Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hate the Grief not the Griever


Today is International Baby Loss Awareness Day as it is every October 15th.  I have flooded my Facebook page and the Angel Steps Facebook page with candles lit in honor of Angel Babies taken too soon.  This has caused me to reflect.

Thankfully I have never heard it, I would cut a !@#$#@, but there are those who claim that people have told them that they should "get over" losing their child.  I, for one, have a few things to say about that!  (Surprising, I know!)

The Angel Parents Club is one that NO ONE wants to join, we just happen to be in it due to horrific circumstances.  It is a lifelong commitment with NO chance of an obligatory fee to quit.  We are the only ones who know what it feels like to lose a baby, niece, nephew, Goddaughter, Godson, Grandchild, Great Grandchild, Cousin, 2nd Cousin, Step Daughter, Step Son, Foster Son, Foster Daughter...need I go on?  We stand up and support our own and welcome the support of everyone yet we are judged for our plight by those who do no understand what it is like to experience such a loss.

We speak about our children the same as any parent, they are, after all, still our children.  We honor their memories and carry them in our hearts at whatever capacity that gives us peace.  We rely on them as needed to help us start a new day and to put one foot in front of the other sometimes because their strength is all we have left of them.  We don't have the rest of their lives to celebrate, only the fleeting moments that we grip on to with the strength of Atlas himself because our children, just like all, are more than dreams.  They are hopes and plans for the future, our legacy, our progeny, our purpose for family, our bloodline, our namesake.  In my case, Trey was John Thomas Chatham III.  That name cannot continue and my husband and Father-In-Law are reminded of that every time they sign their name.  Imagine how often that is.  Try forgetting that.

Many of us support other efforts and organizations without judgment but some see our efforts as Angel Parents as living in the past.  Isn't that all we have, our past with our children?  We certainly don't have a future with them.  In fact, we can only imagine the milestones and futures our children would've had.  We support charities and causes because it is the right thing to do, not out of pity.  We don't want pity, simply understanding.

We parent our living children better than we might have because we know how precious each minute is with them and we know tomorrow holds no certainties.  We are more sensitive to those around us who are going through hard times, as, we too, have been through Hell and back and are still standing.
We do this because there is no other choice.  I have been told that I am so strong.  What choice did I have?  Some give me that look that suggests that I off myself.  That is not an option for me and many others but I won't judge anyone who ventured there.  I had to live because my son could not.  Our babies are not ready for us in Heaven, they want us to live their legacies and make them proud with our accomplishments.  It can be inferred that they have taken the parent role in watching us make accomplishments and milestones in life instead of the other way around.  In that case, I want to make my son proud.  

It is a heavy weight to bear, but the daily strength training Angel Parents do enhances our lives and makes us healthier people.  They are our Scarlet Letter to some, but to us they are our Red Badge of Courage.

There is no cure for what we have gone through.

There is no law that can be passed to make it right.

There is no political party to call upon to take it away.

There is no army to fight it off.

There is no god to pray to that will reverse what has happened.

We live daily with holes in our hearts yet our hearts are full of love for our children, Earthly and Heavenly.

We know that you can't always support our cause with donations or gifts, neither can we always reciprocate.  Our only wish is that you support our cause with whatever you can, whether it be funding, prayers or hugs.  We always pledge the same.  We did not choose this, we only want to live and love through it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Everyone Else is Doing it, Why can't I?

So, I have reached the point in my life where the possibility of having another child is slim.  Add insult to injury, lots of my friends are having second and third children.   I am happy for them in my heart, but there are small pockets that SCREAM I wish it were me!  I have been here before with all of the infertility problems I had.  It was especially painful to know that others can get pregnant right away.  There are so many parents who don't take care of the ones they have but keep getting pregnant with ease.

This weekend I was watching one of my favorite shows which stars a women who had 5 miscarriages before she gave birth to a boy.  Her son ended up being on the severe side of the Autism spectrum.  Is that the reason that the Universe, God, fate, whatever maintain it is not in my grand plan of life?  The thing is, I would gladly take another child no matter the problems that came along with him or her.  I have dealt with it before and wish he was well enough to have some kind of productive life.

So here I sit, jipped again, heartbroken over the loss of my first born and mourning the possibility of the third child I have always wanted.  I am enjoying every minute, even the difficult ones, with my Rainbow darling but it occurs to me with every struggle and triumph, it will the only time I get to experience it.

