Monday, November 28, 2011

Beneath the glow of a tree sleeps love

It has been a long, dark, impossible day.


Because I will miss everything with Aidan. All of our firsts are our firsts without him. I will never watch him take his first step, hear the word Momma come from his perfect mouth, watch him devour his first birthday cake, take his first day of school picture, cheer at his first game, get to play santa, easter bunny or the tooth fairy for the first time, scrutinize his first girlfriend, help him learn his first life lesson. I won't get to do any of these things.

Instead I will brace myself for our first Christmas without him, celebrate his first birthday at his grave, survive his due date for the first time, walk into a labor and delivery for the first time since our fateful trip.

And while I may get to do these things with my nephews or his brother/sister one day, I still won't get to do them with him.

So I talk about him, I sit in his room with his things, I decorate his spot. I know he isn't actually in any of these places. He is surrounded by glory. He is surrounded by beauty. He is waiting on me. But, I will always miss him. And these are how I express that. They are how I show a small part of my love.

Tonight I sit in our rocker. I have rocked Peyton. I have sung him the only lullaby I can remember because I used to sing it to Aidan. And now I watch him sleep beneath the glow of Aidan's Christmas tree.

And the tears come. Freely. Softly. Silently. The tears of surviving a hard week, our first holiday without, our first disagreement since August, our first night to keep one of our nephews overnight. Tears because I would do anything to have a crib beside me awaiting Aidan. Instead he is with God, awaiting my arrival one day.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fall Apart

Why in the world did I think I could
Only get to know you when my life was good
When everything just falls in place
The easiest thing is to give You praise

Now it all seems upside down

‘Cause my whole world is caving in
But I feel You now more than I did then
How can I come to the end of me
And somehow still have all I need
God, I want to know You more
Maybe this is how it starts
I find You when I fall apart

Blessed are the ones who understand
We’ve got nothing to bring but empty hands
Nothing to hide and nothing to prove
Our heartbreak brings us back to You

And it all seems upside down

‘Cause my whole world is caving in
But I feel You now more than I did then
How can I come to the end of me
And somehow still have all I need
God, I want to know You more
Maybe this is how it starts
I find You when I fall apart

I don’t know how long this will last
I’m praying for the pain to pass
But maybe this is the best thing that
Has ever happened to me

My whole world is caving in
But I feel You now more than I did then
How can I come to the end of me
And somehow still have all I need
God, I want to know You more
Maybe this is how it starts
I find You when
You will find me when I fall apart

Strong. Courageous. Inspiring. How can I be any of these when all I feel is lost, abandoned and torn apart?

Faith. Because in the moments that I am falling apart God shines through. In the moments I have nothing left, God acts.

Surviving this week was just as hard as I anticipated. However, something happened that I didn't expect. I am so overwhelmingly thankful.

1. Evan. His strength. His ability to look at me and see through the facade. His determination to get me through the dark days. His love for Aidan.

2. Our families. They are our shelter. They have protected us and acted as our shield. They love us through.

3. Friends. People who call just because we popped in their heads and thought we might need some encouragement. They are our constant.

4. Hope. You never realize how valuable it is until it is gone.

5. Time. I have learned the hard way the need to cherish and make the most of every second.

6. Faith. My foundation. When everything cracks. When I break it is left. It is my strength. It is my core.

7. Aidan. That special part of my heart no one else will ever touch. My purpose. My sheer determination. My son.

Everyday I have written something to be thankful for. The above list is just the last seven days. As you can see, even on the darkest days, even when my heart feels as though it will never heal, even when you look at me and wonder if I will ever be ok, I have so much to be thankful for. I am beyond blessed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The night before ramblings...

It's the eve before our first Thanksgiving as parents. The first major holiday as parents without our child.

Those two sentences should never coincide.

As time passes, the shock wears off. The physical pain of his birth has eased. Life has seemingly returned to normal.

For the rest of the world this is true. As his Momma it's just not so. The pain is searing. I am so raw and vulnerable. I have zero defenses left to protect myself. I will never forget Aidan.

Will you? In this time of giving thanks, spending time with loved ones, shopping madness, sparkle, twinkling lights and all the holidays encompass will you forget that 1/3 of my precious family is missing?

