Friday, March 28, 2014

My shoes

I need to remember 
That my shoes 
Are the new ones
The ones that carry the weight 
While carrying the love
That have the questions
But hold the answer
I know how he sleeps
I know how he smiles
I am here with him  
In her eyes I may be the enemy
I may be their nightmare
I may not be doing things 
The way she wants them done
In these shoes 
I call the shots 
While she waits
I dress him and bathe him
I cuddle and console him
I know where he is
I know how he is 
It is so hard within this 
System to look outside of yourself
Knowing that in the shoes 
I wear 
I am the lucky one
No matter what has happened 
Whatever choices have been made
The shoes she walks in 
Are much harder to wear...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


How am I supposed to care
Without caring too much 
How am I supposed to 
Spend every waking hour
Making you a part of our family 
Without becoming "too attached"
How am I supposed to 
Show you love
Let you in 
Create this life for you
Without becoming "too involved" 
The training
The hours of listening 
To what might happen
Don't even begin to prepare you
For the unknown
Out of control
Forever long process 
That has so many possibilities
Praying that God 
Is looking out for you
That he will keep you safe
That our paths are meant to 
Stay together 
Because as strong as I can be 
I really don't want to have to be 
This strong anymore...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

6 years -

Today marks 6 years since we said hello and goodbye to Emma. 
It is amazing to me how this just second nature to our kids. Just as I grew up singing happy birthday in a cemetery- my kids are too.
It gives us a chance to remember and make a memory with Emma. Each year my mom brings us an angel on we birthday. I love to have a little visual of who she might be in Heaven.
So thankful for all of the thoughts, prayers and message today. As a mom of an angel who never lived on this Earth I can't tell you how much it means for her to be remembered. 
Happy 6th Birthday Emma Jean...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I wrote this tonight. kindergarten roundup posts are all over my Facebook feed. As happy and excited I am for so many of these little ones that I care for- it reminds me of Connor. Being pregnant with so many people so close to my due date hasn't really effected me for years- seems that this is one of those times that will sting a bit. Last year I had the gift of distraction and happiness in registering Wy when Emma would have gone- this year I sat at home. I didn't even volunteer because the thought of it hurt. It isn't a jealousy, it isn't being unhappy for my friends- I can't really describe what it is. So I wrote- 
I got it out
And I feel better. 

Such a gift as a parent 
Knowing your child is heading 
In the direction you imagined
Sending them on 
This little path
Just like you planned
Just like you dreamed
Just like you imagined 
But there are the times
When you don't get the chance
When there are no milestones 
When life was met with death
This doesn't change 
What you planned
What you dreamed 
What you imagined 
Except for the simple truth
That it never will be
Those who share their birthyear 
Move on and grow
And although most of the time 
It is good to see them 
And reach these new things
Sometimes it is a reminder 
That you aren't here 
That you won't be able to do
Any of those things 
That I planned
That I dreamed 
That imagined

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Six years out...

Grief is such a weird thing. 
Just when you think enough time has passed that "those days" won't sting like they did-
    they come along and they do.

It will be 6 years tomorrow since we had the world fall out from under us. 

It will be 6 years tomorrow that we walked into an ultrasound room so full of hope- a family of 3 soon to be 4
and we left broken. 

It is one of those moments ingrained in your mind. The smells, the sounds and the feel of the room. To be honest the past few years have been much easier than the first few, but when "d" day rolls around it all comes flooding back. 

When I think of how much I have learned since we lost Emma I am proud of myself. But, when I think about the short time between her diagnosis and losing her it makes me so sad. 

Being a part of many Anencephaly groups I have listened to arguments from the Carrying to term moms vs the early induction moms. Not many of us have done both. As much as my heart breaks for all of the moms, I feel even more for those who have induced. I know they feel a different pain than those who carried to term. Because as much as they might want to think that they are happy with their "choice" and even if that was the best thing for their family and their self at that time - 

It still doesn't change the fact 
that they - 
that we-
that I- 

Did not have the time with my baby that I could have. 
Did not give her the chance to survive- if even for a few minutes.
Did not have the faith in myself to try. 
Will never know what it felt like to carry her longer. 
To spend time with her in my stomach instead of talking to her from a cemetery bench. 
I think this is why her anniversary hits me so hard. Because of the what ifs and the regrets. 

