Thursday, December 29, 2011

So as 2011 comes to a close I have realized that as I flip things to a new calendar that there will be never ever be another year like 2011.  Now in some respects this is good… no 95 days in the hospital/PICU/TICU, no 30 blood and plasma transfusions, no 33 line replacements, no 15 button replacements, no who knows how ever many x-rays, and no weights of a child struggling to maintain.  There will be no marking the days that we are inpatient, no yellow highlighted appointments (yellow was Zach’s color for medical appointments), no green highlighted appointments (green was Zach’s color for therapy appointments).  There will be no cheat sheet in the back that has all of the medical professionals that were Zach’s alone, no trying to put all the phone numbers on that one page. 

There is also a huge sense of loss… more than just Zach dying.  I have realized that I am missing roles that I never knew I had. … I believe that every parent has a number of roles that we do, most of them are done without us even realizing it.  However, as I was transferring birthdays and anniversaries into the new calendar I realized that if you take out all the hospitalizations, all the weights, all the notes that had to do with mito, I don’t have much left.  I lost the roles of being the scheduler, driver, nurse, and mom.  I lost the ability to brag on a weight gain of 2 oz, something that to the normal person means nothing.  There will be no birthdays with weights under them.  Things that no one understands and that while I can’t explain it either my heart hurts. 

So what do I want you to know by reading this… don’t take the little things for granted.  While the frustrations of being the driving, psychologist, chef, etc can get to us at times not having those roles can be far worse. It is a lot of work to do all the things that we do for our loved ones.   If you have them all ripped away (even knowing that you one day would lose them) it is a huge sense of loss and even of being worthless.  Love all those that are near you and love all that you are given, they are huge blessings no matter who much work.  If I had known during Zach's life what I know now... I would have loved more, hugged more, and been more willing.  I am realizing now how much I miss him.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

long time no type!

I have had this opened for a while; it Is like every word that I had left my body as we celebrated the birth of my Savior.  I still feel like there is nothing that I can write at this point that anyone would want to read.  The 1st thing that I want to do with this post is to recap a little about our wonderful Christmas.

Christmas Eve we started a new tradition… Adam, Aden and I went to candlelight service, this isn’t new to us.  But it is the 1st year that Aden went with us and actually understood what was going on.  He stood and sung with us, then he sat down with us and while the pastor was speaking Aden snuggled up to daddy and went to sleep.  It was by far the most comforting thing.  If you can’t sleep at church as a child what can you do?  He slept through the communion and it was heartwarming to know that he is that comfortable at church that he sung and worshipped with us but also went to sleep.   After communion, service, and singing we left and went to Adam’s parents.  We went to our 2nd home, when we got there, we found out that Adam’s brother was there and we were able to all sit down together for Christmas Eve Dinner.  This is our new tradition (or at least one of many we hope) to go to The Moody’s house and enjoy dinner together we enjoyed a dinner of Roast, Rice, and Okra after we ate we read the “a tale of 3 trees” and “The Crippled Lamb).  After we visited for a while we headed home and turned in for the night. 

Christmas morning came and Adam and I watched Aden opened his Santa presents; we made sausage cheese balls and pigs in the blankets.  We got things ready for the moody’s to come over.  Once again we were surrounded by our whole family again.  We had all the moody’s over and we had an AMAZING time opening some gifts, before we knew it, we got ready for Church.  All the males had new clothes to wear, Mom had an outfit she got for her retirement and I wore a dress for a benefit that we were part of.  I was singing with praise team and took a second to just thing that this wasn’t just any Sunday this was Christmas Morning.  So we were ALL dressed up, I mean really dressed up.  I am glad though, I was totally honored to be going to church on Christmas Morning.  We came back did lunch finished opening presents and went to Adam’s family for Christmas Dinner.  We had a great time.

The day after Christmas we got up went to breakfast with the Moody’s and headed out to Zach’s grave, this was something that we wanted to do Christmas but with how bad it was raining and how cold it was, we decided as a family to wait till the next day.  We got there and it was still really COLD but it wasn’t raining, we were able to stand outside at least.  I put the new flowers at the grave: silver and white poinsettias with a copper butterfly.  Mamaw got a plaque that we placed at the grave and we placed heart shaped tea lights at the grave as well.  At that point we prayed for a bit, hugged and cried and went on with our day.  We know that Zach isn’t there; we know that he is playing in heaven enjoying all the things that he couldn’t do here on earth. We went to my Aunts house and got to have almost all of my family in one place at one table… My Aunt Peggy, Uncle Joe, Michael, Steph, Aunt Diane, Aden, Adam and Myself.  We had a dinner we enjoyed Steak and potatoes together and talking.  We played games, went on tractor rides, shot things out of the air gun.  We had a great time, honored to get to do things together as a family.  Thankful that we got to get together and that we get along well enough. 