I fear this because he wasn't here for us to make previous holiday memories with. I don't have a stocking from Christmas past to hang. I won't sit at the table tomorrow and see the spot he filled. Instead I will notice the space not left for him.

It will be bittersweet. It will be hard.

But I will be thankful. I will be so gracious for the blessings in my life. I will praise God because he blessed my story with Aidan.

I am thankful for so many things. Most of all for the precious little boy I get to call my son.

Monday, November 21, 2011

And so it begins...

How did it get here so fast? I'm not ready. I'm not prepared.

It's that time of year. The holidays.

A time for family. A time for togetherness. A time of joy.

And this year it will be bittersweet. It will be a time spent remembering Aidan and the plans I had not so long ago. There will be stark reminders of what is missing. Is there a way to make is easier? I don't know.

I'm at a place where I don't always want to share Aidan. I have become very protective of him. When all you have left of someone are a few tangible items and memories, you become very protective. I have mama bear written all over me.

But, there will be moments when I will need to know that he is there. That others recognize that we are missing a vital piece of our family. Whether its a look, a hug, an ornament or something sentimental we will need and love to know that he is missed.

It all feels very different now. The idea of Thanksgiving and Christmas. The anticipation is different. This week begins a season I'm not sure how to navigate just yet. I'm taking it day by day. Hour by hour. Minute by minute.

My heart hurts tonight. It's just not a fair world when the reminders of what is missing outnumber the reminders of the person who is missing. I cling tightly to the pictures that will never change. The blankets he will never be wrapped in again. The clothes he never got to wear. The bedding we never got to tuck into a crib.

Few people in this world truly know me. An even smaller group truly know Aidan. It is this group that brings me comfort. Allows me to grieve without restraint. Gives me the breathing room I need try and heal. It is this group that will help me get through what is coming.

I have been writing a list of things I am thankful for. I will share it all later in the week. This group is one of them though.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Longing, Wishing...Loving

What Makes A Mother

I thought of you and closed my eyes
And prayed to God today,
I asked, "What makes a Mother?"
And I know I heard him say:
A Mother has a baby,
This we know is true
But, God, can you be a mother
When your baby's not with you?

Yes, you can, he replied
With confidence in his voice,
I give many women babies,
When they leave it is not their choice.
Some I send for a lifetime,
And others for the day,
And some I send to feel your womb,
But there's no need to stay.

I just don't understand this God,
I want my baby here.
He took a breath,
and cleared his throat,
And then I saw a tear.

I wish I could show you,
What your child is doing Here...
If you could see your child smile
With other children and say,
"We go to earth to learn our lessons
of love and life and fear,
but my Mommy loved me so much
I got to come straight here!"

I feel so lucky to have a Mom who had so much love for me,
I learned my lessons very quickly,
My Mommy set me free.
I miss my Mommy oh so much
But I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep,
On her pillow is where I lay.

I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek,
And whisper in her ear,
"Mommy, Please don't be sad today,
I'm your baby and I am here"
So you see my dear sweet one,
Your children are okay.

Your babies are here in My home,
And this is where they'll stay.
They'll wait for you with Me,
Until your lessons there are through,
And on the day that you come home,
they'll be at the gates waiting for you

So now you see
What makes a Mother,
It's the feeling in your heart,
It's the love you had so much of
Right from the very start.

Author Unknown

A Father's Grief

It must be very difficult
To be a man in grief,
Since "men don't cry"
and "men are strong"
No tears can bring relief.

It must be very difficult
To stand up to the test,
And field the calls and visitors
So she can get some rest.

They always ask if she's all right
And what she's going through.
But seldom take his hand and ask,
"My friend, but how are you?"

He hears her crying in the night
And thinks his heart will break.
He dries her tears and comforts her,
But "stays strong" for her sake.

It must be very difficult
To start each day anew.
And try to be so very brave-
He lost his baby too.

Author Unknown

His absence is strong tonight. I long to have my uncomfortable pregnant belly. I long to wish him here already. I long for the kicks. I long for his heartbeat. I long for him.

The tears are in abundance. They flow easily and constant. The salt burns my raw eyes.

I wish I didn't hurt. I wish Evan didn't hurt. I wish we weren't those parents.

I don't want to be afraid. I don't want to stress. I don't want to shy away.

