Monday, February 28, 2011

Something disturbing and a wink

I got a confirmation email from the company I bought Genesis' urn from letting me know it was shipped. Check out the email:

Um, yeeeeeaaaaah. I don't know about you but I don't really like getting an email from "the undertaker" after ordering an urn for my daughter. I get it... urn, death, undertaker... Yea it's not really a profession for someone trying to be cute or funny. Your customers are hurting people. The last thing they want is someone trying to be mr-funny-man. I'm tempted to email a complaint....

Moving on, the next thing I wanted to share was that I recently said I was going to do what my heart told me. I'll remember Genesis the way that feels right, no matter what anyone has to say about it. So for a while I have had my eye on this little garden statue.

I'm sure you all have seen this before. What I love about this is the baby. She's beautiful, and so peaceful. And honestly just the way I picture Genesis. {With the exception of the hair color... But I was actually gonna paint it so that she was a brunette} I could do without the wings and the inscription but they don't sell it like that. So I finally bought it. I had checked out various sites that sold this and I was looking for the best price. Naturally, this was something sold at religious websites but I went with the one that was less religious for me. I went with one that sold religious, garden and inspirational items. {did this for personal reasons} I didn't notice the name of the shop I purchased from until I got my confirmation email. Check out their logo:

Saint Patrick.... Like St. Patrick's Day... Like how Genesis was born very close to Saint Patrick's Day. Out of all the sites I could of bought this from this was the one I ended up buying from. Wow. I'll take this as a wink. That it's a good thing I got this little sculpture. O can't wait to get it and put it up on display.

Im not ok

I thought I could get through today like it was any other day. But I cant. Its not even March, its not even her day yet, but try telling my heart that. I was on break just now and I just had to go to the bathroom and cry. I'm not even sure why. But I needed to release it. 

I think too much sometimes. Often I find myself dreaming of the future. I imagine myself 60, 70 years from now on my death bed an old woman. I picture myself talking about Genesis still. And I imagine my children and grandchildren telling stories of how I never stopped speaking her name. And how I missed her till the day I died.  

I can feel the frown on my face right now. I can feel the lump in my throat as I am speaking to customers over the phone. I can feel the tears just building up beneath the surface. I'm just waiting for something to trigger the floodgates to open.  Hopeful that wont be while I am at work. I cant describe the feeling I am feeling. I feel like Ive been bottling up my emotions and like a shaken soda can I'm going to explode. I can feel the tension and everything building up. It's making me feel literally sick.

I have so much love for Genesis. I'm oozing love that she never got to feel. I just have so much I wanted to give to her and could not. And instead I'm buying memorial jewelry, a babylost calendar and her urn. It makes me sick. No mother should know what holding their dead child is like. No mother should have to see their baby asleep in death. No mother should be forced to miss their child for all eternity. Its not natural. Its not fair. It sucks beyond anything I can put into words. I hate this so much.

And you know what? Time does not heal all wounds. Whoever came up with that saying was full of it. It's not any easier today than it was that day. If anything its harder. It's harder because I realize I cant stop time. Each day I get further and further away from when I last held and kissed her. Each day she is further away from everyone else's memory. It hurts more because I realize its beyond my control to do anything. Sigh. All I can do is miss her.

I also wanted to update that as soon as I published this post I saw this on my facebook page as an ad:
If thats not someone trying to comfort me I dont know what is.

Im holding my breath....

Or at least that's what it feels like. I was looking at the calendar and realized February is over. Tomorrow is March. Wow. March again. There is an anticipation that builds up each new year. An anticipation that grows as I inch my way closer and closer each day to March. I feel like I'm suffocating. I cant shake this feeling. I'm always counting. Counting the days that Ive been without Genesis. I count down the days till I hit her day each year. I'm always keeping track of time that way. I think its only natural. I mean we are taught to count our pregnancy in weeks. And when our baby is born we continue counting the weeks, then the weeks turn into months and the months into years. Why should it be any different for a child that is no longer here. 

So tomorrow is March. It's the beginning to a very painful countdown. In 16 days it will be 4 years without Genesis. Just typing that last sentence made me tear up. I hate that it is this way. And I hate it even more that I cant change it. I miss her so deeply. I was just looking over some of D's old baby pictures and realized how much he looks like G. It makes me think that Genesis would have looked just like them. She would have grown up to be a beautiful little girl. I just know it. I mean, she was beautiful at just 21 weeks gestation {though I know I am biased}. When I went to my postpartum visit after having Genesis my OB made it a point to ask me if I named her. I told her I did and her name. She told me that Genesis was just gorgeous. She said she wasn't just saying that either. She has delivered many babies, and sadly many babies that passed away at an early gestation. And she went on to tell me that Genesis was one of the most beautiful babies she had ever seen. She made it a point to really emphasize how beautiful she was. She must have said it like 3 or 4 times. I felt her honesty in her words. I didn't feel like she was saying it out of pity. I believed her, because I saw her beauty too. Hearing her say that meant so very much to me. 

Anyway, I'm sorry, this post is kind of all over the place. So about her anniversary...I have been going back and forth about ideas of what I am going to do to remember her. Her birth-day is on a Wednesday so I cant really do much. I am for sure going to light a candle in memory, and of course pray for her, as I do every night. But I wanted to do something bigger. Since its her 4 year anniversary I decided to make 4 memory boxes to donate to the hospital she was born in. 2 boy and 2 girl boxes. Im almost done putting them together. I just need a stuffed animal and candle for each. As well as a personalized card. I will probably donate these the weekend of her anniversary since I cant make it there during the week. I will be sure to post photos.