His 4th birthday, The 1st day of school, Birthdays of his Papaw, Dad, Mom, Brother and Mamaw, Thanksgiving and now Christmas… those are just the dates that I remember.  Christmas is one of the BIGGEST family holidays for us… I can honestly say that we love our family, that our family loves each other.  So how did Christmas really go? I mean I know that you are wondering how we made it? If we cried? Screamed? Or what.  So the honest truth is that it was different, good but different.  We missed Zach, I know that I missed Zach; I missed his hug, his love and his joy.  He knew how to be happy with all that he had and even more happy with what he didn’t have.  We had our sad moments, the moments that we all cried.  I know that we were a little clueless; however, I can honestly say that God picked us up and protected us.  We had a couple of friends that blessed us with either shipping items to us, sending a gift card, or just encouraging me by sending money.  One person sent me a check which was the reason Christmas Cards got sent, with all going on, I was having trouble with it all.  I mean a Christmas card with 3 people just doesn’t feel right but I believe that the ones that got sent out where beautiful.  She told me that it would all be okay, no matter what I decided, that it would all be okay.  I believe that we are going to be trying to figuring out what our normal is for a while but I am thankful that Zach is safe and wonderful.  What would I do for another hug and to hear his voice? A lot but I don't wish him being Sick and being here on Earth.  I hope Zach is looking down, smiling at me and saving me a bunch of hugs.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

The boys are asleep; Santa has come and gone, He ate a cutie and left a note.   Christmas Eve is coming to a close… I am left sitting here trying to wind down before all of the things that we are doing tomorrow. 

We took tonight to do a few things that we wanted to do, we went to candlelight service, we had a great time listening to music and doing communion.  Aden fell asleep during the service snuggled up to daddy.  Then we went and had dinner at Adam’s parents, it was nice to have all of us (Mr. Moody, Mrs. Moody, Al, Adam, Aden and myself) under one roof.  We took the time to eat dinner tonight together and be together sharing some of our traditions with Adam’s parents.  The reading of “the 3 trees” and “The Crippled Lamb”, both stories that we read every year but that they had never heard.  We came home and we put on our Christmas PJ, I have to say that I am very excited about them.  We allowed Aden to open his 1 Christmas eve present… he was stoked and we played until he was sent to bed.  However before he made it to bed, he tracked santa online.  Then Aden thought that Santa might be hungry so he left Santa a Cutie (which is a type of orange), he put it in a bowl and left it for him. 

All this to lead up to Christmas morning… presents, family, sausage cheese balls and wrapping paper being thrown at us.  Merry Christmas to all who may read this blog, there has been hard times and there are good times too.  For this I stand strong and hold on… thankful that I have people that will hold my hand.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Tomorrow is Christmas Eve!!! Christmas EVE!!!!!!! In fact as I type this one of my friends is already into Christmas Eve day.  I can’t believe it.  I have learned something this year… Santa uses more than Reindeer these days.  He uses the internet, he uses FEDEX, he uses USPS, and he uses… well you get my point.  By the way, I learned something in typing that sentence that I didn’t know how to spell reindeer.  I have no words on how to say Thank you to those.   
I have also learned something else this year and it is something that I don’t know how to explain… but I am missing my champion gift picker.  Zach had this AWESOME ability to pick exactly what we needed.  He found and picked necklaces for his Mamaw.  I haven’t even seen them this year.  He picked the right size shirt that Adam needed, he would reach out and pick a shirt and it would magically be the right size.  How did he do that? I mean really, it has brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion and in more than one location.

So we will continue with some traditions as tomorrow is Christmas Eve…. I can’t wait.  Some of the traditions are new and some are old.  We are going to be eating at Cracker Barrel, going to Candle light service, visiting a grave, having church on Christmas, and opening presents.  Oh I can’t forget eating… there is so much ham and hash brown casserole, haystacks, chocolate yes lots and lots more.  I am thankful that Christmas isn’t about the gifts but about Jesus being born.  I am thankful that for us Christmas is about family and about doing things together.  I am honored that I have a God that loves me so much that I have family and that I have experiences in my life that have shown me that it isn’t about the things. 

Last year we had to make Christmas at the hospital, yes I know that sounds wrong but it is what I meant.  We found out on the 23rd that we were going to be at the hospital for Christmas, we got a little tree, dressed it up.  We went to the dollar store and got wrapping paper and all the decorations we could pull off the shelves… we wrapped the pictures in wrapping paper with huge bows on it.  We hung santas up and we did all we can…. We owned it.  When Christmas Day rolled around, Aden, Zach, Adam and I woke up at the hospital, Santa arrived and left presents.  The moody’s came with a huge spread of food… I mean everything and we set up a buffet in Zach’s room.  We made the best of it, Christmas isn’t about a place it is about what you believe and who you are with.  We know that Jesus was born and we know that we are blessed with family and friends that care. 

Tonight I want to end with you the sentiment of the ornament that we presented to the Moody’s…

I’ll be home for Christmas
And one day so will you.
The angels are waiting and
I’ll be waiting too!!!

To my family:  Adam, I am honored beyond words, know that I am here ALWAYS.  Aden, I am so proud of you and can hardly believe how big you are.  You are AMAZING!!!! Zachary, I love you and I am so honored that I am your mom!!! You taught me what Christmas is all about.  I am honored and thankful, please save me a hug or two and maybe a cupcake!! The Moody's, I love yall and I am thankful that you consider me to be yalls.  I don't know what I would do without yall.  Thank you isn't enough but I will continue to say it!  To my friends, you know who I am talking about... thank you for hanging with me and walking this road with me.  I love yall and am thankful for yall

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday night

The one night that we don’t have plans… 2 days till Christmas!!! Really 2 days, that is it!!! WOW, time has flown by, it hasn’t all been easy but it is something that I can honestly say was different than I expected.  How can time stand still but be racing by at the same time?

