Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy 8th Anniversary

Eight whole years.
Tim asked if I was shocked that we made it 8 years...
or if I was more shocked at how quickly the 8 years went...
and my reply was "both."

He knows I am joking.
And I am.
Despite all that we have done,
all that we have been through...
my marriage is a blessing from God.
And I love my husband more today,
than I did 8 years ago.

Today he took the day off from work (a HUGE deal if you know his work ethic!)
and we spent the day going to the high risk Dr.
Let's just give them the code name, Dr. Risky...
there is a whole team of them,
and they are awesome...
but to keep everyone straight~that is what I will call them.

I also have a regular OB/GYN
whom I will see on a regular basis.
I did not have her with Will,
I had the Dr. Risky team.
They rock.
And walking into that office, with good news this time,
was uplifting.
I know I will be taken care of.

So today when we went,
I got the red carpet treatment in the ultra sound room.
The tech and I had a coffee the month after Will died,
and I adore her.
She was so excited, she popped a disk into their new machine
and got tons of pictures.
Even better...she busted out the 3D equipment
and just went crazy.

But, I am measuring smaller than I had figured.
So, they laughed when I groaned loudly at only being 8 weeks and 4 days.
I'm glad they think its funny...
I don't!
The double digits is a big deal,
and I would have kept my mouth shut for a bit longer.
But then again, what good would it do to keep it a secret anyways?

If anything happens, the world will know about it...
who am I trying to kid?
And besides, I have been sick for what seems like forever,
not complaining (its a huge blessing)
but I guess each day that passes is a small victory for me.
Not sure I could really hide it much longer,
my pale nauseating face pretty much gives it away:)

So, the 3D pictures were slightly funny.
Just a blob that looked like a little gummy bear with bumps where the arms and legs will be.
It almost freaks me out when I see it like that,
makes you realize just what a miracle the entire process is.

Then we heard the heartbeat.
That got me right in the gut,
and for a moment...
I was back in my hospital room, with Will on the monitor.
The nurses would hook me up twice a day for nearly 30 min. or longer,
and his steady heartbeat would put me right to sleep...
that is, if he wasn't hiccuping loudly.
There is just something about hearing that little heart beat,
it chokes me up.

And it makes this whole situation not blissful or thrilling...
but very scary.
Hearing the heartbeat
brings all sorts of painful memories that no one really knows about.
It should be a happy thing,
but going down this road again is another test of faith.

After we had a chat with Dr. Risky,
some various things were discussed.
There is no rhyme or reason why Will's water broke.
They don't know why,
there is nothing that I did or didn't do.
So we will sit tight and let this pregnancy progress.
At least I feel like there is a plan in place,
but this is where I am glad that I have so many people praying for us.

That is the one thing,
I know I can believe in...the power of prayer.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas


After years of...
standing in long security lines,
missing flights,
running through airports
and all the other things that happened
which nearly caused me to have a nervous breakdown
trying to get home for Christmas...
I am waking up in my own home,
in my own bed,
and my family is visiting us today.

Awesome.
Truly a Merry Christmas.
Especially with the way I have been feeling for the past few weeks:)

And while we are still missing Will beyond words right now,
this year is more tolerable.

Maybe because we have found hope again...
Maybe because there is a chance we will have truly Merry Christmases in the future.
Maybe because next year, there might actually be a baby here to hug:)
Merry Christmas...
And thank you to all of you who have continually prayed for this.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Remembering


I haven't written in a really long time again.
Not that I don't think about it, 
but the things that are happening around me aren't exactly
happy or hope inspiring.
And after all, things are tough right now for a lot of people.
So when even worse things happen,
it hits hard.

The night before Thanksgiving,
I opened an email not knowing what it held.
It was simply a sales ad from a Marine store...
but it also held various other topics.
It held the news that one of Tim's snipers,
Charles Cartwright,
had been killed in Afghanistan on Nov. 7th.
But we didn't find out until later,
and missing his funeral deeply affected us.
I want to write about him, because the last few weeks have been spent remembering him and trying to make sense out it.
And I believe, that to honor these heroes...is to speak of them. To share who they were, and why the loss is staggering.

Out of Tim's snipers, I had a few favorites...
Charlie was for sure one of them.
He was goofy and his smile...
it was the kind that made you smile just by seeing it.
He was a great Marine.
When I opened that email and saw his picture,
all I could do was scream...
it couldn't be him.
The picture above is Tim's platoon in Iraq. Charlie is in the back row without a hat.
I love this picture,
and I laugh because I see the personalities shine through.

I've been extremely blessed to know so many giving
and courageous...and hilariously funny Marines.
Live hard, play hard...
that is what we always said.
Times spent with these guys, were some of the best of my life.

But life is hard when you have to live to see  your young friends die.
Wonderful men who chose this life...
and loved it.
I know Cartwright loved what he did.
It doesn't make it any easier.
Because 26 is too young.

And so as Christmas creeps closer,
I think about so many families that are living without.
Without their homes, without their jobs...without a loved one.
And what really breaks my heart, is that now I know the pain that sits in your soul when your child dies before you...

So today, when I got my termination letter for my job...
I was surprised and disappointed,
yet with everything that has happened it takes a heck of a lot more to defeat me nowadays.
Sure I lost my job less than a week before Christmas.
But I find myself not really caring.
Because in the big scheme of things,
it doesn't really matter.

Knowing people like Charlie,
inspire Tim & I to keep our heads up.
I can't help but think back to this fall,
and see the series of events that took place.
Each one acting as a stepping stone to take me to the next.
I just have to have faith,
this this is another one of those stepping stones.
That somehow, it all will fit together for a greater good.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Baby Be Blessed


Awhile back,
I came across this website.
These dolls are so sweet,
and I wanted one...even long before we knew what Will's story would be.

But it just never materialized.

A few months ago,
a friend emailed.
She wanted to give me one of these dolls.
God works in mysterious ways....
because I had never mentioned wanting one of these dolls to anyone.
So needless to say,
I was absolutely thrilled...

Tonight, when I got home I saw a box on our front steps.
My heart fluttered a bit,
that is how excited I am about getting this doll.
Each of these dolls has a Bible verse patch sewn on front,
under his name I picked to have the following:

"God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes;
and there shall be no more death,
neither sorrow, nor crying,
neither shall there be any more pain:
for the former things are passed away."
Revelation 21:4
The pictures of the verse didn't turn out...
but I absolutely love this hand made doll.
Thank you, Megan!
You are the best...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Catch up.

So...
have you ever gotten so behind at something,
that the sheer thought of "hacking at it" seems to send shudders through your entire being? That would be me when I think of all the partial blog posts I have yet to finish.

I have not forgotten,
or even put it off.
I simply would begin to write about a number of things,
and then something would happen...
and by the time I got back to it,
well,
the moment was gone.
The writing and thoughts were interrupted.
And it just didn't sound or read as well as I wanted it to.

The perfectionist in me is coming back.

What is shocking is that it is December.
Here are the facts:
I have continued my altered diet and lifestyle,
which includes acupuncture, Chinese herbs,
and a totally different diet.
No pop, no caffeine, no coffee...and a whole bunch of other "no's"

However, I am finding myself with more energy.
A better outlook...
and just generally feeling better.

Which is good, because lots has been going on in our house.
I will be writing a more in depth blog soon,
but for the time being,
other things have called.
Like decorating our Christmas tree,
putting lights on Will's tree outside,
cleaning the gutters before it SNOWS,
setting up snow plow service (utterly crucial)
and then that silly Christmas card letter has been nagging me almost as much as this blog.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Always.


Tonight I am missing you tremendously.
It started out harmless enough...
looking for a family Christmas card.
Then after looking at the picture perfect families,
I am coming to the realization that ours won't ever be.
Because no matter what,
you won't be here to be in it.
There will always be a huge hole in our family.
Always.

