Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

You were on my mind so much on Memorial Day. Ever since I was a little girl my mom would take me to the cemetery on or near Memorial Day to take flowers to the graves of our loved ones - particularly her grandparents and dad. 

It was interesting to be in Virginia this day. I realized that the holiday is particularly for honoring the people that gave their lives and time in service for our country. I think I'd known that, but never really thought about it. I was grateful to be able to take time to think of those men and women too. 

It was hard not being able to bring anything for your grave that day, but your Grandma Banks was able to bring some flowers. I was so grateful for that. I didn't want it to seem like you are forgotten just because nothing was on your grave, especially because you are far from forgotten. 

Thinking of you on this special day. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friends and a Fruit Basket

A while ago I added the "Gifts for Bereaved Parents" section to the blog and I wanted to write more about all of the wonderful things that people had done for us especially if you're someone that is looking for something to do for a friend or family member. So many nice things were done for us and I'm sure I won't even remember them. I think whatever you do though, just do something. There is not a right thing, but doing anything for someone you care about lets them know you care. Oh what a blessing it was to feel so loved by so many people! I, of course, would never wish any sort of tragedy on anyone, but because of Luke's death we became aware of so many people that cared for us. It really was quite incredible and something I wish more people could experience. I am sure each person has more people that care about them than they realize. I know we sure didn't realize how many people cared about us.


One evening not long after Luke's funeral--I don't remember how long, but it still was light out in the evening and had that summer feel to the night, so it was probably late August or September--my friend  and neighbor Ruth was texting me wondering if we were home. We had driven down the road to go take a look at what seemed to be a fire. We told her we'd be back in a minute and she told us we would have someone over to visit soon.

We were happy to discover that our friend Hunter and his dad, Chris, were unexpectedly coming to visit us. I assume, they ran into our friend Ruth outside while they were waiting for our return. Trevor went to church with Hunter and Chris in Washington. Chris still lives in Washington, but was in town for something (business, I think), so he and Hunter (who lives in Provo) came down to visit us. Their visit alone would have been enough to let us know that they cared; however, they came bearings gifts! They brought with them a huge basket filled to the brim with fresh fruits, crackers, fancy cheeses, nuts, chocolate, and all sorts of good stuff.

What a thoughtful and useful gift. At this time I'm almost certain I hadn't started grocery shopping again and I'm sure we were in need of food because everything we had on hand was dwindling. What a blessing to have fresh fruits and goodies brought to us! Trevor was especially impressed because it was a basket legitimately filled with goods and not half stuffed with tissue paper or other non-food fillers to just make the basket look full. And what guy wouldn't appreciate a bunch of food?

We were so touched by their visit, their generosity, and mostly their thoughtfulness of taking the time to reach out to us.

Thank you Hunter and Chris.  


Ironically, while writing this I realized, that one packages of crackers from this gift basket was still on our shelf in April which were the crackers I munched on to subside my pregnant feelings of starvation and ease my nausea during church! Also the large basket was saved and has moved with us to Virginia, because it will be the perfect size to put a baby in for newborn pictures. Some people might not like the association, but I love thinking that part of what has molded us and our family and the experiences we've has because of Luke will be carried forward as part of our lives with his little brother or sister. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Blog Changes

Don't's still Trevor and Shelley's blog! And our hearts are still knit in unity and love.

I just decided I'd make the blog title actually pertain to what the content really is about. Initially, this blog was supposed to be a cute "look at us and our fun married adventures" blog, but I never was really moved to write and post pictures about our life and our adventures (even though they have been many!).

This blog has obviously been an outlet for me to write about my thoughts and feelings--mostly related to events and experiences that have occurred because of Luke's death and I assume that is what it will continue to be.

I am working (slowly) on some blog re-design as well. So be patient with me as I try to make the blog a little bit more aesthetically pleasing. It's a work-in-progress and I try to not spend too much time on it any given day.  If I am spending time blogging I prefer it to be time dumping my thoughts from my head onto the page and not editing gadgets, images, and html stuff!

