Tuesday, March 26, 2013

17 months old.

March 26, 2013
Dear Brynna,

17 months ago today, you were born.  I can’t believe it!  I can’t believe that what should have been one of the happiest days of our life, turned out to be the starting line in our journey through this life without you.  How has one year and five months passed since that day? 
I sure would love to turn back time.
I sure would love a second chance at that day.
What I would give to try again…
To insist they find a way to bring you into this world without using Cytotec or Pitocin.  How different our lives would likely be if I had only known.  If I had only really known what the possibilities were… What the outcome could be…
I’m still so very sorry, Brynn.  I am so sorry that I couldn’t protect you.  That is something I will wrestle with for the rest of my life.  The fact that I am your mother and I could not save you simply undoes me. 
I’m limping my way through this life without you.  Some days I seem to walk as I used to, but then I trip over a memory of what might have been, and I fall.  Some days I get back up pretty quickly, dusting off the sorrow, but other days I stay down. 
I just stay down.  Because some days, it’s still too heavy to stand.
We would have had a lot of fun, you and I.  Do you know that?  You and me, the only girls in a house full of boys.  :o)  We would be amazing for each other because we would be able to enjoy Daddy and your brothers, and take part in all of their amazing, active chaos, but then we could have slipped off for a quiet day getting pedicures, or going out to lunch and talking.  I could have taught you how to ride a horse, how to French braid your hair, how to cook dinners that bring people running from the hills to eat.  Don’t get me wrong, I would have taught you to ski, wakeboard, play tennis and baseball, and all the other things you showed interest in, just as we do for the boys, but it would have been just a little bit different because you and I would have had “that something special” in common in the same way the boys and Daddy do. 
There’s just something special about a mother’s relationship with her daughter.
Can I confess something to you?  I am terrified that as the boys grow, they will find their life partners and, in a sense, forget their relationship with me, their momma.
So many people say, “A son is a son ‘til he takes a wife, a daughter is a daughter the rest of her life.”  Does this mean I will be alone?  I know your brothers will love me forever, but will they be the ones to call just to “check in” and say “hi mom, how are you doing? Do you need anything?”  Silly to worry about, huh?  But this is my life now.  Sad about my 17 month old little girl that is not here to grow into my 37 year old little girl…
I miss you Brynna.  I love you so much, and I am incomplete without you.  That’s just the way it is.  The way it’s going to be.
Please don’t worry that I still feel sad.  Don’t worry that I won’t be okay.  Because I will.  I will feel sad, to a very certain degree, for the rest of my life on this earth, but at the same time, I will be “okay”.
I will.
I recognize that the boys and Daddy need me.  I recognize that I need me.  So, I will be “okay”.  I will keep trying to get up in the morning, vowing to face the day with some semblance of the woman I “used to be”.   The happy, more or less, “glass half-full” woman I used to be.  I will keep trying.
My goodness, my sweet girl, how incredibly deep my love is for you!  So deep that even death can’t extinguish it.  Not even a little bit.
I love you so very much greater than the distance between us right now.  Happy 17 month birthday, Beautiful!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Lead me.

Dear Brynna,

It’s been a long time since I sat down to write.  I am not sure exactly why, but it certainly does not mean it’s been a long time since you were on my mind or in my heart.  Not at all.  You are in my heart and on my mind all moments of my life.  I don’t know how it is has been almost seventeen months since you were born, but here we are.  You are almost a year and a half old!!  Oh my goodness, where has the time gone?  And also, how have we possibly made it through 17 long months without you, our sweet girl?

I so wish I were sitting down to write a letter that would go in your baby book.  A letter that you could read when you got older.  A letter that would give you a picture of the little girl you once were.  A letter about a little girl, running, jumping, learning, loving.  A letter about a little girl living.

But instead, I sit down and write to you, my angel.  A letter for my angel, my little girl in heaven.

Oh, how I wish it were different!

Daddy and I are making our way through this life.  One way or another, we are going to do this.  Together.  We are so committed to each other and to making this life the best possible life for your brothers.  The “how” of it, we aren’t always too terribly sure of, but we just keep on.  I love him so much.  He is a man like no other.  I am in awe of his willingness to examine himself (even when he doesn’t realize he’s doing it) and his constant re-commitment to continuing to be a better person.  He works so hard at being a great Daddy and a wonderful husband.  He makes me laugh, and for that I am thankful!

