Sunday, September 23, 2012

In Memory of Ali

Often times in pregnancy I have sleepless nights. Not because I'm physically uncomfortable, I usually do okay in that boat. But when I wake up to use the bathroom or possibly to readjust my pregnant body, I usually can't go back to sleep because my mind is racing with thoughts.

Lately, I haven't allowed myself the time to sit down and write about my thoughts. Perhaps I've had too many, or not enough that have been worth sharing.

This morning (among many other thoughts) my mind and heart is turned toward my dear family members who are hurting because of an unexpected loss in our family. My step-dad's niece, Ali, was the victim of domestic violence (reported in this news story).

There are so many yet not enough words to describe this news --shocking, tragic, heartbreaking, unfathomable...

I would never try to compare what happened to us and our loss of Luke to this situation. Nevertheless  Trevor and I have felt the power of a parent's love for their child and have felt the pain of unexpected loss. And because we have felt emotions connected with parental love and loss our hearts are that much more tender and full of ache for Ali's parents and all those that loved her.


I wasn't close to Ali, but was so immensely touched by her consideration, love, and generosity when we lost Luke. She and her dad came to Luke's funeral to offer their love and support and condolences to us. Because we weren't very close, I was so touched that she would make that effort for us. In addition to being there to offer love and support she and her dad gave us the beautiful piece of artwork pictured below. I couldn't believe how thoughtful they were.

Under His Wing by Jay Bryant Ward

Ali, your kindness touched me and I will be forever grateful for the love you showed our family. Your parents, children, other family members, and friends will continue to be in our prayers as each of them grieve your loss. 


May we each be reminded to cherish our loved ones while they are here with us, be a little more loving, and a little more forgiving. Each of our days are numbered, may we cherish every one.   

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Visit to the Cemetery - September 2012

When I was in Utah visiting friends and family I scheduled out a morning to go to the cemetery and visit Luke's grave. Like always, when I would visit the grave, I carefully arranged fresh flowers to leave there.

As I pulled up to the gates at the cemetery it almost seemed surreal as the thoughts ran through my head almost as a reminder of my reality I have a son who I gave birth to and he is buried here. There's not a day that I have forgotten that, but something about being back there at the cemetery after nearly 5 months seemed to confirm that reality stronger in my mind.

I brought items with me to clean the grave. The cemetery does a great job maintaining the grounds, but I thoughts Luke's headstone might need a little maintenance. It sits under a try that drops these little berry-like things that can leave spots on the granite. I scrubbed down the headstone and removed grass clippings that had pilled up around the edges from a recent grass clipping.

While other moms spend there time wiping down little cheeks that are covered with spoonfuls of baby food that have gone astray, I spend my time careful wiping down the headstone that marks the sacred ground in which my son is buried.

Being there reminded me how much I miss being able to go to the cemetery whenever I wanted. The cemetery is always a quiet, peaceful place to be. I miss being able to go there. I miss the quiet times of reflection that occur there. I miss being able to leave fresh flowers to honor my son.

Friday, September 7, 2012

13 Months

Luke it's hard to not let myself imagine what life would be like if you were here with us. I try to not dwell on thoughts like those. But the fact of the matter is that you are missed and we do wish you were here with us. 

But you're not here. At least you are not here in your physical tabernacle of a body. Perhaps your spirit is close. I hope it is. 

I continue to put my faith in God and trust in His plan. I know we will get to be with you again some day and I will continue to look forward to that time. 

Thinking of you always, 
Love your mommy

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Feeling a Void

Life goes on, but at certain times there simply feels like a void in our life or rather -- in our family.

We were so fortunate to have spent the past week at a beach house in Delaware with Trevor's family. Each summer Trevor's family get's together for a week-long vacation at Lake Chelan in eastern Washington. This year my sister-in-law suggested everyone come to the East Coast instead, so we opted for a week at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware.

Trevor's parents, sister, and our niece all arrived the same evening. We all gathered for dinner at Scott and Maryanne's house. The energy and excitement of travel, being together, and the anticipation of our trip to Delaware was practically tangible. It was a bit of chaos as excited children began to play with each other, clamor for attention, fight over toys, try to escape the madness, and even eventually some minor injuries ensued.

Though it was a relief to not have any disciplining or fight-settling or injury recovery to be a part of, it was hard to not have Luke there in that crazy mix of things. This initial evening of being all together seemed to exaggerate the lack of Luke's presence more than normal. As I sat and watched all the craziness I couldn't help to wonder what it would be like to have just one more cousin in the mix of things. One more gleeful excited or perhaps overwhelmed and crying child.  

The day after we arrived in Delaware, we took a Sunday evening stroll to see the beach. Perhaps it was being in such a beautiful, serene place that made my emotions more prevalent. I couldn't help getting emotional seeing all the family together ... but knowing it wasn't all the family. Missing Luke and feeling so empty-armed, I asked my sister-in-law if I could hold her baby. What peace it brought to at least have someone in my arms who I love, yet how I still longed for it to be my own child.

Yet again, I couldn't help to feel the void of having Luke be a part of the family adventures when we all went to a place called Funland. It's just a small place on the boardwalk of Rehoboth beach filled with little amusement rides mostly for kids. There was just something about seeing all the little cousins together, having fun. I couldn't help my mind from thinking what it would be like to have Luke there with them. There were even some small babies strapped in on the firetruck ride. It was a perfect ride for little ones that age.


Will this void remain in coming years when we do have little ones to add to the mix of craziness? I'm not sure. I am certain having our next son (and any other subsequent children whom we might be blessed with) will keep us occupied and allow our family to be more in the mix with all the kids. Perhaps the void won't be so exaggerated or quite as emotional. Yet, in a way, I hope that I always feel this void. I hope that I always feel like someone is missing, because he is. Our family simply isn't complete without Luke. Nevertheless, I know he's not supposed to be here now. I know God has a plan for him and for our family on earth. I know our family will all be together one day. This just isn't the time. Knowing that makes things easier. Knowing that brings comfort. But the tears still come, because I miss Luke. And I'm okay with that. 


Luke, It's incredible to think that it was just over a year ago that all the cousins sat together in Chelan, while we were home anticipating your arrival. We got an email that read:

"Dear Uncle Trevor and Aunt Shelley,
We want to meet our new cousin!!!!!!"

I suppose not a lot has changed since then because we still can't wait to meet you!