Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 350

I realize it must be difficult to understand why with such an awesome family and great friends we need to be alone this holiday season. It is for us but it is also for them. I'm not sure I can explain it but I'll try.

Last Christmas we bought gifts for our kids. This year we bought gifts for Juls and are taking gifts for Zavi to the cemetery. That does something to a person. It breaks a person, somehow. It takes a whole lot of effort to put on a happy face to not make our family sad. We don't want to ruin the festivities and don't expect anyone to be sad with us. We'd like our families to be happy and celebrate with their kids without our sadness to bring them down.

I think we have to feel how we feel now so that maybe next year it won't be as bad. Last year we celebrated with our daughter and our son. One Christmas with him is not enough. We are getting better,I think. But, it's so hard and it hurts and right now we are missing our son and are sad that he is not here to open presents with his big sister.

January 8, 2 short weeks from today, marks the one year anniversary of Zavier's departure and I can't find a celebration in my heart just yet.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 345

I want a miracle, something impossible...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 338

To be busy or not to be...

These past few weeks have been a struggle to say the least. I've been torn between trying to stay busy and trying to be still. As silly as it sounds, the easy way out for me is to stay ridiculously busy. Even as I run around with a million things to do it remains difficult to quiet the thoughts running through my mind.

There's a song that says "I don't even want to be right now" and I totally get it. I can stay busy and keep the thoughts, the darkness and the tears safely tucked away just below the surface but I can't outrun it. I am no match for the grief that threatens to swallow me whole.

I may not be in the mood for it but I am not afraid of it. In my heart, I know I need to be still. I need to let it wash over me again and again and again. Until one day maybe it won't.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 331

331 days later and I finally understand how such a tragedy, the loss of a little life, can destroy a family.

A father loses his only son. A mother loses a baby. And a sister loses a brother. I look at my husband and see the best parts of the son that is not here. I see hopes and dreams and what he could've become. I look at my daughter and I can see the sadness in her eyes.

Everyone is recovering in their own unique way. It is so easy to turn within oneself and let everyone kind of do their own thing, do what they need to do to just get by, until one day you realize that isn't enough. It's true that if you are not working together you are working apart.

It is not an easy thing to fix yourself and it's not an easy thing to fix a family.  Everyone makes progress at their own pace. How do you move forward together? How do you do it so no one is left behind?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 326

...can't shake it this time...

The thoughts running through my mind are not pretty. They are angry and sad and lonely and mean and quite frankly they scare me. I almost feel guilty of the ugliness in my head and my heart. This is not the season, after all...

Today, I am not sitting calmly at my laptop typing. I am crying loudly as I listen to the rain fall outside. I am struggling to type through the tears. My teeth are chattering for some unexplainable reason and I can feel the onset of a dull headache that is sure to be with me for some time.

Today, I am tired of trying to make things better. My truth today is that I know Zavier is in Heaven but right now that is not enough. I want it all back. I want him here with us. I want to see my baby. I want to hold him and hear him laugh and hear him cry.

Last year, I hung Zavier's "Baby's 1st Christmas" ornament. Yesterday, I hung a picture of my dead son in an ornament on our Christmas tree. In what world does that make sense? It hurts so much. I want to scream and curse and break things. I want to run away to a world where mama's don't bury their babies in the cold, dark earth. I know these words are horrible and selfish and I am ashamed but today this is my truth.

I know it's not about me and that there is a bigger picture but today I can only feel what is going on in my world. Somewhere in me I know that God will give me a better tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 320

The happy holidays are hard to face when such an important part of my family, of my life, of my very heart is not here to share it with us. I've heard it said that when you dread the holidays the anticipation of the day is worse than the actual day. I'm not sure it's the actual day that I'm dreading.

As it becomes evident that the holiday season is indeed upon us, I realize that it is the season I dread this year. It is so hard for me to get excited about the holidays or even to find that old holiday spirit. I catch glimpses of Christmas decorations and listen to plans for Thanksgiving celebrations. I know I have plenty to be thankful for but I am not thankful that my baby boy is not here. I don't feel grateful that my family is not together. Last year, we had so much to look forward to or so we thought. And now, this year I am taking a tiny Christmas tree to the cemetary instead of sitting my boy in front of the tree for pictures and presents.

I am asking the Lord to please help me to keep the bitterness from stealing away my heart this holiday season.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 317

I Will Trust You
by Steven Curtis Chapman

I don't even want to breathe right now
All I want to do is close my eyes
But I don't want to open them again
Until I'm standing on the other side

I don't even want to be right now
I don't want to think another thought
And I don't want to feel this pain I feel
And right now, pain is all I've got

It feels like it's all I've got, but I know it's not
No, I know You're all I've got
And I will trust You
Trust you, God, I will
Even when I don't understand, even then I will say again
You are amy God, and I will trust You.

God, I'm longing for the day to come
When this cloudy glass I'm looking through
Is shattered in a million pieces
And finally I can just see You

God, You know I believe it's true
I know I will see You
But until the day I do

I will trust You, trust You
Trust you, God, I will
Even when I don't understand
Even then I will say again

You are my God, and I'll trust You
And with every breath I take
And for every day that breaks...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 311

Last night as I drove home on that dark rainy night I found myself telling Zavier (in my mind not out loud) that I wish I knew he was proud of his Mama. I was near tears as I told him things I was sure he already knew. I told him how hard we were working to put Team Zavier on a path that would reach parents and their babies. I told him I was so tired but if I knew we were helping in some way it'd be worth it.

Life does not stop so you can grieve. Grief happens on top of everything else. You work, you study, you parent, you clean, you help and you grieve. It's literally exhausting...physically and emotionally exhausting...

But this afternoon when I looked into Zavier's room after work his lamp was on. I knew that was my Zavier telling his Mama that he is proud. That was our Zavier cheering on the Team Zavier that he inspires. I stood in his room for a few moments and let the feeling that my son is near wash over me. I left his room more convinced than ever.

Stronger. Energized. Motivated. Hopeful once again.

Only With God's Grace...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 310

Earlier this week I was presented with the opportunity to talk with a film student working on a documentary about SIDS. He was interested in interviewing parents of babies who have died of SIDS. My first instinct was to respond and say I'd do whatever I could to help and so I did.

As the week went on, I began to think of the logistics of it all. The interview was to take place this weekend. I had several prior commitments already planned. We had family coming in from out of town. I'd already signed up for a service project at church and had tickets to another function. The interview was to take place a few hours away in a neighboring state. As the details ran through my mind and I tried to figure out a way to make it all work I began to get a little nervous.

Being the worrier (and I'm not necessarily proud that I'm a worrier) that I am, I started playing the old "what if" game with myself. Of course, none of the "what if" scenerios in my head ended happily. I still didn't know exactly where I'd be going nor had I met the film students working on the project and I knew my husband was a little nervous about the whole thing.

This morning I prayed about it. I asked God to please let me know if I was making the right decision in making this trip. I prayed that the documentary would be used for good, to help give our babies a voice.

In that moment, a specific thought came to me. To make a difference, you have to step outside your comfort zone. About a week ago, I heard that message at an Inspire Women (inspirewomen.org) conference I attended. Those words were suddenly so clear in my mind that I knew I had to go. And so, with my sister as my co-pilot, I did.

I am so glad we took advantage of the opportunity with which we were presented. The interview was not easy but we met some very nice people with big hearts. If we can bring awareness to new parents and in turn help them keep their babies safe then our united efforts are so worth it.

With God's Grace, all things are possible.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 303

I can't believe this year is going by so quickly and so slowly all at once. This morning, on day 303, I woke up and for the first time in 303 days I didn't feel like screaming. I am learning to let my pain inspire me. 

Team Zavier is what keeps me going on the days I have no desire to face the world. So many days I've contemplated becoming a hermit of sorts : ) But, With God's Grace, Team Zavier is determined to make a difference.

We are in the process of creating "With God's Grace Goodie Bags" to distribute to new parents in our area. Our goal for this year is to create 200 bags that include a "Sleep Safe" pacifier, a "Sleep Safe, Baby!" onesie, and printed information on steps parents and caregivers can take to prevent SIDS.

So keep your fingers crossed for Team Zavier (teamzavier.com) or better yet keep us in your prayers because in the depths of my soul I know God is Good.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day 296

The days continue to fly by too quickly. Too many days have passed since I last heard my baby boy laugh, saw him smile and held him in my arms. I want the world to stop more than ever before. I want to hibernate through the holidays.

