Mar 30, 2009

The Measure of a Man

My husband called me from work the morning of March 10th to tell me that his grandpa, who was in the hospital, was dying. He was leaving work right away to pick us up so we could make the 2 hour drive to where his grandparents live. If ever in my life I wished I could move the earth, it was that day. We were over half way there when Dom's cell phone rang. He whispered to me, he's dead, and my heart sank. I saw in Dom's eyes the pain of someone who had just lost their hero. Thankfully, we made it to the hospital in time to say goodbye before they moved grandpa from the room. And thus began a grief filled week which ended with a funeral, far too close in time to Sydne's. But there is one thing that stands out above the rest. Dom and I were in the car heading back to his grandparents house from the store, and we were talking about his grandpa of course. It was in this conversation that he stopped, paused, and then said the words I will always remember. "He was the greatest man I knew" Now to make this statement even more powerful, Dom knows some pretty remarkable men, a few of which probably have a direct line to Jesus, if you know what I'm getting at. So that was a powerful statement.
Now you may think that this post will be about Grandpa. But the more I thought about how to convey his greatness, the more I realized in order to do that, I needed to talk about my husband. Cause after all, as he says, he learned everything he knows about being a man from his grandpa.
I may not have mentioned this before, and if I haven't, I am remiss in my thinking, but I have the most wonderful husband any woman could ever find. He is a true warrior, a protector of women, a chivalrous prince, who has spent everyday since we met fighting for me. And what's more, he understands the concept of marriage. He comprehends (and sometimes reminds me) that marriage is not easy, but rather a beautiful challenge that two people partake upon together. That it is a living breathing entity that must daily be nurtured and cared for. He gets that marriage is constant work, hard work, the most important job anyone will ever have. And because of that understanding and commitment, we love each other more today than when we said I do.
I used the word chivalrous. Some women would say old-fashion. But I love it. (Maybe in another post I'll explain why) He opens doors for me. he carries things for me. He helps out around the house (sometimes doing more than I do!). He cooks. He's paid for every meal since the day we met. He knows how to treat a woman with respect and dignity. He never ceases to tell me I'm beautiful, always making me feel like a princess. And he respects all women, not just me. He fights for all women, which makes me love him even more. He would do whatever it took to take care of his family. And he wouldn't complain. He leaves work at work. When he's home, as long as I'm awake, I have his attention when I want it. His job is always secondary to us. He finds new ways to demonstrate his love for me, whether in a card, flowers, etc. He gave up college for me (a long story for a later time). He fought for me when I wouldn't fight for myself. He pushes me, challenges me to be a better person. And I am eternally grateful. He is my real fairy tale prince.
And for that I would like to thank his grandpa. You can't teach someone something unless you yourself know and live it. And that is why everything I just said about my husband is a reflection of grandpa as well. I am forever grateful to you grandpa for being the great man you were and helping my husband become the great man he is today. I pray that Dom and I can have 53 wonderful years together as you and grandma had. In the true measure of a man, you surpassed my imagination. You gave me the greatest gift anyone could have given me. You taught my husband how to be like you.

Jan 5, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year...... a little late! I'm not that great with new year's resolutions. But, my friends and I are starting a bucket list. For those not familiar with that phrase, it comes from the saying "kick the bucket", referring to death. Basically a bucket list is just a list of things you want to try to do before you die. Obviously, I'm not planning on dying anytime soon, but my friends and I thought we might as well start now. That way we can help each other with our goals. So mine is in progress. I'll post it when its further along.
As for, what a year. I certainly learned alot this year. More than any years past. And most of it my daughter Sydne taught me. Like how to ask for help and support. And what being a parent is all about. I learned how to rely completely on God and how to surrender to His will. I learned that there is no replacement for true friends. And that my hubby and I can get through anything, as long as we have each other.
My prayer for this new year is this: May we all strive to grow in relationship with God, and may we see God in all our relationships. Happy New Year!

Dec 17, 2008


I found this poem on a blog I came across and wanted to share it. Sometimes no matter how much you try, its hard to find words at times for what you really want to say. And so you borrow other's words until you can find your own again.

Please Be Gentle
By Jill B. Englar

Please be gentle with me for I am grieving.
The sea I swim in is a lonely one
and the shore seems miles away.
Waves of despair numb my soul
as I struggle through each day.
My heart is heavy with sorrow.
I want to shout and scream
and repeatedly ask 'why?'
At times, my grief overwhelms me
and I weep bitterly, so great is my loss.
Please don’t turn away
or tell me to move on with my life.
I must embrace my pain
before I can begin to heal.
Companion me through tears
and sit with me in loving silence.
Honor where I am in my journey,
not where you think I should be.
Listen patiently to my story,
I may need to tell it over and over again.
It’s how I begin to grasp the enormity of my loss.
Nurture me through the weeks and months ahead.
Forgive me when I seem distant and inconsolable.
A small flame still burns within my heart,
and shared memories may trigger
both laughter and tears.
I need your support and understanding.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve.
I must find my own path.
Please, will you walk beside me?

