Ansley’s Angel Day

July 16, 2014 at 12:14 am | Posted in Grief | 3 Comments
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Glennon Melton, public speaker, author and writer of the blog Momastery, wrote the other day about a mother named Jessica and her daughter Ansley.  Ansley died on July 14, 2007.  No one talks to Jessica about Ansley.  Jessica feels like her daughter has been forgotten and that the “world is pretending she never existed.”  Glennon writes about it much more eloquently than I can in her post “This is how you stop the world.”

I wish that Jessica did not have to live in a world without her daughter.  I am so very sad that Ansley died.   She will not be forgotten.

The mention of my child’s name may bring tears to my eyes,

But it never fails to bring music to my ears.

If you are really my friend, let me hear the beautiful music of his name.

It soothes my broken heart and sings to my soul.  

                                            – – – Author Unknown

 

 

i cannot believe i am writing about this again. . .

June 30, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Posted in after death?, Cemetery, Grief, Jake, life, Sawyer | 5 Comments
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Back in November the very kind cemetery people replaced Jake and Sawyer’s headstones. Jake’s headstone has now been replaced 4 times and Sawyer’s has been replaced 3 times.  All seemed fine with the new ones. . .until a few weeks ago.

It has been raining a lot here in Atlanta so I thought maybe there were just water stains on the nameplates.  I finally asked Evan what he thought about the stains.  He said he would call the cemetery people.  They went to check and the coating/finish is peeling off the nameplates.  I am not sure how to feel about this – it sort of seems like a cruel joke.  Should I cry?  Should I laugh?  Could the nameplates really need to be replaced again?  Or, maybe Jake and Sawyer are just playing tricks or trying to give us something to worry about.

The very kind people at the cemetery are looking into it and will let us know.  I will keep reminding myself that nothing is hurting Jake or Sawyer.  There is no urgency to get this fixed.  It might not be according to my plan but the world will keep spinning.

“I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.” Ron White

 


how do you live in a world without your child/children?

June 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, life, Love | 5 Comments
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I honestly do not know.  I feel like after Jake and then Sawyer died I should have some words of wisdom.  . .but I don’t.

I find myself looking at other parents.  Wondering what it would be like to watch all of your children grow up.  I know that everyone has their own tragedies – they are different but difficult all the same.  I know that I am lucky to have the privilege of being a parent to each of my children and to have held them (even if for only a short time).

Time does not make it better – just different.

I do not believe that Jake and Sawyer are in “a better place.”  I do not know where they are but I wish it were with us.

I know that there is not a path to “get over” the death of your child/children.  It is not the same for everyone.   Some of us do not talk about our children at all.  Some of us advocate for a cure for their cause of death.  Some of us write about them.  All of us want our children to be remembered.

quote - teach the world about my child

 

The End of the School Year & Everything in Between

May 20, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, life lessons, normal?, Sawyer, twins | 3 Comments
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This Friday is the last day of school for the twins!  It does not seem that long ago that they started 1st grade.  I try to enjoy the moments with the twins.  Moments I know that I will never have with Jake or Sawyer.  The Mother’s Day teas, the musical performances, the recitals, field days and the end of school year parties.  However, I find myself in a panic this time of year.  There is so much happening – all at the exact same time.

“Did I forget to dress them in the right color for their musical?”

“Did we remember to bring in the teacher appreciation card?”

“Did we make the teacher appreciation card?”

“How did we forget her glasses again this morning?”

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I feel guilty about not enjoying ever single moment (all the ones that I will miss with Jake and Sawyer).  I want the twins to be healthy, happy and grow up.

This week I looked around at some of the other parents – I saw the dazed looks on their faces.  They are all in this end of the school year craziness too.  I am not sure they are enjoying all of this end of the school year madness either.  I want to appreciate all the moments I have with the twins.   I think I will  have to expand my definition of appreciation to include the happy, the sad, the chaotic and everything in between.

quote - keep-calm-school-is-almost-over

 

 

 

Return to Zero – Breaking the Silence

May 16, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Posted in Grief | 5 Comments
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Return to Zero premiers May 17th (tomorrow) on Lifetime at 8 pm/7pm central.   This is the first movie made about the stillbirth of a child.   The mission of the film is to break the silence surrounding stillbirth, miscarriage and neonatal death.

“The impact that one stillbirth has on the mother, the father, their family, and friends is devastating — a shock-wave of pain, guilt and then, too often, silence. The majority of those affected, especially the mothers, suffer in this silence often believing that their grief and trauma is theirs to bear alone.

While planning to entertain and enlighten all audiences with a dramatic tale of the strength and resilience of the human spirit, RETURN TO ZERO intends to break through the silence and become a beacon of cinematic light to the millions in search of answers, understanding and healing.”

Unlike the new show Resurrection, I know that I will be watching Return to Zero.

