Friday, May 31, 2013

These are the last days we had

Last night it hit me like a wrecking ball hitting a brick wall, these next 13 days are the last 13 days I had last year with Avery.  Just like that, it’s been a year.  It hit me hard last night.  It’s not like I haven’t been well aware of June’s approach.  June is always on my mind.  But last night it finally registered that this year is quickly coming to a close.  And after June 12th, I will no longer be able to look back and say, “this time last year…Avery was safe inside me…I was nesting and cleaning like a fool over Memorial Day weekend…today was my last day at work before maternity leave.”  After June 12th, she will no longer have been with me just a year earlier.  And I don’t know why, but I cannot come to grips with that.  I just want to sit and relive each moment over and over again. 
I would love to just sit in a dark quiet room watching this time last year unfold in front of me like an old home movie on a closed loop.  I would love to just sit and lose myself in every detail of this time last year.  But I cannot.  I cannot remember every detail like I would like.  I have general ideas of what I was doing.  I have strong memories of our 6 days with Avery but I cannot live them out perfectly.  Those are days I will never get back. 

Until last night, I was focusing all of my energy on the positive things we would be doing for Avery’s birthday, focusing on our escape trip we are taking shortly after her birthday, focusing on work, focusing on projects, etc.  I wasn’t letting June get to me.  But my walls of distractions have not just cracked, they’ve buckled and have crumbled to the ground at the weight of that wrecking ball.
Oh how I just wish I could go back to this time in 2012.  When life was still perfect and Avery was still here with me. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Summer Storms

Summer in Florida brings evening thunderstorms. And while it may still be spring in many places around the country, summer has started in Florida and so have the storms. 

It hit me this evening as I was watching the sky clear and the sun begin to shine through the clouds how much summer and summer storms bring me  back to last summer. They bring me back to Avery. 

It stormed every evening while we were in the hospital and every evening she lived. And now that it's back to the normal summer weather, I can no longer avoid how quickly June is coming.


Her month. 

The best and worst days of my life. 

June will be here in less than a week. 

I've been trying really hard to focus my energy on projects I'm working on and they've been doing a pretty great job distracting me. But now that the storms are back, no matter how much I do to distract myself, I'm reminded of the impending roller coaster of emotions that is sneaking up on me. And I'm reminded of what is missing. 

Her birthday is 2 weeks from today. 2 weeks. This time last year I was eating spicy food and tons of pineapple trying to help labor get kick started. I was nesting and anxiously waiting Avery's arrival. 

I'm not sure what the anniversary of her 6 days will bring. I just can't believe it's been almost a year. I still can't believe she is gone. 

Summer will always be her time and the rain will always remind me of her. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

I'm exhausted

I read recently that a day of grieving is equivalent to 8 hours of manual labor. I'd have to say that's true. Grief is exhausting. 

Simply. Exhausting. 

I've spent the past 11 months working the fields. I've been hacking my way through the weeds, slowly making my way through the high brush. 11 months of long, hard labor. Tough work, hard work, it is more than exhausting.  The thing about working the fields is the work is never done. Seasons change, but the fields must be maintained, cleaned, cultivated, harvested. My grief is the same way. Some days it needs more tender care than others. Other days the field is green and growing and others the weeds have taken over and must be worked trough. It takes time and is a never ending process. There is no end, it will always be a part of my life.  And while its hard work, it's a labor of love.  

It's exhausting. I'm tired. I'm tattered. My hands are blistered. I long for rest. Yet each day, I put on my work clothes and tackle the work.  I do it out of love and that keeps me going. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Emptiness


That's how I feel this Mother's Day.  I've tried not to focus on this day, tried to tell myself it's much to commercial but the truth still remains. I am a mother to a child I do not get to physically mother. And today makes 11 months since that dream was stollen from me. 

Rationally, I know I am a mother. Emotionally, I know I have a love so deep for Avery that I'd still do anything for her. But to the outside world, those who don't know me, what am I? I have none of the signs one would look for in determining someone's maternal status. Baby with me? No. Carseat in my car? Negative. Baby on board car sticker? Not anymore. Tired eyes from a cranky teething baby? Nope. A diaper bad that doubles as a purse? No. 