Today I did something that I have never done before I drove 45 mins to a store to let Aden play with friends and to have a moment where I got to converse, oh forget it we chit chatted, with friends.  It is the 1st time since Zach died that I have done something with Aden and other little ones.  It was nice to know that the friends that Aden developed and the ones that I developed that they didn’t all go away.  Aden had a blast running around and being with other children, this seems to be a common thread.  That we are able to sit and chat, honestly about nothing, to just have a time where children can be just that and we can all have a good time.  It was tiring but fine.

Then I came home to a letter, one that I had been expecting but until I opened it and read the words, I didn’t realize what God was doing.  This letter had some money for us to do the things that we needed to for Christmas, so with it I went and printed out 65 Christmas cards.  Okay let me stop at Christmas Cards for a moment… I did 65 cards and that just includes Family and Church, that is no pumpkin mommas or anything so I guess I have to go get more printed, I didn’t realize that 65 wouldn’t be enough.  No idea if they will get to people before Christmas or not but because of this letter Christmas Cards got done.  Okay back to the card, I have to say that I have some of the sweetest people that care about us.  It is hard because it has been 6 months, many have forgotten all the things that have gone on or are happening.  They are no longer calling, emailing, stopping by or anything so to get this letter and to realize that a church many miles away is still praying for and thinking of us means more than I can type.  Thank you for the cards and for the Christmas morning and dinner groceries, it means a lot to me and I deeply appreciate it.  Oh and by the way, I will make a trip to starbucks and I will think of you!

So am I ready for Christmas NO, I am not! However, I realize that I am not going to get everything done and there is no way to get it all done.  There are many more cards to be written, clothes to be bought, presents to be bought and wrapped, much to be cooked and cleaned and places to go.  However, my Brain is tired out.. I miss some of the things from last year; I miss some of the people, some of the groups.  However there is still candle light service, Christmas breakfast, visiting Zach’s grave, being with family, going to church and singing and going to be with family.  The Christmas Season is busy and for a night that we have nothing planned and that the weather is bad what to do we do… promptly make plans to go eat Chinese and to spend some time just the 3 of us.  To come home and to rest in knowing that throughout all the hustle and bustle, all the hurt and pain, all the fun and laughter, God is still in control, this is still about a baby that was born to a virgin mom, who died on the cross taking all my sins, and that was raised from the dead on the 3rd day.  It is still all about a mom who watched her son be punished for something that He didn’t commit.  It is still all about family and love, May you know how important you are!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

After a message to a friend yesterday I received some information that has made my heart rest a bit…

I had one friend that let me know that it isn’t just me that is overwhelmed; I don’t mean that rudely, she wasn’t rude but we were having more of a conversation about all the things going on.  I don’t know a single person, married or single, with a child or without, working or not working, sick child or not…who isn’t overwhelmed.   Being overwhelmed this season seems to be touching EVERYONE.  It isn’t like it is just me, which I have to say made me feel 100% better about it.  It is nice to know that people are so busy, so hectic, have so much to do that across the board people are having difficulty with feeling overwhelmed.  I hate feeling that way but I know that the Christmas season is hectic anyway! 

The other thing that has helped me tremendously is that I had a friend write something to let me know that they were praying for me and for all the pain of this season.  Everyone talking about Jesus’ birth, after all for a Christian it is the most important thing.  However, she took a sec to remind me that this isn’t just a season about Jesus but about what He did and about who was impacted.  The comfort that is in my heart now is amazing.  Mary had Jesus.  Can you imagine her heart? She knew that she had never touched Joseph and yet she was pregnant.  She knew that Joseph could disown her and that the one that she loved could say no, he didn’t accept her anymore.  I am sure that she was nervous about traveling and about seeing people.  Could you imagine what people were talking about and what they were saying?

Then there is also the story that helped soothe my soul, Mary and Joseph raised Jesus.  They loved Him, they clothed Him, they even lost Him (They left Him in the temple and can come back to get Him, they found Jesus talking to the priest).  I am sure that they worried about Him getting hurt and about all the things that parents worry about.   Jesus was perfect but I am sure that Mary worried over Him, I am sure that He got sick.  She saw Him suffer and she saw her son die.  This is something I had never thought about.  We often say at our church that you can’t celebrate Jesus’ birth without realizing that with that birth came Jesus’ death as well.  He came to earth knowing that that He would die.  I was reminded that Mary had to celebrate Jesus’ birth and His death as well.  She was a mom hurting because she poured her life into her son. 

I know that it is something totally different than us and Zach but it helps soothe me a little to know that I am not the only one that hurts because I had my son die.  See I know that I didn’t lose Zach, I know where he is, he isn’t with me, I didn’t leave him somewhere , He is with God enjoying all the awesome things of Heaven.  See I know that this season is like no others, I am struggling to make it work and to help all the pain that is in my heart.  Even with knowing that Zach is in heaven and that he isn’t hurting or suffering anymore, I still miss him and this is still hard.  However, I am reminded it is all okay! I will be okay! I wouldn’t not have all the experiences I feel pretty blessed.   

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Why is it that when something isn’t quite going right everything else messes up too?