But this is the new life. The life I not only had no choice in but one I am expected to live fully. I try and that's all I can do. Promise to try.

I love my husband. I love how close we are to our immediate families and the friends who might as well be family. I love the safety we find in them. I love Aidan. I love Aidan. I love Aidan. I love Aidan. Therefore, I have to love this life.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What do I know?

Usually when I am called to write I start with a blank page and just empty my brain. No order, no reasoning. It's just something that has to come out. Tonight is different. Tonight the title came and I had no idea what God was trying to get me to write about. Until I was driving home.

I made You promises a thousand times
(Bargain. I would bargain with God for the good things. I thought if I made promises he would bless me.)
I tried to hear from Heaven
But I talked the whole time
(This is a huge fault of mine. I talk all the time. Too much. I have to speak it outloud to understand the impact.)
I think I made You too small
(In trying to have a relationship with God I tried to make him my equal.)
I never feared You at all No
(I had no reason to fear. I was blessed.)
If You touched my face would I know You?
(How many times was it God and I didn't realize? How many times did I miss him?)
Looked into my eyes could I behold You?
(How many people did God send my way that I overlooked?)
What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
(I thought I had it all figured out.)
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
(How many opportunties have I missed because of fear?)
Are You fire? Are You fury?
(Do you burn hot with love? Anger? Jealousy?)
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
(If we are made in your image, how can any of us not be?)
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?
(Everyday I am learning more I think.)
I guess I thought that I had figured You out
(Yes. I thought I had it all figured out.)
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about
How You were mighty to save
(I thought you would save me from heartache. I thought you would save me from myself. I never dreamed you would save me when I lost my son. You saved me because he couldn't be.)
Those were only empty words on a page
(It's easy to memorize and quote passages. It's much harder to live those words.)
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be
(I looked at Aidan and knew he was a part of you.)
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees
(Not having my son with me has rocked my world. It has shaken me to the core. I fell but not on my face. To my knees.)
What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
(Everyday I am trying to soak you in. Giving it all to you.)
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
(You lead me into unknown circumstances, but you are by my side.)
Are You fire? Are You fury?
(Instead of anger is it passion?)
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
(Yes. You are. You gave me a glimpse in Aidan.)
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?
(I know the presence. I know the power. And that isn't even the beginning of it.)
What do I know of Holy?
(Opening my heart, yearning to know more.)
What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?
(You take them and you feel the pain. You want me to heal.)
And a God who gave life "its" name?
(You intrusted me with Aidan. You still do.)
What do I know of Holy?
(It's peace. It's grace.)
Of the One who the angels praise?
(You are holding my son until I can again. You have him.)
All creation knows Your name
On earth and heaven above
((Who better to trust Aidan with?)
What do I know of this love?
(I know what I feel for Aidan. He feels that times 1,000 for me. He doesn't want me to hurt.)
What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
(You knew my son before I did. You love him like I do.)
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
(Bravely I take a step forward each day. A step into the unknown.)
Are You fire? Are You fury?
(Your passion is mine.)
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
(Sacred. Beautiful.)
What do I know?
(Very little.)
What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of Holy?
(Faith in you. In myself.)

Driving down the road. Ipod on shuffle. A song comes on and through the darkness God speaks. Thankfully, I have started listening. Finally. I am searching for him all the time. And always he catches me off guard. Tonight he spoke through lyrics. I have no idea why this song is on my playlist. I'm not sure I have ever heard it before. But, there it was. There he was. Aidan has done so much to my relationship with God. He has been the biggest test. Yet, he has drawn me the closest.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Praise You in This Storm

Rain. Thunder. Lightening. Ongoing since I woke up this morning. Even now I hear the rain and thunder rumbling. Storms usually provoke anxiety in me.

Except for today. The storm has been constant. Almost a comfort. Because it matches my insides. The tears are never ending and overflow the rain gauge. The fears, doubts and anger are clashing together as the thunder. The pain sears like lightening flashes.

For the first time, I felt like the outside matched the inside.

Dark, dreary, and comforting.

And yet still, glimpses of joy found their way.

A perfect baby boy was born. A new family is experiencing so much tonight. So much it makes my heart swell. So much that I totally understand and so much that I long to feel again.

