Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Closing the Door on 2009

I'll be the first to admit, it's been a terrible year for me. There are not very many parts of 2009 that I can remember with a smile. Of course there were some good things that happened in my life this past year, I made some wonderful friends, I had a new baby to love and hold and watch grow into a toddler, I went on a wonderful getaway to Vancouver with my husband and children and I survived a year without my son. That said, there were more bad than good things in my life in 2009 and I am so ready to say good-bye to the misery of this year and start fresh.

Some of the things I am looking forward to in the coming year are:

Taking better care of myself, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Spending more quality time with my daughters. Playing more, worrying less and being more focused.

Decluttering. Enough said.

Reading more, learning more, spending more me time.

Getting underway with more fundraising for Children's Hospital.

Spending more time outdoors.

Maybe going back to school.

This year is going to be about me. I've decided that it's time I came first in my own life and that I need to be happy as a person to be a good wife and mother. I need time for myself doing the things that I enjoy, even if it is just a few hours a week. I'm going to get back into doing some things that I love, I'll keep you posted on how that goes. I'm also going to try to worry less, relax more and get back on a regular sleep cycle. I can't tell you how lack of sleep affects me in every area of my life, insomnia is the shits. I've realized that in the last year I have done very little to take care of myself. This is going to be something new for me and something I hope will have benefits to not only my health but my mood as well. I'm actually excited for the New Year. I have hope that it will be a good year, anything has got to be better than 2009 for sure and I know many of you are feeling the same way. Hope you all have hope for a better year too. Hugs to all...and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Spirit of Christmas

The Christmas spirit came to our house yesterday, not in the form of packages under the tree or stockings brimming with goodies. It came in the form of togetherness and in the love we have for each other. Our Christmas Day was wonderful even though we were missing Calvin and my thoughts turned to what could have been during moments throughout the day. We didn't have an unlimited supply of cash to distract us with this year and there were no trips to Toys R Us made in hopes of spoiling the girls. We were on a budget this year for sure, Shane and I exchanged small gifts between us instead of our usual "let's see who can outspoil the other" Christmases of the past. Instead we focused on our girls and making the holiday special for them. Lorelei wrote a letter to Santa outlining her most wished for items, A Tonka Bounceback Racer, Aquadoodle and new slippers. She received a letter back from Santa on Christmas Eve, thanks to the good folks at Canada Post, and she went to sleep confident in the jolly elf's ability to make her Christmas dreams come true. Indeed they did. Christmas morning came early for me as poor Georgia has been awake til five am most mornings this past week with teething pain. Lorelei tiptoed into our room just past eight to let us know that Santa had come so I climbed out of bed and set about getting breakfast going, making coffee and keeping her distracted enough not to go crazy while we waited for Georgia to wake up. Finally, just after nine I went and woke Georgia so that the girls could start opening presents. Shane and I had bought Lorelei a ton of art supplies, magic markers, paint, paper, stickers and glitter glue because she loves to create pictures and make cards for people. She was so excited opening her gifts and seeing all the new things she had to create with. Not only did she receive art supplies but lots of brand new Playdoh, story books and DVD's, new pyjamas and best of all, her Bounceback Racer with one for Daddy as well so they can play together. The fatman also brought her brand new Clifford the Big Red Dog slippers to keep her feet warm and a ton of goodies including Kinder eggs for her stocking.

