Saturday, December 22, 2012

For today.

 I want so much to write about the gift Daniel is in my life and how today was just another beautiful testimony to his life, but today just wasn't the case at all. Today was imperfectly, humanly, insanely {ab}normal. Today, I just can't be that positive, half-full-in-the-face-of-tragedy kind of person. I woke up angry that Ryan had to work today. That I was marking Daniel's second birthday away from me. That to try and picture a five year old Daniel's face is beyond something I can imagine. That today, more then anything, I just wanted to crawl away from reality. 
Death and loss and pain and emptiness has been in the forefront of my mind this week. Sandy Hook and those kids and families. Mary-as in Jesus' mother.  The story we all share. Wondering what it all means. My mind and heart are working on something, but I just need to be right now. I know once I am outside of this storm, I truly will have appreciated the lesson being formed from my thoughts, but for now, I just want to awknowledge that I am a mother missing her oldest. That on a fifth birthday, I put balloons (two initially but then Andrew got ahold of one; I'll smile at that later) on a grave. I made cookies instead of a birthday cake. I cleaned a house and did a million loads of laundry. I separated two fighting brothers and wished so badly they would get why my heart just wasn't in to much today. That every so often, I would glance at the time and remember five years ago, what Ryan and I were doing as a new family of three. And then wishing my family of five didn't have such a huge ethereal rip in it.  That to celebrate a birthday where Daniel wasn't present was too much for me this year.
I miss him. Plain and simple. And today was just a reminder that I have so many more birthdays to work through until I can see him again. 
I am breaking down walls and building stronger ones in the wake of all of this. But, for today, I just need to let them crumble.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Friday afternoon I purposely stayed away from media outlets, including Facebook, because the thought of seeing the opinions and controversies and arguments of could have/should have/should do/shouldn't dos was turning my stomach. It's horrible enough to find out at work what happened and not be able to fully digest all the information and then have a patient ask how I would feel in a Mother's shoes over a death of a child by gun, and then go home to read people's reactions. I simply went about my day and that evening, while wrestling sitting with my children at bath time, I really let the story sink in.
Maybe it's still sinking in.
To me, it isn't about a gun control issue, a mental illness issue, a breech of security issue (although, I understand this is a multifaceted issue that can-and is- touching all of those topics) but really, my thoughts were with those babies, their families, the faculty and the EMS team.
So quickly the media raced out to leech upon the news story, to count the number of casualties and measure this shooting up to others, to seek out those-kids-who were there at the scene to get a story, to speculate and rub their grubby paws all over and muck up a very private mourning session. Shame. Such shame. Life is no longer sacred. Money and fame is our treasure. In increasingly growing amounts.
One of my older patients really got me thinking. In my 27 years of age, this does feel like the worst of the worst, but she so soberly reminded me that in her 77 years of age, she's lived thru bad stuff. 50 years sets us apart, and bad stuff is still happening.
We, as a race, are not learning. We're stuck in such a bad place and we're reaping what we're sowing. I'm not the brightest, smartest, most educated on politics/theology/amendment rights, but I can see that whatever it is we're trying to argue and prove, is lacking. When does it stop? How does it stop?
I called out to my God last night in tears, hurting for this country, this world, those families, myself, hurting for Him who grieves as we do. We're letting one another down in a big way. When will our scales be removed from our eyes to see what is being created?

