Wednesday, June 18, 2014
His smile is my earliest memory as a little girl new to CUMC. His hugs got me through my teenage years and he was one of the few people who accepted our changing family and loved us through the transition without judgement. With time we became friends and I enjoyed all of his stories. Some of my favorites were in his office as Evan and I prepared to be married. I am so thankful to have our ceremony on video, the glint in his eye as he read our letters has never been forgotten.
But perhaps the greatest love he shared with me was that week in September of 2011. The prayer on speakerphone at the hospital was exactly what we as a family needed. His tear stained smile as he met us at the door of Moore's. The thoughtfulness that went into sharing the basin that Mary Elizabeth had been baptized with and the words that have carried me each and every day. The act of baptizing Aidan alone. The hugs and tears as we prepared for the services. The fact that he stood up next to that tiny casket with such grace and composure, says everything about him. The hugs that have since followed and the "check ins" as he called them.
Because of him, I understand what it means to be truly authentic. I have witnessed a true disciple at work. I have felt immense love and care. I have laughed so hard, I have been given the freedom to cry without judgement, and I have been loved because he chose to love me.
He is one of the true great men in my life and my world just seems a little more empty without him.
He also gave me hope. And I smile because I know without a doubt he is telling A stories tonight. Stories of battles in the civil war, stories of humor, stories of his momma as a little girl.
I will miss the hugs, I will miss the laughter, I will miss him updating me on his girls, but most of all, I will miss his love.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
I wanted to take a step back and pay tribute to a woman who helped the loss community in central Arkansas immensely.
When I think of nurses on labor and delivery, I immediately think of the happy deliveries. They are the ones who push a momma through labor and then turn around and hand that beautiful baby to the families. They are a face of comfort and joy.
Until, you aren’t that typical family. Your baby has died/is dying/will die. You are in a state of shock. You are numb. You are terrified. And then you are expected to labor and deliver all of your hopes and dreams, knowing you won’t get to see them come true. It is here that you hope and pray that you have a nurse like Treasure Grier; someone who even in the darkest moments is a ray of light, a woman of unending grace and infinite compassion. Someone who will look at your baby and be able to show you their beauty and make sure you have every memory possible. A nurse who wouldn’t shy away from your room because she is uncomfortable, rather she embraces your entire family and loves your baby without limit.
Treasure began paving the way for grieving families long before most others. She recognized the need and wanted to make sure that these families were able to honor their children. She stood at the front of the pack and made sure no baby was left behind. Treasure became the coordinator for the bereavement program at her local hospital, Love Lives. Bracelets, bears, hats, clothes, layettes, books and pictures all came to be because of her dedication: all precious memories that countless families have because of her heart. She was more than a nurse. She became a part of your family.
I didn’t deliver Aidan at Treasure’s hospital, but as time crept by she still filled that role for me. All of my questions, all of my doubts, all of my fears….she was able to give me some answers. She was able to give me the knowledge I needed to begin to heal.
She is one of the first people who believed I could carry a baby to term. She promised to walk the journey with me and be my nurse. She started the hope that grew to be Kellan.
When I think of her, I think of someone who radiated joy. I see her in her scrubs, I hear her laugh, I feel her tears when she talked of the babies, I soak in the love she had for her own family. She saw the best in everyone and was determined to make us all be that person and nothing short.
Today is August 6th. One year ago today, Treasure ran into the arms of all of those babies she cared for. In her earthly life, she loved our babies and carried their families through the darkness. For the past year, we have loved her and carried her legacy on. Each and every life she touched has been changed.
We are group of nurses, moms, doctors, friends, family and we are all connected by a woman. She left us much too soon, but we are all determined to finish the task. We will break the taboo. We are shattering the silence. With each and every day we walk in her footsteps. Every step is a promise to remember, honor and treasure these lives.
Friday, July 12, 2013
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Monday, June 10, 2013
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Of course, during Kellan's pregnancy and delivery the fear was amped up. There is also a sense of expectation (for lack of a better word). I spent so long preparing myself for the worst case scenario just because I live with the reality that it does actually happen. I refused to be caught off guard again.
That first week of Kellan's life I was convinced something was going to happen. With every cry, grunt, nurses check, Dr's appointment, car ride, hour of sleep I would attempt to prepare my heart for what was to come. Attempt being the key word there. As much as I thought I could "prepare" myself for another battle, I was desperate to not fail him. I so badly need him to thrive and fill my arms.
He will be six weeks on Saturday and I had finally gotten to the point where I was trusting my gut. I was starting to believe that I just might get the upper hand on the anxiety, when the words heart murmur were uttered. Out of nowhere. I was totally unprepared. And it shook me to the core.
Some people will question why a murmur would seem so scary. People have murmurs all the time and are totally fine. But, in my world I can no longer live by that rationale. I am all too aware that the usual or status quo isn't a guarantee. Bad things happen. For no reason. Without warning.
Today, Kellan and I traveled to Arkansas Children's Hospital to the heart clinic. Our pediatrician referred us, with our history she wanted to have him seen. We were quite the scene. A terrified mom pretending to have it all together while she pulls her month old miracle around this hospital in a wagon. This little boy and I are quite the pair!
Thankfully, after lab work, vitals, ekg and two wonderful doctors he was deemed perfect. Perfectly healthy with little to no murmur. No follow ups, no reasons to worry. I was allowed to breath and walk out relieved.