Saturday, March 25, 2017

It's in his heart

Yesterday for the first time ever, D2 remembered Genesis and Exodus all on his own. Just randomly he comes to me and tells me:
"We gonna see Genesis in the new system. And Exodus." There is nothing like hearing your children speak the name of the sibling they never knew.

Friday, March 17, 2017

A Decade & Random Acts of Kindness

As usual we went to go visit Genesis' stone at Garfield Park like we do every year. It was just gorgeous weather. I usually have a million things to do on her birthday and I always worry that I'll forget something. I was so confident that I had remembered everything. 

First, I think this is worth mentioning before anything. On Wednesday when I picked G up from school she showed me a "book" she made. She told me that she wrote in the book the message that she wanted to write on the balloon for Genesis. This is her book. She knows that she and her siblings are rainbow babies. And Ive explained the meaning... but I suppose it hasn't quite registered with her. What she does know is that I love rainbows. She loves rainbows. Rainbow are pretty. And she likes to share things that she loves and thinks is pretty. And that's why she's including Genesis as a rainbow baby. Below is a translation to what she wrote.

"You are the best sister I ever had! I hope you come back in the new system. I love you forever and ever! We will always love you. After we go to your rock, we will go to Souplantation. We will always remember you.
Love: G <3"

As you can imagine it brought made me cry like a baby. She is just so sweet.

As far as the flowers.... So this year I knew I wanted to do something different. I usually order pink gerber daisies but for this year that wasn't going to cut it. I couldn't just do the norm for her. This had to be special. I was looking for exotic. Unique. Something that made a statement. I was told what I was looking for wasn't available because they were just coming out of the ground a week ago and wouldn't be ready for when I needed then.

I then decided to do plan B which was going with dahlias for my order. However when the florist faceTimed me so that I could actually cherry pick the flowers, he was at his suppliers place and they actually had the proteas I wanted. I was so thrilled. (For anyone wondering what these are, the big blossom with the white cone looking thing inside is a king protea. The smaller half opened buds to the side of it are queen proteas. And the others are different colored pin cushion proteas.) The bouquet was seriously huge!Anyway, more about her day. So I usually get Genesis pink gerber daisies. But this year I told myself that I cant do the usual. 10 years is a big deal and I cannot observe it by just doing something average. I wanted something new. Something unique. Something exotic. Something different. This year I went all out and bought a bouquet of mixed proteas. It was quite the struggle getting them. I was told a week before her birthday that it was not doable. That they are just coming out of the ground and they would not be ready for her birthday. I quickly came up with a plan B and was

I also decided to do something different with balloons. I usually do the same number balloons as her age but instead of doing 10 balloons I just picked some special balloons. I actually made emoji balloons. Yes, I made them. I bought the balloons separately and I was able to attach the smaller stars to the large hearts and the large star. 

The older rainbows like emojis for some reasons (no they don't have cell phones lol), so I figure if Genesis were here maybe she would like them too. I think its the "in" thing for kids. Or I don't know lol Im only just guessing. 

Anyway, the kids were a handful. Especially now that they are all mobile. (last year N wasn't walking yet) My wonderful brother got time off not one but two of his jobs to be able to be there with us. I cannot tell you how much that means to me. Im just blown away by how much he supports me and loves Genesis. Thanks to my brother, he was able to keep the kids somewhat in check. Or at least from running all over the park.

We wrote the following messages for Genesis. 

We got some really gorgeous photos at her stone.

The balloon release went off without a hitch. It was a little breezy so we had to find a an area with a lot of room so that the balloons didn't get caught on anything. (Remember last year they got stuck on a power line. And I was so upset at myself because I realized I had forgotten to take photos of the notes we wrote. I ended up re-buying the exact same balloons the next day. We all wrote the same things on the balloons and I photographed those) This year I did something a little different. Usually I am the one who does the balloon release as the kids watch. I mostly do this because Im afraid they will let go at the wrong time or they will end up fighting about who will get to actually hold. Anyway, as you can see in the above photos, they were all involved in the actual release. To my surprise N was the most excited to see them fly off. She was jumping, squealing, laughing and reaching up and pointing to the balloons as they floated away. I have video of this too. Its the most adorable thing. 

I usually leave one of the flowers from the bouquet at Genesis rock and take the rest. I usually like the idea of having something at home that is also with her... at least for a time we are connected in that way. But these flowers were so special that I knew someone would take it if I left it there. So I decided to bring them all home with me. (The great thing about proteas is that they basically last forever when dried out. So thats what I plan to do) G was a sweetheart though and was picking flowers in the grass and before we left she was sure to leave some flowers at Genesis stone. 

