Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What can I say that hasn't already been said?

4/25/2012        9:10 a.m

Dear Brynna,

What can I say that I haven’t already said?  I feel the pain of missing you every morning when I wake up and every night when I go to sleep.  I also feel it much of the time in my dreams.  It’s a pain that never goes away.

Yet, try as I may, I can’t find the “exact right” words to put to it.  I feel like if I could just “say it right” than maybe just a little bit of the pain would subside.  If I could just “get it out” and “off my chest”, I could get a tiny bit of relief. 

But, there are no “exact right” words.  Nothing to describe “just how I’m feeling”.

I’m trying really hard, sweet girl.  I am.  I am trying really hard to be at least a little bit of the momma I would have been if you had been here with us.  But it’s hard.  It’s so hard.  I can’t get my heart to listen to what my mind is trying to tell it.

I don’t know how to do this.

I am not used to doing things without at least a little bit of an understanding of how to do it.  It is so hard to wake up each day and hurt right from the moment my eyes open.

This isn’t to say, I don’t get up and “go about my day” because I do.  I go about cleaning the house, doing the laundry, running errands and making meals.  I get together with friends and go to Little League baseball games.  But it all takes so much more concentration and will power.  It seems that the days of doing things on autopilot are gone.  I have to force myself to focus and get done what needs to get done.  Because my mind, especially when the boys are all at school, is on you.

What would you and I be doing while the boys were off learning?  Would you be joining me at the gym?  Would you be crawling around the family room while I folded endless piles of laundry?  (That’s another thing that makes me sad because I thought at this stage, there would be a lot more pink in those piles waiting to be folded).  Would we lay down together for a nap in my bed?

Tomorrow you will be (would have been) six months old.

Half a year.

Half a year has come and gone since the day you were born, and I am standing here reeling with that knowledge.  How did that happen?  How has that much time passed when I feel like time should be standing still?  Why doesn’t time stop when it feels like our hearts have?

I love you, Brynna.  I love you as much as a mother can love.  More, I think….

Your daddy and I were talking last night, and we both seem to be kind of in the same place right now.  Just really sad and frustrated that there was nothing we could have done to help you.  As parents, it is our job to keep our children safe and we were not able to do that for you.  We are both so sorry. 

I am so sorry, Brynna.

I would have gone to the ends of the earth and laid down my life to save yours.  I swear, I would have.  And Daddy would have done the same. In a second.  Just to give you a chance at this life.  It is so very hard as a parent to feel powerless like this.  We love you and your brothers more than life itself, and we just wanted more than anything, to keep you all safe.  But, we couldn’t and that makes us so sad.

Little girl, I need you to know, wherever you are, that you are still in my heart all the time.  Everyday, everywhere, all the time.

I will keep trying to move ahead, because I love you and the boys and Daddy.  I will try really hard not to beat myself up too much over “not being further down this grief road”, and I will just keep going to bed each night, and maybe one day I’ll wake up and feel like loving you doesn’t have to hurt so much.

I love you, Brynna.  Always, I love you.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm Tired.

This is making me tired.  Grief is painful, tiresome, seemingly endless work.  I feel like I give it 100% each day, and each day I run the risk of being right back where I started.

A while ago, when trying to explain my grief to a friend, I likened it to running a marathon. 

When it’s laid out in front of you, it seems an extremely daunting task, and people really think you’re crazy to try it.  You know you’re crazy to try it. But, there you are, on race day, at the starting line ready to take what comes your way.  The gun goes off, and off you go.  Running a pace that seems manageable. One mile down.  Two.  Three.  Maybe four. But then all of a sudden you blink and you are back at the starting line again.  What just happened?  What about the “progress” you just made?

Tough shit. 

Here you are back at the beginning, so off you go again, except this time you’re more tired.  What choice do you have?  You can’t quit.  You ready yourself again and off you go.  Running perhaps a bit slower this time, but steady nonetheless.  Before you know it, you may be half way done and feeling pretty good about your “progress”, but again you blink, and when you least expect it, there you are again at the starting line.  Now everyone else is much further down the road than you ever managed to get, and you are more and more alone.  Running this same road over and over again all by yourself.  What are you supposed to do?

Running again seems impossible, but giving up is not an option because this marathon is a run toward your life.  Your future.  Your family’s future.

Now, your body is exhausted and your mind is foggy.  What is the point?  How can anything you do really matter, because it seems you are destined to “start over” forever.

The biggest way that this run differs from a regular marathon, I am beginning to understand, is that there is no definitive finish line at mile 26.2.  This course stretches to the rest of my life.  There is no “half way” or “almost there”.  There is only the course. 

And there are hurdles along the way as well.

I am not only dealing with the grief of losing my daughter.  I am dealing with the grief of being unable to bring another child into this family.  I am dealing with the insecurities that go along with that.  Being 33 years old and as barren as the Sahara.  It’s heartbreaking.  Every day when I have to apply my pseudo estrogen so that I feel “a little closer to normal”, my heart breaks.  It’s not what I planned.

