Happenings around here…

It’s been a while since I have done this, and let everyone know just what is up here. Well, there have been many trials going on in my life here lately. The biggest one being my marriage. I won’t go into too much detail, but, things are just going rotten. But, I am working on it. And with God’s help and a lot of prayer, we’ll work through it.

The girls’ grandfather Bear, I don’t know if you remember him, but, they haven’t seen him in over 10 years came back into their life, and now he is stalking me. I am so totally not joking. If he can’t reach me on the phone he is popping over at my house. I don’t like that and he has been told several times, that I don’t like that. But, he does it any way. He pops up and accuses me of ignoring him. Then he yells at me. I am not a child and I do have a life of my own. Plus, I am dealing with a lot of things that I haven’t let everyone in on and well, he thinks I should be there to cater to his every whim. That is not what I am here for. He has been told several times. He just doesn’t listen.

The kids are all doing great. We went to Impact World Tour Saturday and seen some awesome dancers, skateboarders, breakdancers, and one BMX guy. They ranged in ages from 12- 34 and they did the most awesome tricks and dancing. And you aren’t going to believe this one. They are all Christians. Their whole mission is to bring children and families into a relationship with Jesus. How awesome is that? They are from all over the world, Austrailia, Denmark, China, Canada, the US. A bunch of them gave their testimony. They told about their life before and their life now. All of the kids got to sit down front on the floor and got to see the action up close. And most of the kids got a bible with the New Testament in it. And kids even came to Christ. They had people from over 100 churches there that were available if you needed prayer. And then you could go up and talk to the skaters and dancers and they would pray with you also. This was a three day thing, the first day was the strong men, Team Xtreme. They break bricks, bend metal, pull Semis, over turn cars, and all in bringing people closer to God. Then Sunday it was the Island Dancers.

We are also still preparing to move, so that is an added stress also. But, I can handle that one easily. Mikayla can’t stand that some of her stuff is packed. So, I opened one of the boxes with her toys in it and told her she could play with them as long as she puts them back. Sometimes it works sometimes you gotta make her pick the stuff up, but, hey she is 3 that is to be expected.

I have been keeping up with alot of blogs, I just don’t comment frequently. I guess I better start commenting huh? It seems my blog has also took another turn. And is going in a different direction and finding a new way. As are alot of other blogs. They are still good reads. And I keep up and I want to be doing what they are doing, but, I feel lead to go the grief way. I went through it and am still going through it and I feel that just maybe I can help someone. Just one person. What I have found though is that I am all over the place and need to organize my writing better. I am going to be working on that. I can’t write how I talk because only Stacy understands that. lol.

I am still going to mix in lots of other kinds of posts. It will still be a hodgepodge you all know me. lol I like variety.

Well, gotta go the munchkin is up and demanding food.

Everyone have a great day!

Children and holding them close…

After JT passed away I was a paranoid mess. I wouldn’t let my children do much, I was scared something would happen to them. I was deathly afraid of the steps. That one always got me. I was afraid that Mikayla would fall down them and break her neck. If they were wrestling around. I would make them stop. I was just so afraid I would lose another one. I would wake up in the middle of the night and I couldn’t breathe because I thought that they were gone. I would check them numerous times during the night to make sure that I seen their chests rising. If Mikayla didn’t wake up at her usual time and slept in I was poking her to make sure she moved. I still do that sometimes but, it is few and far between now.

I wouldn’t let them go anywhere without me. And no spending the night anywhere because well things could happen. They didn’t understand it. They had no clue what was going on with me. Why, all of a sudden they were on lock down and could do nothing. I even limited their time outside. And that isn’t like me at all. I think children should be outside and playing and running and having a great time because sunshine makes you grow. I was growing my children to be couch potatos and totally didn’t like what I was seeing. But, I couldn’t let go of that anxiety and panic enough to let them go outside and just be kids. So, I let them watch as much tv as they like and play as many video games as they wanted to and just made sure that they were close. I lost myself in the computer world and they lost themselves in the electronic world. They could have their friends come over that was no problem. That never really was. I always had no less than 10 kids in my house because well, I love kids. I was feeding them and taking care of them while they were here. My husband didn’t like the grocery bills so much, but, he didn’t really ever complain to much.

