Tuesday, September 17, 2013

And I hear voices....

I don't know about you, but I believe in God. I believe in Christ and in His infinite ability to communicate with us. I've been thinking about this blog posts for weeks. I've been meaning to sit down and write more, but life constantly gets in the way.

My son is dead. Isaac will turn 5 this coming April. It seems like forever ago and yesterday all at the same time. Some days I wish I could relive those moments with him alive in my arms, and some days I want to bolt from that reality. I look at little boys his age and my heart cringes. I hate the reminders. Of what should have been mine, of who he should be, and what his presence should be like in our family. He's missing. I miss him.

Some days I still clutch his blanket close, and remember that he touched the same cloth. That he was real and there. That I touched him and loved him and felt his body against mine. I have never washed that blanket. I never will. Touching that blanket is like touching him, we are one. Many days I feel his spirit in and around our home. I know he still lives, he lives in a spirit world, and I know that he is aware of our family and needs. I know he knows how much we love and miss him. I know that  heaven exists, that there are moments where the veil is so thin, that we are surrounded by those gone before us. Heaven is real. This is truth.

Call me crazy. But I have my own friend, spirit, guardian angel, family member - - maybe it's God, even, who communicates with me during only the most critical moments in life. I can count three times I have heard his voice. No, I am not nuts. Well, maybe a little, but not THAT kind of crazy. I think??

My dad, the asshole, the man that he was, chose a woman over my brother, sister, and I. She did not want kids, and apparently he did not either, because he gave us away. He gave us away to his friends. Louie and Val. Who also happened to be child molesters. I don't know how long it look, but Louie was after me. After all of us, I'm pretty sure, and maybe even after his own children. Initially we were made to share a bed with one of his daughters. She wet the bed and saturated my brother and I in urine every night. He and I ended up opting to sleep on the floor, huddled over a heating vent to keep warm. It was better than the other option - being cold and wet. That girl must have been hurting, we all were. I remember a particular moment when I first heard this voice. Louie was naked, in bed, his dog guarding the door way. I was petrified of that little dog, the dog hated me, too. Louis told me to get in bed with him. I felt sick to my stomach. I knew what was about to happen and I was terrified. I heard a man's voice in my head. I cannot really describe it. It was peaceful and loving and strong. Wise and comforting. The voice said: Tell Louie no. Leave the room. The dog will not hurt you. I did as I was instructed. The dog left me alone. And I can honestly say that I cannot remember a time that Louie ever touched me again after that moment. That moment was holy, I walked on sacred ground, I was protected.

The second time I heard the voice was soon after I received Isaac's diagnosis. The days after we knew Isaac would die were indescribable. We were so lost and broken and weary. I was so heartbroken with fear, over the possibility of my child bearing moments ending on that note. I just could not imagine it. Who survives that? As I lay in bed, my mind was wandering. How would I get the children through this? How would Andrew cope? Could I really carry a baby to term that would die? What was it like to have your own baby die in your arms? Would I lose my mind? Would I wail? Would I be strong enough to endure? As I lay there thinking, I heard the same voice again, like an old friend. He told me to let go of the fear. That I would bare another child again. And that the child would be a healthy baby boy. That we would get to keep him.

Isaac came, he swooped right into our lives, and then right back to heaven. Andrew and I knew that we would try again for another baby. What we did not know was that I would suffer loss after loss. I was beside myself. Surely I was not wrong. Surely I had not misheard. People in my life were telling me to forget about it, move on, that it was not meant to be. That I was not strong enough, why was I doing this to myself?  I knew what I had heard, and I knew that I was right. I knew that a way would be made for my body to produce another child. I prayed and prayed again. After 3 tries and miscarriages, I became pregnant with Avery. Avery was born July 2011. He was born alive and well and screaming (best.sound.ever). Never a sweeter victory was felt. We had done it. God delivered.

The third time I heard this same voice was in early March of this year. I honestly don't know that I'll hear him again. Years pass with nothing, after all. Right after Isaac died I made him a custom sign. It's black, his name is cream, and through his name, in white, it reads "loved now and through all eternity". That simple sign and having his name displayed in our home has brought me countless moments of peace. After I made that sign I immediately felt like I should make more - - for other grieving women - - that it was important! I even made a couple of contacts, was told to make up a sample or two. I never did. I was too broken. Stuck in my moments of grief, which barreled down on my family for what seemed like forever. Isaac turned three this year. I was driving to pick up Andrew, and then I heard the voice. I was told to purchase all items necessary to start my business. To press forward and get things started, and quickly. First I felt a rush of excitement. Great news, right!!! And then I immediately felt fear. What would happen if I took the money from savings for my start up cost and totally tank? What would happen if I failed? Was I completely nuts?? I bought what I needed and waited the couple of weeks for every thing to arrive. I anxiously chatted with friends about how nervous I was. And that I was slightly afraid I was off my rocker. Shortly before Isaac's 3rd birthday, BABY BOARDS was born. I have been in business for 1 and a half years, and made easily 1750 pieces for other grieving families. Very few things have blessed my family more, to be doing such a tender work for other grieving brothers and sisters in loss.

