"Thank heaven there is tomorrow. Because there is tomorrow, all our yesterdays have meaning and all our dreams have hope."

Friday, May 30, 2008

Being Grateful Will Make Us Happy

"Mercies and blessings come in different forms--sometimes as hard things. Yet the Lord said, 'Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things' (D&C 59:7). All things means just that: good things, difficult things--not just some things. He has commanded us to be grateful because He knows being grateful will make us happy. This is another evidence of His love."
- Bonnie D. Parkin

Here are a few things I am grateful for . . . (in no particular order)

- my faith and beliefs
- my family
- my sweet husband
- my baby Gavin
- our jobs and everything that makes our lives comfortable
- tender mercies
- opportunities to escape
- friends
- Diet Coke (laugh all you want)
- my trials (yeah, I know, I may be crazy)
- and hope (where would we be without hope?)

. . . my list could go on and on, but I thought this was a good start.

What are you grateful for?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Please Forgive Me . . .

. . . for my rant last night. I did not mean to be depressing. Just an aspect of my life that very few people understand.

I haven't picked up my mail for a few days, so my mailbox was full this morning when I stopped by on my way to work. It seems that every month around the 27th (his birthday) and the 28th (his heaven day) we receive an anonymous card with uplifting quotes and thoughts. We are so appreciative that someone would remember Gavin (and us) on these days of the month. It's so kind. SO kind. There was a quote in the card I received today that I felt I should share, because it's so true as we have had Gavin come and go so quickly here on earth:
"When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight." - Kahlil Gibran

How true this is. I weep for the loneliness without Gavin, but he is my delight. The pictures below show this concept perfectly. This was the last bath Jason and I gave Gavin. It was right before his blessing and just hours before he passed away. They were painful moments, but looking back they are also full of delight.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Inadequate Power to Decide

This is something I have been wanting to write about for a long time - something that pulls at my broken heart every time I think about it. All my life I have been taught that decisions bring about consequences. Some consequences are good and some are not, but we always have the power to choose. However, no one ever warned me about what happens when a life changing decision is not really yours to make, but you still have to decide. Doesn't really make sense, huh? Yeah, it still doesn't make sense to me either. It's not like deciding what color to paint the walls of your home or what you will do on Saturday night and it's not like deciding what to have for dinner - oh, how I would love to have those be the extent of my decisions again. I envy those innocent days. This decision was nothing close to that . . . but it's a decision to be made nonetheless.

Yesterday Gavin would have been ten months old and today he has been gone for seven months. It's been seven long and painful months since we had to make that decision - a decision to play God - a decision that we were asked to make in the most exhausting and excruciating moments of our lives. Oh, and by the way, it has to be the right choice too. The doctors and medical staff told us it was the right thing to do - it was the kind thing - we should have no regrets - he wouldn't have made it much longer anyway - his body was agitated and failing - if we didn't make a choice now, it wouldn't be a choice any more. We were NEVER forced into this decision, but I think I had been prepared a few days before about what needed to happen for Gavin, but how does a mother and father make that decision? This wasn't like the time where we had to decide to give Gavin a tracheotomy to help him breathe. The night Jason signed the surgical consent forms for the trach I watched him punch the couch in anguish and cry, "How could I sign a paper that says it's okay to put a hole in my child's throat?" (Needless to say, I always made a point to sign the consents after that.) That was a decision to help Gavin survive - this new decision was one that I felt completely inadequate to make. A decision we needed help to make.
Perhaps there is a reason why we are to make these kinds of choices in those moments that we are so emotionally overdrawn and submissive. It's like admitting defeat - a defeat that is still vaguely lived each and every day for me. But the conqueror is not worldly, it's a spiritual submission to Heavenly Father's will. It's the time where as mortal beings we step back and say, "Not my will, but Thy will be done." It takes so much faith and hope to accept His will.

Sometimes I get angry when I hear, "Well, at least you are an eternal family." Yes, I know I will be with my family again - I believe that and I have so much gratitude for that, but that doesn't take away the intense earthly moments of grief and loneliness that comes with burying a child. It softens the blow but it doesn't take away the anguish when your husband looks at you the next morning and says, "We let our son die last night."
Yes, we know the eternal picture and we have faith in that, but we still mourn for what we have lost. I say we have lost, but we have also gained a more purposeful existence. I have developed a more clear understanding of the purpose of life and the love of a mother for her child.

Some people ask, "How did you do that?" To answer with perfect honesty, I can say that we weren't the ones deciding that day. There is a reason decisions like that are made when you are tired, emotionally drained and defeated - it's because you make the decision from your gut and you are guided by something stronger and more all-knowing than you are. We signed the papers, but the answer had been made clear for us. Gavin told us in his own way that his body and his time were finished - he had just been hanging on until we could let him go peacefully. What a sweet boy I have . . .

