Friday, September 30, 2011

72 days

Last night while I watching T.V. with Ryan in bed I realized for the first time in 72 days, I hadn't cried. It was so odd. Of course Daniel was never far from my mind; in fact we were all watching X Factor last night and it made me wonder if Daniel would have been a singer..or just what he would have been into in general. But I didn't cry. I really don't know what to make of this. Should I be happy? Does this mean I'm moving on to some semblance of a "normal" life and I can concentrate on other things instead of focusing solely on Daniel's absence? I'm almost afraid to move on because I fear I'll be moving away from him. But isn't this what I've prayed about? To be able to think of Daniel and not cry? To focus on my remaining children and my husband and be there mentally and not just physically? I think what I'm really feeling is that if I'm not sad over Daniel's death then I'm not preserving his memory or showing that I miss him. Consciously I know that he would never want to see my sad, he never liked to see me sad, and I am preserving his memory in everything that I do, but it all goes back to my main point, I fear I'm moving away from him.
You know, sometimes I have this morbid thought whenever I visit his spot that I just want to dig and dig and pull him out and hug him. I miss that so much. And how he always noticed when I cleaned the house. He was my sensitive baby.
I don't know. Each day brings more to think about and digest and this is a big one for me. It feels like I've got to figure myself out all over again.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Slept with crabby today, bud. He sits on my nightstand now. And I fight Jake for it often. It was in no way like sharing the bed with you when Daddy was working nights, but it was nice to wrap my arms around something of yours. I love you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I can't shake the feeling that I've been a little disconnected from life lately. I have a suspicion it's because of working nights. It just feels like large chunks of time have disappeared. I feel a little in limbo-and it's really hard to explain; on here and to myself. But it's like I am living my life in snapshots. Some parts are really in focus but a lot is blurred by my fatigue. I've got to figure out how to change this because it's really making me uneasy. And I cannot change my status or stop working nights because as much as it messes with me, it's really the best option right now for the family. I've been playing around with working all in a row or breaking up my days, so we'll see what really is best.

I haven't been as sad as previously but I really think it's because I haven't had to chance to really even think. It feels like all I have been doing is working and sleeping and work has been so busy that my focus is on my patients even in the down time-when there is down time. I'm not sure yet if that is a good or bad thing. I think I'm leaning more towards bad because when I do think about Daniel it hits me harder. And then I'm struggling.

On the flip side, I do tend to stay awake longer in the evenings because I am so used to being up all night that R and I are spending more time together. There is still an huge elephant in the room we dance around but I have to look at it this way; we're reconnecting as a man and wife and refocusing as a mom and dad. I pray daily that eventually, in the best time, we can hit on some issues as we both have different attitudes towards Daniel's accident. Who knew at 26 we would both be hit this hard with such heavy stuff and mining all this? Well, ok, God did and He paired us together because He knew we could handle it, but a manual would have been nice :)

Of course, the more I think about it, He really and truly did give us a manual on life, the Bible, we just have to know how to use it. It is so much more than just reading it to get assurance and answers. Something I learned in Sunday school is that every character in the Bible can be relatable during a period in your life. For me, at this moment in time, I'm Job. Unsure why all this junk is being hit down on me, questioning why but knowing He is with me even if I cannot see Him. Maybe a little of Abraham thrown in there; wandering around but trusting God is working my path out for me.

And I am really hoping all this stuff can be worked out a little for me because I start my next 3 in a row tonight and really have got to get a nap in and cannot have my brain working in overdrive during that. I would really be of no use tonight then.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dear Daniel:

The life you lived here on Earth has touched so many people. Every day, a memory of you crops up in many minds and so many are sharing in your life. Just this weekend a wonderful little girl and her friends worked a lemonade stand in your honor to raise money for the park pets that are going to be placed in your favorite park. We are still getting books in your memory and not only did the books donated fill the library, but they are being shared in the classrooms as well! How fun is that?