I have been trying to finish up Christmas things; I need to shop, finishing making plans together with family, wrap things.  For me I still need to do Christmas cards, it is just so hard looking at that picture knowing that part of our family isn’t here with us this year.  Makes me wonder if they celebrate Christmas in Heaven, I mean think about it, if in Heaven we are continuously praising God, do they take the time out to celebrate Jesus’ birth.  I wonder if they have an AWESOME spread of food and they enjoy it all day long.  I wonder what Zach’s favorite food would be if he could eat it all.  Would he like the bacon the best still or will he love a few of the others and come with a new best.  Are there different foods there?  What are the new traditions that he has, I mean I know he is with my mom so that is new for him, but what else is Zach doing? Is he helping decorate Heaven?  Okay I know that I have lost it. 

I wanted to come home from lunch today and make some ornaments, I was thinking about doing salt dough ones, I am worried that loved ones are going to get too many ornaments and they are going to be overwhelmed.  However, before I really think about it too long or hard, I realized that Aden has an appt this afternoon which means that doing a project today is off.  Maybe tomorrow, I guess we need more of a project than making sure all the trash makes it to the curb (you know we need all the trash room we can get since Christmas is coming up).  However with the rain and the tears I think that sitting and staring into the tree is what I am going to do.

I have no idea what I am doing or how I am doing it, all I pray is that I am a good friend and that I make it through the next week or so.  My heart hurts and all the little things going wrong feel like daggers. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas time is officially here for my household…

-Aden is out of school.  I had my 1st room mom experience.  We made crafts, made an ornament, played games, ate, and went outside.  I don’t know how I did but I had a great time.  Aden seemed to enjoy it as well.

-I mailed a package overseas, for the 2nd year in a row, we packed a box and mailed it overseas, I was thankful when I was told that it would still make it before Christmas.

-We went shopping, this year we started a new tradition, the boys went out and the girls went out.  So this meant that Adam, Aden and papaw went out and then Mom (Adam’s mom, to not confuse others) and myself went.  It was great.

I am not sure what this week is going to hold but I know that it is busy…. I still need to get cards out.  I am beginning to think that those that told me that they won’t be Christmas cards but will be New Year’s cards might be right. I still have some shopping to do, shopping for some people that are very important in my life but that I just don’t know what to do and what to get.  It is the little things that I am clueless on.

However, I am thankful for a lot… for family, for friends, for a Godly church, for a friend whose house burnt down this year that she is back in it now, for a friend who was in a horrible car accident but survived.  Yes a number of things to be thankful for

Friday, December 16, 2011

This is a post like no other; it is a note to say how much I appreciate you! Now I know that there are many different people reading this and ones that I know in real life and ones that I know from being on line.  I want to say Thank you in public.

See for the past year, 2011, I can honestly say without people in my life I wouldn’t have made it.  The love, the support, the laughter, and the tears.  I haven’t been the only one hurting but we have learned we aren’t in this alone, ARE WE??? NOPE we aren’t! All together we get to take the things that God has given us and we get to walk forward taking it each step at a time.

I have had a friend get really upset with me, well not upset but no longer willing to listen to me whine, NOW, I will admit it hurt and still hurts deeply.  I miss talking to her daily; I miss her mom advice and her love.  I am hesitant to say a prayer request or to let her know about the bumps in my life, but you know what I am the most thankful for, that she cares.  She stood up and reminded me that there are GOOD things, even when you are in the valley; too look at them and to pay attention to those things as well.  I pray for her and I am thankful for here still, because she is a Godly woman who stood up to tell me that if I don’t look for the good I will never see the good.  Got it, Looking and rejoicing over the little things because there are so many.  I pray that in 2012, we can become close again.  I miss you and miss the mom like love you gave me and the Godly influence you have.

I have had several friends that have allowed me to chit chat with them LATE at night, when most of the world is sleeping I am often trying to get my brain to stop long enough for sleep to come.  Friends that through the distance have loved on me and helped me make it through hospitalizations, illnesses, tears, hurts and well everything.  I am thankful that I have had them and they are wonderful.  Friends that have helped with birthdays, Christmas and other items to make things more bearable for us.  They have helped us with all the little things that they thought were important and guess what they are important.  I have had diet coke show up, cupcakes and cookies show up, and other things that are slipping my mind at the moment.  I have had texts and private messages that have encouraged me and books sent in the mail.  I have been told that I can more than at some points I thought that I could, they were the people filling me up when all I wanted to do was stop and lose it.  Thank you for the encouragement

I can honestly say that I am blessed with wonderful family.  Adam, who I love dearly and who I would walk the world for. Aden, who is amazing and surprises me daily.  Zach who is blessed enough to be playing with my mother in Heaven.  In laws, which as my one put it recently are me in loves, they love me and my family and I am never alone with them, they check on me daily and they make sure that I know that I don’t have to do this alone and that when I am at my weakest they have been able to step in without me asking and love on me in a way that I can’t express..  A number of Aunts, who email, im, text and keep up with us no matter how busy we are, some of them have accepted me as theirs, which is the best feeling ever!!!! I am thankful for family that CARES and who loves on me

The take home, I so could write forever, saying THANK YOU for everything.  I have had a rough year but I have had a great year too.  I have been blessed beyond what I could have ever hoped or imagined.  I am praying that you know how much you mean to me and that I am praying that you have a great 2012.  Things may get hard but you are never alone.  May you know that you matter!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Not alone

So bare with me I am typing this on the iPad but I feel so strongly about during this season and particularly today to do this.

