Monday, March 7, 2016

4 years...

These hands haven’t felt the key strokes of my grief in quite some time. The truth is not that I’m “over it” or that I’m running out of things to say (let’s face it, that will never happen), but rather that life has done its job of keeping me busy. Being present with my work, family, and friends takes time, effort, and energy; all of those things which work together to make it darn near impossible to find the time to sit in front of a computer and go on and on about a baby that is gone…a sadness that is so deep…a life that is unfair…but I am making the time today to share some things with you…
  1. I miss my forever baby…still. My once-aching (literally) arms were quickly and perfectly filled with Miss Nora, but I still miss those sweet red lips and soft brown hair of my second born.
  2. I still have moments (days) of weakness and overwhelming sorrow.  I am still sensitive to others’ remarks regarding baby loss. I am still struck with pangs of guilt and anger at seemingly random times. I mean, let’s face it, 4 years is just a drop in the bucket of life.
  3. It’s becoming more difficult to find ways to successfully include Wyatt in our lives. There’s only so much you can say about a baby that never fully lived. There are no funny stories to share, or frustrating tantrums to record. There are no more clothes or toys to hand down to the next kiddo in line. There are no new pictures to post or new activities to attend. There’s simply a memory of a baby that was very wanted, who ALMOST made it into this world, who would be completely adored by his sisters; a memory of a baby and a group of loved ones who are steadily rolling with the punches of time.
  4. I am working hard to plan an angelversary celebration for a day that I dread ALL year. It’s one of 2 days that I request off of work in an entire year. It’s the only day that I would like to just crawl under my covers and swim in my tears. But what kind of a mother would I be? Although I should be arguing with a 4 year old about deciding on a star wars or superhero party, I will not let this day pass by without acknowledging a life that was real.   What kind of a role model for my girls would I be? I would like them to know that even when things get hard, you should never give up… and when you love someone so much you do what you can to show them you care. Simple as that.
  5. People are awesome. I have some very sweet friends, a super family, and an amazing support system. I continue to get random messages of encouragement, thoughtful gifts from the heart, and willing participants in my sometimes gloomy conversations.
    This is where I want to talk about this year’s celebration. Right here. With awesome people. Because although I’ve met some pretty remarkable people, I just know there are more out there. Like the person who bought my coffee in the drive-thru the other day…the day I was driving to work with tears streaming down my face while singing Amazing Grace at the top of my over-worked lungs. Or the lady who paid for my cart full of school supplies at Wal-mart last month after she asked if I was a teacher and proclaiming “I’ve been there.” I still do not know these two individuals, but now my heart knows that they are out there…in our world…making things brighter one random act of kindness at a time.
    This is where you come in. This year we are encouraging folks to participate in a virtual angelversary celebration.
    In memory of our son, during the month of his 4th birthday (APRIL), we invite you all to join us in doing random acts of kindness. We are in the process of making printable cards/flyers with more information about Wyatt that you are encouraged to leave behind when doing your random act of kindess. The link for these printables will be placed on the Facebook Event page entitled Wyatt’s Wingmen do Random Acts of Kindness. We inspire you to share your RAOK via social media on the FB page as well as with the hashtag #randomactsinhonorofwyatt. My goal is for total strangers to pay it forward…can you imagine what would happen in this world if every one person did something kind for someone else, with no strings attached!? Some of you may be thinking that you can’t afford to buy someone’s groceries or to spend the money that feeds your children, and we are not asking you to do so. A small list of ideas will be included at the bottom of this post…but let’s get creative…
    Let your light shine for all those babies (especially our Wyatt) whose lights were dimmed entirely too soon.
    Go out and throw kindness around like confetti!
    Random Acts of Kindness Ideas :
    1) Pay for the person’s meal behind you at a drive thru restaurant.
    2) Make or buy dinner for a friend – drop off a gift card or send one via email
    3) Bring donuts or bagels to work
    4) Leave quarters in a vending machine or washing machine for the next person.
    5) Leave any coupons you don’t need on top of the products at the store.
    6) Carry around snacks/drinks in the car to give to homeless people.
    7) Draw a picture (or have you child draw a picture) and send it to someone in the mail
    8) Write a letter or send a “just because” greeting card to let someone know you were thinking about them
    9) Write a letter to someone (teacher, parent, ecclesiastical leader, etc.) who has made a difference in your life and thank them
    10) Leave a larger tip than you normally would
    11) Offer to watch someone’s children so they can take a break
    12) Tell a random parent you see that they are doing a good job
    13) Smile!
    14) Let someone go ahead of you at the grocery store
    15) Buy a cookie for a child at the store
    16) Donate children’s books/toys to a doctor’s office, a shelter, a daycare, etc.
    17) Help someone carry their grocery bags
    18) Drop off a book to someone who you think might like it
    19) Make goodies for your neighbors
    20) Let your spouse sleep in
    21) Make your spouse/child/roommate etc. breakfast in bed
    22) Put a tip in a tip jar somewhere
    23) Leave a nice comment on someone’s picture or status on Facebook or Instagram
    24) Leave random sticky notes with fun or kind quotes on the mirror of a public restroom
    25) Take someone’s cart back (or, gather up carts that others left behind)
    26) Offer to give someone your cart as they are walking up to the store
    27) Let someone have the better parking spot
    28) Send flowers to someone anonymously (or pick them from your yard!)
    19) Doorbell ditch a homemade treat
    20) Go to a retirement center and visit with anyone who looks lonely
    21) Pay the toll for someone behind you
    22) Leave nice comments on random blogs
    23) Compliment someone randomly (whether you know them or not!)
    24) Drop off someone extra vegetables and fruits to someone
    25) Give up your seat on a bus
    26) Buy dessert for someone at a restaurant anonymously
    27) Clean someone’s windshield – leave behind the windshield scraper or a can of de-icer
    28) Send a thank you note through the mail
    29) Hold the door for someone
    30) Find someone who is moving to give extra boxes to
    31) Talk to the cashier at the store about their day
    32) Buy lunch for someone
    33) Help someone move (or offer to help clean)
    34) Drop off a pizza to someone who just had a baby, had surgery, or you just think might need a break from dinner making
    35) Volunteer somewhere – soup kitchen, homeless shelter, animal shelter, etc.
    36) Leave tickets sitting around randomly at an arcade or fair or give them to a young child
    37) Send extra copies of a nice photo to the people who are in them
    38) Send a care package to a soldier, missionary, or college student
    39) Pick up trash off the street
    40) Leave laundry detergent behind for someone at a the laundry place.
    41) Leave a money inside a redbox movies you return for the next person to buy snacks with.  

