Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Smallest and Wingless

There is a song that I have listened to just about everyday since the boys were born.  It is called Smallest and Wingless.  It was written for the organization Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep(NLMDS).  NLMDS is an organization that I wish I had known about when the boys were stillborn.  They take the most beautiful photographs of the babies and their families.  I regret that I never had any family pictures taken with the boys.  I just wasn't in the right frame of mind to make that decision I guess but it is still something I wish that I had.  This organization give families the gift of professional photographes to remember their babies by.  If you go to their site, you will see some of the amazing photos they've taken.  Smallest and Wingless by Craig Cardiff was written for NLMDS.
Smallest Wingless Live (1.6.07)
The work of NLMDS and Craig Cardiff have done a lot for families facing the loss of a child.  I am grateful to both for what they have done.  

Monday, January 19, 2009

My Due Date

Well today is my oficial due date.  My boys should be here with me today.  I know they would have most likely come sooner but today marks a day that they should definitely be here.  It doesn't really feel all that much different than any other day.  I still miss my boys like crazy but there is a bit of a more sad undertone to today.  It really marks the end of all of it.  There are no more important dates coming up.  They will have all passed by after today.  From here I guess I just start marking the birth/death anniversary of the boys.  If you asked me 5 months ago if this was something I ever thought I would be doing I would have told you no; however today it seems very much a part of my life.  

Although I feel sadness today, I find myself realizing the extent of all the blessings I have received throughout this loss.  First and foremost, I find my focus to be more on God now than it ever was before.  I will continue to pray that He guides my every step.  I look back at all the people that have been so wonderful to us from the moment we found out we lost the boys right up to today.  I have made A LOT of friends, some on support group boards and some at my support group at the hospital.  I can't tell you what this group of women mean to me.  They all understand and know my feelings.  

I was blessed to have Wayne home with me today.  It was kind of a last minute decision but one that I am really glad he made.  It felt right that we be together today.  We didn't do anything monumentous...we just took it easy.  We did venture out this evening to go to a funny movie though.  It was good to "get away" for a while today. 

I wasn't sure if anyone would remember the due date today but I was once again touched and blessed by the wonderful people in my life.  Many of the girls from the support group remembered, as did my parents, and my brother and his wife.  There were also a few people from church that approached us yesterday to let us know that they would be praying for us today.  I am so appreciative to all the people that remembered the boys today.  

I have to share what my parents did for the boys and for Wayne and I though.  The following is a letter I recieved followed by some photos:

Jan 19, 2009


Dear Beverly and Wayne,


Dad and I know that today is the special day when Joshua and Caleb were due.  We have both been thinking about how we could remember the boys on this special day. 


For the past 4-5 days Dad and I have been walking the beach.  I remembered how happy you were Beverly when you saw the boys names written in the sand in Hawaii.  We wanted to do something special in memory of the boys.  So we have been collecting a special shell.  They are called Giant Heart Cockle shells.  Interestingly enough, when I talked to the park ranger she shared that this shell was a sign of love.  The shell from the side forms the shape of a heart.  Sailors when they wanted to show their love would give this as a gift to their loved ones.  Dad and I have spent several days hand picking each shell to spell out the boys' names in the sand. 


So last night at sunset we went to the beach with all of our shells and spelled the boys' names in the sand.  We found what we thought would be the perfect location and set out to remember our boys.  This was the first evening that we had been to the beach and the perfect sunset.  I took lots of pictures and I will share them all with you eventually.  Today I just wanted to share a few of them with you. 


Beverly and Wayne I know that today may be difficult and that you miss the boys very much.  Please know that Dad and I have been thinking about this all week and that we also miss our grandsons. 


I hope that you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed collecting the shells and placing in the right place on the beach. 


We love you both very much,


Mom and Dad

I can't tell you what this meant to Wayne and I.  My parents are so amazing!  We are so blessed to have them in our lives!  Thanks Mom and Dad... we love you!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Perfect Christmas Card

I know I'm way behind on sharing Christmas stuff but here I go again, with a few more to come after this one.  