In other news I finally found it. I found the most perfect urn for her. {I hate saying that but its my reality} Here is the urn I bought for the Genesis' ashes:

As soon as I saw this urn I knew this was the one. But I still seached high and low for something I liked better. I looked for weeks and nothing else was as beautiful to me or said her name to me. So this is it. I bought it over the weekend and I should be getting it soon. Sadly it doesnt come with a stand to put it on display. If any of you know where I can get one please let me know. This is too pretty to not put on display. So it took 4 years, but I finally got her the most precious urn.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Something Amazing & A Scare

Sunset on a snowy day
Remember how I mentioned how weird the weather was? Ok so you are not going to believe this but... IT SNOWED IN LOS ANGELES TODAY! No I am not joking. The last time it snowed was like in the 60's and a real snow fall in the 40's. So this is just amazing to us Californians. This storm apparently came from Alaska and boy, I could feel the chill in the wind. Though next to the snow that some of you have got in the East, this is nothing ha ha! There was only enough to leave a light coat on the tops of cars. But hey, thats a TON of snow to us. We freak out when it rains and dont know how to drive... so you can imagine snow.

Then the truly amazing thing I wanted to blog about. I dont know if it was the weather or what, but my parents had a long day out today. I guess they just wanted to get away from the house {and away from us} and they just enjoyed a day doing things together. One of those things was visiting Genesis' rock in the memorial garden. I was stunned. I was almost at a loss for words when they told me they were there. I got a call from my dad saying they were at the park and looking for the garden. They were having a hard time finding it so they called to ask me where it was. Knowing they did this on their own without my prompting brought tears to my eyes. My mom later told me that the little pink roses that I had left for her last week were still there. Yes, they were still there even though it has been very windy and raining! Wow... really what are the odds! Knowing that my flowers were still there also brought a tear to my eyes. They totally made my day. And I thanked them for going and made sure to let them know how much it meant to me. 

Now for the scare part of my post. First let me start off by saying everything is ok now. But going through this nearly gave me a heart attack. I was in the office cleaning up and I had G in my arms. I could hear D playing in the living room. Then I hear this odd noise. Like a sucking type noise D was making. I ask him, "Are you ok?" No response. I bolt over to the living room to find him hunched over on the floor with one hand on the couch and the other on the floor. I swear to you I thought he was choking on something. I felt the blood rush out of my face and I screamed his name so loud that it echoed in my living room. To hear my own voice hit that pitch that is so rare to me scared me even further. You could hear the fear in my scream. I quickly put G down and picked D off the floor... only for him to say "hi mommy" in a scared tone, thinking he was in trouble or something. Instantly I was able to breathe once I realized he was ok. But my hands would not stop shaking and I just held him close and told him he scared mommy. It was so crazy... I had just told him earlier today that I would never let anything happen to him {insert finding nemo flashback here}. And when I screamed his name in my minds eye I was already thinking the worst, thinking I cant survive having 2 dead children. I dont know about all you BLMs but I cant help think of the worst. Its already happened. I know better than to think it cant happen to me. And for those that believe that "lightening doesnt strike twice"... I totally dont believe that saying. I know many BLMs with more than one loss. So when it comes to death... it most certainly can affect the same family more than once. But enough death talk... D is fine. Nothing actually happened thank goodness. But it did probably give me about 10 grey hairs and 5 new wrinkles. Oy.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Natures Beauty

The weather has been pretty crazy. Hot one day, raining the next. Humid but with a chilly breeze. You never know what to expect from one day to the next.

The weather forecast calls for rain today and all this weekend. We had some pretty massive rain last weekend as well. I was expecting to wake up to heavy rainfall. Not so much. As I was leaving for work this morning I heard the slight drizzle of tiny drops I coudnt actually see falling in the dark. Then as quickly as I noticed it, it stopped. Then a quick little sprinkle while I was on the road and then it stopped again. As the sun was rising I saw the dark clouds rolling in, fortelling the heavenly fall that is on its way. 

Then the sky parted, literally and this was the view from my office at work:
It was a phenomenal view. As the sun rose higher and higher the golden glow became brighter and brighter. Then suddenly I look to my left and see this amazing view:
 A beautiful rainbow. I only saw the right half of the rainbow as the building I am in was right in the middle of it. It was a comforting feeling knowing there was a whole rainbow arch over my head right then and there. And of course it made me think of my babies.
The rainbow faded and gave way to the grey clouds that were rolling in from the west. I noticed a lone cloud, much lower than the rest that was basking in the glow of the rising sun. Only this one cloud in the entire sky was glowing and it was litterally right in front of my window at work. As I gazed at this glowing cloud I noticed that the cloud actually looked like a woman sitting on her knees with her right hand extended towards the heavens. Do you see that too? It made me thinkg of the balloon releases I do for Genesis and how I reach to the heavens to bring that balloon back... if even for a minute. And how impossible that task is. Just as I wish Genesis were back in my arms, even for just a minute. It was comforting to see this though. It really was a great start to my Friday.

Then the hole in the division in the clouds began to seal itself back up. The glowing sky and warm yellow light started to dim. And the light moved over to the east like a wall of glowing yellow. The light swept over the land and then left it in the shadows of the clouds.
Just before all the light disapeared this purple hazy sky shined its last night. It was really an amazing view. This is one of the major perks of starting work so early. Seeing these skies truly make my day and bring warmth to my heart. And of course all beauty in nature reminds me of my very own beauty Genesis.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

More love mail & messages

The mailman had some great stuff for me the last few days {despite all the bills lol}. Yes, Im talking about more BLM mail. This first letter was addressed to both Genesis and I. {LOVE} Just seeing her name made my day. This particular BLM is always thinking of Genesis and I. She is the sweetest ever. As you can see she included not one but TWO lovely cards inside. Such lovely cards and both with special meaning. The first says "How much this time of year can flood the heart with memories." This is so meaningful to me because these months and weeks leading up to Genesis' anniversary are so difficult for me. And this card was just what I needed. The other card was so very lovely with a dragonfly on it. {see she puts such thought into her cards} And she mentioned that she saw some things in a magazine that reminded her of my little girl. She included the pages with the items and even included some stickers. What a sweetheart. She remembers so much detail. Like the shamrocks... they remind me of Genesis since she was born so close to St. Patrick's Day. And the dragonfly earrings and the beautiful green butterfly. Seriously, I love this BLM! Thank you honey for always thinking of me <3