It seems Zavier was here with us just for the holidays. He should be running around in whatever crazy costume his big sister and daddy would have come up with for him. I can't be happy through the holidays and truth be told I don't want to be. I want to sit and sulk and cry and scream and miss my baby.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 286

I still miss him so very much...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 282

I try to convince myself that I don't want another baby. This did happen for a reason, after all. And if I can't figure out what that reason is, then.....

Or maybe there is no reason and that is scarier still. I tell myself that we wanted 2 kids and we had 2 kids.  Before Zavier was born, we decided to try to have a baby for a year and if it didn't happen that would be ok, too.

What makes everything so different now? Is it that I know how happy Zavier made us? Is it that I know now how it feels to know Juls has a brother? Is it the laughter and giggles and hundreds of pictures that filled our home with our baby here?

I tell myself I don't want another baby. And then, as I find myself out in the real world surrounded by babies, the reality of my empty arms overwhelms me and I am consumed by a longing that can shred my already broken heart...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 278

I'll start by saying Juliana had a good birthday. She is super excited to finally be in the double digits she says. I thank God that we have a happy, healthy Juls.
But as selfish as it sounds I keep thinking of our Zavier and all the birthdays we will never get to celebrate with him. For me, Juls birthday has always meant that the holidays are near. Halloween is right around the corner, then Thanksgiving and before you know it Christmas. It seems that our boy was just here to visit for the holiday season and then left us so suddenly.

I am not ready for the holidays. I don't feel like celebrating. I want, more than ever, to hide in a dark room and cry and scream and laugh hysterically until I no longer have a voice as if somehow that will magically bring Zavier back to us.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 276

Contrary to popular belief, time does not heal all wounds. As the days go by, I've found that my pain is not at all diminished but my coping skills have improved. Each day I am better able to deal with everyday life. The constant lump in my throat gets a little smaller. Every once in a while my smile is from the heart and my laughter does not sound hollow to my own ears.

Tomorrow is Juliana's 10th birthday. And our loss is more apparent now than ever. I don't think there will ever be a family event that feels complete. I can't imagine a time when we don't take a minute to imagine what it would be like if our Zavier were here.

I can almost here the pitter patter of little feet...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 269

The month of October is designated Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

On January 8, 2010 my 15 week old son lost his life to SIDS. My tiny little boy has inpired me to be an advocate for awareness, education and prevention of SIDS. Through awareness and education we can save little lives.

Team Zavier, created in memory of Zavier, has raised over $2000 to be donated to the American SIDS Institute in January.   

It has been nine months since I've held Zavier in my arms. My life is forever changed by the footprints my son has etched in my heart.

http://www.teamzavier.com/

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 267

In my own little world
It rains a little everyday
That's ok
I kinda like it that way

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 261

On Friday evening I sat outside with my husband and my daughter. Juls and I played cards while Felix grilled some chicken. We talked about how our lives should be so different right now. We sat around and missed our baby. We wondered out loud how our boy would look now that he'd turned one.

I want to run around after a one year old. I want Felix to have a son and Juliana to have a brother. It amazes me how I still get that "I can't believe this happened" sensation.

This morning I drove to the cemetary. I sat at Zavier's headstone and cried. I listened to the music that played during the viewing at the funeral home. I read him a story. I took down his Happy Birthday balloons. This is all I can do for my son now. It hurts my heart that I can't imagine what he'd look like. I still picture in my mind the chubby little cheeks of a Zavier about to turn 4 months old.  I don't even see him in my dreams.

I miss knowing that my kids are asleep down the hall. I miss feeling safe and secure. I miss thinking that as long as we are together we'll be alright. We are not all together anymore and perhaps we'll never be any better than just alright. I miss happiness.   

Monday, September 20, 2010

Day 255

Some days are harder than others. But some days are a little better too.

It gets difficult trying to figure out how Juls and Felix are doing. I feel I have to do what I can to help us all and I'm not always convinced I know how to do that. There are times that I feel we are moving in the right direction. Then, I look around and realize how sad and angry we all still are when no one is looking.

My prayer tonight is asking the Lord to please show me how to heal our broken hearts.

I do not want to fail my family.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day 251

There is hope for me yet
Because God won't forget
All the plans He's made for me
I have to wait and see
He's not finished with me yet

Wait and See by Brandon Heath

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 250

Happy First Birthday to my Zavier. I hope there are birthday parties in Heaven. I will love my boy as long as forever.  

I think this has been the longest I've gone without posting since I started this blog. I've just been so mixed up.

Zavier turns 1 yr old today. He is celebrating in Heaven with other angel babies. That doesn't stop me from  wishing he was here with us. This morning I went to Zavier's room and I was so sure his lamp would be on and it was. I know in my heart he is never far. Still, it is not the same.

I know we are blessed that God chose us for his parents. God chose us to be his family. It just still hurts so bad to wake up and realize he is not in his room. I wish I'd taken him outside more. I wish I'd looked at his little bare feet just a bit longer.

I know we should celebrate his life; the simple fact that he was here. He left his little footprint forever in my heart and always in our lives. I'm just so sad. I can be grateful. I can thank the Lord for giving him to us. But I just don't have it in me to celebrate just yet.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 241

Recently, I was asked to pick 3 words that best describe me.  Within a few days, I was asked a similar question. But, this time the question called for 5 words. It surprised me how much trouble I had with that seemingly simple task. Last year, at this time I can only imagine I would've chosen words like independent, strong, happy...

Today, the words lost, sad and searching are more about me. Fortunately, I was inspired to take a closer look at where I am in my life and who I am these days. I wouldn't exactly call myself well. I'm working on it, though. Maybe I'll be working on it for the rest of my life.

With a lot of help from family and friends we've made progress on the TEAM ZAVIER front. And that is something that is helping me make it through this month. It is enough to make waking up just a little bit easier. Team Zavier has work to do.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 236

This is going to be a tough month. It is back to school time for my daughter and the beginning of a busier schedule.

But it is also the month during which I should be busy planning a birthday party. Zavier's first birthday should've been on the 15th. For some reason, September always reminds me that the holidays are fast approaching. These are all things I'm just not ready for.

Hibernation is starting to look mighty appealing. Okay, I'm kidding. I'll figure out how to make it through the rest of the year even if it means I'll be dragging my feet along the way.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 232

The other night, Zavier's baby monitor was accidentally turned on. It's a monitor in his crib that monitors movement to include breathing and an alarm sounds when there is no movement for 8 seconds. We were in the living room when the alarm sounded. We all went into Zavier's room and Felix turned off the monitor.

A few minutes later, I heard, on a tv show, a mother telling her family how they'd all be alright as long as they were all together. Ya, well, we aren't all together anymore, I thought. One of us is missing. One of us will always be missing.

As I walked into Juliana's room to say goodnight, I saw the lamp on in Zavier's room. I know in my heart, if not in my mind, that is my Zavier letting me know he is not missing at all. He is the exact opposite of missing. He is forever with us.   

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 230

It was so easy, when our situation was so new to us, to think "Why me, why us?". So many times I've thought "God, I wish it wasn't me standing in these shoes".

Now, seven months later, I can't help but think "Why not me, why not us?". Bad things happen and they can happen to anyone. What ever possessed me to think that this shoudln't be happening to me? It's not about whether I deserved it or not. I don't think I'll ever be sure what it is all about. Sure, there are things I could've done differently. Other choices I could've made. But it's too late now. There is no going back.

Zavier is still here, but he's not. There is no amount of good that can come of this that will be worth my son's life. Still, I will keep Zavier's memory alive in the most honorable ways I can. Because he was here and he matters. He was a son, brother, grandson, nephew, great-grandson and cousin.

When it's all said and done, none of us are any better than anyone else. None of us are above tragedy.

I still wish it wasn't me. I wish it wasn't my son that was taken so suddenly...but I don't wish it was anyone else either.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 229

My sister said that my "somewhere in the universe" is Heaven. I like that. There is a piece of my heart forever with Zavier. And I know Zavier is in Heaven. So...there is a piece of me that has gone on to Heaven before me.

Just like there is a piece of each of us, who have loved ones who have gone on before us,  in Heaven.