It was with joy in my heart that I watched our girls open their presents yesterday morning. Seeing Georgia playing with her new toys, watching Lorelei jumping up and down yelling that "This is the best Christmas ever" and knowing we had a beautiful turkey dinner to go to later on in the day brought a smile to my face and a feeling of satisfaction. Sure enough I was exhausted by about one in the afternoon and Georgia and I retired for a nap while Shane and Lorelei played with their new toys. My nap put us a bit late heading up to Shane's parents for dinner and it was to my surprise that when we got up there, there were a ton of presents to open up there as well. Shane's mom bought me my favorite chocolates and gave us a gift card for groceries which is much appreciated right now, and they spoiled the girls like crazy. Lorelei got her Aquadoodle from grandma and papa and her aunts and uncles overdid themselves buying her and Georgia gifts. Just watching the happiness on my child's face, seeing Georgia beam as she was passed from person to person, just sitting in the togetherness of the family made my Christmas so incredibly special. No, I didn't get alot this year but surpringly enough it didn't matter to me one bit. I HAVE all I need in the way of material things. What I GOT was a feeling of peace and satisfaction that this is how it is supposed to be. We were together, we had a fabulous dinner, my children were overjoyed. I thought of Calvin as Shane's dad said grace, asking God to watch over him and I just knew that Calvin was safe in the arms of God and enjoying Christmas in heaven. It's a feeling I've wanted and searched for since my son died. Knowing that Christmas had come without Calvin being here and enjoying it anyway was such a gift. It's what I wanted and I am so grateful I got it. I wondered throughout the day how the rest of you were coping. I remember all too well the emptiness of our first Christmas without our son last year and knew that some of you would be feeling that emptiness too. My wish for all of you was that you find peace in your hearts at some point over the holidays. That the terrible yearning and aching for your children didn't tear things apart for you. That the coming year brings a sense of renewed hope for your families. I am full of hope for the new year, and I pray that some of that hope finds it's way to you. Wishing you love and laughter.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I Wish You Peace

Christmas Eve is upon us and if there is one thing I could wish for all of you is a feeling of peace in your hearts. I know how difficult the holidays can be, especially if this is your first Christmas in mourning. Last year was terrible for us, Calvin had been gone only six weeks before Christmas came. It was an empty, hollow feeling as we trimmed the tree and went through the motions for our other children, truly our hearts weren't in it. This year I looked forward to Christmas with hope. Hope for peace, hope for the return of joy in our hearts, hope for acceptance. So far I am doing okay. Although the holidays have not quite turned out as I had hoped, we are healthy, we are together and I am not sobbing twenty hours out of the day for missing my son. I do miss Calvin. If I close my eyes and imagine, I can picture him on Christmas morning in a fuzzy blue sleeper, curly hair messy as he sits next to his sister ripping into presents. It makes me smile to think of him like that but it also tears at my heart knowing that it isn't our reality as much as I would like it to be.

For some, their losses will be muted with new babies this Christmas. New reasons to smile and celebrate and while a new baby will never replace the ones we long for, I've heard that the pain is softened with the return of joy and the promise of tomorrow.

For all of us, whether we are mourning, celebrating a new life or spending the holidays with familiar faces, it would be my wish that each and every one is blessed with a sense of peace, love and hope as we prepare to say good-bye to the old year and usher in the new. Sending you all my love....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Glad Tidings....

It is with joy that I send my heartfelt congratulations to Lea at Nicholas' Touch for the safe, early arrival of Madison Nichole born December 17, 2009. Upon receiving Lea's announcement of Madison's birth, I found myself weeping tears of joy, relief and happiness for her and her family. It's so hard sometimes to hang onto your faith in God when you lose a child, so hard to believe things will ever go right for you again. Although I never doubted that Madison would arrive safely, I wanted with all my heart for things to be okay for Lea. I admit I was scared for her. After watching Mirne and Craig go through the pain of losing Jett I realized that sometimes even the "rainbow" can be lost. Madison's safe birth I'm sure brings a collective sigh of relief for all of us who were following Lea's pregnancy, waiting expectantly for Madison and hoping with all of our hearts that she would arrive safe and sound in good health. She is simply precious and I am so happy for my friend and her beautiful miracle.

It is also with a feeling of joy in my heart that I share this next picture with you. It's Calvin's name, lovingly written in the stars by Amanda

I thought it was simply beautiful and gave me the most wonderful feeling of peace when I saw it. Amanda's daughter Ireland was the first name I saw written and was overwhelmed with the beauty of it. I can't get over how wonderful the mama's are in what they do to provide comfort and love to those of us missing our beautiful babies. Thank you so much Amanda.