Then I got quite the surprise in the mail. Let me backtrack for a moment. Facebook as been an amazing tool for me to connect with the BLM community. It's my therapy to connect with these amazing women. Have someone there to hear me out on tough days and know what I am going through on a personal level. Even if they are on another continent. I recently {and I do mean recently... Like within the last 10 days or so} came to meet Sue. I first heard of her work through Carly Marie Dudley's various blogs. Sue does memorial jewelry. {You can find her beautiful work here} But it wasnt until a matter of days ago that we actually crossed paths on facebook. She happened to see that Genesis' 4th anniversary was coming up. {Keep in mind this is our first meeting} She messaged me and asked me for my address that she wanted to send me a little something for her anniversary. I thought that was the sweetest thing and honestly was expecting a card or something of that nature which would have still been just amazing. Over the last few days we have gotten to know each other a little better and I just felt this immediate connection to her. Like long lost sisters. Its just amazing. Then I get this lovely gift {photo to the left} in the mail. Seriously, how amazing is that! She saw the necklace and knew that dragonflies were Genesis thing. And that beautiful glitter butterfly is adorable! I have special plans for that butterfly that I will blog about on another date. I usually dont like to put out there the names as to who got what... thats not what its about. But I just had to share what an amazing woman Sue is. I mean seriously... we had only been friends on facebook for maybe a matter of hours...maybe like a day and a half, before she went to the post office and mailed this out to me. I am just stunned with the generosity of others. The kindness in the BLM is like no other. 

And I want to emphasize that its not about getting material items.  It truly is the thought that counts. The thought of our children. The fact that there is an army of amazing women out there that are remembering and thinking of Genesis astounds me. 

Speaking of remembering Genesis, I received a text message from my sister. {A sister that I recently found in the last year} She knows about Genesis and is so kind when it comes to remembering her. Here is the picture she texted me yesterday:
She saw this in the book store and had to take a pic for me. Isnt that just the sweetest?! And check out the letter "G" on the price tag. And also it has 2007 on it. The year she was born. This really touches my heart. All these gifts touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I thank you all for your kindness and most importantly for remembering Genesis.

A BLMs wish list

I saw this on a fellow BLMs blog and it was too good to not share.

Wish List for a Bereaved Parent

1. I wish my child hadn't died, I wish I had her back

2. I wish you wouldn't be afraid to speak my child's name. My child LIVED and was/is very important to me. I need to hear that she was important to you also.

3. If I cry and get emotional when you talk about my child, I wish you knew that it isn't because you have hurt me. My child's death is the cause of my tears. You have talked about my child and you have allowed me to share my grief, I thank you for both.

4. I wish you wouldn't "kill" my child again by removing her
pictures, or other remembrances from your home.

5. Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn't shy away from me, I need you now more than ever.

6. I need diversions, I want to hear about you, but I also want you to hear about me. I might be sad and I might cry, but I wish you would me talk about my child, my favorite topic of the day.

7. I know you might pray for me often. I also know that my child's death pains you, too. I wish you would let me know those things through a phone call, a card, note, or a real big hug.

8. I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over in a short period of time. I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over. I will suffer the death of my child until the day I die. Grief is a life long process.

9. I am working very hard in my recovery, but I wish you could understand that I will never fully recover. I will always miss my child, and I will always griever that she is dead.

10. I wish you wouldn't expect me "not to think about it" or to "be happy". Neither will happen for a very long time, so don't frustrate yourself.

11. I don't want to have a "pity party", but I do wish you would let me grieve. I must hurt before I can heal.

12. I wish you understood how my life has shattered. I know it is miserable for you to be around me when I'm feeling miserable. Please be as patient with me as I am with you.

13. When I say "I'm doing okay", I wish you could understand that I don't "feel" okay and that I struggle daily.

14. I wish you knew that all of the grief reactions I'm having are very normal. Depression, anger, hopelessness, and overwhelming sadness are all to be expected. So please excuse me when I am quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky.

15. Your advice to "take one day at a time" is excellent advice, however, a day is too much and too fast for me right now. I wish you could understand that I'm doing good to handle an hour at a time.

16. Please excuse me if I seem rude, certainly not my intent. Sometimes the world around me goes too fast and I need to get off. When I walk away, I wish you would let me find a quiet place to spend time alone.

17. I wish you understood that grief changes people. When my child died, a big part of me died with her. I am not the same person I was before my child died, and I will never be that person again.

18. I wish very much that you could understand - understand my loss and grief, my silence and my tears, my void and my pain. But...I pray daily that you will never understand.

19. I wish that you would understand that the importance and significance of my child's life is not to be measured in breaths that were taken; minutes,hours or days that were lived; but in love...and my child was/is LOVED.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lost one

So it turns out I lost a "follower" yesterday. With the mood I was in yesterday, it did disappoint me a bit. Today however I am over it. But I still wanted to mention it. I hope it wasn't because of my last post on ghosts and beliefs. I know we all have different beliefs and I hope that we can maturely share our differences without trying to convert others and taking offense to what some may believe.

If it wasn't due to that post then I certainly hope it wasn't due to anything I said. Again, this is my safe place. I don't write for an audience but thank those that want to share in my journey with me. I am heartbreakingly honest and truthfully raw here. This is really the only place I can do that. So please don't turn my healing into something its not. It makes me sad when I see others who have to apologize for writing things because family and friends read something that makes them upset. Yes its their blog to do with as they wish, even if that includes apologizing for posting what is in their heart. But in my honest opinion, we shouldn't apologize for our opinions and thoughts. They are neither wrong nor right. They simply are our opinions and thoughts.

