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hmmmmm… August 19, 2008

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in a week from now… August 18, 2008

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in a week from now…

i will remember in a special way

i will think back to the day, hour, minute, second, moment

i will close my eyes and remember the touch, feel, smell, the feel

i will clutch my pillow and hold on tight, close my eyes and pray as i imagine her “in God’s arms”

i will look at my calendar for the day’s events and see the words “amber’s birthday” brightly highlighted, just as i mark all the really special birthdays in my life

i don’t know how i will celebrate this year, but i will

i will light a candle on her website

i will probably smile as i think of the unexplainable love and emotions i feel for her

i will probably cry as i think of the unexplainable love and emotions i feel for her

hopefully i will exhale. hopefully!

i am beginning to trying to letting the story of her life unfold in my life, my emotions, my memory, how i live and all else

her story…

well i call it the unfolding of a miracle for reasons that i wish i were not true.  reasons that on a daily basis break my heart and make me grateful all in one. 

she came into my world in a way far different than i had imagined.  it started out with months of thinking about the colors i wanted to choose and how i was going to rearrange my house to meet the needs of our new little baby.  i guess we would have stuck with the pretty green color that we used for her big brother and surprisingly enough, the color for her birth month turned out to be pretty close to the color we had already painted the room in.  as myles would say, that’s called a coincidence. hmmm 

the night before we found out:  the last thing i remember is hanging out with one of my great friends from college and her husband, along with my then two year old son and my husband at the chicago air and water show.  we had a great spot on the beach, comfy lawn chairs, a hibachi, yummy food, ribs that made all the patrons around us think, “man i shoulda thought of that” (ok maybe not). anyhoo, we had all the beach creature comforts you could want. my son did one of his favorite things all day which was play on the beach in the sand.  we had a prime spot right in the middle of all the action.  could it have been the thunderous roars of the aircraft? the hot sun? too much sand? too much great summer time food? or was it me? hmmmm. i can question the cause for eternity and i don’t think any answer of any sort would satisfy. 

someone once asked me how did God speak to me when i asked the question why? well, truthfully, i’ve never asked the question why.  what i have done is desperately ask for some time with her.  just like the question why, the request to have more time with her breathing or otherwise is quite frankly an insatiable question. and the request will not be fulfilled.  never to be satisfied and would never be enough because i would just want more.  more time. more hugs. more, more, more.  so you see why i never asked the question why?  because the game of why would keep going back and forth and i would never like the answer.

so sitting at the beach i can tell you the last position she lay in as she was in my womb.  why did i remember this information? i have now come to realize that she left us that beautiful day out with her family hanging out together at the beach.  swept up right into the arms of Jesus.  except in the moment that she left me, i did not know she was leaving.  no good bye. no time to beg God to save her. no time to smell her sweet baby’s breath.  no time to bathe her. no time to cuddle. no time to nurse…just once. no time.

well, fast forward to the next day and at different points throughout the day, i remember touching my belly and realizing my baby was in the same position she lay in less than 24 hours earlier.  i was a little concerned but perhaps deep down and in some strange way, i knew something was amiss.  but then again trying not to be hyper vigilant about my precious bundle, i also assumed not to expect movement 24/7.

i spent a whole day out with my 2 year old and decided at the end of the day just before picking up my husband from work, to really pay attention because too much time had passed with no movement. alarm bells went off (silently in my head). i held it all together until i was with my husband and i thought. sweets! let’s try some sweets to get this baby moving again. so we make a quick trip to the supermarket, buy ice cream sandwiches (you know cold and sweet).  looking back on that moment, i would have eaten the whole box if i thought that it would help my baby get moving again.  it didn’t work! dang that old wives tale. called the doctor to see what his thoughts were.  from what i remember, the strangest phone conversation i’ve ever had moved in slow motion and left me grasping at a desperate moment of him telling me, “oh, what you’re feeling is normal and nothing to worry about.” instead the conversation went more like this, (me) “we’re just calling to find out what to do, we haven’t felt any movement at all today, and we tried something cold and sweet, is there anything that we need to do?”, (dr. b) “when was the last time you felt movement?” (me) “yesterday afternoon”. (dr. b) “have you tried anything else?” (me) yes, putting my feet up and moving my belly around gently.” (dr. b) how about we have you come in so that we can check things out and take a look”. (me…desperate and getting nervous ) “well, how about we try one more thing…okay”? (dr. b) no, i think you guys should just come in, we’ll take a look at things and make sure that all is well.” (me…really desperate) “how about one more thing? (dr. b) “no, i think the best thing is for you to come on in, you’ve tried, let us take a look”. (me) okay. we both hang up the phone.

