Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Brave Thing To Do...

Last year we sent a Prayer Flag to Australia, to Christian's Beach for a ceremony on August 19th in remembrance of Zoe Jane. The flag that I made for her was strung up across the beach along with about 350 others from across the world.

It is late tonight and I have been having a hard time sleeping the past few days. Tonight I was looking over a few websites that I love and realized that August 19th is upon us again. I will make another flag and take it to her this weekend...

Last year at this time I was completely broken and the worst had just begun. There were things in my life that happened that I wasn't so sure I could recover from. Zoe's death being the starting point, my world systematically fell apart month by month. After getting through the really bad times we made changes in our lives and moved to a new place. It was hard. It was a big decision. But it was the brave thing to do.

I remember in the movie, You've Got Mail, Meg Ryan's character is forced to close her children's book store because of a large chain store that moved in around the corner. Her business associate told her that "Closing the store is the brave thing to do." I always think of this when I am faced with a hard decision. When I am faced with an issue that is heartbreaking or an issue that may hurt my pride. Being brave is the key. God has plans for all of us and if we do not seek His will then we may have to face hard decisions. Make changes in our lives to better ourselves. Make changes for our hearts, our health, our emotional well-being.

I know that I don't post many blogs anymore. Sometimes I just feel that people don't want to hear it. But the pain is still there. A little over a year and although I have forgotten how she felt in my arms and I didn't have near enough time to hold her, I am not and will never be over the loss of my only child.

The tears still flow, just sometimes late at night or when I am alone in the shower... every now and then when I look at the picture of her Daddy holding her and looking down at her tiny face. The nights when we are watching a movie and I just wish that she was asleep on my chest... sometimes when I see photos of my friends children that are the same age with their parents...

She holds the biggest part of my heart... the part with cracks and scars and pain. It gets watered all too often with my tears, but I will never forget her and the imprint that she made in my life.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Ripple Effect

The days of normalcy are gone. The trance like motions of life have taken their place. I can't remember a time when I was truly happy, and there have been things happen this year that should have given me those feelings of happiness.

I have a book that I bought in a coffee shop in Denton, Texas about 18 years ago... it is called 10,000 Things To Be Happy About. I remember thinking that I HAD to buy this book. It was so interesting to see that someone had actually published something like this. I used to look through that little book and put pencil marks on the things that I had experienced... the things that also made me happy. I should do that again. Surely among those pages are more experiences that I have encountered in my adult life that should make me happy.

I often wonder what is normal. Is it normal to loathe certain tasks? To not want to answer the phone? To cry for no reason? Is it normal to feel guilt because you can't get to the cemetery enough to put flowers out at your daughters grave? It's just up the road. I should be able to go every day and yet I put it off because of the emotion that it brings.

No one really understands how it changes you. You just can't enjoy things any longer. I wonder if the joys of life ever come back? Am I forever jaded because my daughter died? I laugh but it's not the same. I cry but it's not the same. I love but it's not the same.

Things don't matter as much and yet other things matter even more. There is this ripple effect that grieving leaves you with. It is often noticed that people who lose spouses go on to lead very different lives. They sometimes become more open, more adventurous, more fun. Were they scared to be that way when their spouse was with them? Were they not allowed to be their true self? Or were they just too busy pouring all of their energy into that other person that they forgot themselves?

I think it happens to everyone. You pour your heart and soul into a relationship or a friendship. You put all of your focus on your children and not your marriage, or vice versa. Someone always loses out. You miss paying attention to someone. Do we know that we do this? Do we understand that sometimes we need to stop and reevaluate where are energy lies?

I feel stretched in too many directions. Work, home, kids, business, personal. Then some days I feel like I don't do enough. Some days I do too much and my mind is still racing. Since losing Zoe I can't concentrate as well. I don't care as much and I think that everyone around me suffers... but how do you fix it? Is it time? Does time fix this? I have spoken to people who lost children years and years ago and they say the hurt never goes away... it just takes on a different form.