I also wanted to post a little something about my BLM friends. I want to thank you all so very much for everything you do. For the cards, for the messages on facebook, the notes on my wall, the text messages, the prayers and kind sayings, the hugs and support of my various projects. Everything you all do is truley appreciated and cheriched. Sadly I know many... and I do mean many, BLMs. Im sorry if I have not called or texted, or sent you messages on facebook or a card in the mail to let you all know I am thinking of you and appreciate your friendship and support. Im also sorry if I dont remember your angel's name right away. There are just too many babies and BLMs to remember them all :( I feel terrible that sometimes I forget. I cant really help it though. With being a single mom and being in a rush to do everything, I have so little time for anything. I rarely get to watch the shows I enjoy. I eat my meals so fast I dont have time to even taste it. I am finding I have less and less time for my various projects like Names On The Sidewalk. I just want you all to know that its not that I dont care, and its not that I dont think of you all. Im just insainly busy with hardly enough time in the day to even get enough sleep. But I do think of all of you and your babies often. I am trying to get better with making time to let each and everyone of my BLM friends know how special they are to me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I dont know what I believe anymore

If there is one thing I am sure of, it's God. And I'm sure that I will see Genesis again in the new system. However everything else in life and in between, I'm not so sure of anymore.

I do know that with God all things are possible though. I know that he created everything in existence. Things we know of and things we have yet to discover. I know that we are mere dust particles in the grand scheme of things. We have yet to know what lies in our own oceans... so I suppose anything is possible. I question UFOs and things like that. After all, God created massive animals before mankind {dinosaurs} and we believe and know this because of their bones. But for these other things that there is no physical evidence for it's harder. My mind kind of runs wild with the possibilities.

Do you belive in ghosts? I think I do. I believe in demons and evil, as well as God and I suppose that ghosts are not that far fetched. Though one thing I know for certain is that the supernatural scares me.

I have had some things happen in my home since Genesis died. I think I may have written a post about it before, but thought I would revisit the idea. I have Genesis ashes in an urn in a special box in the nursery. What would have been her nursery and what has been the rainbows nursery. Most of the things that have happened, happen in that room. I started noticing that when I would change D's diaper he would turn and stare behind me. Fixated on something. Something I couldnt see. He did this for almost every diaper change. And only when I change him in that room, nowhere else. When D got older he even went further by actually pointing behind me and saying things like "look mommy." It scared me every time. Now I find that G is doing the same thing. And once again its only in that room. I don't know if all kids do this while being changed, I don't think so. As when I change my nephew at his house he doesn't turn and stare behind me. I'm not sure what it is or what is happening but I know that it freaks me out.

Another occurrence was that while I was in the kitchen washing dishes, I would have my back to the entrance of the nursery. I always got the feeling that someone was standing behind me. I would even feel goosebumps on my back as if someone was touching it. This happened several times over the course of many months. It didn't matter if I was wearing a tank top or a thick sweater. I always had this feeling on my upper left back.

A last occurrence that was probably the most shocking was in the early hours one morning I woke up before the rainbows. I just laid in bed relaxing waiting for them to wake up. They were fast asleep and no one was moving. I was laying on my side and I suddenly feel a firm poke on my upper back and then it slid down all the way my spine. It felt like someone ran their finger down my back. It was so strong that it made me jump. I turned and looked at D who was behind me and he was still fast asleep and had not moved an inch. It really scared me.

Then today something happened. But not to me, to my sister. She came over to watch my kids today. She came very early and ended up just going to bed with the kids. I have a closet in my bedroom that is very creaky. Its very loud when you open it. And its a very heavy door because I have about 30 pairs of shoes hanging on it on the inside. So this isn't a door that just swings open because of a draft. I got a text message this morning from my sister saying that the door opened by itself. She was too freaked out to turn and look at it. But she heard the loud creak of the door. It actually woke her up. She finally looked at the door and it was closed. But she is 100% certain she heard it. She never speaks of Genesis nor does she really believe in things, but I felt the need to ask her this: "I know it may sound weird, but do you think its Genesis?" I don't know why I asked her this because I really didn't expect her to think it was. But she replied like this: "That's what I thought too, it could be her..." Reading that instantly brought tears to my eyes. It was huge for me. I don't really know how to explain it. I love when anyone things of her, period. But then to think that something was her meant that I am not crazy in thinking that sometimes. Do I know its her? no, I don't. I don't know what it is for sure. I just know that things happen. And now its not just to me.

Though this scares me, its just because the unknown is scary. The unseen is scary. I dont think its necessarily bad. Movies and stories and such make it all out to be something terrible, Im not convinced it always is. I dont know that its good either. I think it just is. And it makes me wonder... I know with the day I have been having I wanted to see a "wink" or something to make me feel better... maybe this was it???

A heavy heart

Yesterday I had a revelation. It's not that I want everyone to know my daughter died. Her dying was a HUGE event and has sent a ripple effect throughout time indefinite, but that's not what I want people to remember. I want people to remember that she lived. Even if she only lived inside my womb. Keeping her memory alive and having others remember her isn't to serve as a reminder that she is dead. Its to remind everyone that she lived. I know it seems like a simple statement, but at least for me, I seemed to start to get wrapped up in her death, in dying. I finally realized its not about that. It never was. It's about her existence.

Realizing this last night hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm not sure why or how. All I know is that as I was laying in bed trying to go to sleep I couldn't help but just cry. I cried harder than Ive cried in a while. It's very hard when you are all alone. I have no one to talk to about this. No one's shoulder to cry on. I tried to call my mom about it, the only person left that I could think of to turn to, and she didn't even want to speak to me. I'm not sure why. Things between us have been very strained and it seems that I am just a nuance to her now. At least that's the way it seems to me. Though we rarely talk so I'm not sure really what's going on with that. So I did what I had to do, I just cried myself to sleep. 

I thought the morning would bring relief. But no such luck. Tomorrow happens to be the 1 year anniversary of Alyssa Marie's birth/death. I know Ann (her mommy) and Alyssa have been on my mind these last few days. Maybe that has something to do with my mood. It makes me reflect back on those early times after losing Genesis. What a horrible time that was. I feel robbed of being able to really grieve her death.

