Whew!  It’s been a few days since I’ve been here.  I think I’ve been hiding out a little.  I did a lot of running around this weekend (too much, in fact; I’m still sore) so that may have a little to do with it.  This post isn’t going to be anything deep or profound (if any of my posts ever are) but I feel I need to get back here.

My cousin and her girls came over from Illinois for a visit.  We had a blast!  It was fun to watch my kids with her youngest who is about to celebrate her 1st birthday.  Ezra was especially cute with her.  Then that got me wondering what Ezra would have been like as a big brother to Felix.  (and Gabe, too, even though I got to watch him with Gabe for a few minutes)

A friend of ours brought us dinner on Sunday night.  Her daughter is just a few weeks older than Felix would have been had he been born on his due date.  I kept watching her and wondering what Felix would be like right now.  I wondered if he would’ve been bothering  her or if he would be taller or walking as well as she is.  I also wondered what it would be like if our house was full of all 5 of our kids.  (oh, the mayhem that would ensue!)

I had a great time this weekend but it was also a time of wondering what I’m missing.  I know full well that these times will come and go as long as I live and I feel like I know how to handle myself when they do.  I know it’s okay to let myself be sad and long for our sons who are separated from us.  I know it’s okay for me to be sad for our other children who won’t get to be big brother and big sister to the brothers who are gone.

I also know that I can’t let the sadness and the wondering go on for too long because it isn’t going to change anything.

a new look

Okay, so maybe I became a programmer faster than you thought I would?  Actually, I’m married to one so I cheated a little.  I didn’t know he was ready to work on and launch the new look already.  It may continue to be tweaked so please be patient with us.  Hopefully we can get the family site updated next!  I may have a “black eye” post to make tomorrow…

We bought bunk beds for the boys last week.  Before that we had Ezra on a mattress on the floor and he must be having trouble adjusting to the bottom bunk.  It’s slightly too high for him to climb up on his own so we have some wooden steps that he uses to get in.  Since the move I have been going into his room to scoot them out of the way after he falls asleep just in case he fell out of his bed.  Well, I hadn’t made it back there yet tonight until we heard a thud… and then crying.  He ended up with 2 cuts on his eye – one on his eyelid, the other at the corner of it.  He wouldn’t let me put the frozen peas on it to help cut down the swelling.  He kept saying “I don’t want you!”  I told him that if Daddy took him that he would put the peas on, too.  Anyway, he’s doing well now.  He’s been sleeping next to me on the couch.

I guess now Ezra has a new look, too.  Fortunately it’s temporary.  Unfortunately it’s not as pretty as my blog.

more pictures

I wanted to post some more pictures of Gabe.  I really miss him.  I know I keep saying that but it’s true.  He’s on my mind constantly.  Looking at pictures of him helps so I decided to share some more.  I’m working on my post about his delivery and will get it up as soon as it’s ready.  (I’m also working on creating my own theme for my blog – I’m not a programmer [yet] so it might take me a while!) For now, please enjoy these pics.  I found a couple where I look better and more like myself for those of you I’ve never met face-to-face.  🙂

Daddy and Gabe

Daddy and Gabriel snuggling

Snuggle bug


Mommy and Gabe

Gabe and Mommy (after a shower; boy do I look better!)

Dylan and Gabe

Brothers (Dylan and Gabe)

Mommy Daddy Gabe

Proud Parents


Daddy and his baby boy

Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams


Disclaimer: Today I need to vent and be real and honest about my feelings at the moment.  I don’t wish this on anyone. I know that things will get better. I know that people are here for me. I know that God loves me and has a plan for all this. I know I will see my sons again someday.  Just let me write these things today.

I’m a little grumpy today.

Not because the kids are misbehaving (they’ve been pretty good today).  Not because I’m in pain (because it’s not too bad right now).  Not even because my house is a complete wreck (not too far off from normal).

It’s because Christmas is coming.

It’s because there are Christmas commercials on TV.  It’s because the kids have been singing Christmas songs and are watching a Christmas movie tonight.  I am not ready for this.  I am not ready to think about Christmas.

All of this brought on a “why me, why them” day.  Why did it have to be my baby again?!  Why did it have to be my babies ever?  What about this could possibly “benefit” me or anyone else??  I’m all about helping people but why this way?  I could have thought of a million different ways to help people while avoiding the loss of my sons.

I expected to be shopping for little baby toys and clothes.  I expected to be putting a new “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament on the tree.  I expected to try to be Santa in between feedings on Christmas Eve.  But I won’t get to do that.  Christmas is a time when we gather with our family – and ours is forever incomplete.  This is Christmas #2 that I will be crying for a missing child; for missing children.

What I’m not expecting is for every day to be good or easy.  I don’t expect to be happy all the time.   I don’t expect my family and friends will expect that I be happy all the time.  (thankfully)  I just hope that if I do get upset, cry or get angry that they just let me and understand.  I hope that if I need to leave a gathering (or at least take a time out) they will understand and not chase me or  judge me, my motives or feelings.  I don’t need anyone to try to “fix” it or make me feel better.  I need to have the space and the time to be upset and to grieve.

My sons are dead.  My babies will never spend one Christmas with me.  I won’t get to read them the Christmas story before tucking them in on Christmas Eve.  I won’t get to see the wonder on their faces as they see their presents on Christmas morning.  I won’t get to see the reflection of the lights in their eyes.  I won’t have pictures of them in a pile of wrapping paper or playing with the box the toy came in instead of the toy.  Their stockings will be empty; their graves full.

So, maybe you can see why I’m a little grumpy today.

only temporary

My dad stopped by the cemetery on his way to work and noticed that our temporary marker had been placed.  He called my mom to let her know it was there.  As he was reading it to her he read “Felix David Groce April 14, 2008” and my mom said “the date is wrong.”  Then he told her there was a cross on it.  She told him “they asked for a dove.”  Then he called to let us know.  He went into the office at the cemetery to let them know and they said they would get it fixed.

This just excites me to no end, let me tell you.  (can you hear my sarcasm?)  First of all, they said they would call when the marker came so we could go out and place it.  That should have been last week.  Now it’s not even right!  So, we decided to go by to look at it.  I may post a picture once Brian gets it off the camera.  He is going to call the office to make sure they know what changes need to be made.  It makes me nervous about ordering the monument.  We checked over the paperwork for the temporary marker ourselves, twice, before he faxed it to the company.  It’s sad that we can’t trust people to be able to read and then transcribe what was written.  I think a large stone would be a much bigger pain to fix.  Hopefully we won’t have any trouble then.

Oh how I wish my biggest problem at this point was trying to keep Gabe from peeing on me when I change his diaper!  Instead we have to deal with stupid cemetery crap.

UPDATE:  Here’s a picture of the incorrect marker.

wrong marker

two weeks later

Two weeks.  Why is it that time seems to speed up after a tragedy?  Has it really been two weeks since Gabriel drifted into – and out – of our lives?  Ugh.

I have been recovering fairly well.  No fainting, no illness (well, I have strep throat but no vomiting!) and the pain has been pretty well controlled.  I’ve been trying to be still but that is hard with 3 little ones who still need Mommy.  Especially 3 little ones who don’t understand why God didn’t heal their baby brother. [Read more…]

my littlest love

I wanted to share a few pictures of my Gabriel Elliott with you tonight.  Oh how I miss you, pumpkin.

precious Gabe

Gabe, Mommy and Daddy

Gabriel's breath on my face

sweet boy

Mommy and Gabe

cuddly baby