Also, a very blessed Advent to everyone. May this final week bring time to reflect, relax, and rest in the arms of our Savior. I know I'm going to make every attempt to get to confession sometime this week in preperation for Christmas. How are you preparing your inner self?

Dec 15, 2008

A quick hello

Hello all there out there in blogging land. Just a quick stop to say hi. I got a new laptop (an early christmas present- thanks mom and dad!) so that I can access this blog more often to write. Now I just have to figure out how to work that into my day, and find time for everything else, especially my beloved nap. I am still really tired these days. Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know that I'm still putting one foot in front of the next, with a little wobbling along the way. There is so much to say and hopefully I can figure out a time schedule to blog that fits in with everything else. For now, I wanted to post a song that has meant alot to me over the past few months. A great reminder of what its all about. And also, please keep my daughter in your prayers. She has to have outpatient surgery on Wed to open her tear ducts. Its a simple procedure, but they have to put her out and I'm sure she'll be a little scared (along with her mama!)

Bring the Rain by Mercy Me

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times

So I pray
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain

Holy, holy, holyIs the Lord God Almighty

Dec 3, 2008

Missing Pieces

I'm not the same person I was this time last year. I'm not even the same person I was 6 weeks ago. So much has changed. And so much will never be the same. There are pieces missing now. Pieces of me that have been left behind somehow over the past year. Different pieces in different places, but they all have one thing in common. They each helped make up the person I was, and I'm not sure if I will get them all back.
There is a piece of me in the ultrasound room at my doctors office, still hanging on to her words: "There seems to be some problems". There is a piece of me back in the office of the neonatologist, still reeling about how I am suppose to decide what means of resuscitation I do or do not want performed for my daughter. And there is a piece somewhere on highway 270 where I found out that Sydne indeed did not have any kidneys. These pieces I'm sure I'll get back over time. Some I'm already starting to feel again. And as time moves forward into further resolution, they will find there way back. But there are a few pieces that I'm not sure about.
There is a piece of my heart in room 3 of the Labor and Delivery floor of the Hospital. It's funny. After Sydne was born, they told us we could go home whenever we wanted to. Basically, we didn't have to stay the whole 2 days the insurance paid for and people would usually stay for. And while the warmth of my bed at home was appealing, we stayed the entire time allotted by our insurance. Not because it was a medical necessity, but simply because I could not get myself to leave. I would have stayed in that room forever if they allowed me to, as if I knew I would leave something behind. I think about that room wondering how many other parents went through something similar between those four walls. How many different pieces of how many different hearts remain, shadows of the past. How many tears have stained the floor, and how many held hope as ours did, or were there some lost in complete emptiness. A piece of me remains there. A piece of who I am as a woman and a mother. A piece that perhaps has woven itself into the tapestry of the life of room 3.
There is a piece of me off Manchester road beneath a beautiful tree. There, amidst the stepping stones of life and death, among the purest of the pure life can offer, there I am. I think, had I been alone, I would have stood beside her casket all day and night. Again, wanting to hold on as long as possible to whatever I could. Instead, I placed the most beautiful pink roses I have ever seen on top of her grave site and kissed her one last time, from my mouth to my hand to her heart. And then, as I walked away, another piece of me stayed behind. A perfect piece of my heart buried itself that day, nestled next to the most miraculous creation. As if saying I've protected you up 'till now and will continue forever.
There is one last piece that is gone. But this one I did not leave. This one I gave freely. There, in that hospital room, as I held my beautiful Sydne, as her perfect heart slowly began to cease from beating. There, just before she would go to see her heavenly Daddy, I gave her the only thing I could think of: a piece of me. A piece of my heart that was created for and belongs only to her. A piece of her mommy that she can hold on to till we embrace again. And for me, the security that I will always be with her. That she will always know her mommy's love for her. That I will always be a part of her just as she is a part of me.
These last three pieces I may never get back. Truthfully, I do not want them back. They don't belong in me anymore. They belong there in room 3, perhaps if only to give some sort of strength to the next set of parents. They belong there in that precious grave, a piece of me lying with her, as only a mother could. And they belong with her, that piece that would be lonely had it stayed in my heart. That piece of me that needs to be with her. Those pieces of me that perhaps were hers all along. And while that means there may be holes inside, there may be an emptiness, a longing for everything I lost, an aching for my daughter, I do not fear that. For I know that God can take those holes and create something beautiful.