Monday, June 28, 2010

4 month mark #2

    This one was a tough one.  This week marks a year that we found out we were pregnant with Lilly.  The week also includes our anniversary and my birthday.  Our oldest son asked to visit Lilly last night (which worked out cause we were planning to anyway) so that is what we did today.  Our oldest daughter asked if we could put flowers in a vase like the other babies have and I told her once we have a vase we will definitely be making and bringing flowers.

   Today while we visited Lilly, I just could not help thinking that this should not be.  It just felt so un-natural to have to think that our youngest daughter is buried in the ground.  Part of me wanted to just dig her up (morbid I know) and just hold her.  Of course the urge was not really strong being that rationally that was not possible and it would not be appropriate.  I just miss her so much!!!

    I felt close to her today though.  Sometimes I feel that the memories are fading and are getting harder to hold onto and I stare at pictures of her hard hoping they'll be as clear as when she was here on earth.  Today I felt close to those memories of her.  I can not explain it.

  It was another bittersweet day, yet the anticipation of this day I feel was way more intense than the actual feeling I had today.  I will always miss my Lilly Bear, she has a piece of my heart with her always.

  I do want to end with this.  I love the disney movie Tarzan and the soundtrack.  One of the songs I love and listened to a LOT when I was pregnant with Lilly was "You'll be In My Heart"  I wanted to print the lyrics here.  They ALWAYS make me cry ALWAYS and hard too.  The words for some reason just hit so close to home.  Even more after she passes do the lines "Why can't they understand the way we feel" and "You'll be  in my heart, no matter what they say".  People will have their judgments on how I should be grieving, that I am not doing it right or according to the mold they set for me.  That's fine, Lilly will always be in my heart.  Some people may tell me that "she's too painful to remember" I say "Lilly is too PRECIOUS to forget" and if remembering her brings on the pain, then I welcome the pain of missing her.

   The song was on when we got back in the car from visiting Lilly's grave site!!!  I just love when moments like that happen, and they come so unexpectedly.  I felt she was with us all today.

Here are the lyrics:  ( I also added it to the playlist, so it should be playing as you read this post)

"You'll Be In My Heart"

Come stop your crying
It will be all right
Just take my hand Hold it tight 

I will protect you
from all around you
I will be here
Don't you cry 

For one so small,
you seem so strong
My arms will hold you,
keep you safe and warm
This bond between us
Can't be broken
I will be here
Don't you cry 

'Cause you'll be in my heart
Yes, you'll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more 

You'll be in my heart
No matter what they say
You'll be here in my heart, always 

Why can't they understand
the way we feel
They just don't trust
what they can't explain
I know we're different but,
deep inside us
We're not that different at all 

And you'll be in my heart
Yes, you'll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more 

Don't listen to them
'Cause what do they know
We need each other,
to have, to hold
They'll see in time
I know 

When destiny calls you
You must be strong
I may not be with you
But you've got to hold on
They'll see in time
I know
We'll show them together 

'Cause you'll be in my heart
Yes, you'll be in my heart
From this day on,
Now and forever more 

Oh, you'll be in my heart
No matter what they say
You'll be in my heart, always

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Threads of Hope-Pieces of Joy 8

Chapter 8 is about getting out of the pit.

   I do not feel like I have been in a pit during my whole time grieving, just on some occasions I feel as if I'm hanging on the edge by a thread and I am leaning on God to pull me out.  I do believe that Lilly is in heaven and I hope to join her one day.  I do not feel like I can say I will join her one day because in my mind I feel I have to earn the honor to be chosen to enter the gates of Heaven.  I feel her around me and I do believe and feel she is watching over us and is a part of our lives just not in the physical sense.


    We have her hand and foot prints that my husband and I made the day after she had passed away.   During my pregnancy we were given a tree of life decorated with tiaras and tulle and little trinkets that we placed in a pink box that was provided to us.  I plan on taking pictures eventually and sharing each of the gifts we received, just have not gotten around to it yet.  I have my bracelet that matches the one we buried with Lilly.  I plan on making a scrapbook with the help of my dear friend and awesome scrap booker Lynsey.  I also plan on making the shadowboxes for her funeral flowers that I saved and dried.  We have her blankets, wash cloths, clothes, car seat, and bassinet.  The funeral home gave us the pillow that was too big to go into her casket and we plan on having her name embroidered on it someday.  We kept all the tags from her dress, stockings, and shoes that she was buried in.  Most importantly we have her pictures.  I have pictures of when I was pregnant with Lilly and the clothes I wore.  We also have the 3D/4D ultrasound pictures that we did on two occasions while she was in utero as well as the initial ultrasound pictures.  They only gave us of her arm and her leg.  There are also the NILMDTS DVD that means so much to us to have.


