Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year

If I had it my way, I would've told 2012 where to go a long time ago.

But let's face it. This isn't Burger King. There's no getting it my way. And if there was, 2012 would've turned out a whole lot differently.

Don't get me wrong. There were some good moments. This one and this one come to mind.

But last year when I hung the 2012 calendar on our mudroom wall, this is not what I had in store for us.

So what did I have in mind?

Well, from the looks of the calendar, nothing too terribly special.

Basketball and BeLoved for Addie, plus piano lessons on Wednesday nights. Tumbling for Tripp and Isaac and a night class for me.

I'm sure the typical New Year's resolutions emerged on Jan. 1. Something about getting organized, losing a little weight, and making sure our finances were in order. After all, a trip to Disney was on the horizon, so we'd better get to saving.

There weren't plans for cancer.

And certainly not death.

I didn't think I'd have to tell two little boys that the big sister they hugged goodbye on Tuesday wasn't coming back.


And I didn't picture myself having to say it again and again and again when they just don't understand.

So if you'd asked me last week I would've told you that 2013 couldn't come soon enough.

But now, on the eve of this new year, I'm not so sure.

Because there's one thing 2012 has over 2013.

And that's two months and 26 days with Addie.


As 2012 comes to a close, look forward and look back. Resolve or choose not to. And no matter how big your babies are, hug them tight.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

And I Was Doing So 'Well'

File this under "crappy things parents who've lost children have to do."

By now the file has gotten pretty thick, but I think there's room for one more item.

How about the Dependent Child(ren) Verification Form from my insurance company? Said form arrived in the mail today marked Open Immediately. So I did (well, after I looked through a couple of Christmas cards and shoved another piece of monkey bread in my mouth).

I figured it was the official paperwork to have Little Miss Landry added to our plan.

It wasn't.

Listed across the top of the form were three names: Addison, Isaac, and Tripp. My children (minus Landry of course). My dependents.

Well isn't that a punch to the gut?

I figured somebody in some office somewhere would have taken care of that after Addie passed (pretty sure I mentioned it to the rep on the phone when going over the medical bills). Or maybe this is their way of taking care of it.

I'm not going to lie. Seeing only Isaac and Tripp's name on the form would have sent me into a tail spin too. But this. This requires me to explain what happened, admit my child is gone. In writing.

I have to do it by February 22 or my dependents' coverage will be canceled. Trust me. I don't want to lose any insurance benefits. But I don't want to check the box that says "Voluntary Removal" either.

To me, voluntary removal indicates choice.

No parent would choose this.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

'First' Snow

It's every kid's dream.


Lots of it.

The week before Christmas break.

Forecasters are predicting 8 inches in some areas. That, coupled with high winds, is going to make for some nasty conditions that could possibly result in a (dare I say) snow day tomorrow.

All I can say is thank goodness I'm on maternity leave ('cause I can't think of anything that could get the kiddos more riled up than the possibility of a snow day two days before school is supposed to let out).

And Isaac is one of those riled up kiddos.

"I can hardly wait!" he exclaimed as I tucked him in last night.

Can't hardly wait is right. He and Tripp were up at 6:30 this morning peeking out the windows. You can imagine their disappointment when they realized not a trace of snow had touched the ground.

I reassured Isaac the snow would most definitely come later today. After lunch, I said. It's now 2:11, there's no snow and he probably thinks I'm a big fat liar.

Oh well.

As a kindergartner, Isaac has yet to realize the beauty of a snow day. Let's face it. Getting a day off from school isn't even on his radar. He just wants to see snow.

Not Addie.

She loved snow days. Loved them. And realized what a gift they were.

She and I would sit with our eyes glued to the TV just waiting to see our school cancellations crawl across the bottom of the screen. Because snow days meant sleeping in (as much as an excited kid could stand to anyway) and staying in our jammies all day long.

So it will be interesting to see how things will pan out with this storm. I'm pretty sure the snow will come. And that makes me a little bit sad.

Because who's going to build snow forts with the boys tomorrow?

Tripp, Isaac, and Addie ready for the snow last February.

I've got the baby to tend to, dad will be at work, and Addie's...


Trust me, it's not like I ever forget that. But this is a "first" and anytime there's a first anything I know it's going to be a tougher day than most.

Because my mind will go back to better days and will inevitably settle on the last time we did this or did that as a family.

Like this day taken from Addie's journal:

Feb. 4 Sat.
Age: 9

It snowed finally a lot! We are going to make a fort.

And they did.
Boys vs. Girls
Dad gets in on the action. 
Getting ready to strike.
Take that.
And that.
If I could live in this moment forever, I would.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I know you've said it.

