Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Monday night I went to group at the hospital.
Since Tim is in NY this week for work,
I went alone to see and talk with the nurse that was with us the night Will passed.

Monday night was hard...
we talked about Mother's Day.
And of all the things I talk about and want to talk about,
this is one thing that brings me so much pain...
I can't even go there yet.

I know that Will has a special place in so many hearts...
especially his nurse's.
So she gave us an opportunity to do something.
In a few weeks, Tim and I will speak on a parent panel
about Will to a group of healthcare professionals as a part of their ongoing training.
Hard?
Yes...
but also partly healing.

The bereavement coordinator gave me a list of questions...
they are interesting and I thought that I might put them,
along with my answers,
on this blog.

Its all part of the journey.

So as I get ready to fly to New York on Friday,
my mind is more than ready for a change of scenery.
My motto for a long time (way before all this) has always been,
when you just can't take it anymore (life that is)
jump on a plane at go somewhere.

And it always works.
I have no doubt that starting Friday,
our trip will change this family's outlook greatly.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sunshine

I'm so psyched...
its 80 here today!!
YAY.

I can't tell you how good it feels to lay outside in the sun.
Sophie is pretty pleased too.
This weather was much needed.

We are just getting ready to send Tim off to the east coast on Sunday.
He'll be gone all week and then I'll meet him in NYC on Friday.
So...
a week from now I'll be strolling around Times Square.
This is too exciting to put into words.

Especially given the rough month April has been.
I swear there are moments where I am going to
wake up in a straight jacket.
But I'm probably the only one to admit that in writing...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

seasons




A year in pictures.
When I first got the nerdy idea,
I was so excited to do this.
And when I began to post them,
something strange happened.

I got irritated.
Here are these pictures,
proof that time has passed,
proof that things have changed...
but to me,
its all still the same.

Because, when I look at those pictures I don't see what other people see.

In the spring picture?
I see the view I had, as I laid in bed with Will and prayed that the doctors would be wrong. I see the leaves starting to bud, the deer coming out, and I remember telling him everything that was in his backyard. I remember...not being alone.

The summer picture?
I remember this view from the window, as I laid there and cried with Tim. Being home from the hospital, sore, stitched up and numb with pain and grief...wondering just how I was going to stay alive...

With fall, I tried so hard to get myself on a routine. But I found myself in such a weird situation. A teacher with no classroom.
A mother with no child.
And as the leaves changed, I would stare at the woods from my window...and just wonder.
Wonder how this would all work out.

Then there was winter.
It embodied how I felt. And as I stared out the window in December during the first big snowfall, it just felt all wrong. I should have been there, snuggled in front of the tree with our son...

And now,
suddenly,
its spring again.
Has anything worked out?
Uh, no.

Every single day
is a battle...not to give up.
To keep the faith,
to know that sooner or later
things have to get better.

But then again,
maybe they won't.
I don't know, is there any rule that says
anything gets better after something like this happens?
Maybe when I stop expecting it to get better...
that strange pressure and expectation will go away.

And with each day, there will be small changes in me.
But they will be so small, I won't see them.
Until I look back, like I'm doing with these pictures.
And when I put it all together
and line it all up...

I will finally see it,
and realize...
that I have come far,
in so many ways.

Friday, April 17, 2009

4.17.09


Nine months ago the weather was about the same.
Today could nearly pass for July...
Not a cloud in the blue sky
and its over 70 degrees.

To me
it still seems like yesterday.
I guess it probably always will.
The nicer weather helps and hurts at the same time...
before we know it
it will have been a year.

This is still so crazy to me.

The words have been hard to find this week.

That's okay.

I just tell him 
I love him
and miss him...
with my tears.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Some old person left this here...


No.
This is not my pill organizer.
I am not 29....
going on 79 years old.

How did this happen?
Oh right...
it helps me to remember the butt-load of random things I need to take in an attempt to maybe have a fighting chance at a normal pregancy.

I took this picture as proof,
so whatever children I may be blessed with...
they can see just what I had to endure to get them here.

How sad.
At least its a cool color...
Still trying to laugh
when I really want to cry.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter weekend


I'm on my 2nd can of Diet Dr. Pepper today.
And in front of me,
sits a Morningstar Veggie Burger.
What can I say?
Even slathered with thousand island dressing and cheese...
it sure ain't In-n-Out.
A piece of cheese just went into the keyboard...
awesome.

Why am I typing this?
I don't know...
maybe because I really have nothing else to write.
Maybe after a long, beautiful weekend with my husband...
it is now a lonely, cold and cloudy Monday.
And while everyone is back to work,
I want to be,
but here I sit.

I know most would love to be able to stay home.
But not me.
Being home leaves me with too much time to think.
And on days like today...
I swear I could close my eyes,
jump on a plane
and land back in LAX like all of this has been a bad dream.

