Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween, everyone.  Yesterday we enjoyed making caramel popcorn, and carving our pumpkins.  I was amazed at how much I enjoyed it.  In fact, I didn't realize how little I enjoyed the previous attempts at pumpkin carving (in the midst of meds and diaper changes ect.).  We have always made the effort to keep up with the family stuff, for Brodie's sake, but now I can really see how hard I pushed myself.  Last night we really had fun, and I was amazed because I really thought we had fun other years.  I guess we didn't have to rush this year.

When I realized that we didn't have to rush, I felt a little quieter and thought of Ashley and Hope.  It is so good to remember them.  It's kind of sad that no one can ask how they are doing anymore, because I like to share them with people.  Some might forget about them eventually, and even now it appears that Ashley and Hope are part of the past.  But here is a reality that you should know.  One's child never disappears into the past.  Ashley and Hope will always be in my present.  When I get to share a memory of them, or talk about how I decorated their grave, or dress Mira in their clothes, then my reality is honored.  It's good to remember.

Here is Ashley in October of 2009.  We tried to dress her up in a costume that my mom had made for us kids when we were small.

Here is Hope in 2008, when we tried to dress her up as a cow.

We didn't take the girls out to trick-or-treat, and I didn't always dress them up, but they were always part of the family.  Now of course, I kind of wish I had more pics of dressing them up.  I have to remind myself that I really did do the best I could.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A little Hopey fix!

When I made the slideshow for Hope's funeral, I placed a very special video at the end.  It was taken shortly after Ashley died, and was the last time we had such wonderful smiles from Hope.  Whenever I need a 'Hopey fix', I watch that video and now I'll share it with you...

It's been seven months now, since Ashley died, and two months since Hope followed her home to heaven.  We miss you, Hope and Ashley.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dirty white pants...

When Hope was born, we recieved this sweet little outfit of white pants and a pink summer top.  I remember thinking that no 'seasoned' mother would bother with white pants on a crawling baby, but for my girl who won't crawl, it would be just fine (sigh...).

Well, now I have a little girl who can wear those same white pants, and she loves to crawl.  In fact, she does a great job of getting those white pants all dirty.  Would you be surprised to know that I was thrilled to put those white pants on her and take her outside to 'break-them-in'?

Take that...white pants!  I've got a baby girl who can crawl!

Can you feel my joy, my wonder, and even my laughter at my silliness?

Now, if only I could get her attention away from Brodie's water gun...

Ahhhh, there we go.  That's the smile I was hoping for!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Continue or not...

The same question keeps coming up, "Will you continue the blog?", and usually I answer with a casual 'yes'.  I don't see why I shouldn't continue sharing the final stage of this journey, which is the grieving stage.  The updates will be fewer and maybe some people will not be interested, but this is not my concern.  This blog has not been about popularity or appealing to the interest of others.  It has been a place to share this journey with the people who care.  It has been an avenue of support as people read and try to understand how this experience has changed us.

I don't imagine that everyone will find it necessary or interesting to walk this grief road with me.  I know that Ashley and Hope provided the life of this story and with the end of their lives, the story appears to be done.  But I am not done!  I am here, thinking about them and remembering them and trying to figure out how to move on.  So, I will write and if no one reads, that is okay.  I am guessing that I will continue for about a year, but that is not set in stone.

We just returned from a little get-away.  Mira travelled very well and it was a treat to go with Alex on his work trip.  Check out Mira on the train...

What a good little girl!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tears are okay...apparently.

I cried, finally.  I have cried little bits, but the last couple days have definitely felt better.  I referred to Karen's blog in my last post because it struck a chord with me, although I wasn't exactly sure why.  So, I've been pondering things.  Every time I cry, I feel a release and I feel better, but I often stop crying as soon as I think the words, "Finally, I'm crying...".  

Fine, perhaps I don't need to cry too much because I've been having 'moments' for 6.5 years.  Really?  Well, I read Karen's words about the couple months after Joel died.  She spoke of the 'aching numbness' that came instead of the tears (not that she didn't cry at all but more tears came later).  With that, I realized that I want to cry.  I don't want to be numb, I don't want to feel nothing, I don't want to do well.  This is finally my chance to cry without explaining myself, why can't I let loose?

It sounds a little simplistic, to say that I needed to give myself permission, but I did.  But it's not just that.  I also needed to release myself from others expectations (or what I imagine might be expected).  I will cry when I'm ready and that might be next month, or next year or in a couple years.  If people are uncomfortable with that, well I'll have to live with that.  I hate making other people uncomfortable.

Then I had to realize that I would probably not have 'perfect' crying moments.  Moments where I would be in a nice secluded spot with a good friend, who would know just what to say.  If I am waiting for might not happen.  I might actually cry at church, like I did today.  Or I might cry at the grocery store (so annoying).  The important thing I realized is that I should never expect someone else to know just the right thing to say.  I can think of many, many moments where I am sure I chose very wrong words when someone was grieving.  Oh, my heart hurts to think of it. 

As I sat outside, taking some time to let it sink in...I decided that I could choose to trust in Jesus with all my uncertainty.  I can trust him with my insecurity.  I can trust him with my worries.  I can trust him when the tears come and trust him when the tears don't come.  I am not alone, either way. 

Turning back to thankfullness, I praise God for the blessing of Brodie and Mira.