I find myself salty towards those who warn about various stages of a child's life, "The Terrible 2's", The Troublesome 3's", puberty, teenage, college, etc. And then there are those who say, "Oh, boy are you in trouble!"   Honestly, I have taken advantage of all of them to teach my child instead of fret.  I can't say there haven't been moments but those who say it goes fast are often the ones that dread each period of life.  Maybe I am biased because I do not have multiple children, but then there it goes again, the sorrow over having just one Earthly child.

She would make such a WONDERFUL big sister.  I welcome the challenges if they were to exist, I always love a challenge.  But the challenge I am facing now are almost unbearable.  I know I will get through them but I will never get over not having them and that is the greatest challenge of all.

The fact is, I DID lose a child, but that should not mean I should be denied the third child I have always dreamed (since I was 5) that would complete our family.

It seems sorrow is followed by heartbreak of the consequences of our loss.  The mourning is cyclical I do not know how to break the cycle.  The hubby is not budging and decisions are made by the family.  I have considered his side, he is traumatized still.  I just wish he wasn't so afraid.  "No one got anywhere by being scared all the time", Shelby said in Steel Magnolias.  Still, I am honoring his wishes, or am I sacrificing myself.  I am not sure, it is so muddy in that place.

I simply pray that Divine Intervention will once again teach me that all things happen in their own time the way they always have in my life.

Impatience is NOT a virtue!  Le sigh....

Monday, August 18, 2014




"I Never Told You"

I miss those blue eyes
How you kiss me at night
I miss the way we sleep
Like there's no sunrise
Like the taste of your smile
I miss the way we breathe

But I never told you
What I should have said
No, I never told you
I just held it in

And now I miss everything about you
I can't believe it, I still want you
After all the things we've been through
I miss everything about you
Without you, whoa...

I see your blue eyes
Every time I close mine
You make it hard to see
Where I belong to
When I'm not around you
It's like I'm not with me

But I never told you
What I should have said
No, I never told you
I just held it in

And now I miss everything about you (still you're gone)
I can't believe it, I still want you (And I'm lovin' you, I never should have walked away)
After all the things we've been through (I know it's never gonna come again)
I miss everything about you
Without you, whoa...

But I never told you
What I should have said
No I never told you
I just held it in

And now I miss everything about you (still you're gone)
Can't believe it, I still want you (And I'm lovin' you, I never should have walked away)
After all the things we've been through (I know it’s never gonna come again)
I miss everything about you
Without you, whoa, no, no...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Handbook





Recently, I was given a "talking to" by someone who did not agree with my daughter knowing about Trey.  This came from someone who has not a child but has experienced loved ones losing a child so that makes them an expert.  It started with me sharing that Lorelei asked about a dog who had recently passed away and I told her that the dog was playing with Trey in Heaven.  She was upset about the pictures we have of him in the house.  One of the picture collages was taken down when our bedroom was painted and has not been put up since.  My favorite picture of him is high on our piano and she can not see it.  The only other picture is the of her looking at his picture as a baby.  She expressed her extreme concern for our daughter.

I was really upset by the conversation which included the term "dead baby" and burdening our daughter.  There was also a mention of my need to seek professional help and that I have not accepted the fact that Trey is dead.  I was told that talking to Trey is unhealthy and that our daughter should not be "burdened" by our grief.

To this I thanked her for sharing but said that my husband I will decide what is right for our daughter.  Lorelei asked about a picture we have on our wall of her as a baby looking at his picture.  She wanted to know who the baby was and we told her.  Did we go into details? No!  She understands that Trey is helping and playing with the Angels and that he watches over her.  When a balloon gets let go of, she tells Trey to catch it.  She is no way burdened by any grief and has never once got upset over him.  She mentions him every now and again then goes about her way.  Our lives do not revolve around our grief.  We keep on living holding in our hearts because that is what we have to do

The way my husband and I see it is just because he is gone, that does not mean he is not a part of out family.  We love both of our children dearly and we choose to include him in our lives.  Do we obsess over it? No!.  We joke about little weird things that happen in the house that have no explanation like toys turning on by themselves and we blame Trey.  Most of our interactions with Trey are light hearted for the occasional break down which is bound to happen in a case like this.

My advice for those who have not lost a child is, if you have the handbook on grieving through child loss, hand it over.  You don't have to like what we are doing but respect our decisions.  She is no way in danger or emotional peril so please back off.  We would stop talking about him if we sensed it was upsetting her.  She will have more questions about him and we will handle those when they come in the same manner.

