“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. I'll always be with you.”
~A.A. Milne, from "Winnie the Pooh"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

17 years......

Dearest Amanda,
In just a few short hours, you will turn 17. 
You came into this world in the wee hours of the morning...1:37 am....with barely a whisper. You had my heart from the moment I laid eyes on you. 
If I close my eyes, I can almost still feel the weight of you in my arms and smell the sweet aroma of the top of your precious head. I can so easily be transported back to nights sleeping with you cuddled by my side because I knew that our days together were numbered and I wanted as many memories as I could gather to carry me through the many days that lie ahead, days when I would have to walk without you beside me.

Those early days seem so long ago...days when I thought that this day would never come. Days when it seemed that 18 years was an eternity. And now...now, you are the same age as I was when you were born. One year remaining before I may have the chance to truly know YOU, instead of the baby in my memories.
I do not doubt for a second that I did what was best for you all those years ago. I know, unequivocally, that you have a good life, full of everything I could have ever wished for you and a whole lot of things that even my immature mind couldn't have ever imagined. Your life, as seen through pictures, is full...full of love, full of family, full of joy.
I have watched you grow...changing from a tiny baby....

to a beautiful young lady.....

You are more breathtaking with every passing year. 
When I started this journey, I could have never saw myself as the person I am today. YOU are a big part of why I am who I am now. YOU get the credit for motivating me to become a better person, to chase my dreams, to become someone that hopefully someday you'll be proud of.
I know I will never be your mom. I didn't earn it. But I hope that I can always be your friend....... 

Happy birthday, beautiful girl.
I love you. Now and always.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I sit at my computer tonight with a heart heavy with grief, heavy with unanswered questions, and heavy with a healthy amount of empathy for yet another family who are left without the light of their lives tonight. It seems the losses keep stacking up, one atop the other. The grieving of our Ds family barely ends before we are grieving again.
I hope Heaven fully appreciates the angels those in our family have sent their way.
I imagine them all gathered together, all those who have gained their wings, laughing and playing, filling Heaven's halls with the sound of their exuberant voices singing. I imagine the crinkly eyed smiles, as well as little feet running. I imagine the angels already in Heaven lining up to greet the newest arrivals....and I imagine Jesus, on His throne, with precious 47 chromosome babies crawling all over His lap. Its a beautiful picture to me....but even that beautiful picture can't stop my heart from breaking or these mamas from hurting in ways that I can't even imagine.

As I laid in bed wide awake last night, Liddy asleep in the pack n play beside me, her sweet breaths called to me. That calling refused to let me go until I had no choice but to scoop her up. As I pulled her as gently as possible out of her bed, she wrapped her chubby arms around my neck and snuggled right in. I spent the next few hours, cuddled in bed with her warm body beside me, talking to God. Thanking Him again and again for this precious being beside me, for allowing me another day to be her mama, for seeing fit to protect her for at least a few hours more. I prayed that He would give me the wisdom to guide my other children with the love and respect they deserve. I prayed that He would continue to show me the path I should be walking, that He would continue to mold me. I prayed for Him to take my fear and make it something beautiful for His glory. I prayed for safe travels for these angels, gone too soon. And I prayed for their mamas, their papas, their sisters and brothers who have been left with empty arms and shattered hearts.
I don't understand. I'm sure that I will NEVER understand. But in the midst of my ongoing dialogue last night some things became a little clearer.....
Ever hear the song "Blessings" by Laura Story? What if Laura has it exactly right? What if we, as humans, have to walk through the dark places, have to cry, have to have sadness, in order to truly appreciate the beauty, the fragility, the fleetingness of happiness? What if we can never truly have one without the other? The yin and yang. Darkness and light. Happiness and sadness. Love and loss. Don't they all sort of go together? Aren't they all sort of a part of life itself? If there was no darkness, how would we recognize the light? If there were no sadness,how would we know when we were happy?  If there was never any loss, how would we grasp the beauty, the freedom, the joy of being loving and being loved in return?
Fear. Fear is an immobilizer. It steals your breath. It steals your freedom. It puts you in chains, the same as being enslaved. In reality, we become slaves...slaves to the things that fear steals away, including our true selves. I think that its normal, acceptable even, to have a healthy dose of fear when something horrific and unexpected happens. Its not the appearance of fear that we need to concern ourselves with. Its the remaining, the allowing it to move in and take up residence in our hearts.
Life is fleeting. Life is more fragile than we truly understand on a day to day basis. But that doesn't mean we stop living for fear of dying. In fact, to me, it means that we have no choice but to take all that life has to offer with both hands and hold on for dear life. Our destinations are always the same...its the journey that truly counts.

RIP sweet angels. Thank you for showing the rest of us mere mortals that life is worth living, no matter how long or short a time it lasts. Thank you for reminding us that everything can change in the blink of an eye and that no one ever knows when the sand runs out beforehand. Thank you for reminding ME of how very blessed I am...and for reminding me who is truly in charge. Thank you for bringing us joy with your smiles. I hope with all of my heart that when I get to Heaven there is a band of 47 chromosome angels to greet me.