july’s almost over.

How is it possible that July is almost over?  Wow, it is crazy!  I’m not sure where all of this time is going, but at the same time I’m glad it is passing.  We’ve been pretty busy here with regular ol’ life stuff, and I guess that’s good.  I’m on a mission to purge our house of all things excess.  Too much stuff, too much junk around here.  I’m stressed by it and my overflowing closet.  So major overhauls are happening… which basically means it looks like a bomb went off in my house.  I just keep reminding myself that it looks worse before it gets better.

 

My camera is a goner.  It died when we were in the hospital with Gabriel.  So very thankfully, it was fine while we were taking pictures of him, and it wasn’t until later that night when I tried to look at the pictures that it wouldn’t work.  If anyone has any thoughts or knows of any good deals on a dslr for someone who knows very little about cameras, let me know!  It’s been nearly 3 months without a good camera, and I miss having one to take pictures of Jack.  Especially since I’m taking videos of him on my phone daily now.

 

Speaking of videos, I have some great ones I want to share.  I probably just need to bit the bullet and update this blog so I can post videos on here.  Jack is “reading” now.  Or more accurately, memorizing.  But I swear he’s brilliant 🙂  He has a book about flowers that he has started reading to us and then Dr. Seuss’ Hop on Pop.  He knows every page!  It catches me off guard and makes me laugh every time.  I will definitely post a video, or 2, or 12, if I make the upgrade.

 

Other random tidbits of life around the Morgan homestead — Jack crammed several CDs into the CD drive on the computer, so that’s working out well for us.  We have some massive spiders taking up residence around the perimeter of our house and in our garage.  Massive.  Some of us are looking forward to a vacation soon.  Others have to work and will be looking forward to a mini get away in the near future.  I saw a report on mold in front loading washers, and now I’m convinced mine is moldy.  I’m itching to paint every room in our house.  And I’m really looking forward to all things fall.

 

How’s that for random?  Hope you’ve had a good Monday.

anger and thoughts.

I was perhaps naive to think that anger wasn’t an emotion that would come along with grief.  I think because I wasn’t angry after we found out Gabriel had Trisomy 18, that I thought I just wouldn’t be angry at all.  That wasn’t the case.  I can’t remember at what point I first realized I was angry, but it was definitely within the first few weeks after Gabriel passed away.  I remember talking with our pastor about it before Gabriel’s celebration service.  He encouraged me saying even Jesus was angry.

I don’t harbor anger in my heart and it’s not an emotion I feel a lot, but I do have moments where it rises.  The other day I got a call from someone who made some very insensitive comments.  Ironically, it was someone from church — just because someone is from the church, doesn’t mean they handle things well.  No wonder so many people get turned off to the church, but that’s another topic for another day.  I’m sure this person had no ill-intent, but their cavalier comments were very hurtful.  I found myself steaming for the next hour.  I was so angry it felt like my chest was going to explode.  And I was hurt by their sense of casualness at the loss of my child.  People can be quite thoughtless, but a lot of the time their comments are innocent enough.  Something about that conversation was more than I could handle.  Lots of tears and some deep sadness later, I let it go and moved on [aside from this post about it].

People are often careful, fearful even, of what to say to us.  Some people tip toe around us and the topic of our second child and his death.  Some face us head on with a lot of questions.  Some speak kind, encouraging words.  Some we haven’t heard from in a long time.  Some joke and laugh with us.  Everyone has a way that they think is best to talk to us, and part of our learning process has been taking in all of these different ways people handle the topic of death.  One of the big things we have learned is that people don’t want to say anything that is going to make us sadder or make us feel worse.  And my response to that is that it can’t be made sadder.  Our baby has already died, so it can’t be worse.  What does make us sad, is when our baby isn’t acknowledged.  Acknowledging his life, makes us feel better, as does remembering him.  He is our son, our family, our child forever, and we’re always thinking about him, so mentioning him to us won’t make it worse.