    I plan on putting them altogether in a hope chest that was given to me by Jim's Grandmother for our wedding.  When I am ready to pack it all away I want it to go in a place that I can easily pull them out of when I feel the need to do so.  The box that was given to us for Lilly's shower I have kept the trinkets from her tree of life.  I plan on adding the cards we received as well.  As for the shadow boxes I plan to make those will be hung up and the scrap book will be added to a collection and to be easy to access as the kids love to look at her as well.  I plan on putting up photographs of us as a family.  She will definitely always be a part of our lives.  I am sure this will bring up questions in the future but I am ready to answer those.  I love to talk about Lilly and say that I have FOUR children.  I can not wait until someone asks me just so that I can say we have four children.  Though Lilly is in heaven, she is still my child and though her life was brief I will talk about her just as I do with all my other children.  I'm excited to talk about her, yes I have to explain that she passed away but I am OK with that.  I really just like acknowledging to the world that I have four children and I like for as many people to know that as possible, as silly as that may sound.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

4 month mark #1

    Today marks 4 months from the day that Lilly was born.  She would have been 4 months today.  Our 4th child would have been 4 months.  I used to be afraid of the number 4, Lilly has changed all that.  One word to describe today is bittersweet.  There was a peace about today more than there has been, but at the same time it was different in that it affected me more than it usually does, if any of what I just wrote makes any sense.

    My bracelet that is a matching set to Lilly's broke and fell of my wrist and I cried when that happened.  It hit me harder than I thought it would even though I did not expect the bracelet to last forever.  I also had a feeling it was going to break soon.  I had not been taking it off only because I have to have someone else put it back on so I was cleaning with it on and showering with it on.  I am also right handed and it is on my right wrist because my husband put Lilly's on her right wrist so I wanted it on the same wrist.

    Good news about the bracelet is my dear friend and coworker Lee Ann is working on it, thank you so much Lee Ann.  The bracelet is missing one of the smaller beads so it will be altered a little, but that is fine with me.  Its almost like it represents me in that I've changed and grown through having Lilly and having been a mother in general.  So many people have said I have grown and matured before their eyes and so the bracelet I feel is taking this journey with me as silly as that may sound.

    It is hard sometimes thinking this is our life.  I am taking my kids to visit their sister's graveside, and it just is painful for me to think of how they miss her and I can not take their pain away.  Every moment is bittersweet as I know that I will never have moments like this with my dear Lilly.

    The kids and I went to visit Lilly today and I always melt watching them love on their sister Lilly.  They love her and talk about her everyday.  They get excited about visiting her at the cemetery.  She still has a temporary marker as my husband is still working on designing her marker but its a metal one and stands up and the kids kiss and hug it and they give her love you's (we sign I love you to each other) and they blow kisses up to the sky for her.

    Our youngest son sat right next to her and said "I want to sit next to Lilly" and he sat close enough to reach her marker and he just leaned over to give it a kiss so sweet.  As we were leaving he shouts (no joke) "Bye Lilly" twice.  As we leave in our van they all say "bye Lilly" as always.

    I can say that this 4 month anniversary since she was born has been the toughest on me in that I even was selfish and outraged today at a pregnant person when I have not felt that yet.  I just got so angry and felt how unfair that there are mothers out there who would do anything to have children or who are mourning the loss of their children and yet here are mothers who don't want their children or cherish them and they keep being blessed with children.  What I can say to this is God has a plan for everyone and that plan is not for me to question, but I did allow myself to do so today unfortunately.  I even went so far as to say that I try to live my life right and be a good person and treat everyone with as much kindness as I can even when it is not reciprocated and my baby is no longer with me.  And here is another person who is careless, reckless, and even selfish (so selfish) when it comes to her children and she gets to keep her babies.  I haven't felt this way yet, but today I did.

    I can also say that I do not regret having Lilly or being chosen as her mother.  I would not trade Lilly for anything in the world.  I may have been feeling resentful towards this person today but I would not trade my life for hers.  Lilly is too precious to me, and nothing can take that from me.  I won't let it.

