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

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hands of a Family

Last Thursday I received an amazing gift from an amazing family. Last year around this time we received a drawing of Gavin done by an anonymous artist. It is beautiful. It sits on the entertainment center in my bedroom and I literally look at it every single day. The way Gavin is portrayed is peaceful. No tubes. No facial deformities. No struggle or pain. Just the simple beauty of a celestial boy. Just the way a mother sees her son.
Awhile after we received that gift we found out who drew it. We have some wonderful friends from our old ward who have a sister with the amazing talent of drawing - and they asked her to draw a picture for us. The real picture is on the side tool bar of my blog - but this picture has a sweet addition.
Our little Jack's hand has been added in.
I have stared at this picture on and off for the last few days, and I have wondered . . . was Jack with us during the times of pain with Gavin? On that very last day when we held onto Gavin's hand - did Jack know what was happening in his family? Was he one of Gavin's angels much like how Gavin is now his?
So, THANK YOU for this picture. You have no idea the peace your art has given our family.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Waiting for These Moments

This morning the BEST thing happened to me. I picked Jack up from his blanket on the floor and he wrapped his arms around my neck and cuddled right into me. He then fell asleep just like that. I have been waiting for that moment for a long time. Ever since our first miscarriage in 2005 I have craved to have that moment. After Gavin was born and then returned home to his Heavenly Father, I craved that moment even more. Then today, totally unexpected, it happened. I am so grateful for all the events that have taken place in my life to help me appreciate something as simple as a cuddly baby and tiny little arms around my neck.

(and I just had to post this picture - cause we all love baby's bums that stick up in the air!)

Friday, March 20, 2009

On Days Like This . . .

I am grateful for my mother.(Me and my mom at the Ronald McDonald House the day after Gavin passed away)
Today as I watched my mother play with Jack I was overcome with emotion. It's hard to believe that over a year ago she was with me on the most difficult, yet joyous days of my life.
I think about her being in the delivery room when Gavin was born and then having her with us as we were told about Gavin's condition.
I think about her walking in to see Gavin in the NICU before I even had a chance to see him and then returning to tell me that he was the most beautiful baby.
I think about her meeting me at the hospital every day to be by my side while I was with my son.
I think about her being with me when the doctors told us that his life expectancy would be short.
I think about her holding Gavin for the first time and seeing the love radiate from her.
I think about her seeing me cry every single day as I grieved for the difficulties that awaited Gavin.
I think about her having hope and faith.
I think about her calling the insurance companies and fighting for them to transfer him to a more specialized facility.
I think about her packing her bags with summer clothes to go to UCLA.
I think about her unpacking those clothes after they changed their minds to accept him as a patient.
I think about her packing her bags again - this time for fall - to go to Primary Children Medical Center.
I think about her packing all of my stored breast milk in dry ice for the drive up to PCMC.
I think about her walking into the Ronald McDonald House with me in Salt Lake City completely overwhelmed by their kindness.
I think about her being by my side to hear all the good news . . . and all the bad.
I think about her rocking Gavin when I wasn't able to be there.
I think about her doing research on everything the doctors talked about.
I think about her sending an email everyday to our family and friends updating them on Gavin and his progress.
I think about her hugging me when I felt like Heavenly Father has abandoned me.
I think about her words of wisdom.
I think about how she must have felt when I finally said, "Maybe we aren't supposed to pray to have Gavin get better."
I think about her watching Gavin start to suffer.
I think about her watching Jason and I suffer.
I think about her watching the decisions we were faced with.
I think about her sitting in the hospice room with out families watching her daughter and son-in-law say goodbye to their son.
I think about her sitting in the waiting room for hours while Jason and I said our final goodbyes to Gavin.
I think about her driving us home without our son.
I think about her helping us find Gavin's resting place.
I think about her watching us grieve and miss him - so much. Even today.
I think about her grief.
I think of her anticipating Jack's arrival.
I think of the love and relief she had the first time she held Jack and heard him cry.
I think of how she felt on the day we brought Jack home.
I think of her loving both of my sweet boys.
I think of all of these things and I am grateful. I am grateful to have a mother who doesn't shy away when things are difficult - who has faith and hope - who accepts His will - who has kindness and direction - and who has an unconditional love for me and my family.
I love you momma. I have a wonderful example to follow. I wanna be just like you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jack is Two Months Old

