Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Blessings to all those who have lost one precious and dear to them. May God's light shine upon you and give you hope, comfort, strength, wisdom, and peace.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Birthday, Noah.

It's hard to believe, six years ago today our son passed on. In so many ways, it seems so long ago, but yet the sting feels just as sharp, the hurt just as poignant on days like this.

It's so hard having to juggle the present and the past. I have two healthy, beautiful girls whom are so excited and happy about Halloween tonight. There is a state of general madness around my home right now: the rush of carving pumpkins, the doning of costumes, the applicaiton of makeup, the snap of countless pictures, the haste to get it all done and have them fed before hurrying out the door tonight, not to mention hosting a block party of sorts in our drive once the neighborhood trick or treating hours end or the fact Hadleigh has to run off to be part of a haunted house around the corner and I need to go to the grocery store and I need to do laundry and dishes and workout and take a shower. The list seems endless...

And in the midst of that madness, I need the world to slow down long enough for me to take a breath, to pause so that I may remember my precious son and this special day.

Late this afternoon or early eve, we plan to send up a balloon again, like we've done every year since he died. It's alittle harder this year than last because Olivia asks so many questions. She's getting older and so understands a bit more, she understands the concept of sisters and brothers, but Heaven is a bit more difficult to grasp. Hadleigh, of course, if eager to talk about her little sister and brother and readily tells Olivia this morning that it was Noah's birthday.

Ah well, I just have to keep reminding myself of all the good in my life and the many blessings I do have. As sad as I might be about the loss of our dear Noah, life does go on and I must keep moving forward....

One step at a time.

So to my beautiful son up in Heaven,

Happy Birthday Noah! We love you and miss you, but know one day, we will meet again. Until then, sweet boy, rest well. I hope you are playing with your little sis Christina and having lots of fun. Maybe even throwing ball and playing chase with Shelby, she's such a sweet doggie. Thinking of you now and always.

Much love,

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Staying on track

Sorry I haven't posted in a little bit, had other things on my mind. I recently got on Facebook and having friends from college and highschool find me again has been fun, but distracting.

I guess the distraction is good though, in a way. With Noah's 6th year anniversary coming up on Friday, being a little distracted isn't a bad thing. We are planning to do the balloon like we usually do. So hard to believe...six years. Wow, where has the time gone.

Also having some trouble lately in perspectives. That's an odd statement I guess. It's just...lately I've learned more about other people, friends, who have had their own brands of tragedy in thier lives and I am left feeling just a little depressed. Why does so much crap have to happen to so many people? Found out one of my college friends lost a baby she was carrying at 5 months, another just lost her husband and father of her children to ALS this week, I think of my friend John who was once so like Derek and me but after a horrible car accident several years back, he's confined to a wheel chair, had one leg amputated, fought so many battles with addiction and everything else. I hear about the friend of my mother who has cancer and only months to live. I hear all these things and I feel so badly that so many people have to suffer like this. I guess I felt better when I thought I was one of a few that had such hardships. It's a little disheartening to find there are far more suffering than I ever imagined.

Anyway, as my motto says, trying to take it day by day, step by step. I am trying to find the good and positive and wonderful in each day. Trying to remember to count my blessings and be thankful for what I do have and for what my friends who have been or are still suffering have. There is so much goodness in the world, so many things that are right, we must not lose focus of them and let the dark take hold. Rejoice in the small moments, connections with old friends, bright clear fall days, the beauty of the leaves as they start to change colors on the trees, the smile of a loved one, a hug, a random act of kindness from a stranger, our own health, the fact we have roofs over our heads and food on the table and jobs. There is much to be thankful for....just trying, trying to keep that as my focus.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Updating things

I hope you enjoy the music I am adding. The first song in particular, To where you are, by Josh Groban, really speaks to me. I played this song again and again and again just after losing Noah. You can even sort of see it's influence in the letter I wrote to him (posted here, but also read at his memorial.)

Here are the lyrics of this special song...I change only the slightlest litte bit when I apply it to my angels...simply changed forever love to loved.

"To Where You Are" - Josh Groban

Who can say for certain
Maybe you're still here
I feel you all around me
Your memory, so clear

Deep in the stillness
I can hear you speak
You're still an inspiration
Can it be (?)
That you are mine
Forever love
And you are watching over me from up above
Fly me up to where you are

Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are

Are you gently sleeping
Here inside my dream
And isn't faith believing
All power can't be seen

As my heart holds you
Just one beat away
I cherish all you gave me everyday
'Cause you are my
Forever love
Watching me from up above
And I believe
That angels breathe
And that love will live on and never leave

Fly me up
To where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile
To know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are
I know you're there

A breath away's not far
To where you are

Anyway, please bear with me as I try to add some sounds and maybe rearrange things visually a bit. (Special thanks to Beth Tanner for helping me with the sounds.)

In the meantime, I hope the day is a peaceful, hopeful one for each and every one of you who wanders by my little site. Thanks for coming by. Blessings to you all.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Out of the gloom, a ray of hope.