    I had several guardians watching me today and it felt great.  Alanna as always was a great support today.  Thank you for always listening to my MANY vents and for not judging me (even today when I was a little irrational, ok a lot irrational).  It is very nice to have someone who has not gone through this be as patient and understanding with me as you have been.  Thank you many times.  To Deborah who just understood today, thank you for your understanding and support.  You have been great to me as well.  To the ladies who shall remain nameless who repeated to me "You're doing a good job" thank you so much for that, you have no idea how needed it is to hear that sometimes.  I had an email from a friend I had been thinking about for awhile who thought of me today.  Thank you Jennifer for that, I appreciate that more than you will ever know.  You have also been a great support.  I had another friend call and check on me and I will leave her name as L because I have not asked if I could use her name.  She called just to say hi and she may not have realized what today signified but it meant a lot to hear from her.

    To all you moms that I have befriended and unfortunately share this journey of grieving the loss of a child, I am so blessed to have met you all and I thank you for taking the time to read this blog and allowing me to get to know you through your own blogs.

    This feeling today that I am feeling right now as I type is amazing, LOVE that was what Lilly was pure joy and LOVE.  I will never forget that, she reminded me of so much.  Anytime I feel this way it just makes me feel like the memories are not slipping away as much as I think they are.

    I love my baby girl Lilly and I miss her so much!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day

    I meant to post something but we were out of town and I did not have time to schedule the post to appear yesterday and I thought we would be home in time for me to get to do it but we ended up getting home late.  Father's day was an ok day for my husband.  I felt awful because I had a fever and was in bed at one point with a 102.  I had a fever a week and a half ago lots of pain no other symptoms (sneezing, coughing, sore throat).  I'm better now.

    My husband wanted to spend Father's Day with his dad and so we went to visit his parents this weekend.  It was a fun weekend (minus the fever).  They had a cookout and so lots of food.  I ached for my husband this weekend as I knew this would be his first Father's Day without Lilly.  I knew there was nothing I could do but I just hurt for him so bad and that I could not do anything to take his pain away.

    I wish my husband's Father's day was better than just OK but considering he was grieving the loss of Lilly its understandable.  Also I wanted to say that I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful husband and father for our children.  He is a great dad and so loving and caring.  He always puts us first even though he puts so many hours in at work.  He's very quick to clean our home and assist me with our children.  I fall in love with him more and more every day which one would think wouldn't be possible, but it is.

    Happy Belated Father's Day to all the dads out there.  Many thoughts to those who are fathers to children in heaven and those who are expecting little ones on the way.

Marvelous Monday #2

    Another Monday, I know I am doing two posts today but I just have to say what I am thankful for today.  I am very thankful for my husband.  He has been so great to me, I could never ask for a better husband.  He always has so much more energy than I do and goes above and beyond when I can not.  He has taught me about unconditional love.  I am so proud to be his wife and am so in love with him so much more than I ever thought I could be.  Its like I can't get enough of him.  So thank you to my husband who is my knight in shining armor.  I used to watch those romantic movies and think "sigh...I want a guy like that someday" now I watch them and think "sigh, I have a guy like that".  We've been through so much in the last year with more sorrow than one would think a family could take and we've grown closer despite it all.  I am thankful for that as well because I was afraid for this might have made our relationship strained.  Instead it has brought us closer.  He is also a great father.  He is also a great dad to our four children.  When they were newborns he knew them better and was more comfortable with them than I was.  He always knew what to do and what they wanted and needed.  He is great with kids, they flock to him.  He is a big kid at heart as well..  He is just so amazing to me, I do not know where he gets all his energy.  He's got such an amazing heart and he inspires me to be a better person.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Will Lift My Eyes - Bebo Norman (with lyrics)

I do not really have much to say tonight except that I heard this song for the first time yesterday and I really needed to hear this at that moment. The words are so uplifting and I wanted to share it with you all. If you would like to take the time to listen to it, please remember to scroll all the way down to the bottom of this blog and stop the playlist. I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Uncomfortable and Vulnerable

    I feel weird today, I guess you could say I feel uncomfortable in my own skin.  Mix in grieving the loss of Lilly, feeling like I am an outsider in the world around me,  add in everyday life stresses and you maybe have an idea of how out of place and anxious I feel in this moment.   I have always felt comfortable being me whether I fit in or not.  I have rarely felt like this, but when I do, I feel it hard and fast.  And just as quickly as it comes, it goes.
    Right after Lilly passed away, I did not care in the least what people thought of me, even when they expressed their opinions on how I was grieving or how they thought I would be grieving for the rest of my life.  I miss that feeling, it was a feeling of freedom.   I hate to admit it, but lately (as you can probably tell from my previous posts) I have cared, and far too much more that it pains me to admit.