My Little Jackster turned two months old this last weekend. It was so much fun to have his Aunt Trisha in town to play with him! He sure loves her! This last month has been so much fun to watch Jack grow. I am consistently amazed at his progression and health.
Grateful is an understatement.
This month Jack :
- smiles when we smile at him
- laughs out loud at his mobile
- cries much less
- makes cooing noises
- "semi" rolled over (from his side to his back)
- moves his mouth when I sing to him
- watches basketball on TV with his dad (seriously, I am kinda worried he will be a TV junkie. He LOVES the TV. Jason said it's okay for him to watch as long as it is basketball.)
- Takes showers with dad
- Kicks his legs when music on his toys play
- still has acid reflux (we have upped the meds again - our next step is the gastroenterologist)
- usually sleeps from 11:00pm to about 5:00am! YAY

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Happy Boy

Okay, the quality of this video is bad (it is from my phone) but it was too cute to not share!

This afternoon Jack was a happy boy with lots to say!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Unique Parenting Situation

I am a mom.
I have two little boys.
One is "here"
and one is "there."
I fully intend on having each boy know the other even if they aren't having the opportunity to grow up together. I talk to Jack every day about his big brother Gavin. We have Gavin's pictures next to Jack's on our picture wall. They are brothers that will grow up separately.

My belief (http://www.lds.org/) is that if a child passes away before the age of accountability (8 years old) they were valiant and righteous enough that they didn't need to prove themselves here. We believe those that die before the age of accountability inherit heaven without going through this life and the trials and tests we all encounter here.

Here is where the dilemma for a parent comes into play:

As we raise Jack and teach him about his big brother Gavin, we have to be careful not to "idolize" Gavin. My father has often said, "a dead man does no wrong." Jason and I have talked at great lengths about this concept. It is our hope that we never make Jack feel inadequate. I hope that I can raise Jack with a love and respect for his older brother, but to also have him understand how much we love him too.

Jack has been such a joy in our lives. He has already brightened so many sad places in my heart. I honestly never thought I could be happy like this again after Gavin passed away. Everyday I spend with Jack I love him more and more. I find I am so grateful for all the "normal" things I wouldn't have noticed had we not had our experience with Gavin. Jack has helped me feel that love unconditionally again that a mother craves to give.

I love you my Jackster.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happy March!

In Las Vegas March means spring time. It is finally getting warmer and this last weekend was a perfect opportunity to visit Jack's big brother Gavin and decorate for St. Patrick's Day. I had an adorable outfit for Jack to wear for the occasion (even if Jason rolled his eyes) and we had a nice morning sitting outside telling Jack all about his big brother. Experiencing life and death in such a short time frame has been miraculous and difficult. Gavin would have been a year and a half now and I always wonder what life would be like is he was still here with us. I miss him. Jason misses him. And, somehow, I really think Jack misses him. Every morning when I take Jack for his diaper change we walk past Gavin's picture and we say, "Good morning brother Gavin!" Sometimes I see Jack express a look of familiarity as he stares at Gavin's picture.
I still wish when I looked in my rear view mirror I was looking at two car seats instead of one. I wish when we went for our morning walks I was pushing a double stroller. I wish I was rocking two little boys to sleep and singing lullabies to brothers.
But the joy of having Jack has eased a bit of the pain. I know nothing will ever take all the pain away but it has felt so good to hold another baby and kiss his sweet face. He is such a tender mercy in our lives and I love being his mother.
In fact, Jack gets A LOT of love. I think he gets tired of it sometimes . . . the picture says it all.
heh heh heh