Things have been ok here at home. We miss you a lot and it just seems quieter in the house. Jake has taken over in helping put Andrew to sleep and making sure he "halks to Jesus" at night. He turns out the light and closes the door too. And he can't go to sleep until we've talked about you and read a book. The Megamind DVD is getting a lot of play; your brother is currently obsessed with the movie. He heard one of the songs played in the movie at WalMart last night and wondered why he couldn't see the movie. I do see now that you were the main plotter in getting into the pantry and pouring or dumping food all over the carpets, and getting to the cars outside, and eating all the cookies and climbing onto the dinner table. Just like a big brother, you tried to frame your younger one for all the schemes you planned.
Your Daddy and I think about you a lot. You can still make us laugh. Thank you for that. I do really miss your hair and baby toes a lot. Remember when I would get your pigs and then Daddy would try and make me touch his nasty man feet? Your toes were much cuter. And smelled better too :) I went to your spot after I got off work Sunday morning. Man, there are a lot of birds there in the morning! I think some deer visited you too. Looks like you're still the closest to being by a deer because Grandpa still hasn't gotten one. I could still hear police cars in the distance too. Remember when you sat in the back of Daddy's car? You liked that a little too much, child!
It's hard to end this letter because I want to tell you so much more, but Jake is demanding attention and you know how he gets if he doesn't get his way :) I miss you every second and love you so much, sweet boy.

Big kisses and hugs,

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy thoughts

Things that make my heart happy right now:

Ryan restoring my planter Daniel made me for Mother's Day 2010.


Andrew's smile


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Never alone

I thought I had it together yesterday. We donated the books for B4D at Rose Acres and it was incredible to see the library, the preschoolers enjoying some of the books, the Parents As Teacher rep collecting her share, and all the pictures taken. In fact, I held myself together pretty well-until I heard Natalie Grants song "Held". Oh man, did I lose it in my car. (I was parked) Great, heaving, gut wrenching sobs. I haven't cried like that in awhile. I bowed my head on the steering wheel and just let myself miss Daniel so much. I didn't think, I just opened myself to my grief. It hurt so much. It was good and bad at the same time. Thankfully, my day didn't end on such a sobering note. R and I took the boys to the new Disney Store and it was so much fun watching Jake's reaction to seeing all the movies, Mickey and Cars. We laughed so much and just made great memories. After such an emotional afternoon the release of the evening meant everything to me.

But that really isn't the main point of all of this. It may seem that I have complete trust in God working in my heart and life but it's definitely a struggle putting Him before Daniel sometimes. I pray daily for distinction between my allegiance to Jesus and Daniel. I worry about wanting to see Daniel more than meeting my Creator sometimes and about making sure what I say and what I do is for Him and not Daniel.

As I was driving home this afternoon from taking the boys to the Magic House, I prayed for help. I prayed that God would help separate me as His child and me as Daniel's Mother. I prayed I would put Jesus first. Then this came on the radio. (If you haven't noticed yet, musical lyrics tend to work on me) "Heaven is this face" by Stephen Curtis Chapman. It was like God was telling me that it's ok to be confused. It's ok to miss Daniel. He gave Daniel to me, afterall. He wanted me to experience Daniel and love him and know him. He knows my tie to Daniel as a Mother because it was given by Him. He knows how much I love Daniel, but that I do love Him too. God knows I know Daniel is in the best possible place anyone could ever be and He knows I believe in Him with all my heart even if in my human mind and heart it feels like I am having to sift through it all. And through it all I know He's going to be there.

For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever
Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion
because of the greatness of his unfailing love
For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow

Lamentations 3: 31-33

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
He rescues those who are crushed in spirit

Psalm 34: 18

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Word Vomit

I am here muddling around in this mess. I realized I hadn't given myself the opportunity to really REALLY think of this accident until today in Sunday school. I've been censoring myself from my thoughts. I tuck those memories in a box labeled 'for later' and stuff them into the darkest recesses of my mind. Sure, I've talked about what happened, but I've never listened to myself. This scripture was mentioned today and I felt like it was calling out to me. I may not be using it in the context that Paul originally intended it for, but it's exactly what I am feeling.