    I know that I can not change people's opinions, just as I am not willing to change my own convictions.  I have to let go and understand and extend that same courtesy to others especially if I expect it in return.  And I should do this not because I should get anything in return, but because how can I ask for something I myself am not willing to put out there?  It will NOT be easy, and I will fail at times, this I know, but I prayed REALLY hard to God last night that He would grant me the words to express when dealing with these opinions and comments that seem to in the last month wound me so deeply.

    I would like to handle them with compassion, understanding, patience, and most importantly kindness.  Don't get me wrong, if I need to I will be assertive which is not cruel, but I would prefer to not have to reach that point.  The thing is I just do not feel I need to justify myself to anyone anymore.  Its exhausting, I am to the point today where I am thinking let them have their opinions.  I do not need to desperately prove my point anymore.  Someone has to bend, and has to agree to disagree or it just becomes a vicious cycle.

    There will always be someone making an insensitive comment, there will always be ignorance in this world and I do not mean "ignorance" in a derogatory way.  I was ignorant of these emotions because I did not know what they felt like and now that I know my blinders are off and I can fully understand the terms "Ignorance is bliss".  I would not trade having Lilly for the world it is just VERY painful for a parent to survive their child/children.

       I am also not used to being on the receiving end of comfort and feeling vulnerable among others, as I have always prded myself on being there for others and taking care of myself.  I have had to learn fast and hard how to be on the receiving end.  Sometimes I feel defensive, other times I feel very comforted.  Only when the comfort comes from other moms who have gone through this do I always feel comforted and not uncomfortable with feeling so vulnerable.   I am learning to allow myself to feel vulnerable to the world around me.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Marvelous Monday #1

This Monday I am finally joining Rachel at Three Butterflies and a Monkey for her Marvelous Mondays.

In Rachel's words

Marvelous Mondays were created to help me start to look at the positives, rather than the negatives. I started them so I would take a moment each week to take a step back and see what I do have, rather than what I do not. I chose Mondays because who are we kidding...don't we all hate Mondays? We have all lost something or have something missing from our lives. It could be a loved one, a job, your home, your heart...

For me, it was my children, Jaxon, Colin and Courtney who were taken from me when they were way too small. It is also my lack of ability to conceive and carry another child in my womb. The constant pain in my heart is numbing and life altering. I am "trying" (trying being the key word) to be positive and look for "good" in life.

So, today on this Marvelous Monday, won't you join me? What is one thing that you are thankful for? It can be simple or complex, silly or serious, tangible or can be anything! If you need some ideas you can check out my other Marvelous Monday posts here. Please join me spread some positiveness by posting and linking (via MckLinky) your "Marvelous Monday" on your blog to mine! To participate, just grab the code for Marvelous Mondays above and add it to your Marvelous Monday post. Then click on the "Click here to enter your link in this Blog Hop" at the bottom of my this Marvelous Monday post. First, you will type in what you want to show up on the MckLinky. For example, I would type in "Three Butterflies and a Monkey. Then in the second box you will type in the web address of your Marvelous Monday post. It is really easy. Now...let's (try to) be positive!

Today I am thankful for time with my children. I enjoyed hanging out with them today. I am trying to do something everyday with them, whether its watching a movie, working on a puzzle, coloring, crafts, board games, playing make believe, or just having a conversation with them. Today it was a puzzle and a movie. They are truly amazing and uplifting and funny, they make me laugh always.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Threads of Hope-Pieces of Joy 7

To read previous posts on Walking With You, please click here: Walking With You.

Walking With You is an outreach of Sufficient Grace Ministries, led by Kelly Gerken. We are a group of mothers who have lost a baby or child. We gather together from different places on our journey, each month to share our stories, to encourage, and pray for one another as we walk this path together. Our hope is that you will be comforted when you join us here...and maybe that we can offer some grace for the journey as we look to the Lord for comfort and strength.

This chapter is about Acceptance and the cross that we must bear with our grief.

