Thursday, October 31, 2013

Another holiday comes and goes...

I woke up this morning with such a heavy heart. 
I open Facebook (like a dummy) and see all the pictures of kids in their Halloween costumes. 
 Halloween at school, field trips to the pumpkin patches, dressing up for Trick-or-Treat.  
It's a very rare occasion for me to cry.  I think my heart is a little cold and hardened.
But this morning (well most of the day) was that rare occasion.  

I didn't get dressed today.  I didn't brush my hair. 
 I didn't put makeup on.  
I woke up, sat at my desk and started looking through old pictures and videos...  And I swear the weight of a ton of bricks felt like it was sitting on my chest.  
It was hard to breathe.  It was hard to catch my breath between the wails and the sobbing.  
How in the world has it almost been 2 whole years since I've been without my baby?  
And how in the heck am I still alive?  

I realize now why I avoid doing what I did today.  
Why I try to avoid talking about it, or looking at pictures and videos.  
Because it hurts like hell.
  It's like sitting down to slit my wrist.
Not my idea of fun. 
But today, I just needed it.  I needed the reminder of what my days, hours and minutes used to consist of.  I needed to hear the sound of that little drumstick banging on his drum.  I needed to see that sweet smile. I needed the reminder that I was a good mom.  That I tried as hard as I could.  Because, honestly, sometimes I feel like a flat out failure.  I watch his videos and look at his pictures and think about how much pain he was in.  How he was ever able to muster up a smile is beyond me.  

Y'all, those videos were his happy moments.  The moments where he felt good enough to play or to smile.  And in the end, they were the moments when he had enough pain medicine in him to be able to sit up and function.  He was so strong.  So brave.  I tried to record all that I could because I knew one day, even the 40,000+ pictures (literally) that I had, weren't going to be enough. 
 And they aren't.  
But beyond the videos and pictures was real life pain.  I say "real life," but it was still nothing like I've  ever witnessed before.   Something unexplainable.  Unimaginable. 
I can honestly say that that for the 2 years and 8 months that Tripp was alive, I was living in a super-human body that was held together by the grace of God.  
Looking back on these videos and pictures now, I just can't comprehend how I didn't just sit and cry and cry and cry.  I know that I did what I had to do for my baby.  I had blinders on and I was focused on one thing and one thing only... the health, happiness and comfort of my baby boy.  

But now... as I look back on pictures and videos, I swear I feel like you might as well take a butcher knife to my heart and twist it a few hundred times.  How could one child live through so much pain? And how did I witness it knowing I couldn't stop it?  
How are there precious children and adults still living right now through this type of pain?  For years? With no relief? It makes me SO sad. 

The other day I was sitting, thinking about these same things... the pain that Tripp suffered through and the pain that other children and adults with EB suffer through.  And I thought of something (I wish I could say God spoke to me, but I've been begging Him to do that for years and I've never heard anything... maybe He speaks to me in ways I don't realize.) ... but anyway, I thought, "You know, I'm so sad about the pain that Tripp suffered and the cross that he had to bear, along with the one I'm bearing as well... but Jesus went through this same pain (was it worse, equal, less?  I don't know) but He was beaten, cruely tortured and nailed to the cross?  But do I get sad about that?  Do I cry about that?  If I love Jesus as much as I love Tripp, shouldn't it make me sad that He suffered like He did?  All because He wanted us to be able to spend eternity with Him?
Is that how much we are supposed to love Jesus?  Is that why He keeps telling us He wants a personal relationship with us?  So that we can love Him like we love our own kids?  Or the unimaginable... even MORE than our own kids??  I think so.  
It was a pretty cool epiphany moment. 

Ok, sorry, sermon over.  I'm all over the place.  Back to what I was talking about... 
I've tried to tell myself for over 4 years now, that God has control over Tripp's pain.  That God had to have been taking some of the pain away from him.  Faith is hard.  That is a hard thing to believe.  It's like you believe it because you absolutely HAVE to believe it to survive.  Because what if God didn't? What if Tripp felt every little bo-bo?  Every blister that felt like a 3rd degree burn?  Every bath when water hit his sores, and he screamed and screamed uncontrollably... who was helping him out with his pain then?  The thought of how much pain he was in has haunted me for these past 2 years.  And only for the past 2 years, because I'll say it again... when he was alive- I was in survival mode.  Doing what I absolutely had to do to get through each minute with a smile on my face.  For him. 

I have no clue what I'm trying to say, really.  
I'm just trying to let out my sadness and my pain.  
In some kind of way.  By being real... and honest. 

I spent all day yesterday with my mom cleaning out my storage unit and going through the rest of Tripp's things.  Deciding what to keep and what not to keep.  
It was heart-wrenching.  Completely just wrong.  And sad. 
Needless to say, there wasn't much that we could part with.  Unless he just absolutely never played with it, or wore it, or touched it. 
 How does one part with the most precious memories they have... really, the only things this mommy has left?  

