Monday, May 7, 2018

Every Dog Needs a Boy...Every Boy Needs a Dog

She was so tiny the first time I picked her up. 3 lb's to be exact. I held her against my chest and something in me snapped. Went haywire. Came loose. An uncontrollable need to just hold her. I don't think it came as a shock to anyone, but it was a sign that I wasn't as 'okay' as we all thought.  The next few weeks were followed with intense counseling called EMDR. It's a form of therapy that helps a person deal with PTSD. Even in the middle of all of it, I could only think about holding her again. There was a physical ache.

I had one last session...crisis averted...we found the trigger and I was going to survive. In place of the anger there was only sadness now. Coping was the important thing. So feeling a bit relieved but no less heart heavy I walked into my kitchen that night and there she was. Sitting under the high chair that should have been for my baby...there she was...and she was good....good for the soul.

The problem was...in my desire to have her...to let her make me feel better...I didn't think about the day I would have to say goodbye to her too. A word from the wise...don't get a puppy to help you grieve the loss of a baby...because someday that puppy will die. And you will be left without your baby and without your puppy. As far as I'm concerned don't even get a plant...plants die too.

Back to the puppy. She was 3 lbs. Exactly the weight of my son when he was born. She went everywhere with me. Eventually I had a baby boy and she couldn't go everywhere with me because frankly carrying a little dog and a baby seat was impossible. She was a trooper though. She was always little and always thought of as a puppy because she never made it over 10 lb. Two bags of sugar. She liked to sleep under the covers where it was hot. Even when we were camping she would get in my sleeping bag and sneak all the way to the bottom by my feet. Sometimes at night I would find her wedged between the edge of the mattress and the sheet under all the covers. She obviously required very little air. But she loved heat. She could get closer to any fireplace and stare right into the fire and just get hot. It was bizarre. She thrived on the warmth. She was sweet and tender and she was mine to cuddle when I was sad...but she was getting sick. Three times I had her at the vet and they said to get ready...three times I said I just couldn't. She was my link to a boy I wasn't able to hold. The worse she became the more I tried to prepare myself but nothing worked. The reality sucked. It just sucks.

As I sipped my coffee yesterday morning and listened to her trying to breath I knew we had less than 24 hours. Quietly I asked my Father what was I thinking asking for a puppy to help me with that stage...This was too hard. Quietly I heard the voice of my Father tell me every boy needs a dog...and Isaac was ready to take over. I wept.

That is the ONLY thing that got me thru last night. As she was drowning from fluid in her lungs and around her heart, as I held the oxygen to her mouth and said goodbye, I knew my boy was waiting to take her. They are 11. Every boy needs a dog. Every dog needs a boy.

I love you Tessa. I will miss you so much. Thank you for filling a hole in my heart bigger than Texas with your tiny love and peaceful presence. You were and always have been good for my soul.







Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Where Anger Waits

It was March 16th 2016. I was scrolling thru Facebook and randomly followed a link that led me to a page that led me to another page...I sat on my bed and hit share to raise awareness of National Trisomy 18 Awareness day. Over the years I had randomly realized what day it was only on accident and this time was no different...except it was. This time as I clicked to close out the page the border caught my eye. In a glimpse I noticed faces of babies AND children. It gnawed at me. I spent a few minutes walking around my room pushing the images away until I couldn't take it anymore. As I sat back down and opened Google I replayed all the information we had about Trisomy 18 and what we learned when our baby was not yet here. I knew statistically 1 in every 2000 pregnancy results in a baby with Trisomy 18 but most end in miscarriage. I knew statistically we had a minimal chance of carrying to term (we carried to 39 weeks), I knew if he was under 4lbs when he was delivered he would live for a very short time if at all. I knew if he was over 4 lbs his chances of survival for more than an hour increased drastically. I knew the insurance viewed his life as 'non-viable' and would only call hospice in if he did live but would not do anything else for him...as he would not thrive. I knew the only place he was safe was inside me. That is what I knew. Isaac was exactly 3 lb when he was born.

As I typed the words into the search box my spirit warned me...I could feel the anger rise before I even had all the information but something seemed wrong.  I needed to know more...were these pictures of children living with Trisomy 18?