II Cor 4:8-10
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, the the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

This verse is very close to me this past month as I have felt troubled on every side, perplexed, persecuted, and cast down. I have leaned on the Lord a lot this past month. Sometimes I feel as if I am treading water and trying to keep my head above water and there is His hand holding me up. If not for His hand, I do not know where I would be. I give all the credit for my strength in facing each day to God.

II Cor 4:18

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Though I can not see Lilly everyday that is only temporary, one day I will be able to see her for the rest of eternity. I am torn sometimes as I would love to see her and can not wait until that day, at the same time I have her siblings to take care of and my husband (her father) and I do not want to leave them. I am here until the Lord calls me home. Until then I will carry this hope with me. .

How has your loss changed you both positively and negatively?

I believe losing Lilly has helped me let go of a lot of things that used to bother me; petty, trivial things. They no longer bear the same if any importance to me as they once did. I definitely look at life differently and am forever changed. How can I not be?

I really can not say that losing Lilly has had a negative affect on me. That being said, I am extra sensitive when it comes to the subject of my grieving at times, especially when I am already feeling sad about missing Lilly. I tend to take things the wrong way that are meant with great intentions and I sometimes can not see past my hurt during those moments. I am even more fearful of losing a child since I have already lost a child so letting the kids go with their grandparents for a week this summer has been really weighing on me.

I believe as far as acceptance goes, we've always accepted this was our path. I was never in denial about Lilly's diagnosis, though I did have hope that God would perform a miracle. I prayed because I knew He could not because I felt He actually would, just that through Him all things are possible, and I still believe that.

I am learning to live my life changed and while grieving the loss of Lilly, I also have accepted that this is my life now. I am OK with the sad moments and the happy moments. I am OK with missing my daughter. If this is my cross to bear, I am willing to bear it for the rest of my life. Lilly is definitely worth it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Exhausted and feeling a little selfish right now

    I usually do my bible study on Thursday or Friday night.  I was planning on today, but I just do not feel like it. I am so exhausted today....physically and emotionally D-R-A-I-N-E-D.  I still am so confused on what occurred earlier today.

    Before I continue, let me add this disclaimer.  Please understand that what I have written tonight is a vent nothing more.  I am not trying to lash out at anyone.  I just felt the need to purge these emotions, otherwise if I allow it to fester, it will just blow up and get way out of control.

    I will not post the actual details of the incident that occurred because there are 3 sides to every story.  My side, the other person's side and then the truth which we both will fail to see because were so busy with our own truths of what occurred.

    Mostly this is about just the past month I've had.

    This past month has been exhausting.  I feel like I've been fighting all month.  Fighting others who are trying to fit me into a mold that I refuse to fit into.  I know they care, I know they do...but do I really have to accommodate their feelings on dealing with MY grief?  I don't mind acknowledging their emotions, I really don't, it is when I feel it is not reciprocated that I have issues with.

    I do not feel I have tried to make this all about ME, its about Lilly not ME.  Its about my kids, my husband, our family as a whole.  I know I wasn't the only one who lost Lilly, trust me I've been made aware of just how hard this is on SEVERAL individuals to watch us go through this.  I am sorry it is hard on others, I truly am, but there is nothing I can do about that.

    Maybe the better wording should be "I don't like seeing you upset" (as Suzanne so eloquently put it, thank you for that).   She caught me in a tearful moment this afternoon after work and she said this to me and I was just like "thank you for saying that instead of this is hard on you" I really needed that today.  I know I should not be getting upset that people are not using the wording I prefer so I do not blame them for that.

    I've been trying to stay positive and say "OK we all lost Lilly" and its true we all did.  I'm just confused because I hear I can't imagine and yet where is the compassion?  I feel like I've been repeating myself all month to different people but the same issue.  And yes I am sensitive to things and I'm sorry that you feel like you're walking in a land mine when dealing with me.  I really don't know what to say to that...I really don't.  Except that from one moment to the next I myself have NO CLUE what to expect as far as my emotions.  Can you blame me?

    I'm not going to apologize that my grieving has made me a little sensitive at times, but I don't feel I've lashed out or been  irrational.  I don't feel I have randomly went off on anyone just to take it out on them.  I may disagree or have a differing opinion, but that does not equate to lashing out.  I'm not asking for a pass, I don't think my grieving should allow me any rights to treat others badly, that doesn't make me feel good.   I also do not feel that lashing out just to do so is productive.

    Just like they say they're not trying to hurt me, well I'm not trying to hurt anyone.  Trust me with the pain I feel, it is so hard for me to even hurt anyone.  I cry ALL the time lately.  There are spurts where I feel like this and then there are other spurts of moments where I feel so great and happy and excited.