If you remember my story, I got pregnant with my first rainbow just a few months after Genesis died. And then a week later, my husband suddenly left me. I cannot put into words the nervous and emotional wreck I was. I was now slapped in the face with the prospect of being a single mother. I was scared to death of losing another child. I was worried about the financial aspect since my income now had literally been cut by half. I had all these worries and fears floating around the entire pregnancy and I didn't even have time to properly mourn/ remember my daughter. I can't change all that. I do look back and wonder how I got through it all. Really, how did I get through it all? The answer is, I don't know. I just kept taking one step in front of the other. I kept taking a breath after the last one. I kept going even if it was a centimeter at a time. Why? Because I had to. I had no other option.

But anyway, back to today. As I was driving to work in the moonlight {yes I get up that early}, I felt my eyes filling with tears for no apparent reason. I turned on the radio and felt some relief. Until a song came on that had lyrics that were meaningful to me. Then my eyes began to tear up again. I turned off the radio. Again, I felt a little better. Only to see a bus stop with a moive poster on it with a heart, only to make me tear up again. I could feel the frown on my face. I could feel the heaviness upon my heart. It was getting harder to breath. My breathing felt labored. And I found myself wiping away tears. Again, I really have no idea why. There are just days that sneak up on me like this. Maybe my heart is aware that March is just days away. Even when my mind is distracted and not aware, my heart always remembers the significant days/ months. Today just seems to be one giant trigger. Im afraid someone is going to look at me the wrong way or say the wrong thing and Im just going to burst into tears.

Monday, February 21, 2011

She won't ever go to Disneyland

But that doesn't mean Disneyland won't come to her. Any time I have time off work I always want to visit Genesis' stone in the memorial garden. So naturally, that's where the rainbows and I went today.

I brought her some flowers from our garden at home. I tried to make a heart out of rose petals but it was too windy. Although the scattered petals looked nice too. D picked a flower for her as well.

The purple one is his. He did ask to bring it home though. So it only stayed long enough to get a photo lol These were the actual mouse ears bought for Genesis but D decided to wear them after I took the photo. It was adorable seeing a little boy wandering around the park with mouse ears :)

The garden was just as beautiful as ever with new flowers and shades of orange and pink. 

I noticed that someone had left a rose by one of the other names. It kind of made me smile to know that these children are not forgotten.

And as always, we had a wonderful time. It was so peaceful and wonderful that even D didn't want to leave. I can't wait till the next time we go back!

A Magical Day

I mustered up the strength to take the rainbows to Disneyland yesterday. This was HUGE for me. First, I personally dont really like Disneyland. I get bored and everything is ridiculously overpriced. Just thinking about Disneyland make me exhausted. All the standing, and waiting and walking. Throw a couple of kids in the mix and Im instantly overwhelmed. I really didnt think that I would ever take them. But I really wanted them to go, they are kids and this is a place for them and regardless of all the reasons I could come up with to not go, I wanted them to have a good time. So I decided since I had a 3 day weekend this week that I would take them on Sunday and have today to recuperate. Thankfully I didnt go alone (omg could you imagine that). I met Cassie there with her husband and little Mya and my sister and nephew came along too. 
All in all we had a great time. I was shocked at how good the kids were. No tantrums. No pee pee accidents. No nothing except a couple of well behaved children that made the trip all the more easy for a single mama. We got some amazing photos. Photos that included Genesis. {if you are my friend on facebook check them out there} I had been wanting to take these special pictures for a very long time. And Im so very happy that we made that happen yesterday.

It may sound weird but I find myself looking for things that remind me of Genesis. I see a flower that's her color, or I see a hummingbird that comes extra close. I try to find her in nature like that. Yesterday was no exception. I was looking everywhere and anywhere to see if something special would just appear or jump out at me. And then I saw it. The photo to the right is the one Im talking about. Just above the magic castle I saw the clouds. Like something right out of a Disneyland commercial, the cloud was in the shape of mouse ears just like the kids picture I had just taken a little while earlier. Then again about a half hour later in Toontown I saw another set of mouse ears in the sky {picture on the left}. It was a different cloud, not the same one that had drifted. To see this twice was amazing. I just knew that Genesis was with me in spirit.

I also got these lovely photos from Carly just before we left for Disneyland. Though I was anticipating these photos that I ordered, I had no idea when I would actually get them. I know Carly is a busy busy lady and thought it may be a few weeks before I saw them. But no, they surprised me in my inbox just before we left and totally set the mood for the day. Check out the beauties I ordered:

Her work is breathtaking and never ceases to amaze me. Ive added these gorgeous photos along with many others to Genesis' Gallery. Head on over to her gallery to check them all out.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mail, mail, mail

The last few days have been full of BLM mail, which totally makes my day no matter how bad it may be. How cute are these cards over to the right? I adore when things come addressed to Genesis. I share a mailbox with my parents and so they have to bring up any mail addressed to my household. I wonder what crosses their mind when they see Genesis' name on a letter. I certainly hope it makes them stop and think and take a moment to remember their sweet granddaughter. After all, these lovely BLMs who have no relation to her whatsoever hold her close to their hearts. I hope it reminds them that they should too.

But getting back to the cards, they are just the cutest thing. And they all had heart stamps on them... I know probably for Valentine's Day... but you know what? It's not Valentine's Day today so Im gonna put this one down as a wink as well because it makes me think of her. And that's what counts right?

I also got this lovely thank you card from Small Bird Studio, thanking me for making my donation in Genesis' name. It was a lovely surprise and of course she remembered my sweet baby girl in her lovely note as well. I am so happy that I can help parents going through difficult times even if it's in a small way like giving them a place to write their thoughts and shared memories with their precious children.