I know she shaped me differently than any of my other children have. 
She proved to me that I am strong.
She helped me realize who I want to be as opposed to who I thought I was.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Aunt Jean...

Most of the people who I grew up with
Or those that know my parents, my sister or myself -
Know my Aunt Jean. 
Most of those people called her "aunt" Jean. 
She was the closest thing I had to a  grandparent after the age of 8. 
She was at every holiday, birthday, parade, performance and at my moms for dinner most every Sunday for about 20 years. 
She was the older sister of my grandma Strasser. Outliving her younger sister by 27 years.
She had some stories from her younger days that I loved hearing.
And I am pretty sure I never heard the really good ones.
She was the one picking up wrapping paper at every party and serving ice cream. She always had "green gum" and the smell makes me think of her.

She came over once a week to watch Corey and Anna while I picked up jake from Kindergarten. And even in her early eighties she was sharp as a whip. 
She was independent and a very proud woman. I cannot remember anything in our life important that she wasn't a part of. 
She was not a lovey hugger- but that did not mean she didn't make you feel loved. 
She was my "babysitter" on Saturday nights and my golden girl companion.
She had some wonderful friends, two sons and a grandson.
A few years ago we started noticing signs of dimentia. 
She was struggling and living alone in her house. She did not want to leave, but it was not safe for her to stay. 

So she moved into a dependent living facility.
Not long after Alzheimer's set in and took this woman who had known us all so well.
For the past year her body has been here, but her mind as we knew her was no longer here. 
I pray that when she got to Heaven yesterday she only remembers the wonderful things- the happy things. That she will see herself as the independent
proud and Godly woman we knew.

 The woman who we named our daughter after - our Emma Jean. This Thursday we will say our final goodbye- coincidentally enough- on Emma's birthday. 6 years to the day (even a Thursday) we said hello and goodbye. Rest in Peace Aunt Jean. You will never be forgotten...

Saturday, March 1, 2014


About 6 months ago when I was working on the levy committee I met a woman who spoke at an event for us. Her son was a high school student and the day she spoke- he was diagnosed with cancer. Since meeting her and hearing about her son they have been in my prayers. Her son, Robert, keeps a caring bridge page and updates his health and life daily. I have read his updates and followed on his journey- which has left me feeling like I know him.

Sometimes God works in the best ways to remind you that He is watching. 

This week when I took Baby D to the beauty school to get his braids done. We went early in the morning and we were the only "clients" there. So as I snuggled him and held him while they braided his hair most of the girls came up to us. They asked about foster care- and couldn't believe that I wasn't "his real mama the way that I treated him" that was "loving him like my own". It was a good experience for me to sit in a room of girls who have probably more likely been on the opposite side of foster care. As we sat and talked one of them left the room and came back with a book. She said it had been given to her for her children and she wanted to give it to D. I thanked her and told her that it would stay with him . Whether that would be forever with us or if he moves with his aunt. I turned the book over and i saw a name on it -
I really couldn't believe my eyes. This is the name of the kid whose cancer journey I have followed. On the front there were initials. I knew if I could find out his middle name I would know. 
Last night I attended an event and I saw his mother walk in. The first thing I asked her was if Roberts middle initial was M- and it was. I then told her the story and she asked if the book was yellow. I had my husband send pictures of the book- and she knew it had been his. They had donated it years ago and somehow it came back around through a few complete strangers and ended up with D.  She said they always crossed the kids names off before they donated and this was still there. This was such an Incredible "coincidence" that we know God had his hand in it. Something that gave us both goosebumps. Seems fitting that two boys who spend so much time in my prayers would share their first bible.

"Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous."