Thursday, July 3, 2014

They said whaaa?

This morning Davis woke up with a case of the "seasonal allergies." I knew right away by looking at his runny nose because I had woke up during the night with itchy watery eyes, and the same runny nose. This morning was also the morning that bright and early my husband was to drop his work truck off to be serviced, so I was going to follow him down to the shop. I quickly got Davis dressed and realized that his runny nose came with a case of the grumpies. In case you are not familiar with the grumpies in a two year old, they are quite unpleasant as there is no reasoning with the cute tiny being.

Heading into town, I thought to myself, I will accomplish all I need to do while I am out! Our dog, "Kenai," needed a new collar as his was about toast. He is a large breed, Border Collie and Lab mix, which doesn't sound BIG, but he is on the large 100+ pounds side. But skinny...  oh so slim. So in my grand scheme to run all of my errands, I decided to bring Kenai along for his first trip to Petco... cause you know, "it's where the pets go." And because I needed to be sure the collar that we bought fit him accordingly.

It took both my husband and I to control our hundred pound mans best friend trying to try his new collar on. Standing next to the collars where we were standing, was... child sized shopping carts. It was like Davis had become magnetized to the real life, just his size, shopping cart. I offered to check out while he took the tiny shopper to the car. As me and the horse dog, walked to the register, you could hear the shrill cry of two year old devastation. I entered the line behind a elderly gentleman, and a younger woman.

"Someone never heard of birth control. You can tell by the screaming child," the old man smugly says. "Mmmmmmhmmmm," replies the young girl. I stood there a minute. An honest ten seconds before what had just come out of his mouth processed to me. Then, I was flooded with a rainbow of emotions.I was hurt. I was shocked. I was angry. That was MY child. MY son. And MY parenting these complete strangers were referencing so callously. I began to say something. Once upon a time I would have. Once upon a time I would have had so many of my own opinions to offer in retort to his remark. Today, I stood in silence. I held my tongue knowing that no matter what I said to that man it would not change his view on the subject. Knowing that it was not my job to scold, or condemn him for his ignorance.

It made me think about all of the moms in the world. All of the ones, doing their absolute best at this very moment. All of the moms who find themselves on their knees at night, seeking God because of all of the failures they face. All of the moms who are trying while not knowing how to pray. The moms of two year olds facing a grumpy day. Or teenagers who are branching out and testing their independence. I thought of all of the moms who face this criticism on a daily basis because their child has autism.

It hurts. The judgment from a complete stranger really does hurt. But don't let it discourage you. Because if you are truly fighting for your child, none of those comments matter in the end. Nothing a child does makes his life any less valuable. Especially if those things are normal developmental things.

So maybe, as moms and dads, the next time we see a mom or dad trying their best in a store with a crying two year old, we can outstretch our love to one another. A kind smile. Or a sincere "we have all been there at one point."  Maybe an outpouring of love will counteract the negativity that is in so many hearts. Let us lift each other up during this journey.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Teen years.

To my dearest daughter,
As we approach your tenth birthday, I find myself feeling especially sentimental. I look back on the past ten years of your life and it only feels like a second in time. If the past ten years have passed this quickly, I know the next eight years will flash by with the same momentum. How can that be so?

Ever since I was pregnant, and we discovered we were expecting a little girl, we’ve only heard defeatist remarks on raising a girl; especially when it comes the teens. It sounded terrifying. There we were, you hadn’t even taken your first breath and I already felt like I had failed you. According to everyone, our fate was already set.

As the years began passing, I refused to believe you had to act in such a negative way just because society said you would. What if I didn’t allow  you to act disrespectfully? What if I didn’t allow  you to sulk around all day, acting as though the world owed you something? What if, just what if, I didn’t make excuses for you, always blaming your actions on “being a teenager?”

Recently in talking with a pastor at church, his words were deeply embedded on my heart. He said, “the bible doesn’t use the word teenager. It talks about children, but not teenagers. Teenager is a word humans made up.”