    I've cried everyday too, for the last two weeks but for different tears are for the death of my daughter, my tears are for my grieving children, my grieving husband.  Its been three months, going on four....and I feel like while yes I have been told I am a strong person its not always a good thing.  I feel like maybe if people thought I was weak they would be more compassionate.

    I've felt a lot of pain in my life, physical, emotional, all kinds.  This pain I feel in losing Lilly does not compare and I feel its so bad when people think they can even place their hurt on the same level.  Its really a little insulting.  Maybe in the future it won't be as sensitive and tender as it is now to talk about certain things, but for now its only been THREE months...why can't people get that?

    I just do not have time for any of that.  I have to be healthy for me so that I can be healthy for my family.  I don't like feeling this way at all, exhausted like I am.  I need all the energy I have to focus on SURVIVING  AFTER THE DEATH OF MY BABY!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thank you to Maggie at Butterflies for Alexandra!

    I wanted to post a thank you to Maggie at Butterflies for Alexandra who sent me this BEAUTIFUL and very touching picture of Lilly's name!  Thank you so much, this made my day!  You are so very talented Maggie and sweet to have done this.  You and Alexandra have touched my life and I am sure that you have touched many other's lives as well!


Saturday, June 5, 2010

To an interestingly touching day

    Today has been a rather interesting day.  I've been trying to rid myself of this fever with no other symptoms other than just that a fever but yet I felt compelled to post this.  Forgive me if I jump around a lot tonight.  During my pregnancy with Lilly I watched a lot of movies.  One of which was "A Walk to Remember" amazing movie, so romantic.  I was thinking of watching this movie today and guess what it was actually on.  It was in the middle of the movie when I came across it, but it was one that I've always loved and watched numerous times while pregnant with Lilly.  The ending is so touching when the guy says her love is like the wind, you can not see it but you can feel it so you know it exists (well not in those exact words of course).  I just love the amount of faith portrayed in this movie even amidst the whole story that unfolds.  I will not ruin it for those who have not seen the movie but wish to someday.

    I also love to watch the TV show "Army Wives" which now after losing Lilly has hit closer to home as one of the moms has lost their child and one of the recently pregnant mothers has just lost her baby in the first trimester.  During the episode the mom who suffers the loss does not cry until later on in the show and during that moment I am thinking she needed that, but she cried when she was ready.   The Mother's Day episode hit really close to home, which is a good thing I watched it that Tuesday instead of on the actual day.

    The next episode was previewed tonight and one of the other mothers is about to reveal she is pregnant and the voice over says "how do you share joy, when a friend is mourning the loss of her child"  Now, I've seen this preview twice before but for some reason those words just made me lose it and I cried so hard.  I cried because it is close to home. My best friend who has basically become my sister, Alanna announced her pregnancy to me not long after Dx-day and to even think that her joy would be overshadowed by our news and what we were expecting makes my heart hurt.  I was excited for her news, and I want her to be excited.  She knew I would be and I would have felt the same way she did had our positions been reversed.  I would never want someone to suffer the loss of a child and that is why I can not be jealous of her.  She is actually having a girl as well, the only one pregnant around me who seems to be having a girl :).  If someone close to me had to have a girl, I am glad its her.  

    Alanna has been one of my GREATEST supporters even without having been through the loss of a child, she understands me and when I cry she just lets me cry.  She also allows me to talk about Lilly as often as I can and she mentions Lilly all the time to me.  She and I have not always seen eye to eye and we've had a lot of aggree to disagree moments which were both very grateful that we are able to do so.  We also plan on eventually posting more in depth how our relationship has been since our losing Lilly.  I say "our" because she lost Lilly too.  Lilly is and always will be her niece.  She was such a great aunt to Lilly.

    Finally, tonight I want to end with a clip of another movie I came across while pregnant with Lilly.  She and I spent many a late night watching movies.  "Yes Man" was the movie that I am referring to and the clip I am including is one that made me laugh the hardest and loudest during my pregnancy with Lilly.  Please do not get me wrong, I laughed a lot with Lilly but this scene just made me laugh so hard and I am so thankful to have this moment as a memory as it was such a happy moment (among many) to have shared with Lilly.

Please scroll down to the bottom to pause the music player before watching the clip.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Threads of Hope-Pieces of Joy 6

To read previous posts on Walking With You, please click here: Walking With You.