And one day we will be whole again...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 227

I've always heard how people experience phantom pains after the loss of a limb.  Lately, I keep thinking how being forced to exist without Zavier physically here with me is similar. Living as a Mom without your baby is like living without a vital piece of you.

I can almost feel him in my arms, snuggled against my chest. I can feel his little hands pulling my hair. I can feel his breath on my neck. I go into his room and I can smell his sweet baby scent. I am so afraid of losing that.

I know I will never be whole again. There is a piece of my heart somewhere in the universe. Lost to me forever. Because with my Zavier forever is a part of me.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day 223

Smiling gets easier on the outside. I wonder when it gets easier on the inside.

I ran into a friend today. We were pregnant at the same time. Our babies born a couple of weeks apart. Her baby just started walking. I smiled and touched the baby's little hand.

My heart pounded and I could sense my breath threatening to leave my body. The tears carefully hidden just beneath the surface. Felix was with me and I knew we were thinking the same things, wondering about our own boy. Feeling the same undeniable pain.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 222

More from The Last Time I Was Me by Cathy Lamb

But while I was smiling...

My heart ached...I knew it always would.

But I smiled brighter because that's what grieving people have to do. They have to cover their grief up and pack it away and not burden everyone, but I ached all over.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 214

Last night, shortly after I reminded Juls to send her brother my way should she happen to see him in her dreams, I walked by Zavier's room and saw his lamp on.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 213

What a day...

We miss our baby. So much. Juls misses her brother and that alone is enough to break my heart. I woke up this morning to a very sad Juls. She said she'd been having nightmares about Zavier. I questioned why they were nightmares and not just dreams. She said she was scared that in her dream it was the day he would die and she'd have to live through that all over again...

She is 9 years old.

I told her not to worry. I told her that Zavier probably wanted to see her so he visited in her dreams. I told her to please tell her brother to come see his mommy next time she saw him...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 212

It has been 7 months since I've held my baby boy.

It's 3:30 in the afternoon and I'm still in my pajamas. I am trying to find the....I don't know...want to, maybe...to get up.

Ok. I'm going to clean, run, go to the cemetery and spend the day missing Zavier. Just as I have for the past 211 days and as I imagine I will for all the days to come.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 210

I received a copy of the police report today in the mail.

I am sadder than usual. The kind of sad that's hard to hide. I couldn't read it all. It still seems so strange to me that it is about my Zavier. I had one of those moments where I still couldn't believe this happened to us.

Earlier this week, I woke up, turned on the TV and I guess Juls must've been watching TV in my room because Handy Manny was on. I used to dress Zavier in the mornings before work and lay him on my bed. I'd put on Handy Manny while I got dressed myself (on account of I thought he was too young for the morning news).

I don't know if it's worse to wake up thinking for a second that he is here or to wake up knowing he is gone.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 209

Faithful
by Steve Curtis Chapman

I am broken, I am bleeding,
I'm scared and I'm confused,
but You are faithful.
Yes You are faithful.
I am weary, unbelieving.
God please help my unbelief!
Cuz You are faithful.
Yes You are faithful.

I will proclaim it to the world.
I will declare it to my heart
And sing it when the sun is shining.
I will scream it in the dark.

You are faithful!
You are faithful!
When you give and when You take away,
even then still Your name
is faithful!
You are faithful!
And with everything inside of me,
I am choosing to believe
You are faithful.

I am waiting for the rescue
that I know is sure to come,
cuz You are faithful.
Yes You are faithful.
I've dropped anchor in Your promises,
and I am holding on,
cuz You are faithful.
God You are faithful.


I will proclaim it to the world.
I will declare it to my heart
And sing it when the sun is shining.
I will scream it in the dark.

You are faithful!
You are faithful!
When you give and when You take away,
even then still Your name
is faithful!
You are faithful!
And with everything inside of me,
I am choosing to believe You're faithful.

So faithful...

Though I cannot have the answer
that I'm wanting to demand,
I'll remember You are God
and everything is in Your hand.
In Your hands you hold the sun, the moon,
the stars up in the sky,
for the sake of Love, You hung Your own Son
on the cross...to die...

You are faithful...
Yes, You are faithful...
When you give and when You take away,
even then, great is Your faithfulness!
Great is Your faithfulness!

And with everything inside of me,
I am choosing to believe You're faithful!
Oh, oh, oh...
Oh, oh, oh...
When you give and when You take away,
even then still Your name
is faithful!
You are faithful!
And with everything inside of me,
I am choosing to believe...

...You're faithful...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 206

Zavier's birthday is coming up so ridiculously quickly. It doesn't escape me for one second that I should be planning a birthday party. Instead, I'm working hard to preserve memories.

I got a flyer in the mail from Toys R Us the other day. It was a checklist of preparations to make for baby's 1st birthday. How's that for a slap in the face? For an instant, I couldn't breathe or maybe I didn't want to.

You know, I read What To Expect When You're Expecting and What To Expect The First Year. I guess I missed What to Expect When You Bury Your Baby.

I know that must sound harsh but some days are worse than others.

On a positive note, we really are working hard to preserve Zavier's memory and to contribute in some way to Stop SIDS on behalf of Team Zavier. Details to follow.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 205

"Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely..."

1 Corinthians 13:12 (NLT)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 204

Just because I didn't get a miracle doesn't mean they don't exist...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 203

Everything makes me sad.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 202

OK.

I'm going to pray. I'm going to pray like I used to. I'm going to pray every night. I'm going to stop yelling at God. I'm going to stop blaming Him and I'm going to try to get rid of this anger that constantly threatens to overwhelm me.

I'm going to spill my guts to Him though I'm sure He knows how I feel. I'm going to try harder to be stronger and stay positive. I will try to let go. Let go of the anger, let go of the hurt,the sense that He betrayed me and the guilt. I don't expect it to happen right away and I don't expect it to be easy. But, I don't think I'll ever be OK if I can't let go and let God...

I'm going to pray because I don't know what else to do. I hope that's not wrong.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 200

200 days. I think I'll just lay here and cry for now.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 199

SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks.  SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks.  SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks. SIDS Sucks.

I hate you SIDS for taking Zavier from us. I hate you for taking babies from their mommies.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 198

I can't get over this.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 197

I missed church one Sunday. One Sunday has turned into close to two months of Sundays. Up until January 8, 2010, I prayed daily. I gave thanks and prayed for the safety of my friends and family and countless other things. I still pray but it's not the same. These days, I am prepared for disappointment. I count on nothing. Take nothing for granted.

I want to go back to church but I want to be able to do it without anger, without tears.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 192

Isaiah 49:15-16

For the past few months I've held these words close to my heart. I think of Zavier and how I will never forget him. He is such a part of me.

Today a friend reminded me that just as I will never forget my son, God has not forgotten us, will never forget us. He holds us all in his hands for always. All of us, Felix, Erica, Juliana and Zavier.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 188

My Zavier is 10 months old today. I never know whether to say 'he is or was or should've been'. Juls gets upset when I say was. Do we age in Heaven?

I should be toting around a happy, smiling 10 month old baby boy. I should be watching him crawl around and trying to stand up. I should be hearing him laugh, watching him play. But, I'm not.

Instead...I go to the cemetary religiously, almost. I take flowers and toys. I try to convince myself that I'm alright. But, I can't bring myself to put his things away, to close the door to his room, to not turn on his nightlight, to wash the clothes in his hamper.

What if I stay broken?

Not a day goes by that I don't miss my Zavi.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 185

This past Friday, I jogged a few miles on a long, winding road. The weather was nice and warm with a slight breeze. The scenery was breathtaking. As I ran, I tried to get my mind to be silent...to not think. Before I knew it, I realized I was thanking God. It used to be part of my routine. Not so much these days.

Oh, I am still angry and for the most part I just want to be mad for now. I realize that it is not just Zavier's sudden departure that I am angry about. Thinking about Zavier's life and feeling the loss of my son has forced me to take a look at who I was, who I am and who I want to become.

Yes, I am angry and one day I will have to figure out how to let that anger go but I am also very grateful.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 181

It's been 6 months today...My heart hurts.

I hope that one day I can say I'm alright and have it be true.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 179

Every single day, for the past 179 days, I have wished with all my heart that Zavier was here. I am tired of the hurt that doesn't go away. I am tired of the tears that come as they please. More and more,  it seems I am standing still.

