Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hockey sticks and Walnut trees

Tonight I was sitting in the basement with T.J. and Anna. I had just put Wyatt to bed and decided to play a little Angry Birds, when the phone rang. Anyone who knows me knows I never answer the phone. I can usually never find it and if I do it ends up not being charged. Tonight I answered the phone. It was my sister. Jacob had gotten hurt and he was going to the hospital. He was okay, but had gotten hit in the head with a hockey stick. He had a gash on his eye brow and was bleeding a lot. She said he wanted me to go with him. How would you ever turn down an invitation from someone you love more than anything in a time when they need you. I was not scared. I guess I could hear the calmness in my sister's voice on the phone, or I just didn't have "that" bad feeling. They picked me up and we were on our way. Jacob was crying a bit, more from fear of stitches than pain. He was bleeding a little and had dried blood on his face. As I sat and looked at him, holding his hand and trying to make him laugh on the way there I thought about how lucky I was. It was only an hour before this happened I was talking to him about the booger jelly beans and having him try a baby wipe one. Now he was on his way to the ER. How lucky am I that he is up and talking, laughing and trying to be brave. We got to the ER with the other 100 people who decided to go in this evening and I could tell he was more nervous. They took us back right away and got his vitals, put some numbing cream on him and gave him some Tylenol. Then we went to wait again. He said he didn't hurt, he was mostly worried about the stitches and upset about what happened. We had talked about the events....He and his friend Connor were trying to get Walnuts out of a tree. Connor went to throw a hockey stick up to get a walnut and got Jacob instead. The story is a funny one, because of the outcome, but to Jacob it wasn't because he knows too much. He felt the stick hit him he saw the blood and he ran in the house. In his mind, in that instant he thought of Austin. He knows the story to some extent. That he was playing, hit his head and he died. Jacob saw the blood and felt the pain and these thoughts entered his mind. When we talked about it at the hospital he said that it was so scary with all the blood and he didn't know what would happen to him next. I told him that Austin felt no pain, he was not able to run into the house and if he (jake) was able to do these things then he didn't have to worry like that. Still, with a chest, face and handfuls of blood, what else do you do but freak out.
After we talked about it we got a snack, talked and laughed, waited another hour and then got called back. As soon as he heard stitches he was so scared. It is such a helpless feeling knowing you can't do anything. So I did what any Aunt would do...I started singing a really silly annoying song that made him laugh in the car earlier. I told him to say anything that was on his mind, ask any questions and he did. The doctor was amazing and as she promised as soon as the first stitch was in and he hadn't felt it he totally relaxed. As she finished we talked about Jacob's hockey stick incident and I tried to help clear his mind and make up a few stories that were even better. Like maybe he was in a fight, which his mom changed to a fight with a squirrel since Walnuts were involved originally. He was really proud of himself and Sis and I couldn't have been any more proud either. I told him I would get him anything he wants, his choice is a music stand for his guitar.
I know I say it all of the time, but I am so blessed. I felt so lucky to walk out of the hospital with an amazing, bright, kind, funny boy that I love! I have always held a special place for each of my nieces and nephews in my heart, but Jacob made me RaRa, he made me an Aunt. He is my Jake. Thank you God for helping to keep him safe tonight. Thank you for helping to keep him brave and for giving Sis and I strength to stay silly and help calm him down.
Last year a little head injury would have been something that would have been cared for and forgotten about. This year as with anything in life since Austin, I think of tonight as a little miracle.

tiny angel

Four years ago, today was the worst day of my life, relatively speaking. I had waited for over a week, had 3 ultrasounds and prayed endlessly to see a heartbeat. But, alas, no heartbeat. Four years ago I suffered my first loss. I remember asking my mom and dad to stay home, because I knew they would be best to care for Anna. T.J. took me to the hospital and I ate a Big Mac when we came home. I never eat Big Macs. I remember thinking this day sucked enough and I was eating a damn Big Mac. Each year as this day comes and goes I realize that the day seems less and less terrible. Maybe it is time passing. Maybe it is the events that have unfolded in our lives since, but the pain is less.
The year after my miscarriage I had lost Emma and had the feeling I was pregnant with Connor. The following year I had lost Connor and we had just had Bug placed in his new family. Last year I could not tell you what I did, I know that I remembered because Facebook reminded me of my status update this day last year.
This year I remembered the date, but I have to admit the sting is gone. I think of that baby and the thing that "spec" gave me most was compassion. I have come into contact with so many people, strangers and friends, who have suffered miscarriages. I am not sure I would have been able to love, counsel and understand their specific situations if I hadn't had an early loss. Little things I have come to find that help me to be the person I am today.
So to my tiny Angel, know I will never forget you, I will always love you and I hold you in my heart.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thirty One Year Old Rainbow

Well, today is my birthday. To be honest this morning I was so focused on the importance of it being Anna's first day of Kindergarten that I didn't even think about it. As the day progressed and school was over a few thoughts crossed my mind. Of course on each of your children's birthdays you think of their birth. The story, the labor, the weather, the feelings that came with it on that day and each year after. This was the first year I thought of my own birth that way. I have to admit that this year, post losing Austin, every thought I have is different. This year I realized my birth was more than just average. I have always known I was a "miracle". Being born after a reversed vasectomy in 1980 wasn't a normal occurence. Being born 3 weeks late and perfectly healthy wasn't always seen then either. But, it wasn't until today that I realized I am a Rainbow baby. For those mom's who have lost a child, they probably know what this is, but for everyone else....
"Rainbow Babies" is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.
I was born less than 2 years after my brother passed away. My mom has told me that her pregnancy with me is part of what helped her heal a little and kept her going. It is odd 31 years later to see myself as an adult that is a Rainbow baby! It is a good feeling as well. To think I never realized what I did for my mom and dad 31 years ago today, I only hope that they know how much they have given me in return.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Choo choo.....

Today as part of my Birthday Week celebration, I decided I wanted us to go on a train ride. Wyatt loves choo choos and talks about going on a big choo choo about everyday. This was my birthday gift to him! Anna loves it as well and today we went to see Clifford the Big Red Dog. We had a great family day together and enjoyed our 3rd ride on the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad. As T.J. and I sat and talked about the previous two trips on the polar express here at Christmas time, we reminisced on our first ride. We had just met Wyatt. He was only 18 months old and Anna was just over 3 1/2. We didn't even know each other at that point. In fact we had to call and get him a ticket, because we had made the reservations before we knew he was ours! We took that train ride the first weekend of our extended visit before he was permanently placed. Before we even knew how much he loved trains.
Today we went with the full knowledge of how much it meant to him and to Anna to see her brother smile. Today while we were chugging down the line, T.J. took a picture of the kids and I. As soon as I saw it, I smiled. It is almost the exact same shot he took nearly 2 years ago. Sometimes when life is going along it is nice to have a little reminder of where you have come from...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

What once was

We can try for the most part
to think of most days
as a gift
as a blessing
without the pain
of what should have been
but, certain days
no matter

how well prepared

no matter
what we have planned
will never again
be as they should

will never again
bring the joy they once did
a day like today
once brought new life
once changed lives
now brings a memory
tear and a smile
what should have been

what could have been

has now become
what once was

Happy 5th Birthday, Austin. I am sure you are having quite the party in Heaven today with Jesus by your side. Tractor rides for everyone and bouncy houses made of clouds. We love you and miss you everyday!