So I just go on.. one day at a time, letting this ripple flow through me and hoping that I can get through one more day without someone noticing how disjointed my life has become. There has to be peace somewhere. There has to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Someday I will find it. One day things will be different.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

To Be or Not To Be....A Mother

The past week has been filled with activity. What started out as a lost filling turned into a broken tooth and then an abscess. The pain was awful, and never having had a toothache in my life... I was a baby about it. Thanks to a really great friend in the dental field I made it through the weekend with medication and rest and then had surgery on Tuesday.

My recovery time is not as it used to be back in my younger days... and I say that as a 36 year old who still thinks about all the time that I wasted in my younger days. Today I was able to get out of the house a little and then had to return because I overdid it... trying to do too much and getting over something as simple as oral surgery can wear a person out. I missed a lot of work at the restaurant and floral shop and I have a great husband and staff who handled things for me.

So I sat in bed with my laptop and did paperwork for the business and returned e-mails. Later in the day I received a text from someone who wanted to discuss a situation... and the conversation turned to her feelings as a mother and how "if one day you ever become a mother then you will understand where I am coming from."

Rage. Seeing Red. Tears Falling Freely Soon Commence.

How dare this person stoop to this level and say that I am not a mother? This person who claims to be a supermom? This person who knows the hurt that resides within me? This person who is intentionally saying hateful things to me?

I was pregnant, I was in labor, I delivered a baby girl. She just wasn't breathing. I held her, I love her. She was here and I saw her.... She just wasn't breathing. Do you know what that does to your heart and soul? It literally rips into. The pieces never fit together just right again. There are gaps and crooked lines and places that don't match up.

This ever mending heart that I now have in no way means that I am not a mother. I wanted to be a mother to this beautiful little girl that was not breathing. People have no idea. I will never see her smile or dance or hear her laugh. I will never know what she looks like, how she talks. I will never feel her arms around my neck or hear her say that she loves me.

A Mother. How dare someone say that I am not a mother?

As a mother I have endured pain that others never have. I have grieved like some never will. I have prayed and hoped and cried buckets of tears for answers as to why I wasn't allowed to be a mother to a living child. I have worked hard to be a better person, I have seen what truly matters in life.I have made changes.

Just because my baby died doesn't mean that I didn't bond with her. It doesn't mean that I didn't talk and sing to her and dream big dreams for her. It certainly doesn't mean that I am not a mother.

I will say this. I am Zoe's mother. I would have been a great mother to Zoe Jane. She would have been a wonderful child. The only thing that gives me an ounce of peace is knowing that she is in Heaven and she is perfect. She is beautiful. She will never feel the hurt or anger that I felt today after being told that I was not a mother. She will never have to hear the hateful things that people say to one another on this Earth and she will never cry. She is forever happy with Our Father.

I have to forgive this person of their ignorant comment. It was meant to hurt me and they did a good job of it. I do know that Zoe watches us, she is here with us always and SHE knows that I am her mother. I may belong to a motherhood of women who still dream about the "what ifs," but I can tell you that we are a strong band of women who love our angels just as much as those mothers with living children.

Monday, May 27, 2013

And its been a YEAR...

Last Saturday was one year since Zoe Jane was born.

Can it be? Has it been that long since I held that tiny pink bundle and prayed that she was breathing?

I haven't blogged in a long while because my grief has taken several different turns over the last year and I am working on other outlets.

Some days I just don't have much to say.

But today, today I have a lot to say. Today I want everyone who reads this to do something for me.

I have never asked for anything. I know that a ton of people read this blog ( I see the numbers) and I am asking each and every one of you, from the bottom of my heart, to please read below and follow the directions.

There is a movie called Return to Zero that has been made about stillbirth. Yes, it sucks and its sad and no one wants to talk about it but I NEED to talk about it. You have all been on this journey with me after losing Zoe. She was stillborn. It was the worst day of my life. People didn't know what to say or what to do... I know this because I lost friends, gained others and have had people come to me a year later to tell me they just didn't know what to say to us.

Let me just tell you... this movie is needed. The silence needs to be broken. There are lots of topics/issues people make movies about and let me just be politically correct here and list a few:
Drug Addiction
Special Needs
I could sit here all night and go on and on....