I would give up my life this very second if I could be doing this again. 

I was the happiest I'd ever been.  
Despite the pain of watching my child suffer.  
Despite the compete and utter exhaustion from literally no sleep. 
Despite the mental torture of not being able to help my own child. 
Tripp made me the happiest girl in the world.  
I lived for him.  Literally every move I made was for him.  
I put 110% into it... and I guess that's why I feel like I'm grieving 110%. 
It's hard.  It sucks.  There's no way to describe this feeling.

certainly would not say that I don't have anything left to live for... because that is very untrue.  I have THE most amazing man in my life... who was, is and will be by my side through the good and the bad (and the really really bad).  Stephen has saved my life.  Given me reasons to smile and to love again.  He has taken care of me better than I ever thought possible.  He has picked my up from my lowest place and taught me how to trust in love again.  I'm very, very grateful for him. 
He's a man who shares my faith, shares in my pain, shares in my happiness, loves me for me... and also puts me in my place when it's needed.  He was made perfectly for me. 
And I of course have my incredible family and friends who put up with my good days, my emotional days and my terrible-I-don't-want-to-be-around-anyone days.  They love me unconditionally.  I have my sweet momma who was by my side every minute of this journey, who hurts on her own AND when I hurt.  But I was surely born into my family for a reason.  There's just no way that anyone could survive without the support that I've been given. 

But... I AM saying, that my life will never, ever be the same.
I know my fellow mommies who have lost their precious babies can relate-  
I will never have that "same" happiness again.  Yes, I will have happiness again... I have happiness and I will be given more happiness.  But not happiness like that.  Not the pure bliss I had for 2 years and 8 months.  Nothing will be able to replace that. 
My heart is aching and broken.  It may heal in places over time,  but it will never be whole again... 
until I'm reunited with my baby.  
What a glorious day that will be.  


Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Ok.  I can take a hint. 

You guys are seriously amazing.  
Your comments after I've been away from blogging for so long were unexpected and very humbling.

I never anticipated getting that type of response to a blog that I thought was so pointless. 
It was truly encouraging.
And it made me realize something important... 
What helped me through the hardest times of my life, was you- 
All of you who care and continue to care. 
So thank you... again.  

Someone mentioned my sister and her new baby.  
And then it hit me... I haven't posted about them since I told you guys she was pregnant!  I've been in a little hole for so long that I haven't even shared my new nephew with you guys.  Well, I guess he's not really new anymore... 
he is already 10 months old!  
And he surely has my heart... 

Samuel Lawton Welt was born on December 14, 2012.
He has the prettiest blue eyes you'll ever see. 
He lives exactly 7.5 hours too far away from his Nanny. 
Nanny, Grammy, and Papa try to visit as often as we can, and Samuel, Mommy and Daddy try to come visit here in Louisiana, too.  But when we aren't with each other, we try to FaceTime a couple of times a week (so he remembers us!)

Samuel's Daddy just came back from his deployment of 4.5 months overseas.
I'm sure you can imagine the joy when they were all reunited again :)

Watching my sister become a mom was bittersweet.  
Only because, I had always imagined us being moms together- taking the cousins on adventures together, dressing them up and taking pictures together, doing almost everything together
And when Samuel was born, and I didn't have my Tripp there to meet him... well, I was sad. 
I'm not going to lie and say that it was easy, because it wasn't. 
I was jealous she had her baby and I didn't have mine.  
I went through many phases-
 the really sad one and the "it's not fair" one.  
But I know now, those feelings were normal- and they were something that I had to go through to get where I am today... 
A proud sister and a proud aunt.  
Because I'll tell you one thing... my sister is one hell of a mom. 
To watch her be a mommy to Samuel is simply a joy. 
I'm in awe.
She's so patient.  So loving.  And so completely selfless
A true definition of the word mother.  

My sweet Samuel loves to read books.  
He's going to be a bookworm just like his Mommy and Daddy. 
He loves being outside. 
And most importantly (in my eyes of course),
 he loves his Nanny. 
I think a certain little angel might have had something to do with this love connection. 

But the comment that got me was this one: 

I think in a world of crazy, people look for that shining example of good. That's why I come back. You are so good.

Seriously?  That's probably the greatest compliment I could ever receive.
Because in the past 2 years, that is what I have strived for and it is what I am still striving for every day... 
to be a good person.
Just as I'm sure that it's something most people strive for. 

But what are my reasons for striving to be good

1.  I have to get to heaven.  No ifs, ands or buts about it.  And I'm not knocking anyone's beliefs here, (I totally respect everyone's beliefs and hope you all will also respect mine :) but I don't think that just because I believe in Jesus Christ that I will get to spend eternity with Him.  It's easy to "say" you believe.  What's not easy, is to live your life for Jesus, in prayer, living the sacraments, doing good deeds, and loving your neighbor.  That is not easy.  But I don't believe it's meant to be easy.  If it was easy, He wouldn't be warning us over and over again that this is what we need to be doing.  