Walking With You is an outreach of Sufficient Grace Ministries, led by Kelly Gerken. We are a group of mothers who have lost a baby or child. We gather together from different places on our journey, each month to share our stories, to encourage, and pray for one another as we walk this path together. Our hope is that you will be comforted when you join us here...and maybe that we can offer some grace for the journey as we look to the Lord for comfort and strength.

This chapter touched on keeping busy and parenting.

I have been pretty busy since Lilly passed away. During my nine weeks off work each day was filled with an activity. Though it was not done on purpose, it just tended to work out that way. I did not feel it was wrong that I was keeping busy. In fact, I was glad that we were still able to laugh and enjoy life. While some might call that insensitive, let me explicate. The time we spent with Lilly was amazingly happy and I did not want to lose that, I feel if we do then it would partly mean that Lilly's death was in vain. I want her death to mean something, but I also want her life to be celebrated and to mean more. I do not wish to make her death bigger than her life. Though I do have as I've said hard and difficult moments, that are to be expected and there are times when it has been hard to hold onto this perspective.

I believe others have helped us in moving forward through life by allowing us to just live and grieve the way that is best for us as a whole. I know I have complained about some who have hurt me along the way, but the others who have helped are greater than those who have not.

I've stayed busy as we always have just with life in general. I have added this blog and also my support groups as well as volunteering for Rachel's Gift. I also have a secret project in the making to which I will disclose when ready. It really is easy to continue to stay busy with working and raising my other children and also taking care of the household chores. Watching my favorite shows courtesy of DVR helps keep me busy too, especially at night.

I feel sometimes being too busy can hinder my grieving in that I'm not allowing myself time to sit and cry. Again I do not do this on purpose, we have always had a busy life. I feel sometimes not having time to sit and cry can make the grieving process slow down. There was one week where I realized I had not cried once because I had been too busy, therefore I did end up crying but that's when I realized that I had been doing too much. So I need to give my self a chance to slow down on the activity sometimes. I feel mostly though the added activities have helped me. Also helping others has helped me. I've always taken pleasure in helping others. It may sound a little selfish but in a way helping others is healing at times, though that is not the main reason that I do it.

I feel that I have spent more time at the Lord's feet than in the kitchen since Lilly passed. He has always been very good to us and as I have said before I do not blame Him or think of Him as the God who took away our daughter. I feel that there are times where I have been too busy to pray the rosary but I have tried adding that before I go to sleep. I find I pray more often than I used to. I was really close to God growing up and then life happened and while God was still a major part of my life, I was not as close to Him as I used to be. I feel that Lilly has strengthened my relationship with God and its as strong as ever. I did not talk about God as openly as I should have and now I have no problem sharing in the greatness of the Lord even to those who are not believers themselves. In the past I was hesitant to praise Him publicly or speak of Him to those who do not believe. Since we received Lilly's diagnosis that has changed completely and I speak openly about Him to anyone I talk with. They know of my faith in Him even though they do not have a faith in Him of their own.

Losing Lilly has definitely changed things as far as how we parent. We parent with more patience and calmness than before. We have always tried to talk with our kids and explain things calmly while disciplining but it has not always been easy. Our children have always been precious to us, but losing a child can definitely put how precious they are more into perspective. I feel our parenting skills have definitely changed in how we approach things with our living children. I feel we are more patient, understanding, and not as hard on them as we once were.

On the subject of having any more children we have not made a decision either way. We have chosen to wait until after Lilly's one year anniversaries of both her birthday and her death to decide either way. We never specifically planned any of our four children and if we had more we would have to plan in order to take precautions. I would have to take more folic acid prior to conceiving. There is the obvious fear of this happening again, and losing another child. I feel that of course there would be a very validated amount of fear and I have felt that from time to time. At the same time we enjoyed Lilly while she was with us and I feel that if we got pregnant again that we would do the same despite that fear. Its a back and forth as far as should we or should not we right now which is partly why we've given ourselves time to decide.

When we found out Lilly's diagnosis I would often pray for Him to take me instead of Lilly. I did live my life with more compassion and have continued to do so since carrying Lilly. I promised myself that I would not let Lilly's death destroy or define me. Though sadness overwhelms me at times, it will not consume me. There is so much to be grateful for and I feel focusing on what we did not get or what we are missing out on will take away from what we did get and what we do have as far as blessings from God in our lives. Lilly is one of those blessings.


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