Rib Fest was Awesome!!! And I am not only talking about the ribs!

Oh my Goodness where do I start?? I guess from the beginning. That would be a good place huh?

I went to pick up Stacy after the Man got home from work. We stopped at the store then I had to run something back to the Man. We finally made it to the Cemetary and as I was getting out I noticed that my car was smoking. Stacey said that we better raise the hood because obviously it was hot and it sounded like it was bubbling. So, we did. My overflow tank was bubbling and hissing and spitting. I have never seen anything like it. I mean you could just see it bubbling. Like water boiling on a stove. I wasn’t even trying to be to concerned about it. I just figured we would let it cool down. We had planned to spend about an hour there anyway so, hopefully by then it would be cooled down.

We went and said hi to JT. Stacey brought a pinwheel to put on his grave. At first it wouldn’t go in the ground because the ground was to hard but, she worked it in there. We went to go look at the grave of another little boy whose headstone they had just put in. His name was Peyton, we found out. And he passed away a year after JT on the 16th of May a day before JT’s first Anniversary. We then went and sat down next to JT and we started talking and we told him we were staying for about an hour anyway he didn’t have to make the car bubbly. Just joking around. And also about how we never see other parents. I was going there daily for about the 1st 6 weeks and never did I see anyone else. We didn’t mean this in a bad way just an observation. We were just wondering when they snuck in around us and decorated the graves. Then we went to visit the other babies. We loved seeing that even after 50 years a lot of the babies still had people visiting them.

Stacy’s Granny’s family also has a baby in the baby section so we found him. His name is Johnny. He would have been around 40 years old. Granny decorates his grave also along with her family that is buried there across the way. As we were walking back, someone pulled up, it was a man. He got out of his van and went to visit a grave. He was visiting Peyton. As we were walking back to JT we felt really uncomfortable, because while we had never seen anyone here. We didn’t know what we would do in that situation. He walked right over to us and asked us which baby was ours. We showed him and he made us feel really comfortable. We talked for a long time. Just talking about our sons and how hard this thing called grief was.

This was a new thing for me. Besides grief group, I had not spoken to anyone who had just recently lost a child in Real life. I talk to mothers on the computer. I feel their pain by their writing. I sit and cry as I am reading. Standing face to face with a grieving father, the emotions were just churning inside of me. The hurt and the grief he never hid it. It was right there for everyone to see.

After he left, we realized, that on this day, the day that is all about JT for us. Our day alone that we don’t share with anyone else, something was orchestrated for a reason. It all fit together. The car overheating, our conversation, meeting another grieving parent. hmmm… wonder who did that one? lol

So, I had another first. I thought that I was done with firsts. But, obviously, God had something else in store for us.

I am in a different place then I was last year. I don’t have my doubts. I am not grasping at any and everything about where my son is. I know where he is. I know he is dancing at Jesus’ feet. My heart is at Peace. It has been for some time now.

It is so nice to have that one day a year with just Stacy. We shared an awesome thing when I let her into our lives and we shared JT. I couldn’t have done it without her. She was my other half. We worked really well together gathering info about his condition (s) and asking the hard questions. God knew what he was doing. And even though JT is with Jesus, we still have an awesome friendship. I was really scared after JT passed away that we would no longer have anything in common. That our friendship would just pass away also. But, it has just made our friendship stronger.

And for that I also thank God for. She has been there for me and if she ever needs me she knows I will be there for her too. No questions asked.

We went around the corner to the park. Ate some ribs, corn, mac n cheese and sat and listened to the jazz. We kept running from the sun because I am allergic to it. I self dianosed myself. lol. I just don’t like to be hot. We finally got a good shady seat up on the hill. The 8 o’clock band wasn’t as good as the man last year. Last year’s person was more entertaining and it lasted longer. But, we still enjoyed ourselves. After it was over, we sat and talked about JT and everything that had happened that day. It was very calming and nice after most of the people had left and the sun had went down. We enjoyed it and can’t wait until next year to do it again.

Sorry, I guess I had a lot to say, I hope that you made it through all of that. lol

Mother’s Day…

Mother’s Day this year is going to be hard. It is my first with out JT and also the last Holiday that I celebrated with him. I had spent the weekend with him in the rooming in room. We got to sit and play, I put him on the floor and let him roll around, we talked, we read the bible, we just spent some awesome time together. Harley spent the weekend with us and she arranged his photo album from beginning to end. She did an excellent job. We watched some CNN his favorite channel and caught up on what was happening in the world.

When I had woke up that morning I had found a mother’s day card on my pillow what an awesome thing to wake up to. It was from JT it had his picture on it and it said Happy Mother’s Day. The nurses up in the Nicu were awesome. They made sure that holidays were celebrated and they made sure lots of pics were taken. 75% of the pics that everyone has seen have been from them. They would get him dressed up in the middle of the night and just start snappin pics just because he was sooo cute. That is what they would say. Just couldn’t help themselves.

Everything started happening really fast after Mother’s Day. And in a few days it will be the anniversary of his going home. In some ways I feel like I am reliving it all and it is not making things easy around here. I am grumpy, moody, and depressed.

It just seems that with a year passing, that it is just about the last thing. It seems so final. I know it is final but, has been final but, the year mark is really hard for me as I have heard it is hard for everyone.

The earth on his grave is full of grass now, his headstone is in. His birthday has passed, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Groundhogs Day, Valentines Day, you get the picture right? This is the last first. The last first I get to make it through. The grief is hitting me full force in these uncontrollable waves that sometimes I feel like I can’t breathe. I don’t want to crash. I feel like a beach during a hurricane just beaten upon.