Prior to losing Noah, I'd always enjoyed writing and had been told by many that I had some talent at it, that I had an ability to make people feel and see and smell the places I wrote about, to really help them connect with whatever it was I was writing. And so, when I lost Noah, I knew I had to write something. I knew almost instantly that I had to write something for him, a gift from my heart as surely as he had been a gift from God.

Writing the letter I made for Noah was a hard and painful thing, but also cathartic. As much as I cried writing it, it also brought me some measure of peace, knowing I was truly giving of myself, doing the most for him that I knew how. I never realized how far reaching that impact would be.

Back when I lost Noah, nearly some 6 years ago now, there wasn't anything like a blog out there in cyberspace. There were bulletin boards and websites with comments and articles, but that's about it. I did my research and found a loss group called SHARE. I think my genetic counselors might have even mentioned them, or my OB....I can't quite recall now, but I do believe someone pointed me in their direction. I found them online but was saddened to learn they did not yet have a chapter in Richmond. So what did I do? I did the next best thing and got involved online. I started posting to some of the message boards they had and in doing so, stumbled upon an unexpected blessing. I could help people.

Purely for me, I had posted the letter I wrote for Noah. I just wanted a record of it somewhere, a testament to my precious baby. And then out of the blue, I started getting emails and comments from folks who had read it, all people who had suffered a loss of one kind of another. They thanked me through their tears, and sighs and pauses, telling me how much my words had meant to them, how much it touched them. I had folks thank me and say that they had read the letter at their own children's funerals or memorials, some had placed copies of my letter into their own memory boxes, others emailed it to their family and friends and told them to read it, that this was how they were feeling but didn't know how to explain. And with every thank you I received, my heart felt lighter and happier. Sure I was still devastated with the loss of my son, but it felt so good to be able to help others through their own dark and terrible times. It gave me such pride and joy and made me realize yet again what a blessing having had and lost Noah was. Through him, I was able to touch countless others and right then I knew someday I'd have to write about the whole experience. I knew somewhere deep down, that part of my mission was to help others through the pressing darkness of their own losses.

And the blessings came, whenever I happened to talk about it, I found I was reaching people, affecting them in ways I never knew possible. And the more people I helped, the better I felt.

I had a very humbling experience yesterday, one more blessing brought back around my way at an unexpected time. I was talking to my mother on the telephone. I'd only recently told her about this blog, but she knew of some other women I'd been helping recently through church and some other things, women going through their own losses. She said she'd heard something the other day on the radio or TV about the heroes in your life and how so many times we never tell them how we feel. I could hear her voice faltering on the phone as she almost shyly told me that I was her hero. Even just thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes. Never in my life had I imagined to hear I was any one's hero, much less my mother's. I didn't know what to say. I mumbled some sort of thank you and that I appreciated it, that I thought it was really sweet, but I was honestly at a loss of words. You know, like so many others, I am more content giving than receiving compliments and as adeptly as my words can flow from my fingers while I am writing, I find I am far less graceful in person and my tongue often trips me up.

So I listened quietly to my mother tell me that I was her hero. I was her hero for how I dealt with the loss of my children, for how I managed to hold everyone together during that horrible time and how I have been able to put aside my pain, even dwell in it so that I might help others.

Thank you, Mom. It meant more than words can say. You are a truly special person and I am thankful to have you in my life. I love you.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday, October 13th

I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all those who've passed by my little corner of the online world and taken the time to say hello or leave a comment. I truly appreciate them. Feel free to comment or email me at anytime. I am always glad to talk.

On to other things.....

POST LOSS doctors visits:

I have one bit of advice. Well, maybe a couple. But first and foremost, going back to the OB after having experienced a loss is an overwhelming thing. At least it was for me. During those days and first weeks post loss, the slightest thing would set me off crying and having to walk into a waiting room full of pregnant women was no picnic. I was blessed to have a great OB and nurses who as soon as they knew I was there and checked in, they pulled me into the back halls to sit and wait for my room to open up rather than have to sit out there and be surrounded by all those happy pregnant women.

Well, they weren't all pregnant, but it sort of seemed that way. When it's a sensitive issue, that seems to be all you see. I highly recommend making your appointments for first thing in the morning or just after lunch when the office opens again. Waiting around, even in back halls, is not an easy thing. Try to spare yourself that anguish and limit the wait if you can.

I also had a really hard time seeing all these other pregnant women. It actually made me mad sometimes when I saw them smiling or laughing or holding their plump bellies as the precious child within moved. Seeing an obviously new parents-to-be couple nearly set me over the edge. They were all happy and smiles, clearly excited. She wasn't showing the slightest bit. Obviously it was early on. They were beside themselves, so happy and expectant and excited and all I wanted to do was throttle them. I wanted to march right over there and shake some sense into them, yelling at them to not be happy, to worry, to worry all the time! Didn't they know how it could all go so terribly wrong?!?!

