Thursday, January 28, 2010


This morning as I fed Hope her breakfast, I chatted with a friend who was looking for words to say to a couple who has just lost their sweet baby. I have been there, in that place, that deep dark place, TWICE, and yet I still find myself at a loss for words when it comes to this. Perhaps it is because there just are NO words. NONE. Not one single word changes anything. When you were hoping for a bassinet and you get a tiny casket or urn, there are no words that make that better. It sucks. Plain. Simple. Parents aren't supposed to bury their children. It is just not the natural order of things.

It breaks my heart each time I hear of another family, so cruelly being inducted into this "club". I am all too aware of all of the platitudes and Bible verses that are tossed around, and though they are all said with good intentions, they do nothing to help and are likely to just irritate an already emotionally spent couple. I, myself, try so hard to avoid such phrases, and yet sometimes, like word vomit, they spill out despite my clenched lips. We all want to have the words to help someone who is hurting so deeply.

As I have spent time in prayer this morning for this couple, and for my friend who will perform the memorial service for this sweet child, I am taken back to the day Isaac was born. The world just didn't make sense. I had been on the fence about God prior to this and was sure that if this unimaginable pain was coming from Him, I wanted nothing to do with a God like that. I remember lying in that hospital bed on that rainy July day, filled with anger and consumed with sadness. The days that followed were a fog for me. I had reached my melting point and had just checked out. I went through the motions all the while the anger was eating away at me. Howard was the only one with a window to the rage I felt. I hid it as well as I could but took it out on the one I loved the most.

I carried that guilt and anger for far too long. I held onto it as if it were the last thing I had to grasp after losing so much. I was confronted with the idea that a very large percentage of marriages will crack under the kind of tragedy we faced and Howard and I made a pact to survive. Nothing more, nothing less. Just survival. That was it. It wasn't the fairy tale we had hoped for, but our minds could not think far enough ahead to imagine joy again and yet we did not want to have to endure anymore pain so we decided from that day forward we would survive together. That meant him understanding my incessant need to talk about Isaac constantly even to strangers and my understanding his need not to. We dealt with things differently, I worked through my anger and he held on tight. We picked up the slack of the other when the grief had consumed one of us and we retreated to bed. It was a team effort for sure.

In the days and weeks following the death of Isaac, we experienced God's love, in a tangible way. Many people we barely knew acted as the hands and feet of Jesus and poured their love out upon us and my bitter heart began to soften. It is a long process and one that is different for everyone, but as I sit here today, praying for this couple, I am reminded of our decision to survive. For now that is all you can do and really it is enough. God will take care of the rest.

It is crazy to look back to those days where my grief was so thick I could barely get out of bed. They seem like forever ago and yet they seem like just yesterday. I have come a long way from that place. I am far from "all better" but I am changed. I have found joy, and yet I still feel the sorrow, I am a better mom, wife, daughter and woman of God. I still miss my boys each and every day, but I am with God's grace, able to each day put one foot in front of the other and keep on keepin' on, but back then, back on that rainy July day, it never seemed possible. It felt like that anger, bitterness and sorrow had taken up residency and there was no room for anything else EVER. I have since learned that letting go of the anger and bitterness doesn't mean forgetting or letting go of my boys, it has allowed me to fully embrace the gift of each of my children and praise God with every breath.

I would be honored today if you would pray with me about how God would have me reach out to this hurting family. I have not walked their personal journey but do know the agony of losing a child (twice). My heart breaks for them and I pray God would use me however He sees fit. I want them to feel the comfort that God had so graciously extended to us in our times of great need. I want them to survive.

and in the words of Gloria Gaynor...." I will SURVIVE!" (LAME-O but I could not resist)

Friday, January 22, 2010

One Month

In one month our sweet fourth son would be TWO years old. My heart is hurting and is just so heavy today. I am SO grateful for each of my five children and I love them each so deeply as they have changed me profoundly. Even almost two years later though the grief is enough to just suck the wind right out of me. Life has been almost painfully normal recently and for that I am grateful, but it sure doesn't heal the hurt. This kind of hurt will not be healed this side of Heaven. Some days are just too much. When I woke this morning I had a hard time even setting my feet on the floor. I wanted to pull the covers over my head and just hide for the day (But Luke already missed the bus once this week)

Sometimes it might look like we have moved on and have found redemption. The truth is that we have surely moved forward, we just have no choice, but redemption will not be found this side of Heaven.

Last night I was watching "Private Practice" (gasp, I know), but on that show a man spoke to a woman saying he could tell she had lost a child because she had the "dead kid face" and when she asked what that was, he told her that just by looking at her he could see that she had been to a deep dark place where no one ever wishes to go and many will never know, and that she had survived.

