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

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OH my! Memory Lane….

Stacy and I are going to Rib Fest Today. Oh Boy, I can’t wait!! We are talking ribs, corn, mac n cheese. The works. Rib Fest is special to us, because last year we just happened upon it after having one of our in depth conversations about religion. I was really confused and depressed at the time. JT had been gone for a little over 2 months and I was having doubts and I was really panicking at the thought of what if what I believe is not true? Oh my gosh what if, what if, what if. But, we went to McDonald’s and went driving around and happened upon the rib fest. Oh my goodness the ribs were delicious, we listened to some jazz and had fun. Just some real honest to goodness fun that I thought that I couldn’t have. Well, we are going back again this year. No kids, this is the 2nd annual going for us. lol. First we are going to go visit JT, and then we are headin for the ribs. The park where they have it is right across from the cemetary. I can’t wait. We are leaving when The Man gets home from work. But, I was reading my Xanga blog, I never post in it. I abandoned it for WordPress. And just the stuff that is in there blows my mind. I don’t remember a lot of things from the 1st 4 – 6 months that JT was gone. I remember bits and pieces and to have the memorys written down is just mind blowing to me to see how I thought just a year ago and to see for myself how far I have come. Because people can tell you until you are blue in the face but, to actually read it is another. I thought that I would put it up for your viewing pleasure. So, here is my Xanga entry about the rib fest and our conversation at McDonald’s.

Have a great Day!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Really depressed….Just like the title says. I am really depressed. I am just not interested in anything. I can’t focus. Stacy (my friend) said I need to update this. So, I am. We went out Saturday night, just to get out and get away. We happened upon the Jazz and Rib Fest at the park. It was really great. See here in little ole springfield, we have a Summer Arts Festival that runs about 6 weeks and everything there is free. Well, except the food. So, we decided to stop and walk around get some exercise and really enjoyed it. We sampled some ribs and corn too. They had resonable prices. I was surprised.

We were talking and we got on the subject of life after death. Like where our souls go and such. I have had some Jehovah Witnesses that have been stopping by and I said ok, I will study with you but, I don’t agree with some of the things that you teach and expect me to disagree. She agreed. But, she told me Saturday morning I think that it was that bodies are just lying there waiting. No souls go to heaven, heaven is full. Now, that goes against everything that I am taught and well, I just can’t believe it. I have heard of the resurrection and I have heard souls going to heaven.

Stacy and I were also talking about the fact that every bible is different and everyone interprets it a different way. We could each read the same verse and have different interpretations of it. It is so confusing. I told her that we really need to find someone and talk to them about things someone who is really well versed in the bible. Maybe who has special training in the original format so to speak.

We also talked about different religions. How do we know which one is right. I mean you have Jewish, Buddist, Hindu, Christian, etc…..

They mostly all have a basis of each other but, different aspects. Now, how do we know which one we are supposed to be or ….. here is a crazy thought, what if they are all right??? My favorite verse is Ephesians 4:5 There is one Lord, One Faith, One Baptism..

If that is the case, then we ALL should serve the same God, believe the same, etc..

Sorry about all of the etc…

I am not sure. I really need to get a hold of my pastor and pick his brain so to speak. I just really don’t like bugging people, but, this is bugging me.

I think the Jehovah Witness people are doing what they are supposed to do. Putting a seed of doubt in my heart and I really don’t like that.

I should really just tell them no go away don’t want to hear it, but, I am truely not that mean.

Jean told me that you need to minister to all people regardless of your differences. I feel though that i haven’t the tools to do so. I would really like to get into a good bible study and just start learning and learning some more. Because the more I try to do it on my own, the more I can’t do it. I have no one to ask questions to or get another point of view. My grandmother sends me a bible study book once a month it is a A Closer Walk. That is fine and all, but, I have no direction. I need direction. I pray for it but, when there is no one but myself to lead, then well, I get no where. Very discouraging at the moment. But, I plan on fixing that.

Well, thanks for listening to me.

oh yeah, on a side note… The dug the place (hole) for JT’s marker. I hope it comes in soon. It is beautiful..

So see you all another day here soon.

Some things that have been on my heart….