I am dealing with the fact that I have three amazingly loving boys who miss their sister more than they know how to express.  Every day trying to navigate this confusing course with them, attempting to explain it all in ways their young hearts and minds can understand.

I am dealing with the fact that if Steven and I do decide that our hearts are open and ready to travel down the road toward adoption, we will face many more hurdles (financial, emotional, spiritual) and possibly heartbreak.  Are we strong enough to stand that?  Are we strong enough to stand it if we don’t adopt?

This is so far beyond frustrating.  There don’t seem to be any real answers.  There is no plan.  No protocol.  We just have to keep going, because we have No. Other. Option.

Can you imagine that?  Can you imagine a pain so great that nothing- NOTHING- exists to take it away? 

Some say, “God will take it away.”  Some say, “time will take it away.”  Some don’t say anything at all because they know there is nothing to say.

I have turned and will continue to turn to God and Love for support, but nothing can take away this Brynna shaped hole in my heart.  A hole that will never be filled with anything else, because nothing else fits.

Some people wonder (and have said in so many words), “how can she love her so much? She only got 6 days, she didn’t even have time to get attached.”   Or they wonder, “isn’t she ready to go back to work yet?  It’s been 6 months.”

I ask you all to think about your own children.  Now, tell me the day you became “attached” to them…

Was it after 6 days?

Now think about your child being gone.  Forever.

Would you be “over it”, “through it”, “passed it” in 6 months?  6 years?  Ever?

I am tired.  This grief road is a painful, tiresome, seemingly endless road.  And I miss her.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

#2 Turns 7!!

Aidan turned 7 on April 17th!  On the night of his actual birthday, we had a family dinner of his request- spaghetti, strawberries, bread and salad.  And of course, cake too.

It really is hard to believe that our second born is already seven years old!!!  He is such a smart, sweet, kind hearted, funny boy!  He is so very creative and constantly amazes us with his artwork and "paper creations."

It was nice to have a break from the sadness we've all been experiencing, while planning for Aidan's party.

He requested a Spiderman theme and invited friends from school, and baseball as well as family and longtime friends.  It was a great group and the kids (and adults) seemed to have a good time.

 There were chocolate and vanilla cupcakes...
Lots of Spiderman decorations....
 even a Spiderman web complete with Spiderman balloons (I have to admit I was pretty proud of myself on this one)

Jackson and Aidan trying to guess what was in the growing pile of presents.
 It was a BEAUTIFUL day for a party!
 All the Spiderkids lined up for a picture.

 Getting ready for cupcakes and ice cream

 Is it time for presents yet??

 Aidan was so excited to have received Skylanders for the Wii!  It's actually a really cool game.


After all the kids had gone home, the boys thought it would be a good idea to send some balloons up to their sister in heaven.  We are so blessed to have boys with such tender hearts!
 Getting ready to launch.....

Up, up and away!  We miss you baby girl!  Thinking of you always.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Momentary Break from the Sadness....

The other night, I heard a sound coming from upstairs.  When I asked the boys what it was, Cole responded that he was working on his beatboxing skills.  I asked him to come downstairs so that I would be able to hear it more clearly.  I caught him on video showing us his talents, and also managed to capture Aidan's "talent" as well.....

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Someday" is not Good Enough Today.

4/19/2012        8:46 a.m

Dear Brynna,

I miss you.  There really are no other words than that.  I miss you. 

The past several days my arms have been aching again with how empty they are.  I want so badly to hold you close to me.  I want so badly to feel your soft, baby skin and smell your sweet, baby smell.

I miss you.

The missing you never stops.  Ever.  It is heartbreaking.

Why did it have to happen this way?  How could it have happened this way?  How can a family that wanted a baby so deeply, be made to suffer this way?

I know in my heart that this is not the end.  I know we will see you again some day.  But today, “someday” is not good enough.  Today, I need to see you now.

I need to know what you would look like at nearly 6 months old.  I need to know what color your eyes are, and what your voice sounds like.  I need to see you smile.  I need to know that you are okay.  I need you to know how loved you are.

Two days ago was your brother Aidan’s birthday.  He turned 7!!  His birthday party is this Sunday and there stand to be a lot of people here.  On the night of his actual birthday, though, we had a family dinner just the five of us.  After dinner we had birthday cake.  When Aidan went to blow out his candles he said, “I wish the wishes you make when you blow out candles really came true, because I would wish only for Brynn to be back with us now.”

Me too. 

I’ve never wished, hoped, prayed for something more in my life.  I would give anything to trade places with you, and give you the chance to grow up in this wonderful family.

I miss you, sweet baby girl.  I love you too.  More than you will ever know.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Grandpa Dennis Turns 60!!

