Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Tangible Peace

To be honest, I have to admit, that I don't think about Emma and Connor at the ages they would be today.  I think about them as babies.  It is hard to imagine who they would be today, because I never got to know them.  There are sometimes where I can't resist the idea.  The other day we had a playdate.  I am pretty sure it was the first time that the four kids born within months of Connor were here, all together. 
I remember being pregnant with Connor, knowing Sarah was pregnant with Natalie.  I remember finding out my sister was pregnant, then Jamie and then Heather.  REALLY! My sister and my closest three friends, all pregnant while I was pregnant, all having babies within 6 months of when I would have Connor.  They would all be born within 6 months of when I would lose Connor. 
At that point I wasn't sure what I would do with this situation.  I knew these babies would be in my life, because their mothers were the closest people to me, but what would I do!? I guess I did what anyone would do,  I loved them.  I embraced each pregnancy, each birth and each baby as much as I could. 

Today I am so happy to say that I love the relationship that I have with each of these miracles.  They are 4 of my favorite children that in my eyes can do no wrong....even though their mommy's think otherwise.  These 4 little people are a wonderful reminder of who Connor might have been, and a tangible way for me to love him through them.  Sometimes it seems like God is playing some cruel joke on us, when in the end he is just bringing us the peace that he knew we would need.  These 4 little ones are a big part of my peace....

Monday, September 17, 2012

Goosebumps and tissues

Sometimes in life, in grief, there are these moments that cover your body in goosebumps.  Most of them are in a good way, as if you know there is a greater meaning, a bigger picture that you just haven't been far enough away to see yet.  With Austin this is something that seems to happen a lot.
When Austin passed away the nurse at the hospital was a childhood friend of his Mom and I's.  We have known her forever, since elementary school, and she was the nurse on duty, in the ER the night of the accident.  Since then she and Austin's Mom have been closer.  Not only was she there and witnessed this horrific tragedy, but she has sons of her own.
Tonight as I was checking Facebook I saw she had written Austin's mom a little note.  About how she was thinking of them and a song came on.  Usually there are songs that make you feel a certain way, but this one made my stomach flip.  As I pulled up the lyrics it made my whole body get goosebumps.  It made me eyes well up.  It was as if they knew Austin's story.  As it turns out it was about a little boy who had cancer, but regardless of the tragedy, the outcome was the same.
Here are the lyrics -
Ronan - Taylor Swift

I remember your bare feet down the hallway
I remember your little laugh
Race cars on the kitchen floor
Plastic dinosaurs, I love you to the moon and back

I remember your blue eyes looking into mine like we had our own
secret club
I remember you dancing before bed time then jumping on me waking
me up
I can still feel you hold my hand
Little man, from even that moment I knew
You fought it hard like an army guy
Remember I leaned in and whispered to you

Come on baby with me
We're gonna fly away from here
You were my best four years

I remember the drive home when the blind hope
Turned to crying and screaming, "Why?"
Flowers piled up in the worst way
No one knows what to say about a beautiful boy who died

And it's about to be Halloween
You could be anything you wanted if you were still here
I remember the last day when I kissed your face
I whispered in your ear

Come on baby with me
We're gonna fly away from here
Out of this curtained room in this hospital
We'll just disappear
Come on baby with me
We're gonna fly away from here
You were my best four years

What if I'm standing in your closet trying to talk to you?
What if I kept the hand me downs you won't grow into?
And what if I really thought some miracle would see us through?
But what if the miracle was even getting one moment with you

Come on baby with me
We're gonna fly away from here
Come on baby with me
We're gonna fly away from here
You were my best four years

I remember your bare feet down the hallway
I love you to the moon and back

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

32 years out

Last week was the Anniversary of my brother's death.  He has been gone for 34 years.  As I sat and talked with Austin's mom about this I couldn't help but think of where they were at, as compared to my parents.  From there we talked about where my parents were at 2 years out, 32 years ago.  The thought then came to my mind, I am 32.  My birthday is near the end of August, well at 2 years out they had a newborn.  Fresh home from the hospital, such a wonderful time.  But, I hadn't really thought about the timing.

As I talked to my mom the next day about this she said, it was the lowest point in my life.  Lowest point in her life!?  Yes, you see when I was just 3 days old I went back to the hospital.  When I was brought home I was seemingly fine.  My dad went back to work on a Friday and my mom was home with me.  She noticed I was twitching.  My hands and feet at the same time as if it were clockwork.  She took me to the doctor, the same doctor she took my brother to on a Friday.  They too saw what was happening and told her they needed to call the lifesquad.  The last time they called the lifesquad my brother was sent to the hospital from the same office.  She refused transport, knowing where it had led 2 years prior and my Aunt Cindy drove us to the hospital.  From there I was admitted.  I spent 15 days in the intensive care unit.  At some point in this stay I had numerous spinal taps, as they looked for Spinal Menengeitis.  The same thing that took my brother's life.  On the 2 year anniversary of his death.  My parents were in the same hospital with their newborn, being tested for the very thing that killed him.

As I sat and listened to her I was in awe.  I have heard the story of my hospital stay, I knew what had happened, but never had I realized it was this sick twisted timing.   In the end - as you have guessed - I was okay.  I had very low calcium that had caused me to seize.  Special formula and hundreds of blood tests to keep track of it were the only thing I needed.  But, what my parents went through is unbelievable to me.

As we sat and sipped our McDonald's coffee, just the two of us, I looked at her and said how is it only your body that has fallen apart!? This woman has been through so much, yet can sit and tell me my story, the one that brought us to where we are.  The one that helped to form who I am and who I want to be.  Sometimes we forget what exactly has happened to bring us where we are.  Having Austin's family has brought back so many memories for my family.  Watching them has not only been hard, but opened so many windows into the memories they have.  It has been a blessing in so many ways, for Austin's family and for my parents. And for me to be able to be on the outside looking in at these 4 people, who I love, respect and admire more than anyone, living this eternal nightmare.  I often wonder how we all ended up together in this.  I know it was more than coincidence. 
And to top it off....
The other night we had Mom and Dad's 40th Anniversary party, through it all they are still standing, still together and still smiling.  Austin's family came to that party and I am pretty sure that in 32 years they will be right there. Eerily enough in 32 years they will have been married for 40 years......