I keep hearing about how I have to work through this. What does that even mean?

I used to run so I'd have time to think. Now, I workout so I won't think. A nervous breakdown of some sort is starting to look somewhat appealing. I'm kidding...kind of.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 177

So many thoughts have filled my mind the past few days. I've just been unsure which ones I should throw out here, into the world.

Today is the 4th of July. Last year at this time, Zavier was safe and sound in my belly, enjoying the waves in the ocean and I was happy. So sure that this year I would be celebrating with my kids. Instead, everything is so heartbreakingly different. Different than it was...than what I imagined it would be.

I just wish he was here so bad it hurts...I wanted to take my boy to the beach, watch fireworks...and now I just wish I could see him. It's been almost 6 months since I last saw my baby and I don't want to think about how one day it will be six years since I've seen him.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 173

Today I caught a glimpse of the me I used to be. The me that is not so overwhelmed by guilt and sadness...

It gets harder and harder not to lose myself in the mess that makes up this new reality of my life.

Sometimes it is not so much about finding yourself as it is about remembering who you are.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 172

This is my prayer.

In the Middle of Me by Todd Agnew

Need a little more sunshine in the middle of rain
Need a little more joy in the middle of pain
I need a little more color in the middle of plain Jane

'Cause I've looked as deep as I can see
And I think I need a little more You in the middle of me

Need a little more patience in the middle of stress
Need a little more beauty in the middle of this mess
I need a little more substance in the middle of this emptiness

And I've looked as deep as I can see
And I think I need a little more You in the middle of me

I need more of You and less of me
More of You and a little less insanity
More of You and a little less complexity

'Cause I've looked as deep as I can see
And it seems more of You is better for me

I need a little more rhythm in the middle of this lazy rhyme
Need a little more spontaneity in the middle of this daily grind
Need a little more truth not music in this world of lies

'Cause I've looked as deep as I can see
And I think I need a little more You in the middle of me
In the middle of me, Lord, in the middle

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 170

Spent the day at the lake. As silly as it sounds...Nature is healing for me, I think. I look around and know there is a God. And where He is, so is my Zavier.    Experiencing the beauty of God's earth reminds me that He is indeed Good...and I can use all the reminders I can get...cool waters, the gentle breeze, beautiful sky, awesome views. How do you not believe?

There is so much more to this world than just us... 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 169

I've been thinking of a way to turn this blog around, make it...I don't know...happier, somehow. At the same time, I am determined to keep it honest. A record of my first year without Zavier, my son. It seems I hardly had a chance to get used to saying that, my son. Maybe the changes need to occur first in my life.

I need to focus. I need to do something, something meaningful for Zavier. I need to create a legacy of giving, of helping, in his honor, in celebration of Zavier's life. He was here and has left his mark in this world. He has inspired me to figure out how to make a difference.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 166

Lately it seems my husband just wants to go, go, go. I'm still waiting for it all to stop...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day 163

Special Father's Day wishes to all the Daddies of babies in Heaven. They will forever feel your love.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 162

As the days continue to pass, I feel my son's presence ever so present. Just as real as is his absence. I can't yet begin to explain the changes in me. I struggle with happiness while muddling my way through the never ending saddness. Once so happy to hang out at home, we find ourselves trying to fill our time with activities, things to do, places to go. It's our desperate attempt to numb our pain. It sucks when your house, your home, no longer feels like home. I can't help but wonder if this is part of the new reality of our lives. Maybe true happiness, that feeling of peaceful contentment, is no longer attainable for me. Maybe that is ok.

As I type, I hear a lyric that says "No other love, Momma I'm flying, I can go, I can go anywhere. No other love can take me there."

As I pause to listen, I think "That's my boy".  And suddenly I am so grateful that above all else I continue to feel his love and was blessed with the privelege of experiencing his awesome little self in my little part of the world.

The roller coaster of our lives continues.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 157

I miss my busy, happy, healthy family of four. There is no going back.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 156

I've been struggling for weeks now to work up the courage to pick up the phone and make some phone calls. Calls to the ME's Office, Sheriff's Dept., funeral home. I need to pick up a copy of the autopsy report, the clothes Zavier was wearing and any other items the Sheriff's Dept. took from the sitter's house.

I called the ME's Office and will pick up the report next week. I left a message at the Sheriff's Dept. So, that's progress. Today, my husband casually informed me that he has the death certificate. Actually, he has had it for weeks, over a month probably. One less thing for me to do? I guess so, but I can't believe he didn't tell me.

What I'm feeling is on the verge of anger. I'm back to square one on day 156... 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 152

Acceptance?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day 148

We just drove in from Austin. Before we left, yesterday evening, I turned on Zavier's nightlight. Tonight, when we came in, his nightlight was off and the lamp in his room was on...

All I know is this...

I'm more and more convinced the longer that I live that this can't be, no this can't be all there is...
There's more to life than just what I can see...

That lyric has been on my mind the past few days. I even wrote it down in my notebook. And maybe tonight is why....

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day 146

Sometimes I think God speaks to me through music...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 144

Hold My Heart
Tenth Avenue North

How long must I pray, must I pray to You
How long must I wait, must I wait for You
How long 'till I see Your face
See You shining through

I'm on my knees
Begging You to notice me
I'm on my knees
Father, will You turn to me, yeah?

One tear in the dropping rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the Maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart?

One life is all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You're everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart?

I've been so afraid, afraid to close my eyes
So much can slip away before I say goodbye
But if there's no other way
I'm done asking why

Cause I'm on my knees
Begging You to turn to me
I'm on my knees
Father, will You run to me, yeah?

So many questions without answers
Your promises remain
I can't see but I'll take my chances
To hear You call my name
To hear You call my name

Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 143

Crazy as it sounds, it seems my life was less complicated when Zavier was still here.
Maybe it is because I didn't fully realize how quickly everything can fall apart. Everything is a question these days. Everything means so much more. Priorities have taken on a whole new meaning. Nothing quite means the same thing it did 6 months ago.
I've got no direction. If only I could figure out why I'm here...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 136

I miss him so much. It takes my breath away.




Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 134

It takes everything I have, on some days, not to throw in the towel and run away. Run to where? Run to what? Who knows...who cares... Just run. Never stop running. Just go. Don't think. Don't plan. Don't feel. Don't remember.

But giving up the bad means giving up the good.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 131

I've been doing a lot of thinking these days. The feelings keep coming fast and furious.

On Sunday, a friend sent Felix a text letting us know he'd seen Juls on a billboard. I told Juls and immediately saw the excitement in her eyes. I suggested we take a drive and take a look for ourselves.

The actual picture is a couple years old and I couldn't help but be reminded even though she is growing up she is still our little girl. I've begun to think that maybe that's a sign. Literally, for sure. But, beyond that it is a sign to me, a reminder that Juls is still very much here. "Here I am, Mom." that sign seemed to say to me. And even though we are hurting and continue with our daily struggle as we deal with the gaping hole in our family, she is still here. And she needs us to be here, mentally, emotionally and physically.

So....slowly but surely, I'm making my way back. Never the same, but I'm coming back.





Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day 127

Zavier is 8 months old today. I'd give anything to be with him today, to see him today.  How is it that I can miss so many things I didn't even have the opportunity to experience with him?

I am slowly becoming more comfortable with the idea that I will walk this earth without ever again being complete...whole. I will forever feel the absence of my boy.     

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day 125

As we drove across town this evening, I felt the familiar tears start to roll down my cheeks. I was tired. So tired. Of what? I'm not sure. Everything really. Tired of thinking, Tired of being. Tired of life.

As we were leaving Bo's Place, I saw the drawing Juliana worked on this evening. It was a drawing of our family. She drew herself with a smile on her face. She drew her dad who was niether smiling nor frowning. And she drew me with a very noticeable frown and lots of tears.

She proceeded to explain that she meant to draw herself with a frown on her face but she forgot. I told her I was glad she drew herself with a smile. I told her it was good to smile and ok to be happy.

That drawing really hit home. I don't want her to remember me like this. I don't want her to think that my way is the right way or the only way. I will try harder. I am more determined now than ever to figure out how to live.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Day 121

What a day. Yesterday marked 4 months that Zavier has been gone. I went to the cemetary this morning. I came home and watched a dvd of Zavier's pictures. My first Mother's Day as a mother of two, even though I never had a Mother's Day with my son. Zavier's absence today was overwhelming. As we sat to eat dinner, I felt so strongly that he is missing. He is here, yet he is still gone. I wanted more than ever to hold him, to have saved him. Today I am hurting.

