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

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Reality check: I'm still the mom of an angel baby

Today is hard. So often people tell me I am so strong, I handle losing my baby with grace and faith. And it's always nice to hear that, but sometimes I just want people to see a reality check on my life. Some days, I just can't move. I can't focus. I want to lay in bed all day. I'm so emotionally exhausted that my body aches. I have strong boughts of anxiety wondering, "what will happen next?" I live in this reality where "it probably would never happen" really happens. Losing your daughter totally unexpectedly to an illness that still nobody can figure out is highly improbable, but it's my reality. 

I worry sometimes that other angel moms read posts I have written that are optimistic and feel like they are failing somehow. That they compare their bad days to my good days and think that they just aren't strong enough. That would be the opposite of what I ever wanted someone to learn from my experience. 
I am human, my heart breaks over and over and over, I cry hard, I wish she was here again, I get depressed seeing toddler girl toys that I won't get to buy my princess for Christmas this year. I have these days too. I'm not superhuman. 

So here is my reality check post. For myself, for other angel moms and for my friends. Unfortunately, I don't live graciously and thankfully every day. Today is just another day I can say that I survived. And not much more. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Power In Women

Today as I sat in the women's meeting at church I learned a seemingly obvious, but powerful message. It's not that I didn't know this before, but I really understood it today. The instructor asked us to think of and share an example of a woman that has influenced our life. I'm pretty sure every eye was wet in the room as examples of gentle, but influential women were shared. 

As a group of about 40 women sat crying together I could see the real power in women. In our tears we all recognized the most influential women in each of our lives were the gentle, loving, kind and sympathetic ones. 

Today I really learned that women are powerful! Powerfully compassionate. Powerfully selfless. Powerfully sympathetic. Powerfully faithful. Powerfully noble. Powerfully gentle. I could list a hundred more attributes, but you get the picture.

In a society that is well-intentioned in trying to make everything between women and men equal, we tend to sometimes miss the point. Us women do not need to feel inferior to men because we are different. We have some qualities that are similar, but why can't we be proud and embrace that women tend to be more compassionate and tender-hearted then men? That certainly doesn't make us less important that we sympathize and care for people in a different way. Though impressive and praise-worthy, we don't need to command armies, rule a nation or even a corporation to have the most lasting and sincere positive influence on this world. In fact as we all thought about the women who we are grateful to for their example, not a single politician or CEO was named. It was mothers, grandmothers, church leaders from our youth, neighbors, teachers, and friends who found us in our most desparate times and never gave up on us. 

"When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses? When the surf of the centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing." -Neil L Maxwell 

I love being a woman! I love that I cry easily for my friends and family when they are in pain or turmoil. I love that I see ways to serve others. I love that I think of friends who are struggling and take a moment to pray for them. None of these make me weaker or any less important then my husband who is literally keeping people alive in surgery. In fact, he may save lives but I can create them. I love that my strengths, while different then Bryan's, can match in magnitude to his. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014


The reality of this month has come crashing into my life today and found itself a spot to reside in my heart and nerves for about 4 weeks.
Jane's birthday on October 1st was tough for me, I anticipated it being really hard but hoped the anticipation would be worse then the actual day. It wasn't, the whole day was just trying to survive. I really did love all the #elizajanelove that was spread that day. It made me feel less alone, more loved and that Jane still lives in so many people's hearts. But the sadness and anxiety of what I didn't have was still almost too much to bear.
As we are exactly two weeks away from the anniversary of Jane becoming an angel, my mind floods with vivid memories and flashbacks of that horrific day, my nerves are on edge, my body aches to feel her body again. The further out we get, the less I can remember the feel of her tiny body, and that breaks my heart.
I have said about a dozen times already today I just want to skip this month. I want to decorate for Christmas tomorrow and pretend that November doesn't exist. I don't know how I am supposed to survive this month again. I don't know what is expected of me and what I need to learn, but right now I don't want it. I want this month to just be any other 11th month of the year and not have any special significance to our family.
But as I was perusing Facebook, something really struck my attention. Someone asked the question, "How early is too early to put up Christmas?". The response from someone that they love having a month and holiday completely dedicated to seeking out their blessings and recognizing them helped me realize I need that in my life right now. November we celebrate gratitude and the many things we do have in our life. And that is probably what I need to combat the attitude of focusing on what I don't have.
I do have a literal perfect daughter. She has attained heaven and all it's blessings without having to endure the trials and suffering of this life. I have two sons who adore and love their baby sister with all their giant hearts. I do have a husband who is pretty much the epitome of perfection packaged into a hot little gift for me. I do have legions of angels on earth and in heaven who constantly surround me with their love. I do have the indescribable joy of getting to have my daughters spirit that is full of the purest love come visit and comfort me in my times of deep sorrow. My daughter has become my greatest spiritual teacher. I learn from her and she comforts me. Our roles have been reversed for a time.
I will try to continue in my month of gratitude because I need it. We all need it. In the seasons of our life when we feel desolate and empty, how much more do we need to force ourselves to see the good that still exists?  

Part of that gratitude just may be gratitude for free agency to put up Christmas whenever I want. I love Christmas and it makes my heart happy. I can be grateful with some snowmen and angels around, right?