Return to Zero is about Stillbirth. This movie has an amazing cast, an amazing writer and director, producers,  there were so many people who have pulled together to make this movie possible. This is a real movie, not a documentary, and we need to get it to theaters.

Now the loss community needs YOU. I have become a LOCAL LEADER in my community for this movie. I am telling people about it, I am becoming informed, I want people to see this movie.

I know that not everyone may be interested. I know that it is scary. Who wants to watch a movie about stillbirth? Well, let me tell you... people who have lost their children want to watch it. Our families want to watch it, our friends, our neighbors. They want to watch it because it will be an experience to see this film. It will take you through what we went through. It will open your eyes. It will allow you to see that we are normal people who were dealt a not so normal card. It will help you to understand that this is not an issue that should be ignored. We need to talk about the possibility of stillbirth. We need to start educating one another about it. There are a lot of things that we can do to educate about stillbirth, loss, grief and to get through it in a healthy way.

So here I am, one year after losing my Zoe Jane to stillbirth, asking you to please go to the following link and pledge to see this movie... list me as your Local Leader, say that you will try to go and see this movie... we need 150,000 people to pledge to see Return to Zero so that Hollywood will see that there is an audience for this movie. If we can get enough people to pledge to see it, then they will put it into theaters! It doesn't cost anything to pledge... it just takes a minute and it would mean so much to us!!!

In memory of Zoe Jane, please pledge to see Return to Zero.

Pledge Form:

To see a glimpse of this amazing movie click here:

I would love to hear that you pledged. I would love to know that you are BREAKING THE SILENCE and taking a brave step forward to help others in becoming educated about stillbirth, loss, grief and the effects that it has on ones life. Thank you in advance!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Here Comes Spring..

I have been doing pretty well the past couple of months. I made it through all the holidays without breaking down and I can go to Zoe's gravesite without tears, I thought things were going well....

But here come the daffodils, the sun, the wind and the general beauty of spring and I lose it. For several days now I will just cry for no reason. I will think of what size clothes she would be wearing and the cute bows that she could wear, not to mention Easter dresses and baskets.

It really sucks.

Today my friend Kathryn celebrates her son's first birthday, but her son is in Heaven too. She only had him here with her for 30 days. We often compare our situations and wonder which is worse... having them alive and seeing that personality and then losing them or in my situation, where I never saw Zoe breathe. I remember sitting in the hospital bed just praying that she would open her eyes and breathe... I think I really thought that if I prayed hard enough that it would happen.

Since losing Zoe Jane I have become educated. Educated on neonatal death, any and all causes of miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death. I have been asked to counsel other mothers dealing with grief, I have told my story a million times, because to hold it in is irresponsible. I think that telling my story has helped me so much more than the alternative.

People still look shocked when they ask if I have children and I replay with "two stepkids and a baby in heaven." I still see the pity in the eyes of people who ask me about children and I feel the need to constantly tell them that it is OK. It is OK that you asked, we tried and God needed her more...

I listened to an interview a few days ago with Miranda Dodson who is a singer/songwriter out of Austin, Texas. She experienced two miscarriages and then wrote a song entitled "Try Again." It asks if we should try again... should we dare to experience the grief that comes with loss in hopes that we can obtain that miracle that others take for granted. Look her up and listen. It is healing. And she just celebrated her little boys first birthday... after trying again.

So the house is decorated and all the little babies that I see are sporting their bright, spring colored outfits and are awaiting the Easter Bunny. My little girl will forever be under a beautiful tree with the breeze gently blowing; butterflies hovering about on a sunny day and I will continue to take her things that remind me of her during each season.

Hug those babies tight. Watch them while they sleep and remember that through all of the trials of life, whatever circumstance there may be, we can always try again. Sometimes, it works.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Making it past the holidays

So we had a white Christmas... the first one of my entire life. I loved it. I just stood at the window and watched in amazement as these huge snowflakes fell and blanketed everything within a couple of hours. We did lose power and spent a lot of time at the fire station with the other firemen and their families, but that turned out to be a blessing because we have made so many new friends. Christmas morning was really great for Bryan's kids and we had a nice time with family.