I have intentionally not written any posts on the topic of things people say because I don’t want to offend anyone, especially people who have been so kind to us as we have walked through this.  One day, far down the road, I want to write a post about things that are and aren’t helpful to say for people to reference when they need  to.  I have a friend who is a cancer survivor at 29.  She and I have had very different difficulties in life, but what we have in common is that we both know hard.  We’ve shared many stories about the things people say, and have said that we’ll write a book about it one day.  I see it being a funny book, one that you read and shake your head laughing through it.  People don’t mean to say the wrong things but things like sending a condolences card and putting that you’re expecting and so excited in there, is probably not the best thing to do for someone losing their baby.

I find myself struggling more these days with what to write.  When I first started this blog I wanted it to be read.  I wanted to share about nutrition with people and be a resource for nutrition in real life.  Then I got tired of that and really liked writing about Jack and our life and having a place where I could look back and see our memories recorded — kind of documented for us.  Then after we found out about Gabriel, I wanted to share our story.  Share what life was like for us as a new Trisomy 18 family.  I could care less if anyone read it.  I just wanted it to be a true story sort of blog, very real and honest place, where I just shared what was on my heart.  Since Gabriel was born it’s been harder to write, and on top of that I think I lost a little of the desire for it to be an honest account of our lives.  Partly because I feel like a Debbie Downer when I write every day about grief.  It is our life every day, but who wants to read depressing stuff every day.  So I struggle with what to write and how much to write and what to continue sharing on here.  The main thing that I keep coming back to, is that I want this blog to be a resource to someone like me in the future.  That was why I started writing about it in the first place.  I was desperate to find a family like ours in those first few days after we learned that something was wrong with our baby.  I googled and searched and looked everywhere for someone else’s words about their experience.  I needed to see that someone else had done it, that someone else had survived it.  I needed to see how their stories unfolded.  I was desperate.  And there was never a lot I could do for my baby.  I ate a whole bunch of ice cream when they said that might help me and thus him gain some weight.  But really through everything, that was all I could do for him.  So if in his memory and his honor, my words might one day help someone else get through this, then I will write about it.  If it helps someone else to not feel alone, like we felt for so long.  It’s the least I can do, and it’s all I can do.

We have found tremendous comfort through words of others.  We have heard such incredibly, kind things from people.  We are so thankful for the most wonderful people encouraging us and lifting us up.  We couldn’t have gotten through it without a lot of help and encouragement and strength along the way.  And that is what we reflect on most of the time.  But occasionally, there’s a day where something slips through the cracks, and like everyone in life, you just have to take it, deal with it, and move on.  And then get back to remembering why you’re thankful.

cows.

On Friday, Jack and I got decked out in our cow gear and headed to Chickfila for cow appreciation day.  And by decked out in our cow gear, I mean we had the most pitiful cow costumes possible.  A couple of hours before we were supposed to meet our friends there, I realized that I didn’t even have construction paper to make our spots.  So I went digging through our closets looking for a black garment to cut up.  Due to a lack of resources, Jack and I were brown cows.  But I was definitely willing to cut up an old brown pillowcase and safety pin it to our shirts for some free chicken.  We had a great time eating and playing with our friends.

 

 

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The cutest little cows!

 

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cow day

ride in the rain.

It has rained a lot this year.  A whole lot.  We are right at the rainfall total for the year — and it’s only July.  That’s a lot of rain.  I always found it fitting, all the rain, because it started right when we found out about Gabriel.  It rained for 8 days straight after we found out, heavy rain.  It rained a lot all spring.  And then the day of Gabriel’s burial, it was supposed to rain — I fully expected it to rain, it would only be fitting.  But it was beautiful.  The weather was a perfect 70 degrees and so beautifully sunny on that early May day.  He was healed and in Heaven and that beautiful day represented it.

