Monday, November 29, 2010

The ache in my heart

There are so many things I want to say here - so many things I need to say. But they have to wait.

I wish you were here Sawyer. I just want you here with me. At night, I pray to you before I fall asleep. My eyes closed, trying to remember the feel of your skin against mine. Your head was so soft and smelled sweet and beautiful. I want to kiss you again, but instead - I kiss your grave.

I keep your blanket against my chest when I sleep - it's the only comfort I have.

Sometimes, I feel you kicking me. I know it's you because I've never felt anything so close to that in my life - and I can't explain it.

I miss you, sweet baby.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Surprise blessing

We went to the cemetery yesterday after dinner and while there, I met the mother of the twins who are buried next to Sawyer.

It was very cold and I had my winter coat on, hood up - facing opposite the wind - so I had no idea that this woman was standing right next to me as I wept and talked to my son.

I turned around and was surprised to see someone there.

She smiled, opened her arms and held me as I cried. We shared our stories and in that moment, I didn't feel the wind or the cold. Just a warmth over my heart that I haven't felt in a really long time.

Erik said as the two of us were hugging each other, the hawk - which we hadn't seen since the end of the summer - lept off the branch of a dead tree and soared over us as the sun set in the cold, November sky.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankfulness of heart

So once in every year we throng
Upon a day apart,
To praise the Lord with feast and song
In thankfulness of heart.
~Arthur Guiterman, The First Thanksgiving

When Sawyer died, I was alone.

I had no one to identify with. I didn't even know myself.

Today, I am so thankful for all of the wonderful and beautiful mothers I've met who have also experienced the pain of losing a child. The friendships of these women have meant more to me than anyone on "the outside" could ever really understand.

Sending all my love and prayers over the coming weeks to my dear friends Megan, Whittney, Laura, Emily, Kristine, Becky, Tricia, Shannon, Kim, Nicole, Renee and so many more of you. Without your love and ability to be there when I really needed someone to just listen - I can't imagine how I would have been able to come this far in my grief.

I love each one of you very much and am so grateful to have you in my life.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Something I haven't seen before

Next to my desk is the display case we bought to place our pictures of Sawyer. And in the moment, it catches you.

Just pictures. His face. Those tiny, perfect toes and soft legs.

He's in a case. On a shelf.

There should be a swing in this corner.

My kitchen counter should be a mess with bottles and nipples. Dishes waiting to be washed. Laundry - piles and piles of laundry - sitting in a heap by the washer and dryer.

Instead, everything is clean and neat. Too neat. Too normal.

The sadness swells and that sick feeling like I've been punched in the stomach creeps back inside of me. And I look at his pictures for something - anything - I haven't seen before.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sawyer's Giving Heart Project

Soon after Sawyer's death, I knew I wanted to do something. I had to do something.

Not something for me, but something for him. Something for him that would help people. I wanted to fulfill Sawyer's purpose.

It wasn't too long before I started talking about making memory boxes to donate to local hospitals. Then Erik suggested we start taking steps to become a non-profit.

But, after the walk in October we attempted to get some work done on the non-profit, and quickly began to realize that this takes a lot of money - among many other things. Then there is the time, the waiting, the millions of hoops everyone keeps telling me that you have to jump through.

All I want is to relieve one mother of the heartbreaking agony of leaving the hospital with nothing. I know that the day we left the University of Chicago Hospital, as Erik was pushing me away from the place where our son was born and died, I clung to all of Sawyer's things with white knuckles. It was all I had. It is all I have.

And every mother deserves at least that.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sawyer's stocking

Last year, I bought Sawyer a stocking for Christmas.

This year, I don't even want to look at it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Christmas Ornaments

I've been working on ornaments for friends who have lost a child over the past year or so. They're turning out beautiful so far!

Monday, November 8, 2010


Life is so busy.

No time to sit here and really write what runs through my mind. I have a journal that I keep on my dresser. When a thought comes, I jot it down as quickly as I can so that I have it forever.

The memories aren't as vivid any more. I hate that.

I find myself drifting a bit. Away from family and friends. Wanting to just be alone with what I have now and needing time to consume all of it.

The fog of our nightmare, however, is lifting. The heavy pain heaped upon my shoulders is beginning to become more bearable to carry.

There are days when out of nowhere, a certain feeling creeps back into my stomach and heart. That sensation of feeling like you've been kicked in the stomach. Realizing that all of this did happen to you.

Sadie has been talking about her brother a lot. I wonder if he visits her in dreams or in beautiful fall sunsets. When I asked her what she wanted for Christmas a few days ago she said, "My baby brother."

How does a mother answer that? There isn't an answer.

A mother smiles through the tears, hugs her daughter and says "I do too sweetie. I do too."

It's almost six months.

Six months.