On another note, I received my "Stolen Moments" wrap from Karen at Busy Hands and it is everybit as beautiful as I thought it would be. When my camera battery is charged, I will take a picture and post it here for all to see. Thank you so much Karen, your talent is amazing. Thank you also to Jenny and Karen for their offers to assist me in locating my friend J's will, I will be contacting you later today or early tomorrow. As much as we have all suffered and been hurt by the loss of our children, the love and support we get from each other works miracles in our healing. God Bless each and every one of you this holiday season. May you all find your reasons to feel joy, peace and acceptance in your hearts this Christmas. I love you all....

Friday, December 18, 2009

Huge Mistake...

Months ago I got a call that could have changed my life. At the time I was reeling from Calvin's death and unable to focus on anything else. So, when the man on the other end of the phone asked if I had recognized a name, I said no. I hung up the phone and didn't think about it again. Recently, I became aware that the phone call had a huge relevance in my life and that I do indeed remember the man I was being asked about. He was an old man I had befriended years ago while working at the bingo hall. He was alone, visiting my home town and he was dying. We spent alot of time talking, sharing life stories and talking about God. His name was the same as my father's and grandfather's and we laughed that it was fate that we meet. To be honest, I thought he was destitute and I often snuck him coffee when I'd take my breaks at work. I remember him being an extremely sorrowful man, who had many regrets in life. He looked to me for friendship and we fell into an easy friendship, able to talk about anything. I remember talking to him about my life, my father and our relationship. We talked about marriage, children and our beliefs. We shared sorrows. He was just a dear old soul, on a mission to tie up the loose ends in his life. The day he left to go home, he came to see me at work. He told me he would never forget my kindness and said he wanted to do something nice for me. He asked me to write my full legal name on a piece of paper which I did. He then folded it very carefully and tucked it into his wallet, saying that I would hear from him again. As he left, there were tears in his eyes as he held my hand and I was so overcome with sadness for this man that I came around and asked him if I could hug him. He told me once again that he would never forget me as he left.

As the days and weeks became months, and I heard nothing more of the man, I got caught up in life and my own dramas and day to day doings. He started to fade from my memory. Then Calvin died and his death was all I could focus on. The drugs I was taking to numb the pain affected my thought processes and my memory. When I got the call regarding the man, I brushed it off. The person on the other end told me that I had been left property in a will. The person on the phone knew my full legal name. Still, I was convinced it wasn't meant for me and told him so. All these months later, it has come back. And not just wisps of memory...all of it. I remember the man's eyes, his name, what he looked like. I remember our talks, helping him to find a hotel and places to eat. I remember thinking how sad it was that he had no family to help him while he was dying. I remember the odd feeling as we said good-bye that he was going to be leaving me something in his will. I don't know how I knew, I just did. My stomach has been in knots since realizing that I have possibly thrown away my inheritance. I have been anxious and upset wondering how "J" would feel, knowing that I did not remember him when I was called by his estate lawyer. I feel an immense amount of regret not writing the number of the lawyer down. These past couple of weeks have been spent backtracking, trying to hunt down the location of the will, making calls to the city where the property had been left to me, talking to it's lawyers, notaries, city officials and real estate agents. I'm getting nowhere. My next step will be a legal will search but don't expect to get results. One lawyer I consulted advised that ninety percent of clients don't register their wills. In the meantime, I will be calling every lawyer in my province one by one and there are thousands of them. It's like looking for a needle in a haystack. Not only do I feel the need to honour my friend J. by hunting down the will, accepting what has been left for me and finding out more about his life, but at this point in our lives, this could be something life changing for us, a chance to restart somewhere else. I'm saddened my friend has died. I'm saddened that I was so preoccupied in my own grief over losing Calvin that I didn't even recognize his name. I'm worried that someone else will have stepped forward and claimed what J left for me "because he would never forget my kindness....", because I had pushed thoughts of him out of my mind. An old man with no family who thought enough of me to do something for me. I've made a huge mistake....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


The stress of our work situation and the holiday season is taking it's toll on me physically. I haven't slept properly in weeks, most nights averaging around four hours or less. I'm exhausted. My hair is falling out. I've been worrying incessantly about where things are going for us. There is also something huge that I've been obsessing about that I can't quite talk about yet, but it's something that is also causing my stress and lack of sleep. I'm tired yet I remain hopeful for a peaceful Christmas.