Hope the changes don't cause any confusion!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A photo and a tile: gifts from a stranger

In preparation for Luke's funeral we needed to decide what he was going to be dressed in. When I was pregnant I had shopped around for a white blessing outfit anticipating his baby blessing which I assumed would be only a month after he was born. I wanted to have it selected before Luke was born so that I didn't have to worry about it after his birth. I didn't know what postpartum recovery and motherhood would be like for me and I wanted this to be something I didn't need to worry about.

Little did I know that I would be needing this outfit only days after his birth and not for his blessing, but for his burial.

The details are kind of blurred now, but I believe I spent my third day postpartum (a day that normally my midwife insists you're still on bed rest recovering) going to the cemetery finalizing the burial plot and then I was home working out funeral details--calling friends and family to inform them our baby had died and that they're invited to a funeral (phone calls I never imagined having to make), researching a reputable florist for the area so that I could get the perfect flowers (which I wrote about here), and even calling a friend who used to work at a mortuary to talk to him about some questions I had.

I had to send my mom without me to go purchase Luke's burial clothes. Fortunately, I guess, I had taken pictures of some of my favorite white outfits. So I sent her to select one of those depending on the sizes that were available.

Unfortunately, the ones that I had selected weren't in stock anymore; however, there was a new selection for the upcoming fall season. My mom found one she really liked and thought I would like it too. She tried her best to describe it to me over the phone, but I couldn't picture it. I asked her if she could find someone in the store who could take a picture on their phone and send it to me (my mom's cell doesn't have a camera). I'm sure it was so out of my mom's comfort zone to ask a stranger to do something like that! She spotted a younger lady (the store with the clothes is also a quilt shop so a lot of the costumers are kind of older . . . no offense Cindy and Liz you're not old) and asked if she could send a picture to me.

The woman was willing and quickly wrangled her child(ren) out of the store so she could retrieve her phone from her car. I soon received this picture.

Her helpfulness alone was enough to touch my heart and I was so grateful for her willingness to help! 

When my mom returned from the errands she was doing for us, she not only brought back Luke's clothes but a thoughtful gift that this stranger purchased for us and gave to my mom before she left the store. 

It was a little tile and easel with the following quote:

How incredibly thoughtful. I am so impressed by this woman's kindness. It's moments like this when you know that this world is truly filled with beautiful and kind people. When I think about this woman's willingness to reach out to me, a complete stranger, I am so touched and in awe that she would do such a thing. 

Would I be that kind and generous to a stranger? Do I even show friends and loved ones who I know so much kindness? I feel like I have so much to learn from the Christlike people that come into my life--even if I don't know who they are. 


Thank you for your helpfulness, your kindness, and your sympathetic heart that reached out to me. Your kindness has touched me and taught me to be more thoughtful, more kind, and more moved to action to do something for someone going through hard times. Oh, may the Lord bless you for your service and loving heart. People like you make this world a beautiful place. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Baby Blessing

Today as I sat in church singing the opening hymn, I could feel that my emotions seemed to be lingering near the surface. I seemed to be getting choked up over the words of the hymn and for no particular reason. I'm not sure why I was feeling so emotional that I couldn't quite sing all the words. I would pause each time my emotions seemed to be stronger and then with a breath I could keep singing.

Perhaps it's just because I am pregnant and my hormones make me hypersensitive to things. Whatever the reason, that was the state I was in at the beginning of church.

I have been at church during many baby blessings* since August, but never before have they quite affected me like the one did today.

I was sitting at the front of the chapel and turned to look at the father walking to the front carrying his son. Even though the baby was wrapped up in his father's arms and they passed by me very quickly, it only took an instance for me to recognize the white, knit outfit that the baby was dressed in--it was the same outfit that Luke was buried in.