In life it comes to a place for all of us, granted for very different reasons, that we feel very alone. When we sit down and look at the pile of clothes, the bills on the table, the screaming child and we wonder... Am I the only one???

I have learned that it isn't just knowing that there are others out there it is knowing that you have people that care enough to step out with you. The person that is willing to love on you when the rest of the world judges. Be honest we have all judged someone for something that we don't know the full story about. We have all been the person wondering why there is a little boy wearing bright red rain boots in the middle of sunny 100 degree weather. We have all been guilty of wondering why that 6 year old is still in pull ups. However, we never stop to know the full story.

If we are all guilty of all these thoughts why is it we think we are alone when it comes to hurting, struggling and dealing with all the emotions of this world. For several years we dealt with Zach's illness on our own, we didn't want to be looked at as complaining or whatever. Those years were hard, they were devestating to me as a mom, wife and friend. I couldnt do it because i was sucked into the I am the only one theory. You know that thought, no one will be able to understand or be able to help or better yet the if they knew... You fill in the blank, then they would not like me anymore or would be disappointed in me.

Now I am gong to say this, get in touch with me and yell at me if you want to, but YOU.. The person reading this are not the only one. You can do this, you do have people that love you and care. The situation that you are going through isnt something that has to break you, it can make you stronger. Please let us help, let us love on you. Please know this is me too, I am trying hard to find the good, to feel like I am not alone, to know that I matter. I am struggling with my verbal words again, I am struggling with emotions that I don't want anyone to know but on the same hand this time I know that I am not alone. Will you Believe that you aren't alone either

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

6 months and not a word to say…

Well okay I lied; there are lots of words to say...

There is hope, I can see that Zach is better off, he is healed and doing better. I can see us as a family doing things again.  Laughing again, playing again, making changes

There is joy, we are learning to laugh again and to count all the little things too, and we have gotten to enjoy the lights and the Christmas things. A month ago, I don’t think that I would have been able to do; I believe that I would have been so hurt and missing him so much that I couldn’t enjoy it.  However,  I have gained and been blessed by new friends and been continually blessed by old ones.    

There is pain, not having him with us, hearing Aden miss his brother, not being able to sign a card correctly, and calling out the wrong name. However, there is reassurance that all is well, as the old hymn says, It is well with my soul.  It is true, God gives that peace and right now through this year.  I can say God has reached down and touched my heart.  Yes there are tears and there is pain but there is so much good.  So many wonderful blessing if I choose to look at them and choose them.  I feel blessed

See I never in a million years thought that I would understand the pain and the hurt that I am going through right now, but you know what I do.  Part of me working through all the emotions is to realize God had his son die to.  There is not an emotion that I am feeling that He doesn’t understand.  The pain, the hurt, the love, the joy… See I am learning all of it is a gift.
A gift, yes a gift, see I didn’t know or understand before Zach it meant to have a sick child, I took  Aden for granted, I took my family for granted, I took the ability to do things for granted.  Last night Adam and I watched a show and a family gave birth to a little baby with heart issues.  What struck me and what God was reminding me is that we were blessed, why, this family walking through the hardest thing ever, had no family with them, no one to hold their hand, to reassure, to walk with or to cry on.  We were blessed we had tons… Adam’s parents for one never left our sides and are still with us.  We had family come to the hospital; we had friends come to the house to do the little things.  We were NEVER alone; it was never just us fighting.  We were and are blessed.  Because of all the support I was able to stick by the thought that “Zach had mito but mito didn’t have Zach” There were times that I doubted that BUT I felt and I knew that it was right, that is a gift.  We are blessed by the gifts that others may not understand and I am praying that each day I can learn to focus on those good things. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Happy thoughts, Happy thoughts, Happy thoughts

Well I hate to say it but that didn’t work, I had to try! Christmas magic… you know being able to get lost in the lights of the Christmas trees, to look and listen to children with the excitement of Santa and not knowing what is coming next, the excitement of teachers that they get weeks off, the excitement of seeing family and friends that you don’t see all the time, cooking huge meals and being with family or ones that you love while consuming it.  For me I can stare into a Christmas tree for days, to look at the lights to enjoy the calmness of the twinkling that are set for a purpose.  To sit and see the lights and the decoration on the tree and to know that there is a reason for each of the items, the twinkling colored lights because that is what the men in my life love. 

This year that Christmas magic brought pain… not having Zach to help us put up the tree this year, having issues signing Christmas cards, unexpected bumps, missing my mom.  I have tried for a week to do some cards (I need to do photo cards too!) but every time I go and I try to sign I totally mess it up.  That pain because frustration and that frustration becomes ANGER, now before you say but you don’t have to do them this year, I know that I don’t but, I want to… they might not get out before Christmas but I want to do them.  Missing the things that we were part of because of Zach… the HOPE HOUSE PARTY, the Speedway Charities, FOCUS/Lekotek party, well you get the point.  Things are different this year.

