Hearts

November 10, 2015 at 7:22 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss, Love, twins | 7 Comments
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Today the twins had their check up with the pediatric cardiologist.  They were both rock stars during the tests.  Their hearts are structurally normal.  Everything is fine.  We will continue regular activity and come back for our next check up.

These are the results that I want to hear but I would be lying if I said that was all I want to hear.  I know that it is not realistic, but I want someone to explain to me the cause of Sawyer’s death.  I want there to be a medical answer – something I can protect the twins from ever getting.  I want to understand but I know it is very possible that will never happen.

In the meantime, the doctors want to continue to monitor the twins hearts while they are still growing.   Medical discoveries are being made every day.  Maybe one day the channelopathy (or whatever caused Sawyer’s death) will be found.

All I know for sure is that I will continue to love the twins and protect them the best that we can.  And their brothers will continue to live on in all of our hearts forever.

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“How many brothers and sisters do you have?”

November 20, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Posted in Grief, twins | 11 Comments
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I have previously written about being asked “How many children do you have?”  Over the years, I have different responses to this question.  It may always be a tricky question for me to answer or maybe one day I will come up with the perfect response.  I will let you know.

“How many brothers and sisters do you have?” is the bereaved sibling’s version of this question.  They are both such common and polite questions but the answers for some of us are so complicated.

The other day on the playground a classmate asked one of the twins, “Do you have any brothers and sisters?”

She answered, “Yes, I have a twin brother and my 2 other brothers, Jake and Sawyer, passed away. ”

The second grade little boy answered, “Jake and Sawyer probably passed away to get away from you.”

Our little girl walked away.  She is not perfect, she has and will say mean things at times too.  I wish I could protect all of my children all the time.  Jake and Sawyer have taught me that I cannot.  As much as I hate it, there are things beyond my control.  I am going to do my best to teach kindness to the 2 who are physically with us.

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Goats

October 26, 2014 at 9:36 pm | Posted in Love, twins | 6 Comments
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I was trying to write this for a fun Friday post but I seemed to have missed it by a few days.  I wanted to share a few of the things that have been making me smile recently.  Please meet Darth Vadar:

"Luke, I am your GOAT. Adopt me and together we will rule the galaxy."

“Luke, I am your GOAT. Adopt me and together we will rule the galaxy.”

And, Sable:

"What is a fine goat like me doing in a herd like this you might ask? I might ask that too – my coat is more beautiful than the finest sable in the world, bar none."

“What is a fine goat like me doing in a herd like this you might ask? I might ask that too – my coat is more beautiful than the finest sable in the world, bar none.”

These are just 2 of the goats who have been clearing the land for a new park near our house.  When driving or walking through the neighborhood it has been fun watching these goats.

Evan and one of the twins even got interviewed about the park by the local NPR station.  Click here if you would like to listen to the interview.  (They did not get our names entirely correct but it is us.)

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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.

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No worries (I wish. . .)

March 16, 2014 at 9:28 pm | Posted in Grief, Sawyer, twins, why I write | 10 Comments
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If your problem has a solution then…why worry about it? If your problem doesn’t have solution then…why worry about it?   – Chinese Proverb

In theory I think this makes sense and I agree with the proverb, but I have a problem:  I think that worrying is in my DNA.

Everyone at our house is feeling fine now but last week that was not the case.   Evan and one of the twins were sick.  It is part of life – everyone gets sick.  But, I do not like it one bit!  I try very hard to rely on the rational part of my brain but the irrational part of me always seems to take over.  I am transported back to the days and nights before Sawyer died.  Was there something going on?  Was he sick in some way?  What did I miss?  How could he be seemingly perfect one moment and then dead the next?

I know that the twins are not Sawyer.  They are bigger.  They are stronger.  They can tell me when something is wrong (and usually can specifically detail what is wrong too!).  However, I cannot help but second guess myself.  I cannot help but worry about what we could have done differently, what might have prevented Sawyer from dying that night, how we might have taken a different action or course and he would still be here with us today.  I also know that even if we did miraculously figure out the cause of Sawyer’s death it would not change the fact that he is dead.  Resurrection is not our reality.  Of course, I cannot change that now, and of all things, I logically know I should not worry about things I cannot change.  And yet, those are the things that seem to draw out my worries the most.

Unfrozen

February 14, 2014 at 10:54 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, life after loss, normal?, Sawyer, twins | 5 Comments
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“Everything is Awesome” has replaced “Let it Go” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman“at our house.  The snow and ice are gone.  We were really lucky and never lost power.  However, we did follow the advice of the robocall from our mayor and stay home.   The twins watched I am not sure how many hours of television but I know it was a lot.  It does not bother me the way I thought it would (before being a parent when I had all these big ideas about what kind of parent I would be. . .).  Originally, I was going to be one of those parents that did not let their kids watch too much TV but Sawyer’s death quickly changed that.  It seemed much better for the twins to watch Elmo than to watch their mom crying endlessly.  So, on went the TV.