I am so grateful I did not have to make that decision or the ones to follow alone. I am grateful (and sorrowful for him) that my sweet husband never left my side. I am grateful we had our families to sit in the hospice room where Gavin spent his last few hours with us. I am grateful our parents went with us to pick out his small two foot casket and I am grateful my parents guided us with the decisions on the headstone and plot. All decisions a parent shouldn't ever have to make - but we do it anyway. Mostly, I am grateful for the guidance of my Father in Heaven to know the right thing to do for my baby Gavin. I have felt His strength and comfort during my moments of darkness and I continue to feel Him guide me now. I truly believe that when a parent is asked to do these kinds of things, we are blessed and comforted. This isn't an easy road to walk, but we do not walk it alone.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

We had a really great time this past weekend at the cabin. But, the fun all started on Thursday May 22nd when my brother James proposed to his girlfriend Lauren at Disney Land. We are so excited to have Lauren join our family!

Here is a picture of the happy couple from this weekend.
We had a lot of fun making s'mores over the fire pit on the patio. We also were able to celebrate Lauren's 23rd birthday.

Oh . . . and this is the other new addition to our family! Dad surprised us all when he drove back from Cedar City with this in the back of his truck.

On our way home from Utah we stopped by to see Gavin. We were so happy to see a little flag by him . . . thank you to whoever gave that to him. It means so much to us.

Me and my dad "arranging" things for Gavy.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ronald McDonald House Memorial Day Run

If anyone is interested, the Las Vegas Ronald McDonald House is having a run on Memorial Day. Just thought I would pass the message along. More info is on the link below.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Another Semester is Over

Most of you know that Jason is working on his Master's Degree in Business at night after work. This semester is over and the grades are in . . . once again Jason has passed with flying colors. I am always so amazed with his hard work and dedication. He works full time, goes to school at night, has a calling the the Stake Sunday School Presidency and still finds time to be an awesome husband and father. We are really looking forward to December when he finishes school and we can concentrate on other aspects of life. I know he is REALLY getting antsy to finish these last few classes. He has an international business trip to China soon, one summer semester class and then the fall semester - then it's graduation! Good job J! I love an appreciate you!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

No Other Love

I heard this song awhile ago. I love listening to it . . .it reminds me of my Gavy.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Maybe They Aren't As Back As I Thought They Were

So, I went home and watch the NKOTB concert. Yeah, some things just need to stay in the past. (Sorry to all of you avid fans our there.) Something about watching them dance now was a little creepy.

WHAAA? They Are Back?

I just can't believe it! The New Kids On the Block are back, but do they have the Right Stuff? This morning as I was getting ready for work when I heard that they would be performing on the Today Show. I know I am a nerd - TiVo'd it and I can't wait to watch it. Poor Jason . . . he might be listening to the CD this weekend. HEH HEH HEH

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My SIL's Talent

My awesome sister-in-law is so creative. She never ceases to amaze me with her creativity and her thoughtfulness. She made the most adorable decorative blocks with the grandkid's pictures on them as a Mother's Day gift for my mother-in-law. It really means so much to us that she took all that time to do Gavin's block too. Aside from being artistic, she is kind, thoughtful, patient, a good listener and a wonderful friend and sister. Thanks for doing all you do! We love you! Here are the pictures she sent to me of Gavin's block . . .

So cute, huh?!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dear Gavin

Hey Buggy!

I feel like I need to talk to you today. Last night your dad was out of town for work and I was home alone. I decided to get some things done so I went grocery shopping at Costco. As I was walking around I stopped at the table of baby clothes. I couldn't ignore the table - it's like the display was taunting me to stop and look. I stopped my cart in a daze. There was a cute little outfit that would have fit you. The 3-6 month size. It had a picture of a bulldozer on the front and it said, "Mommy Digs Me." I wanted to grab it and throw it in my cart. I just wanted to touch it, but I was frozen. I couldn't lift my eyes from the table. I stood there for a long time watching moms with little boys in their cart pick up the clothes on display. I watch them hold it up to their baby boys for measurements. I saw them throw the outfit in their cart and walk away like it was no big deal. Don't they know? Don't they know that it IS a big deal? Don't they know how lucky they are to be able to buy that piece of clothing? And, why can't I? It's not fair that I will look like I am crazy if I pick up that taunting outfit. It's not fair that even if I did get the courage to touch it, set it in my cart and buy it - I would have to pack it away when I got home. It's not fair that I don't get to look at the 9-12 month old clothes now and imagine you in them. I only see you so small, just a three month old baby boy. You were just a baby.

