Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gifts for Luke

It meant so much to me that my family members remembered Luke on Christmas. I was so grateful that he wasn't forgotten. I, of course, think about him everyday. Yet it was so wonderful to see that others think about him too.

My mom and step-dad gave us a miniature Christmas tree that they took to the cemetery and made a charitable donation in Luke's honor. My sister-in-law, Maryanne, gave us an ornament with Luke's name and birth date. Trevor's mom said that the ornaments are made by a mother of a stillborn baby. I haven't had a chance get all the details from Maryanne yet. I love it and thought it was so thoughtful of her to have this ornament specially ordered for us.

Trevor's dad gave us an ornament as well. This one is a Willow Tree ornament that depicts an angel holding a little boy. To think, that the angels are looking after my baby boy! It really means so much to me that he remembered us and his little grand-baby and gave us this tender gift in honor of him.

Thanks to all my family and friends who have remembered us and Luke -with your gifts, prayers, and even thoughts -this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A memory of what might have been...

It was two Christmases ago when I started to really picture myself as a mother.

The whole fam (Trevor's side, that is) was together in Seattle for Christmas. Our sister-in-law had recently given birth to twins. This meant there was always a baby to hold! When normally I would shy away from holding young babies and let people (like the grandmother) who really want to hold them do so, I was able to often have a baby in my arms (since Grandma was already holding one).

I was so glad that there was enough baby to go around so that I could spend lots of time with either my niece or my nephew. With one of the twins hoisted on my hip we looked into the mirror together as he discovered his little face in the reflection. As Jacob looked at his own face, I looked at the two of us and thought, this looks right, I'd definitely like to be a mother.

I vividly remember sitting in the quiet upstairs in the dark in an old rocking chair, soothing my niece, Jenna, as I quietly rocked her to sleep. It felt so right to have a little baby in my arms. It felt so comfortable sitting quietly rocking and humming lullabies. I knew then, I wanted my own rocking chair. I wanted my own baby.

My niece, Jenna and me
It's strange to think that if Luke were living he'd be the exact same age that my niece and nephew were two Christmases ago. Being born in August they were just about 5 months old. Luke would be coming up on 5 months too. It's strange to think that I could have been doing the same things -looking in the mirror with Luke hoisted on my hip as we smile at each other or quietly rocking and singing him to sleep.

Now I just look in the mirror and just wish that there was a cute, smiling baby looking back at me.

Hopefully one day.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Christmas Cry

Lots of people have been concerned that Christmastime would be particularly hard for us. For the most part, it hasn't really been any harder than any other month. I still think about Luke every day, but the holiday season in general hasn't brought any more sadness into my life.

In the past week I was chatting with my my mother-in-law about the season and how we're doing. She told me of a woman who was from Australia (or somewhere really far away) who married someone here in the states. Each Christmas she missed her family so much and wished she could be with them. Instead of denying these feelings, she allotted herself one hour to go to her room, dwell on her family, cry, or whatever she needed to do. Then she would carry on with the rest of her day.

During church on Christmas day it was hard to not dwell on Luke. Trevor inquired, when he noticed my cheeks wet with tears. I responded, "When I hear songs of a perfect baby boy laid in a manger, how can I not think of my own baby boy? I miss him and wish Luke could be here with us."

At the conclusion of opening all of the gifts I sat and turned the pages of a wonderful book my sister-in-law made, containing highlights of the annual Fitzgerald vacation to Lake Chelan. This is when I quietly put the book down and went upstairs to our bedroom.

It was my time for a good cry.

It made me so sad to see the pictures of my adorable nieces and nephew and know that Luke will never be in the family pictures with them. It made me so sad to not have Luke here with us. It made me so sad to be left wondering if Luke would be as cute as my nieces and nephew. I cried knowing that if Luke were here I'd get to show him off to his great-grandma and all of his other family, but he's not here. I cried because I longed to be with him. I cried because I wanted more than anything, on Christmas, for Luke to know how much I love him. I cried because the sweetness I see in my growing niece, I don't get to see in my own son.

I allowed myself to have a good cry. My sweet husband found me alone and listened to my sorrows and held me as I cried some more.

I needed that.

Then I went downstairs and joined in all the festivities once more.