It has been 10 months 3 weeks and 2 days since Johnathan went home.   I still miss him as much today as I did the moment he left us on May 17, @ 5:15 p.m.  A lot of that time is blurry for me.   The first few months is a blur to me.   It is coming back to me as I write my book about our experience.  It has been locked away in my mind just waiting until I was ready to let it out.   

When I got back from my visit with my sister and family and I just keep looking at all of these pictures of me with my mom, I get so mad.  Mad because she wasn’t here.  She chose to leave this earth early.  She chose to not be a part of our lives.   She chose to check out because life got difficult for her.  She wasn’t able to ask for help.   She wasn’t able to fight for her life.   That was almost 11 years ago.  But, my mom checked out on us long before that.  She hadn’t really been in my life after the age of 9.  She found a new family and it was the family of drugs.   But, I always knew that if she was alive there was a chance that someday she could come back and be my mom.   Not just in name but, in person.   When she decided that her children were not worth it and just ended it, well, that was the end of a dream.  As I sit and look at pictures of all of us together, when I was little I seen how happy we were.  I seen that she did enjoy us before the drugs and her other lifestyle took over.  I see the love she had for us.  But, I am still mad.  I never really grieved for her.  I never let myself.  And I find myself missing her so much.  I haven’t let myself just miss her the woman I remember.  The woman who blew bubbles for us all the time.  The woman who would try so hard to help us learn things even though she hardly knew them herself.  The woman who would let us crawl into bed with her when we had a nightmare and taught us that mashed potatoes and corn was a great combination.  The woman who made sure that even though we were extremely poor that we always had birthday presents and christmas presents.  I didn’t remember all of those things until I started looking at the pictures that I now have.  It is an awesome gift and I thank God that I was able to open my heart and see the good and not the bad. 

As I look back on Johnathan’s life there is nothing that I would change.   There were some really hard times.  There were some excellent times.   I gave him my everything.  I know that he knows he was loved. I know that he knows that I was there.  For the good times and the bad.  He knew that I was in his corner and I would fight to the end with him and I did.  

And now, as I come to this new normal of being a mom to my other children again and missing my baby oh so much.  I am happy that I am able to do that.  Happy that I didn’t just check out.  Because I wanted to oh so much.  I still have days where I want to. But, I pray God sets me straight and I live.  I live because that is what I have to do.  I have to be around for the bubbles and the nightmares and the spring concerts and the new boyfriends and the future husbands and grandkids but, more importantly because I don’t determine when I leave.  God does and he keeps telling me there is more so, I will sit here and listen to Him.  But, I will still miss Johnathan and my heart will have pieces that I just can’t put back together, whether it be 1 year from now or 40. 

God knows what he is doing.  I can’t question that.  Although I sometimes think that I can.  

I would also like to ask for prayer for another mother who has just received her new lungs.  She has cystic Fibrosis.  Her name is Tricia.    She has a micro preemie and her name is Gwyneth Rose. You can read their story by clicking  Gwyneth’s name under Angel Among us.  

 Thanks for reading……

Make it a great day!!!

How many children do I have…

I think people should ask how many children had you had. I hate answering that question. I don’t know how to answer it. Well, for one at any given moment I could have many children or I could have a couple. But, that is not the reason I detest answering that question. I got asked that question at FAST last night. I can’t really tell you what we were talking about because well, it is confidential. But, I just flew through it after I said I couldn’t answer it. Just about everyone knows Johnathan went home last year. I just ….. how do I answer that without including him. He is my son. He will always be my son. I have heard so many eloquent answers to that one. And I have been thinking about it since last night. Actually I have never stopped thinking about it. It has always been in the back of my mind. How do I include him in our family without making other people sad, or uncomfortable. And for another why should I care. Should everyone else’s feelings be more important than mine? I for the most part worry about other people’s feelings more than I should. Not saying that I don’t like to shock people once in a while but, for the most part, I have this innane sense to protect people from the ugly. And losing a child is about as ugly as it gets. Doesn’t matter how old they are. But, people are more willing to hear if you have lost a child and they were 25 or older as opposed to infancy thru childhood.