Friday, June 6, 2014

1 million, 51 thousand, 200 minutes

17,520 hours

730 days

104 weeks

24 months

2 years.....

since my beautiful baby boy was in my arms, receiving every ounce of love I had left in my recently crushed soul.

Sometimes it feels like it was only yesterday and I can still smell his precious baby skin. Other days it feels like an eternity has passed and that my memories of him are slowly fading. No matter how you look at the amount of time that has passed, whether it be in seconds or years,  since April 25, 2012, it is obvious that time is indeed moving...moving away from those first and last moments with my Wyatt? or moving closer to our long-awaited and anticipated reunion?

I wonder how many readers are thinking at this very moment, " She is all over the place with this post!"? Well, friends, welcome to my life. Let me tell you that most days are spent (and I mean SPENT) chasing after and breathing in my two, beautifully wonderful daughters while my heartache takes the back seat. Because let's face it...that dark- haired rambunctious little boy will never be running after his sisters with a slimy toad or pulling off the heads of their barbies.  With that said, there are still days when the common comment of "now all you need is a boy!" from a harmless stranger makes me want to retreat from the happenings of life in an instant. Don't fret, folks, we all know by now that it's not in my nature to let others or life's cheap shots hold me down...

We gathered at the cemetery to REMEMBER the all too short life of a very loved little boy on April 25th. It was not a large, elaborately planned event, however I was completely blown away by the amount of people who attended. You all keep amazing me with your love for us and our Wyatt ;you will NEVER know how much it truly touches a tender spot in my heart to witness your selfless support over and over again.

This year for Wyatt's birthday, we chose to send floating lanterns into the sky...with the hopes that others would observe the action and possibly remember that our child was real, he was wanted, and he IS loved. It worked. People from all over town reported on seeing the lanterns. And you know what is one (let's admit there are thousands) neat thing about being from a small town is? EVERYONE knows EVERYONE. After a few calls, facebook posts, and simple revelations, it was known to those that the lanterns were for our boy. How special.