Any picture I pick out,
it just isn't right.
You are in our constant thoughts,
still a huge part of this family...
yet there is no picture.
No way to document just how much we think of you...
How much we still ache and love you.

So here we go.
Another heart breaking holiday season.
Others have their kids,
their wish lists...
many have new babies.
All I want is something I can't have...
you.
But instead, I'll pretend to be fine.
So I won't hamper the joy for others.
All the while,
I'll be thinking of you....
like always.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Acu-what?

Oh, the lengths we will go to.
Or at least...that I will go to.
I'm tired of the way I feel here.
And I want to do something to change it.

Today, I went and had acupuncture done.
And this is a day after I just finished taking my last dose of Clomid.
My body is probably wondering what the hell is going on.
The fertility drugs made me feel awful...
an emotional wreck...
the acupuncture made me feel wonderful.

I'm just praying for a miracle this month.

What made me turn to acupuncture?
I got this book.
And it gave me some more hope,
and even before I read it, I knew that there was nothing wrong with me.
Except that some really tragic things have happened,
and it has reeked havoc on my body and my spirit.

I am not infertile.
Nothing is broken,
except for my heart...
and it must be connected to my uterus.
So I needed to get my Qi (pronounced chee) centered.
And I really feel like it did something today.
I left feeling better than when I came. And the emotional stress I had carried since Monday seemed to finally leave my tensed muscles.
On Monday I went to group and it was hard for a reason that I knew would eventually come.
There was a woman there mourning the death of 2 babies....which were triplets.
And then she told me she had been given one of Will's blankets...
I have been secretly hoping that no one would ever have to get one.
As I tied those memorial messages on each one over a year ago,
it pained me to think of someone else having to go through this hell.
It still does.
And when she told me of the blanket and what it meant to her,
it was as if something had gone full circle.
In my mind, if I could have given those blankets in hopes that 52 babies wouldn't die,
I would have given a million.

But as I laid there today and felt like a freaking pincushion,
something changed.
I have come to the point in grief where I am trying,
really trying,
to overcome this...and heal.
Now, all I can do is be consistent and keep praying.
I want it to work this month so badly.
And also know, that if it doesn't~clomid is not for me.
After going back and reading some old posts from this time last year,
I have come so far.
And for this, I am extremely grateful.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Getting older...

My little brother turns 24 today.
But he will always seem much younger to me...
He will always be that skinny little kid
that tormented me by sneaking into my room to steal gum,
that harassed all my pretty friends:)
that has always made me laugh with his impeccable timing
and unique sense of humor.
For those that know my family...
it is common knowledge that Eric is hilarious.
And I will never run out of his stories...
his life has only enriched mine.

Sure,
he has gotten older with the years.
But there is something reassuring that with time, 
he will be one of the few people that I can always count on to be the same.
He will always be brutally honest,
never fake...
always real...
and his excitement~ authentic.

He has not stopped talking about his birthday since this summer,
in case you didn't know...
its kind of a big deal:)
He thinks that getting 24 dollars in his birthday card makes him rich.
Even better?
It must mean more money if it comes to him in all singles :)
And that is just one simple reason, out of thousands, why I love him so much.

Friday, October 16, 2009

North Cakalaka...





So last weekend I flew down to Charlotte and picked up our new car.
Everything went better than planned.
Except for the rain.
But given that it was 80 degrees, I decided to overlook that little detail.
After picking up the car,
I checked into the sweet hotel that was practically free
thanks to our collection of Starpoints through SPG.
After a little exploring and a nap,
I jumped in my new ride to meet my longtime friend for some shopping.
We spent Friday night doing what we do best:
shopping for insanely good deals and eating.
There was an amazing sunset, which I tried to take a pic of...
but instead its behind my sunglasses. Brilliant.

Upon arriving back to the hotel,
we opened the door to find a chilled bottle of bubbly.
We were totally surprised.
Along with it, a note from Tim...
Wishing us a fun-filled weekend.
Too sweet. My husband rocks.

Instead of hitting up the packed bar downstairs,
we poured some drinks,
changed into the new sweat pants we both both bought,
along with our cute t-shirts from J.Crew (that we scored for $1.99)
and climbed into our little double beds for some girl talk.
Quite nearly a perfect day.

The next morning I hit the road to drive from Charlotte
to Toledo, Ohio...To break up the trip I rewarded myself
with things like Chick-fil-A (SO wish we had one of those here)
and then onto Starbucks in VA for a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
The drive wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
It still rained of course,
but the fall colors were completely amazing.
I can only imagine what they might have looked like in the sun with a blue sky as the backdrop.
I did have one moment of near insanity while driving a long stretch
of sickness-inducing curved road through the Appalachian Mtns in West Virginia...
Not only was I going nuts driving back and forth between the curves,
then for nearly 2 hours I only had two radio stations...
So without the distraction of music,
I concentrated on going as fast as possible while keeping my chicken sandwich where it belonged.
Many times, I would nearly swerve off the road as I tried to look behind me at the gorgeous view as I slowly climbed the Appalachians.
My pictures don't even come close to doing it justice.
As soon as I crossed into Ohio the temp dropped big time,
and by the time I was home on Sunday,
there was nearly a 50 degree difference.
The best thing about the car?
It has a heated steering wheel and seats...
something I have used every single day~HA!
It was a fun trip.
I loved Charlotte and wished that Tim could have gone too,
it is great to explore new areas together.
The only thing that really threw me?
That southern accent:)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

National Day of Remembrance...


Another year already.
Last October was my first knowledge of this "holiday".
Or should I say, my first true understanding of it.

Again, when I woke up this morning
I was intensely sad...unable to start the mindless yo-yo again.
While Tim got ready, all I could do was lay in bed.
All I could do was cry.
And the real point is, my brain didn't register that today was the National Day of Remembrance,
because to my heart?
Every day still is.

And all day long, I kept thinking...
And how much sweeter it would be if Will were here.
How much different it would be if he were here...

But he's not.
And then when I realized what today was...
I cut myself some slack.
And let myself fully miss him,
because so often it causes so much pain,
that I block out what I loved most...
his beautiful face,
his sweet new baby smell...
the way it felt to hold him after fighting so hard to keep him here.

Then later today,
another fail: definitely not pregnant.

But what else do we do?
I can't lay in bed forever.
We must get up, go to work, find a sense of purpose regardless.
And still there are days like today,
when I look at his picture and truly still can't believe all the hell we went through.
It makes me sick.

And it takes all I have to simply...
get up,
pray for peace...
get dressed to face the day,
and remember to breathe.
A new baby could never and won't ever replace him,
but its a much needed blessing that our family needs.
It just seems so long overdue.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dreams & reality...

It has been so busy lately.

Now I know that God knew just what he was doing when he put this specific job in my path. Its only 2 days a week, but with planning, meetings, and other sub days I feel like my life has been one of those cartoons where it shows the old style calendar pages flying off the wall and blowing away.

The days have been blowing away...
And so I am getting used to trying to be normal again,
which is actually very hard after so many major changes.
But things are going okay.

But I get constant reminders that other's lives are quickly progressing as well, and then it seems like my life is going way too slow.
Still no baby...Still, we are waiting.

And I would be lying if I wrote that it didn't bother me. I'm sick of waiting, sick of feeling like a bad person when in my heart when I pray and all I can mutter sometimes is..."When will it be our turn?"

Yes, it is the last month before I try a drug to increase our chances. But I don't even want to think about that. There have been consultations and tests, yet nothing to say why its taking so long. So we wait. And we are tired.