And my sweet Savannah finally showed us her beautiful face in an ultrasound. She is the closest thing I have to Aidan. She is scheduled to be here two days before his due date. Her Momma is carrying me through. Just as we carried and planned for our babies together now she carries me. And it is because of her love that I can feel the true joy of Savannah. I can't wait to hold her in my arms. I can't wait to share that moment with Em. Because she has been there for me. All of the moments. She held Aidan's monitor. She held Aidan. She held me.

It is pouring. It is thundering. And yet, I will praise you in this storm.

Monday, November 14, 2011

East to West

"East To West"

"Here I am, Lord, and I'm drowning in your sea of forgetfulness
The chains of yesterday surround me
I yearn for peace and rest
I don't want to end up where You found me
And it echoes in my mind, keeps me awake tonight
I know You've cast my sin as far as the east is from the west
And I stand before You now as though I've never sinned
But today I feel like I'm just one mistake away from You leaving me this way

Jesus, can You show me just how far the east is from the west
'cause I can't bear to see the man I've been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
'cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other

I start the day, the war begins, endless reminding of my sin
Time and time again Your truth is drowned out by the storm I'm in
Today I feel like I'm just one mistake away from You leaving me this way

I know You've washed me white, turned my darkness into light
I need Your peace to get me through, to get me through this night
I can't live by what I feel, but by the truth Your word reveals
I'm not holding on to You, but You're holding on to me
You're holding on to me

Jesus, You know just how far the east is from the west
I don't have to see the man I've been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
'cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other
One scarred hand to the other
From one scarred hand to the other"

There are days when it is just too big. The emotions are just too much. I can't see the borders.

The last two days have been like that. On the outside I guess I look pretty put together. The inside is a completely different story. Do I miss him? Of course. But, there is so much more about grief. The longing is so powerful.

What I long for....
* To hear Aidan cry
* To know the color of his eyes
* To know what others would have gotten him that would have been special just for him
* To not have some people afraid to share their babies with me
* To hear his heartbeat again
* To change his diaper
* To have a blog updating everyone on his latest achievements
* To see everyone's face as they meet my son for the first time. As they hold him and not pictures of him.

The list just goes on and on. The pain goes on and on. Life goes on and on.

The above song played on my way home tonight. It reminded me that while this period in my life is bigger than me, it's not bigger than God's embrace. From one scarred hand to another...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A shift

I had a good day.

A good day. Used to when I would have a day like today I would wish for more. I couldn't just be satisfied and thankful for the present blessing. I was already planning the next one.

Since Aidan was born this is yet another thing he changed in me. When I sat down to write to him tonight I realized the shift. I wanted to thank him for each moment because I now realize the next ones aren't guaranteed.

And the ones that do grace my world have to hold me through the really really dark days.

So. I am thankful to have spent such a great day with my sister. To have never lulled in conversation. To have never had our fill. Because you see my sister and I are night and day. But on days like today we bring out the best in one another. We click. We are a perfect match.

When I say it was a good day some may think that means I didn't think about Aidan. Maybe not feel the loss. That just simply isn't true. It was such a good day because he was present all day. I felt like he was close by. Just around the corner watching his Momma and Aunt Staci. He is more present on the good days rather than the rough ones. The rough ones are usually because he feels so far away!

So tonight I am thankful. I was blessed with a day with my sister, my nephew and Aidan.

Oh, and I have found the inspiration for his Christmas tree. I can't wait to share it!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Warning label. I promised to always be honest. Anger ahead.

I have been making my way through the tangled ball of grief. Each different emotion flows into another. There aren't stages. There are just moments that make up hours that make up days. Each moment defined by the current emotion.

Just when I was beginning to think I was figuring out the navigation system, I hit a roadblock at 100 mph. It caught me off guard. It hurt in a whole new way. And it's awful.


It started small. An overwhelming presence of pregnancy at Chick-fil-a.

And then it grew. And grew. And grew.

It has reared its ugly head. And it has brought all of its friends along. The why's. The what if's. The doubt. The fear.

Why? I did everything right. I was prepared for just about anything else. So, why would the one thing I never prepared for happen? Why am I the bad statistic? I am the 1 in 4. 1 in 100. Why wasn't I the 3 in 4 or the 99 in 100? It's not that I wish this on anyone else. I just don't understand why any of us have to do it.