I believe that the transition from childhood to adulthood is not going to be easy. I believe you will have good days and bad days. That is just human nature. I believe you will make mistakes, need additional guidance, want to feel pretty, and be trying to decide where you want to go in life. 

As someone who cares about everything you are about to embark on, I promise to never make excuses for bad behavior. Being a “teenager” has nothing to do with respect. Ever. Under any circumstance. To anyone.

I promise to listen to you. Really listen. To understand what you are saying through adult perspective, not looking at you as just my child.

I promise to never give up on you. I will always strive to raise an amazing adult, not just a “happy teenager.”

I promise to say no. But not just no. I promise to communicate why I said no as well.

I promise to say yes too. All of my no's, will lead to some really great yes's.

I promise to be your biggest fan, and your number one supporter.

I promise to go the extra mile to make you know you are pretty. But to also teach you that your attitude determines real beauty.

I promise to teach and enforce that rolling your eyes is not beautiful. It is also very disrespectful. Use those brown eyes for something beautiful.

I promise to teach you how to act like a lady. “Modesty reveals your dignity.”  Dressing trashy does not do anything good for your life.

I promise to teach you how to find true friends. I will always welcome your friends into our home and lives, while still expecting you to find delight in spending time with your elders.

I promise to always make you clean your room. Trust me, it’s a good habit to have.

I promise to take your driving privilege away if you cannot act like a responsible adult. Driving at sixteen is a privilege, NOT a right. A child will not be allowed to control something that could potentially kill someone.

I promise to always keep you involved in church, encourage prayer, and pray for you.

I promise not to make insensitive jokes about very real things in your life. No, you don’t have to be forty to date. I know it does not make you feel like you are being taken seriously.

I promise to also talk to you and educate you on these adult topics. I will be here to help you make the right choices.

I promise to not make my own dreams of what I want for you. But I do want to be invited on the journey God has for you.

I promise to laugh at your jokes. Even if I don’t think you will ever master “knock knock jokes.”

I promise to make you go to all family events. You’ll end up having fun. You’re welcome.

I promise to never allow you to constantly have a phone in your hands. You will miss out on so much if you do.

I promise to teach you there is nothing wrong with a good sale.

I promise to treat you respectfully, and expect the exact same in return.

I promise to teach you what you want in your future husband. And I will show you how to be a good wife.

I promise to push you hard in your schoolwork. Intelligence is also beautiful.

I promise to tell you every day that I am so proud of you. You deserve to be confident.

I promise to sing loudly with you, laugh with you, and cry with you.

I promise to be strict and what some people call “controlling.” This is my job. You are what I am pouring my life into. I refuse to fail you. You are not ready to stand on your own yet, so I will hold you up until you can.

I promise these things because I am your mom. Because I will tell you one day how wonderful raising a daughter will be, and how beautiful the teen years will be. Because I love you too much to let you act in any way that is unflattering to the woman you are becoming. I have eight more years to have the privilege of raising you. Three more years until you are officially a teenager. I just know they are going to be great!

And have I told you today how proud I am of the young lady you already are?

I love you.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Celebrating your life.

This blog seems so foreign. And not just because I hardly find time to write anymore, but because the content it withholds is, well, foreign.

Today I stood in Davis' closet removing all of his baby clothes that no longer fit him; leaving only his winter ensembles labeled "12 months." I could not wrap my mind around the past twelve months, for it seems like they have passed so quickly. As where, when I look back on my year after Savannah was born, it seems like the months creeped by.

I've discovered I am no longer the same person, who once wrote about her grief. I do cherish the fact that I took the time to write all that was on my heart while my memories and feelings were so fresh. As I read back, I almost don't recognize that pain and heartache.