And still I think,

How can I be angry at a God who has given me such an amazing Mother?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 116

I had a busy day today. Lots to do. I muddled through with a lump in my throat, with a weight on my chest. I knew this day would come.

Zavier lived with us on this earth for a short 116 days. Today he has been gone for 116 days. The days he was here seem to have flown by. The days that he has been gone have been the longest days of my life. Soon my son will have been in Heaven longer than he was here with me. 

It makes me so unbelievably angry. I look into an empty crib and wonder where God was while my son was taking his last breath. Our God who has a plan. Our God who knows our hearts. I want to take the easy way out and just be angry. Be consumed by anger. Sometimes, I think it's easier than pain and emptiness. I want to blame God. As I held my son 116 days ago in that hospital, I did not feel God. I felt alone. I felt cold. I felt fear. I felt horror, shock and disbelief. I felt waves and waves of unbearable pain as I prayed, begged that I be dreaming.

This evening as I walked across the house I noticed a bright light coming from Zavier's room. His lamp was on again. Whatever the reason, be it some electrical malfunction, a draft, the a/c...Whatever the reason, I felt a little better.   

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Day 114



"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be."

from the childre n's book Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Day 113

Today has been a sad, sad day. I spent a long while laying on the floor in Zavier's room wishing he was here. I feel so restless, so unsettled. I am running out of patience. I can feel the tension that has become a disturbing part of our little family. We are all trying... but it almost feels like we are just spinning our wheels, getting nowhere. 

We still want things to be how they used to be. I guess moving forward means letting go of our desire to turn back time. Things around here will forever be always never the same.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 111

there is so much i don't want to ever forget.

the week before zavier left us, i recorded him laughing on my cell phone. i have since replaced the cell phone so I could keep it in a safe place without worrying that it would break or get lost. i've only been able to hear it once or twice but at least i know it is there when i'm ready. his laugh was set as my ring tone the day zavier left us. i'm not sure if zavier left us or if he was taken from us. i guess, the end result is the same.

i went shopping a couple days ago and saw a pair of pants I just had to buy him. i know it is crazy.  i know he will never wear them. but they were exactly the kind of thing he would've worn if he were here. a tiny pair of pants with the word "ROCKER" across the backside. and i miss shopping for him. i miss so many, many things.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 107

I woke up this morning an angry person. How could I celebrate another year of my life when my son did not get to experience even his first birthday? This day reminds me that I will not have the privilege of parties and celebrations with Zavier. Will there ever be another true celebration in my world? I'm not sure.

This evening as I walked into Zavier's room to turn on his nightlight I could smell him as strongly as if he were sleeping in his crib. That sweet baby scent caught me off guard. But, I am grateful that I can now smile through my pain. I am grateful that I can still see his smiling face so clearly in my mind.

Today is my birthday. A birthday that brings me that much closer to the day I see my boy. It was a difficult day made so much easier by my friends and family.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 105

Still sad...Still waiting...Still missing...Still wishing...Still angry...still hurting..Still broken...Still crying...

Still hoping...Still smiling...Still loving...Still praying...Still believing

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 102

The following is taken from a daily devotional that a good friend e-mails me daily.

Wisdom from the Psalms

Psalm 46 : 1
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

The cross I wear around my neck is not there for show, nor is it the object of my worship. I would not be lost without it, though I do like it. I do not believe it has some mystical power, nor does it protect me. The cross that I wear reminds me of the great love that God has for me. Christ's gift of eternal life is made real to me each time I look down at the cross or feel it lightly resting on my chest. In difficult times, I look at the cross and feel warmth and comfort. From its gentle reminder I draw strength when I am weary, refuge when I need to rest. Whether I wear my cross or not, God is with me, but sometimes it is nice to have a small reminder.

Prayer: I run to You when I need rest, Lord. You take me in Your arms and protect me from the pressures of the day. In every time of trial, You are the source of my help. Thank You, Amen.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 101

Last night I dreamt of my son. This is only the second time I've seen Zavier in a dream. The first time, many weeks ago, I dreamt that he was sent here to teach us to pray. The image of him in that dream, was just that, an image. I saw him as I would see him in a photo.

Last night, the dream was so real. Zavier was sitting on the floor in the living room. Sitting!!! I'd never had the chance to see him sit up. He was wearing a diaper. He was laughing, smiling and happy (as usual). He was splashing his hands in a tupperware bowl filled with water, having a blast. He even tried to stand up, only to fall right back onto his bottom...

Then, I woke up. For just the briefest of moments, I allowed myself to believe that what I dreamt was my reality. Waking up this morning was as difficult as it has ever been.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 100

Wow. It still takes my breath away everytime I realize that this is real.  I still feel that choking, stabbing pain in my chest when I have to say "My son died." Some days I know that we will be ok. Other days, I just can't see how. I have lived 100 days without my son. I have cried so many tears that I can't help but wonder how there are any left. Some days I am convinced the sun will shine again and other days that same sun seems light years away. Some days I am right back in that hospital room, holding my tiny baby boy, begging him to just breathe, begging God to give him life. So many images that are burned into my soul, etched forever into my memory.

It is unlikely that I will ever understand. But I guess the good news is that I don't have to. That God has a plan and He understands will be enough for me. That is easier said than done, but I am trying. Everyday I will thank God for giving his son so that one day I will see my son again. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 97

Zavier would have been 7 months old today. The would have been part is what kills me. I miss him more and more everyday. I try to remember that everyday is one day closer to seeing him again.

It's still not fair. I miss so many things that we never even had a chance to experience. I want to see him sit up. I want to see him in his highchair. I want to see him make a mess of his food. I want to see him crawl around the garage with his dad. I want to rock him after his bath.

I just want to see him. I miss him so much.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 94

A strange thing happened this evening. I was thinking about Zavier as I was driving to run an errand. To my amazement, I found myself smiling. I was thinking about Zavier and specifically about the moment when we will see each other again. In that moment, as that one thought consumed me, I was excited. Excited at the thought of seeing my son again. I was excited, hopeful, happy and at peace in that moment.

I thank God for that moment.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day 93

This past Thursday marked 3 months without Zavier. Remarkably, the day was not horrible. Most days I'm just not sure how I feel. There are moments now of intense pain and difficult memories. Then, there are moments of not quite happiness yet not quite misery. But the hole in my heart, the hole at the core of my existence remains.  Maybe this is it, how it will always be...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Day 86

Today is Easter. I've spent the long weekend missing Zavier. I sat in his room with some of his little clothes in my lap. I let the tears fall. Those endless tears that are never far these days.

Some days I do feel a little better. But these past few days have seemed so much more difficult for some reason.

But, Jesus is risen and I know, despite my own selfish pain, that is reason to celebrate. By his death and resurection I am assured that my son is safe and happy now in the arms of our God. 

Until I see you again, Little One...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 81

It has not yet been three months and most days it feels as if a lifetime has past. Other days seem to crawl by. Still it is difficult to imagine dealing with this for the days, weeks, months and years to come.

It is easy to say that 'I am giving it all to God'. But how does it become real? Try as I might, that is not yet how I feel. Do I just have to keep reminding myself? Do I keep reading, keep praying?

The crashing waves just keep coming...

When It's Time for Plan B
by Whitney Hopler

Look for God's light in the darkness. When you face a dark situation that's beyond what you can handle, God will provide the light of grace you need to deal with it and the light of power you need to grow from it. Remind yourself of some times in the past when God has come through for you in unexpected ways, and let those memories reassure you that He will do so again. Choose to love God even when you feel abandoned and to worship Him through your tears, trusting that He will continue to be faithful to do what's best for you.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 78

I don't want to do this anymore.

I will, but I don't want to. I don't want to. I don't want to.

Day 78

When It's Time for Plan B
by Whitney Hopler

Use your pain to examine your life. Ask God to show you what He wants you to learn from the pain of your own plans falling apart. Don't settle for a mediocre, unexamined life. Let your pain motivate you to grow.

Keep choosing faith. Remember that, eventually, God will bring an end to your suffering - and in the meantime, He wants you to continue to trust Him. Keep choosing to have faith in him: trusting Him, loving Him, and letting Him change you to become more like Jesus.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 75

Pain is no longer my enemy. It is what is real.

