what have i done?

Some days I sit back and think… “What have I done?”

When I ask this it’s in the context of my loss. Have I done anything of value through my experience? Have I made a difference? Am I different?

Well, of course I am different. Gone are my carefree, nothing can touch me, naive days. But have I allowed my loss to change me for the better? Some days I’m not so sure… and I’m probably being too hard on myself in those moments. I want to be a better mother because of my loss. I want to be sure I am taking advantage of every millisecond of time I have with these precious little people. I don’t want to be angry or critical or “no fun” to be around. Again, I’m sure I see myself through a much tougher lens than anyone else does.

I’m not sure this post has a point. Just getting some of my thoughts out. I hope to be better. To be changed for the better. I can’t have gone through all of this for “nothing.”

requiem

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Though all of us who’ve suffered loss remember our sweet babies everyday this is the day for all of us to remember them together.

I’ve been listening to Brahms’ requiem today. I love choral music and love to sing. When I looked up the translation I was surprised by what I found. One of the verses I have clung to through all of this is in the first movement.

“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.” Psalm 126:5

What a blessing to find this today. Here’s the version I’ve been listening to.

 

In addition to enjoying this beautiful music I will be lighting a candle for my sons tonight. There will be a wave of light across the globe at 7pm (local time) lit by those remembering all of the babies gone too soon. I hope you will join us.

The Piano Guys are coming to Indy!

I can’t even begin to explain how much I love their music!

Via Naptown Buzz:

The Piano Guys – Murat Theatre, Monday October 13th

wondersThe Piano Guys will be gracing Indianapolis with their presence at the Murat Theatre at Old National Centre. The show is on Monday, October 13th at 7:30pm. Tickets are available at LiveNation.com.

The Piano Guys are four dads from Utah who became an Internet sensation by way of their immensely successful series of strikingly original self-made music videos. They’ve made over 40 since early 2011, including their hit video, an innovative multi-handed version of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” and a gorgeous reinvention of the hit song “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen. It’s the Guys’ highly original blend of classical music with pop that has taken the world by storm. It is their endearing personalities along with their obvious will to inspire young and old which keeps their fans coming back for more!

Personally, I think these guys are some of the most talented musicians of our day. Their creative use of their instruments integrated with a sense of humor really sets them apart. I can’t wait to see them in concert because I’ve been a fan of theirs since near the beginning. They’ve made me wish I hadn’t given up the cello!

Visit their YouTube channel here. You will not be disappointed!

things kids say

My kids are a laugh a minute. I mean it, you really never know what is going to come out of their sweet mouths! They understand humor (and, sadly, sarcasm), they quote movies like the grown-ups do… it’s a very fun time with them.

Also, sometimes, we get into some great, serious conversations. This is when they surprise me the most.

I was talking with Master D a couple of nights ago about Gabe’s birthday. It’s coming up soon and I was asking him what he thought we should do to celebrate this year. When I told him we wouldn’t be able to be at the cemetery on his actual birthday he was a little upset. When I asked him why he said “We always go to the graveyard and that’s where we should be. We should be with him where he is.” So I said to him “Well, you know that we can’t really be where he is because he’s in Heaven, right?” His reply was so sweet “But the graveyard is where his earthly form is.”

So much understanding of death for such a young boy. He understands that his brother’s body, his “earthly form”, remains here but that his soul is in Heaven. He has a connection with that little body as much as I do. He held it and kissed it and talked to it, just like I did. It matters because it contained his brother’s soul. He’s helped me to realize why people visit cemeteries when I couldn’t understand it before.

I promised him we would make it to the cemetery on a day close to Gabe’s birthday. And I promised to get the cupcakes (“or the cookies with a bunch of icing and sprinkles”) that he has made a tradition. He’s also asked for balloons this year because he likes that we did that for Felix.

I am so thankful that God put little D into my life. He is constantly challenging me to be better and to see other perspectives and think differently. I love you, D-bo!

DDH update

Miss H had her check up with Dr. G last week. He says she looks GREAT! Her hips look wonderful and she walks, runs and climbs like she never had a problem! All clear until the next check-up. We’re all so thankful for this news!

sewing

Finally got back to the sewing machine this weekend. I made a pillowcase dress for Miss HH and patriotic curtain dresses for Miss HH and Miss C.