Luke, I don't know how heaven works exactly. I don't know what you're up to. But I hope you know how much I love you. That's my Christmas wish -that you know how much you are loved. Perhaps we were together long ago -both part of that heavenly host, singing praises to the newborn King. One day, I'm sure we will be together and be able to sing praises of gratitude to our Redeemer. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Luke, this cute little Christmas tree is actually a rosemary bush. It smells delightful. Your Grandma and Grandpa Banks gave it to us for you. Even if we couldn't visit you on Christmas Eve and light candles for you, you were constantly in our thoughts during the holiday. We hope to be in Utah next year for Christmas. I hear it's beautiful to see all the candles lit. Hopefully we'll get to be here for that next year.  Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Power of Patience

I don't feel like I've been particularly impatient lately, but I feel like I could be. It could be so easy for me to become extremely frustrated that I'm not currently living out my life as a mother, which I want more than anything to be doing right now. The words from a talk, given by Robert C. Oaks called The Power of Patience, that I listened to recently included counsel that I think I needed to hear. I think they are words that are not only beneficial to me, but to anyone that is currently suffering from unrealized desires. He actually sites a teaching from the apostle Elder Maxwell as he says:

"Elder Neal A. Maxwell linked patience and faith together when he taught: 'Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best--better than does God. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than His' ("Patience," Ensign, Oct. 1980, 28)."

How humbling those words are. To be reminded that our Father in Heaven knows what is best for us. Of course He does. He loves us perfectly. He knows us perfectly. Of course He knows what we need. Yes, what we are given (or even what is withheld from us) may not seem desirable. It may be painful. It may be difficult to deal with, but He knows us. Each of us. He knows our needs. He knows what will strengthen us.

How grateful I am to have a Father in heaven who knows and loves me perfectly.

I love the example of patience Elder Oaks shares as he speaks of our Savior:

"The greatest scriptural examples of patience are found in the life of Jesus Christ. His long-suffering and endurance are beset demonstrated on that excruciating night in Gethsemane as He uttered, in His atoning agony, 'O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt' (Matthew 26:39). He truly suffered and bore and endured all things."

Again, I am so grateful for a loving Father in heaven, and His Son who was the perfect example.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My First Attempt at Spin

On Friday morning my friend, Emily, and I decided to give the spin class at our gym a try.

I wasn't quite ready for it.

If anyone has been to a spin class before, you know what it's like. I'd never been before, but I soon discovered what it was like. There is a totally buff instructor who spins away, while the lights are off, the black light glows, and really loud music pumps through the room as the instructor yells at you to trun up the resistance on your bike and pedal harder, faster, and longer.

Some people really thrive off of a workout like this. Not me. It pushed me over the edge. I seriously started crying because I couldn't take it. I felt like I had so much anxiety and unrest internally that I couldn't take it externally too!

It's not like me to just give up. I usually push through, knowing it would make me stronger. My own life is making me stronger right now though, so I didn't need a spin teacher trying to make me stronger too.

When I came home and told Trevor about my experience of walking out of the spin class partway through, we laughed together as he better described a spin class that would suit me. "Imagine you're in a field of flowers...pedal through the meadow to see the butterflies...pedal faster to catch those butterflies..." A feel good class like that would definitely suit me much better!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

4 Months

Luke has been on my mind a little more lately. I've longed for him a little more. I've missed him a little more. I've cried over him a little more. It's good though.

It's not an all day long, depressing thing, just dwelling on him and being miserable. It's not like that. It's thinking about him. Caring about him. And loving him with all the tenderness of my heart.

Just the other day I told Trevor that it will be hard to not compare other people's babies to how old Luke would have been. There are certain people that I watched as they posted pregnancy updates on Facebook just like I was experiencing all along the way - "Finally out of the first trimester" or "Already at 20 weeks! Can't believe I'm halfway," and the likes. There's one woman who I was neck in neck with, our pregnancies being at the same point the entire way - just a few days off. And even another who had the exact same due date as me. Then there are other friends who gave birth weeks or even days within me.

How could I not look at these women and their babies and not think of Luke?

I don't feel resentment towards them. I wish I could describe the feeling. I, of course, am happy for my friends and these woman and am so grateful that they were able to have healthy babies. I can't help to look at them, though, with a bit of ... I can't find the right word ... awe, or wonder and think, That's how big Luke might have been. He'd be starting to smile, interact, sit up... or whatever it might be. I think it will never end. I think in five years I'll think, Luke would be starting kindergarten, or in 12, Luke would be going to the Priesthood session of conference with his dad, or 19 get the idea. I don't think it will ever stop. It's strange though, to stare on and think about what might have been. I can't find the right word for how I feel when this happens, but it is definitely a feeling that is coated in a bit of sadness. It's not all sadness though. The sadness is only the bitter dark chocolate coating of the caramel and nuts of contemplation, amazement, and love.

Luke, I don't think a day goes by that I don't think about you. My sweet angel, I love you and still long to meet you. I wish so badly that that could be in this lifetime. If you ever get a break from whatever angel duties that you're busy with, please know you are more than welcome to come and visit. Even in a dream. We love you so very much! Love, your mommy.