Last but not least, I wanted to share that I bought something that I had been wanting to get for a long time. Ok well not that long. This calendar actually didnt come out too long ago, but from the moment I laid eyes on it I wanted it. Like I mentioned before, it feels great doing things in memory of Genesis. This was one of those things. A lot of women that I admire, respect and have come to love as sisters were involved in the making of this calendar. What I absolutely love is that I was able to choose the month that the calendar started on. Naturally that would be March. Genesis' birth month. It couldn't be more perfect. I got it just in time to mark her 4 year anniversary in the calendar. It's filled with the most beautiful photos and quotes and just brings me so much comfort. What surprised me though was that it said it would take roughly 7-10 business days for me to get. I was expecting it to arrive in the first few days of March. However, it arrived in only 2 days. 2 days! So when it arrived at my doorstep yesterday I was completely surprised by it. Im so happy that it came in time for me to start on the first day of the calendar. If you are interested in getting your own "Year of the Babylost" calendar, click here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Small Miracles

So I know I'm a day early for this but I couldn't help it. It was just too good to wait for :) Franchesca has come up with a wonderful idea. Every 19th of the month we will celebrate hope. The promises, things, people, places, memories, signs, anything that brings us hope. It's a place to spread some encouragement around this community. Spread some hope. She is hoping to get fellow BLM bloggers to blog about stories of encouragement on the 19th each month and create a blog hop. It's called Small Miracles. On the 'small miracles' post you can share anything that keeps you going, anything that brings you hope. Maybe any "signs" that bring you comfort.

Today is the first day of the 'small miracles' posts and I wrote a poem I would love to share with you:

          "she rides on the wings of dragonflies.
          she's always near, that's no surprise.
          in a gentle breeze that brushes my cheek,
          there's magic in the air when her name I speak.
          she's in each dandelion seed I blow from my lips
          and in the hummingbirds that near my finger tips.
          she's in every footprint left in the sand
          and in every rolling hill across the land.
          in every crashing wave and ray of light.
          in every little sparrow that ever takes flight.
          her beauty, love and spirit is everywhere you see.
          my precious little girl is never far from me.
          I see her in every sunset that spreads across the sky.
          the feeling that she fills me with makes me want to fly.
          in every drop of rain and every flake of snow,
          in every sunny day and each and every rainbow.
          with each breath from my lips and each beat of my heart
          you are always with me darling, we will never completely be apart.
          I have a hope, a hope to again see your face.
          I know where this will happen, its the most special place.
          grandma says she sees you, running down that hill.
          tears streaming down my face, my heart you fill.
          I clutch you tight and hold you near.
          mommy's here now baby, don't you fear.
          love spills from every pore, I hug and kiss you more and more.
          this day is finally here, my knees fall to the floor.
          you meet your siblings, they know all about you.
          I see all of you kissing, hugging, running, jumping...what a view.
          I stand watching all my children run off and play.
          I have been waiting a long time for this day.
          the day when my life is complete.
      I hold all my children in my arms, my full heart now beats."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Our first family trip

I forgot to mention that this past weekend I took the rainbows to see Genesis' stone at the Children's Memorial & Healing Garden. This was the first weekend that her name was there and it was my first opportunity to take them. 

I got some really great photos of them looking at the stone and standing by it. {if you are my friend on facebook you can see them there} It was such a nice visit. It was the first time I have had a whole family photo. Well, as close to it as I can get. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. And we just had a very peaceful time. As we were getting ready to leave, I left a heart made of the wood chips surrounding the garden. D was very excited to see me make a shape with them. He even told me, "mommy, that's a heart." He always makes me smile. Anyway, I thought Id share this photo with you. Wouldn't it be something if that heart was still there the next time I go back.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My new "happy"

I was reading through the latest issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine and the cover story caught my eye. "You Can Choose to Be Happy." My first reaction was to scoff at it. Whoever came up with that one was not a BLM. At first I wanted to say that you cant be happy as a BLM. But that isnt exactly true. There is a constant underlying sadness and longing for Genesis, but that doesnt mean that my life doesnt have happiness. Or that I am not happy with life in general. {well as happy as one can be with a dead child} So I decided to give the article a chance.

The article starts like this:
Recently, I spend a year test-driving the simplest and most effective ways to be happier. If I finally took the time to do the things I'd always promised myself to do someday- to clean my closets, to read more, to stop yelling at my daughters in the morning- would I actually become happier? Yes. I learned that I really could make myself happier, with a series of small, easy steps." 

That opening paragraph was eye opening. Prior to sitting down to read my magazine, I had finally purchased something that I had wanted for Genesis for quite some time. I bought a personalized beach butterfly and photo from Carly's Butterfly Beach site. It felt great getting this in memory of her. But only after I read the article in the magazine did I realize how profound doing things for Genesis, in memory of Genesis and keeping her memory alive in various ways really is to me. This is my new happy. This article hit the nail on the head. There were a ton of things that I wanted to (and still want to) do regarding Genesis. I feel great after Ive done something. Im actually happy and at peace. I love doing things for and with my kids. And since Im very limited as to what I can actually do for Genesis, anything I do, weather its make a donation in her name or add her to a memorial garden, brings me great joy. A BLM friend of mine just blogged about how we shouldnt suffer in silence. I agree 100%. But in addition to that we shouldn't remember our children in silence either. I tried not talking about it. Ive tried to pretend I only have 2 kids. Ive tried to do all the things that outsiders expect us to do. And it just doesnt work. Not for me anyway. I love talking about my kids. All of them. And I live for all of them too. I live to take care and raise my rainbows, and I live to remember Genesis. And as long as I am alive she will be long as I am alive, so will she. 

This is what feels right to me. This is it, Ive found what makes me as happy as I can be in life, when it comes to Genesis. I am no longer going to suppress my longing to have a special little spot in my house for her. I am no longer going to suppress anything for fear of what others may think or how they may react. Because that doesnt matter. And though there is so much I want to do in her memory, I must take the article's advice: I need to do so in a series of small, easy steps. Steps that I will be taking for the rest of my life. I really look forward to all the special ways I will keeping Genesis memory alive.

