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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

birth and death

i typed up the details of jedi's death awhile ago. i just needed to do it for myself. i've never experienced death first hand. and nobody really talks about it so i wasn't sure what to expect. i may post it- just because. because i don't think it should be taboo. i don't think it should be something you don't know anything about until it happens. it would have been beneficial- i think- to have known at least a little bit of what to expect.
as a mom- i prepare so in depth for birth. but when preparing for death there are almost no sources of information out there. other mom's blogs were beneficial to a point- but didn't really go into detail either.
i think what shocked me the most was the eerie similarity to birth. how your whole body is tingling and alert. you stand on the edge of the earth. looking forward, you see yourself and the new life you will lead. looking back you see your life, how it was- how very different it was.
i think if i were to change anything i'd change the mortuary we used. it felt so wrong handing jedi's body over to absolute strangers. i watched a pbs special on netflix called "a family undertaking" and i longed to have that as an option. chris wasn't comfortable with handling body preparation at home- but i think once we experienced how wrong dealing with strangers felt it gave us a different perspective.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

baby's first Christmas

i really wanted a stocking for jedi so we headed to the store. The
selection was vast but all of them weren't right. a few of the kids
wanted the baby blue "baby's first Christmas" stocking- and while that
sounds quaint but lofty I wasn't feeling it. we went to the yarn
section and got some yarn- chunky so it wouldn't take long:)
when it was finished mary jane wanted to buy toys and candy to fill it
with. i told her that he didn't have a body right now- that he flys
and floats like the wind. but i think i will let her pick out
something for him:)
samantha had a philips lightbulb of an idea. she proposed that we
write notes to jedi and since st nicholas lives in heaven he could
leave the toys and take the notes back up to jedi.
i think that is a fabulous idea.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


chris made me open an early Christmas present a few weeks ago. he
went and bought the two of us tickets to rome. he felt we needed
something to look forward to.
i am so excited to go- i've never needed a passport for a trip before.
there is one thing i want to see when i am there. michelangelo's
pieta. there is something so moving about the image of mary holding
her son's limp lifeless body. it touches me. sometimes instead of
cracking open my pieta prayer book i just stare at the picture on the
cover. i just think of her. how she must have suffered. the
catholic church calls her the coredemptrix- and i can totally
understand that now. how much of a role her suffering played-how much
of a role OUR suffering plays in the salvation of others. we are one
body. one body in Christ. our suffering is His.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

another cs lewis quote- on photographs

"it doesn't matter that all the photographs of H.(his deceased wife)
are bad. it doesn't matter-not much- if my memory of her is
imperfect. images, whether on paper or in the mind, are not important
for themselves. merely links. take a parallel from an infinitely
higher sphere. tomorrow morning a priest will give me a little round,
thin, cold, tasteless wafer. is it a disadvantage- is it not in some
ways an advantage- that it can't pretend the least resemblance to that
with which it unites me?
i need Christ, not something that resembles Him. i want H., not
something that is like her. a really good photograph might become in
the end a snare, a horror, and an obstacle."

cs lewis-
a grief considered

i highly suggest this book to anyone who has experienced the loss of a
loved one. only 76 pages- i wish it were longer, but it is so good
just as it is.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

forgotten stash of videos

i was feeling down- sad because i felt that we should have taken more video of him- when i found a forgotten stash, taken by my sister christina's iphone. if you are expecting a baby that won't live long- have someone take as much video as possible! i sit and watch these videos over and over sometimes. and having videos of different situations is nice.

his cleft lip left mouth breathing as his only option. so his mouth would become dry quickly. if left dry for too long, ulcers would form. so we would routinely sponge some water onto his lips. sometimes he would open his mouth really big and then clamp down on the sponge- the result was a big gulp of water! his eyes would widen and you could tell he liked it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

the burial

jedi's coffin was made of pine wood by my dear friend maryann marshall's husband, joe. he did such a beautiful job- i hated to mar the work with crayons and markers but i felt that it would be a good theraputic step to have all the kids write messages of love on the coffin. the cousins stepped in and it was so good for me to see them all huddled together- to read their messages- he was their cousin. they accepted him without a blink. he was one of them. it will be a memory that i cherish for a long long time.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

i love this picture

this picture really sums up the past few months- i really feel like we've leaned on each other so much and that has brought us closer.