Georgia has also been teething which has been contributing to my lack of sleep. Her molars are coming in, in fact she is cutting two molars and two front teeth right now. Her little face is so red and rashy that I haven't bothered to get our Christmas portraits done this year. She is fiercely attached to me, wanting mommy when she's uncomfortable in the night. We've spent a few nights this past week snuggling on the couch, both of us trying to get comfortable with the other one long enough to catch a couple of zzz's but it doesn't seem to work. For all her sweet snuggling, Georgia is still biting me at least once or twice a day most days, usually when she's tired or frustrated. It hurts and my saying ouch or reprimanding her seems to make her giggle and do it more. Lately when she sinks her teeth into me, I just get up and put her down either in her exersaucer or in her playpen which is particularly upsetting for her if she wants me to hold her. She cries, I cry, we both get no sleep. Lorelei seems to be especially misbehaved lately as well as if the pressure of being "nice" for Santa is too much for her. My lack of sleep makes me lose my patience more quickly these days too so our house hasn't exactly been terribly happy lately.

I think the weather has also contributed to my lack of well being this last while, it's been so damn cold out I haven't wanted to venture out. Today because it warmed up substantially, I decided that I would go run a few errands. Because of the slush and melting snow and ice, it took me four tries to get out of the driveway today. Thankfully I was in the truck, otherwise I would have never gotten out in the van. Driving in the snow is intimidating for me since cracking up my car a couple of years back. I hate the feeling of imprisonment that winter brings, that I don't feel free to just venture out and live a normal life. On the flip side, I've watched a couple of excellent movies the last couple of days, something I haven't had time to do in awhile. It's been nice, I just wish I could fall asleep after. It's agonizing to lay down and not be able to shut off my head long enough to go to sleep at night, and I hate just laying there. Usually within twenty minutes of not sleeping, I am up and out of bed, either watching tv or reading blogs hoping to exhaust myself enough to get some quality rest before Lorelei is up and at it for the day. Tonight after supper I fell asleep on the couch so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that tonight is my night.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Sad Day

I miss my baby. Just typing those words has been enough to get the tears rolling down my cheeks and sobs shaking between my shoulder blades as I try to be quiet in my grief. Some days when I feel sad like this, I hate pretending. I hate stifling my tears because I'm worried about scaring the girls. Oh my God, I've felt them coming on since yesterday when I laid down to sleep and Shane told me, it had been thirteen months. Thirteen months since the births of our babies. I can't believe it. That day feels so fresh and new it could have been yesterday. Maybe because it's burned into my brain as one of the greatest days of my life. Remembering the joy brings an acute awareness of the sorrow, of the emptiness. I can't believe how much my life has changed in the last eighteen months. I can't believe how different I feel now as compared to before I got the diagnosis of Calvin's defect and the joy was suddenly sucked out of my life. Today I feel old and sad. Today I just want to curl up in a ball and howl because I'm tired of having to hold it together. I need a day to fall apart and not worry about the kids or Shane or anything else in life. Even now, as I'm writing and thinking about my baby boy and holding back those sobs, Lorelei has just come in and asked me in all her four year old wisdom, "Mom, why are you crying, are you crying because you miss Calvin?". I do. I miss him with every breath in my body, every hair on my head, every fibre of my existence. I miss the things I'm never going to get to do with him, the growing and changing and learning and discovering and exploring. I miss seeing those "cute" baby moments that make you laugh like hell because they're so adorable. I miss holding him and kissing him and smelling him and the feel of his hand. I'm so sad that I can't give him the love I have for him and the insanity of thought that comes when you're babylost. I'm tired of the searching, the crazy thoughts, the morbid reality of my child in the ground and thoughts of reborn dolls and cloning and dna and IVF and digging him up and grave blankets and thoughts of how, how we can fix this. How can I fix this? How can I bring him back, how can I give Shane a son, how can I make everything normal again? How can I make it better for Calvin who is dead now and missing out on the life he was supposed to have with me and his dad and sisters? How can I get better? I thought I was. I want Christmas this year, I don't ache like this every day, I certainly don't cry everyday anymore. But I think about him. I think about him during every part of my day, in all the mundane things I do. I think about him when I lay down to sleep eyes wide open and staring at the wall. I think of him as I kiss Georgia and close my eyes and remember how his fuzzy hair felt against my cheek, my lips. I want this to go away. I want someone to fix this for me, cut my memories out of my head so there is no more sadness...I hate being without him. I never wanted to be this person.

