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It’s been a long time….

  • Posted on July 4, 2020 at 12:47 am

I often write long blog posts in my head with the intention of sitting down and physically writing them out. But, then, that doesn’t happen and the weeks pass by, then the months, and here we are at the years passing by.

Passing by too quickly, I might add.

I just turned 44 years old. I don’t know that I’m happy to turn 44. I honestly wish I could pause time for myself and watch Gracie grow into the beautiful young woman I know she’ll become. But, in order for her to grow up, I must also grow older. Growing older sucks. I look at pictures of myself when I was younger and I almost don’t recognize myself. I look at myself in the mirror and don’t see that young face.

Time Whirls By

  • Posted on October 14, 2014 at 2:10 pm

As the halfway point of my daughter turning four and a half approaches, I am forever thankful that I have been able to watch her grow, mature, and become this little ball of energy.

I’m in a weird funk right now. I let myself get talked into teaching a book to my seniors that rips me up inside. I don’t know why I do this to myself. It’s a heartbreaking, wrenching story that I can’t help imagining myself belonging. I’ve already experienced tragedy and loss and the worst of it, I live in constant fear of something happening to my daughter. Every morning as I stumble through my routine of getting ready for the day, I breathe a sigh of relief that my daughter made it through unscathed.

I have always been a worrier. But, now, as my daughter gets older and I worry that some stranger will see how beautiful she is and try to take her from me, I live in constant fear. I live in constant fear that in the brief moment she walks away from me and I’m not holding her hand, something will happen to her. I try not to be a helicopter parent, but I just can’t shake my distrust of people in general.

She is so trusting and her innocence is heartbreaking.  I think that’s why the book my students are reading physically hurts my heart.  I can’t let anything like that happen to her and I’m afraid it will.  I go about my life, wondering if that family of four I just walk by thinks about these things?  For some, tragedy never touches them.  They don’t know what it’s like to lose a baby.  Now, I’m terrified that because I lost Benjamin, I’ll somehow lose Gracie, too.

Sometimes, Life Gets a Little Busy…

  • Posted on April 1, 2013 at 5:36 pm

It’s been over a year since I posted anything.  I write whole blog posts in my head, but when I actually have the time to sit down and write, I end up doing other things.

Gracie is almost three years old now.  For 2013, I decided to take a picture of her every day.  I was planning on posting a monthly grouping of pictures here, but haven’t even gotten around to doing that.  But, I want to… and I will.  She went up to stay with grandma for almost a week, so I’ll have to cheat a little when it comes to her pictures, since I don’t think grandma and grandpa took any pictures of her each day.

I’ve had a lot of stress in my life, too.  I teach high school students and coach a swim team.  I love coaching my swim team, even if it is a lot of work, but lately, I’ve been finding myself wondering more and more if teaching is really what I should be doing with my life.  I’m stressed out more days than not and have no desire to really care as much as I used to.  I can’t be an effective teacher to my students if the district thinks it’s OK to shove 44 students into one room.  How am I to be effective to them when there are that many students?  Not only that, but the pressure from the district to hold teachers accountable for student achievement on tests is frightening.  I have several students who are failing all their classes and have been for years.   Their failure will now be a part of my evaluation.  Not only that, but state testing has become the norm and all we do is teach students to take a test.  Forget reading literature, learning how to write research papers, or how to analyze poetry.  It’s all drill and kill now… teach to a test.  What kind of education is that?  And, the icing on the cake, so to speak, is that most students aren’t ready for college-level writing when they get there.  Why?  I don’t have the time to teach them writing like I used to.  Why?  Because the district has been chomping at the bit to reconstitute our school and to keep them at bay, we wrote up a plan to show them we were trying to fix what was wrong.  In the plan, we’re expected to teach an extra class with the same amount of pay, with a ridiculously wacky schedule.  Every day, I have to mentally prepare for an hour-long class in the morning, and then after an eight minute passing period, I have a block-scheduled class come in.  I do that four times a week.  It’s insane.  It makes my head  hurt just thinking about it.  I am constantly running out of time with the curriculum I used to teach.

Maybe I should just stick to posting pictures of my daughter.  She’s cuter, anyway.  😉

2013-03-30 15.04.40

I don’t know of anyone who even reads this blog anymore, so if I start writing about my dad, I hope people don’t mind.  I need to get things off my chest about him, too.  If anything, I wish my dad wasn’t such a manipulative, narcissistic, and “it’s all about me” kind of person.  He has missed the last two years of my daughter’s young life because of his behavior.  It just saddens me.  I feel like an orphan a lot of the time.

Gotta go pick up the munchkin.




Blog Challenge: Day 10

  • Posted on October 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm

If you have Rainbows or older children, do they know and remember your angel(s)?