There is a man in my life that I look up to more than any other.  He has been there for me through everything.  He raised me to be the woman I am today.  He is loving, tender, funny, intelligent, courageous, and dedicated.

He is my father.

My dad, Dennis, turned 60 this year.  He didn't want any big thing made out of his day so there was no grand party or big trip.

We did, however, drive down to my parent's house for the weekend, to show him just how much we love and appreciate the fact that he is here to celebrate another year of life.

The past nearly 6 months have been the hardest I have ever known, but with the support of my dad and my mom, Steven and I are making it through.  Happy Birthday, Dad!!  And thank you for everything.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Time is a Crazy Thing

Dear Brynna,

Good morning, sweet girl.  I miss you.  I love you and I miss you.  So very much.

The other day, I had a realization.  All the clothes that are hanging up in your closet and filling the drawers in your beautiful room, would be too small for you now.  No longer would you be fitting into the 0-3 month sleepers, dresses and leggings.  You, my darling, are nearly 6 months old!!  If you had followed in the footsteps of your wonderful brothers, you would also be out of the 3-6 month clothes and into the 6-9 month stuff.

It was a funny realization to have, because in so many regards, time has completely stopped for your Daddy and I.  Since the day you died and our hearts broke, time (for us) has really been a strange thing.

Somehow, since that time, we have experienced Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, my birthday, spring break and Easter.  I’d be lying if I said I really, truly experienced, celebrated, or enjoyed any of them.  There were moments of happiness in some of them, but none of them were what they used to be.  Because no matter how many people are there, or how much great food is prepared, you are still missing.   And our hearts ache for you.

So many times, I still feel stuck in October.  I wish it were still October 25th.  I remember that day so well.  I had gone to the doctor for a routine “you’re overdue so we have to watch you closely” appointment.  I was not worried that you were past your due date.  All the boys had been too, and I was confident you would come when you were ready.  The exam that day came back normal, as did the non stress test.  You were doing great inside of my tummy.  On the ultrasound you looked as beautiful as ever, just camping out in there, waiting to make your grand entrance.  And I was okay waiting for you.

The nurse practitioner had concerns though.  They said the amniotic fluid seemed too low, and although your umbilical cord was organized neatly in front of your tummy, they said there was an increased risk for cord compression.  As a result they wanted to induce me that day.

I was so heartbroken.  I did not want to be induced.  I was induced with Colton and Jackson, and those labors were very long and painful.  Aidan was overdue too, but he came on his own and much, much faster.  I wanted so badly to give you the opportunity to come on your own too.  I was okay waiting.  I loved being pregnant with you.  I loved feeling you inside my tummy moving around.  Oh, how I miss feeling you move around.  Now all I have to remind me that you were there at all is this horrible scar.

I remember calling your Dad to tell him that we would be induced that day.  I remember telling him I was scared and I did not want it to happen this way.  I called your Grandparents too.  After I got over my initial fear, I realized, either way, we were going to get to meet you, and I began to get really excited.

I headed home from the OB’s office to get the stuff we would need in the hospital.  I called some friends and got it figured out who would be meeting your brothers when they got off the bus that day after school. 

Then I went around the house, straightening things up for when we would be coming home with you a few days later.  I waited for your Dad to get there so we could head to the hospital together.  I went into your room and sat down on the bed and thought about you.  I was so excited to meet you.  I was so excited to bring you home and show you what we created for you.  A beautiful purple, green, cream and black nursery.  Perfectly planned and laid out for our special little girl.  The last thing I did before we left was turn on the wipe warmer so that it would be all ready for you when we came home.  Then, off we went, your Daddy and I, to the hospital to meet you.

That is when we unknowingly started down the path that was going to change our life in ways we could have never imagined.

I wish it were still October 25th.  I wish I could still feel you moving inside of me.  I wish you could still hear your Daddy’s voice talking to you through my belly.  I wish I could see my belly move over and over again while you had the hiccups.  I wish it were still October 25th.  Oh, how I wish it were still October 25th.

But it’s not.

It somehow is nearly 6 months later.  It is somehow April 13th.

Time is a crazy, messed up thing.  Where has it gone?  Where has nearly 6 months gone?  Where have I been?  Will I ever see the me that I knew for 32 years?  Or is she gone too?

We miss you, Brynna.  I miss you as much today as I did on November 1st when you went to heaven.  More, probably.  Because in the nearly 6 months that have passed, the shock of losing you has dulled a bit, and that shock has been replaced by the pain of how permanent this situation is.  That pain is indescribable.  That pain is something no mother or father should have to experience.  It doesn’t make sense that nearly 6 months ago, we lost our beautiful, perfectly healthy, perfectly grown, daughter.  Where has the time gone?

Time is a crazy, messed up thing.

I love you sweet, Brynn.  And Daddy and the boys love you.  We love you so much bigger than the distance between us right now, and we will continue loving you more and more.  You are in every thought, every experience, every day, all the time.