Now that I've gotten this all written out, I'm kind of wondering what the whole point was. So now everyone will know how crazy I am?? Perhaps. But really just to share that miracles happen. That God lives, even if you are unsure. I am the one of the most undeserving people out there, can you imagine someone's potential that is much more dedicated than myself? Life changing realizations, friends. Let us all be all that we can be, and continue to work on becoming our best selves. If you know me in "real life", I know you're laughing - - mostly because you  REALLY know how far off I am from reaching that goal. At least we can journey together, right?? Any ways. Lots of work to be done. Time to scoot.

All my crazy ass LOVE,

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Collateral Damage.

So this is my sweet little Olivia. She is 7 years old and is full of life and silliness and laughter. She is also full of anxiety, stress, and worry. As I have run behind on the business end of things, this little sweet pea is who needs me more.

When I was carrying Isaac to term, knowing he would die, it was an extremely hard time for our family. Recalling that period of time in my life brings me to tears. My kids, Andrew, and I were desperate to connect with the baby, but also were full of fear over having to let him go. I really don't know how we made it through those days - by the grace of God, for sure - it was a special kind of hell we were living in. Loving a baby, but planning for his death. Making a birth plan, while planning his burial. Deciding what life saving measures we take for him, or not. Working, sending the kids to school, maintaining our home - - all with the knowledge that every second, of every day, there was a clock ticking off these moments of this child's life. Some of the kids had nightmares, some acted out, some held their feelings close to themselves. And then there was Olivia. My precious Olivia, she never left my side. I knew that she could sense the turmoil in our home and hearts, and she loved me - all of us - with a fierceness that I have not witnessed in a child before. She would love each of us, hold our hands, snuggle closely, tickle backs, touch our faces. She was a constant companion to whoever needed the love she was so willing to give. She is a very special kind of human being.

Isaac came and walked back home to his Father in Heaven. I watched our family fall apart, get back up again, stumble around, until we would walk again. Each of my children had their own set of griefs and worries. Each were concerned not just for each other, and also their grieving mother. It was a heavy burden for them to carry. I had three miscarriages back to back after Isaac died. We kept those secret as best as we could, and we marched through each day, until light and happiness drifted back into our home. Avery came along in 2011, and brought with him a healing wind. He was been so good for our family, he is our heart healer.

Olivia has struggled over the years to find her way. We have watched her closely, observing her peculiar behavior, crossing our fingers that the behavior would pass. Because mental illness runs heavily in our family, each of our children has a 20% chance of struggling in this way - we were pretty confident that she did not beat the odds, and truly, she has not. This sweet little girl has worried for years. Worried about life and death. She's worried over Avery dieing, her siblings dieing, her parents dieing. She learned as a young child things could go horribly wrong, that she was not immune. She has been desperate for comfort, struggling with separation anxiety. She struggles with social anxiety, and navigating the waters of friendship with her peers. She fears so much. It has been heartbreaking to watch her mind go to such a frightened place, it has broken my heart to witness her panic attacks. It has been sad to gently march on with her, knowing that these growing pains she is suffering are so terribly hard, yet marching on, we must. Olivia has begun therapy, we are finding there is a world of treatment options for her, and are very encouraged to see her trying to apply some of these techniques in her life. There are good days, and there are some horrible days. But just as she pulled me through my darkest days, it's now my turn to do that for her.

I have struggled with the decision to share - or not - but decided, because I have chosen to give much of my heart and life to other grieving women, it would helpful, to also be open about this part of my life. Not because it therauptic to share, but because I know there are many many women willing to bare this burden with me. Many of you, as I have not met deadlines have been loving and encouraging and incredily patient with me. I thank you for your love and concern. Baby Boards is not just me - - but it is Olivia, too. It's my husband, my living children, and our heavenly Isaac. Because of our family unit, we continue on doing this fantastic healing work that we do. It would not be possible without them, without Isaac, and without you and your precious children. Together we carry on.

All my love,