This year that Christmas magic brought frustration… not knowing what to say and what to do, how do I make myself be okay, not knowing how to fit into the mold that many think that I should fit into.  I know, well I have realized that this isn’t something that is in my hands, If it was then all the negatives wouldn’t be there, they would be positives.  I can’t even put words all the frustrations that are in my brain right now.
This year that Christmas magic brought a whirlwind of emotions, ready for this, hold on…. Pain, Hope, fear, love, joy, hurt, sadness, grief, isolation, unbelief, anguish, shock, guilt.  I am not going to explain all of these emotions because they are personal and ones that come and go just like the twinkling of the lights off that Christmas tree

Monday, December 12, 2011

A bit of honesty

During the Christmas Season something happens, I am not sure why or how but it does.  People expect you to be happy and to have things together.  People expect you to not talk about the negative things that have happened or to struggle.  However, the honest truth is that the holiday season is stressful.  I am sure that Mary, when she became pregnant with Jesus was scared and didn’t know what to do or say.  I am sure that she knew that she couldn't tell anyone with out people judging her and wondering what in the world she was hiding. Even, Jesus asked for this to be taken from Him, He prayed this while in the garden, He knew that the only way to truely help us was to die for us.  Now, what I am going through is nothing like either of the two things, they are simply reminders that I am not alone.  It gets overwhelming.
I’m not sure what I can say or do but I want to be honest and tell you that this holiday season, while Christmas is still part of it being happy all the time or being okay all the time isn’t going to happen for me.  Please don’t make those that you love feel like they have to be, please just hug on them and love on them and love them.  I spent a huge portion of the day at church trying not to totally bust out into tears and totally lose it.  I was very careful not to just do that because I know that there are plenty that feel like this is time to celebrate and so I need to be okay.  I know that I am very blessed to have Adam and his family.  I am very blessed to have them love me and pull up beside me and help me walk this path, so I am not alone in it.  However, the truth is that it is still hard and due to Zach’s death and when the anniversary falls it is a struggle for me.  Before you tell me but it is okay to lose it and it is okay to cry and to hurt and to not be okay, I know that but it doesn’t help while you are going through it. 

In two days, it will be Zach’s 6 month death date.  How in the world am I supposed to be okay with that?  Well I will tell you I am not, I hurt.  It had turned my world upside down and so when other tasks, little bumps, or big bumps come into my life it sends me into a spiral that I can’t always control.  Sometimes I am able to say this is okay I got this and then other times it sends me into wondering how in the world? Am I going to do this and stay okay?  All of this during the holiday stress of parties, appointments, and all the other things of Christmas.

The pressure that I put on me is a lot, but I have to say everyone else has pressure for me to.  They want to see Jen Smiling or laughing or able to get those 2-4 year old hugs.  My hope is that people realize that I am still learning my new role, we have had a ton of change in our family, in our life and God isn’t done yet.  I have a feeling that He is just started.  Just so you know I don’t wish for Zach back, Yes, I would love to have him in my arms one more time, I would love for him to play with Aden so he can have that experience one more time…. However, Zach is perfect and has the audience of the ultimate King.
So what do I want… to not have to explain myself, to know that no matter the emotions they are okay, to have kind, soft, loving voices to help me along the way.  We (I) am never alone in our lives, we have people to love on us and that are willing to do the small things that will help us.  We are striving to let others know that they are never alone either

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tis the Season….

·        To be tired.  It seems like during this season we always have something to do.  I can’t figure out how it happens, it just magically because packed with lots of things.  Christmas parties, trips, shopping and much much more.  All of those Christmas and Holiday events are in addition to the normal things   I am learning that in the past we have just done way to much… that is just way that it is too much stuff to do during this time.

·        To be stressed Along with the tired is stressed being worried about what to do, when to do it, and how to do it? What to buy for whom?  In our household it is also stressful because there is a whole class of emotions that we don’t know how to deal and there is a sense of people not being sure of what to say and do.  There are hives, headaches and aches in general, there is trouble sleeping and settling down and no way to say what is causing it

·        To be happy. This is the season that we (Christians) celebrate the birth, we are able to rejoice with all the things that have occurred we count our blessings and in many cases we try to share with others.  Society just wants us to be happy and to be good during this time of year.  To have that Christmas Joy.  What I am learning is that happy all the time is not possible, it is not possible esp for me this year.  I can’t help it and I can’t change it and I earned it.  Now I am sorry to say that but I don’t want to hear another person tell me, just deal with it and be happy, that I still have a lot to be happy about.  I spent 4 years caring for someone that is not here, this is the year of the 1st so deal with it I will, be happy all the time I will not.  I will not change who I am because it makes someone uncomfy.  Here is where I say, like I do to Aden, tough cookies, deal with it.  I am happy, I have my tree up, I have my shopping started, I have my stockings up, I have  my Christmas cards going across my mantel.  I am not stuck in being unhappy; just have an occasional sadness that I can’t stop.  It is okay love on me, support me and remind me that I am not alone because as quickly as that upsetness came is as fast as it will go away

·        To be with family.  For me this is something that I can’t explain, I have a ton of joy that I am with people that I love but it also causes me to miss people.  Not just Zach, although I miss him greatly but others.  I just have this deep sense of loss, not that I have lost them but because life is busy, jobs and school sometimes get in the way of being able to chat, get together and love on each other.  I have some people that I miss so much that when I get to talk to them I don’t know what to say, I don’t want to complain or be a pain, I just want to chat and feel the love that I know is there but I have to be reminded of.