And as we wait out these final days, I go from extremes. One day I hardly give it a thought, then the next I am fighting an urge that it won't ever happen for us. Thoughts of adoption to surrogates goes through my head. At times, the battle to stay positive seems like an endless ocean...yet every day I continue to hold onto some mysterious shred of hope..that one day soon, things will change.

And it will happen. Even thought I am sick of waiting.

But in other areas...Some other things are changing.
We are getting a new car.
Normally this wouldn't be a big deal,
but in true Julie fashion~there is a great story behind it all.

Cars hold a special place for Tim and I.
Because life changing events have unfolded around ours...
Tim's car was bought the day after he returned home from Iraq.
I remember sitting in the dealership, worried that he was going to fall over from exhaustion.
He was on Iraq time, and yet we HAD to buy a car that day.
So his Jeep has been a trustworthy vehicle,
loaded with histories and memories of Camp Pendleton,
driving all over L.A.,
dropping him off for his 2nd tour in Iraq...
sitting there in the early morning,
watching him walk away and wondering if it would be the last time I would see him,
and lastly, me driving it across the country on my way back home.
Actually, Will and I sitting there for many days...
allowing me time to think about how great it all was going to be.
How great it was all supposed to be...
that disappointment is finally beginning to dull.

As the miles piled up on that car, so did the memories.
Now, its time for something else.
So when we started "sort of" looking it wasn't a big deal.
But of course, something showed up...
because we weren't planning on it.
Those of you that know me are going to laugh:
We bought a car on EBay.

Yes. Ebay.
My friends in CA know I buy everything from there.
My nurses and doctors watched me buy things (and sell too)
as I was laying in my hospital bed.
I love eBay.

So tomorrow, I will fly down to the dirty south (NC)
and pick up the car.
My girlfriend is meeting me for a girl's night in Charlotte.
I can't wait.
And I say "why not?"
I might as well live it up,
life is too short...so stay tuned for some pics.

What is that?
Oh its 80 degrees and sunny down there?
You mean I have to leave the rain and frigid temps?
Darn it:)
Perhaps I'll just stay down there.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Day "5"

Current wonderful things in my life...

I love the season of fall,
it is the one time of year when I love the cooler weather...
the leaves starting to change,
the clouds,
the comfort of staying in my home on a wretched-weather of a day.

Our home is peaceful,
the deer and animals are out back...
sometimes I feel like looking out my huge back window is some sort of strange nature exhibit, who knows what I'll see.

I have a wonderful husband,
who works harder than anyone else I know.
We keep each other in check and accountable,
making sure we bring our best to the table each day...
best of all,
he still makes me laugh...a lot.
We've been through more than most people endure in a lifetime,
I can't imagine anyone else standing by my side to face it.

Quite possibly, we have the best dog that God ever created...
she is never allowed to die.

There are lots of great things:
family, friends, teaching...
but also things that are not tangible:
faith & hope.
I guess the most notable thing right now,
is that for the first time in awhile...
I am once again happy to be me.
That is a hugely wonderful thing.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Day: I lost count...

The rain is coming down,
with the cool fall wind blowing outside.
I am sitting here in my cozy bathrobe with warm coffee...
home from work because I'm sick....
and also, totally content.

Something should be wrong
with being so busy that you actually fall ill.
That the only time a person gets to chill out
is when they are home with the chills and a fever.

But I have been waiting SO LONG
to be busy,
to have a job,
to have a new sense of purpose...
that I am not having a hard time with being sick,
but I am bummed that I had to cancel teaching.

These last few weeks,
I have felt more like myself
than in all the time since moving here.
I am just annoyed that I have not been able to keep up with
the daily gratitude challenge.
But that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about it.

Where I left off, the next "assignment" was to write a message of thanks for some of the "negative" things in my life.
In thinking about this, I have mixed emotions...
At one point in my life,
having Tim in the Marines and deployed to Iraq brought up bitterness and longing feelings at what our lives could have been at the time...had he been home, had he not been so busy, had he not been wounded in Fallujah.
But now?
I look back at that time in CA as a great growing period.
A span of time that was probably just as painful for those that loved me,
as it was for both Tim & I.
And yet, enough time has passed that I can look back and see all the good it brought out in us...
suddenly, it is no longer a negative, but a very large positive.

Fast forward 6 years.
Here we are, in our move to Michigan and losing the child we loved more than ourselves.
Obviously, death can be labeled as a current negative thing in my life...and because I associate this loss with the act of moving here, they will always be grouped as one.
And many people are probably to the point of thinking
"It was 15 months ago, get over it already."
But...I know it doesn't work that way.
In due time.
I have learned not to be rushed in this.
Not to ignore it.
Not to let others impact the time my heart needs to grieve.

And today, I am grateful.
Grateful for many things because of the last 16 months. Grateful for many things people take for granted and assume that it is owed to them.
I am walking away from this with many things...
A stronger faith.
A better relationship with my spouse.
A greater appreciation for simple living in every day life.

I have learned to let go.
I am no longer a control freak.
I don't care about the hurtful things others say...
because in the end?
They can judge and then walk away.

Will's shadow and the endless possibilities of his life
will always be part of my existence.
Just as a shadow suddenly appears, so do thoughts of him.

And while I reached the lowest point a year after his death,
I am grateful to know that progress is being made.
Feelings of happiness and contentment find me...
when I watch the sun rise as I drive to work,
as I stand in my beautiful yard and talk with neighbors,
as I am able to spend time with people who helped carry this burden with me...
who never gave up on me...
who allowed me to be sad...
who didn't shy away behind excuses...
who loved me when my sadness was unbearable even to myself...
and who have been my protectors...my cheerleaders....
my friends.
Friends who are here because of the "negative" things.
Friends who I never would have become close with had all my dreams came true.

So, in the end, I have two choices in life.
Become bitter from the negatives...
or become better.
Obviously, you know which one I'm aiming for.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day 3

Something I am grateful for today...

Being so busy that I feel shockingly normal again.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Challenge....Day 2

So on http://www.gratitudechallenge.com/
they give a calendar of ideas to follow.
I'm just going to do the concepts they suggest,
today was a good day but my creativity is
hindered by the fact that I really want to climb into bed and pass out at the moment...


Today, the suggestion is using the alphabet to make a list of things for which I feel grateful for...well, here goes...but this is already harder than it looks, and given that I am slightly delirious, it might turn out kind of odd because I am just going to type the first thing that comes to mind:)


Apples and going to the orchard in the fall.
Blogging. My personal form of therapy. And much more effective than counseling.
Church~I happen to be able to attend one of the coolest churches in the country, Mars Hill.
Dogs, especially my loveable Soph-a-loaf.
Eric my brother with Downs that always keeps me laughing.
Friends & Family
God...If I didn't believe in his grace and love there wouldn't be much point to me.
Husbands. I happen to think mine is one of the best after all we've been through together.
In-n-Out. The best hamburger place. Ever.
Jobs...so thankful for my new position
Kids~I love teaching and am grateful to do something I love.
Laughing....I do it alot, even if other people don't really find it funny. I can find humor in just about any situation.
Marines. Grateful for what they do, who they are, and the memories.
Nice people~no need to say more other than I wish there were more of them.
Obedient children...
Pictures. They are some of my most treasured possessions.
Quiet time...reading, walking, thinking
Random acts of kindness
Seasons changing. Sunny fall days are my favorite.
Traveling. I've been lucky to be able to travel all over the world.
United States. Love this country.
Vacations. Life is too short, take them every chance you get.
Will~grateful for his short time here with us.
Xoxo-hugs and kisses
Yoga~another form of therapy
Zzzzz's...I am grateful for an awesome bed which allows me to sleep like a baby.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gratitude Challenge

A challenge.
Found in my inbox, from a company that I love.
So I thought, "why not?"
For the next 21 days I will be giving thanks
and blogging about it.