It is a constant and loyal companion.

I'll be ok, The Lord knows what I feel.

This is a heavy cross I bear. Though I stumble every step of the way, I am determined not to fall.

I will lean heavily on our Lord and trust he remains at my side through it all.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 74

Here I am just drownin' in the rain
With a ticket for a runaway train

Bought a ticket for a runaway train
Like a madman laughin' at the rain
Little out of touch, little insane
Just easier than dealing with the pain

  Runaway Train
- Soul Asylum -

Who will I become?

My life is divided. There is my life before Jan. 8, 2010 and then there is life after Jan. 8, 2010. I would give anything if only I could turn back time.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 73

I will continue to choose Life...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 72

Every beautiful memory of my son is an agonizing reminder that he is gone : (

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 71

I paid my usual visit to the cemetary this morning. It was cold, rainy and muddy. Perfect.

The day got off to a rough start. I've just been feeling so mixed up. I still seem to be having a hard time keeping up. With Juliana in the valley for spring break, this house is entirely too quiet.

We miss our baby. Guess we always will. We start Bo's Place on Thursday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Not sure exactly what for...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 70

Do It Anyway
Martina McBride

You can spend your whole life building
Something from nothing
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway

You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway

God is great but sometimes life ain't good
And when I pray
It doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway

This worlds gone crazy
And it's hard to believe
That tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway

You can love someone with all your heart
For all the right reasons
And in a moment they can choose to walk away
Love them anyway

God is great but sometimes life ain't good

And when I pray
It doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway

You can pour your soul out singin'
A song you can believe in
That tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway
Yeah sing it anyway

I sing
I dream
I love anyway

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 69

This learning to live again is killing me...

This week has been difficult. I know God has a plan. I know this must be part of his plan.
But there are so many days that I struggle to see the good in all of this. I pray that one day I will find my place in this world, however temporary my time here may be. Maybe then I will see...  

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 67

One step forward...Two steps back...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 66

Zavier is 6 months old today.

Felix and I went to the cemetary and to our surprise, Zavier's headstone has arrived. It was quite the bittersweet moment. It is beautiful, with his picture and a vase for flowers. I will post a picture tomorrow. We left a little toy and some flowers.

Somehow seeing the words, 'Our Zavier lives', etched in stone on his headstone brings a bit of comfort.

Is Zavier getting bigger in heaven? Does he loook the same? Is he getting older? Does he take naps? Everyday I wish he was here. I guess saying something over and over and over again doesn't make it real or magically make it happen.

On our way to the cemetary I read this outside of a church..."To have a testimony, first you must go through a test".

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 65

For the past couple of days I've had so much to say...too much I guess. Couldn't get the mess in my mind organized enough to get it out.

My Zavier is teaching me to live.

I am learning to lay it all down at the feet of the Lord. I've learned that I have always had faith but now there is an undeniable conviction behind my belief. I am learning to believe without reservations. My beliefs are becoming the facts of my reality.

I still have more bad days than good. And the pain is still so prominent.

He would've been 6 months old tomorrow. I had been anxiously awaiting the 6 month mark. I used to think of all the fun we'd be having as he became bigger and stronger.

Despite it all, or maybe because of it all, I know God is working in my life. As strong as I can feel the pain, I can feel the presence of our Lord.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 62

It seems to be slowly getting better...but I feel so guilty  : (

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 61

Just when you think it's getting better...

Today I went to class. It was the first day in a new class. I am beginning to dread the whole introduce yourself to the class bit. A classmate shared his story. He had a brush with death and is still here to tell his story. His heart actually stopped for several minutes. I couldn't help but think that he has been, ever so briefly, where my Zavier is. Or at least closer to that place than I've ever been. Maybe I was meant to hear his message of truth and inspiration.

He has been there and back. He spoke with such conviction. And yet, I don't see my glass as half full anymore. My reality reflects my experiences. My reality is in constant conflict as I am torn between pain and possible happiness. I am eternally grateful for my daughter and my husband. I am grateful for the opportunity I was given to meet my boy. To love him and care for him, even for such a short while. 

But I miss him and my broken heart aches.

The class is a human motivation class. I already know it is going to be a difficult class for me at this point in my life. But who knows, maybe I will figure out how to channel some much needed personal motivation.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 60

Jesus, Hold Me Now
- Casting Crowns -

Living on my own, thinking for myself
Castles in the sand, temporary wealth
Now the walls are falling down
Now the storms are closing in
And here I am again

Jesus, hold me now
I need to feel you in this place
To know You're by my side
And hear your voice tonight
Jesus, hold me now
I long for your embrace
I'm beat and broken down
I can't find my way out
Jesus, hold me now
Curse this morning sun, drags me into one more day
Of reaping what I've sown, living with my shame
Welcome to my world, and the life that I have made
One day you're a prince, and the next day you're a slave

Lord, I just looked up today
And realized how far away I am from where you are
I don't know what else to pray
Broken at your feet I lay
The life I've torn apart
Jesus, hold me now

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 59

2 months...My Zavier is still gone...

Still so many questions. I hate that it has been 2 months since I held my boy in my arms. I would literally give my life so that Felix could have his son, Juliana could have her brother.

When I cry I am sad. When I smile I am sad. When I laugh I am sad. When I am at work I am sad. When I'm at home I am sad. When I am angry I am sad. It goes on and on...

But I can smile and I can laugh so I guess that is something.

I still want him back and I miss him more than words. It isn't fair and it just all really sucks. I want to throw a tantrum like a 2 yr old. I want to yell, kick and scream. But at who, at what...my son isn't coming back...

Everyday I think of something I could've done differently. Would this or that have changed the end result? Probably not.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Days 57 & 58

Day 57

No rest for the weary.

Day 58

Last night I slept. Finally slept. Just the night before I was thinking 'no rest for the weary'. We were driving home, home from the valley. We left at midnight (Felix drove) and I slept almost the entire way home. We got home and I slept until 11 AM.

Tomorrow will be 2 months. No doubt it will be another long day... 

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Day 56

It's funny how you always here people say (myself included) how we'd die if anything happened to our children.

Well, the thing is...you don't really die. It is just not that easy. There is nothing sacred. There are children who die. And there are parents who must go on.

Sometimes, I think it is harder to survive. But, I'm making it. Just like so many other parents who have been where I am now. They give me hope. 

I am grateful to all those who have shared their stories with me. These are not only stories of horrible tragedy and loss, but of faith, love and strength.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 55

Day 55...I'm still here...

Progress is inevitable. I will figure it out. I am figuring it out.

I used to think I was so strong. For so long, I counted on no one. I thought independence made me strong, needing no one made me strong. I'm not so sure anymore.

I am slowly beginning to realize I don't have to do this all on my own all of the time. And that just might be ok.

A big part of this is mine and mine alone. This pain is mine. It is between my son and I. This is a pain, an ache, a longing that could only come from the greatest of loves and I will embrace it and be grateful. It is a way to feel how connected we were, how connected we still are and I will hold on to that until I am with Zavier again.  

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 54

Maybe I am dreaming, after all...

No worries. I'm not crazy. Just wishful thinking.

I'm just in a bad place right now, but I know that even though I can't feel it yet things will get better. I'm not expecting great, or even good at this point, just better.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 53

This is going to be a long week. Just like every other, I guess. I am beginning to wonder if the weekends are really any better than the weekdays. Everyday just seems to blend into every other day filled with more of the same...

For awhile, I thought I was doing pretty good. Going to work, going to school, keeping up (barely, but still). I was wrong. I'm not okay. But, I need to feel what I am feeling. Somehow the pain is good for me. It may seem strange, but in a way, it drives home the fact the my son was here and we are still connected, forever connected.  

Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 52

This morning has been pretty horrible. The pain...the feelings almost unbearable. I sat on the sofa and surrounded myself with Zavier's things because I wanted to feel him near me. I sat and cried, loudly, uncontrollably.

I know he is still with us, with me. But...I want to hold him. I want to see him in his crib. I want to bathe him. I want to change his diaper. I want to feed him. I want to hear him cry. I want to smell him and touch him. I want to feel all 13 lbs of him lying on my chest. I want to feel his tiny hands pulling my hair and grab onto my necklace when I put him down. I want to rock him and watch him sleep. I want to feel his tummy as he breathes. I want to see his smile and hear his laugh. Not in pictures, not on video but here in our house, with us. I want him alive.