After Davis was born, he cried. Constantly. Sleeping was non-existent. Not during the day, and definitely not at night. The lack of sleep, and emotional stress of my newborn baby, whom I had dreamed such beautiful dreams of rocking while holding him tightly and staring at him while he slept because no one was coming to take him away were no where to be found. We assumed it was colic. All we could do was hold him while he screamed frantically, squirming and pulling his tiny wrinkled legs up to his chest. We tried gripe water. Homeopathic colic tablets. Mylicon drops. All to no avail. Of course, while I rocked, bounced, walked and snuggled my miserable little person, everyone had plenty of advice. "You need to get him on a schedule, you both will be fine once you force a schedule." "You need to stop breastfeeding. He needs formula. You are passing your nerves and turmoil from everything that has happened through your breastmilk. It's what's upsetting his tummy." Or my favorite, "You never put him down, and he is spoiled. It's time to put him down, and let him cry it out."

The only way Davis wouldn't be crying was while he was breastfeeding. For four very long and grueling months I went with, on a good night, three hours of sleep. I found myself miserable. Feeling very alone. Wondering, why on earth I deserved this madness. Holding him didn't feel healing in the slightest. It made me miss everything about Savannah. Everynight, around 2am, I would hold that sweet boy while he cried, and I would cry with him. Rocking. Watching, though not hearing, what ever I could find to turn on the television trying to distract my mind that all it wanted was sleep. I worried that I was on the fast track to post partum depression. I worried I was already dealing with the depression. It was nothing like I had imagined it would be. I took him to the doctor because I worried something was wrong. That one night, he would "stop crying." That he would never wake up to me again. The doctor assured me, "he was okay, and very healthy." I took him back to the doctor because all of his "symptoms" resembled an ear infection. He assured me, "his ears looked perfect." In one of my final nights of research, {because that's what I do in the middle of the night, is research anything medically related to everything} I discovered gastroesophageal reflux disease. More commonly referred to as "G.E.R.D." I took him to the doctor once again, and told him this is what he has. In trusting me whole heartedly, he ordered a prescription for a low dosage of Zantac. It didn't take 24hours, before Davis was calm. He began sleeping at night. I began enjoying my moments with him without anxiety and panic. I slowly slipped out of the depressed feeling, and for the first time, I began letting go of my worry.

All through my pregnancy all I did was worry. I worried those agonizing four months after he came into the world. Thankfully my intuition told me that he was telling me something was wrong. But all of the worry I put myself through, was only causing more weight on myself.

Shortly after Davis went on the Zantac I read a blog written by another mother who lost her son ten years ago. She mentioned, that in the beginning of her grief she talked about her pain.

"MY pain.

MY loss.

MY story.

MY tears.

MY memories.

MY perceived "lost moments".


"What might have been's".

Every year -dates that tantalize me. 
Draw me away to a place all about...


These words. This brief paragraph, as I held my sleeping son in my arms, graced my heart and nestled deep into my soul more than anything anyone has spoken to me since Savannah passed away. 

That precious girl, will always be loved. There will always be moments that I will miss her. Because I am human. I am a mother. But it doesn't consume me. I know now that letting go, does not mean that I am forgetting. It does not suggest I do not love my children. It means her life was never "lost."

Although I wish I could go back and worry less, and absorb more, I now not to worry. For my children's lives are only under my control to a point. No matter what the outcome to my four living children, His plans are far greater, and I trust Him. 

In a few short hours, my Davis turns one. He is entering into his toddlerhood, and will soon no longer be my "baby." He had a rough start. So much was endured through his pregnancy, and so much right from the start. But once again, a baby has shown me so much about this life I am living.

My prayer for you, Davis Emmett,

Is that you will learn early to trust in His ways. No matter what. That your heart be filled with faith and hope through any of life's struggles. That you always know you are loved, and worth more than diamonds. And finally that you live your life as happy as you have this first year of your life. 

Happy birthday sweet boy,

Love, Mommy 

Savannah's "Angelversary" 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'm that lady.

Hi there. Remember me? I am that lady with the {almost} 8 month old baby and I still haven't updated his sonogram picture to your right.

 I'm that lady that lurks in the shadows to read all of her favorite bloggers, and gives a sigh of relief that they have only posted a mere 4 times since the last time I had five seconds to sit down and bask in their inspiration.

