August 26, 2015 at 11:44 pm | Posted in Anniversaries, Grief, Jake | 3 Comments
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“When you come to the edge of all the light you know and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.”   – author unknown (borrowed from the walk to remember program)

Birthday Benches

August 20, 2015 at 11:36 pm | Posted in Grief, hydrops, Jake, life, Love, NICU | 8 Comments
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Jake never left the hospital.  His short life was spent entirely in the NICU.  The only other places Evan and I went with him were the consult room and a small outdoor balcony off of the NICU.

The three of us

While helping with the special project of updating the consult room I heard that the balcony might need some new benches.  It seemed to make sense to me that for Jake’s 10th birthday we should get the benches for the balcony.  So that is what we did.  We miss you Jake.

quote - roses - Lincoln

Dear Jake

August 14, 2015 at 11:18 pm | Posted in life, Love | 8 Comments
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Happy 10th birthday sweet boy.   Thank you for making me a mother.   I have tried really hard today to focus on how lucky we are to have had you in our lives even for such a short time.   The doctors and the statistics were not in favor of us spending any time on this earth together.  You beat the odds and you were born alive.   Then the doctors told us that you most likely would not live through the night – but again you proved them wrong.   You were such a brave and strong fighter.  Thank you for fighting so hard and for making Evan and me parents for the very first time.

I am trying to be brave and strong too but 10 years is an impossibly long time to live in this world without you.   I miss you today and always.  I hope that wherever you are you know how much you are loved and missed.

Bittersweet

August 8, 2015 at 10:44 pm | Posted in Grief | 3 Comments

It is hard for me to believe but these 2 celebrated their 8th birthday!  I am so thankful and lucky to be their mama.

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And, the twins started 3rd grade last week.  Here is a picture from the big 1st day.

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I did my best to focus on the positive.  The first few days of August were so busy with birthday fun and getting ready to go back to school that I almost forgot to brace myself for the bittersweet days.

I did not let myself think about Sawyer who would have started kindergarten.   I tried to ignore the dates on the calendar.  I know it is not possible but I really want to find a way to skip this month.   I am not ready.  I do not know how to live through the 10th anniversary of Jake’s death.  I will get through this August just like the other 9 Augusts without Jake – I just do not know how.

According to the Jewish calendar the 10th anniversary/yahrzeit of Jake’s death was actually on Thursday.  So maybe I lived through it already.

a special project

July 22, 2015 at 10:36 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, hospital, life, Love, NICU | 12 Comments
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The “consult room” – every hospital has one or several.  The “consult room” is where Evan and I held Jake for the last time. It is where we were when the ER doctor told us that Sawyer was dead. They were different “consult rooms,” in different hospitals but they looked the same. Standard issue plastic couch and chair. Generic flowery art. Striped carpet.

No one wishes to be in these rooms.  The hospital where all 4 of our children were born has a Perinatal Bereavement Office where I volunteer at times.  The extraordinary people who work at the office decided that they were going to renovate the consult room in the Special Care Nursery of the NICU.   I was lucky enough to help with this special project.

One of Evan’s mother’s paintings is now on a wall of the newly decorated consult room.  On another wall there is painting by an artist who is the great-aunt of other parents who also used the room when their little girl, Lily, died.  Her parents helped with this special project too.

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This is still a room that I hope none of you have to enter.  I know that realistically there are people who will be in that room holding their precious baby for perhaps the first and last time.  I wish that one day all babies will go home with their parents but until that day I am glad that there is now a warm comforting room where families can spend whatever time they have together.

Evan and I are truly honored by the dedication of this room and that this will be part of Jake and Sawyer’s legacy.

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A Celebration of Life

July 8, 2015 at 12:00 am | Posted in Grief, life | 8 Comments
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We spend 
precious hours 
fearing the inevitable.
It would be wise
to use that time
adoring our families,
cherishing our friends,
and living our lives. 
Dr. Maya Angelou

My amazing cousin’s mother (who was also my cousin) wrote this poem in a comment to one of my posts last year.  She peacefully passed away a few days ago after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May.  She did not want a funeral and followed the “honor me not by mourning my death but by celebrating my life” philosophy.

So on Monday, there was not a funeral but a memorial service/celebration of her life.   My amazing cousin and my mom spoke – it was a beautiful tribute.

We decided that the twins should come to the celebration.  They were not exactly at the service but they were running in circles in the entry way of the funeral home.  As I left the service they both stopped running and came to hug me.  One said “Mama, we will behave if you stop crying.”   The other one said “Mama, you have to focus on the positive things.” As we drove away I stopped crying and I tried to explain to them that I am sad, I might cry again but I would try to focus on the positive.

“We all have life storms, and when we get the rough times and we recover from them, we should celebrate that we got through it. No matter how bad it may seem, there’s always something beautiful that you can find.”  Mattie Stepanek

 

Fabulous Friday

June 26, 2015 at 4:44 pm | Posted in life, Love | 3 Comments
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I am trying to stick to my spring resolution of looking for happiness.  It is not always easy but I did not have to look very far today because when I went to write this post this is what I saw on WordPress:

hurray

How fantastic is it that the Supreme Court ruled today to legalize gay marriage nationwide?! And it is great that WordPress is helping to celebrate the good news.

Other, more local, happy moments I found are the following:

  •  I am always joking that I wish I could wrap the twins up in bubble wrap to protect them from the world.  Well, the other weekend they wrapped themselves up. . .

Bubble Wrap

 

  • Did you know that there are shirts with built-in chest protectors?  I learned about them this week.  The twins went to baseball camp and came home asking for shirts to protect their hearts.  How could I not get them?

Heart Protectors

Hope that you all have a fabulous weekend!

I still hate cancer

June 18, 2015 at 11:18 pm | Posted in Grief, life | 3 Comments
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I am once again silent and stuck. I am hoping that writing helps.  My amazing cousin’s mom was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and her heart is failing.

My amazing cousin’s mom and my mom are first cousins.  I am heartbroken for my cousins, my mom and the fact that I feel so helpless.

quote - love never fails

the sun and the earth

June 12, 2015 at 7:28 pm | Posted in Grief, life | 4 Comments
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The twins finished school on May 22nd.  Their elementary school is divided into 2 campuses (k-2 is in the primary campus and 3-5 is in the intermediate campus about a mile away).

The pictures below are from their 2nd graduation parade.  They both picked out the same concert t-shirt to wear.

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Evan said that I should not be sad about the twins going to 3rd grade and at the same time be sad that Sawyer is not starting kindergarten.  The twins growing up and finishing 2nd grade is the way life should be unlike Sawyer (and Jake) who are forever frozen in time.

I did cry in the corner a little bit during the parade but for the most part I have not been as emotional as I was at the end of 1st grade and kindergarten.  I am not sure that if it was Evan’s words of wisdom or the fact that one of the twins had a temperature of 103.8 on the last day of school but we have left the primary campus without too many tears.

So far this summer because of life and work the twins have been spending time with a babysitter.  When I got home from work yesterday they were both so excited to tell me that they went to the park and checked on Jake and Sawyer’s trees.  I have not visited the trees to check on them in such a long time.  It made me so happy that the twins thought to do it.

quote - hafiz-sun

Look for the Happy

May 24, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Posted in Anniversaries, life | 6 Comments
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On the road of life, it is not where you go
but who you are with that makes the difference.

Author Unknown

A very happy Birthday to my brother!

1972

And, a very happy anniversary to Evan!

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