Accepting this challenge will help me to note
the positives (which there are many)
and I'm sure my blog will not only be more interesting...
but it will leave me feeling more aware of the brighter side of life.

So, more to come.
For the next 21 days I will post words of gratitude,
that is a challenge in itself (the actual writing every day part...not the lack of gratitude)!
Perhaps some of you will want to join me?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Comfort food.

Last fall, I remember how quickly time went.
Its still going so fast.
Every month, we wait to see if this is "the" month.
Once again...it isn't.
And it is so heartbreaking after all that has happened.
Waiting to have a baby is kind of the same as trying to find work.
You can do everything right and still not get it...which all around sucks.
And everywhere you look, other people have one...so why can't I?

I am grateful to be in a routine now,
me and excessive free time really shouldn't be friends.
As school occupies more of my time now,
work distracts me from thinking too much.
But deep down, the question is still there...
and burns even more with each friend that tells me they are pregnant with such ease.

There have been lots of bumps in the road this month.
And they are so stupid that I just want to throw my hands in the air
and wonder why some aspect of our lives just can't go smoothly.
All the mindless distractions are keeping me from doing
what I really need to do.
Sometimes, I really feel like my faith has been challenged enough
and one of these times it will shatter forever.

I guess you could say I had a bad day today.
We all have them.
How bad was mine?
Bad enough to skip out on spinning class tonight
and instead eat a Nutty Bar (yes, the same thing I tried to sneak and eat while in the hospital with diabetes).
Two packs actually...
enough said.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Good news

Make sure you are sitting down...
I'm actually going to post some good news.
Sounds crazy,
but I have been waiting to write something actually, truly good for a really long time...

First, I got offered a part time job at a local school district.
Its 2 full days a week (Tues. & Thurs), for the entire school year.
I'll be a Media Specialist.
Once I actually know what this exactly means:
I will let you know.
Given that somewhere around 200 people apply for one job around here
(and there have been only a handful of openings this year with so many cuts and budget problems)
I feel very blessed to have been offered this.
It is perfect for where I am right now...
and I am breathing a little easier for the first time a long time.

Second, is that I had an "infertility" procedure done at the hospital this morning.
Aside from totally crying because you all know how much I love it when people poke and prod at me, and my MOST FAVORITE THING is getting those awesome pelvic exams...
well, it was bound to be a fabulous morning in radiology.
Not to mention simply the feel and smell of that place take me back in time.
So its no surprise that the tears flowed.

They inserted a tube with dye and then took x-rays to make sure the path was clear.
Well, first off...I felt right away as they were digging, that it wasn't.
I was not happy.
The doctor was perplexed as why she couldn't see the liquid.
And I was secretly cursing no one in general
that I even had to be there to begin with.
After a minor setback, which made me glad that I did go through with this...
it was all over.
No problems~no more obvious road blocks.
So we shall see.

My mind is now free from concern,
and we have a green light to proceed.
And if it does happen,
I can't help but think how great my new work schedule will be...
This week has been the kind of week I have waited nearly 18 months for.
So thankful its finally here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Breaking Point

August.
No, I haven't written much.
There have been lots of reasons,
and I am finally where I need to be
so that I can really understand why.

Shortly after Will's anniversary,
we had friends out from California.
GREAT TIMES=Total distraction from reality.
After they left I was overcome with such a tense anxiety.
This feeling, truly led me to think that I must be going crazy.
I couldn't stop...
being angry at God,
crying,
obsessing over what I must have done wrong during interviews to always get that rejection,
questioning why in the hell I was getting worse with time and not better.

And finally a great friend,
offered a referral to go and talk with someone.
Because honestly, I could hardly stand myself
or our life...
anymore.
It was that bad.

But suddenly, I had a professional listening to everything,
and telling me that I wasn't crazy,
and that I wasn't even depressed.
No, I didn't suffer from anxiety...
and all the reasons I gave for my bad emotions?
A reason for them all.
And the weight lifted off my shoulders....

I am suffering from severe grief,
which is not the same as depression.
And why has everything started to fall into place?
We were told to read a book.
This is not just any book,
in fact,
I have read a lot of child loss and grieving books and this is totally different.
It is so different and so beneficial that I think every single person should read it.
Because it is not specific to any particular loss,
and has the potential to help recover the biggest of broken hearts.
The Grief Recovery Handbook

In fact, I would love for anyone to read this and
then share with me what they think.
I believe this book is for everyone, it will change the way you look at grief and how we "deal" with it...But more on that later.

In the meantime,
other things have been going on.
I have been dropping of my resume and had a few interviews.
This is really hard.
Waiting has never been a strong point for me.

And while I try to relax,
I also went to the doctor this week.
After some discussion, I am going to the hospital for a procedure tomorrow.
This will allow them to make sure I don't have any scar tissue,
or anything else evident going on...since I can't seem to get pregnant.
I am nervous.
In being proactive, I am wanting to believe it will be good...
however, I am afraid at what they may find.
Please pray that it goes well.

What a month.
The next week has the potential to be significant,
but instead of focusing on things happening that are outside of my control...
I'm going to continue to read that book...and take steps to heal this gaping hole in my heart.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Summer in pictures...





Just a little of what we have been up to lately...
lots of water,
lots of storms,
lots of happy wags from Sophie's whip of a tail:)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Will's new frame


Last fall we found this frame,
and knew we had to have it.
So for Will's 1st birthday...
we decided to give ourselves a present
in an attempt to somehow make it hurt a little less.

When it arrived the night before our company from CA arrived,
I quickly unwrapped it...
and it took my breath away.
Too perfect.
I love it...
And every word is true.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Make it stop...

There has been something heavy on my shoulders,
and it feels like its been a really long time.
The load wasn't dropped all at once,
it was more like one brick at a time...
so that as I slowly started shriveling under the weight,
it wasn't so significant that those around me took any notice.

As these bricks settled on me, one at a time,
I tried so hard to carry the weight...
to not show my weakness,
to not ask for help.
And now, as I finally crumble and fall from the weight of this last year,
and all its bricks,
those around me looked shocked.
That is,
if they even look at all.

These bricks took form after months of an unsure future...
after interviews that led to nothing (including the last one that would have been perfect)...
after trying to make sense of the ruins around me and not finding anything.

However, for some reason God felt the need to put them there.
And as I grapple with this concept,
the heart of who I am,
who I was,
is finally being forever changed by the added weight.

And I feel like I am completely falling a part.
There is no way to answer the questions in my head,
to find reason in any of it at all.
Why did we move here if Will was just going to die?
Why am I still not pregnant?
Why are there so many interviews, yet no job?
Why does God keep ignoring my prayers?

As I type this,
I am crying.
I am extremely let down by our move to Michigan.
This is something I deeply regret.
It has led to our son's death...and to other losses.
All because we tried to do the right thing,
so how does it seem that we are instead being punished.

This is the bottom for me,
where anger at everything finally lashes out,
where I want to scream
but I am just so exhausted from it all.
I simply would like two things that most people take for granted,
in fact,
a lot of people have both and don't realize how blessed they are:
a job and a child.
And I just want to quit...
because this is just so wrong.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Today...

...I am trying to...

Find the motivation to get out of my pajamas and into the shower...

Pray constantly for peace and patience while I wait for that phone call...

Stretch my pathetic legs out after not "honoring my body" and pushing just a little too much at yoga last night...

Not completely lose my mind...waiting for that phone call...

Get rid of my migraine by popping Excedrin and guzzling as much Diet Coke as possible...

Cuddle in bed with my big, fat 70 lb. lap dog...

Tell myself that I am happy with my current circumstances...

Make some chicken salad and not eat more pizza...

Imagine what might be in store for me in another year...

Go to the bank...