Pillowcase dress for Miss HH

HH dress

indy 500 qualifying 2014

Wow, what a weekend! This is my first weekend doing media coverage for the Indy 500. I’m glad to have had the 400 at the Brickyard and the inaugural Indy Grand Prix under my belt before tackling this race.

The new qualifying format had most people confused, including 3-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves. He asked us after the press conference on Saturday what the new rules were for the Fast Nine Shootout. I don’t know that I really like the new format but it made Sunday interesting.

It was a nail-biting final run as Ed Carpenter captured the pole position for the second year in a row. (he is the 11th driver to do so) I was watching his family as he completed each lap. It was fun to see them cheer him on and jump up and down as we all learned he’d secured it!

Now that the field of 33 is set we have some great events to look forward to this week leading up to the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500. Particularly the Media Pit Stop Challenge at high noon on Wednesday, May 21st at Victory Circle. Having come in second place in our first 2 appearances, Naptown Buzz is hoping to take home the top prize of $5,000 for the Salvation Army of Indiana.

 

time to break the silence

http://returntozerothemovie.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/RTZ_EmailHeader.jpg?utm_source=RTZ+LOCAL+LEADERS&utm_campaign=7c87d1d15a-Local+Leaders+This+is+It&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e00bb4db83-7c87d1d15a-324496253

 

Tomorrow night is the global premier of Return To Zero! Please join us in BREAKING THE SILENCE on stillbirth, pregnancy loss and neonatal/infant loss.

This has been a 3-year labor of love for writer, producer, director Sean Hanish. He has gathered local leaders (like me!) from every state and province in North America, in every county in the UK, every city in Australia, in every country in Europe and Asia to help spread the word and give it the support and attention it deserves!

Stillbirth and infant loss awareness is very dear to my heart and I would love to hear from you. Your stories, your thoughts on the movie, whatever you are open to sharing.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me and all parents and families out there who’ve been affected by loss.

 

six

Today’s post is brought to you by the number 6. Felix has now been gone for over half a decade.

Last week, as is my custom, I took the week off of work for his birthday. This year we decided to spend the week with our dearest friends in the whole wide world. It was the first time our families would spend 8 whole days in a row together. I could. not. wait. (they moved out of state 11 months ago and life has not been the same since)

I have to admit, I was was also a little worried. I was worried about ruining our trip. Even after all these years I can’t predict what that week is going to be like for me emotionally. I wasn’t sure that they would understand if I got upset, or forgetful, or quiet (which I know they would think was weird) or angry. I often don’t realize what’s happening or why – even though I can read a calendar – until later and even then I might have trouble expressing it. I even was a little afraid that if I came up with something to “do” for Felix’s birthday they would think I was nuts.

I want to tell you something… my best good friends went out of their way to make sure that Felix’s birthday was special. (great, now I’m crying) We made tie-dye cupcakes and decorated them with frosting and all manner of candies and jimmies. I decided the night before that I wanted to do a balloon release so my bestie lead me to the nearest party store. We all wrote messages on our balloons and I took pictures of all of them. Then (after some effort) we all made it up on the hill out back and let them go.

It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life and I will never forget it.

I wasn’t able to tell my friends how much this meant to me. I could barely speak for fear of breaking down. (which would have been okay but I wouldn’t let myself because I still haven’t gotten comfortable sobbing around people, it’s not pretty) A lot of us in the baby loss community are not so lucky to have such understanding and supportive people in our lives. So I feel like they deserve some recognition. And to read what I couldn’t say.

 

Kurt and Jennifer,

      There are not words enough to express the depth of love that I have for you. I am so, so, so thankful that God put you in my life. Thank you for loving me and my family and wrapping your arms around us last week. Thank you for never making us feel judged or pressuring us to “move on.” Thank you for making us laugh and letting us shoot stuff. Thank you for pancakes and marshmallow gun fights and chocolate and movies and “Shkip-Bo” and “drinks all around!” Thank you for raising your daughter to be a loving friend to our children. Thank you for sticking with us through the worst times of our life and making the good times much more better. I love you, buddies!

 

glasses

Quick update – I am now a member of the glasses club. After seeing my husband go through torture with his treatments (read SHOTS IN HIS EYE) for histoplasmosis last year I decided I should get my vision checked. Turns out my vision is worse than his. Oh well – now we look sophisticated. Or old. I can’t really decide.