Pregnancy Envy

{I hesitated to post this as I know we are all in different places in regards to our grief and fertility. I know some out there are still praying for a rainbow, some don't have a living child and others struggle with infertility or with the fact that they cannot have any more children. But this is my special place to vent and I need to get this out}

That little voice that wont shut up. That longing feeling in the pit of your stomach. That constant thought. That sting you feel when you hear someone is pregnant and you're not. Its still there for me. What the heck is that? And I just had a baby less than a year ago. Ive been blessed with not one but TWO rainbows since losing Genesis. But this pregnancy envy is still there. Its not nearly as bad as it was before. But its still there nonetheless. Is this even envy? I have no idea. Its a mixture of things I think. Envy being part of it, but not all. I think there is some hurt in there being reminded of the baby girl that will never live. I think there is also some hope in there...hope of more children one day. Its really so hard to describe. And Ive said it before I totally feel guilty for having these feelings... but I still feel them.

It seems that pregnancies are announced in "booms". You know like baby booms. Either no one you know is preggers or 30 of them are. Well, there seems to be a boom going on right now. Everyone I know is either due any day now, due in July (Genesis EDD month) or due in October. It seems these baby booms even carry over to the world of celebrities. So even if I dont check facebook out to see everyone's weekly progression, I see pregnancy related posts on TMZ and PerezHilton about someone's pregnancy. And all that is ok. Its not bothering me to a point where I feel I need to block these out. They are simply reminders that I want more children and I'm not pregnant now.

To make things even more anxious for me, Im going to be 28 this year. Yes I know, 28 is the new 18 or something like that. I know I'm still young. But not on a maternal aspect. As soon as I hit 30 {which is just a blink away} my chances of getting pregnant drop by 10%. Then the chances of Down Syndrome and other defects and problems go up. {of course I would love any future children even if they were born with problems but who actually wants any of that to happen?} As you can tell I have a few random thoughts floating in my head about this. Anyway, this was all triggered because an old friend announced her pregnancy yesterday. She's already 5 months. 5 months is a significant gestational month for me as Genesis died at 5 1/2 months. So it always makes me stop and remember. 

I hope that this baby bug passes. Or that at least it isnt as constant. And I also hope that I can be a bit more financially stable, to a point where 3 kids on my own is doable. {which if you are my friend on facebook, you saw a post yesterday that suggests it may in fact be getting better very soon} I pray that everything works out, not only in the financial department, but in the baby department too.

Friday, February 11, 2011

*Heart Flutters*

Its no surprise I love it when I see or hear Genesis name. As the saying goes "The mention of my child's name may bring tears to my eyes, but it never fails to bring music to my ears. If you are really my friend, let me hear the beautiful music of her name. It soothes my broken heart and sings to my soul." Because I have so many lovely BLM friends on facebook I see her name constantly there. It really is healing. But outside of facebook when I see her name it kind of catches me off guard. It makes me sort of gasp and hold my breath for a moment, and other times it brings tears to my eyes. It simply gives me heart flutters.

Just now I answered the phone at work. I assist payment processing companies and their merchants. I just had someone call in from a company called Genesis Payment Processing. Hearing Genesis' name almost made me unable to speak for a moment. I had to regroup myself there for a moment. It totally made my day. Love those type of heart flutters <3

In other news, I have come across a new BLM blog. Head on over and meet Tiffany. She recently did a post on a GMA aka a Greiving Mother's Assistant. She compiled a great list which can be found here. Im sure we all have things to add to the GMA, but its a great way for others who are on the outside looking in to get a glimpse of our "new life".

Last but not least, I have created a virtual event on facebook. Its not an actual event. It's something I created to remember Genesis on her 4th birth-day. {I say birth-day because I dont celebrate birthdays and I didnt want this to seem as if it was a typical birthday celebration... well I guess its not typical to begin with since she is no longer here...but hopefully you get what I mean. I wanted to focus on how significant this day is to me} I just ask that you remember her along with me in whatever way you choose to do so. If you decide to take pictures that would be so awesome if you could share them with me, though its not expected for you to do any of that. If you would like to let me know you will think of my baby girl on her birth-day and you are on facebook, please feel free to click "Attend" here to show your support. A big thank you to everyone that has already chosen to attend. Your support means ever so much to me. But more importantly, Im so very happy that her memory lives on and is not forgotten. Thank you for your kindness.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It's done

Time to come clean. Today was the big day to have Genesis name engraved on a stone and have her forever be a part of the Children's Memorial & Healing Garden. Forever a part of Garfield Park. Forever a part of my childhood park... Where past meets present. Where I can visit... Where the rainbows can visit... Where everyone can visit.

It took a lot of effort for me to be here. I even lost wages at work for being here. But it was well worth it to me. I have enough regrets regarding things I wish I had done with Genesis and this wasn't going to be another one. I was gonna be here, period.

I arrived a whole hour early. It gave me time to have a nice lunch there and just have some quiet time which doesn't come often. This was the first time I've been to the garden without the rainbows. I love the calmness. I sat there listening to nature. Feeling the sun's warmth on my back, almost hugging me. And the cool breeze that kept my nervous hands chilled. (Yes, I was nervous. This was a huge day, a huge event in remembering Genesis) I quietly sat and breathed in the calm air. And breathed out my anxieties and worries. I scouted the garden for what would be her stone.

This is the one I picked. It's not the biggest boulder. As a matter of fact I think it may be the smallest one. Which is fitting because she was so very tiny. A mere 9.17 ounces. This is the last time a photo of this stone will be taken without the name Genesis on it. It was the only stone that was flat on top. Perfect to leave little mementos of my love on. It also happens to be slightly orange. It's the only stone of that color in the whole garden. And she is sharing the stone with a boy named Jacob, but something tells me she doesn't mind sharing ;). It's absolutely perfect and unique just as she was.

