There is no footprint too small to leave an imprint on this world.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


I had a hard morning. My moments of overwhelming grief tend to be random, they just hit me and I can't move. This morning I hadn't gotten out of bed when it just hit and I couldn't stop crying. My family was leaving for church and I just couldn't move to get myself ready. So I stayed in bed crying until they left.
The moment the door closed and the house was quiet, I felt Jane with me. In church we always learn you have to be still and quiet and patient in order to feel and receive direction from the Holy Ghost. That is exactly how it is for me and Jane. When I feel her I am still and quiet and alone.
She brings so much peace with her. It always calms my trembling body and aching soul. After a few minutes of feeling her so close to me, I had gratitude in my heart. What an incredible girl she is. She turns my moments of grief into gratitude.
I am thankful for my Jane. I am grateful I get to be her mom, what an honor. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to try and be a better person everyday because I am always reminded of what I have waiting for me if I can live a good life.
I am grateful for an all-knowing Heavenly Father who needed his daughter back, but in the meantime would look down on me so compassionately and send me so many tender mercies I don't have room enough to receive them all. He knows I ache, and knows that what was taken can never be replaced in this life, but has provided so many other blessings to help me navigate through the grief and pain.
I am grateful for the revealed truths that God gave to Joseph Smith that children who die in infancy are saved and perfect. That they are "too pure, too lovely, to live on this earth." I would be in a scary place if I didn't have so much knowledge of where we go and our state of happiness after we die. I don't worry about Jane. I know she is happy. I know she is safe. That knowledge is an incredible gift. One that I am always, always thankful for because I am constantly thinking of Jane.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Jane's Official Diagnosis


That's how it feels when you finally get the cause of death for your daughter. It has been 8 months since she passed but we just received her cause of death yesterday. 

The result? Systematic Inflammatory Response of an unknown origin.

I will let Bryan explain that to you in doctor terms: 
systemic inflammatory response of unknown origin: an inflammatory response of the whole body usually related to infection but not always so. The criteria for SIRS is two of the following four: tachycardia (fast heart rate>90), tachypnea (fast breathing>20), fever, or high white blood cell count.

So basically, they have no idea why Jane died. It could have been an infection, but not necessarily. It has been a very weird evening for me since we found out. Like I'm stuck in limbo. Not having real closure. I feel like I should be upset, but I can't be because I don't know what to be upset at. I'm upset at nothing. Nothing being the lack of diagnosis. 

I am not okay tonight. I just want to curl into a ball and not come out for a week. I can't believe this is really real. It can't be. I am not this person who can survive tragedy. 

I do take comfort in my initial reaction to hearing the news. That this "nothing" that Jane apparently had was God's way of getting her home. If it was meningitis or cancer or "nothing" the end result would have been her mortal death and return to her Savior. At least the way He took her was so quick and painless; it was very merciful. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Surviving Intern Year

For our (almost) 9 years of married life, years have been measured by school. They begin and end in May/June. Even though Bryan isn't a student anymore, his years of training are still measured this way. Today he finishes his first year of residency, or Intern year. Today, I feel more like this is our New Year then January 1st.
Intern year is tough, to put it lightly. It is equally demanding physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.
One year ago:
We moved away from Vermont, the state that will probably always have my heart. It was hard. We started our lives in a new area, which is always intimidating. Making friends, finding a new routine and figuring out where we fit in again. Bryan started a new job, where he felt responsible for people's health and lives. He was humbled, scared and had a constant feeling of inadequacy. His hours were long. We didn't see much of him and when we did he was exhausted.
All of this is typical to a medical Intern Year. It caused a lot of stress in our family and depression in my life. It was a dark and difficult time from June to November.
During our church's women's session of General Conference, the Prophet, Thomas S. Monson gave a talk which hit close to home about a wife surviving residency. I sobbed as I listened to it and felt like it was just for me. One of my favorite quotes now has come from this inspired talk,
"My dear sisters, your Heavenly Father loves you--each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. It is simply there. It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there."
June through November of 2013 was the hardest 5 months I had been through to date and I knew I still had 7 more months of Intern Year to go.
November came around and his schedule was lighter and we saw some happiness returning. Only to have our life thrown into the eye of a tornado just 2 weeks later when our baby daughter died.
No, THIS is the hardest thing I have ever been through.
So for the next 7 months we balanced the demands of intern year with the grief of losing our princess. But to be honest, intern year felt a lot easier now that we truly knew hard.
Today feels like we reached the peak of a mountain. We did it, we survived intern year. It isn't our Everest, that will come in 3 years when he finishes residency. But this is a significant triumph.  When we started medical school a good friend of ours was finishing. And she said "you will be amazed at the person you will become and the things you can do when medical school is over." She was absolutely right. And that still applies now. I am amazed with what we have had to survive and endure. It wasn't always pretty, but we did it.
I am grateful for our "Sherpas" who guided and helped us along. We have been blessed with the most incredible ward family who has taken our load many times. We have felt encircled in the most loving, protective, supporting and patient embrace by everyone around us. Including many strangers who have sent us messages and letters. We truly are blessed.
Life is hard, but it is not meant to be endured alone.
"We were not placed on this earth to walk alone. What an amazing source of power, of strength, and of comfort is available to each of us. He who knows us better than we know ourselves, He who sees the larger picture and who knows the end from the beginning, has assured us that He will be there for us to provide help if we but ask. We have the promise: “Pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good. (Doctrine and Covenants 90:24)”
"I am done!!!" happy dance