·        To be loved   I am not really sure how this works but the Holiday Season (Thanksgiving and Christmas) is known for being hard emotionally for lots of people and tend to feel very isolating.  I am learning this again 1st hand.  It is like all the things that we once knew, the traditions that we did are all hard and don’t feel just right.  So for me, every since my mother died, I have tried to make sure that during the Christmas season I make an effort to love on and included EVERYONE.  Sometimes it is hard because I want to be by myself but to be loved.  I realize how badly, especially right now, it is needed to be loved.  To feel isolated and alone all time even when there are tons of people around you, to feel love helps during this time.

See if you are reading this you know, well I think so anyway, that I know that everything works to the benefit of those that believe in Christ, it doesn’t erase the bad or hurtful things, trust me I have plenty.  It does however, help us keep our focus and realize that we aren’t the only ones.  That we are here to be good family, a good friend, to be a kind stranger, that we are here to love on those that are near us and to be there with whomever needs it.  Christmas, well this Christmas season, has been nothing like I expected it to be and nothing like it was  I am called to love more, hug more, and be more than I have ever in the past and while I am doing that I am praying that I can make it through this season with love, joy, happiness and the most important of all HOPE.

Monday, December 5, 2011


So If I follow the blog that I wrote the other day this one should be on LOVE. 

Love is one of those things that you can write days about… We all want to be loved.  We all use the word to express how much people mean to us.  We all use it in different levels, we love the meal, we love the song, we love the outfit or it can be we love our children, we love our spouse, and we love our family.  Those to loves can be very different.

One of the biggest things that we have learned is that LOVE isn’t something that you talk about it is something that you do.  Meaning, if you love someone you respect them, desire to help them and you care about them.  It is one of those things that you don’t know how to express that love to a person, mostly because each person is different.  You express your love to your spouse different than a friend.  You express your love to your best friend differently than someone that you just met. 

Love is the ability or desire to make sure that the other person feels cared about, helped, and not alone.  This is just my definition.  Now to define each of those sections in a way, when you have someone that cares about you feel like you aren’t alone.  You feel like you can walk through the challenges at least attempting to make it.  Family does this but so does friends… I have a friend well I should say friends that I know they love me; you know how I know that? They are up at odd hours and are willing to chat with me; they send me texts and emails.  They will let me fall asleep on them, when I am talking to them late at night and I fall asleep on them, they just say Good night, we will chat in the am.  They send me cards and thoughts at times that only can be God meant, when I needed or need them the most.  Several of them get mad when I don’t reach out to them when I need help, I am still learning.  I love when I can be the one to share my love and help but I am still not very good with asking for help.  My desire is that I will be the one that others call out to.  To be the one to share the love when they need it the most. 
This is probably why it hurts so much when things happen when without warning a friend moves, an action or lack of an action taken wrong, or a word being mistook.  It is one of those things we try to hard not to have happen but it does our actions or our words or lack of makes someone angry.  This is why love needs to not just be a verbal thing but an action thing.  You can put others first you can love on them you can allow them to be who they are.  You can make sure that they know that they aren’t alone, even when you can’t make it or be with them.  You can decide that they matter.  You can choose to do something for them even when they aren’t strong enough to ask

Saturday, December 3, 2011


So yesterday it was joy, today it is family.  I have learned that family is one of the things that can be described in many ways.  Many say Family is only those that are genetically related to you, then the change that theory to believe that you can adopt in but it is a long drawn out process and that is hard to do. Some don’t believe in family only that they are part of the team that helps them do things that they need to do.    I have learned over many years that family is what you make it.

I am blessed… I have a family that I married into.  I have the family that has been given to me by God.  I have the family that has been with me for many years and then I have had those that I have been blessed with from life experiences.

I have several friends that I have was blessed with as a child, we went through school together and some of the things that we are going through.  I have several friends that I have only had for the past hmmm 5 years but they are so important to me.  I have friends that I feel care about me enough to let me ask them mom questions.  I have friends that care enough for me to tell me what I need to hear not just want I want to hear.

I have friends, well whole families that I have gotten to know because of instances that many would want to change.  Many that I ask about and talk to every day, some of the multiple times a day.   To spent events with them, to pray for them as they go through challenging times, to literally help them have a good time doing laser tag.  To miss them when they aren’t there or when you can’t talk to them often.  To hate that they are multiple states away, to cry when you can’t help.  To stand up and encourage, to LOVE. 

Family is what you make it… it is those that care about, love one, help, and encourage.  I am thankful for all those that will help me and that love me that are part of my family.  I am thankful to know that I am never alone and that I don’t have to do it alone. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

I don’t even know what to write… really I don’t.

This week as been super emotional for me and a week that I have had to really keep things in check  and have had to remind myself that things are going to be okay.  That I am not walking this journey by myself, That God doesn’t let me go through all this and not help me through it.  I am struggling with it though… let’s see if I can open a little window and let you see a bit.

Many of those that know me know that I am a believer, that I have a relationship in Jesus Christ.  In saying that it is one of those things that I have a hard separating… I have to believe that everything that I go through is for His glory. Now in saying this… oh my, this week has been so up and down that I can’t get recovered from one thing before I get hit with another.  You want to hear the sad thing I can’t tell you what in the world it is all about just the ups and downs of being a mom multiplied by having a son who went to be with Jesus.  I have cried, I have laughed, I have rejoiced, I have wanted to give up and with all of it I am reminded that this season is about joy, family, and love.