Take as many naps as possible so I won't have to think about my fate or my headache...

Not waste time on facebook...

Thank God in all circumstances, even if the outcome is not what I want...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Today is a new year of sorts...
This weekend marked one year,
and it was a time where both Tim & I reflected
on everything from our move across the country,
to jobs,
to wanting kids,
to what we think this next year will bring.
Overall, a lot of unknowns...
just the same as this time last year.


Yesterday was challenging
as we relived our last hours with our son
while he was with us on earth.
And today, marks one year that I have been home.
Right around this time, I was discharged...
marking something many people take for granted.
Freedom.


Freedom to walk,
to eat whatever I wanted,
to be outside,
to sleep in my own bed,
and to cry in privacy instead of hiding in the shower...


Right around this time,
we were making that dreaded trip down the hospital hallway
for the last time.
And as I was loaded into the car,
without a baby,
my body broken...
I vowed to survive this.
And I kept repeating this to myself.
I repeated it over and over,
as we had our first meal outside the hospital in 8 weeks.
Then at the funeral home,
where we were left alone to make arrangements.


As I walked into that place,
it was so surreal.
We had only lived here for 4 months
and I was already visiting the mortuary and funeral home,
where I had attended numerous funerals while growing up.
I never thought I would be back here so soon,
and especially not for my own child.
But as I walked in there,
I knew.
Will was there,
I felt it in my soul,
in my body,
in my aching heart.


That kind of aching doesn't really go away,
but I can say
that it is no longer the same piercing pain it was.
Then again,
maybe it is,
I have just learned to live with it.
It is now a piece of who I am.

But I also have a different feeling,
a feeling of survival.
We made it through our first year without him.
Its been ugly and painful,
but here we are.
And we are functioning,
just a little differently than before.

To me,
it is one less year I have to live without part of my heart.
And in some strange way
I feel relief.
One year down...
how many more in still unknown,
but this is a start.
We are no longer at the beginning.
This may sound really strange to some,
but I am sure it has to make sense to a few.

And so here we go.
I figure that the more days that pass from now on,
bring us closer to something good.
Whether its a baby or a job,
we are closer today...
than a year ago today.
That much is for sure.

And another thing I know for sure,
I would not have been able to get this far without the love, prayers and support from so many of you...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Sweet Baby...



Happy First Birthday, Will!

Today Daddy & I are celebrating your life, and the miraculous 52 hours we had with you...

You entered our world at 1:59 p.m. on a bright and sunny day. You were a fighter, and to us ~ perfect in every way. You had a piece of each of us built into you...Daddy's forehead and skinny knees, Mommy's mouth and hands, Grandma's toes, and Great-Grandpa's amazingly distinct blue eyes...the only surprise was all that dark hair!

It's hard to imagine what you would look like today, at a year old. We cherish that you will forever be a baby to us. In your short life you only felt love...no one uttered a harsh word or expressed unkindness to you. You only felt the love and prayers of your family and the hospital staff around you...and we will never know the full extent of your story and life on many others in this world. And the number of strangers praying for our family may never be known. But one thing is certain: You were here and you had weight in this world. You were loved and continue to be. And each day we wish you were here and miss you more that we ever thought possible.

We love you 'til the end...Mommy & Daddy

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

crazy

My brain in on overload,
so much in fact...
that I find myself taking naps just to stop the chaos in my head.
I am driving myself crazy.

This week since getting back from vacation
has been yet another emotional roller coaster.
Just to summarize:
2 interviews
A trip to the vet for Sophie's tail,
which wasn't moving and the vet said they might have to cut off.
WHAT?!
I totally broke down in the vet office,
not pretty.
After all that, turns out it was just a sprain and she is fine.
Was the whole drama about cutting off her tail really necessary.
We all know the answer to that...
Then on Monday I also started watching a 4 month old baby.
My plans were to begin a daycare here at home,
since I couldn't find a job.
I needed a schedule and some sort
of reliable income.

Silly me thought that I would watch
older children.
Instead I got 2 new babies.
What was I thinking?
I'll tell you.
When I started watching little man this week,
I can tell you that I wasn't thinking.
No wait,
I was thinking that by the time this day actually rolled around,
I would be pregnant.
That didn't happen,
and instead I found that crying myself to sleep was no longer a distant memory.

Please God,
make it stop.

So while I wait to hear about this last interview,
for a perfectly fitting job...
I pray that God hears my endless prayers.
I pray for peace,
and for calm,
and for a reason to get out of bed again.

Watching kids here is not a good idea,
it is too hard.
It brings to many "what would..." questions to mind,
and I have to wonder,
if none of this had happened,
if everything went the way we thought.
What would we be like?
Who would we be?

Because still,
even after a year...
the pain has not dulled
and the memories have not faded.
And still nothing significant has helped bring us up out of this...
at least not enough to know what we will be like...
who we will become now that this experience is woven into who we are.
Because we are still trying to pull ourselves out of the past
and are looking for a reason to bring hope in the present.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Prayer requests...

Time keeps creeping closer to the days I have been dreading for a really long time. On Friday, Will would have been one...and its a hard thing to imagine~that it has already been a year.

Another month of negative pregnancy tests
is just the latest realization that not a whole lot has changed for us.
Not yet anyways.
When Will passed away,
I didn't care about anything.
I wanted to die right along with him.
The only thing I wanted,
the only thing that gave a ray of hope,
was to be pregnant by the time this anniversary rolled around.
To make it slightly less painful,
to help make it bearable.
Now,
I'm just trying to keep it together...
to not ask why
or wonder how things could be different.

My other daily prayer
has been for a job.
I had a great interview last week,
and was actually surprised
when I got the "thank you but no thank you" email yesterday.
But I still hope that something will turn,
I have to.

The only thing I have left is hope.

So, tomorrow I have one last interview
for a truly perfect position.
A part time teaching job,
teaching my most favorite subjects:
Social Studies & Language Arts.
At the school I attended,
and had my most favorite and inspiring teachers.

To say that I hope this works out is an understatement.
I need this to happen.
For so many reasons...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pics from CA





This was one of those vacations that you need a vacation from.
Orange County was busy, crazy...
and tons of fun.
We were occupied nearly every second,
and my challenge was adapting to the time change
and still finding ways to do and see everything and everyone that I wanted.
And overall, as hard as I tried,
it just didn't happen.
I could have stayed out there an extra month and still found things to do.
The best was seeing friends and visiting.
Which takes a lot of energy when you are used to sitting around alone all day.
And not being alone...
being surrounded by friends,
was something that I have needed for a really long time.
We hung out at the beach,
the pool,
got completely fried in the sun,
Tim went to an Angels game (I was busy being sick)...
we ate at our favorite restaraunts.
And we really tried to sit around and do nothing.
But most important is that we had fun...
July 4th was bittersweet,
we were surrounded by friends at their beautiful home.
Watching 3 different fireworks from atop the hill which is their backyard...
It was a far cry from last year,
being alone with Tim,
watching the fireworks from a wheelchair
while Will got the hiccups...
In many ways this year was better,
but in one big way it was not.
But that night,
was really the only time I felt really sad.
I always think its hard to be too depressed
when its 75 and sunny out all the time.
We did get something while we were out there,
a video of Will while he was alive from our friends.
It remains unwatched,
I'm not yet ready to lose that happy feeling from escaping my life for a week.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

California chaos...

Do I have some catching up to do...
we just got back home
and this trip was so insane
I didn't even have a chance to check my email,
until the day before we left.

So never mind blogging about it,
while we were actually there.

It was everything we needed,
and then some.
Can't wait to tell you about it...
that is,
after I get my chaotic thoughts together.

For those of you I didn't get a chance to see,
I am so sorry and sad that there just weren't more hours in the day.
And for those of you I did get to hang out with,
I miss you already!