Yesterday was a beautiful Easter day.
And I found myself sitting in a place I haven't given much thought too.
It was kind of time-warpish.
Is that a word?
Whatever.

When Tim & I were making plans to get married.
No one would marry us in Western MI without counseling first.
Ha. Us?
They didn't care that he was in the Marines,
in another state,
possibly going to war.
Oh no.
We almost didn't get married...
Then I remembered the little white church my family went to
when I was young.

This place is straight out of a Norman Rockwell book.
Classic white church.
On the corner.
Same fixtures and stained glass for decades.
That was where we ended up getting married,
on a frigid cold day in December.
I haven't give much thought to it since.
Until Sunday.
When my family decided to go there for Easter services.

And as I walked in,
I felt the rest of the world fade away.
Nothing had changed.
Nothing.
Nothing except for us it seemed.
The sanctuary was brightened by the warm yellow
of the sun through the stained glass...
and sitting there were the same people
that went there when I was just a little kid.
Still going there, every Sunday, just as they had for years...
it was peacefully familiar.
And then my mind started to wander,
to how we were here just 7 years ago.
When we last stood in here we had no idea of what was to come.
If someone would have told me
I would be back living here,
just a few miles away.
I would never have believed it.
Much less any of the other things that have also happened since.

And as strange as it seems,
this no longer feels like home.
At least not the way I had thought it would.
In CA, I was known as the teacher from MI...
and here?
You guessed it.
The teacher from CA.

Belonging no where.
Yet from everywhere...
And as I looked at all the other people sitting there,
I know that won't be me.
The rest of the world is way too interesting.

And as I look at our Easter picture,
taken on the front steps of a house we bought...
to grow old in,
to raise our family in,
to stay put in,
something is missing...
well, besides our stupid dog who was too preoccupied with a toy to listen...
This house,
this place...
none of it holds the possibilities it once did for me.
In fact,
I would now welcome a change.
And once again I am reminded to never say never...
about all sorts of things.
I need to find my own way.
Somewhere with no memories
of war...
of friends that never came home...
of sitting alone in a hospital room...
of where Will was supposed to be with us.
I'm just looking for some place...
some place I can sit and be content,
and not be reminded about
what could have been.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

spring blah



This week is spring break here.
So that means everyone is gone to Florida...
literally, the roads are empty.

Since I have those tests coming up,
I've been trying to study.
Its crap.
Studying when you are old
is so overrated.
In fact, studying for a job that doesn't exist...
makes it even more stupid.
Yet, here I am.
Is that having hope...or being in denial?

So I've distracted myself
with a little cleaning...
with facebook (which I am realizing that I absolutely hate for reasons I will never tell to anyone)
and putting up some Uppercase Living expressions I bought.
They turned out pretty good...

I'm thinking that Sophie loves hers:)
But now I have something to look forward to:
New York City.
Words cannot express how excited I am.
Tim has to go for work at the end of the month,
I am going to fly out and meet him for a long weekend.

So I guess I won't pout about being stuck here this week.
This trip is long overdue.
But still, this week is starting to drive me insane.
I decided that one of two things has to happen
or I'll officially lose it...
either a job presents itself
or a baby does.

And since I didn't win the lottery yesterday,
which is the first ticket I have EVER purchased
(that would have been a great story, even if I had won $5...)
I can't just flit around and pretend its going to be okay.

After a year,
I'm almost ready to give up on this state.
Go elsewhere for a job.
But the thing is,
I know what job I want...
to be a mom,
yet,
that hasn't presented itself either.

I'm still determined to keep it together,
to see these troubles
as opportunities,
as times that will shape me.

Who knows why things happen to way they do.
I gave up a long time trying to figure that one out...
which is why I put that other expression above my bedroom door.

So its the last thing I see before going to bed,
and the first thing I see at the start of each new day.

Hopeful

While running errands
I realized that I do my best thinking
in the car.
And if I were able to type my thoughts
as I drive,
well,
it would be so much better than while I am sitting here.

Since Sunday night
I have felt at peace.
Finally.
There were so many things that were talked about at the
Drops Like Stars tour,
and I felt (selfishly) that it was directed at me.
Now I don't want to ruin it for people that do decide to go,
but when introducing it all that night,
R.B. gave an opening story.
A story about a couple being in the hospital,
suffering as they said goodbye to their newborn baby.
And on the huge screen behind him,
flashed up a picture of a long, barren hospital hallway.

My hands flew to cover my eyes
that instantly filled with tears.
That picture,
that hallway.
It brought me back to so much.
Enough said.
That is how powerful one picture can be.
A picture or story that seemingly has no bearing,
will bring me to my knees.