I'm that lady that while everyone counts their blessings that the school bus will soon be whisking their littles away, I sit strategically organizing our home school curriculum to be sure I am covering every subject not only required by the state of California, but also aspects that makes my heart feel like they will be well rounded adult individuals.

I'm that lady that just finished making homemade organic baby food. Apples for dinner, why I'm sure he doesn't mind if he does. I'm the lady who is trying to type, and spell correctly, all the while staring at a little blue eyed face, who is showing signs of blogging displeasure.

I'm that lady who cruelly forces three others to fold their own clothes and put them away. Yep that's me.

I'm also that lady that celebrated a birthday five days ago. While the world hustled and bustled around us, we quietly lit a candle and blew it out for the one who could not be. I'm the lady who silently watches as friends and families have babies and birthday's on the 23rd of August. Ones who do get to blow out that same candle. I'm the lady who refrains from talking of these last few things anymore.

Happy 2nd Birthday Savannah.

But I still exist in this blogger world. {As much as Davis dislikes that.} Still here even though I had forgotten my blog was green, and that in my absence playlist decided it won't play my "list" here anymore.

I guess that just means, I should update. And write more. And change Davis' picture... Before he is in college and has developed a black and white complex.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's no fairy tale.

Once upon a time, this blog space was used to write about, my daily mundane activities. Once upon a time I posted pictures with stories about how I gave the dog a flea bath, or how my back window is smugdy with fingerprints. (Google doesn't like the word smudgy. Oh google, you obviously don't have children...)

Then September of 2010, my blog grew a heavy heart. This became a place where I could share the story of my daughter, when the world barely got to know her. I hoped if anyone visited regularly, it'd be my family. So they might be able to understand what we were going through behind closed doors. That they might want to continue remembering Savannah with us. Along side us. And more than anything it was a place where I could write, and come back to, just so I could remember her. So I could remember her story. So I could feel her again and again and again. I wanted to shout from the highest mountain, and for people to not just hear me, but truly listen. "This is what a year without our baby was like." And quicker than I ever could have imagined, that year was gone. But incredibly, as a mother, as her mother, my grief did not stop there. Everyday is a new day. Everyday I am given reasons to smile. Everyday I wake to my beautiful children. The ones who wadded the storm with us, and the one whom followed our goodbye. Everyday is a reminder that God does love us. And everyday there is something out there that remind us of her.

The word "grief" will always hover. It will never be as suffocating as it was the first week, the first month, or the first year, but it will always be there. Because she very much does reside in our hearts. She will never ever go away. So you can think, that because I choose to still write about her, I have no hope. You can think that because her pictures still and will always hang in our home, that I need to let it go. You can worry about me, tire of me speaking her name, or smile awkwardly when I acknowledge my deceased daughter as my child. I am okay with that. But this is apart of my story, and you have never (or that I hope) walked in my shoes. You never kissed Savannah's tiny quarter sized hand. You never kissed her cold, yet still chubby cheeks. You did not carry her, deliver her, or love her anywhere near the way that I do.

I have never walked in any other mother's shoes. I don't know their grief. I know my own. And it will always be there. As long as I am her mother.

I received a junk email the other day. Asking me, "would you like to boost traffic to your blog?" It listed suggestions on how to do just that. Post everyday. Being my family, are usually the people who don't read my blog, no one really wants to hear that we went camping, were mauled by mosquitoes, and froze to death. And no one really wants to hear that my mothers day was spent mostly crying. -Post pictures in every blog. My blog is mainly about living life without Savannah. My pictures are limited. There will never be new pictures of her. I take a picture of her gravesite at every visit, but to others, one headstone picture is plenty.

A few days before mother's day, my mother-in-law finally got a chance to give us copies of the pictures she took of Savannah, when she came to see all three of us at UC Davis. I had never seen any of them. There were fifteen. The last "new" fifteen pictures I will ever see of my daughter in my life. So here you go junk email. A picture on my post. I really don't think it will boost my traffic though...

This mothers day was not easy for me. A week before I overheard a contest on the radio. I turned up the volume to listen.