 

 

This summer the weather has been pretty crazy.  Lots of afternoon thunderstorms and bursts of rain.  Today Jack and I were driving when we drove into a patch of heavy rain.  It was pounding on the top of the car, running down the sides, my wipers were going crazy.  I noticed Jack’s face; he looked scared.  About 30 seconds in, he said “out, out” and was pulling on the door handle.  I asked him if he wanted to get out of the car, and he said yes.  I told him, “I’ll get you out when we get to Lindsay’s house, but until then, we just have to ride in the rain.”

 

He was scared.  He didn’t like where we were, he didn’t like the heavy rain falling on us.  He didn’t like that things changed from light to dark so quickly.  And he thought that if he could just get out of the car, that he’d get away from what we was afraid of.  That it’d all be ok.

 

I recognized that so quickly in his actions, because that’s exactly how I am these days.  It was like a video of myself was playing out right in front of me.  I want to run from the dark cloud that we have entered under this year.  I want to get out of where we are, hoping to find sunshine and brighter days.  I think that if I can just get out of here, or away from here, or over there, that things won’t be scary and hard any more.  It’s our instinct — whether we’re 2 and afraid of the heavy rain, or we’re 26 and afraid of the hardness of our lives.  We want to get out of the dark and find the sunshine again.  But sometimes we were meant to ride in the rain for awhile.  And as soon as I said those words to Jack, telling him that we were going to ride in the rain, I knew that was true of our lives, too, and not just that one moment.  I so badly want to have an easy life, one full of sunshine.  But the thing is, that nothing ever grows without the rain.  And sometimes, those rain storms last for a long, long time, and we weren’t meant to get through them quickly.  So we buckle down, learn to face what we’re afraid of, and ride on in the rain.

 

 

But the thing about a heavy rain storm like that is that there’s a rainbow at the end.

 

rainbow

 

 

 

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two months.

Two months ago our sweet Baby Gabey was born.  Today in particular, we are remembering our precious baby boy.

 

 

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going backwards.

Last week was a pretty good week.  I would say we functioned pretty well.  Did a bunch of regular life stuff [even though now I couldn’t begin to tell you a thing we did last week].  I felt I had a better grasp on this grieving thing, and like I was able to say how much I missed my baby but that we were ok.  Saturday I woke up feeling worse for the wear, Sunday was harder.  This is a hard week, and over the weekend I was very frustrated.

 

I realized that I was so frustrated and so frustrated with myself.  I thought I was getting better.  I thought I was on the track to “normalcy” or just a regular life again and then this week hit and hit hard.  And it left me very frustrated with everything.  But today I realized that I don’t need to “get better”.  I’m not sick.  I lost my child.  It’s not a cold to get over or an illness to recover from.  My baby died, and I’m grieving.  And that’s ok.  And I don’t have to get better.  I don’t have to recover.  It’s ok for me to feel better, and I’m thankful for the days that I do and I trust that more of those days will come.  But for now I’m going to try to remember to give myself grace when I take one step forward and 3 steps backwards.

 

In the meantime, I am thankful for friends and family who love us well.  Who show up when we’re sad, who send encouraging words, who pray always for us.  Last night Tommy and I went to an infant loss support group for the first time.  My doctor highly recommended that we go, and I respect him and his opinions so much, so off we went.  It was good.  It was nice to be with people who get it.  Many people are understanding, but these other people are in our very boat.  Different stories, same outcome.  None of us are home caring for our newborns, but rather, are sitting in a room with total strangers sharing some of our deepest thoughts and feelings.

 

After the group, we went by the cemetery, and as we pulled up I noticed that something was on his grave.  As we walked up, I realized right away that our friends had left it.  There were all kinds of little Caterpillar construction trucks and bubbles with a card for Jack and Gabriel saying they were toys for Jack to play with when he comes to visit his little brother.  I was so thankful.  So thankful to know that my boys, especially my boy who isn’t here anymore, are remembered.  So thankful to know that his grave is being visited.  So thankful for dear friends who leave precious gifts, who ask questions, who text reminders that they will never forget about our baby.  Because I want badly to go forward, but I don’t ever want the remembering to lessen.

 

 

graveandtrucks