What if? Would our story have been different if they had caught it earlier in the week? What would have happened if my stupid cervix had held it together for three more weeks? Where would we be if they had allowed me to be med flighted? Where would we be if WRMC had been better prepared for the emergency cerclage? What if I'm not strong enough to do this? What if I never get another chance because I am too afraid. What if Aidan was my only chance and my body ruined that for me? (Can you sense it growing?)

Doubt. Can I trust myself to do it again? Will the best Dr's in AR want to try? Do I deserve it? Will I ever forgive myself? How can I?

Fear. How do I find the joy without him? How do I prepare my heart to go there again? What happens if it happens again?

Anger. They say you have to feel everything before you can heal. I don't want to feel this. I want to remain hopeful and optimistic. I want to hang onto the peace. I want to skip this part. I don't like it here. I am not an angry person by nature. Especially not at things that don't affect me. I have never before had an opinion on such things such as the Dugger's. I mean its their prerogative but, I boiled over. I literally see red when I think about them having a 20th child. That sweet blessed baby named Josie was their wake up call. It was her body's way of saying I shouldn't be doing this anymore. And still they are choosing to put not only their child at risk, but also the mother the present kids so desperately need. On this side, it seems so selfish. It seems like a risk that could be avoided.

(I am adding to this now. Looking back, I see things a little different now. I'm not as angry. At least the edges have tempered. I considered just removing this post because of the birth of Jubilee Duggar. Instead I've just decided to update. If I remove it, I'm not being honest. I still feel what I wrote, but when I wrote it I never imagined they would lose that baby girl. I was more angry because they would get to have another. Does that make sense?

So now that family has endured another loss. Jubilee is with Aidan. They have been criticized for not just sharing pictures, but taking them at all. They are grieving and they are having to do it in front of the public eye.

My heart hurts that there is another mother yearning for her baby. My heart hurts that she will be expected to grieve by the publics standards. My heart hopes that she will find a place and a group she feels safe with. My heart hopes she will use those cameras to continue to share Jubilee and spread awareness.

My anger has tempered. I was never angry at the Duggars. I was angry that my child died. I am angry that Aidan died. I will be angry every time another child dies.)

Is that the anger? The fear for my own future as a mother? I don't know. I wish I did.

The only thing I am sure of is that on the other side of this darkness is a promise. A promise that someone is walking through it with me. I am never alone. I am not forgotten. I am allowed to get angry. I am allowed to doubt. Because I believe that God sacrificed his own son so that one day I will get to see mine again. And that counteracts all the anger in the world.

So, I am embracing this new turn. I'm holding tight to my faith. I'm giving it all to God.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Will you love me through?

"When you’re weak, I’ll be strong
When you let go, I’ll hold on
When you need to cry, I swear that I’ll be there to dry your eyes
When you feel lost and scared to death,
Like you can’t take one more step
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it."

Someone, somewhere needs you. They don't need you to do anything. They don't need you to say anything. They just need you to love them through it. Whether it is death, cancer, addiction or just a bad day.

And you do it in the most simple of ways. The easiest? Listen. Let us talk. Let us spill our guts. Let us step out of the silence and shed some light on why our hearts hurt. Yes, it is that simple.

Another easy way? Share stories with us. I personally, love to hear Aidan stories. I got two very special ones tonight that made me smile.

First, Mika went through the Walgreens pharmacy line. The young lady that handed her her prescriptions handed them to her with an Aidan band on. Mika doesn't know this person. I'm not entirely sure that I do. But, how wonderful to know that Aidan's story has gone that far. Our little boy is making an impact. And, it's because you love him like you love us.

Second, Em met a very special little boy today. Em works for an orthodontist and this little boy is their patient. He noticed her Aidan band today and a magical conversation was started. He wanted to know what her special bracelet was for. She got to share Aidan with this little boy. At the end of her story, he shared his own special bracelet. A bracelet that is too big for his wrist so he wears it on his ankle. A bracelet for his own angel, his little brother. And this courageous child celebrated that they are together in Heaven. He wanted to know if she thought Aidan and his brother had met yet. She told him if they hadn't yet, they most certaintly would now.

I cannot even begin to tell you what these stories did for me today.