Stay tuned for the details and photos:)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

the last week

Last week, after having a meltdown...
(Or should I say numerous meltdowns)
Tim threatened to put parental controls on our computers.
No more Facebook
and no more blogs...
except for my own.

Sometimes I look back at it all and wonder
how exactly have I evaded a padded room?
Its not too late I guess.

I'm realizing that hitting rock bottom,
didn't happen last August
or even at Christmas.
I was never guaranteed to start at the bottom
and work my way up a little bit each day since the day I came home from the hospital.
I'm realizing that for me?
Rock bottom has happened many times over the course of the last few months.

The words frustration and disappointment
don't even come close.
I'm mad at my circumstance,
mad at my life,
and even more furious with God.
Yes, in my heart, I scream at Him,
because so many little things could change
and ease this hurt.
But he has been silent.

The thing is,
I know exactly what has brought on this latest crisis.
The lack of anything to do or any job.
Summer was great while I taught,
because I was burned out from the school year.
But I don't need a summer right now,
it is like I have awakened from a deep hibernation.
And I'm starving for a job, a purpose...
and these days of doing nothing
are torture.
So what do I do?
I scope out Facebook and read all these other blogs,
which would be fine if things were fine with me...
but instead it is a constant reminder of how not-normal my life is at the moment...
and I don't need any extra reminders of what I yearn for.
So I have been banished,
at least for now.

On Wednesday we'll be in the O.C.
and while there is lots I want to do,
I am most looking forward to visiting people.
To having conversations...
Because as much as I talk to Sophie,
she has yet to answer me back.

This trip will be good,
I already looked at the weather and it said 0% chance of rain...
for a week straight.
A whole week of sunshiney warmness?
I won't know what to do with myself.
Check that...yes, I will.
I'll enjoy every stinking minute of it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Crack fries, kayaking, and Father's Day

The weekend proved beneficial to help me recover from last week.
We had dinner with friends on Saturday night
at this awesome bar downtown...
I'm a huge fan of french fries,
but am addicted to this place because of their "crack fries"...
the name says it all.
Apparently, I'm not the only one.


Yesterday morning I took Tim kayaking down the river
as his Father's Day gift.
There has been a ton of rain lately,
and it was perfect timing.
Of all the days I wish I had my camera,
this was one of them.
We embarked our double kayak and
learned how to maneuver the river.
The last time we did this was in some remote lagoon
in Cabo San Lucas...and we encountered tons of blow fish.
No blow fish here,
but plenty of other stuff.


We saw the usual:
ducks, geese, turtles and swans...
until we made a wide turn and got stuck.
On a fallen tree.
We sat for a moment, rested,
and I reached out for the dead branch to push off.
Something crawled across my hand and I screamed.
The biggest spider I have ever seen in this state.
Tim yelled at me for scaring him until he saw the darn thing...
so LUCKY (especially for me) that I didn't get bit.
I shudder to imagine what could have been....


After that, the trip was not typical.
A beautiful butterfly landed on my hand.
A beaver popped up right next to the kayak with a mouth full of sticks...
I gasped again ~ apparently he was just as startled to see me when he popped to the surface.
Within a minute we passed tall grass and had another visitor,
a baby deer.
She just stared at us as we slowly passed,
close enough to touch her with our paddles.
Everything was amazingly beautiful and serene.
It was the perfect thing to do.


After that we managed to get up to Muskegon for a little family reunion.
Saw lots of family we haven't seen in a really long time,
Tim finally got to meet them:)
My grandma was able to come from the nursing home,
and sit with her family.
That has been another tough aspect I have never really written about here.
I left for CA and my grandmother was herself,
I came back and she is now another person...
Since Will, I have distanced myself from that grieving too.
Because its so sad, and I'm not that old...and neither is she.
But she will never see my children.
However, on Father's Day, all of her children and grandchildren
were together for one last time.
And I could tell she knew that.

So to know that my grandpa was the happiest he's been in a long time...
that made it all worth it, and helped me to feel a little better too.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Too bummed for words.

There are lots of things I feel like saying,
but I am not going to.
These are the facts:
I got a rejection email this morning,
I'm not taking it so well (even though I thought I would),
Its not just the not getting the job part...
Its lots of not getting all sorts of things "part"...

And now, I am going to take a break from writing,
not dig myself a bigger "pity" hole
and crawl into bed, cover myself with blankets, cry
and stay there...
maybe forever.

And of course, this all had to happen 11 months to the day that Will passed away.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

11 months

Today is one of those days.
One of those days that happens less and less
but still happens regardless.
I suspect, that with time, that days like these
will happen in less frequency.
But when the do come,
the pain
and sadness
and tears
come as if he was just here in my arms.
And like I had just held him,
my arms are left aching.
Searching...
for someone that hasn't been here in way too long.

Sometimes I look for things to blame,
something that perhaps triggered these emotions.
the cold and rainy weather?
the lack of anything to fill my time?
the stress of not hearing anything regarding my interview?
It doesn't really matter,
the feelings are here all the same.

I went through his box today,
the one thing I have to be close to him.
I took out his outfit, his blanket...
his incomplete baby book.
The same book I was writing in
when the NICU doctor told us he would surely die.

And moments like this,
I hate God for letting this happen...
For letting him die
and leaving me a completely broken person.
Couldn't he have picked someone else?
Someone else who would handle this with more grace,
more trust
more faith
more understanding
more everything than what I have to offer?

A whole day wasted on crying and living in the past.
Regrets.
I didn't have them until I moved here,
now those regrets consume my thoughts.
Its a horrible way to live.
And I should know better,
I do know better.
But on days like today,
I'm pretty much rendered useless...
a prisoner to a broken heart.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Somewhere over the rainbow...

Last night's visitor.

After a storm the other day,
I walked out my front door
and was greeted by a rainbow.
This was kind of a big deal to me...
I saw it as a promise.
I don't know exactly what for,
but there is was nonetheless.

June 15th of last year was my very first post.
And its not just that, 
but other events and things have been bringing a flood of memories...
the rainbow,
summer storms,
elephant ears,
and questions about the future.

Some will completely understand how all the things above are connected,
and if there is still some questions (especially about the elephant ears part) that story will be told one day in the book.
I'm working on it...
because its too funny a story to be left untold.

But tonight,
I'm sitting on the deck watching daylight fade from the sky.
And knowing that tomorrow is that interview.
Its on my mind, not for reasons many would assume...
For me,
it represents just another aspect of my life I did not see coming.
It is another sign that time moves forward,
my life is changing and starting to show signs of moving forward also.
It means that I have an opportunity again.
Something so normal as a teaching job,
is now a really big deal to me.
A new sense of normal is now within my reach...

Maybe tomorrow will be the start of something new.
Hopefully good.
Because somewhere over the rainbow,
people get 2nd chances...
and so does the pre-baby suit I managed to squeeze my body into!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My comic relief

This dog...
is the creature I spend all my time with.
We are together all day and all night...
I see her more than Tim.
So those of my friends who question my sanity?
Here is your answer...

I'm sure this clarifies a great deal.
And by the way,
I just found her like this.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Finally, some sun...

Woke up with a jolt this morning,
I was dreaming
and then something smashed into my window.
For all I knew, it could have been a deer or something.
It was that loud.

I bolted up in bed and looked out my window,
nothing under the window
but a huge deer was at the far end of our lawn.
His new antlers were still fuzzy as they were growing in.
It wasn't him that made the noise, obviously,
but perhaps a large bird giddy because the sun is actually out.