Oh how instantly tears began to flow from my eyes. I hardly listened to the words of the blessing being pronounced on this baby, as I thought of my own son. I quietly took a tissue from my purse to attempt to catch my now dripping eyes and nose. Dabbing at the tears that wouldn't stop flowing I thought of my own son, dressed in that very same outfit. One that I had planned on being his blessing outfit. But that was not the case. It was Luke's burial clothes instead. I thought of the decorative hook in Luke's nursery that was going to display the sentimental outfit that instead, for a time, displayed a collection of sympathy cards and then later a little white outfit that was from Luke's grandmother, which he never wore.

White outfit from Grandma Barb and the place where Luke's blessing outfit would have hung. 

 It has been over nine months now and sometimes little things can touch my heart in such a poignant way. I may be pregnant again, but that does not lessen how my tender heart feels about Luke. How much I still love him, and how much my love for him grows every day. I am grateful for moments like today that reaffirm to me that even though life is moving on and changing my love for my son is unchanged. Seeing this baby dressed in the same outfit Luke was buried in triggered in me tears that I did not foresee shedding; but I am grateful for the reminder of my son. I was grateful to be able to think about him. And I am ever so grateful to know that I will see him again.

*In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints each baby is blessed. This is not a baptism. Children are only baptized if and when they reach the age of 8. A baby blessing is usually administered by the baby's father and its purpose is to give the baby his or her name and pronounce blessings upon him or her. The blessing could include things like good health, the ability to live a faithful life and follow Christ, or any number of things which the person giving the blessing may feel inspired to bless the baby with.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Meeting My Nephew

I don't have many words to follow up with about meeting my new nephew.

Dallin is incredibly sweet and perfect (like any newborn) but a bit more so, since he is my nephew. I loved holding him. I loved examining him. I loved to touch his soft angelic hair. I honestly could have sat and held him all day.

There was one particular moment when I put my finger in his tiny newborn hand and he gave it a little squeeze and my insides swelled up with emotion and lingered in my eyes on the verge of tears, but conversation in the room continued and with a breath the moment was gone. Perhaps if I had been alone my emotions would have spilt over into actual tears.

I'm not sure what about that moment was so poignant to me. Perhaps because I never got to feel the life in Luke like that. Never got to have that real tangible connection. Perhaps because I felt like this sweet baby was offering some of his love and solace to me. Perhaps because with the squeeze of his tiny hand, I felt like he was telling me everything would be okay.


Initially I didn't think he looked like Luke at all. Luke definitely looked like a Fitzgerald; however, my nieces and nephew tend to have a face shape more similar to their mom and Dallin is no exception. On Sunday I came home and looked more closely at pictures of Luke. I realized that Dallin and Luke's eye-shape actually seem to be the same--very Fitzgerald.  


What a blessing it is to have a new member of our family and I am so grateful to my brother- and sister-in-law for sharing this wonderful time with us. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

Mother's Day. What to say about it?

I  could talk about how:
I had a wonderful morning with my husband. He even got me a gift which I had no expectations for gifts or anything. He can be so sweet. It was a fun little book with mothering advice from the fifties! I love clever books and I love that Trevor bought me a book in spite of his own feeling toward books! (He's kind of anti buying books since they're free at libraries.)

Or I  could talk about how:
How I could feel jealously creeping up inside me (despite my own insights I'd had on jealousy a few weeks ago) as I was surrounded by mothers, many of which were holding their own little babies. All of which knew nothing about my own role as a mother. I missed my own son so terribly and longed to have him there with me.

Or I could talk about how:
My kind family invited us over for a mother's day dinner. It was a blessing to both be with them and to be fed since our own kitchen is still not unpacked.

Or I could talk about how:
I experienced another terribly awkward moment at the end of Relief Society when we were having small group discussions and someone asked if I had any kids and I fumbled more than ever to know how to answer the question. Trevor usually just responds by telling people we're expecting and I suppose that's would work, but I want people to know about Luke. I want people to know I do have a child. I want them to know this very real and important part of my life. I just haven't found a way to talk about it or rather announce it in a group setting.  

