March of Dimes’ March for Babies

May 12, 2015 at 10:15 pm | Posted in life after loss, Love | 4 Comments
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Last weekend we walked and remembered Jake, Sawyer and all the other babies who were not there to march with us.  In the 1950’s the March of Dimes helped to fund the cure for polio – which led to the effective end of the disease.  Who knows maybe some day there will be similar medical breakthroughs that will help to end infant mortality and there will be less flowers in the memorial garden.

March of Dimes 2015 - memorial garden

Thank you so much for again supporting our team this year and in past years.  We appreciate all of your amazing kindness and generosity.

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Still Marching

May 6, 2015 at 10:16 pm | Posted in after death?, Grief, life after loss, Love | 1 Comment
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This weekend our family is walking in the March of Dimes’ “March for Babies” just like we have in years past.  Originally our team was named Jake’s Journey.  After Sawyer died we renamed it to Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides.  This year the walk is on Mother’s Day weekend.  Although I wish we were walking with all of our children, I think this is as close of a perfect way to honor all 4 as possible.

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 Northside Hospital for matching funds.  We appreciate all of your kindness and generosity.   Please consider supporting Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides and click here.

Fine Tuning

April 28, 2015 at 10:35 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss | 5 Comments
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quote -sails-quote

The other day was kindergarten round-up (the “orientation” for rising kindergarteners).  Sawyer would be have been 5 in November and he should have been there that day getting a tour of the school he should be starting next school year.

I know that I am not supposed to grow him up in my mind but sometimes I find myself wondering anyway.

My therapist suggested that I slightly adjusting my thinking – kind of like those radio dials we used to turn until the station came in more clearly.  For example, one of the twins goes to a doctor in the medical building attached to the hospital where Sawyer died.  One day Evan was going instead of me.  He had not been there yet so he asked me to clarify which building.  There are a lot of medical buildings in that area so I tried my best to explain but was not making any progress.  Finally, I said “remember the turn around where we waited the night Sawyer died?”  He got it – and knew exactly where to go for the appointment.

If I adjust this conversation slightly in the future instead of giving directions that involve “where we waited the night Sawyer died” I can say “where we park for the doctor.”

This August Sawyer would have started kindergarten (it would have been Jake’s 10th birthday and the 10th anniversary of his death but I am not going to think about that today).  Last week was kindergarten round-up.  Sawyer was not there.  He will not be there on the first day of school.   I am trying to adjust my thinking but I am still working on the fine tuning.

my updated new normal

April 2, 2015 at 11:12 pm | Posted in Grief, Love | 5 Comments
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I am still working on my spring resolutions but sometimes while I am busy focusing on the present, the past sneaks in.  I have recently realized that the past is part of my new normal.  People who meet our family now may or might not know that Jake and Sawyer existed.  If they are people who we see regularly or the twins play with I am never quite sure if they know.  The twins could have spoken about their brothers.  Someone else could have told them.  Or maybe they are a neighbor who saw the ambulance and police at our house that awful night that Sawyer died.

I have found myself telling those people – the friends and acquaintances – about our other 2 children.   It feels like the right thing to do.  No more guess work.  No more pretending.   Once I have shared Jake and Sawyer’s story I can be a better mom to all 4 of our children.

quote - Elizabeth Edwards

i hope someone finds a cure for cancer

March 2, 2015 at 9:51 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, life after loss, Love | 9 Comments
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quotes - i hate cancer

Not too long after Sawyer died, the spouses of 2 of my cousins were diagnosed with cancer.  One lost her battle 2 years ago and the other lost her battle this past weekend. Having lived through Jake and Sawyer’s deaths, you would think handling death would somehow be easier (or at least not so damn hard).  I feel like I should have some wise words – or some magic way to protect others from living without their loved ones.  I am just not sure such magic exists.  Rationally, I know that death is part of life and that we will all die at some point but dealing with it is not easy.  Maybe it is not supposed to be easy.  If it were easy than it would mean we did not care for or love the person.

