Thank you, Stephanie, for sending me this shirt. Some days I want to shout at the top of my lungs that I am Chase's mom and he is my baby boy. All the other days I just want everybody I see to know it. This is a more subdued way of going about it...(I love it!)
Sunday, November 29, 2009
We had a highly anticipated trip to Colorado to visit family for Thanksgiving. The kids were so excited and Patric & I were anxious to get away for a week. I was a bit unsure how it would all go. I was excited, but dreaded it, too. Making memories always hurts these days. Everything is such a mix of emotions. My family is the most important thing in my life to me. And that includes my extended family and their families, too. But since Chase died, getting together with family is a screaming reminder (but then again, I have that every day of my life) of my missing child. I see my nieces and nephews and my heart aches because Chase should be there with them. I think about him crawling around on the floor, about the toddlers and older cousins fighting to hold him, about his siblings showing him off, about how my arms should not be so available....and empty.
I was sad, as expected. But I think I did okay. I cherish the time with my sisters. I laughed. I cried. I laughed harder than I have since before Chase died. And I cried harder than I have in several months. It was an emotional time, a sad time, but it was a wonderful time.
The highlight of my weekend, though, was when all the cousins said one thing they were thankful for. Hearing Chase's name come from their tiny mouths melted me. It made me realize that they miss him, too. That we all wish he was here sharing these moments with us. And it hurt so incredibly bad. But it also felt so heartwarming and proud. I am so lucky for my caring and supportive family. Thank you for loving me.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Please check the new button on my blog....on a daily basis now until Christmas! Tina had a great idea to help those of us who are particularly having a hard time getting through the holidays have a little fun in the midst of a broken heart as we are missing our sweet little ones. These ladies are amazing and have some wonderful things to share. The activities are fun to participate in and you can win some wonderful gifts....for yourself or maybe help you with a Christmas gift for someone special. I happen to be signed up for December 16th and I'm not sure yet what I will be giving away, but I will make it special, I promise. Check back!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Today seemed to be tougher than normal. Maybe because I was by myself and in the car for most of it. This was my choice, however, and I found myself talking to Chase a lot. And thinking a lot. The wound, it seems, is so fresh. I think it is always going to be that way. Or just beneath the surface. Tears are not very far away no matter what I do. To complete strangers I look, act, seem "normal." But I am so not. I miss him so dearly and it hurts so badly how much I miss him.
I know I am not alone. My family misses him, too. Those near and far. I hurt for them, they hurt for us. And all the while, we must somehow get through the day, the weeks, the holidays...
I haven't talked to my mom in a while. That is strange. And what is even more strange, is I don't know why. I used to call her up at work during the day at the drop of a hat....how much flour do I put in this recipe?....can I cook this chicken after it sat out for over an hour?....guess what Reese just did?.... A million different questions only Mom knows the answer to. But I don't do that anymore. Do I have all the answers? No. Do I think to call when I need them? I don't really think....I just figure it out or find a way. Stories are not deemed to be shared anymore, I guess. I still love her--she knows that. It's unconditional. But my focus is shifted. It's about Patric and the kids. ALL THE TIME. It's about Chase. It's about me. It's about us. We live in our world and lean on each other so much that I must have fallen out of that "middle place". The place between being a mother and someone else's daughter. (I'm reading the book by that name--and tragically, some of it I understand all too well.) I have "grown up". Even though I really never wanted to. I would rather rely on others the way I used to. Not try to answer everything by myself. But the answers I need no one knows. No one who hasn't been through this. That's the biggest part of me that has changed.
I want to share this picture that my blogger friend Holly sent me. She wrote his name on a leaf and I am very grateful for her thoughtfulness. I love seeing Chase's name, my Chase's name. It's precious to me.
Another blogger friend of mine, Stephanie, has done something very nice for me, too. I will post that when it comes. Thank you girls, and all of those out there in bloggerland who have thought about my baby boy. Your words of support are comforting. I hope to help others the way they have helped me.
We are heading out of town for Thanksgiving. I am really looking forward to this trip. We have a lot planned and will be in the company of some wonderful family and friends. The kids love cousin time. I will have mixed emotions as I will be seeing who is not there before I see who all is there. But I love my nieces and nephews and can't wait to see them. And my sisters and mom.....this time together has been very anticipated. This will be a great week. Happy Thanksgiving!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I have to write about this because I can't believe how good it made me feel...
Reese had a birthday party to go to so with Patric off on a day hunting trip, the rest of us piled into the car, Karly willing, Emma not-so. I won a very rare dressing fight with Reese when he pulled out from the depths of his dresser a pair of red polyester gym pants (for play) that were about 3 inches too short and a blue Old Navy rash guard (to wear with swim trunks) size 18-24 months. Sorry dude, not this time. After finally getting dressed, he was excited to go.