the joy and the pain

i haven't blogged very much recently. i've thought about why and agonized over it.
on one hand i need you all's prayers.
on the other, i don't want to scare anyone.
the grief i'm feeling can be overwhelming at times. overwhelming-and nasty- and messy- and i'm scared that if i blog openly about it i may cause a future mom to make a decision she may forever regret.
i think my 8 year old son max could sum it up perfectly.
we were sharing thoughts about the first joyful mystery. my thought was- "i bet mary was scared. i mean, gabriel said 'be not afraid'. why did he say that? she must have looked scared. she must have been confused. but the important part is- through her fright and confusion- she said 'yes'- 'be it done to me according to thy word'."
then i told them, "daddy and i were scared. and confused. but we said yes. let's pray for women out there- women who are scared and confused and want to say yes but feel like they can't."
then max said, "but if they said 'no' they would just have the sadness and not have the good times."
amen max, amen.
thank you God- for sheltering me through so i could experience the good times.
thank you for my parents- who raised me to never ask "why me?" and always ask "why NOT me?"

Monday, December 6, 2010

quote from cs lewis

susan mailed me a book a few days-
i love cs lewis- and this book makes me feel like he is my companion
on this journey. written after he lost his wife- it is called "a
grief observed"
This quote particularly struck me-

"if a mother is mourning not for what she has lost but for what her
dead child has lost, it is a comfort to believe that the child has not
lost the end for which he was created. and it is a comfort to believe
that she herself, in losing her chief or only natural happiness, has
not lost a greater thing, that she may still hope to 'glorify God and
enjoy Him forever'. a comfort to the God-aimed, eternal spirit within
her. but not to her motherhood. the specifically maternal happiness
must be written off. never, in any place or time, will she have her
son on her knees, or bathe him, or tell him a story, or plan for his
future, or see her grandchild."

another part of the human dilemma-
my maternal humanity stuggles with the soul within.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

one month birthday

we went to visit jedi's grave today to remember him.
the mile hike through the nature preserve was just what we needed to
prepare ourselves. we talked and walked. the older kids ran and
collected sticks, rocks, leaves.
it was cold and windy but our hearts were warm- being together and
remembering his sweetness.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

the balloon on the ceiling

it's there every morning i wake up. it came free from it's string
soon after we brought jedi home an has been on the ceiling since. he
used to like to look at it up there. part of me wants to retrieve it
and take it outside and set it free. but with all the vanishing
evidence of jedi- i kind of want to keep it around.
wednesday night i met up with the father of a newborn that was in need
of milk. i handed him a bag full of litle frozen milk packets. i
didn't think it would be hard- and it wasn't, but it was another
physical reminder of our bond- gone. i got the sweetest message from
the baby's mother- along with a picture- it lifted my spirits to be

i am trying to get back in shape. but part of me feels guilty for
trying to burn off his babyweight. this is a whole new world of
mother's guilt that i am feeling.
if i am having a good day and something makes me laugh- i feel bad for
having a good day.
these thoughts are only there for a split second before i banish them-
but they still occur often enough.

Friday, December 3, 2010

essential oil massage

scroll down and pause the ipod player- you HAVE to hear the cute little noise he makes when i stroke his forearm:)
i love this video! my sister, regina, shared it on youtube and i had to post it for you all.
the essential oil blend that we used as a belly rub when he was in utero was made by my good friend maryann marshall. she specially formulated the blend to be beneficial for optimal DNA development. the scent is all over his blankets and i made sure to store them in big ziploc bags so that his scent remains strong on them.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

~ You wouldn't cry for me today ~ by mandisa

denise, thank you for sharing this song and slideshow with us. the kids really loved it! they were all saying "i want to go there!!!"

link within

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