It got me thinking...does it show? By looking, can you see my "dead kid face". Is the sorrow always there, in my eyes, or do I really hide it as well as I try? Either way, it still hurts, some days it is an aching and other days it is pure agony. Some days I can barely breathe. Today, I would give just about anything to feel the weight of my sweet boys in my arms just one more time, I would do anything to breathe them in once more and lay my eyes on their precious faces.

Lord, thank you for each of my five children, for Luke's hugs, for Ben's funnies, for the MIRACLE of Hope and for the amazing love and lessons of Isaac and Asher, my heart hurts for Isaac and Asher, and while I know they are healthy and whole and with you, a piece of me is missing. Please help me find peace with that today and help me to see what it is you want me to do with this sorrow as I know it is not for nothing.

PS Do be sure to keep scrolling down for the next post of the cute pictures of the kiddos!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Serious Cuteness

What you cannot see in this picture is that Ben is wearing a pair of Crocs Rainboots in BRIGHT blue that I got for Luke for next year. They are FIVE sizes too big and yet he loves them and refuses to take them off. He is sleeping in them as I type this. :) I LOVE HIM! stinkin' cute are these kids...I mean, I might be a little partial, but seriously...there is almost too much cuteness here for me to handle!

A HUGE thank you to my friend Katie Mihalak for forcing me out of my house today and for capturing such great shots of my kiddos. It was fun and much needed. It surely helped get me out of my funk!


I am so sorry it has been so long since my last post. Just wanted to pop in and give a quick update. Everyone is healthy and doing well after a long bout of stomach issues. Hope has just recovered from her first double ear infection (which I didn't even realize she had, as I had taken her in for an eye infection, which pretty much made me feel horrible). But she is on the mend and everyone is well.

I have been in kind of a funk lately and am just not sure what is going on. I will try and share more on that later.

For now, I recommend you go to my sweet friend Emily's blog and read her words for a more uplifting update :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

To be fair

Since Ben decided to wear clothes and allow his picture to be taken yesterday we had a little fun making silly faces and taking photos. He seriously is the funniest kid I have ever known! I love him!

On a side note, I have begun also blogging on a blog a friend started and would like to welcome you to either join us or follow along. Living in Northwestern Pennsylvania, right on Lake Erie, we get A LOT of Lake Effect snow, like as in over four feet in the past week just with one storm system. This causes many of us to hibernate, stay indoors and warm ourselves with comfort food. Katie started this blog in an effort to get motivated and get outside even if only for a few minutes each day and photograph the world from our viewpoint. It has been fun so far and it has forced me to trudge out in the snow if only to take out the trash.

You can check it out is pretty fun, and she would be happy to have you join if you would like! :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Not Going out in the Blurp!

Mom: "Hey guys, there is a lot of snow out there! Maybe we should get bundled up and go play in it!"

Ben: "Mom, I am pretty sure it is a blurp out there!"

Mom: "A blurb?"

Ben: "No Mom, a BLURP! You see, the snow is goin' this way, and that way and all the ways, sure is a blurp out there."

Mom: "Oh, you mean a blizzard, yes, it is a blizzard out there for sure."

Ben: "Can you hear me mom? I said BLURP, BUH-LUR-PUH, BLURP. NOT blizzard, blurp!"

Mom: "Oh, yeah it SURE is a blurp!"

"Mother, are you serious? Have you SEEN what it looks like out there?"

"I mean really mom, it is cold and quite honestly the snow is over my head and over Ben's, I think we should just stay in and snack, there is no need to go out in a blurp"

"No, I mean it mom, I am NOT going out there!"

"This is more like it!"

Blurp avoided.

DISCLAIMER: I would have added pictures of Ben today, but for some reason he picked today to be a nudist, so Hope's will have to do! Just so y'all know, I am not playing favorites, but I do have a few standards for posting public pictures...clothes is one. :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy Seven Months Hope!

Hope is seven months old today!

Here is what she is up to these days:

She is wearing 6-9 month clothes

She finally has enough hair to put a tiny bow in it! (You have NO idea how excited I am about this)

She LOVES the Megasaucer and can bounce away!

She still prefers to be held most of the time.

She has started some baby food but only eats things that match her hair, peaches, carrots, apricots, sweet potatoes.

She still does NOT sleep through the night

She naps twice a day.

Ben is her best friend!

She is starting to allow others to hold her (YAY!)

Her favorite toys are her Glow Seahorse and anything she can chew

She still has NO teeth

We are enjoying EVERY SINGLE moment with her!