Gav, I cried the whole way home. I was feeling really sorry for myself. Then I heard you say, "No more crying mommy. There is happiness and hope still to be had." I felt a little bit ashamed that I was feeling so sorry for myself. I am so glad I have you to straighten me out. :) We had good times, didn't we Gav?! Your three months with us brought us so much happiness. The promises we have because of you are so amazing. I remember all of the blessing that were given to you. We are so lucky to have you.

Even though being without here is difficult, I know that you are always with me. Even though I don't have you sitting in my cart at the grocery store, I never feel that you are very far away. I am so grateful to have you as my son. You make me feel like a special momma. Thank you Gavin for always being there with me. You teach me so much. I want you to know that I love you. I love you so much. Talk to you soon buggy!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Something To Think About

Last week my aunt sent a talk to me from a funeral she recently attended - this part made such a profound impact on me. I just wanted to share it . . .
We don't have life experiences so that we can simply endure them. We must endure them well so that those experiences do change us. That is the purpose of those experiences. If we don't change through them, then they are simply tragic. But if they do change us then they are what I like to call "difficult blessings." They are blessings that we would never wish for, that we would never wish upon anyone else. But if we are honest with ourselves we realize that the best attributes we have, our love, our compassion, our desire to serve, to do better, to be better couldn't have come about to the same degree without those experiences. And so, while we would gladly do away with the experience we would never trade what the experience has done to us. Unfortunately, we cannot have one without the other.
This is my experience I would NEVER trade. Even though it's difficult to be without Gavin, I still get to remember precious moments like this . . . and this HAS changed me.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Mother's Day Escape

At the last moment we decided to go to the cabin for the weekend. Jason and I decided that being with family away from home would be much better than sitting at church for Mother's Day. We just didn't need to do that to ourselves this year. It just felt like too much to handle this time. So, we went with my parents and my brother Matt to the cabin this weekend and had a really great time. Here's a recap of the weekend. It all started with . . .


Friday night Jason and I were half way asleep when we heard my mom scream from her bedroom, "AHHHHH! THERE IS SOMETHING BIG IN MY BED! AND I THINK IT HAS FURRRRRRRRRR!" Jason claimed the manly responsibility of getting rid of "the big furry thing" in mom's bed. Luckily, we had watched an episode of Rob & Big on MTV that night where they find dead mice in their home so we new exactly how to handle the situation. :) So here is the scene: Mom is holding a big box over the bed ready to capture the creature, Jason's hands are wrapped in WalMart grocery bags and I am standing by the door ready to close them all in on a moments notice. Jason threw back the covers and this is what we found. . . . . . a dead chipmunk. We aren't quite sure how it got into mom and dad's bed, but we assume since there is construction work going on still at the house, a door was left open and Alvin found his way into the comforts of the Master Bedroom. Needless to say, we were a little freaked out and later Jason even admitted that he, "thought he would have had to wrestle the animal" as we were running down the stairs to investigate. HAHAHA! My funny Jason! We had quite a laugh after it was all over.

On Saturday we had lunch in Cedar City and rode 4-wheelers that evening. Here are a few pictures from our evening excursion with my brother Matt . . .

. . . and here is Jason giving his "I wrestled a chipmunk last night" face. . . . and Matt is all GQ on the 4-wheeler wearing dad's coat from the 1970's.

During our ride we saw a TON of deer. Sunday was a nice day. I was so happy to be with my mom. You all know how much I love her and how much she means to me. We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast (yum! my favorite!) and later that afternoon we had French Dip Sandwiches. It was nice to sit and watch Gavin's movie with my mom while Jason and Matt were out riding on the 4-wheelers. We had a good talk about what it means to be a mother, and once again I have come to the conclusion I have the best mom. We were meant to be together. Happy Mother's Day Momma!
Sunday when I woke up Jason had a gift for me. Inside a card I found this ring. I love being Gavin's Mommy. . . and that's all I need to say about my Mother's Day.
On the way home from Utah Jason, my mom and I stopped to see Gav. I needed to spend some time with my son on Mother's Day. I know I have talked about this often, but I think that Gavin was so selfless giving us time with him. I don't think he needed to stay here three months with us to fulfill his earthly responsibilities, but I think he chose to stay until we understood what needed to be. I have such a wise son, and I am a lucky momma.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Privileged Mother

A friend of mine had mothers post on her blog. This is what I wrote:

My experience and privilege of being a mother has been much different than I ever anticipated. The word "mother" has a whole new meaning now - a whole new respect and reverence. Being a mother hasn’t gone the way I planned . . . but, isn’t that normal? I have a sweet baby boy who was with us for three short months on earth, but I feel so honored to be his mother for eternity. Even though motherhood hasn’t gone the way I planned, I feel privileged to be a mother.