Dear Mother’s Day Angels

May 12, 2014 at 9:24 pm | Posted in Jake, life lessons, Love, Sawyer | 7 Comments
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Dear Jake and Sawyer,
There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of you both, but some days are harder than others.  Mother’s Day is one of those days.  Logically it is just another day.  You are both gone every. single. day.  It is not like the first days, weeks and months after you died when the tears so often streamed down my face without me even realizing.  Now most of the time my tears are tucked farther away.   The sadness and the joy of loving you both is a part of me.

I know I am not alone.  There are so many other mothers in this club with me.  There are motherless mothers, motherless fathers and those who have just lost.  Death is part of life.  And no matter how hard some days can be life goes on.

I like to believe that you both send things my way to make certain days (like Mother’s Day) easier for me.  I wanted to thank you both for quite a few of those things this year.

  • Thank you for your amazing brother and sister.  They make me so very happy, except when they don’t (see 2nd bullet).
  • Thank you especially for helping us find your sister when she ran away the first and SECOND time yesterday.  One time she really had to go to the bathroom and the other time she thought she was being funny.  Neither your dad or I laughed AT ALL.
  • Thank you for making me smile when your dad and I were given a “gift bag” when we visited you at the cemetery.  I guess they had the Mother’s Day cookout last year so the cemetery marketing people this year opted for gift bags. . .

gift bag

  • Thank you for showing me hope on days that are especially hard to find it.  I found another “hope” telephone pole on my running route yesterday!

Hope

 

May the fourth be with you

May 4, 2014 at 11:48 pm | Posted in Grief | 4 Comments
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Today is the unofficial holiday, “Star Wars Day“.  I did not exactly feel the force with me today but last week during the March of Dimes walk I really do think I felt it.  I looked around at the crowds and every one there had been impacted by the premature birth of a child.  Our stories may all be different but we have all loved, hoped and in some cases lost.   There were survivors walking among us but many of us walk in memory of our loved ones.

I saw people I have seen walk in years past.  Still walking, like we do, in memory of our lost loved ones. My heart broke for all the new faces I saw last week.  Every year I look into their eyes and wish I could take away the pain.  Hopefully in years to come there will be more survivors.

We will continue to walk if not for ourselves than for them . . .

Hoping for Healthier Babies

April 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, life lessons, Sawyer | 5 Comments
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Thank you to all of our friends and family for supporting Jake’s Journey and Sawyer’s Strides in the 2014 March of Dimes “March for Babies!”   We appreciate you all so much.  Special thanks to our super talented sister-in-law for designing a new logo for the t-shirts.

Jake and Sawyer‘s deaths were due to circumstances beyond our control. I cannot describe in words how horribly helpless it feels as a parent to watch your child die and not be able to do a thing to prevent it.   The March of Dimes gives us a chance to do something to hopefully prevent another child from dying.  Maybe, just maybe, another family will be spared from having to try to figure out how to live in this world without their child/children.

Evan was the chairperson of the North Atlanta walk this year.   As the twins explained “their daddy got to the park early to put out the chairs!”  Although he did not actually put out any chairs, we are so proud of him for all he did and continues to do in the fight for healthier babies.

Thank you again for supporting our team this year and in past years.   We are grateful for your amazing kindness and generosity – we could not make it through this journey alone.

Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides

April 22, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Posted in after death?, Grief, Jake, life lessons, Love, Sawyer | 4 Comments
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No matter how far the distance you have traveled nor the failures that have gathered, hope would still meet you anywhere.

~ Dodinsky ~

Our family has walked in the March of Dimes’ “March for Babiesevery year since Jake died.  Originally our team was named Jake’s Journey.  After Sawyer died we renamed it to Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides.  We will be walking again this weekend.

The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.  I believe that the March of Dimes is making a difference and saving babies.

I cannot do anything to bring back Jake or Sawyer but maybe, just maybe, I can help spare other parents the heartbreak of having to live in this world without their child/children.

Thank you to all those who supported our team this year and in past years.  Thank you also to the hospital for matching funds.  We appreciate all of your kindness and generosity.   If you would like to support Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides please click this link.

Trees

April 14, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Posted in Jake, life, Love, Sawyer | 4 Comments
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Last month we went to the playground where trees are planted for Jake and Sawyer.  I do not think Sawyer’s tree is doing so well at the moment. . .

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The plan is that we will try to straighten it out and hope that it grows better.  It is best to plant trees in the colder weather so we will reevaluate in the fall.  It makes me feel better just to have a plan.

Many people had trees planted in Israel for Jake and Sawyer when they died.  Planting trees in Israel is a tradition which celebrates the life of loved ones.  Evan and I often joke that there is a Jake and Sawyer forest at this point.  I have never been to Israel and if I do go I would like to see the Jake and Sawyer forest :-).

I did write thank you notes to all the people who had trees planted for Jake.  However, I never did write thank you notes for the trees, donations and acts of kindness that were done in memory of Sawyer.  I do want to thank all of those who had trees planted for Sawyer and one day I hope to write those notes.  Until then, please know how very thankful I am.

I want to wish a happy and healthy Passover to all those who celebrate!

 

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