Anyway, most of the moms at the party are fairly close friends of mine so it was nice to spend the time visiting while the kids all played together. One of the other moms is pregnant, due in four weeks. I know her and have seen her since I had Chase so though I was not expecting to see her today, she is a really sweet person and it was nice to see her and talk preggo with her. I love talking about babies and pregnancies but these days, it has to be in the right or I usually don't open up. Typical pregancy topics came up and we were talking about being pregnant with girls versus being pregnant with boys. She doesn't know the sex (which I love) and so we were giving our "expert advice" on ways we could all tell the sex of our kids in hindsight. In one single statement I made in the group, I felt a warmth and comfort come over me that I haven't felt in a long time. I had made several comments about my pregnancies each time, with my living kids, carefully choosing my words. Then I blurted out something about being pregnant with the girls and then said, "and when I was pregnant with the boys...."
It rolled off my tongue and I absolutely loved saying it. It sounds so silly but it made me feel so good to say that....and be heard....and have it fit in with a normal conversation with everyone else....and pretend. For a split second. That I do have boys.
It's hard. So incredibly hard. To parent an angel baby. And I think where I was coming from with my last post was that I am feeling inadequate in loving my child. I can love him with all my heart until my dying day, which I do. I love him to the ends of this earth, to the moon and back, to all the stars and back. But I can't love him with my kisses. I can't love him with my hugs. I can't love him with my famous mommy touches....a look, a touch, a whisper, an all ecompassing band-aid that fixes every hurt or sadness that ever comes his way. And that is hard. I can't physically love him and I need to so incredibly bad. This is where the mind and the heart absolutely cannot make up for what the body can do. But I'm so glad I got to talk about you today to my friends. I'm so glad I got to share a bit about you and feel like a normal person for a moment. Because you deserve it. And so do I.
I love you Chase.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I haven't felt like blogging lately. I think it's because I am either preoccupied....or just plain numb. I feel emotionless often...when I see babies and things to do with babies (which is almost everything). Chase does not consume my thoughts to the degree that he once had. I hate that. I hate that more than anything. I have said before that I control my thoughts. Consciously, I do. But I find myself not so continuously haunted by him...unless I specifically try to "go there." I don't automatically think of our traumatic night everytime I drive by the hospital anymore. Then there are times I look at that building and my stomach turns inside out. I force myself to think about the two miracles that took place there when I brought home Reese and Karly. Because to think about the chaos that occured when Chase was born, it sucks the wind out of me. Nausea sets in. Again. So I do still control my thoughts. And because I don't allow myself to focus on all the horrible things that happen, I find myself not so consumed.
But I want to be consumed. I don't ever want to forget him. I don't ever want to try to remember him. I want him there, in my thoughts. Always. I want him behind my eyelids. I want him in my breaths. I want him everywhere and I don't want that feeling to ever go away.
I fear more than ever that it is going away, though. I wake up now and try to remember if I was thinking about him before I fell asleep. I feel bad still, for smiling and laughing. Because I have so much to grieve yet.
I watched Taylor Swift win Entertainer of the Year last night and though impressed by her accomplishments, I wonder when she will find herself changing. She graciously accepted her award and said something to the effect, "everything that I have ever wanted in my life just happened." I wish we all had the chance to say that just one time in our lives. She is merely 19 and got her turn. But is that really everything? We know it is not. And at 37, I have never wished for my turn more than now.
Friday, November 6, 2009
This meeting we would like to talk about where you are. Where are you at in your grief. Has it been years or just weeks since you lost your baby. How are you feeling. How do you hope you will feel in the future. Have you found any peace at all?
It has been 6 1/2 months since we lost Chase. I still have a lot of the same feelings, most all of them, that I did a week after he died. I am still angry, lost, confused, bitter (maybe not as much now), sad, empty, broken, just sick. If I let myself, I could go right back to the moment it happened, or the funeral, or the burial, and have all those wicked, horirble feelings just like I was there again. I don't let myself, though. There are times that I just don't let myself think of because it is so awful. I guess because there are moments that I can think of to cover those up. Like the first moment I saw him and how I instantly (INSTANTLY) bonded with him. Or touching him in the NICU and spending that precious time with him. Or when the kids came in to see him and they were all so, so, so strong. Or when we all talk about him and wonder what he is doing now, or what or who he looks like, or what his likes and dislikes are. My thoughts are my choice, I figure. I can think about whatever I want to think about and I can turn them into good or bad (sad) thoughts. I am really trying to make the best of it.
