Tuesday, January 28, 2014

14 months

Fourteen months is a grand milestone in our children lives.
Your brother Henry learned to walk at 14 months...
and become a big brother...
14 months is also when your sister Amelie walked...
....and when she broke two major bones in her leg
...adventurous that one.
Fourteen months is a hard one for me to be without you. Not only is it hard because your bro and sis were simply adorable at that age...I mean look at those pictures, but it is really when your brother and sister blossomed.
Personalities, mobility, learning all seemed to make a big jump around that time.
But here we are 14 months since you were born and we will not see you blossom. We will not see you toddle with new found independence as only a new walker can. We will see you point to colors or identified numbers as your siblings did.
But perhaps the hardest we won't hear your little voice. Oh, I wish so much I could hear the gibberish and cues and mommas and dadas from you. I wonder if you would talk a lot like your sister and brother, or would they do the talking for you? 
I wondered when we first lost you would I always see you as a baby or would grow with time.
I feel your growing with time. I see you as 14 month old. I see your wavy, brown locks, your big brown eyes and your chubby legs as your make your way around the house reeking havoc on its cleanliness.
But I also see you unchanged. No you will not blossom into a full rose, but this means you will not wither. Your petals will not fall and shrivel...
You will remain the beautiful little pink baby bud just as the one we laid in your hands.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Too BIG of a heart

An enlarged heart.

That is what the autopsy showed.

A heart too big for your little body.

Your heart outgrew you.

I think that is pretty much as fitting a diagnosis as we could get. After all, we know there are no bonds of what your little body and huge heart can accomplish.

Valentine's Day is fast approaching and I feel a hole in my heart the shape of you. But I am often reminded of why you died. How you died. I start to go down a bad path of whether or not you had pain. Did you suffer? Or did you simply fade from my belly to God's arms?

I suspect you suffered. Others have tried to convince me other wise but I remember your tugs and painful pulls the last few days and my instincts feel you were in pain.

I try not to focus on that. It is a sticky, painful and fruitless path.
Instead I try to grasp on that diagnosis. An enlarged heart.

I like to think you loved too much to live in this old, ugly world. And somehow your big heart transcends death and inspires ME and countless others to widen our hearts!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Post Your HATEFUL Comments...Really {An open letter to Miss O'neal}

Dear Miss O'neal,
Yesterday, I blogged how I don't feel like writing unless something is getting me fired up. Minutes after I published that blog,  I got a google notification.  When I clicked on the link I saw this:

Needless to say I got FIRED UP!

It was not what I was expecting, but I can't say I was surprised. After hours of confused thoughts going through my mind, it dawned on me, my biggest question was why? Why take the time to search a you tube video then take even more time to comment on it so hatefully? Well, I guess the obvious answer is attention. Then again the question arises, why? Well maybe just to hurt me over the interweb with your keypad-given super powers? Or maybe a cry for help? I can't really answer why. But I do know HURT PEOPLE HURT.

So I am not mad at you Miss O'neal. In fact, I spent all night tossing and turning and praying...yes PRAYING FOR YOU. I gather you are probably very young. Maybe your parents are not giving what you need for attention. Maybe you don't know one or both your parents. Maybe, you have been wronged by someone recently or continually over the span of your life.

My initial hurt for myself and my children (who are now young readers and could read the hurtful comment) turned to hurt for YOU and YOUR circumstances. I mean what makes someones mind think it is okay to say something like that to another human being? Short of psychopathic behavior, it has to be PAIN, deep-rooted pain. So I spent the majority of night worried about you. Are you OK? Do you need help? Do you need LOVE? 

We all have a journey. We all have pain. Some more deep than others. We all react differently. Perhaps, you only know how to lash out in passive-aggressive manners to be heard. I am here to tell you, I get it! I have been there. No, I would never try to directly cause another so much pain in such a blatant way, but I too have lashed out. Hurt others so my personal pain would lesson.  I am also here to tell you there is another way...a way that works!  It is called FORGIVENESS. It is the hardest of task and yet the only one that can set you free. Truly free. See hate only hurts yourself in the end. So forgive, let go and search some you tube videos today and makes some anonymous comments of LOVE. I don't say this to be self-righteous. I say this because I was where you are and by turning my daughter's death into something greater than the pain, forgiving me and all the others that have wronged me along the way has caused me JOY, yes JOY in the midst of incredible pain.

But something else also came out of my restless sleep, Miss O'neal: PASSION! You see I will not make my account private. I will not BLOCK you. I will not DELETE my FB pages or hide my daughter's pictures to make you or anyone else more comfortable. I will not even do it to protect my heart or my children's. See the worst has already been done to us and no words or actions can make us back down from the incredible GOOD my daughter (yes my dead daughter) gives. Your and others comments have made me think I need to hide my journey, BUT I WILL NOT!

I WILL CONTINUE TO SPEAK HER NAME, POST HER PICTURES, CARRY HER LEGACY NOT ONLY IN MY HEART BUT IN MY ACTIONS. I will continue to do to make good out of the bad. To heal me. To heal others and perhaps even to heal you in some small way!


Someone who cares more about you than it seems you care about yourself

P.s. Here is the actual video again. I welcome you to post something kind:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


I haven't blogged in a while.  A long while. Partially, because I wanted to focus adequate time on my family this holiday season and partially because I didn't want to blog.

I feel like I am doing ok, sometimes even good. And when I feel good I don't feel inspired to write. But today has been rough, therefore you get a blog post. Sorry in advance.

Claudette is now 13 months old. Nothing really significant about that. It is just thirteen months of life mothering the dead, all the while mothering the two very active littles and trying hard to raise funds to mother hopefully another little this year (lofty dream I know).

All this leads me to a feeling of being STUCK.

I feel like I am wavering between the living and the dead, at the same time. Stuck in two worlds.

Before her year mark it was okay, in my mind at least, to still be stuck in active grief. But now that a year without her has come and past, I feel life happening and a newfound joy that had long since been suppressed. This is a good thing. I am actually excited about that future. This is HUGE.

But with that comes a weird kind of mindset wherein I am hovering in between the living and the dead. It came to a head tonight when I took the kids to a grief counselor to have an "intake" done. Basically, see if group therapy or counseling is needed. My husband didn't understand why I would take the kids. Frankly, I don't understand why I took the kids.

Then my momma's gut kicked in: "Amelie hasn't slept one night thru since the anniversary of her sister dying. She constantly asks when we get to take Claudie home. Henry and Amelie play like someone dies in all their imagery play and pose hypothetical questions like what would happen if we died," my gut screams at me. "The deserve all the help you can give them," it adamantly says.

Then my husband and my more rational mind chimes in, "This is normal for their age. Quit bringing their grief to the surface!"

The thing is I just don't want to mess them up you know? I don't want 20 years to go by and them to see their sister's life as something negative. It is hard job mothering the living and the dead, but I guess you learn as you go with any child (living or not) that being a parent evolves and changes with the time and you must make adjustments as you go.

Breathe deep...

Carry on...

And pray that in the end ALL your children will be the best versions of themselves.
Photo cred: Amanda Eaton Photography