Joy… Last year during this time Adam taught our Sunday school about JOY, the way that we often teach children about relationships.  JOY: JESUS, OTHERS, and YOURSELF  Now for when Adam taught the adults in our Sunday School class it meant something that is simple… put others first, treat others like you want to be treated, go the extra mile and do it all with Jesus’ love.  Now I am thinking about it more and more. 

·         Jesus, well that is simple, Jesus, can do all and is always with us.  He is 1st in my life, sometimes it is hard to keep Him there but I try to.

·         Others, well this one for me is much, much harder.  There are times when I get angry at the person who makes a stupid comment, who decides that I did something with the intent of hurting when it was far from the truth so what I am learning is that I need to remember we all see things differently.  I am in a position that not everyone is in.  I have had a son die, a little boy die, one that I met, loved on, played with and took care of.  He is now in heaven and perfect.  People don’t know what to say.  They don’t know if laughing is okay, if they can say Zach’s name if they can be upset, if they can celebrate being pregnant (or even trying) and the birth of a child.  Here are my thoughts on this… I am delighted to know everyone that I know.  I want to be part of all that is going on.  To be involved in a baby shower of a sister of choice (think lifelong friend) was one of the most inspirational and healing things. To have her family love on me, include me as family, to let me go hide, to hug on me… See she put me 1st.  Yes, she received gifts, she was showered with love, she was the guest of honor but she allowed me to be me.  To be let into the story of a new job,  first dates, etc . Someone I was talking to the other night told me something that I am trying to learn, I have to let people in.  I have to allow people to know that I am hurting that I need to be loved on and that I need help doing certain things… hmmm that transparency thing that I am working on again

·         You, this is something that I have an issue with doing, I struggle with asking for help, I don’t want to be the center of attention, even when it is something that I know that I need.   I rather focus on everyone else and NOT me but since everyone is included in others…. Hmmm, I guess that means that I need to focus on me too.

So I am again sitting here thinking about JOY and what it means during this season.  I am thankful for those that love on us… HONORED to the new friends that have blessed my family with items off our wish list.  Honored that not only Aden was loved on but that Adam and I were loved on as well.  Honored that I have people that I can say I need a hug or that I am hurting. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

4 letter words…

Okay yes, I will say it there are so many 4 letter words, come of them you know about and that we keep ourselves from saying then there are words that are 4 letters that we don’t think of but we say anyway… Here are just 4 of those words:

HATE: I hate things that are going on, I hate feeling that way, I hate these clothes, I hate… you get my point. We say it often when we are complaining and when we don’t want to do things. We sometimes say it in the heat of the moment to someone, when we don’t really mean it. Sometimes we hate things in our head even though we may never say it out loud. Sometimes it is something that is easy to hate, like I can easily say “I HATE MITO” it is a truth. There are other times when it runs through my mind that it isn’t truth but it is a statement that I shouldn’t ever express, because it will tear down and destroy. I want to lift up and help others not HATE them. I want to be the one to pray for, love on, and help. It is a little four letter word.

OVER: As in I am OVER it, Now this is one that I have had a hard time with lately, You know when you get so tired of dealing with something or with the bad things happening that you just lock yourself in the bathroom and scream out “I’M OVER IT!!!!!!!!!!!!” oh wait that is me! But you get my point. Sometimes that 4 letter word of OVER stops us and keeps us from doing all the things that we need to do.  It can keep us from being the person that we need to be.  I can honestly say that by going through all the situations that I have been through, all of the “I am OVER it” things that I am stronger person but not only that but I care more deeply and love more strongly than I did before.  It is something that I don’t get but I do know that if I gave up because I was over it I wouldn’t be who I am now.   

HELP: This is one that is super hard for me to put here, for me this is a 4 letter word as BAD as some ones that aren’t here on this blog. Admitting that you need help is the 1st step to sometimes getting help, to recovering, to healing and to loving. For me it is one of the hardest because I don’t want to admit that I have a problem, that I need something, that I hurt however, sometimes we need to. Asking for help is admitting that you can’t do it and that you need someone to pull beside you and be with you, to walk with you. To encourage and love on you even when sometimes you aren’t sure what is going on. I am striving to be transparent so this 4 letter word has become hard. I have to let those that love me and care about me help me. Lots of 4 letter words in that sentence! It is not a sign of weakness but instead it is a sign that you are strong enough to allow someone in who can make a difference.

LOVE: The one that we need to use all the time but we rarely use enough or in the right way, we say we love diet coke, we love this show, we love this song, and we love this shirt… is it the right way? What about the love we have for people? What about the love that drives us to be the best that we are, the best that we can be, to help in every feasible way. The love that will allow you to be the one that will stay up all night and talk because you can’t sleep, the one that will hold your hair when you are throwing up (not because they have to but because they care). That love is the love that will hold you and let you know that it is okay, something that we need to be reassured of often and sometimes in silly ways. When you love someone you put yourself out there for that person and are willing to put yourself aside for that person.

See for many of us we use the word HATE more than we use any other word. I will admit, lately I have been hating a lot, what happen to joy and to love, it got overtaken by hate and by being over things. I have stopped wanting to ask for help and to help others and I have stopped loving all things instead of just the few things that were okay by me. I have talked about being transparent and it is important because there are times that we are the only sense of HOPE that the person has. Sometimes I am the only God that they see are they going to see love and hope from me? What are they going to see when they look at you.