A year ago I was a typical girl in the middle of a typical pregnancy with no problems or complications. My perspective of being a mother consisted of being prepared in every way possible. I had read every book, avoided all the things to be avoided and did everything I was told to do in "What to Expect When You Are Expecting." Two months before his due date Gavin’s room was painted, his clothes were washed and folded in the appropriate drawers, his bed was made, and the stroller was assembled. We were ready for our baby boy to come home.

Our sweet Gavin James Bailey was born four weeks early on July 27, 2007 due to a sudden lack of fetal movement. Shortly after Gavin’s birth a Nurse Practitioner came to tell us that Gavin had some odd features that were most likely related to a genetic abnormality or syndrome. I remember watching my husband fall to his knees and cry the most heart wrenching sob. This was not supposed to happen to us! This was NOT what I had signed up for when I decided to be a mother.

But when I saw my tiny little boy for the first time laying in a NICU bed, hooked up to machines, and listening to doctors talk about shortened life expectancy - I realized what it truly meant to be a mother. It was at that exact moment when my perspective on motherhood changed. I knew I was willing to do anything for my son. It didn’t matter how difficult life would be having a son with a trach , feeding tube and severe disabilities. We were willing to give up everything just to have our son. Nothing else mattered except my new little family.

Gavin was only with us for three months before he returned to our Heavenly Father, and that time with him was the most joyful and the most painful three months of my life. Gavin never left the NICU. He never came home to sleep in that bed made for him, ride in that stroller or wear many of those clothes. However, what he taught me was far more valuable than the experiences we may have missed out on having him here with us. He taught me what is means to unconditionally love and cherish the truly important things in life. He taught me how to be more Christlike. He taught me how to have empathy. And most importantly, he taught me how to submit to the will of our Heavenly Father. I often reflect how lucky I am to be Gavin’s mother.

Yes, motherhood is an endearing word. It means love, faith, patience, strength, kindness, sacrifice, happiness, and joy. Gavin taught me more than I ever could have taught him. Gavin has made me a happy momma and redefined my life.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Today's Quote

"Your Heavenly Father loves each of you and has sent you to earth with a purpose. He has revealed a plan of happiness that, if followed, will ultimately bring you home to His presence, having triumphed over the trials and challenges of this world."
(John B. Dickson, "Commitment to the Lord," Ensign, May 2007, 14)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

My Conversation With "R"

Yesterday I was at work when my cell phone rang. This was the conversation that followed:

Me: Hello?
R (a sweet five year old girl from church) : Hi! This is "R"!
Me: Hi "R" how are you?
R: What time are you going to be home tonight?
Me: About 7:00.
R (whispering to her mom): She'll be home at 7:00.
Me: Is that okay?
R: Yes, we want to bring you something.
Me: That's so nice "R"! Thank you! I'll see you tonight!
R: Okay. Bye. Oh, and I hope you have another baby really really soon!

"R's" last sentence really made me smile. Children are so sweet, and so are their moms who can see when I have a bad day. Last night "R's" mom brought this basket to us. She said that every month on Gavin's birthday they would buy something for us. There were books, candles, music and so many other sweet gifts. "R" said that the candy was from her, because candy makes you feel better. I was so overwhelmed as I opened the gifts. This is the true meaning of service. They had been collecting things over the past nine months, and when I had a difficult day, they were there with smiles. So, thank you so much for being so thoughtful. Your example of friendship and service is a blessing in our lives.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Poor, Poor Rosalie

Some days are just tough. That's the frustrating aspect of grief. It's like climbing a mountain in the rain. Climbing the mountain of life is difficult even when the sun is shining and the sky is blue; but when you add the rain, it creates a setting for falls, slips and slides. I feel like I am climbing this mountain with overcast skies now. They days are still a little dark, but it is not like the monsoon when I first started this ascent to wherever this mountain trail leads me. Now, I have days where the sun peeks through the clouds for a bit, or days where there is just a trace of rain. Pretty good for the most part, right? As soon as I get used to the overcast skies and the steep slopes of the mountain, the skies darkend and the rain will pour. That's when I fall. Some days I can pick myself back up and keep going, or at least stand until my feet decide it's okay to move again. Other days, when the rain beats down, I slip and just can't get back up right away. The result - I end up laying there useless, helpless, exhausted and heart broken. Well, that was my day yesterday . . . a fall to useless-ness. I just missed my Baby Gavin. I hurt so much.