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law. Galatians 5:1

I have been a slave to the accident. Worldly law condemns me from moving on. "What a horrible parent" the world says. "How could they keep a loaded gun in their house with children?" "Why wasn't she watching them?" The enemy pushes those worldly words down my throat until it's suffocating me. Trying to make me fall and studder in my steps when I am trying to forge ahead. Preventing me from seeing what Christ is using Daniel for. And I'm sick of it.

It happened. For reasons that have not been shown to me. And might never be fully explained to me here. It's the most horrible, brutal, tragic thing that could ever happen in my life. And I could focus solely on that. I could wallow in my pity and my despair. I could. But what would that do for me? What could that do for me? Absolutely nothing.

Instead, I am relying of Christ to guide me through the muddied waters of my life. And it's muddy, lemme tell you. In fact, I know I'm going to get stuck in thick, dirty goop sometimes. I may be so stuck that it's going to take every available hand to pull me out and pull me through. But you know what? I am ok with that. God has placed some AMAZING individuals in my life and I know I can reach and grab their hand and trust in them to help pull me out. That is His promise to me*.

I am praying for God's love and support to free me from wordly laws. I am praying that everyday I can remind myself that I am not alone and that God is working great things in my life and those that surround me through Daniel and his life-and death. And I pray I can always remember that even when the enemy and the world has a hold on me.

*Isaiah 43:2

Friday, September 16, 2011

Today was a boring day; and it was so nice. We all stayed home and relaxed and spent some genuine family time together. Ryan and I tried a new Xbox game (I don't recommend it; something about pinatas) Jake played hard outside and Andrew was so smiley. I got the chance to step outside of everything and enjoy watching my children.

Jake is growing so much. He has such an imagination and pretend plays all the time. If there was ever a typical middle child, Jake is it. It's odd, but over the past 2 months it really feels like I am seeing Jake for the first time. He was Daniel's shadow completely. I don't think I have one memory that doesn't involve the 2 of them. Whatever schemes Daniel was up too, Jake was never far behind. Usually the one doing all the dirty work, too. Daniel was smart like that. But now, Jake is having to completely reinvent himself. His personality has grown so much and the stuff he says will make you double over in laughter. He is a very easy going child and I thank God daily that He designed Jake that way. These past 2 months have been anything but normal and Jake takes it all in stride. He is a constant in my ever chaotic life and reminds me of why I am still needed.

I have only mentioned this to a few people, but Jake experienced something not many have. We were getting ready for nap time last Tuesday and I was tucking Jake in when he suddenly stopped talking and stared up at the ceiling. I looked around wondering what had his attention and asked him what he was looking at but nothing was shaking his concentration. As quickly as he looked up, he was back and exclaimed that "Brother is an Angel". How truly wonderful it was to witness God at work and in my son. Jake has such an innocence about him and for him to know that Daniel was there with him, and not be frightened, made my mother heart beat faster. And even greater testimony to God's love was that past night I had prayed over Jake that he know Daniel was still with him and for Daniel to protect him. If I were to be completely honest though, I was slightly envious that Jake could see Daniel and I couldn't..

So even though there are still many more bad days then good right now, these are the days that help with healing. The days that I can come back to and remember that even though my world feels shattered, there is so much love and joy intertwined in all of it. And someday, I pray, there will be more good days than bad.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Andrew and Daniel

Andrew turned 3 months yesterday and it is always a little bittersweet. Every time I celebrate his month anniversary I know that 5 days later I will be experiencing another. It's not fair to Andrew or myself. I so want to celebrate all of Andrew's milestones unencumbered by Daniel's accident. To help ease this, for me, I have decided to write about Daniel and Andrew's relationship. For as short as it was, there was so much love from Daniel to his brother.