"Call in and tell us YOUR perfect mother's day.
One lucky winner will get their dream day."

They then played an example "wish" from a caller. Not to be surprised, as mother's day is actually very superficial...

"You see, I truly love my two girls....
But I would love an evening with just my husband.
We would take a helicopter ride over the city,
and eat dinner at a restaurant we could never afford otherwise."

My husband asked, "what would your perfect mother's day be?"
I dunno I shrugged, and turned the radio down.

Obviously I didn't win. Because obviously I didn't call in. May 13th, I woke up and took a shower. Then proceeded to sob as I told my husband about why I was hurting so badly. I said, "that radio contest. They said to describe your perfect mothers day. If I called in all I would say would be, I just want my baby back. And you know what. I know they would never ever pick me as the winner."

Mother's Day is about being a mother. You are always acknowledged for the living children you have. Expectant mothers are even acknowledged. But mother's day is a painful reminder for mothers who are and always will be missing one. I am Savannah's mother too. And I will never have my perfect mothers day. Another example of how I will always carry this grief in my pocket. My mothers day, the mothers day for women who loved and lost, will never be perfect again. Because our lives? It's no fairy tale.  

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched, 
but are felt in the heart" 
- Helen Keller

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rockin' my baby, cause babies don't keep.

I read a blog post tonight. About a woman staring at the front door as her seventeen year old breezed past on the way to work. About how she would give anything to have one more moment of rocking her now large boy to sleep. To nurse him, and nurture him one last time.

As my three month old, blue eyed, snoring little man lay swaddled next to me I realized something. I do not have a seventeen year old boy yet. I don't even have a seventeen year old girl yet. But I do have children. And three of my four children do not require me to rock them, nurse them, and nurture them to sleep.

I also have heard many different parenting philosophies. "Don't hold that baby so much, your teaching them bad habits." As if holding your child close is like picking a wedgie... "Doesn't that child have a bed?" As if cradling a sleeping infant in your arms is an inconvenience to others.... I even once, believe it or not, was scolded for bringing my daughter to the dinner table. My first baby, and in carrying her swing to the table so she could be apart of our family gathering, was told that "it was strange and the baby should be in the other room." As if she was an unruly pet...

For me personally, I think everyone is entitled to their own parenting styles, and preferences. With the exception for child abuse or child neglect. Those are the only times I believe someone should step in. When in actuality, it seems more taboo to confront those types of situations, than it is for grandparents, random strangers even, to solicit advice to parents because they "hold their child/ren too much."

Last year, when the kids were attending a charter school up the road from us, Sarah one day came home and told me a little boy in her class didn't have a lunch and was hungry. Being she has such a compassion for others, she shared her lunch with this fellow classmate. It wasn't for a bit until I learned this was a regular occurance. I began packing extra food in her lunch box, and proceeded to mention it to the teacher. She told me she wasn't aware, but she would look into it. A week or so later, when I asked Sarah she told me he still was still sharing lunches with the kids in her class. How can a child go hungry for an entire school year, unnoticed?

I'm not saying my children have never cried, whined, or had a "terrible-two-temper-tantrum." They have. I have a Brody. And Brody can cry (even now) if he hears the sky is blue. Okay maybe that is a little extreme, but you catch my drift. I'm not telling you that "your way is wrong and mine is right." (Insert frantic finger shaking) Because my way isn't perfect. There is no such thing. I can't stand hearing people standing on their soapboxes shouting "my ideas and opinions are right, and if you don't agree you are a bad parent." All I am saying is time is short. Rock your babies. Because in a few short years they won't be babies. They will be venturing off on their wobbly, unsteady legs, ready to explore the world on their own. And every step they take is one more step away from needing your arms to be their everything. Like this mother's blog I read tonight, in what only seems like a few short years from those teetering legs, you will be left with nothing but a front door... As they drive themselves to work...

I think I am going to wake up my Davis now, just so I can rock him back to sleep. You know, because I hold him too much anyways. Goodnight all. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

We do it with love.