Gracie is older by a minute.  But, she’s still too young to understand who Benjamin is and why he’s not with us.  We don’t have any other children.  Gracie and Benjamin were our first and we had hoped, the only two we would have.  It’s been a huge struggle for us to even have a family, so we’re incredibly thankful that we were even given the opportunity/chance to have them.  If it wasn’t for modern medicine and technology, I wouldn’t have ever been able to have a child.

Blog Challenge: Day 9

  • Posted on October 9, 2011 at 12:06 pm

If you have other children, how has your loss affected them?  If you don’t other children how has your loss affected your relationship with your partner?

It’s really too soon to know exactly how Gracie feels about the loss of her brother, though I often wonder if she can sense his absence on some subconscious level.  After all, she spent almost seven months sharing a space with him.  I know she’ll want to know who he is.  One of the main reasons we had him laid to rest in Westminster is so that we all would have a place to go to visit him.  I wanted Gracie to be able to give him a flower if she so chose and for her to have a physical place to visit.  Benjamin’s a part of our lives, even though he’s gone.  She’ll always be a twin, even though her twin brother isn’t with her physically.

Blog Challenge: Day 8

  • Posted on October 8, 2011 at 11:32 am

Do you feel you have more good days than bad ones?

Eh.  It depends, but I’ve found that in this past year since Benjamin’s passing, I am more sad.  It’s not that I have more bad days than good days – they’re all about the same, but I just have a constant sadness that follows me around.  It’s become a part of me, something that I’ll never be able to get rid of.  I suppose it’s better to say that I have my moments within those good days, bad days, so-so days that makes my heart hurt.

Blog Challenge: Day 6

  • Posted on October 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm

How do you answer the question of how many children you have?

Usually, I say I had twins, but one of them passed away.  I am a mother of twins, and will always be a mother of twins, and my daughter will always be a twin.

I know it makes some people uncomfortable, talking about a baby who passed away, but I feel it’s necessary that people know.  If I don’t say anything, then Benjamin never really existed.  And, he did.  I felt him move in my stomach and I was able to hear his little heart beating for three weeks, while I was in the hospital.  I feel the least I can do to honor him is to say that he did exist, even if only for a little while.

Blog Challenge: Day 5

  • Posted on October 5, 2011 at 11:28 am

Do you ever get subtle reminders of your angel?  If so, what are they?

Benjamin’s marker has a hummingbird on it because we felt that a hummingbird would best represent him.  Something so small that works so hard to survive… it just seemed fitting for him.  I see hummingbirds all the time and every time I see one, I think of him.  But, even when I don’t see a hummingbird, I think of him.

I also have a necklace I wear with the twins’ names on it.  It’s a sterling silver hand-poured circle, with their names on one side and on the back, the words, “our beloved son” with the date of their birth.  On the same chain, next to the circle, I have a crescent moon charm with Benjamin’s name stamped on it.  I wear this necklace every day and rarely take it off.  Gracie loves to hold it in her hand and wave it around, and because of this, I’ve had to replace the jump ring the original pendant was hanging from.  That’s OK.  It’ll be hers one day, anyway.

Blog Challenge: Day 4

  • Posted on October 4, 2011 at 9:10 am

Through your grief process what has kept you going?

Oh my… my husband and my daughter, most definitely.

My art, too.

One day, I was looking through my teacher things and came across a poem.  My students were reading “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck and I was looking for supplemental materials to tie in to the story.  I had stashed a poem by Emily Dickinson away in a folder and pulled it out to read it.

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul
and sings the tune–without the words
and never stops at all.”
~Emily Dickinson

I couldn’t get that part of the poem out of my brain.  It stuck there, swirling around when I got up in the morning and when I went to bed at night.  I suddenly, finally, had an urge to create something.  My first idea was to take the poem and make pendants out of it to give to other women at the hospital who had lost their babies.  Then, it morphed into memory boxes, the poem handwritten around the bottom of the box.  These I also donated to the hospital.

Then, I started making beaded bookmarks, which then morphed into lanyards when a nurse at the support group I attend suggested I make lanyards out of the beaded strands I had.

I have found my creative streak again and it makes me happy to create things in honor of my son.  I miss him every day but being able to create something in his honor helps me feel closer to him.

Warm Up #8:

· Think of horror stories that you have read or seen at the movies. Which did you find the most terrifying? What was so scary about them? Why do you think people enjoy horror tales?

Blog Challenge: Day 3

  • Posted on October 3, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Through your grief process who has been your “rock”?

I’d have to say that my rock would have to be my husband, Michael.  I know that going through something like this would be extremely difficult to do alone.  It’s already difficult, even when we’re able to support each other.  He’s always been there for me to lean on and I appreciate that in him.  Even when something little makes me feel sad, he’s there to support and comfort me.

Gracie is also my little rock.  I’m incredibly grateful for being her mama and she has steadied me in a way I didn’t think possible.  In this storm of a life we live, there she sits, with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye.

Today is my birthday.  I would rather have stayed at home with Michael and Gracie, but I went to work.  It was nice to come home and see my little family waiting for me.