So, who, you may ask, is Rosalie? I need to change to topic for a moment here now. Back in seventh grade I was selected to be in a health research study to follow teenagers through their adolescent and adult life. The University of North Carolina conducts these surveys and a representative will come to my house once every three or four years to continue the research questionnaire. They ask questions about physical health, mental health, marriage, children, drug use, etc. Like I said before, poor, poor Rosalie. She was the interviewer yesterday - on my rainy day.

Here's an example of our dialogue:

R - How many pregnancies have you had?
Me - Two
R- How many living children do you have from those pregnancies?
Me - None
R- Were they abortions by choice?
Me - (disgusted) NO
R - How many were live births?
Me - One
R - Did the live birth ever come home from the hospital?
Me - No
R - What was your live birth's name?
Me - Gavin - wanna see a picture of him? (and then I break in to hysterical sobs)

So, yes. Poor, poor Rosalie. All she was doing was her job - on my bad day. As she walked out of my house (glad to leave I am sure) she said, "It will get better." Bet I was the talk at her dinner table last night!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Roger!

Today is my wonderful father-in-law's birthday. Happy Birthday! We hope you are able to do something fun today. I am so thankful for Roger and his influence in our lives. He has been such an amazing example for Jason and I to follow. He is so rational, reasonable and thoughtful. One of the things I will always remember was how he listened to me when we were at PCMC with Gavin. Many times after "rounds" with the doctors I would call him to give him the updated information. I would always ask if he had a free minute to talk. His reply every time was, "I have as much time as you need, Lindsay." He was so patient, kind and supportive through this past year and our extreme ups and downs. I truly appreciate his kind ways, strong testimony and the role model he is for our family. We love you Grandpa Bailey! Have a good birthday!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

My Little (Or Not So Little) Brother's Junior Prom

I just can't believe it! My baby brother Matt went to Prom last night. I still remember when he was a baby. . . here is a picture of the two of us. And yes, you can laugh at my glasses. What can I say? I was a 10 year old girl living in the midst of the nineties!

It was fun to watch Matt get dressed up in his tux and act like it was no big deal, and it was hilarious to listen to all of us "adults" give him dating advice. My sister even came home from college for Mom's birthday and Matt's prom. We had such a fun time together this weekend. Here are a few more pictures from Matt's prom night. Sorry the quality is so bad - I had to scan them in.

My sister Becca, Matt and Me . . . with Jason in the background.

Lauren, James, Matt, Jason, Me and Becca

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Momma!

This picture was taken in 1984 - me and mom dressed up for Halloween

Today is my mother's birthday. I won't say what number . . . UMMMMM 50! (sorry mom - please forgive me.) I want her to know how much I love her. Over the years my mom has truly become my best friend. She has been my rock through so many difficult times and a perfect example of what it means to selflessly serve others. I have watched her stay home and raise four children giving up some of her own dreams on our behalf. She is an amazing mother, and I just hope I can be a mom like her someday. I know I have talked about this many times before, but she never left my side during our time with Gavin. She was with me at every hospital visit and moved with me to Salt Lake when Gavin was transferred to PCMC. I have watched her give of everything she has for her family and I love the person my mother is. She is funny (even though we sometimes tell her she isn't), she is kind, she is always willing to help others and she can do just about anything she is asked to do (including towing cars - right mom?!). I love you momma! I hope you have a great birthday!

Friday, May 2, 2008

My New Best Friend For The Day

I'd like you to meet my new best friend for the day . . . Mr. Vick. He is my saving grace today. I'm pretty sure Jason thinks I am addicted. Today at lunch I told him this was a better addiciton than my desired addiction of choice for the day. heh heh heh
Here's how my day has gone today:

wake up . . . I feel gross (is it allergies or a cold . . . hmmmm?)

take a shower . . . I feel a little bit better

I drive to work . . . feeling pretty good

get to work . . . a little sniff, sneeze, and blowing my nose

more sniffing, sneezing and blowing my nose

and even more sniffing, sneezing and blowing my nose

UGH! I HATE being sick! The rough thing is that my doctor won't let me take ANY meds. No allergy meds, tylenol, etc just incase I MAY be pregnant. We want to be able to rule out all potential complications even before I am pregnant. But let me tell you the irony of this situation. If I take something, then I will end up being pregnant and then I will worry about what those meds will do to my baby for the next nine months. If I don't take something, I won't end up pregnant and then I will kick myself for not making myself more comfortable. Any suggestions? Now I better go blow my nose . . .