The cousin’s wife who died recently was only in her forties and they have young children.  It is not fair that their children have to grow up without their mother.  I know, no one ever promised that life would be fair – but I wish it could be (even if only for a little while).

quote - love

almost (but not really) fun(ny) Friday & an idea

January 30, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Posted in Death, Grief | 4 Comments
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If you have ever talked to me or read this blog you know that getting Jake and Sawyer’s headstones correct has not been easy.  In fact we have yet to accomplish it.  So this week when the incredibly nice lady from the cemetery called no one should have been surprised that the new headstones arrived and they are not right.  In fact she did not call Evan until she had already sent them back to the manufacturer.  When Evan  called to tell me the news, it made my head hurt but I also kind of felt like laughing . . .which stage of grief have I entered into now?

On a completely unrelated note (or maybe it is related after all because it is all out of my control!)  I feel like the world is falling apart.  The Middle East, school shootings, starving children – all so out of my control (kind of like the headstones – the deaths of Jake and Sawyer).  It makes me feel very helpless.  I want to be able to do something.

Awhile ago Evan thought up/or read about an idea to help the homeless.  Here in Atlanta, we spend A LOT of time driving around.  At stop lights there are often homeless people asking for money.

Evan, the twins and I put together bags with the following items:

Tissues
Band aids
Hand sanitizer
Socks
Peanut butter packs
Granola/protein bars
Water

Evan and I leave the bags in our cars.  When we see a homeless person we give them a bag.

It may not solve the problems in the Middle East or get us any closer to knowing Sawyer’s cause of death but it is at least doing something.

my rainbow catcher

January 16, 2015 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Grief | 4 Comments
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Some days it is hard to find rainbows.  I wanted to share the one we found today with you all.

rainbow

 

Missing Sawyer (today and always)

December 30, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, Love, Sawyer | 11 Comments
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quote - I love you to everywhere and back Sawyer,
No matter what calendar I look at or how I calculate it you have now been gone for 5 years.  According to the secular/American calendar Friday was your deathiversary.  The Jewish calendar says that tonight starts your yahrzeit.

I have run out of calendars and calculations that allow me to avoid the 5th anniversary of your death.  Over the years I have tried to outrun my feelings by being ridiculously busy.  I have tried going away and staying home.   It does not make a difference, no matter where I am or how busy I might be you are always with me.  And so are my feelings. . .

I am in disbelief that you are dead and that it has been 5 years since we last held you.  I am angry that you are not here with us.  I am frustrated that we may never know the cause of your death.  I am heartbroken that your father and I can no longer take care of you and watch you grow up with your older brother and sister.

I love you and miss you.

Sawyer

 

getting through the days

December 22, 2014 at 9:58 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss, Love, Sawyer | 2 Comments
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quote - different face

Holidays are here and the anniversary of Sawyer’s death is this week no matter how much I will it not to happen.  I cannot change the fact that he is dead.  I want to share a few videos that are helping me get through the days (sometimes even with a smile).

P.S. Neis means miracle.

One of my thoughtful sister in-laws sent me this one last week.  You may have seen it already but I wanted to share just in case you missed it. . .

I hope these make you smile too.

Pathology is No Place for Politics: Update

November 6, 2014 at 11:14 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss | Leave a comment
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In the spring I wrote a post about a Mississippi woman who was accused of murdering  her stillborn baby.  Rennie Gibbs was 16 years old and 36 weeks pregnant when she was admitted to an area emergency room.  Her baby was diagnosed with “fetal demise” – the  umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck.  Doctors induced labor and Gibbs delivered a stillborn daughter she named Samiya.

Gibbs’ case is part of a wave of “fetal harm” cases in which women are prosecuted when their babies are stillborn or otherwise die and traces of drugs are found in their system.   In this case,  medical facts establish the cord as the cause of death.  Medical professionals, including Sawyer’s pathologist, determined that it is impossible to conclude that drug use on the part of the mother caused stillbirth.

The charges have been dropped against Rennie.  Thank you to Chris for commenting on my past post with the update.  Every mom feels guilt when their child dies – even without being charged with murder.  I am so glad that the judge in Mississippi dismissed the charges.  He ruled that the “law was unclear in Mississippi as to the appropriate charge, if any, to be levied when a pregnant woman allegedly consumed illegal drugs and allegedly caused the death of her unborn child.”

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