Monday, January 14, 2013

One Year...

Today cannot be real.  
I wish it were a bad dream.  
Today was the day that I never actually thought would get here.  It's a day that that has haunted me since the day he left my arms.  
I told myself (and countless others who asked) that I was going to give myself a year after Tripp passed away to organize my thoughts, and then decide what I was going to do with my life.  
A year seemed like an eternity... that's why I said that.  
And now today makes one year... and if it's possible, I think my heart may be more broken today than on the day he actually went to be with Jesus.  The shock has faded and reality is BANGING at my door.  That's what I get for always trying to be in control... for giving myself a timeline to heal the loss of my child.  A timeline is not possible.  

It's been a whole year since I've held him in my arms.  
A whole year since I've kissed his lips.
A whole year since I leaned close and told him I loved him.
It's been a whole year and I still don't understand why he's gone.  I still can't comprehend why other people get to keep their babies and I didn't get to keep mine.  
He was my world.  My heart.  My everything.  
And now he's been gone a whole year.  
Where did it go?   

I can't kiss those big beautiful, plump lips...  

I can't look into those big gorgeous brown eyes... 

I can't hold that sweet hand, or rub and kiss my favorite little feet...

And what breaks my heart the most of all, 
is that I can't see that beaming, glowing, amazing SMILE
that he gave me for 2 years and 8 months.  



I can't hold him in my arms, or rock him in our favorite chair... 

I can't play drums with him anymore, or sing Elmo, or dance... 

I can't comfort him anymore like a mommy is supposed to do. 
Instead, I have to trust that my baby is with Jesus in Heaven, and that he will never need comforting again.  And it's not fair.   

My heart is broken into about 4 million pieces.  
And I know that I will never ever be able to get that one piece of it back.  The piece that made me the happiest girl in the world.  The piece that finally made me complete. 
 My baby boy... who is now my little angel. 

Dear parents (whom I know or do not know) who have ever lost a child:
I am so so SO sorry that before January 14, 2012, I have had NO clue and was totally oblivious to your pain.  Because there is no pain like it.  There is no way to describe it.  There is no way to make anyone ever be able to understand it, whether they have kids of their own or not... or whether they are a part of your own family or not.  No one will never understand... unless they have lost a child themselves.  And I'm so sorry for that.  And you have beaten yourself up mentally trying to get them to understand.  You can't understand why their lives can go on.  How they can be so happy and so care-free when your life has ended and your heart has been ripped out of your chest.  It isn't fair. And it isn't their fault.  I try to picture myself before having Tripp.  I think of how I might have acted around someone who had lost their child.  Would I have said, "Oh hi, how are you?"  And did they roll their eyes at me and think to themselves, "How in the *bleep do you THINK I am??"  Or would I have had a conversation with them and totally ignored the fact that they had lost their child?  Or never mentioned that I was sorry?  Did I actually do these things with women I knew who had lost children?  I don't know.  Because I couldn't possibly have understood before now.  I couldn't have understood what it would have been like to give birth to a human being, fall desperately in love with him or her, live my life for him or her, and then have them taken from me without explanation.  Everything you love in life- things, people, possessions.... will NEVER compare to the amount of love a mother has for her child.  Never.  EVER.  I don't care what anyone says.  So, I truly do want to say that I'm sorry.  I am sorry that you feel alone.  I am sorry that you have to think about the death of your child all the time when most people don't remember.  I'm sorry that you have to have Christmases and holidays and birthdays without your child.  Because now I know what that feels like.  And I would rather someone beat me unconscious every single day of my life than to have to feel like this. 
Please know that I feel your pain... and that you are not alone.

The pain I feel isn't about "understanding why this happened" or "being mad at God."  The pain is simply just MISSING HIM.  It's a physical, gut-wrenching, nauseating pain knowing that you can't hold your baby.  Or hug him.  Or kiss him.  So people that say it will be okay and that I "will be with him again one day," don't understand that I know I will be with him again one day... but that it's NOT okay.  Nor will it ever be okay not to be able to be with my baby.  It's not supposed to happen that way.  I'm supposed to go first.  Will I cope and live normally?  Yes.  But it will never be okay that my son is not here for me to hug.  That pain of missing him will never go away. 
I hope and pray it gets easier... and that I can see and play with other kids without having that gut-wrenching, guilty feeling the whole time.  
That is my constant, daily prayer to God... Peace in my heart.  
Peace to comfort my broken heart. 

My parents have been a greater support to me than I could have imagined.  And I guess now that I know the feeling of loving your child, I understand more how much they must love me.  My heart hurts daily for my parents.  Tripp was their first grandchild.  And also had to suffer this past year, watching their friends and siblings with their grandkids when they didn't have theirs.  I know how much they wanted grandkids and how excited they were when they found out I was pregnant.  And I know that it's a different pain than losing your child, but I can imagine that they hurt for me, as well as hurt because they miss Tripp, too.  And my sister, who just had a sweet baby boy of her own and lives states away, always manages to stay in daily contact.  She will always be my best friend, and always always there when I need her.  
I am just so grateful for the never-ending, unconditional love and support of my family 
(especially on the days that I'm a complete witch).
I could have never ever survived those 2 years and 8 months without my mother. 
 That's a fact. 
I'll never be able to re-pay her for all she's done and continues to do for me. 
Best Mom Ever.