I recieved the most perfect Christmas card mid-December.  Brandi, the ultrasound technician that found out the boys were no longer alive, sent me this card.

If I could give you any gift this Christmas...
I'd give you the promis
of a new year
filled with health, hope, 
and happiness; 
a heartfilled with peace; 
and days filled with all
 you could wish for...
(on the inside)
I know what a rough year
it has been for you.  
You've had more than your share
of hard times-
and you deserve so much better.  
My Christmas wish
is that this holiday season
will be the start of much better days -
filled with smiles, laughter, good health,
and all the happiness 
your heart can hold.

This was followed by a VERY nice personal note.  

I know I wrote about Brandi on the boys website but I just have to reiterate how special she is to me.  She was there on the worst day of my life.  She was the one to first know for sure that the boys were already gone.  It was a terrible day but I was so blessed to be in her office when I got this news.  Brandi wasn't my ultrasound technician through most of my pregnancy, but I sure do wish she had been.  I was seeing a high risk OB and their technician is the one that did most of my ultrasounds; however Brandi was the first one to see my boys and the last one. I was so touched by how well she took care of me that day and the fact that she thought to send a card my way, not to mention such a thoughtful card, means the world to me.  I hope to find myself back under her care someday with a much happier outcome.   Thank you for everything Brandi!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Gallon of Milk

So when you're doing the grocery shopping and you need a gallon of milk, do you look for one with the furthest expiration date?  I do.  There are only two of us and depending on whether we are on a cereal kick or not if can take a while to get through a gallon so I want to make sure I'm getting my money's worth.  Since I'm there inspecting expiration dates, I also tend to relate the date to something.  While I was teaching, I might have thought, "oh that expires only two days before Christmas Break starts." or "Ugh! the expiration of the milk is after school starts back up".  I guess it is a way for me to put in perspective that a particular date is getting close.   Am I the only one that does this?

I was at Meijer two days ago and I was looking for the best gallon of milk.  The ones on top expired about a week from then so I moved to the bottom shelf and I found one.  January 19th.  No this day doesn't mark the start of any vacations or any national holidays but it does mark something for me.  My boys were due that day.  That means that at this point I should either be holding my boys or have a stomach so big I couldn't dream of shopping for a gallon of milk.  Instead that day marks something I'll never have.  Something I'll never get to enjoy.   It was just another reminder of how different everything turned out than I had expected.  

Ornaments from a Friend

I meant to share about this special gift I recieved from a special friend before Christmas but it didn't happen. Since that didn't happen we'll just say that I'm early for next Christmas:-)

Summer is another mom that I met on the stillborn board on iVillage. She has become a very special friend to me. We stay in touch via email and our emails are long to say the least. In fact we call them chapters instead of letters. We have a lot to say. Have you ever tried to maintain a true friendship strictly in email? It takes a lot of words.

She lost her own little boy in October. His name was Caleb. There was the obvious immediate connection with her excellent choice of names but there was more to our connection. Our losses occured pretty close together and we found ourselves in very similar places. She has been someone I could talk to very openly and she understands where I'm coming from because usually she is right there with me. It's funny how our hard days usually don't fall on the same day Though. This way we can be there to lift the other one up at the end of the day. I have truly enjoyed her friendship and I look forward to actually meeting her in person next month. You can read all about what Summer is up to on her blog.
In early December I received the nicest gift from Summer along with a card that made it that explained the meaning, which made it even more special. She sent me two ornaments. Here are pictures of them...
Now the ornaments on their own are so cute and of course I looked at them before I opened the card...I know I're not supposed to do that. Anyway, when I read the card I lost it. She wrote that she was in Hallmark and saw these ornaments so she immediately went to the C's since her son's name is Caleb. When she got to the Caleb's she found, right next to it, totally out of place, a Joshua ornament. She wrote that she just had to get them when she saw them together like that. I love that story!

A huge thanks to Summer for being there for me and for always making me smile:-)