New Year came and went and I stopped for a moment to remember that last year I couldn't drink because I was pregnant with Zoe, and I was sad for a little while, wishing she was here.

Gearing up for Valentines Day was much like any other year of my floral career, ordering, planning, making snack and candy baskets and then filling orders into the night. But still, I wished that she was here. I wanted her to wear that sweet little fleece Valentine jacket that I bought last year. I wanted to have a new Valentine in my life.

I took flowers to her on Thursday afternoon. Roses. Tied with red ribbon and greenery. I was disappointed to see that her other silk flowers had blown away and I felt guilty for not checking on them sooner. She still doesn't have a headstone. I just haven't handled it yet and the expense right now is something that I can't do. We did put concrete pavers around her plot and filled them in with white rock so that it looks nice. I have big river rocks to paint and put out, but I haven't done it yet. Maybe I will do that today.

People still treat me as though I am fragile. I am stronger now than ever before. I still miss her. I still want a child but the fear of losing another one outweighs the desire to get pregnant.

I finally gave away all the things that I had bought for her. Just last week I mailed a big package to a friend with all of the really special things that I had bought. It made me feel lighter to send those things to a sweet baby so they could enjoy them.

Loss of any kind is hard and I found this video earlier today and it touched me... just wanted to share...

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Last week we all sat down together and made a Nativity Gingerbread house, complete with marshmallow sheep and coconut hay. Brendan read the Christmas Story from the Bible and we talked about the true meaning of Christmas.

The kids had fun making the scene and eating the leftover candy... and we were proud of our accomplishment, although the whole thing was a little crooked.

Tonight I am sitting in our front room where there are two decorated trees and a mantle full of vintage Santas and Elves. I love this room. There is no television and for the most part everyone leaves me alone if I am in here. I was thinking tonight that we needed to make our wishes for the year... We started the tradition last Christmas Eve, we all wrote a wish and placed them inside a beautiful "Wishes" ornament that two of my dearest friends gave to us as a wedding gift. This year as I was unpacking the ornaments, I found the wishes ornament. I opened it up and read the wishes from last year and immediately started crying. Last year on Christmas Eve we found out that we were expecting Zoe Jane. I took a test that morning and it was positive... we were so excited. Brendan and Keira had wished for toys, of course. Bryan had wished that Brendan, Keira and his new little one would be happy and healthy, and I wished for a baby girl. I am almost afraid to wish this year. It seems that some of our wishes came true, but the most important ones didn't.

I don't even know what to wish for at all. I am not ready to try again. I have no desire to be pregnant anytime soon. I would be sick with worry the whole time. Bryan wishes that we can still be here, doing what we are doing next year... I agree with him but most of all I just wish to be happy again. There are too many things that have crushed my spirit, broken my heart and made me lose faith in the very things that I used to treasure. I think that people take for granted happiness and joy. When you have nothing to grieve then it is a natural tendency to be happy. Then grief sucks the life out of you and makes you feel nothing but every stitch of hurt and pain.

It is the day before Christmas Eve, we have not finished our Santa shopping and have decided to not buy gifts for one another because we have spent so much trying to get back to simple and normal that we just really can't do a lot this year. I have the lists for the kids and will get those things tomorrow. I have made some special things for family and I hope everyone understands how much I wish to buy everyone something nice.

Tomorrow will not be a happy day for me, but I will find the strength to fill the house with excitement for Brendan and Keira, this will be their third Christmas with us and they are so excited they can barely sleep.

I want next year to be different. I want to be happier, more prepared and just enjoy the season. Now that it is almost over I really do not want to take down all of my Christmas decor. It will be sad to pack it up for another year. I am not sure if I will blog tomorrow, but with this writing before Christmas I wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Love one another, hug those kids tight and remember that Jesus was born to give us eternal life. I do find comfort in knowing that Zoe Jane is in Heaven with Him, celebrating right along with us.