Sippin' My Coffee…

…a few minutes before the laundry is done.

Burden February 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — sippinmycoffee @ 11:12 am

“Mrs. Predmore, by law, I have to report this to the authorities.”

Those words were uttered by my sons pediatrician when he was being examined around 5 years of age at a routine check-up. The doctor had gotten to the part of the examine where he was checking his little boy area and at the same time did the usual explanation directly to my son about the appropriateness of who could and who could not look at him or touch him down there.  It was that moment where my very confident son told him about “J” ….

It was the day before Easter 7 years ago.  My son was 4 1/2 years old. He was spending a very rare occasion hanging out with his little friend right across the street.  My mom was living with us at the time, and my husband and I were out shopping.  She agreed to let him get his bathing suit so that he and the other 3 kids that lived there could play in the hot tub. When I got back home, my mom and I agreed to the invitation to color eggs with them.  The mom and oldest teenage son were gone for the day.  It was my mom and I, my son, their daughter (about 10), their son (about 4), and the stepson, “J” (about 14). The younger kids were out of their wet suits by now and back into their street clothes, and “J” was still in a bathrobe.  They colored eggs and then we went home for the night.

My mom and I were cooking dinner a little while later, and my son, sitting up at the kitchen bar, utters, “J was hitting me with his big P.”  Huh?  I am picturing Grover from Sesame Street standing next to the oversized “P”.  I don’t understand.  “Excuse me, sweetie? What? He was hitting you with the letter P?”  “No. He was hitting me with his big P. He was hitting me in the butt with his big hard P. He was trying to push his pee in my butt. He was trying to push and push and push.”

The million thoughts that went through my head when my son spoke that night…I still don’t know what carried me.  My mom heard everything I did.  We did not speak, but with one look at each other, this is sort of how the conversation would have went:

Me: Did you hear that??

Mom: Oh God, Yes!

Me: Unfuckingbelievable!!

Mom: Keep it together. Breathe. You need to watch what you say to him. You are going to scare him.

Me: What do I do now?

The rest of the evening was spent asking him periodic questions about what had happened. I did what I could to put all the pieces together and understand fully what may or may not have happened. I tried to keep it light when I asked him questions.  I made sure I was gentle.  I didn’t want to feed him answers.  I wanted to make sure what he was saying was coming from him and not what I would lead him to say.  How do I know he was telling the truth?  Because a 4 year old doesn’t know about hard P’s, or pushing P’s into butts or being asked to touch big hard P’s…all while in a closet.

This situation could have been a whole lot worse.  There was no penetration.  I can’t even imagine what else could have happened.  My son was lucky. He was a victim to what I can only conclude  a very troubled young teen, facing his own identity issues, among all the other issues he dealt with himself growing up. I don’t know his full story, but looking back, I should have seen it.

When we confronted our neighbors with this, we were not too surprised at their reaction.  Instantly, there was a divide.  They put up their defenses and were not even willing to listen to what our son had told us.  It was a nightmare. Their house was right in front of our house.  Daily, we would have to cross paths. We could barely let our kids play outside for fear of any confrontation. The surrounding neighbors did not want to get involved and remained neutral.  This only added to the enabling of this family to continue to deny what had happened.

Why did I not decide to go to the authorities? I was scared.  I was afraid to put my son through the courts.  It would be ugly.  His mother was a fighter and never are her children in the wrong.  “J” was her baby and she was always at his defense. I think she knew he was troubled and was trying so hard to protect him. My husband definitely discouraged me to go any further with the situation.  He felt that our son was handling everything just fine and no sense in continuing to bring all of it up.  He would have rather just forget about it.  I played along with that, but it never went away for me.  I felt the need to let my sons preschool teacher know what happened since my son talked very openly about the incident to anyone who would listen. It surprised me she didn’t feel it was her duty to contact the authorities.  Looking back, I feel like she failed us.  I didn’t want to battle the burden any longer.  I wanted my son to be validated.  I wanted “J” to get the help he so desperately needed, but his mom would never admit to.  I didn’t want the burden of knowing “J” could do this to another child…or worse, his younger brother.  Had this already been going on? I was stuck.