Yesterday, and for the very first time in my life, I met a blogging friend. Face to face. Charis (pronounced Ka-Reese) over at, at the gate called beautiful, has been so kind and encouraging as I wrote about life with Savannah. Or life there after.

See, her and her husband, just welcomed their fifth addition into their family. Hosea. Oh he is beautiful. Truly perfect. (Go visit her page, and you will see just how adorable he is!) She is truly a woman after my own heart, having five precious little ones, and a marriage that is few and far between these days. By that I mean, a genuine, real, true love kind of thing.

She made Davis the sweetest little crocheted hat when he was born. She sent some of her own little hand me down clothes, and really made me feel that Davis was loved; Treasured; Adored.

Don't mind the yucky camera phone picture!

I know, I know. Isn't the hat adorable?! She took time from her own life... her own busy, pregnant, (at the time) mommy life, to make something, for my tiny (at the time) baby. 

So obviously I couldn't resist to do the exact same. I made sweet Hosea a teal, and brown blanket covered in wide eyed owls. (Owls are in. And owls are cute. Just so you know.) At first I wandered aimlessly up and down the isles of Joann fabrics, looking for something with giraffes. You know, because giraffes are Savannah's thing. I wanted to share a piece of what makes me think of Savannah, a deep seeded piece of my heart, with this loved, treasured, adored baby to be. But just as I have come to find, "giraffe" is not so easy to find in "boy." It is right now, a very popular "girl" attire. And I will be completely honest, it breaks my heart over and over again, when I see the giraffy print girly things...Outfits, blankets, towels, socks, pants, pacifiers, bottles, nursery decor... trust me when I say, the list goes on and on. 

Hello sweet girl!

There are times that I do though, want to share what made Savannah, Savannah, with others. And Hosea's blanket was definitely one of those times. Yet again, and not much to my surprise anymore, there was not a single giraffe fabric, that could even be "gender neutral." We spent at least an hour, my four children and I that is, examining every last fabric for the potential snuggled recipient. On our last rounds, feeling very much like Goldie Locks," I found the owls. And the owls found me. The owls were Davis approved. And baby approved is like a five star rating in my book. ;)

As I drove that blanket over to her house last night, I was giddy. And a little nervous. Here I was about to meet a friend, one I felt like I knew already, yet I had never once been in her presence. We pulled onto her street, and I instantly saw her mini van parked in the garage. (Minivan families unite!) I got out of MY minivan, and of course unloaded Davis from his car seat. My heart smiled as I walked to the door and could hear the voices of numerous little boys. Did I neglect to mention, all five of her children are BOYS?! 
I. love. it!

We chatted for a bit, and I was thrilled to meet her family. I awed over the baby (*swoon*) and it felt just as normal in person, as it does from her computer screen to mine. 

Her life is (as I know from experience) busy and chaotic. She probably finds herself humbled and at a loss for words when people ask her "how do you do it all?!" And like me, she probably just does it. Naturally. With lots of hugs, kisses, noise, grace, faith, and love. 

Because that how mommies of five do it.

Congratulations Charis & Bill. ♥

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Only a piece.

I have begun writing this post at least five times now. Its been so long, I almost feel as though I should re-introduce myself to you all. But I wont. So don't worry.
I'm laying on my bed, while my sweet, absolutely adorable three month old, naps in his bassinet next to me. Calm. Quiet. Surrender.

The past three months have gone by so quickly I feel as though I could possibly, and should probably still be pregnant. I am very much not pregnant, and his existence is very much real.

When I've sat down to write my thoughts and feelings, a piece of me struggled with what to say. I've been pushing through a writers block, that might be induced by absolute mental exhaustion, but I battled with the decision on whether or not I should return to the world of complete sentences, unfiltered thoughts, and on occasion misspelled words. (Cause I know I have those from time to time.)

When my blog really began reaching others, I was in the midst of the hardest trial, I'm sure one would ever face in a lifetime. The ones who could relate became my usual and regular readers. Not all mind you, but a vast majority. The death of a child. Those words look bleak even now as I write them. A few days shy of 20months...