But, one day I was had an epiphany. Either that or God kicked me back into shape like he likes to do. I feeling suffocated. I just told them go outside. Go play get out of here. You need to be outside. What was I thinking??? Then they went out to play and I was being a crazy lady yelling at them not to do this or do that or to leave this alone or that alone. They couldn’t have any fun that way. It took a long time of me just holding my breath praying for God to keep them safe and just letting them be. But, I did it.

I have always been the kind of parent to let my kids make mistakes. To let them learn and I help them to see what they did wrong and let them fix it if they are able to. We are very open and talk about sex, drugs, what have you. I want them to be able to come to me and ask me about something. I want them to know that I won’t judge them on it and that together we’ll look at it and find the best possible solution together. I don’t go rampaging (to much) and not let them live their life. I wasn’t that kind of parent anymore. I was a closed up piece of mess.

My husband saw it also. He said, in the most loving way, “Honey, I think you need counseling”
So, I got it.

While that may not be for some it helped me immensely. I’ll talk more about that tomorrow.

Things that I have thought and done……

When you are going through grief you think so many different sometimes bizarre things. You think that you can’t do things but, you can.

Before JT died, I didn’t think I could hold my babies body and just let him go. Just surrender him to God and feel at peace with it. But, I did. It wasn’t a good feeling but, it was a feeling of peace that when it happened, it happened just the way that it should have and our prayers were answered beyond our wildest imaginations.

After JT died, I didn’t think I could live my life. I didn’t think I could get through a minute much less a whole day and live to tell about it. But, I did.

I didn’t think that I could be a productive person of society, or raise my other children, but, I have been.

We don’t have memories of JT being in our house. He was never here. His stuff has been here but, he had never been here physically. I don’t have memories of him in his crib or sleeping with me after a rough night, or baths in the sink, or dirty diapers that somehow find their way on the floor because you did a 2 o’clock feed and change only to wake up in the morning and trip over said diaper. Never had the went to fix a bottle and left it on the stove to warm only to forget about it, and realize when there is this burning smell coming from the kitchen that oops guess i better get that before the kitchen burns down memory.

A lot of people after the death of their child have a hard time either going into their child’s bedroom the first time, or they just can’t leave that bedroom. JT’s bedroom was the NICU. Number 19 and 22. Those were the two spots he spent all of his time there in. It is just too hard for me to think of going up there and his space is filled with someone else. Another new life that doesn’t know the history of those two spots. To know that his spot is gone, just to be replaced by another. I can’t go up there and have those memories. It is too hard for me to go back up there. I don’t know if I would have been one of those parents that keeps it as is or packs it up. I am not sure at all.

I did have all of his stuff from the hospital and it took me about 3 months before I was able to unpack it all and go through it. I did keep everything of his. It is in a hope chest. That is what I call it anyway. Because through JT, I did have hope, and I still have hope, that hasn’t changed. I still find things around the house of his. A picture that somehow has gotten mixed up in other pictures. An outfit that somehow has gotten mixed up in the laundry. A baggy of stuff that I hadn’t done anything with from when we were switching hospitals. These little treasures either cause me such happyness or cause me to have a ginormous crying fit, then I lift myself up through prayer and with God’s grace and hope for another time to find some little treasure that has somehow found itself into our living areas. It was like he was here and had been here. But, it really doesn’t replace the real thing.

I used to get to where I would stay up nights and get only a few hours of sleep each night, just searching the internet to find a story like mine. Anything that came even remotely close. There was no diagnosis that you could fit JT in. He had so many things going on and the doctor’s had always said that they had no idea what to do half the time because they had never seen anything like what was happening to him. And now, I believe it. Because as much as I searched. I couldn’t find anything. Now, each different thing, I could find things on that, but, all together nothing. So, yep, he was as unique as they said he was. I at the time just thought that they didn’t want to deal with everything that was wrong with him. But, I know that isn’t true because they were always searching and researching trying to find a solution where there was none. They worked really hard behind the scenes.

I never thought that I could find joy in holding a baby boy again, but, I did yesterday. He is 4 months old and is so smiley and happy and I had the best time just talking to him, and he was cooing back it was awesome.