the rest of the moments, i’m not quite sure how they went down but for some strange reason we packed up the time to deliver bags with curling irons, change of clothes and that all important toiletries. we packed up an overnight bag for myles (my then 2 year old and headed off to the hospital as if was “time”.  why did we do that? no one told us do that. pack that is. we just moved in the moment. God moments.

so we hop in the car, not really saying much. preparing ourselves to possibly deliver a little bit early but not too early to be a big deal.  we make our way to the freeway, take one wrong exit, then another, back track, u turn and get back on the same freeway in the opposite direction going the wrong way again. i can’t think. my husband can’t drive (at least not in this moment(. WHERE IS THE FLIPPING HOSPITAL!?_)(*&^%$#@! Ugh! okay, let’s breathe and think for a second. the intensity increases, the tension rises and we finally make it to the hospital. 

it’s in the air and we both knew something.  perhaps we can prevent the bad ending to this story now that we’ve arrived. no problems getting checked in straight away.  the doctor is there in the building. in the mean time we are in the room, my husband holding our son as he paces the room and i lay on the sanitized hospital bed in a sterile gown no opening in the back waiting for the good news.  the doctor comes in, greets us and sits down for the ultra sound.  looking for a heartbeat. hmmm, silence.  this is taking much longer than i remember from all the other ultra sounds.  he is taking way too long to talk.  speak dog gone it. speak.  apparently the reality is beginning to set in so my body prepares itself by seizing up and turning stiff, almost rigamortus-like.  he calls the nurse to go and get another machine to double check what he already knew but according to policy and procedure he must use another machine just in case the good in perfect working condition machine that he was using did not give a proper reading.  up comes the new machine and on goes the doppler to my belly and no response.  i stared at his face from the back of his head.  turn around dog gone it. turn around.  i want to see your face as you tell me what i know at this point without you even opening your mouth. i felt sorry because he couldn’t do it without collecting himself first. he takes a breath and turn to say, “i’m sorry…” the rest of what he said was quite a blur. i simply don’t know what he said.  what i do know is that we were not having the same kind of conversation that we had just a few days earlier. 

andre’ begins to cry, while holding tightly to our son.  i lay there stiff as a board, still in my rigamortus-like state with nothing to say.  my body couldn’t move because i wanted a second opinion, another machine. LET’S DELIVER THIS BABY RIGHT NOW! THERE IS STILL TIME! i yelled this inside myself as i could not move my mouth nor could i open my vocal chords to speak.  as i lay there with a cold stiff body, fiery hot tears make their way down the side of my face.  hey i think, no time for this  let’s get proactive and deliver just in time to save the baby.   i had a plan and it was going to work.  only i knew this and no one else.  hmmmm, here began the slippery  slope of “not the kind of life i dreamed about”

emotions. emotions? andre’ stiill holding tightly to myles and crying.  i lay there stiff, stone cold with hot tears streaming down the sides of my eyes.  maybe if i stayed really still, then it would all have been a dream. nope not a dream. the tears won’t stop, my head is swimming and i’m still stiff and i feel like i’ve realized hell on earth.

the baby was gone and not coming back.  i had to deliver a perfectly healthy baby whose heart just simply stopped beating.