Another special path was forged today as well. Today, I met with the committee for The March for Babies/Run Before They Can Walk 5K. I am beyond honored and humbled to have been asked to join this group. I truly believe that through this Aidan's story will grow even further. Team Aidan is going to be so much more than I ever imagined. We will make a difference. Aidan's story will bring awareness and inspire hope.

It is because my heart is broken. It is because I ache to hold him again. It is because I am is his mom that I fight for the babies. But, it is because of your love that I find the strength to step forward and do it. If you are reading this, you are loving me through. Thank you.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Calm within the Storm

"Open your eyes, and see those things which are around us at this hour."
Richard Jeffries

"For this moment, the place where I am is my world."

These statements are beyond fitting for this Monday. Today was a day where I soaked it all in. I think it was the weather. It made me want to be in the here and now. Literally the calm before the storm.

If the past two months were a hurricane, today was the eye. This weekend was the eye wall. Something I had to pass through to be able to just enjoy today.

There wasn't anything special about today. Maybe that's why I found some relief? I was sitting at my desk and I said a little silent popcorn prayer. I just thanked him for allowing me to have a day where the pain was just a little more bearable. I thought of Aidan a lot. More than other days even. Always with a smile. Always at peace.

God knew I had reached my breaking point. He had given me all I could handle and then he assured me of his love and presence. And because of my rawness, my vulnerability, my willingness to listen I recognized the blessing of the day.

My pastor Beth, often speaks of beauty when she is talking about death. Beauty is a comfort. I saw today for what it was. I was in the moment an oh so grateful for the beauty around me.

Even tonight I looked over and saw him. His perfect face next to the gorgeous lilies Bre gave us last night. As I wind down and prepare to sleep, I am less afraid of my dreams. Some part of me hopes for sweet ones tonight. Did you catch that? Hopes. True genuine hope.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Room. All Saints Day. Alot for this Momma, but completely worth it.

I am writing this from Aidan's room. His now finished room. I couldn't just pack it all away. It was like I was packing him away. So, instead of his nursery it is now our space. A place to come and just sit. Relax. Be in the moment with him. I am no longer afraid to open this door. It's the first place I wanted to come tonight.

Awful. Beautiful. Heart wrenching. Cathartic. Emotional. Tears. Laughter. My boy. My friends. God's Grace. Healing.

That's how I would describe the process. I wish I would have thought to take befores. It was excruciating to go through every single thing of Aidan's. It is perfect knowing that everything now has a place. So that was Saturday.

And then there is today. Today was All Saints Day at our church. They included Aidan in the honors. So much comfort was given to me. Another hard day. Another day of healing. I know that a lot of people wanted to be there but couldn't tonight. It was a beautiful service. Aidan was included with an incredible group. What a blessing that was in itself. As most of you know, I was extremely nervous about sharing Aidan's story. The only way I know to even give you a glimpse of the service is share the song we had played while we lit Aidan's candle and the words I used to describe him. It was incredibly hard to stand there and keep it together. There were moments I just wasn't sure I could. It was in those moments I felt God. He was standing there and when I couldn't even breathe let alone talk to this group of people, he did it for me. I like to think someone else was there listening with him.

We lit Aidan's candle from the Christ Candle.

Once the song finished, God ever so slightly nudged me and this is Aidan's story...

Aidan taught us so much in the short time we were given with him. To say that he has been a blessing just isn't enough. When I think about Aidan, I immediately think of love. The love of a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, friends who are our chosen family and the love of our church family. Aidan has inspired an abundance of love.

He loved a waffle cone and grape juice. He loved the River Service music. At 2:00 every day, he wanted to stretch and play. He prompted me to walk so he could get some more room after being squished while I was working. And even in those last precious hours, he fought so hard. He showed us just how strong he was. And in the exact moments that he was born, we handed him to God.

Perhaps, this is Aidan's truest gift. The faith he has inspired. Without this faith, we wouldn't be standing here talking to you. We wouldn't know that one day we will hold him again. We wouldn't find comfort in knowing that Aidan has only known love. That is all that he will ever know. There is so much comfort in that.

We may not ever know the why. Why were we the chosen family? Why Aidan?