Hours later...article after article read...information on panels of medical professionals for and against trying to save these babies with Trisomy 18...the heart surgery...developed in 2003... 2003, 4 years before our little warrior...the insurance on the definition of life...I was unraveling. I have unraveled. Anger shot from the core of my being. I damn near threw my laptop across the room. I had conversations with people who knew us...who know me...and it was too big. After days I stabilized my emotions with a keen awareness that if I didn't I would end up in an institution. My anger would drown me. My emotions were a black hole. They have been a black hole. I have been cautious to feel anything...yes you read that right...feeling any of this is painful and if I let go..I go down the rabbit hole of sorrow and affliction...I don't quite think I can handle all of it yet. We don't talk about it. I don't talk about it. Church was/is not a place for peace...it has not been a place for peace. Some might say I'm hiding but realistically I'm surviving so that I don't lose myself for the sake of living. This does not mean I am without faith. Quite the contrary...my faith is even more real...the relationship with my Father seems even more real now that it is strained...but like any relationship that goes thru hard times I know I don't want to stay here. I don't want to be so hardened that I miss the intent of it. But that is my problem...what good could possibly have come from us not having been given the truth?...I just need someone to tell me he wasn't a viable candidate...or better yet someone to have at least given me the courtesy of a decision...but that was taken from us...from me.

I can barely write about it...This is going to take time. This is not a...lets have a come to Jesus meeting and all of a sudden you're okay...people desire faith to be that way...we want a shotgun solution to so much of life...people say it's not what you're dealing with it's HOW you deal with it...I say BS...sometimes it IS what you're dealing with. Perspective helps but sometimes we want our hearts and lives fixed with a magic wand...or a magical moment...and it just doesn't work that way.

So that's it...I've had every argument about it possible with myself....I already know God has us...I already know His involvement or lack of will someday make sense... I ALREADY know if Isaac was here my other baby may not be...I GET IT ALL...but it doesn't change the reality for me that I was not told about it. So maybe this is the first step to my healing...I started this newer blog to get away from the other one...something more positive...but in all reality...it's all part of who I am....who I am becoming....the continued story of Gods path for me. 

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 1 Pet 5:6-7






Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Liberty and Justice...for ALL

Now...before you judge my words...you have to commit to reading this to the end...or don't read it at all. Please.
I've kept silent on this whole NFL thing because I see both sides...I really do...but I believe that what the Cowboys did last night was tasteful and the way to do it. Now stop...you think it's just because I'm a fan that I'm thinking this way and you're wrong...I've thought a LOT about this. They knelt in solidarity to support the issues but stood for those who fight to give them that freedom...what a restrained way to approach it.
I have seen the racial injustice played out in our nation...even in my own sphere by reading words of hate directed at my 2nd daughter who is black but last time i checked the blood coursing thru our veins sure as hell is the same color. I've sat in restaurants and quietly witnessed the looks as we've dined together and have been sickened by the fact that it is 2017 we STILL have a divide when it comes to race. I will NEVER be okay with that...I won't ever understand it...and I will never know how she feels or her mom (who is one of the most loyal kindest friends I've ever had) feels...
To all my white friends....you will NEVER understand what our friends of other races go thru...you just won't...you can not comprehend the hate they deal with...you think the incidents that make them feel targeted are isolated and i can PROMISE you they deal with it DAILY. Don't pretend for a second that you will ever be able to empathize with them...you can't...it's that horrible. It's a scab that gets picked at daily...and it hurts...and it never heals...it's wrong...and the hate even in the smallest gestures is so big and so powerful that even a sideways look in a grocery line reveals the true beliefs of a persons heart...ugly....wrong....
So here's the thing...we should protest...we should all be taking a knee....holding up signs....boycotting..use your freedom to fight for what is right...BUT RESPECT those who fought and ARE fighting for you to have that freedom...by standing under the flag that unites us.
Finally...for this nation so divided...
Kneel in support of racial injustice....and pray for a change and ask what you can do to make a difference
Kneel for the suffering you cannot and will never understand..and pray for a change and ask what you can do to make a difference
Kneel for the hungry and the homeless in our nation...and pray for a change and ask what you can do to make a difference
Kneel for injustice....and pray for a change and ask what you can do to make a difference
Kneel for the disaster our nation is in....and pray for a change and ask what you can do to make a difference
and don't just kneel for the cross...lay prostrate in honor of it...and beg our Father to change your heart and show you what to do to make a difference...
AND THEN..
GET UP....GET UP and STAND TALL for the ones who gave you the right to kneel when that flag is flying high...STAND TALL for the liberty you've been given for the men and women of color who have fought hard against racism and social injustice...STAND TALL because you are an AMERICAN...and fight to improve on our motto...because we might have liberty but we certainly do not have 'Justice for All'.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Shame on you...

Let's meet a pet peeve of mine: Mr Public Shaming. I conducted an interview with him that I would love to share:

Me: So...Mr. PS, tell me what you're main objective is between parent and child communication?

Mr PS: well Sara, I've always thought it would be super beneficial to make sure a child understands that while a parent is talking to them that everyone around them knows how absolutely disappointed their parent is in them. My goal is downright humiliation and maybe some solid butterflies in the tummy for added affect.

Me: wow. So basically your whole goal is to completely demoralize a child and help them never forget the moment their parent was completely ashamed of them?