I could go on forever about more details and the incidents and confrontations that followed that day, but I think you get the idea. Living in such close proximity to that family was paralyzing.

It was well over a year later, my son was now 5, in the last days of his kindergarten year, and we were in the room with the pediatrician. “Mrs. Predmore, by law, I have to report this to the authorities.”

And just like that, the burden was no longer on me. I was scared, relieved, angry,… released. It was no longer my choice to sit quietly and watch and wonder when the world around us would finally crumble.

It was only hours before my phone rang and we were at the point of no return with detectives.  The next day, my son was questioned at length all by himself about what had happened.  My husband and I were interviewed as well. After his interview, the detective couldn’t believe at how consistent my boy was and how good his memory recall on detail was.  I wasn’t surprised.  By that point in time, he knew that what happened to him was wrong.  He wanted “J” to be punished.  He wanted to play outside without being afraid.  The detective assured us that he knew my son was telling the truth and that charges were going to be brought up.

The next day, I was aware the police were going to pick-up “J”.  He was expelled from school the remainder of the year over some other incident he got himself into at school and was home alone and taking care of the littlest brother so they didn’t have to pay to put him in daycare while the parents were working. When I saw the detectives arrive, I made sure my son was in his room where he could look out the window to see what was happening.  He witnessed “J” being taken into custody.  “The bad guys always get caught, sweetie.”  Having my son see that was giving him justice.  It didn’t matter what happened in court or what charges were brought.  My little boy saw the cops catch the bad guy.  His story had a happy ending.

While “J” did not admit guilt or have to stay in custody, he was put on probation. My son never had to appear in court.  And a very short time later, a for sale sign was put up in their yard.  I don’t know what happened to that family or if they did “J” a favor and sought counseling for him or the entire family for that matter.

Is this my burden now?  7 years later? I don’t know.  It seems to stay with me. We don’t talk about it anymore as a family.  I never discourage it if it ever comes up.  I think time has eroded some of the memories away the way it does the little crystals of sand blowing through the desert.  I am afraid to think there might be some residual thoughts in my sons mind. Why would I ask?

 

Your Trash, My Treasure November 28, 2011

Filed under: coffee,housewife,kids,mom — sippinmycoffee @ 12:48 pm

I love to throw things away.  Don’t get me wrong, I am one of the biggest saps when it comes to sentiments and things that hold memories.  I do hang on to the most prized of mementos.  But there is nothing like the feeling of getting one more piece of clutter out of the way to make some more breathing room.  I laugh at empty drawers, and giggle at desolate cabinets.  I love space…wide…open…space.  I am in the midst of a huge overhaul on my house, and some of the easiest targets are the baby things.  We are done with that phase of our life, and happily look forward to the benefits of our more independent children.  I have given away or donated baby clothes, books, toys, anything that wasn’t worn out too much by my own babies.  But when it comes to a baby crib, no dice.  Even the newest of mommies knows you don’t take an old crib.  Safety this, and regulation that.  Kind of makes you wonder what danger you put your own kids in letting them sleep in that death trap.  Yes, my crib is about 12 years old.  I get it.  But it was our crib…

You walk into a nursery, and one of the first things you see is the crib.  It’s a sign of a baby…a new life.  Such a universal piece of furniture.  Each one is picked out with love or handed down by generation. Mommies stand next to them rubbing their pregnant bellies, daydreaming about laying their little ones down for a nap, rearranging the bedding just so perfectly. I’ve stood next to ours many a sleepless night holding and rocking my babies until they fell asleep again, then laying them back down again so slowly and quietly hoping I wouldn’t wake them again.  I can imagine walking to the crib in the morning and being greeted by my smiling babies, reaching over the side rail and lifting them out thinking “you are getting so big”…..ahhhh

The crib

It holds so many memories.  And nobody wants mine.  I had to set it out by the trash this weekend.  People take just about anything if you set it out.  One by one, things were taken….the changing table…the toddler bed…a car seat…a booster chair…a bag of stuffed animals…and the metal bottom to the crib that holds the mattress.  What? Just the metal bottom?  Well…that does it.  Nobody can have the crib now.  It’s totally useless.  And from that moment, the only image I have of the crib is it being thrown into the garbage truck…like trash.

