's testing room of faith.

"It is so much easier to trust when the sun is shining than when the storm is raging."

Monday, October 13, 2008

I hate good-byes

I spoke to a friend today. The kind of person that totally understands. Even though he is not yet married and doesn't have any kids. He has suffered through loss in a tremendous sense.

He is leaving for Iraq tomorrow for the 3rd?...no, I am pretty sure 4th time.
He is someone both Tim and I miss a lot.
And although we have said good-bye to him numerous times...
It always puts a pit in my stomach.
Talking to someone before they go to the sandbox (our term for Iraq) is hard no matter if it is your husband, friend, or neighbor.

You fear for them all the same.

Our conversation was what it normally is...discussing what is happening over there in Iraq and Afghanistan (no, I do not watch the news. I prefer to hear what is really happening from someone who actually knows)...this crazy election, and how Pendleton is yet again burning down (another routine event every fall and the range/bullets seems to ignite fires daily). We laughed about who he's dating now, and how I was trying to get back in shape with yoga...he is one of those people who scares me with how physically fit he is.

Then he asked how I was.
Really asked...
And I told him the truth.
Better.
And I knew he believed me. He understands those conditions in which crappy things happen, yet you just deal. Because that is reality of it, you either deal or you don't. He is again, one of those people that has every single right to complain...but he doesn't.

And I admire that.

So as I hung up the phone, something tugged at my heart again.
I hate good-byes.
I've said enough of them to last a lifetime.
But I know he is in good hands...and this tour he'll have a little angel watching over him.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Some of what I missed...



These pictures are for all my Cali friends...especially the ones that thought I was completely insane for wanting to move back to Michigan.

Well, today was the perfect fall day. The kind of day that I moved home for.
The colors are starting to pop out and it is more beautiful than I remember...

There are so many things I love about this season: its cooler, the leaves are changing, its football time...and the apple orchards are the place to be on weekends. Gotta love that.
The last few days, I have been at peace. And really, at this moment, I am not wanting anything more. Its easy to chase after so many things that you think will make you feel better. If I have learned anything from this, its that I take one day at a time and concentrate on being happy no matter what that day brings.
There is good in every single day.
We just have to be open to seeing it.
Even if its only the changing leaves of a tree.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Contentment

I'm sitting here drinking my toffee hot chocolate on a cold and gloomy day.
Its pouring rain and therefore, I felt it unnecessary to get out of my bathrobe.
At least not yet.
There is a battle going on in my heart and in my head.
Content. I am trying to be content. To thank God in all circumstances.

But on days like today...when its dark and rainy, I don't have a sub job lined up, or a Tastefully Simple party to plan for tonight...and so I am just left here in an empty house to think about everything...
Its really hard.
And I know its hard for Tim too.

Our life has gone back to yo-yo mode.
We get up, go to work, come home exhausted...and do it all again the next day.
And as we lay in bed at the end of the day, we can't help but wonder why we do it. I am determined to survive this though...and not come out of it some broken-down distraught person.

On Monday, the county nurse stopped by again to do that study with me on my pregnancy and Will. It was helpful. I enjoy talking about him, and she told me to continue to do so.
No matter what other people say.
She also said that right now, we are climbing a mountain. Every day things may seem a tiny bit better or at least we aren't as bad as right after he died. But then she said, at the 6th month mark we will plummet emotionally.
Uh, good to know I guess.
Then I started figuring out when that would be: January.
Well, that totally sucks. I already dread January...no need to add to that list.

So back to square one, I guess. Right now I am just still trying to function through a normal day. I use to be this highly organized person. The type of person who never found money in a pocket, that had long ago been forgotten. I always knew where everything was...all the time. Now? Forget it. For example: How much is my memory/thought process off? Earlier today I was separating laundry into piles and heard this noise. Confused, I started walking around the house. I had totally forgotten that I was cooking something on the stove. The lid was rattling, that is how hot it had gotten. My sauteed mushrooms looked like little black peas.
Nice.
So while I try to NOT burn down the house...at least I have successfully filled the gas tank of my car recently. We're making progress people.

The cup is half full.
But the house? If I burned that down...then we'd have REAL problems.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Walk to Remember

Today I sent balloons up to heaven.
And just that one thing, letting go of a balloon filled with love and messages for Will...
was in some ways just as hard as letting him go the first time.



As I stood there in the freezing morning air with my mom, I held two balloons. One white for the first baby we would have had this April, and then a blue balloon for Will. And as his name was read aloud by the speaker and I let those balloons go...

I could only cry and pray,
Please God, don't have us add any more balloons to these two I am already holding.

