Thursday, March 31, 2011

the first of many lasts

2 years ago I blogged about 2 years before that.

That Thursday 4 years ago, I had no idea how life would change the next time I went in to see the doctor.

a happy update!

I called the foundation handling the memorial bricks yesterday, not expecting much to come of it. They were unbelievable! Immediately, she got in touch with the man in charge of installation and he went out and put it in!! We went to see it last night; couldn't get too close because the gates were locked (maybe since the brick was 'setting') but I could see her name <3 She's right by the fountain; a front row seat!

I hope those people know how much it meant to me. I told them but I doubt they realize how they made my day. I'm going to pay it forward by using a kindness card today.

If you aren't familiar with kindness cards, check it out:

It's a way I can feel good about someone reading Keely's name today.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

a change in plans

That's the story of life, right? Just when you think you have something all squared away... not so fast, lady! You would think I'd know this by now.

As tradition, each year we honor Keely's angelversary by visiting her grave and laying fresh roses down or throwing rose petals into the wind at the cemetery, just our little family. We also make sure a candle is lit at 11:20 am, the time of her passing. It's an emotional day and the anticipation is as bad as and sometimes worse than the day itself. The mental preparation begins much in advance. This year, I had been preparing for something different. To honor Keely's life, we purchased a brick with her name and dates to be set at the 'garden of peace' at the hospital where she was born. It was to be laid last week. Unfortunately, we visited there last night and no brick :(

I spoke with a woman from the foundation this morning and she was terribly sweet and helpful, putting a call into the man in charge of laying the bricks but my hopes aren't very high; low temps and snow/sleet the rest of the week will most likely keep any more from being set. So mental prep starts all over with a new vision in mind.

As a sidenote: how very, very, very different life was this day 4 years ago, before the storm. I had no idea.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

the windows are open and memories flood in

There have been some signs of spring. Those signs are fleeting for this midwestern family and it takes me back to the spring of Keely. I distinctly remember what I was wearing the day she died: a pink headwrap, long black fitted top, Hudson jeans and flip flops. That day was beautiful outside.

The day she was laid to rest was frigid. The wind whipped around us as we stood by her grave for prayers and songs. A light mist was falling that might've been mistaken for flurries at a glance.

Things change so quickly for a midwestern spring but how quickly a life can change course.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

ramblings nearly 4 years down the road

I don't know if people have forgotten. I don't know if their allowance for my grief has worn thin or out completely. I don't know if they think I should be over it or, worse yet,that I am over it. I'll set the record straight: there's nothing to get over. You can't get over losing a child just like you can't get over having a child. It's nearly if not completely impossible to know what it is to lose a child if you haven't just as it's nearly if not completely impossible to know what it is to have a child.

In a perfect earth, people would either understand your grief or at the very least respect it, but in a perfect world, there would be no grief to understand.

Someday, someday.

"Oh they tell me of a home far beyond the skies..."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

in the fury of the moment, I can see The Master's hand

My Bob Dylan (yup, I'm laying claim), he can read my mind. I've loved this song since long before having children and even longer before burying one of them. But I see this song as a vivid description of grief and living after part of you dies. xoxo

In the time of my confession,
in the hour of my deepest need
When the pool of tears beneath my feet
flood every newborn seed
There's a dyin' voice within me
reaching out somewhere,
Toiling in the danger and in
the morals of despair.

Don't have the inclination to
look back on any mistake,
Like Cain,
I now behold this chain of events
that I must break.
In the fury of the moment
I can see the Master's hand
In every leaf that trembles,
in every grain of sand.

Oh, the flowers of indulgence
and the weeds of yesteryear,
Like criminals,
they have choked the breath
of conscience and good cheer.
The sun beat down upon the steps
of time to light the way
To ease the pain of idleness
and the memory of decay.

I gaze into the doorway of
temptation's angry flame
And every time I pass that way
I always hear my name.
Then onward in my journey
I come to understand
That every hair is numbered
like every grain of sand.

I have gone from rags to riches
in the sorrow of the night
In the violence of a summer's dream,
in the chill of a wintry light,
In the bitter dance of loneliness
fading into space,
In the broken mirror of innocence
on each forgotten face.

I hear the ancient footsteps like
the motion of the sea
Sometimes I turn, there's someone there,
other times it's only me.
I am hanging in the balance
of the reality of man
Like every sparrow falling,
like every grain of sand.

Friday, March 18, 2011

fear and peace

Peace is a funny thing. I would say my life is peaceful. Peeking in our house at times, a stranger may not agree, but they can't see what I see.

I have 3 amazing living boys. Words cannot describe how much I love my 4 children; it's just this impossible, amazing, heart-wrenching, so deep in your soul it hurts kind of love. I have the honor of those children calling me, or knowing me, as their mother. I get to watch their lives begin, be a part of it all. With one, I've gotten to witness the end of that beautiful life on this earth. I've gotten to kiss 4 beautiful little foreheads, hold and rock 4 little newborn loves, sing each one a lullabye, read "our story" to each one. And though I only got to do those things with Keely once, I am blessed for that time. I am honored each night that I get to do those things with her brothers.

One thing that losing a child steals from you is your sense of comfort. Nothing is safe. And though I'd give my life to save the life of any one of my children, sometimes that isn't enough. That's a bitter pill to swallow. Oftentimes I can push the fear of realizing this truth aside and other times, it's consuming. Those times of fear, I find myself in hours of prayer. There, and there alone, there is comfort. Someday I'll have all my children together; something I will never get to experience on this earth in the way we all want to so badly.

I find comfort in coming here, to my place to say her name and relieve my fears. She's the only child I don't have to worry about. My life is peaceful, yes. But there are days I have to search hard to pull the warmth of peace back around my shoulders. As Keely's days near, I'll rely on the peace brought by my living children's smiles and laughs and the presence of my beautiful girl in my heart.

"There's a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar;
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there.

In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore."

letter to Heaven

Missing you so deeply tonight, my girl. Please keep watch over your brothers and help us to know you hear it when we ring your chimes at night and each morning. You're constantly on our minds and in our hearts. Keely, you're so very, very missed and loved even more. XOXOXOXOXOXOXO