It's hard to sing "Happy" birthday when there's nothing really happy about having to live life without one of your children, but when it's all you CAN do, you do it....and we will continue to remember him every minute, every day, every week, every month, and every year.

We hope you enjoyed your light show, baby.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year, New Post, Same Ramblings

Forgive me, Friends, for it has been 6 months since I have blogged. That is just unacceptable.
But, truthfully, it isn't because I think of my Wyatt any less... or miss him less...or cry any less. The cold truth is that there is nothing new to say, nothing extravagant to report.  And that is hard.

We still miss him.

We still wish this hadn't happened to OUR baby boy; to our family.

We still wish he were here, with us.
The what ifs kill me sometimes. What if he were here? What would his personality be like at 20 months old? Would he be into Mickey Mouse or Cars? Would he sit still long enough for me to torture him with pictures like I do his sisters? How would he handle being the only boy sandwiched between 2 girls? oh the questions that will always linger... and will always remain unanswered.

HOW is this fair?


My grief for Wyatt is manageable now; I sometimes read back on my first blog posts and think, "Wow, I was broken...I was hurting...and I still can't believe this happened to ME!" The sneaky feeling of anxiety still creeps up on me sometimes, like at family holiday gatherings, or new places around new people who don't know me or our story. I'm always afraid that I'll be somehow forced to choose between including or not including our 2nd child whether it be in traditions or conversations. It's not that easy, folks. Time doesn't HEAL anything. It may dim the intensity, but it sure as hell doesn't have a magic wand to wish away my sorrows.

My fear now is that my other children will pick up on their anxious mother's habits. I want them to remember a childhood full of laughter, fun, traditions, lessons learned, loads of hugs, kisses, and snuggles, and never ending love...NOT a mother who has to take deep breaths to calm her nerves or could very well drown in her own tears when she is told by that complete stranger that all she needs now is a boy. You're right, dear sir, I do need my boy.

But don't fret, yet, my dear readers, for our daughters will know all about their brother. They are having that childhood that I have dreamed up for them. And they have a momma and daddy who love each other and them with all of our beings. 

We are human. We have deep emotions. We got this.

Life is rough on a mom without her sweet boy. That's all.

It always will be.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Scar Tissue

Our rainbow has arrived! That's right...Wyatt became a big brother to a sweet little princess on May 17. Nora Ann was born at 37 weeks, 1 day and required a short stay in the NICU for some breathing issues. Baby girl is home now, and doing just fine. She has brought joy and love into our hearts from her sweet little soul and we are forever grateful for the opportunity to parent this child, along with our Lyla girl.

I often wondered if people thought this child was a "replacement" for our boy and if our hearts would miraculously be healed by this precious little being. Some have even stated it out loud, "I hope this has helped to heal your hurt." or " I'm so glad your family is getting the happy ever after it deserves."

Well, to put it in a nutshell (because currently that is all I have time to put it in for you all, seeing as to though I have a newborn to care for :) ), this new child has given me hope, she has stolen my heart, and she has already placed many a smile on my face since her arrival just 5 short weeks ago, but unfortunately there is no cure for a wounded heart. My intentions and hopes were never for the new baby to provide any kind of healing to my pain...that is not her job and I would never place those types of expectations on my precious children.  I am thrilled to have this baby in my arms, but I will continue to long for the other.

It's a funny thing to feel grief and happiness all at once, but I have lived with this reality for over a year now, and I will continue to travel on in this life. I sometimes feel guilty when caring for Nora. Guilty because Wyatt, and all of us here on this earth that love him, were stripped of those moments with him. This momma never got to feed her baby boy a bottle or rock him to sleep. I know deep down that I shouldn't feel the guilt and I should know that Wyatt still loves his mommy, but my heart aches for those memories with my son.