2.  I spent most of my life (before becoming Tripp's mom), judging people without even knowing it.  That person talks funny, that person dresses weird, acts weird... instead of judging from the inside.
If someone looked or did something differently than I did, I thought it was okay to just casually talk about them.  Or maybe I didn't think it was okay- I knew better- but that didn't stop me. 
But when God gave me a child that was different, it was like He slapped me in the face, trying to open my eyes.  And though it's still very hard (it's human nature) I'm trying not to be so judgmental.  
We have no idea what's going on in someone's life.  Or why we think someone looks funny or acts funny.  Every single person is fighting their own battle, whether it's internal or external- whether we can see it or can't see it.  I try to remember that.  Because God knows I'm still fighting a battle of my own.  It's not nice to hurt other people- we are all in this together.  We are supposed to be helping each other.  No matter what or who you think the other person is.  

3.  The world needs it.  I struggle with this.  I struggle with the examples kids are getting these days (I know, I'm only 28... I'm still a kid myself... yada yada... but I feel like my mind is a lot older, ok?).  The things on TV that anyone has access to watch, are appalling.  The movies in the theater that kids are watching, are disturbing.  I will never forget being 12 years old and my parents not letting me go to my best friend's birthday party because they were going to be watching a PG-13 movie.  I thought they were the worst parents ever.  But now I get it.  There has to be rules.  There has to be boundaries.  And most of all, there has to be an EXAMPLE.  Kids these days don't have good examples.  Just watching a football game or a baseball game, when the camera is put on the players (these "supposed to be" role models for kids) and they show them mouthing the F bomb...  Seriously, you make a bajillion dollars a year- show some respect.  And I won't even get into Miley Cyrus... you get the point.  Kids are searching for good examples.  How do we expect the next generation to be good if we don't show them what good is???  If you think it's okay, your child will.  If you settle for it, your child will.  If you curse every other word, your child will.  If you gossip and talk about people, your child will.  If you skip church, your child will.  They watch you.  They look up to you.  You are all they have.  Be a good example. I want to be a good example.  Even if it's to just one person.  It has to start somewhere.  

Being good is a choice.  
You aren't born good.  
You don't just become good.  
It's how we handle our life experiences and how we use what God gives us.  And we are all human... so we can never be good enough- there will always be room for improvement (no matter how good we think we already are).   But you know what the best part is?  God is always on our side and He always wants us to try.  
We all mess up, and we will continue to mess up. 
 But God always forgives us and lets us try again.  
As long as we continue to try... 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013


I often sit down and write a paragraph or two... 
thinking that it's time to start blogging again.  
And then I erase them, get up, and continue on with my day.  

What is there to write about anymore?  
I realize no one is interested in my boring day-to-day life.  You guys read and grew to love this blog looking at pictures, watching videos, and learning about the life of my Tripp. 

I guess there are plenty things I could say.  Honestly, there has been so much that has happened since I stopped blogging that there's no way I could squeeze everything into one post (at least not one that anyone would read)... maybe that's another day. 

I could surely preach on about what terrible shape our world is in and beg everyone to pray and go to church so we can turn it around before it's too late- but you might call me a holy roller and quit reading. 

I could write about being sad and missing my baby and how hard it is to go on about my day-to-day life watching everyone else with their kids.  
But seriously, who wants to hear about that? 

Maybe I'll talk about the weather and how beautiful it's been around here? 
Bored yet? 

But I have been receiving emails and letters from a lot of you... and that's what makes my heart smile.  
And what also makes me want to start writing again. 

But it's pretty difficult when you write on a particular subject for so long... and then you have to change your tune. 

What do people like to hear about? 
What makes people read blogs? 

Did you gravitate towards a love story 
between a mother and son? 

Did you crave the inspiration from a small 
angel who was fighting his battle? 

Did you fall in love with the drumming skills 
of a little boy who couldn't see? 

Or was it trying to understand faith 
with such a difficult cross to bear? 

I do wonder that... 
I wonder what made our support system grow SO big in such a short time? 
What made a community step up so beautifully and get involved?  
What made hundreds of thousands of strangers all over the world send us kind words and encouragement?

Maybe I'll never truly know.  
But I'm starting to realize a little more every day that God had a reason for all of this.  
I'm, of course, not yet sure of what it is... 
and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do about it...
but I'm hopeful that I will find out soon. 

But I do know, that as I look out of my window right now, 
I see a precious little orange butterfly...
and when I turn my head the other way, I see this... 

God is always talking to me... 
I just have to learn to stop and listen.