I have had some really good awesome days during this year and I have had some really really bad days. My grief has lessen around the edges. I still feel it. It is still there right under the surface. I have acknowledged it. I have trudged through it. I have let it overcome me. It will never go away. I will always feel it and know it by name.

But, I have always had hope. Hope in a God who has seen me through. Who has held me comforted me and loved me always. Hope that I will be able to work through my grief and be able to live another joyous day like I did before it came into my life. While things will never be the same, I will never be the same person that I was before Grief knocked on my door and let itself in. I have laughed, I have had happy days, I have seen many blessings in my life this year. It has been the hardest year of my life but, the blessings pour in abundantly each and everyday. And I know that is only from one The One. My Savior, Jesus, who has seen me through.
Thank you Lord, for not giving up on me. For loving me even on the days when I was very angry at you. For lifting me up on the days that I couldn’t find the strength to look up to see you. Thank you for taking care of my son. Thank you for my life and my family and everything then encompasses it.
Thank you for blessing me with a son that in his short life showed me that God’s love is real and knows no boundaries. That showed me even in a life as short as his that love is there and love me he did. Thank you for answering all of my prayers, you are the wonderful, you are blessed and you are my personal savior. And for that I am thankful and joyous, and blessed beyond measure!!!!!

Working on my book…

I have been working on my book about Johnathan’s and our adventure in the NICU for some time now. I have to say it is up there as one of the hardest things that I have had to do. While I am writing it, it seems as if I am re-living it again. I feel the emotions the scaredness, the joy, the frustration. All of it. This has been very therapuetic for me. I really have enjoyed doing it. I am at a part in the book, though where we find out that JT needs a small bowel/liver transplant and it is very hard for me to write about how I really felt. I tried so hard to hide how I felt. Only me and God really knew. I portrayed that everything was fine. Everything was going to be fine. But, yet, I knew that it probably wasn’t going to be. You see Johnathan like to go directly opposite of everything everyone said he was supposed to do. Example. He was supposed to learn how to eat and be home by christmas early January at the latest. Then he started leaking bowel from a fistula (which is basically a hole) in his bowel. So, that never happened. I just kept thinking in the back of my head this is so totally not good. And personally, I felt really bad because another baby would have to pass away to give my son life. How do you pray for that? I went along with everything did all the testing put him through all the testing which is very vigorous and lots of blood needed to be taken. Which I might add that he had hardly any of. It was very hard on both of us. More so him than me. Yes, I had to watch him go through it all and it broke my heart but, he had to actually go through it. Not me. I sometimes would just sit and look at him and wonder what he was thinking. He probably thought that it was normal. That all babies had to deal with this. And he did deal with it very well, I might add. I used to get so mad because he would be so happy. How could he just smile all the time and just be content just to be where he was?

He hardly ever cried in pain. If he cried in pain you knew it was bad. But, that was so far and few between that, it was a shock when he did. He did cry because he wanted attention. Those were the cries that I loved to hear. Because he needed me. I could at least be there for him for that.

Even the whole night that and during the next day that he passed away he just layed there calm and content and let Gina work on him to stop the bleeding. He only cried once and that was about 2:00. And it was a weak wanted his binkie cry. It scared me so bad. And broke my heart all at the same time. I would never hear that cry again. But, then when he left us, to go to God, he left with a smile on his face.

Bobbie Predmore said the most beautiful prayer that day. She said and this is all that I can remember Dear God, Please send your angels to help Johnathan get to your arms. We know your angels are surrounding us. Please show your mercy so that they can show him the way home” I am going off of memory here. And well, with that time being such a blur it is a miracle that I remembered that much of it.
I just remember feeling peace come over me at that time. Peaceful that he would be going someplace beautiful and that he would be taken care of in the utmost way.

I still hurt really badly, but, I feel comfort in the fact that God had my back through out all of this just as He does during the small things. He answered our prayers in the most rewarding richest way. He gave us the time that we needed to say goodbye, to give kisses, to prepare the kids and make it possible for them to be with Johnathan. Family came to see him that had only been there once and actually took time out of their morning to get there in a very fast manner. Something I thought I would never see happen. But, God works and when he works let me tell you, he can move mountains and that is the truth.

Johnathan passed away in Harley’s arms, and I was mortified about that at first but, it was right too. You see she loved her little brother so much and he loved her. She was the only one that could get him to actually giggle out loud to where you could hear it. All she had to do was blow on his chin. She was never afraid of the tubes and wires. She never seen him as sick only as a baby and as her brother. And I truely think she would have argued with God to get Him to let JT stay with us. We tried to hide from that from her but, she knew.

We gave everything to God, we know he made the right decisios for us, even though at times we like to not think so. I have tried to argue with God. But, He always calmly tells me He has a plan. Sometimes I see a glimpse of that plan other times I am puzzled to it. But, unfolding before me was a miracle. A tiny glimpse of what God can do if you just let him work his magic in your life. Me just an ordinary person. Watched miracle upon miracle happen. Had all of my prayers answered. For that I am eternally thankful. Thankful that He gave me this chance. That he trusted and loved me enough to be able to be a mommy to 5 special gifts given to me. And many more that I adopt as mine. Because without any of them I wouldn’t be who I am today. A woman, a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, who tries to find the best in people even when others think there is no hope.

Remember Jesus died for all of us. Anyone can have this gift and it is free. Just ask. He’ll be there waiting. There will be times that you stumble and fall but, God will be there just waiting to pick you up. He will hold your hand and He will carry you. Nothing is too big or too small for God. Sounds like cliches I know but, they are very true.

I have had some bad days and some really rotten day, but, I have also been able to smile, love, rejoice and find some happiness. All through the one who created us. He makes me whole on the hard days and gives me peace. He shows me unconditional love and I thank Him so much for that.

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