I am also overwhelmed with the blessing God snuck into my life 2 years ago. 
I knew from the moment Stephen came into mine and Tripp's life, that he was a great guy.  But with me being so hurt and mistreated in the past, it took me a little while to be able to appreciate the man that he really is.  And when I finally did, Oh, can I tell you how good that felt?  I finally have a real man.  I finally know what it is like to be loved unconditionally.  I feel what it is like to actually be comforted when I am sad.  I know what it feels like to have someone believe in me, and want to be a TEAM- by working together every day to make our relationship better than it already is... not just using the excuse that it's hard.  We have learned so much from each other.  I believe God saved Stephen for me.  I truly believe that.  And I thank Him every night when I lay my head down on my pillow.  This month also makes 2 years since Stephen and I started dating.   Starting two years ago, almost every single day, he would come home from work, come over, and sit on the couch behind the rocking chair... for hours.  And just hang with us.  Never getting "bored" or never letting on that he wanted to be anywhere else.  Always being perfectly fine with the fact that I couldn't leave the house or that we never got to be alone.  He was so patient.  He took to Tripp so wonderfully.  He jumped right in, with both feet.  I remember how nervous I was the first time Stephen came over to meet Tripp.  I wasn't sure how he would act or what he would think.  But he sat on the floor in front of his toys, and started playing with him like they had been best buds for years.  The little drops of blood from Tripp's fingers when he would accidentally play too rough, never once bothered Stephen.  And it made my heart melt.  And since then, he has been the glue that has held me together.  He would help mom and I with Tripp's baths... and just stand by our side for hours while I bathed him... handing me supplies as I needed them.  He's shared my tears, my smiles, my meltdowns... and most importantly, he shared in my son's life.  So he actually got to know and love a piece of my heart outside of my body... for an entire year of his life... which has been SO important in our relationship and being able to understand what we went through.  He has held my hand through it all.  He treats me better than I even deserve sometimes.  
And I get to become his wife... I am a lucky, lucky girl. 

God has also shown me how active He's been in my life by the friends He's sent me.  I haven't figured out if they are angels yet, but I'm pretty sure one of them curses way too much to be an angel... just kidding, Amy!  (those of you who know Amy, understand that :).  I met Amy through Ch.6 news when they asked me to do a story.  Since then, she has texted me every single day (never ever missing a day) to check in on me.  She has been an amazing friend.  If I don't text her first, because I'm having a crap day... you can always bet she is going to text, even if just to say "how was today, my friend?" A simple "how are you" and acknowledgment that I'm hurting means so much these days.  And I can always count on it from her.  Well through my friendship with Amy, I met Jenn Lormand, who I told you owns Ascension Fitness in Metairie.  I have been working out with Jenn on and off for about 6-8 months now.  Jenn is amazing.  She has been an amazing friend and such a huge part of my healing  process this past year.  Well Jenn... being the one who is always wanting to do something to help me... just recently introduced me to another woman who works out at her gym, named Erin.  Erin lost her precious son to an accident when he was 14 months old.  It has been 7 years, and she has since then had 4 more children.  She is amazing.  She is exactly what I hope to be in 7 years.  This friendship that I am just starting with her, is only one that can be sent by God.  She's exactly what my broken heart needs.  Someone who I can relate to.  Someone who can say, "I know how you feel" and actually REALLY know how I feel.  I can tell her anything.  I can tell her that I lay my head on the pillow sometimes at night and pray that my heart stops beating because it hurts too much.  And she understands the pain.  She checks in on me regularly, and offers to get a sitter for her children so that we can have lunch.   Or she will just text to check in and see how I'm doing.  I am more grateful than words to have her to talk to, to cry to, or to laugh with (without feeling guilty about it).  So it just shows, how God put Amy in my life when Tripp was a little over a year old, to be the friend I needed, and then Amy lead to Jenn in my life at the time I needed to pull it together, and then Jenn led to Erin into my life at the perfect time, when God knew that I was at the end of my rope and couldn't handle it on my own anymore.  He knew I needed someone who had been in my shoes.  And that before now, I was too hardheaded to ask for help. 
I don't think this "chain of friendship" was a coincidence. 

God knows.  He listens.  He is present.  And He is GOOD.  He had my life planned out from the beginning.  He knew everything that would happen.  And He knows everything that is going to happen.  I just have to remember to trust Him.  So my goal this year, is to TRUST HIM.  Through the pain, through the heartache, through the torture of every birthday and holiday... through the days when I feel like giving up, I want to remember to trust Him.  It will by no means be easy.  But I believe the only way that I'm going to find some peace... is by building a better relationship with God.  And that relationship begins with trust

And I am, AS ALWAYS, overwhelmed by the continued support of all of YOU.
All of you wonderful people who have followed our story, 
who have prayed with me and for me, 
and who are still supporting me a whole year later... 
I love you.  
And I am so thankful for you. 
I'll never be able to say that enough. 
Thank you for the mail, the letters, the gifts, and the kind words.
But for most of all, continuing to remember my sweet boy. 
And continuing to raise awareness about EB so that one day no one will have to suffer from it.  
Thank you...
from the bottom of my broken heart.