We all decided to go to eat at Souplantation afterwards. It wasn't a random choice either. Yes we like it there but thats not the reason I chose it. 10 years ago after Genesis was born.... after I got to see her the one and only time in the mortuary.... we all went to eat at Souplantation afterwards. I remember that visit like it was yesterday. It was my mom and dad, brother and sister and my now ex husband. I remember one of the employees of the restaurant came to our table and asked us if we wanted to be part of "Club Veg" where you get points or earn free meals or something like that. I said sure! I had to fill out a little piece of paper that asked stuff like your name, age and email. There was a question I was not prepared for.

"Do you have any children?"

Yup. And thats when the life of a BLM started. So I thought it would be fitting to go back to the same place. Yes, even the exact same location. So much has changed since then. And yet, some things still remain exactly the same. Like how much I miss her. 

Anyway, it wasn't until we got home that I realized I forgot to have a photo taken with my brother. I was so bummed. Then today as I was uploading the pictures I realized I forgot to take my Genesis bear! OMG! And I forgot to have a photo taken of just me and Marlon at her stone. My goodness. Its getting harder each year to remember all these things. Getting older makes you forget. But also so does having 4 kids. Sigh. 

As I mentioned before, I also did 10 Random Act of Kindness (RAOK) on her birthday. Here they are below:

RAOK #1: I paid for the person behind me at Starbucks. I have video too of me doing so. I left the barista with a little tag to give to the person behind me to let them know why I was paying for their coffee. In a twisted turn of events, it wasn't until I left the drive through that I realized they actually didn't give me part of my own order haha! Its ok. I know the universe will pay me back someday.

RAOK #2: I left some bubbles at Smith Park. They have some playground equipment that is 3 stories tall. So I placed it at the very top to make sure a kid found it.

RAOK #3 & #4: I placed two little tags on some gum ball machines so that some kids could get themselves a little treat.


ROAK #5: I went to my local Target and in the women's restroom I left a bag on the changing table. It was filled with all sorts of little things for babies in the event there was a mom struggling.

ROAK #6 & #7: At a dollar tree I left two dollar bills with my tag on it for some kid to be able to treat him or herself to a little treat.
ROAK #8: At another park I left some more bubbles. 
RAOK #9: I Left a little gift pack for a little girl.  

 RAOK #10: I left a little gift pack for a little boy.

It felt amazing to be able to do these little acts of kindness all day yesterday. I was also shocked how many people also participated.

Below is an account of everyone that participated:

Jaimie shared the following:
"Thank you! Happy Birth+1day to Genesis! My ROAK was to find a charity to donate to in hopes of it relating to her name as well as to benefit babies and children and look at what I found!! I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to fulfill it yesterday. It was a crazy busy day and I couldn't complete the donation without your address as they needed it in order to send you a donation recognition card in Genesis' name. 

I absolutely loved checking in on your page yesterday! So much love being shared! What a fabulous way to honor your girl. I'm so lucky to have been able to partake!"

This one was from Marlon. I know he didn't want to be recognized for this but I had to share. This homeless man basically lives around his work and is always rummaging through trash. Today he went on his day off and found him near his work and gave him some money. It wasn't a whole lot but probably enough for at least a few meals. He also gave him a card letting him know he was doing this for our daughter who passed away. He was so grateful.

My wonderful friend Leah who is NOT a blm shared the following two acts of kindness:
"Out with some friends and my friend just saw this homeless man without shoes. Without thinking twice, she sat down on the sidewalk and gave him her socks. She doesn't know you and neither of us knew Genesis but that was a wink if I've ever seen one!"

 Sweet Monique is also NOT a blm:

My amazing friend Erica is also NOT a blm:

Above was Sue's post on her fb page and below were comments from her friends that I do not know. Im just so moved.

There were still quite a few people that have planned RAOKs to be done after her b day which is absolutely incredible. I cannot tell you how moved I am by everyones participation. The stories and photos moved me to tears. And how many people spoke her name that day has left me speechless. That wasn't something I asked people to do. I know thats as a BLM its hard for us to bring up our children especially to strangers who ask simple questions like "how many kids do you have?" because we don't know how they will respond. It usually makes for a very awkward and short conversation. So this was not something I asked anyone to do. But SO many people did. And they did so even if it made them cry. They were crying tears for MY child. Do you know what that means to me? I don't even have the words. Just as I sit here Im crying just thinking about the love and support that I have been shown. And also to have people who have not lost a child participate is HUGE for me. These people love me and Genesis that much, that they chose to participate and support me on this very special day. 

Ive said it before and I will say it again. "Thank you" seems to fall so so short of the gratitude I want to extend to all of you. You have made this mama very very happy. I am moved beyond words. And I will never forget her 10th birthday thanks so you all. You all are incredible friends and amazing beautiful human beings. You have certainly restored my faith in humanity. Sending you all so much love and gratitude. 

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