As I watched my balloons float up into the sky (which 0f course was that perfect shade of blue) I became aware of just how many other little souls were up there with Will. And how many other people were taking this same heart-wrenching walk. Those hundreds of balloons, spots in the huge blue sky, is not an image I will soon forget. It was overwhelming and my pictures do not do it justice.

Some, like my mom and I, had fresh tears of a new loss.
Some cried as they held their young children or a new baby, remembering the one they had lost before...
and then there were others, much older, that were finally able to acknowledge their child after so many years of silence. One couple was there wearing a shirt from the first walk~22 years ago.
That is not something I can imagine just yet...although I know that I will think of and miss Will every single day for the rest of my life.

I know that I will be back here each year. It is something I will always do for Will and it is such a beautiful tribute to his short life. And as time progresses, there is hope that maybe one year I can return to that park and release those balloons with a son or daughter. And we can tell them all about their big brother and how he watches over us from heaven.

As I looked up at the sky, I pictured him, and gave thanks for our blessings. We got to meet him, hold him, and have hope that he would be healed.
And I am so grateful to release a balloon, and actually be able to picture exactly who I am doing it for.
But oh, how my heart still aches.
A baby represents so many things; dreams, possibilities, and hope for the future. That is why the loss of a child is so devastating...and these weeks without Will have pushed us further than we ever imagined...and our biggest battle has been not to lose hope...and to continue thanking God in all circumstances.
But today brought new meaning to...hope floats.
Because today it did.
And today I do give thanks for so many things...
including that I have a beautiful baby just waiting to jump into my arms the day I truly go home.
And I will get to hold his little hand...instead of the string attached to a small, blue balloon.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pulaski '08



Who knew Michelob Ultra came in a can?
I for one...did not.
Until tonight.
It was also the first time I drank beer from a can in...forever.
Good times at Pulaski days. It was so much fun.
Culture shock? Oh yeah...
I saw things tonight that I'm pretty sure I haven't seen since the 80's...
teased and then sprayed bangs, black panty hose with red heels, etc.
I'm also pretty sure I inhaled enough 2nd hand smoke to turn my lungs gray.

Welcome back to the Midwest.

When I was admitted to the hospital months ago, I never imagined I'd be hanging out and partying with the same nurses that were taking care of me. Not to mention they have seen me in the worst of times...and they still want to hang out:) And more importantly, they are now helping me get adjusted to life back in Michigan and are showing me the finer things in Grand Rapids...

Like the numerous Polish halls of the west side. Thanks, Jilaine!!
A few things were learned tonight...
I should continue to stay away from beer in a can,
I need to brush up on my Polka moves...

And it is possible to laugh again.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Another Thursday

Yoga is a life saver for me.
Today was crappy, cold, and rainy.
I was in a mood to match and just couldn't shake it.
Then I went to yoga tonight...
and balanced my chi again:)

Earlier I had written out a whole blog, and then the usual happened; I just couldn't post it. That has been happening a lot lately. The words come out as more of a ranting, like some crazy person. That is part of it, I am unable to make sense of things, unable to say what I really mean.
It drives me crazy.
Because I hate being in a sad mood all the time, and unlike other situations...this can't be talked out of. Meaning, its gonna take a whole lot more than a personal pep talk to get me through this. What it comes down to, is it physically makes me sick to my stomach. That gut wrenching feeling you get when something is wrong. And mine just won't go away. Because I can't help but feel that everything I am doing now or that has happened is just that~
Wrong.
But here I am...and doing all of these things I never pictured myself doing. And then it occurred to me, I always get really down on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Its like subconsciously my body is programed to be sad on the three days he was alive.

But I'm hoping this weekend is a deposit in my emotional bank account.

This weekend is going to be either really good, or I am going to pay emotionally and physically.
Friday night I am venturing out with all the nurses and new friends I made while in the hospital. We are going to a little something called Pulaski weekend.
I can assure you one thing: I will be in severe culture shock.
And thanks to the fine state of Michigan being slightly behind in the times...I am sure to pass out from smoke inhalation long before the alcohol hits me.
All I know is that we will be drinking in various Polish tents or bars or whatever they refer to it out here...and I really think its going to be a ton of fun.
Stay tuned for pictures.

Saturday morning is the opposite end of the spectrum. I am going to an event called "A Walk to Remember" that is a memorial/remembrance service to honor babies who died due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death. There will be a balloon release and short walk through a park.
I will be releasing two balloons that day...and I am kind of dreading going. But I am kind of forcing myself, because in order to keep healing...I need to bring the difficult stuff to the surface. And then maybe that awful sick feeling will begin to go away.

And things like that are kind of like yoga.
I really don't want to do it, but once I get there and go...
I feel better and am so thankful I did.