I used to think if I prayed hard enough God would bring him back. He brought Lazarus back, why not JT? But, I knew it wasn’t going to happen, but, wishfulness was holding me there. Holding me to think that in a few days I would wake up and JT would be laying next to me smacking me in the face like babies do to wake me up and it would all have been a dream. Didn’t happen. But, I have my memories and those we made awesome and I am thankful for that.

My Dear Friends…

I had the priviledge of being a part of a forum. This wasn’t your run of the mill forum either. This was a group of homeschooling mommies that I still to this day can’t believe I found. I have no way to tell them thank you for all the support they gave me during our time with JT. They loved him, prayed for him, celebrated his ups and downs with me. I could go there and just let it all out and knew without a shadow of a doubt they would be there with me to help with their encouraging words and prayers. This is a special group of ladies. We could talk about everything even that infamous post that was 100’s of responses long on toilet paper. You really had to be there to understand. The dancing chickens, the support, the help with curriculmn reviews and even algebra help. It was awesome. While the group is no longer together on the forum because as with all good things it has ended but, not before we have made such wonderful friendships and I do believe it is because of Donna starting that forum that we found a safe haven on this big ole internet. A place that we could go to and not be judged. We are all a circle of friends and I can’t wait until the day I can look each and every one of them in the face and tell them thank you. Thank you for being with me in my darkest hour and thank you for rejoicing with me in a life that was so short but, oh so loved. So, this one is for you my DY friends, you held me up with your prayers and your encouraging words. No words can ever express how I feel about you all and all that you have done for our family.

Memo from God..

I received this in an e-mail and thought that I would share. I received it at a time that I really needed it, I hope this blesses you also.

To: YOU
Date: TODAY
From: GOD
Subject: YOURSELF
Reference: LIFE

This is God. Today I will be handling All of your problems for you.
I do Not need your help. So, have a nice day. I love you.

P.S. And, remember…
If l ife happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot
handle, do Not attempt to resolve it yourself! Kindly put it in the
SFGTD (something for God to do) box. I will get to it in MY TIME.
All situations will be resolved, but in My time, not yours.

Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it by
worrying about it. Instead, focus on all the wonderful things that
are present in your life now.

Should you decide to send this to a friend; Thank you. You may have
touched their life in ways you will never know!

Now, you have a nice day.

GOD

God has seen you struggling,
God says it’s over.
A blessing is coming your way

Those early days…

Going through those early days, I was so consumed by my grief that I didn’t have the tools to look around and see that other people were hurting because of JT’s death. I was only aware of mine. My grief, my son. As I said I was really very selfish those early days. It was all about me and MY son. Never mind he had a father, brothers and sister, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, and friends. Never mind that at all. Never mind the fact that I shared his whole life with people that I had never met but, consider really close friends. Two of those I got to meet at his funeral.

His funeral….

It turned out to be more than I had ever expected. I figured just a few people would be there. I never imagined that there would be standing room only. JT’s whole life was lived in the NICU. While we were there we had very few visitors. Outside of my immediate family and Stacy, but, I consider her immediate family. I can actually tell you how many people came up to visit him, 8 people. I never got to show my baby off like other mothers do. All people could think about is that he was sick. They didn’t want to be involved with something that would break their heart. I was very angry about that. I would have taken anyone up there to visit him. Anyone. And I do mean that. I was so proud of him, wires, tubes, iv’s all the beepy machines and all. He was beautiful and perfect to me. But, I got off on a tirade there.

There were a few bumps but, hey that is with everything. It was a beautiful day with lots of great fellowship and celebrating his life.

After the funeral and the days that ensued I would wake up every morning and just have to ask God to help me get out of bed. Help me to live. Because the living thing, well, it was hard, it hurt, and I didn’t want to do it.

Two major events happened in one day. I got a real eye opener that I wasn’t the only one hurt by this. My middle daughter had been suicidal for a year. We were finally back on track and she was getting better she wasn’t so depressed, she was actually smiling. But, as I was doing something in the kitchen, I just started hearing this screaming. I want to die, God just kill me don’t leave me here, I want to die. I ran into the living room and she was in there just beating on herself. I had no idea what to do. I was in my own cloud and in my bubble feeling sorry for myself with no thought of anyone else I couldn’t see how bad my baby was hurting. I tried the best that I could to calm her down and then I had to call her counselor because while before JT I could have dealt with this and I had the tools to at this time after JT, I so totally didn’t. We got ahold of her counselor who was at home by the way. It was awesome of her to take her time to help. She talked her down enough for me to be able to handle it. She missed JT so much and didn’t have the coping skills to handle it. I wasn’t being the mommy that I usually was. In tune with my child’s feelings and being able to help them.

