Happy Halloween

October 31, 2016 at 4:28 pm | Posted in life after loss, Love | 2 Comments
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Happy Halloween from Mudkip (a type of Pokémon) and the Friendly Polka Dotted Monster!

Mudkip and the Friendly Polka Dot Monster

“One joy shatters a hundred griefs.”
– – Chinese Proverb

 

 

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So, this happened in the last week. . .

August 4, 2014 at 10:40 pm | Posted in life after loss, Love | 6 Comments
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these 2 turned 7 and they started 2nd grade!

twins are 7!!

I am beyond grateful that I am their mama.

 

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

 

 

 

Unsubscribed & Unprepared

February 10, 2014 at 10:14 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, life after loss, Love | 12 Comments
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The week before Sawyer was born Evan and I realized that we would have 2 1/2-year-old twins at home during the winter with a newborn.  We had not planned to send them to preschool until they were 3.

The twins plus winter plus a newborn at home.  All of a sudden 2 1/2 seemed like the perfect preschool age.  I called around and there were not many preschools with 2 open spots.  We were super lucky and found a school for the twins.  The school started the first week of January – Sawyer had died the week before and I did not want to let the twins out of my sight (but that is a different story. . . ).

I did give my name and information to a few other schools.  I get emails from them now and then.  I have successfully unsubscribed from most but there is one that I cannot get off the list.  I usually just delete the emails without opening/reading them but for some reason I read this one.  This week my 4-year-old and I were invited to Mommy & Me at 10 am on Wednesday.

There is no unsubscribe button!!  What is the etiquette here?   Writing an email that my 4-year-old and I will not be there because he is dead does not seem appropriate.  Luckily, I got the email today that the Mommy & Me will most likely be cancelled “due to inclement weather”.

Is Atlanta unprepared?!  Nope.  Not this time.  It was 50 degrees and clear today but the Atlanta forecast is for snow.  So, school for the twins is cancelled tomorrow.  And, Wednesday.  The twins and I will be home with plenty of time for me delete those preschool emails.

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:

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

Looking for the Happy

December 18, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Posted in Grief, life lessons | 5 Comments
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The dark days of December are always accompanied by holiday parties and cheer.  The people of planet earth should be celebrating and happy because as it has already been established, not everyone lives on planet my baby died.

There are more of us than there should be on planet my baby died.  My heart will forever hurt for those lost and left behind in Newtown. I also know that grief is not reserved for those of us who have outlived a child.  There are so many tragedies that some days, it is so difficult if not impossible to find any happy.

A very wise friend once suggested to me that I just try to find one thing I like to do every day and do it.   It does not matter how small the thing is – it could even be taking a shower.  So, yesterday this is what I found to make me happy . . .

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So glad to see you September

September 2, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Posted in after death?, Grief, Jake, life after loss | 8 Comments
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quote - breathe

August is over and Evan came up with a brilliant plan to get through the last few days of it.  The last week of August includes Jake’s deathiversary, my birthday and my grandfather’s (there are a few family wedding anniversaries in there too).

Evan planned a trip and we went away.  My parents were able to join us.  We usually do go away Labor Day weekend to see my grandfather for his birthday.  Our whole family for many Labor Day weekends has come together to celebrate his birthday.  I know that I am so lucky to have spent so many birthdays with my amazing grandfather.  However, this year there was no trip to see him to look forward to, so I had to find other ways to distract myself.

Evan’s plan worked like a charm and these 2 helped as well. . .

September 2013

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.

Balloons

July 2, 2013 at 11:32 pm | Posted in after death?, Jake, life after loss, Love, Sawyer | 6 Comments
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quote - balloon - AA Milne

Whenever our daughter is given a balloon she wants to let it go and send it to Jake and Sawyer.   The balloons are not always just for Jake and Sawyer.  She also sends them to Evan’s mom (Mom Mom), my grandfather (Grandpoppy) and other members of our family who have died. I think it started with the balloon launch at the end of the Walk to Remember.  However, it has continued after birthday parties and school celebrations.  She usually wants to come home with the balloon and stand in the driveway.

IMG_3314

Next, she will find the perfect place to release the balloon so that it does not get caught in the trees.  Sometimes, she will try to attach a note to the balloon.  Other times, she will say a few words or give a few kisses to send with the balloon.

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When she has finally determined that the conditions for the balloon release are as good as they are going to get, she lets it go.

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We watch it for as long as we can.  She asks me if I really think that they will get her balloon.  I always say, “yes.”

Tonight at bedtime the twins were discussing the balloons that she sends.  They debated the obstacles the balloon could encounter – tree branches, the wind, the lack of wind, etc.  What would happen when the one balloon finally arrived?  Would Jake or Sawyer hold it?

I chimed in that it did not really matter who held it.  They could all look at the balloon and know that we are thinking about them.

Happy Mother’s Day??

May 14, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Posted in Cemetery, Grief, Jake, life after loss, Love, Sawyer | 3 Comments
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As I have already written, Mother’s Day is not my favorite day.  I try to focus on the 4 positive pregnancy tests and the 4 live births.  I also try not dwell on the 2 emergency c- sections, the NICU, the miscarriage and the 2 deaths.  The truth is that all of these events have made me a mother.

I have gone to the cemetery the last seven Mother’s Days.  I know that some people consider this morbid.  For me it is my way of taking care of my children who are not physically with me.  It gives my aching arms something to do (even if it is clipping grass and cleaning headstones).  It brings me some peace.

This year I noticed something different.  There was a sign at the entrance to the cemetery:

Mother's Day Cook out

Maybe the cemetery has a new marketing person.  Or, maybe I have missed the sign in past years.  Either way, it just seems odd to have a Mother’s Day cook out at the cemetery.  And, what would one do with a t-shirt from the cemetery?

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