We did make it out of the house yesterday for some sledding.

Today it was almost 60 degrees in Atlanta.   Everything melted, we turned off the TV and went outside.

Happy Valentines Day from our house to yours!

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Fun Friday – Sharing Smiles

January 24, 2014 at 5:22 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss, Love, twins | 5 Comments
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I am struggling to find a happy place today.   So, I thought I would try to cheer myself up by sharing some things that did bring a smile to my face this week:

  • Seeds of Happiness – They are simple, small clay smiley faces.  The twins have yet to give them to anyone but they do have a big time playing with them:

Seeds of Happiness

“Mark Borella, a sculptor, created small smiley faces from left-over lumps of clay. He gave these to his friends whose young son was dying of cancer. He told them: “I know there is nothing I can say or do to make you feel better so I thought I would bring you some smiles to help you get your smile back. ”

He called them Seeds of Happiness.  And his hope is that sharing the smiles continues to grow as their customers plant Seeds around the world.

  • Keeping our dogs warm in the Star Wars coats we found this week:

It is possible that Buddy and Baby are not smiling about their new coats . . .

The movie is all about happiness and what makes people happy.  The movement “is a 28 day program that brings happiness to the center of our lives.”  I need to end this post so that I can go sign up.

Happy Friday and I hope that you all have a good weekend!

Fun Friday with Food

December 20, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Posted in Grief, twins | 4 Comments
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Grieving during the holidays is complicated, so I am continuing my search for the happy.  The other week we made some Hanukkah treats (they were practice for making them with each of the twins’ 1st grade classes).  First, we made marshmallow dreidels.

Ingredients

  • marshmallows
  • pretzel sticks
  • Hershey kisses
  • frosting
  1. Unwrap the Hershey kiss.
  2. Spread frosting on the bottom of the marshmallow.
  3. Place the kiss in the frosting.
  4. Push a pretzel stick on the top of the marshmallow (for the dreidel top).
  5. Cover the whole thing with chocolate magic shell and wait for it to dry.

We did not have the patience for the drying so we skipped #5.

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Yesterday we tried to make tiny gingerbread houses for the twin’s teachers.  We found a recipe in Family Fun Magazine:

Ingredients

Houses

  • Graham crackers
  • Sprinkles and sweet decorations, such as, shaped sprinkles or gumdrops – we used Unreal Candy

(we bought pre-made icing but if you want to make icing below is a recipe)

Vanilla Decorating Icing

  • 3 cups  confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons  milk
  • 2 tablespoons  light corn syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon  vanilla extract

Make a Teensy Gingerbread House

1. With a serrated knife, cut the graham cracker pieces as shown. Tip: To create the pairs, cut one piece, then use it as a guide for the second.

2. To assemble, use Vanilla Decorating Icing (or the store bought icing).

3. Let the icing set, then use more to attach sprinkles and other sweet decorations, and let it set.

4. To place the house on a stick , trim a piece of brownie to fit inside the house. Slide the brownie onto a lollipop stick (we used a candy cane), then carefully slide the house on top.

They turned out pretty well:

IMG_3820

My helpers were much more interested in the eating than the making. . .and everyone was happy.

Back to School Blur

August 8, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Posted in Jake, Love, Sawyer, twins | 9 Comments
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basket of babies

It just does not seem that long ago that I could fit both the twins in a laundry basket.  How is it possible that they are now in 1st grade! ? Time is so tricky and now these 2 would never fit in a laundry basket:

1st day of 1st grade

It is what is supposed to happen, they should grow up.  I know all too well that it is a parent’s worst nightmare when their child/children are no longer growing.  As I wrote here,  I am still trying not to “grow” up Jake and Sawyer in my mind.   I know that there is no point of grieving over every stage and milestone that they will never reach.  Some days it works better than others.

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The King & Queen of July’s Birthday (with a side of bittersweet)

July 30, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, normal?, twins | 4 Comments
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A few years ago (not long after they learned to speak) the twins announced that they are the King and Queen of July.  It is after all, their birthday month and we (me and Evan) should never forget to plan accordingly.  The twins did have a fun birthday.  I can not say that they were overjoyed the whole month.  I distinctly remember being told I was “making it the worst July ever” on a few occasions after I asked them to clean up their toys, brush their teeth or take a bath. . .

I am forever grateful for our amazing twins.  I am so lucky that I am their mom and getting the chance to raise them.  Happy, happy birthday to the King and Queen of July!

The bittersweet part of the twins’ birthday was that this year Jake’s yahrzeit fell on the same day.  A Yahrzeit is the Hebrew date of the deceased relative’s death according to the Jewish calendar as opposed to the secular calendar.  We lit a Yahrzeit candle.  We said the mourner’s kaddish.  I tried my best not to think about the almost 8-year-old big brother who should have been running around the birthday party.  I am so very lucky to be Jake’s mom too.

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