A wounded heart can never be completely healed; I will always have scar tissue that remains...and that's okay. Yes, the scars sometimes hurt, and yes, I realize that some will think of this post as a jumble of confusing words because I should be completely and totally happy with my life...and I am. I am so incredibly happy with my sweet husband and two princesses, but there will ALWAYS be a missing piece to our puzzle. His name is Wyatt, and many a tear still falls as I think of what should be. Not only should I have an almost six year old pulling me in every direction, and a newborn crying (literally) for attention, but my heart knows that I SHOULD be chasing a newly turned one year old around as well. I should be so completely worn out and tired at the end of each day that it's all I can do to crawl into bed...

I still picture him in all that we do. I see a dark headed little guy running around with his cousins and getting into EVERYTHING imaginable. I see a sweet round face begging to be kissed. I see big blue eyes as they open and close very slowly as to fight off the sleep that is impeding after a long day of play. I see chubby little fingers as they tug on my pant leg in hopes to gain Mommy's attention away from the new baby. I see clumsy toddler legs as they try to climb the steps to big sissy's room.

I see my baby boy everywhere...and I miss him. OH, how I miss him.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

1st Angelversary Celebration

The date was Saturday,  April 20, 2013. The skies were blue and the air was crisp. The grass was bright green and the sweet smell of newly bloomed flowers filled the air. My anxiety was high, but my heart was hopeful. The day had been one I had both looked forward to and dreaded all in the same thought for many months. Numerous hours of preparation had been put into making it both a memorable and an honorable day. Balloons were colorful and plentiful. Refreshments were delicious and appropriately presented. Donations of various items from refreshments to photography were graciously abundant and appreciated. Countless people had worked together to perfect every single detail of the event and to make sure that the ceremony was successful.


And that it was...Wyatt's first angelversary celebration was simply amazing. And by amazing I mean, bittersweet, humbling, beautiful, serene, emotional, honest, peaceful, and profound.

125 individuals purchased a "Wyatt's Wingmen" shirt in support of our celebration and in honor of our little man and over 100 people made their way to Wyatt's graveside for the balloon release on that gorgeous April day.

Celebrating from Afar:
 South Carolina

$631 was raised by donations (mostly coins) and t-shirt profit. The money, along with a giant teddy bear donated by Wyatt's sweet godmother, were all mailed to the Molly Bears foundation. Approximately 14 families will receive their Molly Bear thanks to the generous donations and the love that those contributors have for our Wyatt.

Our Wyatt bear was passed around the crowd as the celebration went on...

Wyatt was honored with sweet and honest words, precious and heart-touching music, and tender messages sent to him on shiny, bright balloons. Pinwheels and refreshments were offered as "party favors" and "party food." The ceremony was concluded with the traditional "Happy Birthday" song as everyone gracefully released the balloons into the spring sky.



Now, this was not the celebration any mother would picture for her sweet son's first birthday, but it made my heart happy to be able to do SOMETHING to recognize his life, our journey throughout the past year, and to help others faced with the loss of a child to heal, in some small, small way.

With that said, this Momma couldn't be more proud.

We hope you enjoyed your rainbow of balloons, little guy. Kisses to you from earth to heaven. XOXO

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Dear Wyatt- It's been a year

My Dear Wyatt-

I often wonder what your life in Heaven is like. Are you wearing a brilliant white gown and do your bare feet tickle as they touch the soft clouds? Do you hear the angels singing and do you greet new babies as they enter? Do you frolic in the gardens, holding hands with Grandma or does she rock you constantly as she tells you about the love we have for you?  Can you hear me when I talk to you and tell you that I miss you? Can you see me as a tear falls down and gets caught on the corner of my smile as I think of you, my beautiful son? I wonder...

It was one year ago that we realized you would not be staying with our family to live on this Earth. It was one year ago that we weren't given the choice to have to say goodbye before we truly even had the chance to say hello. It was one year ago that our hearts were broken because our arms were empty. It was one year ago that we had to tell your eager big sister that she would never meet you...until she got to Heaven. It was one year ago that we had to learn to walk, talk, and breathe a whole different world; a world without you.

Mommy truly can't believe that it has been 12 months since I held your precious body, kissed your plump cheeks, and smelled your sweet baby smell. I miss you, my son.