The second was that very night. My oldest daughter had been cranky all day. I chalked it up to hormones. You would ask her to do something and she would just burst out in tears and throw a tantrum. She was 13 so, I figured her hormones were all whacky. But, that night as I was going up to bed at about 2 am, I heard her in her room just crying her eyes out. I went in and asked her what was wrong, she said, Oh mommy, I just miss JT so much, I want him to come back. I told her I did too but, he was with Jesus now, and he was very happy, happy he didn’t have to live in pain and with every imaginable thing hooked up to him. But, I was very honest with her and told her I feel that pain too every minute of every day. And that is ok. It is ok to hurt and want him back because that is human. I just sat there and held her and let her cry until she fell asleep and I slept with her that night. The whole time thinking you big dummy. You have to think of other people also. You can’t just go through this like this is just yours because it isn’t. Grief hit all of us. While the way that I feel and the way that they feel is their own, grief is ours together just as JT was all of ours together. From my family, to the NICU nurses, doctors and all the staff that came in contact with him, to the people that had never met him and was praying for him to friends. I had to share him, whether I want to or not, and Oh boy did I want to share him even in his death I wanted to share what was JT from that moment on, no strings attached. So, I started writing. And that has helped immensely. Just letting everyone who he was, tubes, iv’s wires, beepy machines and all.

Back to our reguarly scheduled program….

Ok, back on track with the “grief series”.

The days leading up to the funeral where well, they went to fast I think. I was not ready for it to be over. Because I knew that would be the last time I would physically “see” my baby. I went shopping for some funeral clothes. The lady at the store was very accomadating and we got my clothes on sale. I think Stacy or even maybe I told her what they were for, and both of them were throwing clothes at me as fast as I could try them on. Shoe shopping was the worst. I really really don’t like shopping for myself. I have what I have and make do. I don’t see the point in spending money on myself when the kids need this or that. This was no exception. I felt guilty about it the whole time. I think that is what made it so hard to find something.

I know that everyone was pushing me to do it to get out and get my mind off of stuff, but, that really wasn’t going to happen. I just wanted to be. To just sit in my room and just be. But, that wouldn’t of been good at all, not at that time.

Those first few days, me and God had long talks. Really long talks. I told him it wasn’t fair, and he was wrong and why would he do that to JT? Why would he do that to me? Why would he take my son away from me like that? I was very selfish for a long while. I just wanted my baby back. For 8 1/2 months it was all about him. I had no direction anymore. I had nothing to do basically. I tried several times to get into the car and leave to go to Children’s only to remember that there wasn’t anything there for me anymore. Then I would try to talk myself into going up there to check and make sure he wasn’t there. Maybe it didn’t happen. Maybe he was up there waiting for me to come back. I knew he wasn’t but, my mind and my heart were playing tricks on me.

The hardest part was waking up and remembering he was gone. He wasn’t up there in the NICU and I was not going to be going to see him anymore. I missed it all. The arguing with the doctor’s the care, the kisses, the hugs, the frustration, all of it. I wanted it back and nothing I could do or say would bring him back. NOTHING.

Then I would start to feel guilty. Guilty about things that well, I had no control of. I felt guilty that he was born to early. Guilty about those first few days when I argued with the nurses and doctors not to feed him Similac. That he would probably be allergic to it like all of my other children. No one could predict what was going to happen. Guilty that my body wasn’t strong enough to keep him in there longer. Just guilty thinking that I put him through all of this. That I put my family through all of this. But, I didn’t, it happened. God has his reasons why He chose us to be his family. He chose us and that in and of itself is an honor to be the mother of him and know what he did to change my life.

I would go from angry at God to thanking him for JT’s life and all that he gave me. From crying to laughing and back again in 3.2 seconds. This would go on for a long time. Even today I still have days like that. Though they are fewer and farther in between. I welcome them. They remind me that JT was here. He was loved. He was real.