We are instead choosing to look forward. We are determined to keep Aidan's legacy alive and ever growing. What started as a mom desperate to have a piece of him with her has grown. Aidan's purpose is growing. It is already bigger than we could have ever dreamt. Allowing us to share Aidan's story allows us to heal. It allows us to raise awareness and fight for the prevention for future babies and their families. And it all started with a wristband. The comfort that we find in seeing Aidan's name on all of your wrists is immeasurable.

Know that your love and faith is bringing us comfort and simultaneously raising awareness and giving hope to other families like ours. After all...On Aidan's Wings, Hope Flies.

While I was visiting Aidan tonight I snapped this picture. This is his view every single sunset. Peace. Grace. Love.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Time Flies and Nothing Changes

Happy two month birthday sweet boy.

Two months ago at this time I was holding you. Breathing you in. Praising God for your perfection. Praying to the same God for the understanding. For the strength to be able to let you go just as soon as I had gotten you. I didn't sleep a wink that night. Each second had to count as a year. Each minute a decade.

It's just not fair. Plain and simple. I should be sitting here feeling your hiccups because my body didn't fail. I should be so tired because I am in the third trimester. I should be filled to the brim with excitement.

Instead, I am sitting here with empty arms. They ache so badly for a baby. I want to comfort, nurture and love on a baby. I am back to pre-pregnancy size. I sipped Evan's beer rather than just smelling it at dinner. I am missing you. Like I've never missed anyone before.

So again, on the 4th night of the month I am praying. Praises that you were mine, that you were so perfect, that your perfect feet have left such a footprint. Praying for understanding. Praying for acceptance and peace. Praying for his grace.

From the hardest to the best days you are always with me, Aidan. With me every step of the way.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Gift

What is a successful day in the process of grieving? What defines a good day? Each and every day of the past two months has been a struggle. Each day brings its own set of tears. Each day is one of two choices. To stay in bed or to get up? Getting up is hard. Going to work is hard. Surviving is the hardest.

My Mom is a survivor,
Or so I've heard it said.
But I can hear her crying
When all others are in bed.
I watch her lay awake at night
And go to hold her hand.
She doesn't know I'm with her
To help her understand.
But like the sands upon the beach
That never wash away...
I watch over my surviving Mom,
Who thinks of me each day.
She wears a smile for others...
A smile of disguise.
But through heaven's open door
I see tears flowing from her eyes.
My Mom tries to cope with my death
To keep my memory alive.
But anyone who knows her
Knows it's her way to survive.
As I watch over my surviving Mom
Through heaven's open door...
I try to tell her
Angels protect me forevermore.
I know that doesn't help her...
Or ease the burden she bares.
So if you get a chance,talk to her...
And show her that you care.
For no matter what she says...
No matter what she feels.
My surviving Mom has a broken heart
That time won't ever heal.

There are few things that actually make me "feel better." Sure, I can hold it together. I can put on a smile and maybe even laugh. But, each and every second it hurts. Not always that intense pain, but always a pain. I hurt so bad because my son is not here for me to hold, cuddle, rock to sleep, feed or watch grow. There is still one way I can experience him though. It's by talking about him, sharing our story and watching his legacy take flight. Please grant me this one small thing each day.

There's an elephant in the room.
It is large and squatting, so it is hard to get around it.
Yet, we squeeze by with, "How are you?" and "I'm fine"....
And a thousand other forms of trivial chatter.
We talk about the weather.
We talk about work.
We talk about everything -- except the elephant in the room.
We all know it is there.
We are thinking about the elephant as we talk.
It is constantly on our minds,
For you see, it is a very big elephant.
But we do not talk about the elephant in the room.
Oh, please, say his name.
Oh, please, say "Aidan" again.
Oh, please, let's talk about the elephant in the room.
For if we talk about his death,
Perhaps we can talk about his life.
Can I say "Aidan" and not have you look away?
For if I cannot, you are leaving me
Alone... in a room... With an elephant

Today was supposed to have been a very happy day. It was supposed to have been my shower at work. Needless to say, it was a hard day. Instead of eating cake and giggling over cute baby boy things, I received a different kind of gift. A gift I would have never expected and if I had a choice I would trade in. I can't and so I accepted the gift with as much grace and humility as I have. I shared our story. I brought some more awareness to the horror of an incompetent cervix. I found the strength to share my baby and allow his legacy to grow. And for that, I am thankful.
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