more than i can say out loud… August 4, 2008

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okay, so i was in a discussion and we were talking about being creative and artsy and such.  i was asked a question about whether my son shows any signs of being musical or artsy or what have you. i answered yes and proceeded to tell of how he’ll try to tell us things (his emotions or feelings) through poems or songs that he makes up.  not a big deal right? well, i would have shared some examples but the only one that keeps haunting me was the one poem he told me about a couple of days ago.  i couldn’t share because i was scared and sad about it.  i knew (or felt) that there was no way that they would even begin to understand my family’s experience, so there was no way that they would truly understand. they wouldn’t understand how a five year old can miss their sibling who they only got a chance to meet for a short period of time. they wouldn’t understand how a five year old could know that there is suppose to be another person in our family.  they wouldn’t understand how he thinks about her so much.  they wouldn’t understand how we could let him talk about her so much and let him express so freely his feelings about his sister.  i just don’t think that they would understand.

i wanted to tell the friend asking the question about a poem that he recited to me.  he told me about the poem in order to get me to know his feelings.  His Poem:  if i don’t go to visit her at her gravesite,  then i won’t miss her so much.  can you say heartbreaking.  so, i honored his feelings and we didn’t go (to the gravesite).  i don’t want people to think that i’m tainting my son by making my daughter special to our family. i don’t want people to think that he misses her so much because of me.  i can’t get them to understand that it is what it is and we choose to allow him to freely talk about her.  i actually had someone say to me that they think that he (my son) talks about her too much.  too much for what? too much for their comfort? too much for their understanding?  too much for what?

so now you see why i couldn’t share the poem, which would be part of his artsy side. a bit melancholy but he was sharing his heart through art.

perhaps i’m a bit jaded because of how people have commented or throw out their opinions about our situation. there is no formula to how working through this happens. but most times i don’t want to share because i don’t think people get it.  then again, most times i want to share because she means that much to me and our family.

i love to share stories about my son and daughter. but sometimes it is simply more than i can say out loud.

hmmm…interesting thoughts according to me August 3, 2008

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okay, so today we were with some friends in small group.  a small group of what? it’s not what some of you may think. no, we don’t stand up and say…”hi, my name is _______ and then all reply back and say hi _____. mostly we get together every couple of weeks and do life together. we chill, chat, eat, laugh, talk play, joke around and get transparent in God’s truth for our life. 

if you get to hang out in a group dynamic where you get to do life together, i encourage you to do so.  it’s a lot easier and better to love others and yourself for who you are when you get real and discuss (out loud) life’s stuff.  not all people are trustworthy to know your deepest, darkest. however, there comes a time when you learn to trust each other and rely on each other to uphold you in prayer and honest conversations.  nothing really scary…mostly just freeing. 

all this leads to knowing more about yourself in an honest way. you may then begin to want more and better for yourself regardless of how revealing you have to be to get there.  i was such a person that most of my thoughts stayed internal.  i did a lot of thinking and even judging of myself and others.  kind of ugly, i know.  but as i am determined to be a better person for myself and my son and my family and my legacy,  it becomes more and more important to change thinking and work on heart issues.  the lines to one of the songs that i really like goes a little like this…

i wanna leave a legacy

how will they remember me

did i choose to love

did i point to You, enough to make a mark on things

i wanna leave an offering

child of mercy and grace

who bless your name, apologetically

to leave that kind of legacy

key and operative words to the song are…child of mercy and grace. i’m learning to be more gracious and merciful. i used to almost be merciless because of my extreme strict thinking towards myself and others. i’ve learned to loosen my grip a bit. as i raise my son and live in a harmonious household home with my husband, i have learned and am still learning daily, the value of loosening the grip and taking away my own projected expectations.  something of importance…we can project onto others and choose to be disappointed on a daily basis. other stuff…be gracious and kind and most of all loving and allow people to be who they are and love them anyway.  love is a choice my friends.  whoa, i almost choked on those words. love is a choice.  hmmm. love is a choice. love is a choice. love is a choice…period. don’t you wish that love could just blissfully happen? hmmm, it ain’t like that people! so as you encounter people and interact with people…you have to choose to love.

daily i have to take my big girl pill (metaphorically speaking) in order to be better than i know i am sometimes tempted to be. 

