Thursday, April 25, 2013

"I Will Be."

I know that I've been quiet on here for a few weeks now and I wish I had a really good reason for that.  The honest explanation is that I just haven't really felt moved to write anything.  This past week has been one of the really bad ones and although I know those are the times when I really need to sit down and get some thoughts out...lately, those are the times when I am least likely to do it.

There hasn't been one specific thing that has me in a rut, but rather a combination of things I think.  Life had actually been going really well until a week or two ago, but then all of a sudden - it sort of seemed like we fell apart again.  I had my eight week check-up at the doctor (my actual six-week visit got postponed) - their office was wonderful as usual and they made the visit as easy as they could, but something about showing up to your postpartum visit with no baby is bound to unhinge the most stable mom at least a little bit.  That same week, Aaron would have been two months old (hence, the eight weeks) and it's hard not to think about what life with a two-month old would look like right now.

We also received the paperwork to get Aaron's memorial ordered.  The woman who designed it did a positively beautiful job and she worked so hard to make sure it is exactly what we wanted it to be (odd phrasing really, considering we don't want to have to be selecting one at all).  She walked us through the entire process, then spent time to custom-create an image because the one we selected wouldn't have worked very well on the stone we had chosen.  I simply can not say enough good things about working with her, but still...seeing his name in a sketch for his headstone is really really difficult.

Mother's Day is also looming in the not-so-distant future.  I have two beautiful, healthy, amazing little girls and I thank God for them every single day...but hear me clearly when I say this: That does not take away the pain of knowing that I don't get to celebrate Mother's Day with my only son.  I'm pretty sure that is a pain I will feel in every Mother's Day for the rest of my life. 

As for the girls, they have also been asking lately about when there is going to be another baby in Mommy's tummy so they can knock on it and feel baby "knock" back.  It is so cute and so sweet...and so gut-wrenchingly painful all at the same time.  I want them to have a baby sibling; I truly and sincerely do.  I want them to have Aaron.  We are reasonably sure that we will eventually have more children (on the good days, I'm certain...on days like today, it's just too scary to contemplate), but it wouldn't be for at least several more months to allow my body time to heal and the folic acid time to build up in my system. 

As I sit here with tears streaming down my face, I have to confess that I had a different last paragraph typed up for this post...I always argue with myself when it comes to posting anything about the bad days (I've said before that the reason I do it is because it isn't fair to only share the good times).  Chris came in and asked me "Are you alright?"  Without thinking, my first response was "I will be." As soon as the words left my mouth I actually felt a little better and took a few minutes to process that.

I will be sad.
I will be heartbroken.
I will be depressed.
I will be angry.
I will be hopeful.
I will be healing.
I will be joyful.
I will be grateful.

I will be okay.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


I don't necessarily have anything inspirational or amazing to share tonight, but I had to share an experience I had this afternoon with Aaron's big sisters. 

We went to Hobby Lobby to pick up a few things I needed for bracelets and ended up browsing the store, like we usually do...because, really, who doesn't love Hobby Lobby?? We wandered over to the outdoor decorations area and I asked if the girls wanted to pick out something special to take to the cemetery for Baby Aaron next time we go.  They were thrilled!! Tori immediately spotted one of the big center islands decked out in frog decor and snatched up one of the little guys.  She ended up passing that one off to Abby and choosing another one of her own. 

I suggested we keep walking to see if there was anything else they thought Baby Aaron might like or if they thought he'd like to keep the frogs.  So Tori holds her frog as high as she can toward the ceiling and yells, "BABY AARON!!!  DO YOU LIKE THESE FROGS?!?!" ... ... "Yes, Momma he says he likes these."  :)  So then Abby yells, "Baby Aawon!! Like deese??"  (Sadly, Abby's first frog had a bit of a frog-tastrophe and met with an untimely demise when she dropped him.  She was a tad devastated, but the worker was very kind and we found that frog's identical twin instead.  She clutched him tightly to her chest through the rest of the store telling me "Breakaful. Breakaful."  He was safe until we reached the cashier where she got distracted and dropped him too...thankfully, this one survived with only a missing toe from that unwise leap.)

The girls also discovered a shiny blue pinwheel that they thought Aaron might we left the store with two little frogs and a shiny pinwheel.  :)

I can only imagine what our conversation must have sounded like to anyone else who overheard...a year ago, I'm not sure what I would've thought about a young mother and her two little ones talking so calmly about buying things to take to a baby brother in the cemetery.  On one hand, I hate knowing that my girls are already so familiar with death.  On the other hand, it has given us so many opportunities to help them learn and grow.  They are young enough to ask whatever is on their minds without being embarrassed or inhibited, so we are able to truly address where they are at any given moment.  And although they say occasionally that they are "sad about Baby Aaron" or that they miss him, they seem so happy for him to be with God and Grandma in Heaven. They don't see it as something to be afraid of; it's just the way it is for them. 

I know that the girls have helped us cope with Aaron's death in so many ways; this is just one of them.  Their unfailing confidence in his happiness in Heaven is astounding.  We should all be so lucky. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Still Standing

I know my updates are a little infrequent these days.  I don't really have a good explanation for it other than the fact that I just haven't had any ideas come to me that seemed like they were worth sharing.

Yesterday, however, I had one of those experiences where an entry just kind of writes itself in my head while I'm supposed to be doing something else.  I usually try to make sure those get published, because I assume there is a reason that they have written themselves.

I recently had a bit of a confrontation with someone in my life who was contemplating making some pretty destructive decisions in the face of intense stress.  We had talked at length regarding all of the things leading up to these decisions and the consequences of making specific choices.  It became apparent throughout the course of a number of conversations that this individual considered suicide as the only solution to the problems at hand.

Finally, I simply said, "You remember that baby I was pregnant with?  He died.  We have known since October that he was going to die and he was stillborn almost six weeks ago.  And I'm still standing here.  It has been the hardest thing I have ever gone through.  It has sucked and I would never wish that pain on anyone.  I know that things are awful for you right now too and I know you are struggling with all that you are facing.  I understand what it is like for things to suck and to not know what you are supposed to do.  I realize that you feel like this is your only choice, but I am standing here going through the crappiest thing I have ever experienced but I'm still standing here.  I'm not asking you not to kill yourself; I'm asking you to give yourself some time.  I'm asking you to wait until things don't suck so much and you aren't overwhelmed by everything you are facing.  If you still want to die at that point, then we can talk again but at least then I'll know that you aren't making a decision out of desperation."

It's not the most orthodox approach to someone in crisis, and I typically wouldn't share something so personal in that context...but sometimes there are situations where someone is able to benefit from hearing something spoken from the heart regardless of whether or not it is what you are "supposed to" say.

And I think that is the main reason that I am so compelled to share this story.  I still think about the mommy friend of mine who committed suicide at the beginning of the year and I think about the countless other moms, myself included, who sometimes struggle to make it to the end of the day.  It's normal and it's painful and it's hard to do, but I'm proud to still be standing at the end of the day (because, let's face it...even on the days when we have to sit down for a bit...we're still standing).