And then one day, while pregnant again and visiting my perinatal specialist for one of those early fetal scans we had to do, I changed my mind. Now granted...folks coming here were often already worried, for one reason or another. You could see it on their faces, sometimes in the tears freely falling down as they left in a hurry. And I suddenly realized. I'd been judging everyone else unfairly. How do I know that this happy pregnant woman across the way hasn't had a loss before this one? For all I knew, maybe she'd lost five and this one, this one was finally going to be ok.

The point is, I didn't know and it was unfair of me to look at them so sternly. And even those who were pregnant for the first time...they should be happy and excited. Looking back that is one thing I was blessed to have with my first pregnancy. I had no clue. Everything was fine all along. I was blissfully ignorant. I had no idea of all the horrible things that could go wrong. Oh sure, you worried about the normal battery of tests, the Downs, the Spinal Bifeda, the Glucose test, the AFPs....but as some of us out there know, that is only like the pin-point tip of an iceberg. I am glad I didn't know with my first. I worried alot as it was, like any mother to be does. At least I had one pregnancy (and half of a second) without the gloom and doom constantly hanging over my head.

So again, when looking at the pregnant woman you run into at the doctor's office, or in a parking lot, or in the crowded aisle of a store...remember...when that sudden anger flairs its ugly head...or jealousy, remember we don't know anything about them. For all we know they've tried for years and years and had one loss or setback after another before getting to this hopefully happy point. We don't know. We've not been in their shoes. Give them space if you need to, and perhaps if you can manage, even say a little prayer for their baby, hoping that all is well and one more sister in this world won't have to know the pain and suffering we have.

People do lots of different things to remember the precious children and babies they've lost. We do balloons.

Every year on the anniversary of their birth and death, we buy a balloon and write all over it with a permanent marker. We send up our messages of how much we miss them and Happy Birthday's and I love yous and all of that. My oldest daughter used to just draw smiley faces at first, but now she writes more. We don't direct or make her do anything. She can do as much or as little as she wants. My four year old is getting old enough now to understand something is going on, but she doesn't really get it yet. But that's ok. We all hold onto the ribbon at the same time and after one last round or goodbyes, we love yous, we miss yous (silent or otherwise) we let it go and watch the balloon sail upwards, up and up....floating off to Heaven to be caught in the hands of our precious ones so the message can be received. I know they see it. I like to imagine them there up in Heaven, all smiles and happy, running around with their decorated balloons.

At some point in time, I'd like to plant some sort of memorial garden too, but I am hesitant to do that just yet. I don't think I'd be very happy if we planted a garden (ie trees and flowers and shrubs) and then had to move. With my husband's job we sometimes move around and I know I would be very upset to leave something like that behind. I know I could do something in pots, but I have in mind something bigger, grander. Maybe one day it will all work out, but for now the balloons work and leave me feeling like I've done something special for them each year.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Christina's Lullaby - From Mommy

Christina's Lullaby

Sweet and warm comes the whisper of the wind through the trees at night.
Bending, stretching, twisting, the verdant leaves glisten in shadowy play, quietly reflecting the silvery moon above.

Beneath lay a cradle, rocking gently in the heavenly breeze, not a kiss of coolness to touch upon the satiny cheek of the sleeping babe within.
She is perfect in her slumber as I look upon her.

Soft little pink lips and long lashes draping artfully down against those precious cheeks of softest ivory.

A blanket of white lovingly tucked in around her while the softly curving fingers of one tiny hand lay above.

Back and forth the cradle endlessly moves, rocking the precious babe within while the music of the night drifts all around.

She is safe, secure, sleeping so soundly, so peacefully.

But oh how I long to reach out and take her from that beautiful place, to take her into my arms and hold her once more, to feel that precious little girl in my arms, to give her all the love I can.

But alas, my arms are not so long.

I can not reach her where she is.

I can not hold my precious daughter as I might like, but instead I must give her over into the angels' care, letting them tend her crib through the night, keeping her safe as is their right.

Rest well my beautiful daughter and sleep.

May your dreams be filled with wonder and joy and may you know nothing but love and laughter until we meet again.

Know always that my arms are reaching, know always that you are in my heart and I will ache with the emptiness that only your presence can fill.

I love you, my sweet daughter.

We will meet again.
Hush-a-bye and sleep, my precious angel
Sleep, sleep while your loving brother tends your keep.
Angels are at your beck and call
My precious daughter, they shall never let you fall.
Enfolded in the Lord's tender care are you
A world full of wonder and love are what He'll show you.
Hush-a-bye and sleep, my precious angel
Sleep, sleep while your big brother tends your keep.
Mother, Daddy and Hadleigh love you so very much
Even if we are not there to show you such.
Hush-a-bye and sleep, my precious angel
Sleep, sleep while your precious brother tends your keep.
Safe and secure I'll hold you in my heart
Always and forever of my world you'll be a part.