And all I kept thinking
was that...
all this had happened.
Now what was I going to do with it?
I have my answer.
Now its just a matter
of actually doing it.
To me,
it isn't anything that special.
Or maybe I'm just in denial about my life and how
bizarre it really can be:)

But maybe Rob Bell thought that about
his lectures.
What if he had never written them?
Never spoken to people.
Never taken the chance?

Now its hard for me to imagine
just how this blog has affected people.
Because its just me.
Just...me.
Just a mom missing the baby she prayed for
her entire life.
Because I loved Will even before he came to be.

Suffering makes people honest...
For me,
it has stripped away everything else
and left this vulnerable,
emotional,
and in the end...
hopeful person.

Hopeful that maybe
all of this could really lead to something.
Lead to helping someone else...
survive the unthinkable.

So,
now with all of these thoughts
churning in my head. I'm kind of on overload.
I have written a lot,
but it remains un-posted.

I just pray that this feeling,
this peaceful existence
stays with me
for at least a little while.
Especially next week when I have to take the last
of my teaching tests...
even though I have a feeling I just might never teach
in this state.

Monday, April 6, 2009

You have to...

Go to this show when it comes to your town.
Last night we went to hear
Rob Bell
on his Drops Like Stars tour.

I have one word:
amazing.

This tour is going to take place all over the world,
Since I was obsessed with the idea,
I made sure to buy tickets the moment they came out
and scored front row seats.
Awesome.

So with my parents in tow,
we were unsure of what to expect 
as we sat down at 8:00 pm.
More to come on what this stirred up in me,
I'm still digesting it all.

But I can tell you this...
it was the 
best,
funniest,
though-provoking,
welcoming,
fast,
inspiring,
and peaceful nights of my life in quite a while.

And for those of you in Orange County?
He'll be in LA next year...

And while I'm not always 
"smitten with the mitten"
I am so grateful
that I have this church and pastor, this source of inspiration...within driving distance.

More on last night to come...
my ideas are churning.
But as we were all leaving after the show,
silent in our own thoughts
trying to process it all...
a strange weight felt gone,
and across our faces?
Smiles.
Talking about suffering for nearly two hours
and we leave happy?
Progress must have been made.
(insert content sigh here.)...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April

So after my week long pouting session,
I finally got some much needed support (or a swift kick in the pants).
From a book my mom gave me a year ago.
Because a year ago, was our first baby's "supposed to be" due date...it was also when Will's water broke...when things started to change into what they are today.

When I opened my devotional today this is what I read:

"Reason cannot help you; past experiences give you no light. Even prayer fetches no consolation. Only a single course is left. You must put your soul in one position and
keep it there...
You must stay upon the Lord; and come what may-winds, waves, cross-seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers-
no matter what,
you must lash yourself to the helm, and hold fast your confidence in God's faithfulness, His covenant engagement, His everlasting love...

This is just what I was needed to read today,
at just the right time.
Because, honestly, there has been something else on my mind.
I have also followed this blog for a long time...
and this family is also in need of your prayers.
When I first started reading their family's story,
ours was still unfolding.
This mother was also told her son would die at any time,
or shortly after birth.
But she continued to have faith...

And I firmly believe in the power of prayer.
It is the kindness, giving, and prayers of so many that have sustained me,
have kept me going.
And I literally cried tears of joy
the day I read that her son was born fully healed.

Because
more than anything...
I didn't want this mother to join "the club."
But as God' plan unfolds
she is again on the roller coaster that I knew all too well. Her baby is in the NICU, with a return of his heart condition.
And I know that many people can feel helpless in situations like this,
but I know they can feel love and prayers from people all over the world.

And that is something.
So as this story unfolds,
I am praying for Stellan
just as I prayed for Will.

I am praying for another miracle.
And the strange thing about it?
Followers of Matt's blog (listed under my favorites)
have started to appear on hers and offer the most generous help.
These two blogs are so completely different,
but their common thread?
Strangers reaching out in love and support
to help people in need.

I love Matt's blog.
It is brutally honest.
And he types as he talks,
while I tend to keep it PG.
But let's be even more honest here....
I'm married to a Marine,
therefore,
no saint in the language department
if ya catch my drift.
And in case anyone is wondering, I don't personally know either of these two people. For some reason (known only to God) I happened upon these blogs while on bedrest. The only link between the two was that I checked them every day quietly, just as thousands of other people do. 

I read their stories
because it gives me hope.
I look at Stellan's pictures
and see a miracle.
And while we may not have
gotten 5+ months with Will,
when I read their daily battles
and triumphs
I see answered prayers.

Because after its all said and done, when our time here is over
they don't load all of our earthly treasures into that visitation room.
We aren't surrounded by our cars, jewelry, our furniture.
No,
none of it.
The things we are surrounded by 
of great importance?
Each other.