Mr. PS: Well yea...I mean I really need parents to do this as much as possible so their child can learn their place in this world as a loser. That way when they grow up they will be able to treat their own kids the same way and just really build in with their parents have taught them. It also helps if they really resent their parents and what they couldn't accomplish and then try to live vicariously thru their kid.  But of course I'll be there to point out the colossal failure their child is at achieving the parents dreams.

Me: do you ever feel sad when you see the look of hurt and agonizing disappointment on the Child's face when they realize what a letdown they are to their mom or dad?

Mr PS: Sara this is just an achievement on my part. The facial recognition I get to see of the pain and humiliation is just proof that my presence is working. I mean, they don't call me Mr. Public Shaming for nothing.

Me: I can understand correcting a child in front of others, especially when they are in danger...is your goal that this only happens when the child has made a decision that could hurt them?

Mr PS: Oh absolutely not, as a matter of fact, the more the picking at ridiculous things the better! The whole goal is to make them really feel the shame in every aspect of their decision making...from how they eat at a restaurant to how they perform in school or sports. Just as long as their are people around to witness the verbal beat down...then I've done my work.


*********************************************

Listen - I don't need to add all the articles from professionals about public shaming, nor do I need to tell you how many children have committed suicide because of public shaming - COMMITTED SUICIDE PEOPLE.

I've seen it over and over. In the middle of Walmart, eating dinner out with my family, sporting events....you're right...I don't know the circumstances...but sometimes I can get a pretty good clue. You will never reach your child or have a healthy relationship with them by picking them apart in front of other people. You will break them down and they will resent you...and they should. Then they will find healthy parents of their friends to hang out with you and will grow up wishing they had parents that would just listen and talk to them and treat them like human beings. Most of you would never treat a friend the way you treat your kids...yet your children are supposed to be higher on the totem pole. I can almost bet if I troll your FB page you've posted something about anti bullying...well guess what? You're a BULLY!

Be brave enough to break the cycle...you are being abusive. Don't. Just shut up. Just wait till you're in private...and when you are think about what you want to say...or how you want to chastise thing FIRST about the long term goal. Is it to make them better and lift them up? Is it to break habits that are destructive? Or is it to eliminate the embarrassment you think they are to you? In short...don't be an ass to your kids...or someday they will return the favor.












Saturday, August 5, 2017

Empty

I'm feeling oddly...like writing...but I'm empty. I wonder if this is how artists feel after a while...they know they can paint or sculpt but they don't know what to paint...or sculpt...or design......talent wasted. I feel like my life is slipping by and the one thing I'm certain I should be doing...I'm not. I sound so egotistical...I have quite possibly misunderstood my writing ability...maybe the majority of people just 'think' they can write...maybe Im in that majority.

I think the biggest thing I struggle with is.....well okay let's be honest I struggle with a LOT but the 2 things I'm wrestling with are..#1. Who cares about my story? Everyone has one...it's like we all need to blow our noses but you don't have to tell me about it...I have one too... what makes anything I have to say about who I am so extraordinary someone needs to read it? #2?  I feel like somewhere, at some point someone expected me to write about Isaac and our story...and very gravely I think...no one needs to write OR read another book about someone losing a baby. Let me be honest...I was given a few books while I was pregnant with my boy and after we lost him...the books were about losing a baby...I never read them. I didn't care about someone else's story...I was living my own. I don't think those are heroic stories...especially knowing the infant mortality rate in third world countries is deplorable....what about those mamas and their stories...? Did you know the infant mortality rate in the US is something like 6 out of every 1000 babies? In Angola is 96 out of every 1000...96 stories over and over and over...who will tell their stories? So why should that be something I write about?

I have nothing...so I sit here with what feels like this pretty little wrapped present with nothing inside. I have nothing to give anyone...

So while I feel like writing and figuring this out, my words slapped on a white screen mean nothing unless I'm being silly and relaying my fight with Mr. PD (the Prarie Dog that resides up the hill) who is very obviously trying to take his life...every time I drive by his little mound.

We all have issues right? I'm a jumbled mess and the real truth is life is in the way and I've been self demoted to a normal, pew warming, TV watching, procrastinating ... person...I'm a member..not a participant right now.. It's a boring...safe...unfeeling place to be. I am sitting in the shallow end of the pool and I have very little use for depth at the moment.  Let me put it this way...I can go deep with other people regarding their stuff...just not mine...not right now. I'm giving myself permission to do that...so don't judge me. Yep...so I have nothing to write about right now. Soon though...it's going to bubble up...and then who knows what will happen?




Saturday, April 15, 2017

Broken

I sat and stared at my computer screen in disbelief...so many small faces looking back at me. Through tears and a series of links I had an emotion that I had never experienced come over me..pure...helpless...anger. Disbelief. I felt robbed...violated...duped...