I journeyed through my grief, and I overcame raw emotions as I anticipated and welcomed a little boy who will never be, nor could ever take the place of our Savannah.

It has almost been two years, since she left us. And though I'm sure we will always speak of her, and grasp onto the memories we have of her, I am not defined by her. I'm not just the face of infant loss. That is only a tiny pinprick of my story.  

The weather here has been gloomy for five weeks straight now. We are lucky to get a overcast day and reach fifty degree temperatures. I have been cooped inside with all four of my kids, who also are going stir crazy, and daydreaming about springtime romps. Last night in an effort to spring clean minus the "spring" I started shifting through the clutter that is in our garage. And there it sat. A tub full of tiny pink clothes. A tub that is now our once upon a time. I brought it in, and set it down next to my husband. "I think its time that we get rid of this stuff." I popped open the lid, and began sorting through item after item of baby things. Still tagged. Still packaged. My husband told me he was okay with getting rid of her items. We stared some more at the outfits that only held hopes and dreams. He started to say, "I wouldn't tell anyone where they came from," but we both began to cry.

See our life will never be completely "pain free." Because in the end we did loose experience the death of a child. But our life is not consumed with sadness and grief. There is still laughter, and blessings. There is still beauty, and there will always be heartache. And that is precisely as life is supposed to be. I stepped away from the cyber world to remember exactly that. Though I may not talk about Savannah as much, just know she was only a piece of my, "story unfolding." Death is never the end, it is only the beginning. And one day we will all be together again.

Until next time I will leave you in awe of sure cuteness...

Bundled up for our cold spring weather.
Our sweet Davis.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Triggers or Sentiment?

I didn't grow up living in one house. My dad worked his way up through chain of commands through the California Highway Patrol, and each promotion typically meant change for our family. A new home. A new school. New friends. Life as a highway patrol daughter, for me, meant adjusting to change. For the most part, I never really looked at my life differently from anyone else's. It was my normal. I never once thought that life for the time being was unpredictable.

Now my own children have moved throughout their lives. And they have adjusted. Just in the same ways that I did. My father retired as captain shortly after Sarah was born. They have a permanent residence. Grandma and Grandpa's home, has become that predictable permanent place for the grand kids. I dream of eventually having that house my children and my grandchildren call home. Where they know mom and dad's, or grandma and grandpa's hearts will always be. Where our walls are warm with memories and laughter and love are only a visit away.

After Savannah passed away, I acknowledged that our home never actually got to be hers. But I could feel her all around me. One morning after Savannah was gone, the kids asked me to sit in the gym at thier school and watch them during morning stretch. My heart was still broken; frail; fragile in every sense of the words. I knew I had to be a supportive momma. I knew their hearts were still broken; frail; fragile. So I agreed. And I mustered up the smiles any mother who has lost a child knows all too well. Let me try to describe this smile. You smile, knowing you are one moment away from throat burning, lip quivering tears. You feel as though behind that smile you are carrying around ounces of warm salty tears, knowing you have to hide them from the world. It's the most difficult and heartbreaking smile.

I walked Michael and Sarah across the parking lot towards the gym. The nights were beginning to become cooler, and dew glistened on everything. The sky was blue and the morning sun was already hot on our backs ready to heat the brisk feeling in the air. Nothing about these mornings had changed from the weather that greeted us every morning we departed from our room back to the hospital anxious to see our Savannah after a long night away from her.

I sat on the bleachers and Brody nestled into my lap. All of the students and teachers began their day, stretching and exercising to upbeat music to charge their bodies and minds for the day ahead of them. I watched as other mothers laughed, encouraged, and stretched right along with their own little people. None of them had heartache in their eyes. Michael and Sarah smiled and waved at me. My heart shattered into a million pieces. I knew they deserved more. More than I could give them at that very moment. As they stood working their little arms in circular motions, their big brown eyes never far from my face, a song began playing and danced across every inch of that gymnasium. "The house that built me." By Miranda Lambert.