When it came time to actually sand blast aka engrave her name, the generator thing wouldn't work. The engraver, Randy, told me he had to replace the fuel line earlier today so he had to let it air out or something. Hearing it being turned on and then fading off over and over kind of freaked me out. I was afraid that after all this the machine was gonna bug out and break on us.

But finally we got the machine to cooperate. Mieke was able to join us just as Randy began his work. I took photos of the entire process which surprisingly only took about 20 minutes once the machine started working. {btw you will want to stop the music player on the blog at the bottom of this page before you hit play on the slide show}

Interestingly enough, today is my brother's 20th birthday. And it also happened to be the exact day I had my baby shower for D 3 years ago. How awesome that it happened on a day that already had such meaning to me. And coincidentally (or maybe not), you know how the stone is kind of orange and the letters are black? Well the colors for South Pasadena are just that.... orange and black. Home of the Tigers. And if you notice the picture on the right that was included in the slideshow, there is a heart on the upper left hand corner of the front of the stone. That heart is a shadow as a result of the uneven face of the stone. I didnt see it until he was painting the letters. It was totally a "wink" to me letting me know that I picked the right stone. It really couldn't have turned out more perfect.

And for those of you who are wondering, no I did not cry. I was on the verge of tears many times. I was fighting them back almost the entire time. Like when I saw the stencil with her name, when he was preparing the stone, when I saw it done for the first time, when I took a photo with the stone...etc. The one comment that almost got me to shed some tears were from Mieke. She said, "Im so happy this got done in time for her birthday...when is it again? March 16th?" Im so touched that this was important for her too. And not only that but she remembered her birthday. It was amazing. Mieke has been there to watch each and every single name be engraved in the garden. I love how important this is to her as well. I know this garden, Genesis' Garden, is in good hands.

Something to make you think

An anagram for Genesis is "see sign". Interesting.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Not full enough

One of my BLM friends did a blog post that hit the nail on the head on a subject I have been wanting to blog about for a while. (You can head on over here to read my friend Tamberly's blog post)

As a single mom I pretty much have the kids with me everywhere I go. I rarely have someone to watch them while I go to the store, the post office, shopping... whatever other errands and places I need to go. I always get the comment, "Wow, you have your hands full!" My kids are good kids {yes I know I am biased}. But because I wear G perhaps it looks like my hands are full... I'm not sure. {because logically, the carrier actually frees up my arms} But at any rate, any time I hear this comment I feel like saying, "no actually, my hands are not full. Full would be having Genesis here with my living kids too." {not in the sense that she would be a difficult child, but in the sense that I wouldn't be missing a child} Its like that book, Empty Arms and Empty Cradle, Broken Heart.

When Genesis died I remember that my arms ached, literally ached to hold a baby, hold her. They felt so heavy... with the weight of the child I was supposed to bring home from the hospital but never did... and instead they were heavy with grief. I think I read in a book that there is actual word or medical term for this. And though I now have two beautiful rainbows to hold and "fill" my arms, I will always have an empty spot for Genesis. I will never really be "full" or complete.

So when I hear that comment I just smile and nod and it reminds me that no, I am not full. I never will be. And naturally, these are well meaning people. They don't have a clue my daughter died. They are usually complete strangers making small talk. Most of the hurtful comments I get are from people that fit this description. But that doesn't negate the fact that it hurts and only reminds me that Genesis isn't here. When the pain is particularly bad I go to facebook and put an update there looking for support from my BLM friends.

Recently I had someone tell me {in so many words} that I shouldn't get mad at people when they do this. That they have no idea I lost a child and that they wouldn't purposely hurt me. {I'm not putting my friend on blast for saying this to me. Quite the contrary. I actually feel that if she felt this way perhaps there are other non-babylost people that might feel the same way. So I just wanted to clear the air to those that may have felt the same way. And I want to thank her for sharing her feelings about this with me. I know it's not the easiest thing to talk about} Trust me I know. Very few people know/remember Genesis. And I don't blog or update about it to put these people on blast. I'm not mad at all. Instead I look for my BLM friends who understand how I feel. My BLM friends are my support group. Having a child die is isolating... and these beautiful women remind me that I am not alone.

My friend Ann had a wonderful blog post yesterday. Her blog is private so I cant direct you there to read it for yourself. Instead I will post a portion of her post here {edited to fit this blog post}:

There are a bunch of "simple" questions that lose all of its simpleness once your baby dies. It can even be someone suggesting to "now to try for a girl".....or "how many kids do you have" I mean its simple right? People trying to get to know you, your family, and then they hear your reality and want to jump in and be "captain save a ho" not that simple.

When a BLM/BLD is expressing their frustrations and you don't know what it is like...just listen, sometimes you may learn something you can use in your own COMPASSION. Maybe you might come across another loss family and you will know what NOT to say. "Simple" is something we also lose.....nothing simple about the fact your baby died. Take advantage of what you can when you don't know this life....because at any given time it can all change.

Filling our dr forms for the rest of my life...not so simple
Walking outside....not so simple
Meeting new people...not so simple
Getting asked "is this your first"....not so simple
Talking about my birth story in a room with others who NEVER had that story.....not so simple
Hearing people complain about their kids not sleeping or behaving......not so simple
Walking in a store with a baby section....not so simple
Hearing a little girl say "mommy" and "Daddy".....not so simple
Pregnancy movies, commercials, tv shows.....not so simple
Going outside to get the mail not knowing what trigger awaits you......not so simple
Passing a route you were pregnant so simple
Coming across some memento of when you carried the baby.....not so simple

LIFE.....not so simple....

There are literally millions of more things that I can add to this list. Like taxes. I just did my taxes and every year that I do them and I claim my dependents, I remember that I can't claim Genesis. I remember in 2008 when I did my taxes for the first time after Genesis died I tried to add her because I did have a baby and they did ask if this happened in the last year. But because she didnt actually take a breath after she was born, she didnt count. She will never count... as far as the government is concerned. So taxes... not so simple.

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