Monday, December 7, 2009


I've had a couple of comments lately thanking me for my support. Tonight I've really been thinking about our community and how much you all mean to me. This little group of ours is wonderful yet terrible all at once. I hate that we all relate to each other so well because of losing our children but I am so thankful for each and every mama out there that has shared a bit of her heart, her knowledge, her pain and her love with me as I navigate my grief journey. It's true, I honestly care so much about each and every one of you. Certainly I have gotten to know some of you women more than others, but the feeling is there. I cherish you. I cherish having people out there that understand my heart and who don't expect me to be "over it" or "healed by now" or "getting on with my life". People who understand that grief is a process that has tons of setbacks along the way. I have said things on my blog that I'm sure in any actual "conversation" with someone who hasn't lost a child would think that I needed to be locked up for. I am so grateful I can do that without judgement. I'm so grateful that I can cry my eyes out in my words and have the support of you reading and crying with me on the other end, understanding and acknowledging. It's a beautiful gift we give each other. I wish I could hug each and every one of you, spend hours talking over tea, look at photos and hold your hands as you cry. This is the best we can do given our geographical differences, but it works. I am constantly amazed by the strength and breveity of the women I follow and to be honest, I wish sometimes that I was more like some of you. I wish I wrote better, did better, supported better, was kinder, because you all are such an inspiration to me in your healing. I love Jesse, who has selflessly shared Oliver with me and let me watch his journey with the same defect my son Calvin was born with. I love what you are doing in Peyton's name, Kristin. I love what Franchesca and Lea and Carly and Bree do for other lost mamas. I love what Akul's mama did for me. I love Lindsay's art and Kristin's poems. I love Barbra's work and Birni's photography. You are all such amazing women. You touch my heart so much. Sometimes I feel as if I have little to offer in comparison to the things you all have done for me. If I was artsy or craftsy I would do something to honour all your babies, but I'm not. I have been trying to figure out what I can do to show you all how very much you mean to me but I have fallen short in finding something. However, I do want each and every one of you mamas (and daddys) to know that each of you have given me a very special gift by sharing your stories, your babies, and your heartbreak with me. You have given me a new sense of normal in my life. You reaffirm for me everyday that I am not the only one in the world who has lost a child. You reaffirm for me that I am NOT a nutjob, just a very sad mother who misses her child sometimes. You give me hope with your stories of happiness and new beginnings. Thank you so much. I love you all....Hugs

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Are You Kidding Me?

My husband, his brother, his father and our good family friend have been informed that as of December 15, they no longer have jobs. Right before Christmas, can it get any better? Sometimes I just wish things would go well for more than a moment or two, it feels like we haven't been able to catch a break for the last year and a bit. What is the most devastating thing of all is that I was actually looking forward to Christmas this year after a dismal one last year. The crappiest thing is that it affects Shane's whole family. Now instead of debating on what presents we will be getting our girls this year, we will be trying to figure out how to keep a roof over our heads and our bills paid. Excuse me if I sound a little bitter right now.