I was walking my husband out to his car this morning to wish him well on his trip this week.  At that same moment, we heard the garbage truck.  We didn’t open the garage yet.  He knew how I was feeling about the crib just sitting out there awaiting it’s fate.  God love him, he tried his best to distract me.  I just stood there frozen…listening….

The truck drove away, we opened the garage door,  and all that was left was the empty trash can.  I’ve been trying to suck it up all morning, but on the verge of tears.  I have my memories, but it’s going to take some time to replace the images of the crib being sacrificed for quite some time.  I think I’ll just sit here for a while…quietly…sipping my coffee….

 

Road Block July 21, 2011

Filed under: death,infant loss,Uncategorized — sippinmycoffee @ 2:30 pm
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Well, I already blew my goal of a post a month.  Honestly, with as much that I want to write down, I can’t believe I couldn’t post more.  Admittedly, this summer has been much more busy than I had planned.  Sitting down to write in between the kidlets demanding food and  heading off arguments isn’t exactly conducive to my minds need for peace as I think. While I can do a load of laundry, drink a cup of coffee, and take a phone call all at once, I’m really not much of the multi-tasker.

Recently, I was able to close a chapter on part of my life.  Moving away from the bay area in California was always a bone of contention for me.  When we lost our infant son, having accessibility to his grave site seemed a necessity for me.  Naturally, that need is part of the process. I mean, we went there every Sunday…religiously.  It was a part of our routine.  Every Sunday after church, we would be on our way to the cemetery after a brief stop to pick up flowers.  We’d clean up his memorial and arrange his flowers.  He is buried in the baby section, and the cemetery in general is just so beautiful and peaceful.    I couldn’t imagine not having that.  So why did I, on several occasions, have terrible nightmares that involved his grave being moved?  This was an ongoing thing for me.  It’s not common to have a grave disturbed, but for some reason, I had some fear of this happening to us.

We had to move away from the bay area several years ago.  But by that time, I had come to terms with the need to leave and that leaving the convenience of the physical grave, did not mean I was leaving my baby.

A year ago, my family and I went back to visit family in the bay area.  We decided we wanted to stop by the cemetery briefly and leave flowers and let the kids, which were now older than the last time they had been there, go visit too.  We turn the corner of the cemetery and my heart about stops.  I start to gasp and I can barely breathe. The entire road right in front of where my baby is supposed to be laid to rest is gone…completely torn up… dirt covered…and caution tape everywhere.  Really??!!  My nightmares come true.  I rush out of the car and run over to his grave.  Only two feet in front of his marker is where all the construction is occurring.  However, his spot is untouched.  Of course after being able to see the damage myself, I can tell that the only thing disturbed is the road.  The whole road was being eliminated to make room for more grass and graves.  I was relieved, but in that moment, I think it made sense.  I don’t anticipate the nightmares would be happening anymore.