Photos from the phone

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I am only a witness

It started last week. Well, it probably started long before I can even comprehend, but I started to feel tugs at my conscious last week.  I read John 1 1:5 and there was something about those verses that stayed with me. Sunday in church ignited me. This evening humbled me. 
I am but a witness to His love.
I wouldn't have ever chosen this outlet to show His grace, but God knew where my heart lay and that was in my children. He gave me Daniel to teach me far more then just being a Mother; he gave me Daniel to stretch myself and my man made boundaries, to challenge my heart and my spirit, and to find the courage to speak out about Him and death and love and loss.
I was so nervous starting a collection in honor of Daniel for CHS. Stepping out and taking charge isn't something I do. I'm a behind the scenes kind of girl. I felt so vulnerable even suggesting my idea because I was nervous I wouldn't get a response. And scared.  I almost backed out exclaiming to God, "this isn't me, can't I remember Daniel from the safety of my home?" But my journey is so much bigger then me and me lowly personal struggles, so much bigger then Daniel's birthday alone. This collection, this blog, this life, this story is but a witness to the miracle.
Yeah. Miracle.
The miracle of His love, His grace, His light, His promise. The very notion that He is in every bit of our lives.  I see that plainly with the huge response to my call for donations to CHS. Your help, my step up to His call, Daniel's life has all been orchestrated by something far bigger then things needed. He is linking and connecting each of us to one another is such a way that is beautiful and merciful and giving. 
I am but a witness to the joy He can bring out of a struggle. 
And  I write this all tonight because of a knock on the door at 8:30. I bore my heart to start a collection in honor of Daniel, left my cloak of contentment behind, made myself vulnerable to critique and put myself out there. And a woman and her children show up with cookies and a note that they were thinking of us and Daniel this season. I stepped out afraid and feeling naked by bearing my heart's desire for my son, and these people, whom I don't even know, give me so much back. I don't think they even know what they just did for me. I, my family, was placed on their hearts. By celebrating Daniel's life and thinking his legacy could help others in need, God linked me up to bear some of that help. I received more then cookies tonight, I received the strength to continue my journey and bear witness that no matter where I am in the journey, from crying in a heap on my bed to stepping out and bearing my soul, He will always stand by me and support me. Tonight, it came in the form of Knowing You Ministries.

I hope this even makes sense. I went a little maniac typing because this feeling is so powerful. I miss that boy so much. But in all of this, I know my reunion with him is going to be so much sweeter because my heart will be so much stronger.

And completely humbled that my post about collecting for CHS has the all time highest views on my blog. 

Photos from the phone Friday

My favorite Mason :)

Jake took this picture :) Im sure Andrew was on his way to put an ornament in his mouth

The boy child has always cuddled right after a bath.

St Nick's night

Friday, November 30, 2012

Mommy Moments

In lieu of photos for this Friday, let me share with you some memorable moments from this week. I tell ya, some of these will go down in history-mommy history.
Jake throws 2.of.the.biggest.tantrums this week. Monumental proportions, people. I laughed, almost cried, almost got kicked in the face but took it all in stride-and wrestled him into jammies and bed. End result? He's out like a light in 2 minutes.
Boy's bathtime. Jake says he has to get out to go potty. No biggie. He has a poopy and I hear a plop. I turn back around in the bathroom to tell him "good job" and I see Andrew. Standing up in the tub. Look of confusion on his face. And his poopy hanging out in the bath water. Ryan walks in to find all 3 of us just kind of staring at one another. I am surrounded by men and poop.
Chill time on the couch. Just me and the boys right before bed. We're watching Super Readers on PBS and Jake is so incredibly excited to spell "go" and seek out the letter J "for me". Andrew doesn't really know what's going on but he's clapping along. Later, he rests his head on me and I melt. Such a great night.
Jake doesn't take 20 minutes to get dressed and, aside from needing help buttoning pants, does it all by himself. Score.
Daniel's birthday project gets huge reception. I'm blessed to see such an outpouring of love and honored he is still a part of lives.
Andrew wakes up and cries from 12-2am. Up and down, in and out of our bed, he finally falls asleep with us. Jake walks in at 6 am, decides he doesn't like Andrew sleeping on our bed and wakes Andrew up. TGIF.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Honoring a boy