So here I sit,
somewhat giddy as well, if I can even get giddy anymore...
Maybe just anxious, perhaps from all the coffee I slammed this morning.
About to drop off another resume.
That great feeling I've had?
turns out I was onto something,
I have an interview on Tues.
Now I realize that there are probably something like 25 other people also fighting for this...
but I pray that they see something in me.
And besides, we all know how hard I can fight.
I just pray that I'm given a chance.
First impressions are everything here,
and I'm not so sure I make the best ones.

I hate interviews.
You have to sell yourself while sounding confident,
and I always feel like its the most cocky/not humble experience.
And with my teaching experience in CA,
and after subbing in the local districts back here...
I know without a doubt I bring something totally different to the table.

Regardless of what happens, I know I need this.
I need a purpose,
a schedule,
someone (or lots of little someones) to distract me from the emptiness.

I'm trying not to think about the whole baby thing.
I'm trying not to wonder why its taking so long,
if the stress is affecting me
if its even meant to be.
There is no doubt that I am disappointed it has nearly been a year,
and we aren't on our way again.
And I'm pretty sure this month is another failed attempt.

But,
like I said,
I'm not going to think about that.
I'm going to focus on the one thing I can be good at:
the interview on Tuesday morning.
*Any prayers are greatly appreciated...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

patiently waiting

Haven't written much lately.
Not that I don't want to,
but nothing is really going on.

School is out.
The weather is slightly improving.
Things are overly green and alive...
and I have way too much time on my hands.
Good thing the Twilight series books are over 600 pages and there are 4 of them.
I don't know what I'll do when I finish.

Last week, we went to Indiana to bury Tim's last living grandma.
We were happy for her,
she was 97 and had been wanting to go for some time.
I guess in the circle of life,
that is how it is supposed to go.
You live a long full life and then pass away in your sleep.
Only I know better now,
that sometimes the circle is disrupted.

As we stood by her graveside,
in the middle of the cemetery
surrounded by Indiana farmland...
I envied her era in a way.
She lived in the same place her whole life,
had a small circle of friends and family.
And things were just more,
simple.
As I walked to the car, I took notice of other head stones.
And what did I see?
Three babies.
The years were somewhat faded,
1903
1913
1915
And even though it was 100 years ago,
I wondered about them,
felt sad for them.
Felt that anxiety for the parents that were buried next to them...
who endured a lifetime without their child.

I guess it happened more frequently back in the day,
but it was nice to see that they were named...
that they were buried with their family...
that they existed
and their headstones were left for the rest of us to see.

The history back here is something I love,
being in that field
it could have been 1915 because nothing else had changed.

So I guess that has been on my mind since last week.
Funerals make you reflect,
not that I need any help in that category.
But otherwise, I am still feeling optimistic.

Still hoping that a call will come for an interview,
or any other good news.
Maybe I'm in better spirits because I'm not subbing,
and can catch up on some sleep.
I require a lot these days,
they tell me its normal.
But I can't help but think that I have better things to do.

Three weeks from tomorrow we'll be in the O.C.
That is giving me an opportunity for excitement...
Surfing
Swimming
Seeing friends...
And having some real summer weather.
I can't wait.

Monday, June 1, 2009

A little seed called...Hope

Its June.
That is insane to me.
This is because,
while the rest of the world has continued on,
while friends have gotten pregnant and had those babies weeks and months ago,
while others have taught an entire school year,
celebrated holidays and birthdays...
my life has stood still,
or been a fog
since that fateful day last July.

Every so often,
my eyes are opened as I fight to awake from a deep hibernation,
that I really have no control of.
Sometimes I manage to stay awake long enough to create a new memory...
most of the time I quickly fall back asleep.
But lately, my awake spells have been more frequent...
and are lasting longer.

I'm not sure if this is because it is nearly summer here,
or if my intuition that something is going to happen soon...
just might be correct.
Because 6 months ago,
I was convinced that if someone was to look up the
definition of hell in the dictionary...
you just might find the words: Julie's current life situation.
I'm joking of course....somewhat.

But this week, I found out that besides the obvious,
I wasn't able to shake myself out of this for good reason.
There was nothing to hope for.
Then with the simplest thing as an email,
and a possibility for a job...
that was all that was needed for the clouds to part in the slightest way...
and finally let some light into my dark world.

Now there is a good chance that nothing will become of this,
but I have hope again.
And even if I don't get a call or an interview...
I have learned that I am going to take this hopeful feeling and run with it.
Even if it does only last for a couple of days.
And just maybe,
if its meant to be,
this new found purpose could possibly last longer than that.

And it could have the possibility
to be the start of something new.

It could be silly,
to open myself up for more let downs.
But at this point,
I really don't care.
Its feels good to be optimistic again.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

More pictures

Standing on the Brooklyn Bridge

The Chrysler Building looking beautiful in the rain...

Grand Central Terminal...absolutely gorgeous.


Tim's favorite...Wall Street

A cupcake from the infamous Magnolia Bakery, it didn't disappoint.

One of the highlights of our trip, walking the bridge...in the pouring rain.

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

The weather is changing every 10 min. here,
so here I sit on the computer
trying to decide what to do with myself.
I'm supposed to be prepping my resume and cover letter,
to send out this week...
but I am being pulled to my pictures instead.

I just spent some moments with Will,
and looking through all the photos we have stored on our computer.
They look so beautiful on this big, bright screen.
Then I jumped to our NYC photos,
and I realized that I did a real crap job of sharing those.

I love photography.
And while Tim talked me out of purchasing the camera of my dreams:
The Nikon D90...
We did manage to get some good shots on our little hand held deal,
and so I thought I would post a few more.
We booked our trip to the O.C. for July 1st...
Now that we don't live there anymore,
I have a list of things I want pictures of.
Only I have sheer confidence the weather will for sure cooperate during this trip at least.
The upcoming trip will be a good thing to look forward to in July,
I'll need it,
that much I know...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One year ago today...

When I woke up this morning,
I felt a slight anxiety sitting on my chest.
Even the weather is the same...
How can it be that exactly one year ago today,
my journey in the hospital began.

I guess May has been a big month,
another tough month...
which leaves me with many explanations on
the lack of writing on my end.
Well, maybe not the lack of writing,
but the lack of actual posting.
There are days when my mind wanders,
and I try to resist the darkness of a depression
that is slowly creeping up as the one year mark
gets noticeably closer.

Something good has to happen soon,
its been over a year...
is the only thing I can think sometimes.

Its hard to experience the events all over again,
a year later.
Its only natural to replay every stinging detail,
day by day,
recounting how things were a year ago.
How different they were a year ago.
In some strange way, going back to those posts helps.
It hurts, but it is also a written record.
That time and place in my story, is not forgotten.

I read over my posts from last May,
and its hard to recognize that person.
For all that was happening,
and for all that was spinning out of control...
she seems oddly upbeat...or even optimistic.

Looking back now,
I can see that person is gone in many ways.
But that cruel uncertainty of the future?
It is still here.
Will may be gone from this earth,
but much of what I felt a year ago
still remains,
just in a slightly different way.

I'm still looking for direction.
I'm looking to feel that aching inside me dull just a bit.
Its not a lot to ask,
its so hard not to concentrate on what we have given or lost,
and to overcome having to give something back to God,
that I never wanted to give.

And now, all I'm asking for is for Him to give me something else...
or rather someone else.
Because I have come to realize that this hole,
won't be filled by anyone...
but it will help in the healing.
It will help dull the daily pain.
It will help restore the feeling of hope and purpose.

My ramblings with God,
aren't so much prayers...
its more like begging.
Because I don't know what else to do.
Begging for what others probably take for granted.
A job...
A family...
A familiar routine...
and I'm not even asking for all of them at once,
just one would do.
So that is my new prayer.