This past weekend, I was making a trip to the bay area again to visit some friends.  The day I got there, I asked my girlfriends if they wouldn’t mind swinging by the cemetery real quick.  I promised it would be brief and I would try not to make them uncomfortable. I also explained to them about my nightmares from early on and what I had come upon the year previously.  I explained that I really needed to see what it all looks like now so I could finally put it all to rest.  They were so wonderful to agree to go with me.  When we got there, the road was completely gone, and the grass was in its place.  A couple of trees were planted, and there were even some obviously recent graves.  I knelt down, arranged his flowers, and wiped off his stone marker.  I could feel in that moment a sigh of relief and a little more peace…

 

Where Everybody Knows Your Name… May 31, 2011

Filed under: coffee,housewife,mom,Uncategorized — sippinmycoffee @ 7:30 am
Tags: , ,

Living in Las Vegas proves to be challenging for me in several ways.  But the one that seems to resonate with me the most is how difficult it is to meet friends.  I’ve been here for 7 years now, and I can honestly say that I have not met a true friend yet.  I’ve met lots of people for sure.  What I’m talking about is someone I can call on a dime, go get coffee with, see a movie…all the things “girlfriends” do together.  It’s not like I can’t make friends.  I’ve made lots of “friends”.  But Vegas is very transient.  Someone you might connect with at one point in time will eventually move away.  That’s just the way it works around here.  Sorry, but I already have plenty of long-distance friendships I’m trying to maintain.  I’m not going to keep in touch with you…

In a sense, I’ve resigned myself to this fact.  As a band-aid, I joined a gym and am really enjoying the familiarity of the people I see day after day.  Some of the gym goers I talk to a little more.  Some just exchange smiles.  It’s good enough.  I enjoy the in-person interaction.  I don’t expect a perfect friendship to blossom, but it is something….anything.

There is something that I have noticed about living in my little area of Vegas.  I see the same people I don’t know all the time.  Let me clarify…

During the school year, while my son is at early drop-off for choir on Thursdays, I take my daughter on a coffee date to the nearby Starbuck’s.  I love those days.  I love spending the time with her.  I love the funny things she would share with me.  I love the smell of the coffee brewing the moment I walk in.  And after a few weeks of  having these coffee dates with her, I started to notice the same people sitting around us.  Now, I know that this is a very common trend at coffee houses.  How could it not be?  Especially at Starbuck’s where the barista’s are all hopped up on happiness and know your order before you walk in the door.  They keep you coming back day after day!  But for me, to see the same customers is not usual.  I couldn’t wait for Thurdays.  I wanted to see who looked familiar.  And as each week came and went, my observations got more intense.  I’ve even named them:

The most obvious and prevalent customer is “Beatrice”.  She sits in the middle of the store at the center-most table.  I will say she’s in her early 70’s, dresses very proper, and knows what she wants, and is probably used to getting it.  She only uses REAL table settings…NO paper cups, plastic forks, etc.  She gets a coffee (Black.  Although I’m surprised she doesn’t get tea.) and a scone.  She is very soft spoken.

Next is her friend “Joe”.  Before he orders, he says hi to Beatrice.  They exchange a few words,  and one day she game him a card…I’m thinking a birthday card.  He doesn’t sit with her, but if there’s a vacant comfy chair, he grabs it.  He is more than likely in his mid 60’s and looks as though he’s semi-retired.  On occasion, he has buddies that meet him there.

“Steve” is probably closest to me in age.  He is always wearing some sort of uniformed shirt and I suppose has consultations with customers there, but I can’t tell from what company.  I know he’s married with 3 kids.  I saw him at a nearby restaurant one night.  He gives me the most smiles.  I think it’s because he recognizes me week after week with my daughter.

But my very most favorite is “The Tranny”.  I didn’t name the Tranny….just Tranny.  I use that term with endearment and no disrespect.  I suppose I could name him/her, but I am not sure I could find one fitting enough.  I love The Tranny.  She is different in that she just comes in and orders and leaves.  She never sits down.  But she is very tall, in her early 40’s, and always wears open-toe shoes.  Her toenails are always perfectly manicured and painted pink!  The employees there love her too and always have her order ready.

Beatrice, Joe, and Steve all know each other.  They never sit together, but they always exchange a hello to one another.  And it’s more than just a hello.  They seem to have gotten to know bits and pieces about each other…going to get coffee day after day…how could you not?  I wanted to be a part of that.