I have been dealing with this for weeks...I can't do anything to change it but I don't know what to do with it which feels worse. As a mom ... if you're a mom ... you know you would do anything for your babies...anything. Most of the time our decisions are based on minor issues .. broken hearts, hurt friendships...a pair of jeans they can't live without...time with a friend that if they don't get it they'll just 'die'... and we bend... and we love and we give. But what if it was life and death...the heights it takes you to emotionally is explosive. 

I sat reading the words over and over and I kept thinking...this is a lie...it can't be true...2004...cardiac surgery...trisomy 18...91% success rate...2004... 2004....no...no not possible. I would have been told...I would have been asked...informed...given options, decisions... something ...maybe close to hope. But I didn't...no one said it. No one told me. ..10 years later and 11 years to the day I found out I was pregnant with him....here I sit broken. I'm so hurt. I'm so hurt that no one thought to give me the chance to make that decision for myself if I would even put him thru it. But no one said anything...

I'm angry. I don't know what to do with it other than to wait...to keep listening to God...to not shut Him out...to hang on with every fiber of my being that He ultimately has this...and I'm not capable of getting it yet. He knows I'm mad. He knows my feelings are broken and that words will not define the chasm that has been created in the history of my heart story. 

So tomorrow we celebrate the resurrection...the son that died to save me...we reflect on Gods sovereignty and His desire for all us to chose Him and accept the grace...my loss doesn't change His sacrifice...but I'm not in a great place...just being honest. It's a bewildering place to be in your heart knowing that the God who saves could allow us not to see the whole picture resulting in devastating moments like these...why? I know a lot of the why's...don't fill in the blanks for me because it doesn't matter... a doctor asked me more times to abort ...to kill my baby...all while holding the information that he could have lived...there are no answers that will fix how I feel right now...but I believe God is the supreme comforter in the midst of the pain He could have prevented ...this sucks....that I have to believe right now that ALL things work together FOR THE GOOD of those who love Him. And I do love Him...but I'm so so hurt. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Ring it in...rein it in...

2017. It feels uncomfortable. I'm sitting here thinking...pondering...whispers in my heart...why does this feel like this? I think on some level I have this feeling every year. I hate change...now I have to write a new date down and remember...I have to change something in my life and frankly I don't want to and I probably won't...

I want to describe the state of my heart to you. Why? Because I feel misunderstood...if I could close this for comments I would because I don't want the sadness or the pity or perspective..I want honored silence for my hurt...for my loss....

The pressure begins around Christmas Day... it starts when the presents have been opened and the chaos is done and the quiet sets in...the knock on my heart starts and a countdown to the 1st begins. Why? Because after the first comes the 2nd. It's a rumbling in an empty space at first...a foreboding feeling that echos around my heart with no place to land. The feeling gets bigger as the day draws near and you can be certain that in every quiet moment I have I'm thinking about it...I'm thinking about him. Then that thing in my heart that starts as a tiny echo grows till it envelopes my insides causing pressure and suffocation and before I know it December 31st rolls around and I have to prepare myself for the mindless meanderings of people looking toward the year and what it has to offer and my heart is never in it anymore. I don't like resolutions...I've said that before...if you're going to make a change...change it. So the countdown to midnight begins, 10, 9, 8, pour the champagne, 7, 6, 5, hold your glass high..4, 3, 2, 1....happy new year...clink clink...kiss on the lips...hugs from my two babies...smiling...smiling...rush through it...and the thing that started as an echo has completely taken hold of me head to toe...sadness... A decade of sadness.

I watch the revelries....and in my ugliness I think...how can you celebrate something new when he won't be here too? This is a joke I think. I don't want to celebrate...I want to curl up on the chair where I first felt your kicks and I want to hold you there in my belly so safe...so secure...reminder..rein it in...be realistic...you could be no place safer than where you are...and you are...you are so safe...so loved....but I don't want you to be there. I want you to be here...laughing in my hallway and giggling about your birthday being almost here. I want to hear you run through the house so I can yell at you and your brother to settle down. I want the stress of buying presents when I just spent too much on you for Christmas...I want the argument of what theme you want for your party and I want to hear you angry because so many of your friends are gone for Christmas break and they can't make it...I would even take biscuits meltdown that it's not his birthday and he doesn't get presents...I would take it...I WOULD TAKE IT!!!!

We all know that's not how it would have been though. Had you stayed with me...you would not be running...maybe I could have gotten smiles out of you...I fanticize about it and I hold tightly to the reality that you really are where you need to be...but damn does it hurt.

Tomorrow you will be 10. I will have that pain in my chest. I will cry...and I will wish it could be happier...Last year I came up with an idea to help me get through the day and this year I didn't succeed. Timing isn't right yet...I'm not ready.

Maybe in another 10 years...but I have a feeling I will feel the same as I do on January 1st 2027 as I do Jan 1 2017.

Isaac Matthew you took so much of my heart when you left me. I love you son. Happy birthday tomorrow.