In the meantime, as May quickly passes me by,
I am going to end with what I am thankful for:
I've applied for some jobs (with any luck maybe I'll get an interview)
Tim and I had a whopping 3 days off together this last weekend...
I survived Mother's Day...and my 30th Birthday.

And now for the most embarrassing, yet truthfully the best, distraction I've had since last May:
The Twilight Series.
How bad is my addiction to these books?
I'm on the 3rd book and I just purchased them last week.
Which has me thinking...
In a strange way, these books are helping me.
I'm actually looking forward to something...

I need to get writing soon.
The idea of writing a book is a constant and daily thought,
perhaps it would help someone.
Maybe many more people than I can ever dream.
Then again, if it only help me...
Its something I know I need to do.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Normal

Last Friday was the parent panel at the hospital.
It was a good experience, something I would do again.
So there we sat, in front of a room full of NICU nurses, social workers, and a chaplain.
Tim and I were the only couple,
so he was the only guy.
I told him it was paybacks for all the Marine functions that he would drag me to where I was the only female...not that I ever complained about that really:)

But anyways,
he made the comment, not me, 
that we were the only ones there on the panel without a living child.
Does that really matter?
I think it does, because there is still that question of "will it happen for us?"

But what I got from Friday, is to hear what he had to say
in front of other people.
So often, our grief is like a teeter-totter.
One of us is up, the other down...
and the cycle of ups and downs continues.
Rarely...do we meet in the middle.
And often he lets me speak and doesn't get into how he entirely feels.

They asked us how our grief differs, how we handle it.
Then he told them something that even I can't truly understand.
He explained Iraq,
and along with all the stress and unknowns,
of walking outside the wire on a given day and not knowing if he would die,
with losing friends and 
seeing Marines bleed to death in front of him while he helplessly watched....
he said that watching Will die that night was so much worse.
So much worse...
I didn't realize it could get much worse than that stuff.

The people in that room probably didn't know what to think.
Again, a lot of our experiences put us on a different level.
A level that many people can only try to imagine...
its a level that I really try to forget.
And after it all, when the director asked us what the one most significant change in our lives has been since Will's death, Tim's reply was this:
Indifference.

The inability to really care about anything besides each other.
Sure, we can try to get into work,
in making plans for the weekend,
to set goals for ourselves...
but I would be lying to say we really care about things like that.
We do it for Will.
Because I know he wouldn't want us to turn into complete wrecks,
we need to live the kind of life he never got a chance to.

And that puts a different spin on things.

I don't really plan for the future anymore like I used to,
God always seems to have a different idea.
But some things I am ready to change.

As my 30th birthday approaches,
there is that indifference factor again.
It bothers me to be in this spot,
during this milestone..
Without a child,
without a job,
and wondering just what exactly is going on with my life and why...
Why I had to go from sheer happiness to devastation in one swift move.
I remember wanting to be "done" having kids
by the time I was 30.
You could say that I have wised up a bit at least.

So now, its just a number,
and it will arrive just like any other day,
without much planned,
without much celebrating.
And that is fine.

Tim and I are hard on ourselves,
we expect a lot.
And I expected a whole lot more for and of myself than this.
And I know that many people worry,
just wondering how long this is going to last,
if I'm going to be "okay"
and if my grief is "normal"...
because I am one of them.

And then the scary thing is,
we meet others in our situation
and they tell me some of the things they did after their loss happened...
and it leaves me feeling pretty darn normal...

What is normal anyways?
Sure, there are strange people, but do they act that way for a reason unknown to us?
Am I now "strange" to people that don't know me?...
it would hardly be surprising after all that has happened.
But then a long time ago, I suddenly realized that,
there really is
no such thing...
as normal.
Especially regarding families.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The hole

The bereavement counselor told us that grieving...
would be hard work.
I had naturally scoffed at this,
but honestly she has been so right.
It is work.
Hard, tiring, absolutely draining work.
And this blog is part of the work I must do.
Writing about this crap totally sucks,
but its part of my work.
And if I don't do it, 
then things creep up on me
and it sends me back to square one.

When I don't write,
or express what is going on in my head.
Things go south real quick.
And then I have to ask myself why I don't write more.
And my answer is because I'm always expressing some negative
or sad emotion...
and I worry that people don't want to hear it.
But seriously, I'm over what others may think.
I can't be concerned with other people at all.
Because if I don't do my "work" I suffer even more.
My mind and body pay,
for what I don't put out there.

Because the truth is,
unless you have had a child die,
then no one really knows.

I guess the past weeks I have been trying to navigate through a fog that I don't understand. I don't want to be sad, I don't want to be consumed in thinking about Will.
But I just am.
This is not something that one can talk themselves out of. And often the reactions of others (or complete ignorance) slashes that wound right back open.
And I'm left here bleeding all over again.

Mother's Day.
My body knew.
And my heart ached like nothing before.
And it all began days ahead...the constant sleeping, the wringing of my hands, the sobbing, the complete and utter feeling of hopelessness.
And the anger at God.

I found a journal entry from exactly a year ago.
When we got Will's prognosis, and I prayed that he either be healed
or that he go quickly.
I am now, 100% convinced, that I had no idea what I was asking for.
Because now?
There is no way in hell that I ever would pray for anything short of a miracle.
Will dying would not be an option in my mind.
Because now the shock has worn off and the reality has set in.
And many times it is too much to bear.

The pain I have felt the past few weeks
has been constant.
And I sit around people,
who say stupid things,
and do ignorant things,
and just generally have no idea.
And often, mothers 
cannot even begin to imagine...don't want to even try to imagine...
what is now my reality...
but are quick to offer advice or just altogether ignore me.
Yes, I am now the elephant in the room.
And since I represent sadness and a mother's worst nightmare...
I am shunned, pushed away. Because after all, it makes people uncomfortable,
not knowing what to say,
not wanting their special moment to be tainted with memories of mine.

Or my other blessing are brought up,
like you have Tim,
or you have a beautiful house.
The house one annoys me the most.
I read an analogy while going through some bereavement things that went something like this:

When people make remarks and they generally don't understand what they are saying to the bereaved parent it sounds something like this, "Okay, let's have you stick out one of your hands and we'll cut it off. Of course it will hurt at first, but you should get over it because you still have your other hand, right? (such as my husband and nice house) In fact, after some time, which will be determined by me, not by you who lost your hand, I don't want to hear anything about you having a hard time with the loss of your hand. Don't ask me for help, because you just need to accept it and be strong. No complaining allowed, that would just mean that you are ungrateful for the hand you have left. And if you don't mind, please keep your suffering and stump of an arm hidden, it makes me feel uncomfortable....
and all this is coming from someone who is perfect, someone who has both their hands.

That pretty much sums it up.
And while being ignored, never made anyone feel good,
for me its like an extra punishment.
Like having Will die wasn't enough...
now I have lost the little ignorant bliss I had left in the world, and realize that I am now a totally different person...and I have lost faith in people that I thought would at least try to be what I need most right now ~ a friend.

Maybe I'll just be honest and say that I am jealous.
I'm jealous that I will never have a completely Happy Mother's Day.
My heart?
There will always be a hole, left from Will, that no one else can ever fill.
And I want that ignorance back.
That sheer, new mommy ignorance...
where everything goes according to plan.
And babies?
Well, they just don't die.

What has come out of of this so far?
Its hard to say.
While I know on my end, I have become more empathetic, caring, and numerous other things. I know that good has come for others, that Will's life has brought out a positive for people I don't even know.
But this is where I am honest in saying 
that I don't care how much good can come out of it.
I'm selfish and would much rather have him alive and here with me,
regardless of what good has come out of it.
Because our lives since last July?
Light years away from good.

This will be the hardest thing I do in my life.
Because it will be constant.
Constant work every single day,
until the day I go home to be with him once again...
to learn to live the best I can,
with only part of my heart.