Cole is getting so big!  He is 9 ½ now and at times it feels I will blink, and he will be 18.  He wears glasses and that makes him look even more grown up and mature.  He is such a wonderful kid.  He is smart, witty, tenderhearted, and oh so very kind.  At school, he is always looking out for the kids that don’t really seem to have anyone looking out for them, and that makes me so proud.  He would have cherished you in a way only an oldest brother can.  He misses you and loves you so very, very much.  He is playing on two baseball teams right now (Puyallup Little League AAA ball, and also a select team called the Black Sox), and improves with every practice.  It’s so cool to watch he and his team play, and it excites me to see how he continues to grow.

Aidan is going to be 8 next month.  He is also playing Puyallup Little League baseball, and he seems to enjoy it very much.  He also continues to be devoted to all things artsy and creative.  It is wonderful to sit back and bear witness to what he creates.  The other day there was some old fabric lying around and I was about to throw it away, but then I decided to offer it to Aidan in case he wanted to use it to sew a project.  He was thrilled, and in the matter of about a half hour, had created a little, stuffed blue bear.  It is darling.  He recently had to do a project for school about a favorite meal.  He was given a blank, white paper plate and instructed to recreate with whatever supplies he wanted, a representation of the food.  Then he had to write about why he chose that meal.  He chose to present our “healthy chicken nugget” meal, and his project was picked to be on display at the Puyallup Spring Fair this year.  He gets to go and talk to people about why he created what he did and tell them about his artwork.  It’s so exciting!!

And “little” Jack is not so little anymore.  He is over 5 ½ now and he will be starting kindergarten next year.  I just turned in his registration packet, and it was bittersweet to say the least.  I’m so excited for him to start school, and watch him while he learns and grows, but so sad that it is going so fast.  This spring is Jackson’s first year playing t-ball and Daddy is his coach.  He loves, loves, loves putting on his baseball clothes and getting ready for practice.  Daddy says he really does a good job paying attention and is great at throwing and hitting.  He will forever be the one that really keeps us on our toes.  He is a “going concern” for sure, but man does he make us smile and laugh.  He is so smart and funny!

I am hanging in there.  I went to a doctor that changed up my hormone replacement a bit, and I think I am feeling a “bit more myself,” whatever that means.  I know I am permanently changed, and I do not expect (nor want) to be the person I was before you were born, but I think physiologically I’m a bit more on an even keel, which makes handling the emotional changes just a bit more doable.  I am still working two jobs, one at Woodcreek and one at the Franklin Pierce School District, and it’s definitely a lot.  Daddy and I continue to have a conversation about this, and in time I think I will cut back to one job, but we’ll see. 

We are still waiting to hear about whether or not we will get the house we made the offer on.  It’s a “short sale” which is a complicated way of saying the whole process can take a very long time, but we are being patient.  It’s an amazing setting!  The more I think about it, the more I hope it works out, because I really feel it would be a wonderful place for us to continue to heal, and for your brothers to grow up.  It’s got nearly 5 acres of flat, fenced land, which means I will be able to realize my dream of having horses again.  Remember when you were in the hospital and I told you about riding horses and how much fun we were going to have doing that together?  I am so sad you won’t be there with me in the way I hoped, but I know you see so much. 

I feel you everywhere.  I can’t wait to be with you again and finally know how this all works.

I miss you, sweet girl.  I really think I could sit here all day talking to you.  I feel when I am writing to you, that you are just that much closer.  Maybe with your hand on my heart and your head on my shoulder? 

I have so much to say.  So much I wanted to tell you, show you, teach you.  I’m starting to see, though, that you are teaching me.  I see you showing me it’s going to be “okay” and that our story is not done being told.  I hear you whispering to me to stay strong for the boys and for Daddy, and I really do feel you holding my hand when it continues to all be “too much to bear”. 

Please do not let go.  I need to feel you in whichever way I can.  Please do not stop talking to me.  I need to hear you in whichever way possible.  Please do not stop teaching me, and showing me the way.  I need to be led.

I love you little girl.



Sunday, March 10, 2013

Rock and Walk 2.0

Steven and I have decided to participate for the second year in a row in the Tears Foundation annual Rock and Walk. So many of you joined us in support and remembrance of Brynna last June, and we are calling on you again. Please consider joining us in walking for our sweet girl, and donating to a group that has proven monumental in our family's ongoing healing. Thank you.

Click here to view our 2013 Rock and Walk page