Happy Earth Day, the audacity of Hope (& if you are looking for my lipstick it is in the freezer)

April 22, 2019 at 8:54 pm | Posted in Grief, life lessons, Love, silver lining | 7 Comments
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Happy Earth day to you all!  I found the picture below in my daughter’s room this morning.  It made me so happy and hopeful.  She said I could post it as long as I give her credit.  All artistic credit goes to @lyssa_and_art on instagram.

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As many of you know Evan, the twins and I have been waiting for him to get a call for new lungs.  The waiting is excruciating.  Despite everything, Evan continues to hope.  Not only does he hope for new lungs but he also still dares to hope that no parent will have to outlive their child/children.  He is still on the board of the Atlanta March of Dimes.  Although our family will not actually be walking this year Evan has not given up.  Jake’s Journey and Sawyer’s Strides is still hoping.

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.

As for me, i am still hoping too.  Hoping for the earth.  Hoping for Evan’s new lungs.  Hoping that no parent has to bury their child/children.

I am no longer hoping to find my lipstick because after searching for a week I found it in the freezer.  Seems like as good a place as any to keep it.

 

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the best bad news ever

March 14, 2016 at 11:49 pm | Posted in life after loss, life lessons, silver lining | 5 Comments
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About a month ago, we had a sewage problem at our house.  I will spare you the gross details but the result was that our downstairs bathroom needed to be ripped out.

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It was determined that the problem was a pipe in our street.  The City of Atlanta workers came to repair the pipe.   It took a few days.  At the end of the first day I received a call from one of the workers.  He told me he had good news and bad news for me.  The good news was that they could fix the pipe!  I braced myself for the bad news. . .

He told me that when they were trying to determine the problem that one of the city trucks hit our mailbox.  I waited a moment.  Then I asked,  “Is there more bad news?” He said no, it was just the mailbox.  I smiled and happily thanked him for the best bad news ever!  My standards of what qualifies as bad news has greatly changed since 2005. While a ripped up bathroom and a broken mailbox are not ideal, if that is the worst news I will gladly take it.

Hope is a 4 letter word

January 22, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Grief, life lessons, Love | 12 Comments
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quote - love - mlk

In 2015 we had a failed adoption.

Evan and I thought about adoption since we started talking about trying to have more children after Jake died.  We started infertility at that time too.   We were so lucky, fortunate and blessed to have had the twins and Sawyer with the help of lots of medical professionals.

In 2013 we revisited and moved forward with the adoption process.  There were a lot of rejections along the way but in August 2014 we were picked by a birth mother.  She was young, homeless and stated that the birth father’s whereabouts were unknown.  Evan and I met with her once for lunch.  On a separate occasion I was able to go to a doctor’s appointment with her.

On New Year’s Eve day we got a call that she was in labor.  Evan came home from work.  We told the twins and started to pack the car.  I took our dogs to be boarded with the vet. By the time I got home we had gotten another call telling us not to leave quite yet.   The birth mother started to have second thoughts and a potential father had entered the picture.

The baby was born on 12/31/2014.  Evan and I spent the next few days on a horrible roller coaster waiting for the birth mother’s decision.  A few days into 2015 we were told that she had decided to parent the baby.

Over the last year I have gone from sadness to anger (with lots of emotions I cannot identify in between).  I have rationalized that we helped this baby and his mother but he is not ours.  He is being raised by his mother, who, with help from us, is no longer homeless.  Hoping 2016 brings good things for everyone.

 

October 15th

October 14, 2015 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Jake, life lessons, Sawyer, traditions | 3 Comments
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quote - candle - 2015

Tomorrow is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  As part of the day, everyone is invited to light a candle at 7 pm in all time zones, all over the world.  The idea is that if everyone lights a candle at 7 pm and keeps it burning for at least 1 hour, there will be a continuous wave of light.

Today and every day I miss Jake and Sawyer but tomorrow at 7 pm we will light candles.  This year I will once again hope that the light from all the candles will make the darkness of the unknown a little brighter.

Update – October 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm:

Remembering Jake and Sawyer and all the other babies gone too soon

Remembering Jake and Sawyer and all the other babies gone too soon

 

Comment for a Cause

August 10, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, life lessons, Love | 1 Comment
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Jake’s 9th birthday would/should have been later this week.  I am not sure that we will ever know why Jake left us so soon but I do know that Evan and I would have done anything we could have to prevent it from happening.

Unlike Jake, every twenty seconds, a child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease. Every twenty seconds, more parents are living in a world without their child/children. I do not want any parent to lose a child to a preventable disease because they did not have access to a medication.

Heather Spohr has partnered with Shot@Life, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation, to help provide life-saving vaccines where they are most needed. For every comment on Heather Spohr’s Post “A Chance For Health” or social share post received during the month of August, Walgreens will donate a vaccine to a child in need around the world. 

Every child deserves the opportunity to have happy and healthy firsts.  For Jake’s 9th birthday please consider clicking on this link and commenting on Heather’s post .  Every comment gives another vaccine to a child who needs and wants one.

 

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 | 4 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

 

 

 

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

 

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 | 5 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.

Second Star

February 18, 2014 at 11:14 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, life lessons, Love, Sawyer, Time | 5 Comments
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When Jake died the hospital gave us a packet of information to take home.  I remember trying to read it through my tears and being unable to make out most of the words.  When I got to the page on “Ways to Honor Your Child” I got a tissue, wiped my eyes and read.  One of the ways was to name a star.  Before I knew it I was on the phone buying a star for Jake:

Jake's Star

Jake’s Star

The star date is his birthday and it is in the constellation of Leo (Jake’s zodiac sign).  We have the star certificate with all of Jake’s other belongings.  I think before now the only other person I told that I bought a star was Evan.  Buying the star made me feel a bit better for the moment.  It was something I could do for Jake.  Funny how time changes some things. . .

After Sawyer died I did not buy a star.  The thought of buying another star did not make me feel better.  Recently, I came across Jake’s star certificate and decided that I did want a star for Sawyer after all.

I tried to order it online and then finally called.  I wanted Sawyer’s star date to be his birthday, just like Jake’s.  The star registry only goes back 2 years – which meant 2012, 2013 or this year.  There is no 2009 option.  I chose this year  – for Sawyer’s 5th birthday.

Sibling rivalry is an issue at times in our house with the twins.  I will never know if Sawyer would be unhappy that Jake had a star and he did not but the second star bought to avoid any worries.  It made me feel a bit better and it was something I could do for Sawyer.

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