Summer is just about here, and choir is no longer happening, and school is almost out.  A coffee date with my daughter is not really in the cards anymore.  I can’t help but feel a sense of loss.  I am already wondering what my friends at Starbuck’s are doing.  Better yet, are they wondering where I’ve been?…Am I an “Amy”, “Sarah”, or “Emily”?  For now, I’d take “the young mom with the cute little girl”.

 

To Medicate or not to Medicate April 15, 2011

Filed under: ADD,kids,mom,Tourette's Syndrome — sippinmycoffee @ 10:29 am
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It’s interesting that the reason for the start of my blog was to journal my son’s diagnosis of Tourette’s with ADD.  Today I feel surprisingly private.  However, I know that in hindsight, if I did not document, I would regret it at some point.

I have never been one to prefer medication as a source to treat or mask something that could otherwise be tolerable.  I was given the choice to use a medication to treat a mild heart issue, but decided it was something I could exist with without the meds as long as I kept my stress levels down.  So when my son’s diagnosis came about and we were in agreement that it was not the tics, per say we were going to treat, but the ADD, I hit a wall. The ADD really was the main problem.  His academics have been an issue and his grades are continuing to slip. After realizing my opposition to medicating, the doctor told me the name of the medication (Clonidine) and requested I research it and take my time in my decision.

I can very specifically remember this medicating debate on ADD/ADHD many years back.  I couldn’t believe that parents would take the easy way out and choose to have their children medicated and become little zombies for their own peace of mind.  Huh…

Yep.  I thought that.  While I believe that ADD and ADHD can be and probably is over-diagnosed, I can’t refute that his diagnosis fits him to a tee.  I was ok with that.  The medicating part I had a really tough time with.  So did my son.  How do you force a child to take medicine he does not feel comfortable taking?  It’s his body.

I have reached out to some of my friends who have found themselves in similar situations.  I have researched the medicine.  I have thought for days…months about this.  One point a friend of mine made who chose to try medicine was that her son was getting into so much trouble, constantly, and even made the family not want to be home together because of his impulsiveness (which is a huge problem for us as well).  She says, “Does a child really choose to be in that much trouble?  Does a child really want to be yelled at constantly?”.  The obvious answer is “no”.  My son is day and night.  He is either stellar and clever, funny, lovable, or he is impulsive, argumentative, mean, and destructible.   When he gets in trouble, he is always so remorseful and filled with worry that he is not loved anymore.  He can’t possibly want to live like this day to day.  And neither do we as his family.  My friend said the medicine has done wonders and has brought the family back together.  Her son is not a zombie and is a happy, cheerful, fun kid who is now able to stop and think about his decisions where he wasn’t able to before.  I was convinced after that.  I explained to my son that he should just try it out and if we decide it’s not for him, we can stop.

About 2 weeks ago, I called the doctor, and a prescription was called in.  We started the first dose last night.  The second this morning. (And let me also put out there that my insurance is and always has been amazing. No co-pay. Hello?!)

Maybe I’m taking the easy way out.  Maybe there is a diet instead that would “cure” him.  But honestly, putting my child on a diet would put him in a much worse mood than he is now, plus he’d resent the heck out of me!  I’m sure that medications have come a long way.  I know my child will not end up on the couch like a zombie.  But I am anxious to see how he does.  I think he is too.

 

Excuse me while I grieve… April 13, 2011

Filed under: death,kids,mom,Uncategorized — sippinmycoffee @ 1:55 pm
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I have realized that much of my inspiration to write comes more from the humor that takes place in my life rather than the sadness as of late.  And while I do have some fun material my kids have so generously handed to me on a silver platter, I think I must first share some of my experiences that surround the  recent death of my Father-in-Law…

I had never been to a funeral.  I used to think that I was lucky to not have dealt with a human death and a funeral until I was in my early 20’s.  That was until I had to deal with my first human death and a funeral in my early 20’s.  It happened to be my Father-in-Law’s mother.  I was pregnant with Logan at the time. I can remember walking into that funeral home, turning the corner, and just as quickly as I saw her lifeless body laying there, I turned right around and headed back out the door. I was just not prepared. I don’t even know how I got back into the viewing room.  I suppose my husband’s warm, calming hand guided me back in.  I had never seen a deceased person before.  And though I knew that woman and adored her something terrible, I didn’t think that sitting in a room for hours with her was going to do me any good.  Eventually, I did become numb to the whole situation and sat there with my family and tried to grieve right along with them. I then realized this whole process would have come much easier had I grieved before.