I want to hear him say his first word and watch him take his first step. I want to hear him say Mommy and Daddy...I want a lifetime of firsts...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 51

My Grief Wish List
- Author Unknown -

If you have been through grief you will relate to this. If you are going through it you will relate. If you have never been through this type of grief, keep this handy, it may help you one day.

I wish you would not be afraid to speak my loved one's name. They lived and were important and I need to hear their name.

If I cry or get emotional if we talk about my loved one, I wish you knew that it isn't because you have hurt me: the fact they have died has caused my tears. You have allowed me to cry and I thank you. Crying and emotional outbursts are healing.

I wish you wouldn't let my loved one die again by removing from your home his pictures, artwork or other rememberances.

I will have emotional high and lows, ups and downs. I wish you wouldn't think that if I have a good day my grief is all over, or that if I have a bad day, I need psychiatric counseling.

I wish you knew that the death of a child is different from other losses and must be viewed seperately. It is the ultimate tragedy and I wish you wouldn't compare it to your loss of a parent, a spouse or a pet.

Being a bereaved person is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn't stay away from me.

I wish you knew all the crazy grief reactions that I am having are in fact very normal. Depression, anger, frustration and hopelessness and the questioning of values and beliefs are to be expected following a death.

I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over in six months. The first few years are going to be exceedingly traumatic for us. As with alcoholics I will never be 'cured' or a 'formerly bereaved', but forever 'recovering' from my bereavement.

I wish you understood the physical reaction to grief. I may gain weight or lose weight, sleep all the time or not at all, develop a lot of illness and be accident prone, all of which are related to my grief.

Our loved one's birthday, the anniversary of his death and the holidays are terrible times for us. I wish you could tell me that you are thinking about them on these days and if we get quiet and withdrawn, just know that we are thinking about them and don't try to coerce us into being cheerful.

I wish you wouldn't offer to take me out for a drink, or to a party. This is just a temporary crutch and the only way I can get through this grief is to experience it. I have to hurt before I can heal.

I wish you understood that grief changes people. I am not the same person I was before my loved one died and I never will be that person again. If you keep waiting for me to get back to 'my old self', you will stay frustrated. I am a new creature with new thoughts, dreams, aspirations, values and beliefs. Please try to get to know the new me: maybe you will still like me.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 50

It hurts so bad.

I want my old life back.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 49

Save A Place For Me
by Matthew West

Don't be mad
If I cry
It just hurts so bad, sometimes
'Cause everyday, it's sinking in
And I have to say goodbye all over again

You know I bet it feels good to have the weight of this world off your shoulders now
I'm dreaming of the day when I'm finally here with you

Save a place for me
Save a place for me
I'll be there soon
I'll be there soon
Save a place for me
Save some grace for me
I'll be there soon
I'll be there soon

I have asked the questions why
But I guess the answers for another time
So instead I pray, with every tear
And be thankful for the time I had you here

I wanna live my life Just like you did
Make the most of my time Just like you did
And I want to make my home up in the sky Just like you did
Oh, but until I get there...
Until I get there...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 48

When Zavier was here, I would take him with me into his closet to pick out his outfit for the day. There is a lamp in his room near the closet door. I would go on to 'teach' him how to turn the lamp on. It is a touch lamp, so I would grab his little hand, touch his hand to the lamp and tell him that was all he had to do and the lamp would turn on.

On Sunday night, I went into Zavier's room and turned on his nightlight. I walked by his room again at about 11:30 pm when I double-check that the doors to the house are locked. I made certain that the night light was on.

On Monday morning, I walked into his room to turn the nightlight off and found the lamp brightly lit. After checking with Felix and Juls, I am confident that neither of them turned the lamp on...

Day 47

Everywhere I look there are babies. It's as if I have never seen so many babies. Babies everywhere. And it hurts.

I want it all to go away. I want it to be over.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 46

We went to Bo's Place today. I am hopeful. I think it is a good place for Juliana. For all of us, maybe.

My biggest responsibility in this life is to protect my kids. It seems I have failed my son. I can not fail my daughter.

Day 45

Tonight I fell asleep in my daughter's room as I lay holding her while she cried herself to sleep. It tore me up how little I could do to comfort her. She wants her brother back and I can do nothing to bring him to her.

It isn't fair. My son is gone and now I must watch my family attempt to navigate through this world of hurt. I want to fix it. I want to help. I want to take away their pain. Today is Felix's birthday and he wanted only for us to be happy today. We had a good evening.

Then we came home to our neverending reality.  I know we will all be ok, but none of us will ever be the same. Our home, our family... will never be the same.   

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 44

It is so hard to be three when we should be four...

Tomorrow is my husband's birthday and it breaks my heart that we will be unable to celebrate it with our son.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 43

Jesus, hold me now

I need to feel You in this place
To know You’re by my side
And hear Your voice tonight
Jesus, hold me now
I long for Your embrace
I’m beat and broken down
I can’t find my way out
Jesus, hold me now

Jesus Hold Me Now - Casting Crowns

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 42

Several weeks ago, I dreamt that my son had been sent to us to teach us how to pray.

Up until now, I suspect I've always been a bit afraid of praying. I was afraid to pray for help that wouldn't come. I was afraid to pray and be left disappointed and disillusioned.

I am slowly, almost painstakingly, learning to pray how I should live, by faith. 

I will live by faith when my reality can not carry me.

I will pray as I once dreamt my son was sent here to teach us.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 41

I am constantly reminded that tomorrow does not always come.



As I type with tears streaming down my face, I struggle against the words I feel compelled to write. I'm afraid that the words of pain, sorrow, anger and despair are becoming a habit and in a strange way a bit comforting as it is becoming what I know.

The thoughts and words I seek, of hope and faith, do not come easily in this moment. So, I will pray. Not my short, generic prayer that has become all too common place in recent weeks. I will make a conscious effort to pray from the very depths of my heart and soul. I will give thanks and I will ask for...grace.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 40

Still searching for answers...maybe I'll always be searching for answers.

Lent begins today, 40 days until Easter. It has been 40 days since the death of my son. 40 days of pain, anger, hurt, and tears. And there will be another 40 days after that, then 40 more and 40 more for all the years to come. I am not blind to the kindness, selflessness and good I've seen in others during the past 40 days. I am eternally grateful to family and friends...both old and new friends alike.

But, my broken heart is still my broken heart. I am trying to put myself back together. One day I may be close to whole, but I will never be complete and the pieces will never fit quite right again, if they ever did. I will remain forever bruised, battered and scarred. It is a most significant part of who I am becoming.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 39

Maybe...just Maybe...things will get better...still so hard to tell...

What I do know is that,

Every morning I wake up...I am one day closer to my baby : )

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 38

My son would have been 5 months old today. I can't stop getting those emails that say "Felix Zavier is 5 months old this week". I guess if I tried hard enough I could figure out how to unsubscribe. The truth is, I am not ready. I want to know what he should be doing right now. I am as obessesed with it now as I was when he was here. It breaks my heart and yet I want to know. Maybe I will always want to know.

Do I think that God took my son to teach us a lesson? No, but I have to believe there are lessons to be learned. A lifetime of lessons.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 37

Happy Valentine's Day? Will there ever be another Happy holiday? I never thought holidays would include trips to the cemetary. And now, in all honesty, I can't imagine a holiday without a trip to the cemetary. I like to think Zavi sees us getting balloons ready for him and setting them free to be carried by the breeze high into the sky.

I guess this is part the of the dreaded 'new normal'. It did not escape me that the cemetary was actually quite beautiful today. It is still hard to go to the cemetary and yet it is difficult to leave. I know Zavi is not really there and more likely he is where we are, goes where we go.

I will not let Zavier go, but I will learn to live with him in Heaven. And try to make my peace with that. I don't think he can ever be really gone to me. I just have to learn how to live with him in a different existence.

Felix and I worked a little today on the big quilt. It should be completely done tomorrow. We are finishing up the binding here at home. So far so good.  

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 36

Juls won 2nd place at the Bulldog Races this year. We are very proud of her. Last year Felix had to work and was not able to see the race. This year he was there cheering her on. Felix is taking such good care of us. I love him more than I ever have.