And I have too.

I can't even imagine.

I can't.

And I've lost a child.

But I honestly cannot imagine the horror that took place in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday.

I don't want to.

And yet, I tuned into the news coverage over the weekend, in an attempt to wrap my head around what happened. In doing so, I caught glimpses of parents, their faces awash in shock, disbelief, and grief. I guess it's only natural that I saw myself in them, felt their knees buckle and their stomachs get all knotted up.

But, I'm willing to bet you did too.

As coverage unfolded, names of the victims were released. And then, photographs began popping up on social media sites. Photographs of the children, those sweet, sweet children. And their smiles.

Such a stark contrast.

What was and what will be.

It's not often that I'm at a loss for words, but today there are no words really. Just hurt.

And for that, I'm so sorry.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Close Call

As moms, we're hard-wired to worry.

And I did plenty of worrying before.

I worried about kids crossing streets, the accident that would wipe out my entire family and that sketchy looking guy in the van.

I worried about peanuts and products with peanuts in them, West Nile Virus and H1N1. Remember standing in line for that vaccine?

But today I take worrying to a whole new level.

I worry that one of the boys is going to hit his head on the hearth during one of their infamous living room wrestling matches. Seems like a valid concern, right? How about I take it further than a nasty headache? I know what you're thinking. Concussion. Nope. How about a brain bleed? 'Cause that's where my mind goes.

I worry Isaac's going to pin (pound might be more accurate) Tripp just right, and that heart of his - with its tiny hole - is going to up and stop.

I worry about fevers.

Ugh, fevers.

That's what started this whole thing.

This week Tripp had one two nights in a row. Lucky for me our pediatrician understands I might have the tendency to worry more than the typical mom and gave me her cell number on our first visit. But I don't want to be that mom. Oh who am I kidding? I am that mom. Well, certainly the mom no one wants to be.

But I didn't call (and I hope I don't end up regretting that decision).

Anyway, we're moms and we worry. Usually about all the bad things we anticipate happening.

Considering what our family's gone through, you'd think I'd anticipated just about everything. I thought I had - until Isaac pulled our chest of drawers on top of him this morning.

Scott and I had just finished a conversation as to whether Isaac should go to school today or not. By finish, I mean we had acknowledged the fact that he had a hard-core cold and maybe he'd benefit from a day home taking it easy. But no real decision had been made.

Scott hopped into the shower and I laid down to feed Landry.

I closed my eyes and listened to the sounds of the shower.

Minutes later, I heard Isaac's voice at the bathroom door. Something about how long 'til you're out of the shower?

Then, a crash.

My God, My God.

The baby's on the bed and I'm...

You know those stories about people developing super-human strength in the face of danger? I'm thinking about the one where the wife is 5-foot nothing and lifts the car off her husband after the jack collapses.

That was me - with a little help from Scott who came sprinting out of the bathroom.

I had no idea what I was going to find under the dresser. I feared what I might find under the dresser. You know where my mind went.

And then.

Screams. Hysterical screams from Isaac. I scooped him up, carried him to the bed, and let my heart and his pound, pound it out.

And thought.

Thank God.

Thank God our bed was where it was (it helped stop the dresser from making full impact). Thank God we had traded the monstrous TV on top of the dresser for a tiny flat screen. Thank God I was only 10 feet away from Isaac when it happened.

So Isaac stayed home with me and we spent the morning nursing that nasty cold and his wounds. I'm not going to lie. He looked pretty rough. But, if the fact that he was fighting invisible bad guys later in the day is any indication, I think it's safe to say he's going to be alright.

But this mom is still a little shaken.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Asked & Answered


Why Addie?

Why our family?

Why me?

These are the questions a mother - with a heart  broken and a spirit bruised - asks her God.

In the morning. At night. On a run out in the country. In the car on the way home from work. 


And there were more.

Why a baby? Why now?

It just didn't make any sense.



As I looked into little Landry Olivia's beautiful blue eyes, I realized this 7 pound, 14 ounce being was sent to save me.

Without her, without this pregnancy, I don't know where I'd be. I don't even know if I'd be at all.

Grief took me to some dark, dark places and some days left me devastated and down-right despondent.

I'd be kidding myself if I thought I wouldn't see those days again.

But for now I can lose myself in the sweet sounds and smells of this little baby who is completely and totally dependent on me.

And hope that maybe, just maybe, big sister Addie and little sister Landry met somewhere between here and the here-after. Maybe.


Here are a few pictures from the hospital...

Just a few minutes old.
Mom, dad, and Landry.

Brothers checking her out.

Addie's favorite stuffed animal Moosey keeps
Landry company.

And here are a few photos from home...