Two months later, I lost Logan.  I did not have an open casket like Nana did.  I refused to see him any different than what I had seen him while in the hospital.  Nobody disagreed with my decision.

Following this time, I lost a few more along the way: A sister-in-law, my grandmother, a couple friends from high school.  But what I noticed is there is a difference in the funerals with my husband’s family and the funerals where I’m from.  I don’t know if this is just typical of his family, or the tradition of back east.  They are always open casket.

My Father-in-Law had been in the hospital for 6 months already.  He fought hard.  We’d just about lose him and then he’d spring back.  He did this several times and it almost got to the point where I assumed he’d just bounce back after each downward spiral.  However, I was always trying to prepare myself for the worst.  In doing so, I was also slowly getting my kids prepared as well.  I would ask them about death and funerals and if they thought they would want to go to a funeral if something should ever happen to Pop-pop.  I’m sure my husband did not appreciate my questioning him if the kids should to the funeral before he passed, but I needed to know.  I had to prepare.  Things are busy around here, and I need to keep up.  Bottom line, Pop-pop died and the decision was made to take the whole family back east to be with the rest of the family, and the decision would ultimately be up to the kids when the time comes if they want to go into the viewing room.

Surprisingly, my daughter was all about being a part of it all.  She clearly made known that she needed to be with her Nana because Nana was going to be sad and alone now.  My son took it a bit harder and decided that he wanted to remember his Pop-pop as his memories had him.  He was afraid he’d lose the memories if he saw him differently.  Sound familiar?  I can totally respect that.

At the funeral home, my daughter went right in. She held her Nana and Dad’s hands as they walked in and I stayed back to be with my son in the large entry area where I figured my son would park it for the next 2 days.  Both kids had moments where they cried.  “This is great”, I’m thinking.  My kids are going through the grieving process just as they should.  But all during the first viewing hours, my son would make remarks about questioning if he should go in or not.  He asked to be taken down to the showroom where the caskets are displayed.  He went right up to them, touched the wood finish, the metal details, the pillows, the intricate stitching on the fabrics.  I knew this was only giving him more curiosity as to what was around the corner.  An hour and a half goes by, and he is still questioning if he did the right thing.  “In all honesty”, I tell him, “I think it might be a good idea if you go in there.”  That was it.  He wanted in.  I’m sure that his mere presence in the same building and the curiosity of it all was so much worse than what he’d see.  He walked in there with both myself and his father in each hand and stood before that casket and cried.  It was good.

I’m not saying that all children should experience this.  I just believe that each situation and each child is different.  My kids have celebrated the life and loss of Logan for years, but never had they experienced the loss of someone they knew closely and had to go to a funeral . I forgot that one of my duties as mom was to hold my children up when they lose someone they love.  I had worried for so long and imagined what it was going to be like.  It was actually very perfect.

I expect they will continue to have moments where they cry.  They will continue to ask questions.  I’m ready for this.  But as I am finally alone, sipping on my once warm coffee,  and not being a rock for the rest of the family, it’s finally time for me to grieve.

 

I am ok March 23, 2011

Filed under: infant loss — sippinmycoffee @ 10:29 am
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It has been a thought for some time now to start a blog with the focus on infant loss.  That loss is something I know about and have felt very deeply.  Not unlike most people, you write about what you know. I would never call myself an expert.  I have come across so many people who have experienced much the same.  So really, blogging would mostly be for my own benefit and therapy.

