Scared (and excited) out of my mind!

Wow. Never in my life have I embarked on something this big, or courageous. I have always been the one ready to take a step back and let someone else take the lead. I’ve been happy to follow. Leading is scary. Why on earth would I want to be a leader? Leading means taking chances, being “in charge”, being in front of everyone, and most of all, it means you might make mistakes in front of everyone. It’s scary.

Exactly 1 year, 6 months and 17 days ago, my life changed forever. I became the mom of a baby residing in Heaven. I knew from that moment on that my life would never be the same. It took some time after that to realize what I was going to do with this gift (if you know me, you know why I would call this a gift, instead of a curse), and how I would use it to change myself and to help others. From my experience, being forgotten in a lonely, cold ER room, I knew that I had to make a difference for others, and that I had to share the joy I have in Jesus with them. On January 22, 2013, which should have been the day that I held my sweet baby in my arms, Grant and I decided that we would start a memory box program to provide comfort to families. We slowly started talking about starting a support group, but I knew I was no where near ready to start something like that. We looked over different groups, different things that were available, and I knew with who I am and how my thoughts work, I would want to go through an organization, so that I would have some sort of place to start. 

Fast forward to about a month ago. I kept having people asking me if I’d heard of Share, and I’d read about them, received information from them, and had really liked what I’d seen. Well, I found out that we had a chapter of The Bereaved Parents in Joplin, and that they were having a candle lighting near the beginning of December. I was talking with one of the leaders of their group, and she too asked me if I’d heard and/or thought of Share. I contacted Share again to ask them when the next training would be, to see if I would be past 18 months (required for bereaved parents to take the training), and they said end of April. 

I have officially started fundraising, as of today, for the trip and training. I will be doing an auction in March on Facebook through my Hannah’s Tears page, and I have a GoFundMe page (http://www.gofundme.com/5vxxls) where donations can be made. Anyone who might be interested can contact me or join the group I’ve set up on Facebook for the auction information and contributors (https://www.facebook.com/groups/739110576118114/). 

Butterfly kisses from God

I don’t think I’ve ever explained the name of my blog. You see, I personally don’t believe in “signs” or in our babies coming to visit us, as some do. I do however, believe that sometimes we get “kisses from God”. Little things that He sends our way, just to remind us that He’s there, He loves us, and He’s in control. Every so often, on of those kisses is a reminder of my sweet girl. I’ve seen more butterflies in the last year and a half than I have for a long time. I don’t know if God’s placing more in my path, or if He’s opened my eyes to recognize and be grateful for them more now. This past August, we were at my parent’s house in Indiana and we were riding on the 4 wheeler. As we rode around in the woods and around the pond, there were hundreds of butterflies everywhere! I love sweet moments like that.

This morning as I was sitting on the front porch with my nephew, watching the road in front of our houses get repaved, a sweet little butterfly (it might have been a moth, but I count them all the same…) came fluttering by us. Before I could get a picture, it was gone. Such a sweet reminder of my girl at a moment that could have been sad because of wanting her to have been sharing that with us.

This evening we will be opening Christmas presents with my family (my mom, sister & nephew, my Dad couldn’t come down because of work), and our Tzeitel bear will be there with us as we open our presents, to share in that moment with us. I’m so glad to have little things in my every day life that allows us to keep her memory alive. I’m so glad that we have this sweet bear to give us all a connection, in a tangible way, to her.

I miss…

It occured to me today that there is alot of my life, before loss, that I miss alot. I’m not sure how much of it is my ADHD/depression/anxiety, and how much of it is missing my Tzeitel, and how much of it is a combination of both, but there is definitely alot that has changed. I miss the spunk that I used to have, the get up and go. Sure, I would have days that I felt lazy and didn’t want to do anything, but usually the next day I’d wake up and feel better. Now those days drag on for weeks. I miss wanting to clean and care for my home, to want to provide healthy, home cooked food for my family. Now I do those things, but with dread and without wanting to. I miss my innocence of thinking that having children could be an easy process, and that I’d get to bring that child home. 

Part of my feeling this way today is because I recently found out that there is a support group for bereaved parents in our area. I had been told for a year and a half that there wasn’t. I was over the moon to find out. Then… I got my first newsletter in the mail from them today. It is pretty much completely aimed at parents who lost their children as children or adults. The meeting list coming up featured themes such as “Your child’s posession” and “small groups about the cause of death”. I have not felt angry towards my situation until today. It makes me angry that a group like this is necessary. It makes me angry that this particular group isn’t able to cater to pregnancy and infant loss. It makes me angry that I am not able to take the training yet to be able to start a PAIL specific group. I am not angry at anyone person, and definitely not angry at God, just at the situation. 

Christmas is coming up. This has always, always, ALWAYS been my favorite time of year. We got married 4 days after Christmas, because I LOVE this time of year. BUT. I should have an 11 month old baby tottering around, getting into things, sampling yummy foods. And instead, I have empty arms and an empty place in my heart. Her due date is less than a month after Christmas, and only 10 days after my birthday. Each and every day I have to get up, and choose joy. Let me explain this. Joy does not mean I’m happy. Most days it takes alot to muster up happy. Joy means that I know that my God reigns and that He knows how my story will end. Joy means that no matter how my day goes, God is still in charge, and I will follow Him, to the best of my abilities. Praise God for joy. It only comes through Him. 

I am going to try to start blogging on a more regular basis. To get my feelings out. To help others to understand what it’s like to live after loss. To help others to realize that there is LIFE after loss. To help others to know that JOY comes only from God. ❤