So today, while I know I am a mother, I am still finding it hard to really feel like one. It's hard being a mother to a child who lives in your heart.

 I wanted the recognition. I wanted strangers to see me for being a mother. I wanted to be the lady at the store everyone stops to ogle over their little baby.

But, I don't get that. 

What I do have is a love so strong and deep that I know it will never be broken. And while strangers won't see that, I know it's there and I feel it daily. I am so proud to call Avery my daughter. She is the one who made me a mother. She is the reason for the deep love that courses through my veins. In her 6 sweet days, she made me so incredibly happy. Words cannot express all that I feel towards my beautiful daughter. She forever changed me. And I will spend every day that I live loving my precious girl, keeping her memory alive and spreading the love she brought to us with others. 

And even though today feels empty, my arms long to hold her and my heart is still incredibly broken, my love for her remains a it did the moment I found out I was carrying her, the second she was born and every day since. 

Avery, my sweet baby girl, thank you for making me a mom. Thank you for being a perfect daughter. And thank you for the love you brought into our lives. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's Day Name Project

This Mother's Day I signed up for a name exchange project, hosted by Gabriel's mom, Catherine over at her blog:

I had to honor of writing the names of 30 beautiful children for this project.

Please take a moment to say each child's name out loud as you browse through the photos.  As Mother's Day approaches, please keep these precious families in your prayers. 

All pictures were taken at Playalinda Beach at the Canaveral National Seashore in Titusville, Florida.



Friday, May 10, 2013

He Hurts Too

I feel like most people look at a couple who has lost a child and automatically focus on the mother the most.  Maybe it’s because we are the ones who will cry in public, our voices tremble as we try to talk about our children in public and we are the ones who go to drastic lengths necessary to avoid triggers.  I hate that many times it seems as if people overlook how my husband is doing without Avery here.
Yes, he can handle situations that set me off.  Yes, he rarely cries in public and yes, he can talk about her with strength in his voice.  But he is still hurting.  He hurts everyday like I do; yet, I can hear people asking him how I am doing.  Rarely do I get the same sympathetic look followed by a question about him.  Maybe it’s because throughout history men have been the symbols of strength.  Maybe it’s because women are often thought of as the weaker sex.  Whatever the reason, it really bothers me.  He hurts too.

What people don’t see are the tears he sheds.  What people don’t hear is the anger, pain and anguish in his voice when the reality of life sets in.  What people don’t see is a Dad who takes pride in ensuring that his daughter’s grave is cleaned weekly.  What people don’t see is a Dad who avoids key points of a wedding, watching a Dad give his daughter away, a Dad toast the newlyweds and a Dad dance with his beaming daughter on her wedding day because it’s is a punch to the gut for him.  He will never get to do that with Avery.  He won’t get to teach her to drive, won’t get to be the protective Daddy when she brings home a boy.  What they don’t see is a Dad who will sit in her room just to be in there and hold her Molly bear close.
Even though people may not witness him in his times of deep grief, they happen.  He grieves too.  He misses her too.  He loves her too.  He wanted her too.

If you are reading this, please know that even if the male in a relationship, which has experienced a loss, seems to be doing well, know that deep down, he hurts too. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

11 Months

Avery’s 11 Month Stats (what I really wish this post could be titled)

Avery weights…?
Avery measures...?

Avery likes…?
Avery dislikes…?

Avery says…?
I really wish I could fill in those blanks and this post was entirely different.  Truth is I have no idea what she would be like at this point.  I am not even sure if the little girl I picture in my head is the right size or development.   Would she be walking?  What would her little voice sound like?  How long would her hair be by now?  11 months.  11 long and very quick months.  Would time have felt the same with her here with us? I hate that I will never know. 

One thing that is constant is my love for her and how much I long for her.  One day.  One day we will be together.  One day I won’t have blanks full of question marks, one day I will be with her forever.  Until that day, I will carry her in my heart.

Happy 11 Months baby girl, we sure do miss you.