Until you entered our world, although lifeless you may have been, I'm not sure I truly understood what honest, pure, and unconditional love was. Don't get me wrong, I loved (still do) certain people with a never ending and selfless love, but those people were able to reciprocate my feelings and to show their appreciation of my love for them. When you came along, I realized that I loved a being that would never open his eyes to see me, who would never grasp my finger with his little hands, who would never utter a single sound, and who would be physically gone in the blink of an eye. That little being was you, Wyatt.

I owe many thanks to you, little buddy, for opening Mommy's eyes up to a world of faith and love not known before your presence.

I just wanted to let you know that Mommy loves you more and more with each new day...and with each new day the closer I become to holding you again...oh what a perfect day that will be. Until then- continue to send us kisses on butterfly wings and hugs through the breeze.

 love you to Heaven and back,


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Wyatt Bear

"An Angel Baby's Cuddle Sent To A Family In Need"- Molly Bears

Many of you may remember the mention of the Molly Bears foundation in one of my previous posts (Party Planning). If not, allow me to refresh your memory or inform you about this magnificent foundation. The creator of Molly Bears lost her baby girl, Molly, at 34 weeks gestation due to a true knot in the cord. The foundation strives to create a weighted teddy bear (to the exact weight of the lost child) for each family who have been faced with such horrible circumstances.

 I was finally able to place our baby's name on the waiting list for a weighted teddy bear back in February...the foundation only allows so many names to be added each month as they can only make so many bears per month due to the fact that they are a complete nonprofit organization and run solely on donations. I was number 6025 on the waiting list; it would have taken 16-20 months for me to ever receive my bear. The Molly Bears' team realized that simple donations were not enough to keep up with the demand of production (how sad is it that so many babies are lost so often??) so they began to offer "express passes." The express passes require a donation of $100 and guarantees your bear to be made and delivered within the next month. All families in need of a bear are not able to afford the large donation, obviously, but it takes approximately $45 to make and ship just one bear. The $100 donation would not only provide us with our Wyatt bear at a much faster rate, but it would also allow another bear to be made and shipped from the top of the waiting list. So, of course, we made the donation...

I am thrilled to say that our Wyatt bear has made his way to our home and into our hearts.

I was aware that the bear would be arriving soon, and with that known, I tried to prep myself for the emotions that may or may not come with seeing, touching, and holding the was going to weigh the exact same as my Wyatt. How would that make me feel? Happy? Sad? Excited? Devastated all over again? I wasn't sure, but I don't like the feeling of not knowing, so I progressed on anxiously awaiting Wyatt Bear's arrival.

A simple priority mail box was sitting there, staring me in the face. I saw the Molly Bears sticker on the sender spot and rubbed the smooth surface with the palm of my shaking hand. I had planned on waiting for Waylon to get home from work to open the box, but I just couldn't stand it. I called him and he insisted that I open it while on the phone with him. I gently slid a pair of scissors across the box, releasing the secured edges from their tape.  I peeled back the flaps of the box to reveal a gorgeously fluffy and brown furred teddy bear laying on it's side. I found it hard to breath. Through my crackled voice I began to describe the bear to Waylon...It was a rich brown color (like our Wyatt's hair), It had a blue and red bow tie and a blue button heart over where its heart should be, and the bear had a wonderfully thoughtful applique of an airplane right in the center of its precious belly. It was perfect. I cautiously reached into the box, momentarily forgetting how heavy 7 pounds, 6 ounces could really be, and grabbed the bear, immediately cuddling it close to me. Waylon was still on the phone asking me if I liked it...of course I liked it..I loved it.

We ended our phone call and I retreated back into our bedroom with Wyatt Bear in tow. I sat on the bed and began to gently rock the precious stuffed animal back and forth while tears ran relentlessly down my shivering cheeks. It was a strange feeling of comfort, yet déjà vu all rolled into one. I yearned to be holding my real little boy, but was proud to have something so valuable to my healing in my arms.

Waylon and Lyla met Wyatt Bear that very afternoon upon arriving home from work and school. Waylon was holding the bear silently, after proclaiming that the bear felt the exact same as Wyatt had, when the little princess made her way into the room, and in one sudden and flawless move, scooped the bear from her daddy and ran off into the other room with her new best pal.

Lyla has continued to lug around the bear from room to room as she reads to it, rocks it, and simply holds on tight to it while watching one of her favorite shows. Wyatt bear has made his place in our home, and we are thrilled to share him with others.