I’ve got the blog now, but I have had a terrible time deciding where to begin.  Where do you start with 12 years of experiences, thoughts, and emotions?  I was hoping to have gently introduced this loss before now, but here I am, a day after, and I still can’t begin.  What I have decided is that this blog is about my life. This loss does not consume me. It does not define me.  But the loss has impacted me in so many ways of my life, it would be a disservice to ignore it.  So, here is where I shall begin to tell you about the baby that changed my life and gave me purpose…

Yesterday was the day.  It’s what my family refers to as “Logan’s Day”.  It’s the anniversary of the day we lost our little baby boy. I anticipate this day once the new year comes…almost 3 months of anticipating a day I have no idea how it will hit me emotionally. Each year seems different. Truly, it just depends on my feelings when I wake up  the morning of.  It would be obvious to say that the earlier years were tremendously more difficult than the later years.  I mean it’s been 12 years…12 years…

I posted on my Facebook account yesterday about this 12 year Anniversary.  I don’t know why I do it…announce it to the world.  Self-serving maybe? Needing the emotional support?  I really don’t know.  It’s the 3rd year I can recall I’ve had the need to post about it.  There is so little I can do for that baby.  As his mom, I think I just want him to be remembered. He was real…very real, especially to me.  I felt him kick.  I felt him hiccup.  And for a brief time, I could feel his still warm, limp body in my arms after I quietly delivered him. Over 5 pounds of sweet baby boy, eyes closed, forever sleeping.

I can imagine there’s a stigma that comes with a mom who loses a child.  I have always tried to be very careful about my actions when it comes to my loss so that people don’t think I’m crazy.  To be honest, I don’t think I even know what normal behavior is.  Are there rules when it comes to rituals for remembering our lost loved ones?  Along these same lines, what am I doing to my living children? Are these anniversaries hurting our kids? Will they think we are crazy?

Yesterday morning, my husband asked the kids if they knew what today was.  My daughter was very literal and replied, “Tuesday”.  “It’s Logan’s Day”, answers my husband.  The response from my 2 kids was that of cheer. “Yay!”

I had to stop and think about that.  For me, it’s more like a somber, quiet memorial.  To them, they love it.  Interesting.  Thinking more about it I began to understand.  They have always been told about Logan. We refer to him as their Angel.  He looks out for them.  He comes to them in so many ways.  They think that’s pretty cool to have a big brother watching over them.  We always try to talk about him with a smile and lots of love, and if it weren’t for him, we would not have the 2 beautiful kids we have now.  They also love the rituals we do for him.  Some rituals we are able to do each year, and some take more time than our schedules will allow.  Yesterday was one of those busy days that included an event at the elementary school and a late baseball game. My son asked if we were going to make another stepping stone and was disappointed when I said there was no time to pull one off this year, but he cheered up when I mentioned we could try to do one over the weekend.  The easiest ritual we have, and one we haven’t missed yet is releasing a balloon to “heaven”.  The kids find so much comfort in doing this.  They sign it, kiss it, and we all let go of it together and follow it in the sky until we just can’t see it anymore.

There was another unexpected feeling I had yesterday after I posted on Facebook.  At the end of the day, I spent quite some time reading and reflecting on all of the comments of support and love made by my friends and family.  I felt guilty.  It was almost harder for them to know about this loss.  For many, this was the first time they heard about Logan.  They expressed how sorry they felt or how they cried.  My guilt was that I couldn’t comfort them and let them see that I was ok.  I wanted to remind them that I am 12 years away from this experience.  I have had so much time to heal and grieve and tuck those feelings away until needed.  These friends of mine have not, and I have felt so overwhelmed at their emotion.  I spent many dark days and nights in tremendous sorrow and grief.  I am so happy to be past that, but I do need the one day to be outwardly emotional. I can only hope that I am doing Logan proud by having people remember him. And should my friends need to come to me after hearing about my story, the loss is not in vain.