Friday, April 18, 2014

You'll Be In My Heart





"You'll Be In My Heart"

Come stop your crying
It will be alright
Just take my hand
Hold it tight

I will protect you
From all around you
I will be here
Don't you cry

For one so small,
You seem so strong
My arms will hold you,
Keep you safe and warm
This bond between us
Can't be broken
I will be here
Don't you cry

'Cause you'll be in my heart
Yes, you'll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more

You'll be in my heart
No matter what they say
You'll be here in my heart, always

Why can't they understand the way we feel?
They just don't trust what they can't explain
I know we're different but deep inside us
We're not that different at all

And you'll be in my heart
Yes, you'll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more

Don't listen to them
'Cause what do they know (what do they know)?
We need each other
To have, to hold.
They'll see in time
I know

When destiny calls you
You must be strong (you gotta be strong)
I may not be with you
But you've got to hold on
They'll see in time
I know
We'll show them together

'Cause you'll be in my heart
Yes, you'll be in my heart
[another version says: "Believe me, you'll be in my heart"]
I'll be there from this day on,
Now and forever more

Oh, you'll be in my heart (you'll be here in my heart)
No matter what they say (I'll be with you)
You'll be here in my heart (I'll be there), always
Always
I'll be with you
I'll be there for you always
Always and always
Just look over your shoulder
Just look over your shoulder
Just look over your shoulder
I'll be there always.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

After Days

Every year is hard but this year seems to be the hardest.
Why is it when it's now we've come the farthest.
After you passes another child was within hope.
The hope of a healthy child helped us to cope.
Our healthy daughter is a blessing to treasure.
Even though our grief would never lose any measure.
The hope that was there back then is depleted.
This year the pain I feel is greater now that I have been cheated.
The third child I wanted is not in "the plan".
So these memorial days have passed, now I do what I can.
I struggle to find the hope I felt after you passed.
To have the family I've always dreamt of is all in the past.
Your Daddy can't bear to go through all of it again.
To live through of it brings the memories back from within.
My dream of more life takes it's place in the back seat.
Another loss, another hope, another grief in which to retreat.
The days past the memories should be bring me the same peace
As when we gave you health, the most selfish release.
Instead I feel robbed again, as if losing you wasn't enough.
The mourning the child that could've been has been extremely rough.
So I ask you grant me patience for what might be.
For the future that I fail to see.
I need peace in my heart that my dreams will be fulfilled
In whatever way my fate has it sealed.
These days after will be haunted by the dreams that I feel.
Change my thoughts and my focus on my blessed present.
And the purpose for which my life has been meant.
I can not live in the life of what could've.
But enjoy all the blessings of the ones that I love.
In hopes that one day my dreams will be fulfilled
In the manner in which time will me until
We meet in Heaven and I understand what it was all about.
My life and my love with will be my blessed account.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ship Of Fools

Today is April Fools Day.  I have always enjoyed an innocent prank on this day until I experienced a betrayal.

5 years ago today we were overjoyed from the phone call we got that there was a bed at the local children's hospital for our son.

Little did we know the shit storm we were in for.

Trey almost had the opportunity to ride in a helicopter but he ended up in an ambulance, with me in the passenger seat wishing I were back in the cab with him.  I witnessed cars not pulling aside for the sirens and the driver driving over curbs to get him there.  John drove by himself, opting to let me "ride with him" and when we got there, the nurse in the ambulance said that he had "an attitude problem" on the way there which meant he  had to be stabilized.  Maybe that is the reason why they didn't allow me back there.   I said to her, "Little asshole!", and she hugged me  laughingly and said, "Don't lose that sense of humor in this situation."

When we got to the children's hospital, I was desperate to find my husband which was a difficult feat considering the understandable res tape you have to get through in any children's hospital.

When I did find him, we could not see Trey because he was getting "settled in" which  means stabilization and evaluation.  When we finally could see him it was fairly short, then the doctors whisked us away for a chat.  That is when our bubbles burst, the day that should've been a celebration and hope for our son's health fell to pieces.

"We have a feeling you haven't been told the whole story."

The Dean of Medicine of the NICU nodded his head.

Our hearts sank.

My mind fogged.

We had been fooled on the day we finally had hope.

To this day I have to ask my husband to translate what the doctors said even though I know what I know now.  He had to explain it over and over because he is left brained and he gets it.

My heart did not get it and refused to get it.

My brain knew.

But despite our hearts feeling and our brains knowing, he still lied to us.  Trey was dying all along.

I wish this was an April Fools joke...I truly wish