what’s really funny about me is that i’m genuinely very nice, funny, goofy, sometimes wise, sometimes naive (more often than i care to admit), creative, joyful, honest, weird and totally out there. sometimes i can be quite witchy and crabby and judgemental.  but can’t we all? okay, so maybe some of you fine folk aren’t…but i know moi.  i’m pretty sure that i can describe myself as evolving mentally, spiritually physically and stuff. okay, physically i have evolved into the body of a 47 year old.  so i don’t know if i can quite describe that as evolving physically or disintegrating.  no, like really. i was training for and ran the chicago marathon in 2007 and i am being told that i have the body of a 47 year old by some trainer at a gym who put me through the paces to see where i am physically.  i was basically being tested to see if i was okay to work out full speed ahead.  i know that i have gotten out of shape, but what the heck. i secretly wished that he would have taken pity on me and said, free of charge…personal training sessions for you.  well, he didn’t. so i took my body assessment printout and personally trained myself. teehee. yeah right.  i’m still stuck on the “you have the body of a 47 year old”. aargghh!!! what the uugghH!!! so anyhoo, i digress…

well,  i encourage you to get in a small group of some fun folk and do life together.  get real, be real, love, live, laugh, talk, eat and share.  it’s not as corny as you may think.  cuz i’m like really cool. or am i really cool since i used the words “like really cool”.

so, i’ve gotta go. i’ve got a small group of pillows waiting for me to chill and relax on.

c ya.  peace in the middle east. rain in spain. take care!

voyeurism…what happened to intimacy? August 2, 2008

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blogging, twittering, youtube, godtube, reality tv, iphones, ichat, blackberry, palm pilot,texting…OMG stop it already.  well, i would, but that would mean i have to stop even as i am writing on this blog.  it’s so easy to get drawn in and it’s a fun outlet (can’t you hear the sucking in of your senses into the multi-sensory world). is it simply that we’ve just gotta be heard or seen or connected to the world?  some of us live to talk and some of us love to talk and some of us generally don’t get to have stimulating grown up conversations throughout our days.  and some are great writers whose “stuff” would not be put out to the world without the blog, we are just lucky enough to lurk around in some of the blogs and websites out there and read snippets of what could be the makings of some good books.

we have become voyeurs. certainly not in the way that the word was originally meant to be used.  okay, some have but that’s a whole different issue (perhaps we’ll discuss on another day)  we all want to know what other people are thinking and how they live and what they do…for a living. we want to be in touch with the world and the world in touch with us 24/7. unless you’re a telemarketer we wanna hear from you or about you.

have we become so busy networking and such that we no longer have intimate conversations?  we even multi-task our networking.  we network during a network situation/meeting.  even during what are meant to be important meetings. it’s like when i havepeople sit in a meeting and have a texting session with someone who is not even in the meeting.  in effort to stay connected with everyone, we end up disconnecting and not being fully in touch with the ones that are close to us and the ones we love.  for those of uswho have a healthy obsession with reality tv we sometimes lose touch with what real REALity is.  the desire to peer into the lives of others has almost become insatiable. 

you know you’ve gone too far when instead of walking into the same room as your spouse to ask a question or have a brief conversation, you find yourself calling each other on the cell phone.  or how about this one, you email the person in the office down the hall from you.  here’s another one, you text so much that you begin to speak in abbreviations.  how about you text so much that your grandmother speaks in text language. teehee

before we get all caught up and out of touch, it’s important that we stop for reality checks to really connect (face to face) locking eyes and communicating and simply just being with people we know and love and like.

i am guilty of multitasking my connection with people as well as peering into the lives of people that i have very little interest in, except to sometimes see how the other half lives. that’s entertainment folks!

anyhoo,  get your entertainment however you get it.  okay, let me re-phrase that…get your healthy entertainment however you get it 🙂 but don’t forget to come back to REALity.   connect, write, share, be creative and passionate about your own life. it really can be just as interesting as others. in a world of consumerism on steroids…perhaps we should get consumed with what fuels our life’s passion(s).

so i’m writing this, yet i like to blog.  i like to blog because i like to talk a lot and ramble a lot. no worries, i do my fair share of talking, rambling, ranting, chatting, expressing and living life with the ones i love, the ones i like and people i randomly see on the streets. 🙂

c ya