I am doing well. Not great. Not terrible. Things could be better (the obvious), but they never will be. We still have our dreams. They are altered a little tiny bit, but we still have them. We are trying to decide what our family is going to be or become. We are forever learning how to live without a very important part of our family. I don't know if you ever figure that out. With the holidays approaching, I have thought a lot about our traditions...what the were, what they are going to be. The fact is that there is sadness, everywhere we go, everything we do surrounded by utter, complete, happiness. My family is the most awesome thing in the world. i am so lucky to be a part of it. They are wonderful. I love them and they love me. More than anything. It's so complicated to have so much joy in life yet to have sadness present all the time. I miss Chase...as an infant....and now as a 6-month-old. I miss him and the things he would be doing. All his firsts. But I also love what I have. I am so lucky to have what I have. So lucky. And thank you, Chase, if you had anything to do with that. I don't want to think that you did, but I also know that you did and love you for it. I want to think like Carly....Are you really gone? Or is it that we just can't see you?
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Reese and I picked up a little buddy of his for a play date today (read: so mommy can get some work done) and as we incidentally drove by the only cemetary in town, he told his friend, "that's where they bury people who die." I don't know why, other than for conversation and he was so excited for his play date, Reese brought this up. We drove by the cemetery at least two more times throughout the day and our on our final trip home, and again seeing the cemetery, our conversation went something like this...
Reese: Mom, does God have a TV up there in his house?
Mom: Hmmm. I don't know buddy. Do you think he does? I think there are better things than TV up there.
Reese: Mom, what does God look like?
Mom: Do you remember the picture on the program for Chase's funeral?
Reese: No. Does he look like a ghost?
Mom: You mean like you can see through him?
Mom: I don't know, buddy. Everyone has their own idea of what God looks like. I think he looks like a normal person though, but extra kind, very gentle. Just a really nice person I guess.
Reese: Mom, are we gonna go to Heaven?
Mom: You mean like for a little while...or forever?
Mom: Well, babe, everyone goes to Heaven. But I don't think you have to think about that for a long time. Not 'til you get older, a lot older.
Reese: Mom, can we see Chasey?
Mom: I wish we could, buddy......I miss him. A lot. What would you do if you saw Chase?
Mom: Would you give him a hug....and then ask him if he wanted to race?
Reese: Yeah, I would.
Oh, man. How it hurts to talk about this. I can't believe this is Reese's "normal". I hate that he has to grow up like this. I have really felt the affect on Reese's life in particular lately. How big of an impact Chase would have on Reese. I think about it or talk about it to Patric every day. This is the first time Reese has ever been home with us alone. It started out special--just time with us. But after that has worn off, it has been just torture. I know he loves to be home with us. But he misses his sisters, who were home with him last year. Then before that, Emma was home being homeschooled by herself; before that, Karly was home and played with him all the time. This has been something completely new for me, having just one kid to tend to. And he doesn't like having to "wait" for me to get to him. I hate getting frustrated with his begging to play, do this, do that. But I do. And I know Chase would have made things so different. For all of us. It's hard to imagine the impact another child is going to put on your life. But it's agonizing to have to live with their absence. To say we miss him does not do it justice.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I uploaded a bunch of pics on the Slide show (above)....what we've been up to lately. Halloween festival, air show, soccer, river walks, Trick-or-Treat, and more Halloween. I could kick myself for not taking my camera with me today because we went to White Sands "on a whim" and had a blast. It was so quite and really pretty as the weather was perfect at about 70 deg. The contrast of the white sand and the blue sky is amazing and the mountains look purple in between it. We could hear the kids feet on the sand as they ran hundreds of yards away from us and to hear their tiny voices at such a distance was bizarre. Watching Reese run down the dunes with no one else in my view reminding me of my Little Prince and I wondered if he had all the answers. Some quality time with the huz was also in order...thanks, sweetie. I'll take an uninterrupted conversation anytime, anywhere.
Riding home as the sun set and the full moon rose above the horizon, I thought about Chase. I wondered what he looked like. My image of Reese at 6 months pops into mind and I long for that relationship again. At this age Reese's eyes seemed to focus only on me. He could spot me from across a room and would fixate on me....his eyes following my every move. There was no doubt who his favorite person was (or maybe he was just hungry all the time had something else on his mind!). I wonder if Chase would have needed me like that. Or maybe he would have gotten so much attention from his siblings that I would actually get to sit back and watch some of develpment instead of having it happen while I was holding him (it seemed that way with Reese, anyway!). I stared at the moon and I wondered if Chase was looking at the same moon, just a different angle. I read somewhere this weekend that maybe the stars aren't really stars at all but rather little windows to what is on the other side. And they are showing us all the joy that they are having up there watching over us. Maybe Chase is up there looking at us right now. I just wish I could see him. I miss him so much. We had fun, little man. But oh, what it could have been if you were here........