Or I could talk about how:
I am so blessed to have a wonderful mother who is also my friend. One who has given so much of her time and energy to support me in whatever I want to do in life. One who has been an example of faith and commitment to keeping the commandments of God. One who has done so much for me because she is a mother and she is my mother and loves me with a mother's love.

Or I could talk about how:
Loving friends and family members were so thoughtful and sent me nice texts or messages letting me know that they were thinking about me and Luke. How thoughtful they each were. What examples of Christlike love and kindness that I can learn from. 


I am grateful to be a mother. I am grateful for a mother who loves me. And I am grateful for all of the kindness I received from others on Mother's Day. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Holding a Newborn

Ever since August I have wanted to just hold a newborn. Shortly after Luke was born, I wanted to just go to my friend's house and hold her little boy who was born within the same week. I never got up the courage to ask...

Since then I've had a few close friends have babies and with their anticipated arrivals I wanted to be able to hold them. Yes, I got to hold them in church or in their homes for a few moments, but they would fuss and not knowing how to calm someone else's baby they would shortly be handed back to their mom's.

It wasn't quite what I had hoped for. I wanted to be able to just hold them as newborns and look at them, perhaps with no one else around so that there would be no onlooking eyes wondering what I was thinking or how I was feeling or checking to see if I was okay. I wanted to be able to stare at their every little feature without someone staring at me, making sure my eyes weren't about to swell up with tears or anything. I wanted to be able to hold an infant and think back to the few short hours in which I got to hold Luke's little body in my own arms. I wanted to just have a tiny, perfect baby in my own arms again.

More than anything I want it to be my own baby, but for that I must wait.

However today is a special day because I feel like it will be the closest thing to holding my own child. My nephew is about to be born. We did not plan for these days to correlate, but we arrived to Virginia last night, the day before our nephew's birth. I am grateful that we are here and that I get to be the first aunt (he has a lot of aunts!) to meet him and hold him. I would try not to be, but I think I'd be quite jealous if it were someone else here that got to meet him and hold him during this newborn stage of life.

I don't know what it will be like to meet him but I am very anxious to find out. I'm anxious to see what he looks like and to see if any of his features are similar to Luke's. Luke had so many of Trevor's features and, in my opinion, looked very Fitzgerald. My new little nephew will be half Fitzgerald and could very well share some physical features as Luke.

I know so many women would find a day like today too difficult to bare, but I am looking forward to it. I don't know how I'll respond emotionally to this day, but I do know I am so happy for my brother- and sister-in-law to be bringing this new child into their home and I do know that I am grateful to be able to be here to witness and be a part of it.

It's incredible to think that in the nine months since we lost Luke a new life was created and is ready to enter the world. Life is miraculous and God's hand is in it all.

Monday, May 7, 2012

9 Months

It's been nine months since the day I gave birth to Luke. I know some moms find this day particularly hard. I guess one might consider this a difficult crux because the time after the loss is now longer than the time with the child. I suppose that's a strange reality to swallow--to feel like those precious months are being passed on by the days and months that just keep rolling forward. I guess it's strange to feel like those glorious months with your child are being swallowed up by the empty-handed days that seem to keep pressing on.

I guess some find it hard to know that now they've been without their child longer than they were with their baby.

But I guess I don't see it quite that way.

Yes, time now will forever be greater than the actual time I had with Luke; however, my reality is not this time "without" him subtracted from the time that he was here which would leave me with a negative equation. It can't be done that way, because these days aren't truly without him. In a way I feel like I've been just as much with Luke the past nine months as I had the previous nine--he has been in my thoughts, in my prayers, in my heart, in my conversation. He may not really be here--with me--in my arms, but he is here more than ever. And with each passing day it won't be a day that diminishes the short time that I had with him, but it will be another day that Luke is still my son and still a part of my life. Each day will be added upon and I truly believe my love for him will continue to grow. Also with each day it will be a day closer to when I finally get to meet him. And what a joy that is!

I love you, my sweet son.