From the very beginning, Daniel was building a relationship with his brother. Daniel would talk to my belly and try and look into my belly button to catch a glimpse of baby brother. The day we brought him home, Daniel was quick to voice he wanted to hold him. He was so gentle with Andrew. Daniel was a little helper and liked to grab the diapers and wipes for me. A few times he even helped hold the bottle and fed Andrew mostly by himself. Where he got the patience to do that, who knows? :) He would lay with Andrew during tummy time and encourage Andrew on. One of the first things he would do once he was up was jump on our bed to see Andrew and say hi. He loved giving him kisses and hugging him and enjoyed the walks we all shared together-even if he did have to give up his seat in the stroller. Even now, he is protecting him and sharing his love. We decided to put all the money Daniel had accumulated in his piggy bank as part of the education fund being set up for his brothers.

One of the hardest first year pages I made in Andrew's first year book was the page dedicated to all 3 brothers. It's a part of Andrew's history I wish wasn't but it is and I want to acknowledge it head on. Andrew will always know that Daniel loved all of his brothers and was the absolute best biggest brother Andrew could have.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I really didn't think this was going to be a 2 post day...

...but insomnia is a dear friend and has shown up again. Slightly jealous that everyone in my household is sleeping except me. Same story as last night...and the night before that. Nights are the worst, too. My mind wanders. This is when I really want to be sleeping-and not just because it's a normal process. Can I blame night shift? Maybe. Mostly, nights are filled with a lot of empty space. I am too tired to concentrate on reading (which has slightly lost joy anyway and that in itself makes me sad), nothing of interest is on t.v. and most people work normal 9-5's so they're tucked in bed. So I am left to think. I think about how much I have changed. I worry that since Daniel is constantly in the forefront of my mind it's effecting work and life in general. I wonder what Ryan is thinking. I think about how much I want to move. (Being in the house isn't sad, I'm just itching for change. Or, maybe it is subconsciously bothering me....I worry about that as well) I worry I'm forgetting Daniel and then I mentally go through every inch of him. I worry that I put him before God because I want to see him so badly. I pray God knows I really try not to. I worry I concentrate on Daniel so much that people get tired of me-and then I hate myself for even thinking that because he's my son and he's not here and people just need to deal with the fact that I miss him so much.

Grief is so draining. I really don't know a better way to describe it. I feel like I have lived a lifetime already. I have more lows than highs. God is so near and sometimes so far away and that pull can bring me to my knees. I cry-everyday. I didn't even know that was possible. I can only handle dealing with "things that have to do with Daniel" for a short period so it's taking me forever to write thank you cards and it only prolongs "things that have to do with Daniel".

I sound awful, don't I? Nights bring out the worst in me. Frankly, I don't even want to be around me. But I keep moving on, keep praying, knowing God gives me enough for a day at a time (even if that day feels longer than 24 hours) and hoping tomorrow is slightly better.

...weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:5

Here we go

The idea for blogging about everything I have been experiencing has been weighing on my heart for quite some time. It's not by accident that others have approched me and suggested I write as well. I've been writing in a personal journal since the accident but the thought of sharing my personal and private feelings on the web shakes me up. I've prayed hard about taking this giant leap and it was a good friend of mine that mentioned how reading blogs of women that have experienced loss has been helping her move on that has me finally convinced. You would think that just believing God wouldn't purpose this onto my heart unless it was the very best thing for me would convince me, but I'm just human and have to be completely handfed the reassurance.

So here goes, my heart unfolded for all to see. It won't be pretty, but it's going to be real.

I do leave you with a positive. Books for Daniel's first stickering event was today and was beyond awesome. The support that has been shown in honor of Daniel is incredibly humbling. 902 books going to some great kids out there stamped with Daniel's love.

The first book stickered ♥