December 22 started off seeming so far away and as the weather turned colder, it started looming closer and closer. What do you do to celebrate a child's birthday that is no longer here to open gifts or plan a party for?  I can't just make December 22 an ordinary day now because it's anything but that. I can't simplify a day that changed my heart and life forever.
It wasn't until a voicemail from someone who has been so close to my journey that an idea fought to the forefront of my mind. God had laid on his heart to purchase a gift in honor of Daniel to a child of my choice. I started thinking of Christmas and Daniel and his birthday and realizing there are so many kids and families so close who don't get to experience love and relationships like the one I had with Daniel. Who lack even some of the most bare of necessities. With some help from friends, I picked a great organization that focuses on family and I am so excited to celebrate Daniel's birthday by collecting donations and giving it to The Children's Home Society.
Donations to the Children’s Home Society
Please help me honor Daniel Metz by donating items to the Children’s Home Society.
Children’s Home Society helps with pregnancy resource, adoption, children with disabilities, counseling services and assists in nurturing programs for families.
Children’s Home Wish List
Flavored Lip Gloss
Items for a Spa Day
Infant and Toddler Toys and Books
Musical Toys for All Ages
Handheld and Larger Size Mirrors
Baking Pans, Measuring Cups
Cupcake Pans, Utensils
Bowls with Lids
New Dishes
Can Opener
Dish Cloths and Towels
Gift wrap
Children’s DVDs
Newborn diapers
Newborn baby bottles-4 oz.
Infant formula coupons
Clothing- boy and girl
New or gently used receiving blankets
Hygiene items
Arts and Craft supplies
Sports balls
Disposable cameras
 Donations will be accepted until 12/20/2012
Thank you!
I will be leaving boxes at Mercy L&D, Dorsett Village Church in Maryland Heights, First Academy Preschool on Hwy K, Hart Autobody in Florissant or I would love to stop and pick up and donations. Just contact me on Facebook.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Photos from the phone/thanksgiving week edition

Thanksgiving has come and gone once again. And while each month has something special, this month holds some of the most dear. In November alone I've experienced new family, a month celebrated at a new job, family reconnected, children at their best, and sometimes worst (yes, I'm still thankful for that) a possible new house, renewed love for the holidays, a good cry, the babies singing Jesus loves Grandma, cheesecake, much needed nap time, listening to my Mom speak of her faith, friendships, a good movie, date night with the hubs, comforting and challenging Sunday School discussions, noodles and cheese, game night, a hug from a new friend, movie night, special pictures and a clean car.
It's hard/unbelievable/welcoming/peaceful to say I'm at an ok place right now. I'm ok. I have so much to be thankful for, in even the littlest of things, but really, most often those are the biggest to be thankful for. Those small moments make me ok. Those moments are the encouragement needed for the not so good days. Like when I'm listening to Christmas music at work for the first time and pretty much breaking down over urine samples. If I can't see the beauty in my life interwoven with the ugly, what's the purpose of anything?

I think Jake summed it up pretty well. No frills, just simple thanks :)


Cousins that get to see each other daily. Even if parts of those days drive us insane :)

28 years, people.

Generations of men

Great weather

Total meltdowns.

Wonderful food

Special time with Grandpa Fishsticks

That face

No nights/weekends/holidays/extra stress.

Just crazy kids and movie nights

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thank you, Linda

I hesitated even writing this post because I had so many conflicting emotions. After much thought and prayer, I remembered the real reason why I started writing this blog in the beginning; I wanted to share and possibly help someone thru this multifaceted and consuming process of moving on and missing a child. So, here I am typing this out.
My nephew, and newest little member of our family, was born last Saturday. Oh man, I don't think I can even describe the joy and excitement I had all night waiting for his arrival. Ryan made fun of me for being so attached to my phone for updates. This little boy, who I have not met yet, has stolen a little piece of my heart. 
So why, thru my happiness, did I feel an overwhelming sadness?  Who knows.  It could have been that I wasn't able to hold Mason. It could have been the many similar characteristics that related my sister in laws first birth to mine. It could have been myself remembering Daniel's birth. And then remembering Daniel. And them lamenting on, yet again, my cross to bear. And then berating myself for even turning this happy event around to myself and my loss; even if it was inwardly spoken and never expressed out loud.  It was almost too much emotion for me to wear. In the dropping waters of the shower, I cried that it just wasn't fair.  Yet again, here was another situation to overcome.
Sunday came and with a new day, a new attempt to lighten my heart. It's oftentimes so interesting how a night of sleep can ease a hurt. It's even more astounding and comforting to have a friend come up and at the right moment, share a scripture and a story.

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”
“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered.“This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us.[a] The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”
John 9:1-5

And I am reminded, yet again, oh my human little heart, of the power this situation has. Of the gift Daniel was and is and will always be. Of the power of God and his mercy and love. Of the story I must share, even when I don't think I have the words or capability. Of the decision to share my cross with God and give up my burdened heart so it can become lighter. So I can give hope to others that grief may get you down, but it is your choice to stay there or get up. So I can grow in that wisdom, as well. 
I am better.   I am overjoyed over Mason Daniel. I am missing Daniel. I am restored again. 
I am because He is.

Photos from the phone