I am a listener. I can't help but dissect a song word for word. The song didn't really pertain to me. A girl going back to her childhood home, just for a small taste of what made her, well her. Just so she could collect all of those memories in her heart and heal whatever heartache she was experiencing at that moment. I looked around at thousands of happy, smiling, eyes. Filled with their childlike innocence. And that was the exact moment I knew I would never get to see Savannah dancing. I knew I would never see her stretch her little arms. I knew her little brown eyes would never scan for her mommy again. I knew Savannah would never just need to come home. Savannah never came home.

And my smile had faded. Brody and I got up, and walked slowly, hand in hand back to the car. And those warm salty tears glistened from my cheeks like the morning dew. I buckled my little man into his carseat. He stared at me in silence. Brody can be so good at acknowledging when no words are needed. I kissed him and climbed into the drivers seat. We sat there a little bit and I reminded myself that everything was alright.

I heard that song today. Almost eighteen months since she stared back into my eyes. It triggered that morning at the kids school. I thought of future Christmases. One day, my kids will bring their husband and wives to my home. We will talk about memories, and create new ones with our grandchildren and son-in-law or daughter-in-laws. But she won't be there. Her husband will be absent. Her beautiful children will be nothing but a dream I had for her, once upon a time. But I will always think of her. I will always think of who they might have been. Savannah has made her permanent residence in heaven. And one day we will reside there with her.

These triggers never seem to leave me. But it's also sentiment. Because for a moment... it brings her back home to me.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Days, Weeks, Months, and Years.

Its always such a proud feeling. "How old is your baby?" Random strangers ask. It starts in days. Two days. Five days. Nine. As brand new mothers, we have a tendency to go by days. We don't say one week, we say seven days. Why is that I may ask? I think it is because days sound so brand new. Days sound so close to birth. Weeks? Now weeks sound like they have been here that much longer. Regardless one week or seven days, these little people have been here the same amount of time.

Davis has already passed the days stage. And as we pass into the months verses weeks timeline, now as mothers, I count by weeks. I feel as though time is against me. I remember before I ever became a mother, I used to roll my eyes hearing "moms" talk about how fast time speeds by when you have children. Time is just time, I'd think. The days are just as long when you have children.

Then Sarah was born. And Michael. Brody. Savannah came and went. Now Davis. Time does in fact swallow you whole. Almost in the most unforgiving ways. The last weeks of pregnancy tick by at what feels like a snails pace. Then the instant the brand new human being is placed in your arms, they are already a month old. Once you being to wrap your mind around the month idea, you are planning their first birthday. And from there you suddenly have a kindergartener, facing their own form of independence.

This summer, our oldest celebrates her eighth birthday. It seems like yesterday that she was Davis' size. Still adjusting to a new, confusing world. A time where I was adjusting to a new and confusing world too. We were learning together. There was no one else that needed my attention. All I had to wrap my mind around was one. I counted days, and weeks, and months. There were no other stresses. No other heart aches. I try to look back at my brief time, so it seems, before I knew what heart ache really was.

I watch the clocks more closely these days. One week from today marks eighteen months. I should have an eighteen month old as well as a five week old. I should have two children in diapers. But I don't. And because I don't it doesn't mean I have stopped thinking of her. No, it's not as fresh. There are times that I go without having her in the front of my mind. After all it has been eighteen months.

{After all it has been eighteen months.} 

But eighteen months really isn't that long. Savannah would still be adjusting to a new and confusing world. The quicker time goes by with my earthside children, the more I feel time fading from the one I try to remember. In more ways then one, I realize that time will always be unforgiving. I get caught up in everything I need to accomplish. So I am trying to reassure myself that as Davis reaches the five week milestone, Savannah spends her eighteenth month in heaven, Brody a fresh four year old, and Michael and Sarah approach seven and eight, that right now, this very second, routine is a four letter word. That dirty dishes, and dirty laundry never killed anyone. Time may be unforgiving, but at least I know my kids will forgive me when I can remember what these "days" felt like...