I really don’t think it is fair. I have to hide the fact that he lived. Sometimes it feels like I am denying God because he gave me this wonderful gift of a child. A miracle we watched beat a lot of odds. And I can’t rejoice in that. Just because people wouldn’t understand. I am to the point I don’t care if people would understand or not JT is my son. Just because he isn’t here doesn’t make him anyless mine, then if he was sleeping in the next room.

Johnathan passed away yes, but, that doesn’t mean my feelings and the love I felt for him ever will. I will always hold him in my heart and my heart is still broken in a million pieces. It has been 9 months 3 weeks and 5 days since we said see you later. And to this day I still a couple times a day, have such pain from grief that I can hardly breathe. I am only human, and I am a mother missing her son.

So, if you meet someone and want to know how many kids they have had. Ask them that. Don’t ask them how many kids they have. Let us answer truthfully.

I usually try to keep this blog about our days but, I have been forgetting one very important person. He helped me realize that yes, I do have faith. Not just for the big things but, for the little things also. He showed me that I am not alone, he taught me many things in his short life. I can’t keep denying that he lived so that other people can be comfortable. It just isn’t going to happen.

The year in review

My year this year has been crazy at least. We have had good times and some really bad times.

The year started out with JT still in the hospital but, hope that he would come home by February. February we learned that he needed a liver and small bowel transplant. March found out he needed his heart fixed or he wouldn’t be able to get the transplant. April found out he wouldn’t be able to get his heart fixed. Which meant no liver/small bowel transplant. May we lost him. June – December we have grieved and remembered and laughed and cryed.

In February, I spent the first full night with my son taking care of him. He was 6 months old at the time. We had a great time. I got real smiles. He was happy to have me. We spent some quality one on one time. I learned he loved CNN and the Temptations. I also learned more of what made him unhappy and what made him happy. Learned how calm and collected he was. He could make it through procedures and not blink an eye like he was bored with it all. He learned also during this time how to reach out and play with things. I also learned just how much he totally hated being naked. He loved to be dressed and bundled tight. I had to teach the nursing staff how to bundle him. This is when we were on the gastrointestinal unit at Cincy Children’s.

When we found out that it was just a matter of time. I tried to squeeze in every little thing that I could so that he could experience things that we take for granite. The whole time though I was rallying for him. He had swung in a swing, played with toys, been read to talked to played with and most importantly, Loved.

He got his first bottle, ate dum dum pops, (he loved the blue ones), went outside and experienced real air.
He walked around in the buggy through the NICU and met the other babies. He rode in the buggy that they go home in with Retta pushing him. He tasted pickles, and grapes. We never did get the ice cream but, hey you can’t have everything now can you?

We read him the Christmas story and he learned about Jesus and what he did for us. This way when he met him he would know who he was. I told him about heaven and how gloriously pretty that is was. And how he would love being there able to breathe and eat and be with out any tubes and not have to be weighed or take a bath anymore. I think he loved that part the best.

We were also approved to take him home for a couple of hours. This helped us see a doctor who we thought really didn’t care, really cared alot. He fought for us, got it approved, and well, it was too late, but, that is ok. At least we tried. And that is the important part. We didn’t give up. Even though we really didn’t know how much time we had left.

This year, I learned how to change an ostomy bag, how to drain it. How to stop bleeding. Learned all about cc’s.

Learned that nurses are people too. Even though at first you don’t think they are. They have emotions, feeling, and are very protective of “their” babies.

Know the make up of a bag of tpn. could tell if an iv was blown, could tell if my son needed blood just by his color and his demeanor.

So, I have learned alot this year also.

I learned alot about myself and faith this year too. Stuff I had never known. I also learned I have a lot of friends out there. I got to meet two of them at his funeral. It was awesome to meet them, I just wished that it wasn’t during those circumstances and I would have been able to talk with them and visit more and been more me and not just trying to hold it together long enough until I got home. But, I am sure there will be other times.

So, there was my year, not much to tell from the other family because well, really my life centered around JT and I do believe it still is for the most part. I am trying to get back into the routine of being here for my children. Being a wife and a mother. It is taking some time but, I feel we are making progress. Although it is little progress, it is still progress after all.

So, that would be my year in review.