Sometimes I want to be left alone to be sad and cry when I know the rest of the world is still hustling and bustling. I feel the need to be still and not move. Sometimes I feel the reality of the nightmare is still sinking in.

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. I am missing Zavi more than ever. I still feel that I am moving way too slow to keep up with the world around me. My thoughts are scattered and I don't feel 'together'. I don't feel quite capable.  I'm slowly beginning to realize that there will always be days on the calendar that will be harder than all the rest. As the days go by, there has not been one moment that I don't feel that constant ache in my heart. There is always the feeling that something is missing.

A friend sent me the poem that follows. I thank God that my son and I are forever connected.

The Cord

We are connected,
My child and I, by
An invisible cord
Not seen by the eye.

It's not like the cord
That connects us 'til birth
This cord can't been seen
By any on Earth.

This cord does it's work
Right from the start.
It binds us together
Attached to my heart.

I know that it's there
Though no one can see
The invisible cord
From my child to me.

The strength of this cord
Is hard to describe.
It can't be destroyed
It can't be denied.

It's stronger than any cord
Man could create
It withstands the test
Can hold any weight.

And though you are gone,
Though you're not here with me,
The cord is still there
But no one can see.

It pulls at my heart
I am bruised...I am sore,
But this cord is my lifeline
As never before.

I am thankful that God
Connects us this way
A mother and child
Death can't take it away!

Author Unknown

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 35

Tomorrow is Juls' big race. She ran this race last year and won 2nd place. I can't help but remember that last year at the race I was pregnant. Now, one short year later.  My baby has come and gone. I can't understand how it is possible to have been so happy and so extremely sad in such a short period of time.I brought my son home and, too quickly, had to send him home to Jesus. In all my dreams for my son, I never dreamt I would see him buried.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 34

I have a daily quote application on my iPod. This is the quote from a few days ago.


What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be not forever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flowers;
Grief not, rather find, Strength in what remains behind,
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be,
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of Human suffering,
In the faith that looks through death
In years that bring philophic mind.

By William Wordsworth

My brother is here. My parents will be here tomorrow. Juliana's competing in the 2nd Annual Bulldog Race on Saturday. On Sunday we are planning a picnic at the cemetary. We will take balloons and fresh flowers to Zavier for Valentine's Day. I hope the weather improves. I made a few phone calls today to arrange for my family's participation in a support group. It was not easy but I am hopeful that it will prove to be a beneficial experience.

It is still cold and rainy outside and quite frankly that suits me just fine.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 33

On Monday, I woke up and almost immediately realized the date was Feb. 8. Exactly one month. I got dressed, dropped off Juls and went to work. I cried as I listened to Zavier's CD during my commute. I wasn't worried. This has become something of a daily ritual. It is usually over by the time I get to work anyway. That Monday morning I just couldn't shake it. I couldn't listen to anyone ask me if I was ok without battling the tears that constantly threaten to come. I couldn't stay. I left and haven't been back. Truth be told, I am afraid to go back. It is unlike me to be so out of control of my emotions.

It seems I'm afraid of so many things these days. I am so disappointed in myself. I am supposed to be stronger than this. I have never in my life been so unable to keep up. Never has everything seemed so out of my control. I don't know how to fix it.

One day at a time is the best I can do...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 32

One day I will allow myself to feel without barriers, without crutches to prop me up, without these walls it seems have been built in preparation for this very moment. One day the relentless waves of sorrow and grief will come crashing down despite it all.  But right now I will sew. I will quilt and sew in my feeble attempt to withstand the pain. Right now I am too afraid.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 31

Pretending is exhausting...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 30

I hate that babies die. Not just my baby. Babies.

At the cemetary yesterday...two new babies.

Tomorrow will be one month since I was forced to do the unthinkable, to bury my son. My baby boy. A part of my heart and soul is gone. Gone with Zavier. My new normal seems to have begun and everyday I despise this unavoidable new normal. I do not want it. It is not welcome and I will not embrace it. I can barely accept it.

I once lived in a world with a baby, bottles, diapers, blankies and baths at the kitchen sink. Now my days are filled with...I'm not even sure what. But, my world now includes never ending days, restless nights and trips to the cemetary.

At this time last month we found out we were pregnant. The months couldn't pass fast enough. We were so eager to meet our baby. It seems now that the almost 4 months he was here flew by, entirely too quickly. One short year later, our boy has come and gone. It seems almost impossible, but it's real. I have to remind myself everyday that it is real. He was here and now he is gone.

I am almost desperate for my heart to catch up with the things my mind already knows.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 29

This morning I awoke to a house filled with suffocating silence. I lay there as usual dreading the long day ahead. Felix was already at work. I heard a TV turn on and slowly made my way to the living room to check on Juliana.

She was laying on the sofa with one of her baby brother's baby blankets and two pictures of him. I began to move the pictures so I could sit beside her. She quickly interupted me. She wanted me to leave the pictures alone. She was pretending her brother was there with her.

How do I not crumble? What do I say? What I want most is to pretend with her. I want to say, "Great idea. Let's do it. Let's forget for a while." Instead, I sit on the other side of her as she begins to cry. I feel her pain, I feel Felix's pain and then there is the world of hurt that is mine alone. How do I help them? I lack the knowledge, the understanding. I do not have the words that will make a difference.

I tell Juliana to go ahead and cry, that it is ok and I will cry with her.  After what seems like an eternity, we get up. We drive to the cemetary. This is the first time Juls goes with me since the day of the funeral. Our mood seems to improve during the drive. She claims to like it there. She draws, with her finger, in the sand on our baby's spot. 'I love you' she writes.

She is reluctant to leave. She seems peaceful. She talks about taking balloons and gifts to Zavier for Valentine's Day. As we walk to the Jeep, she whispers to her brother that we will be back soon. I gently remind her that Zavier will not stay at the cemetary. We are his family. We are a part of his home. Where we go, he goes. Forever a family. Always Zavier.  

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 28

4 weeks. It has been a long difficult week. I sincerely thank God for the absolutely awesome people he continues to put in my path. The journey continues to scare, confound and amaze me.

As if to prove my point, when I stopped to check the mail after work, I found an article from a prison newspaper sent to me by one of the awesome people in my life. It was the most perfect end to the insanity of my week. I can't imagine how this must sound, but I honestly feel this message may have been from God himself. 

A Baby Asked God
Submitted by Arturo Salazar
            Rudd Unit

A baby asked God: I heard that you are going to send me down to earth.

God answered: Yes, I'm sending you to your new home and you will live there 'til it's time for you to come back.

The baby asked God: But why, if here I don't do anything else but sing songs and be happy?

God answered: In your new home, you will have a family, and you will also sing songs and be happy, and you will be loved.

The baby asked God: But who will take care of me?

God answered: Your angels will be waiting for you. Your angels will take care of you and will also protect you, even with their own lives.

The baby asked: But how would I talk to my angels if I don't speak their language?

God answered: Your angels will teach you how to talk and will also tell you the sweetest things you have ever heard.

The baby asked: But who will play with me?

God answered: Your angels will play with you and will also teach you how to do different things.

The baby asked: But how would I talk to you if I I won't see you anymore?

God answered: Your angels will teach you how to talk to me and put your hands together and pray, and I will always hear you.

The baby asked: God, before you send me down to earth, can you please tell me the name of my angels?

God answered with happiness: You would just sincerely call them, Mom and Dad.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fear-------Casting Crowns

Oh, what I would do
To have the kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realms of the unknown
Where Jesus is,
And he's holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name
and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
time and time again
"Boy, you'll never win,
you'll never win,
you'll never win."

Oh, what I would do
to have the kind of strength it takes
To stand before a giant
with just a sling and stone
Surrounded by the sound
of a thousand warriors
shaking in their armour
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand

But the giant's calling out my name
And he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
time and time again
"Boy you'll never win,
you'll never win,
you'll never win."

But the stone was just the right size
to take the giant down
And the waves don't seem so high
when I'm standing on top of them looking down
And I'd soar with the wings of eagles
if I could just ignore the sound
Of the waves and the giants,
the waves and the giants in my mind

Lord, you've not given me a spirit of fear
But of power and of love,
and of a sound mind
So from now on,
I won't let the tempter's lies
turn my eyes away from the prize

That you have set before me.
That you have set before me.