Thursday, January 31, 2013

Stand Where I Stood


Take out the romantic part of this and I am sure all of my fellow Angel Parents can relate:






I don't know what I've done
Or if I like what I've begun
But something told me to run
And honey you know me it's all or none

There were sounds in my head
LIttle voices whispering
That I should go and this should end
Oh and I found myself listening

'Cos I dont know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don't know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
'Cos she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood

See I thought love was black and white
That it was wrong or it was right
But you ain't leaving without a fight
And I think I am just as torn inside

'Cos I dont know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don't know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
'Cos she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood

And I won't be far from where you are if ever you should call
You meant more to me than anyone I ever loved at all
But you taught me how to trust myself and so I say to you
This is what I have to do

'Cos I dont know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don't know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
'Cos she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood
Oh, she who dares to stand where I stood

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Genesis

I don't normally listen to Phil Collins but tonight it was on the Ipod that I was listening to while bathing Lorelei.  I always try to listen something I love but I also love to gravitate toward other artists I see on the playlists.

I've always loved Phil Collins, I grew up listening to his music.  Per usual, I connected with a song, not one but two.  Of course they are about romantic love but my mind as an Angel Mommy translated them TOTALLY differently.


One more night, one more night

I've been trying, oh so long to let you know
Let you know how I feel
And if I stumble, if I fall, just help me back
So I can make you see

Please give me one more night
Give me one more night
One more night
'Cause I can't wait forever

Give me just one more night
Ooh, just one more night
Oh, one more night
'Cause I can't wait forever

I've been sitting here so long, wasting time
Just staring at the phone
And I was wondering should I call you
Then I thought, maybe you're not alone

Please give me one more night
Give me just one more night
Oh, one more night
'Cause I can't wait forever

Please give me just one more night
Ooh, just one more night
Oh, one more night
'Cause I can't wait forever

Give me one more night
Give me just one more night
Ooh, one more night
'Cause I can't wait forever

Like a river to the sea
I will always be with you
And if you sail away
I will follow you

Give me one more night
Give me just one more night
Oh, one more night
I can't wait forever

I know there'll never be a time
You'll ever feel the same
And I know it's only words

But if you change your mind
You know that I'll be here
And maybe we both can learn

Give me just one more night
Give me just one more night
Ooh, one more night
'Cause I can't wait forever

Give me just one more night
Give me just one more night
Ooh, one more night
'Cause I can't wait forever




How can I just let you walk away
just let you leave without a trace?
When I stand here taking every breath with you

Ooh
you're the only one who really knew me at all.
How can you just walk away from me when all I can do is watch you leave'
'cos we shared the laughter and the pain and even shared the tears.
You're the only one who really knew me at all.
So take a look at me now
well
there's just an empty space
And there's nothing left here to remind me
Just the memory of your face.
Oh
take a look at me now
there's just an empty space

And you coming back to me is against the odds

And that's what I've got to face.
[ From: http://www.elyrics.net ]

I wish I could just make you turn around
turn around and see me cry.
There's so much I need to say to you
so many reasons why.
You're the only one who really knew me at all.
So take a look at me now
well
there's just an empty space

And there's nothing left here to remind me

Just the memory of your face.
Now take a look at me now
'cos there's just an empty space

But to wait for you is all I can do and that's what I've got to face.
Take a good look at me now
'cos I'll still be standing here

And you coming back to me is against all odds

It's the chance I've got to take. - Take a loo
k at me now.





Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Dance

Music has always been a part of my life.  I was born into a musical spirited family with harmony and my Aunt Melody (true story).  Music continues to be therapy, solace, an outlet, a discovery, a calming, an instigator, and a journey.  I have always felt meaning in so many tunes, mainly my favorites.  I don't like music with trite lyrics and overused metaphors.  I love music that reaches me, teaches me, connects with me and makes me think.

Lately I have been discovering that new songs that I once loved are being played incessantly by American radio, so much so that I tire of them.  An example is "Some Nights" by the band Fun.  I love the song which on the surface to me is about a rock star that leaves behind a girl he loves to pursue his stardom.  Well, 1000 times later on the radio I find myself changing the channel.  The other day it played on the radio AGAIN so I decided to listen to find another meaning.  The lyrics that sold me were "Some nights I wish that my lips could build a castle, some nights I wish they'd just fall off".  I began to think on my blog and how I wished the book deal I was seeking featuring my journal of the first year after losing Trey would not have cost me $1500 up front.  Half of the book would contain my musings while the other half would be lined paper for the reader to add their own thoughts.  That was me building a castle.  My lips falling off would stand for not even wanting to have to blog about this in the first place.

So, last night I was at a country western bar (insert flying pigs) celebrating a dear friends birthday.  Soon after we walked in the door and paid our cover charge (Lord, it's been a long time since I have done that) the song "The Dance" by Garth Brooks came on.  I was a great fan of Garth long ago before the confusion of the appearance of Chris Gaines.  I am not much of a country fan but his lyrics always intrigued me.  As I listened to the song and watched what looked to be a roller rink of a dance floor of couples slow dancing, the meaning of the song changed from a song about losing a romantic love to my loss.  "And now I'm glad I didn't know,The way it all would end the way it all would go. Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain, But I'd of had to miss the dance".  

I began to make a connection between "the dance" of romantic love lost and losing a child.  I AM glad I didn't know the way it all would end.  The knowledge would have stolen the joy of being pregnant with my first born, the wonder, the dreams, the hopes, in essence...the whole experience.  As tragic as the situation is, I wouldn't trade a SECOND of it if it means I got to love my son and be with him for 13 days. "The dance" I engaged in led me to the love of a son, the journey of grief and the outreach that I hope Angel Steps provides.

Knowing myself, it I had known I wouldn't want to go through it, I would chicken out.  But I was not given the choice of knowing and I am better for it.



Looking back on the memory of 
The dance we shared beneath the stars above 
For a moment all the world was right 
How could I have known you'd ever say goodbye 
And now I'm glad I didn't know 
The way it all would end the way it all would go 
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain 
But I'd of had to miss the dance 
Holding you I held everything 
For a moment wasn't I the king 
But if I'd only known how the king would fall 
Hey who's to say you know I might have changed it all 
And now I'm glad I didn't know 
The way it all would end the way it all would go 
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain 
But I'd of had to miss the dance 
Yes my life is better left to chance 
I could have missed the pain but I'd of had to miss the dance

Garth Brooks The Dance by dbdannyray555

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Serving his purpose

I found myself feeling very lonely in regards to my son through the holiday season.  I usually feel him around me most of the time and I know when he's listening so I talk to him.  I love talking to him.  He often tells me things I don't want to hear but he's always right.  Except he wasn't there during the bitter sweetness of the holidays.

At first I thought he was away to keep my mind off of him.  When Christmas came and went I found the 26th a very heavy day, not really knowing why.  Upon thinking on it, I thought that maybe the hustle, bustle and joy of the holidays just came to a halt, it was like a sugar crash.  But as the new year approached and the fog did not lift, I began to wonder and fall deeper and deeper within myself.  I started blogging more, even though I did it genuinely, maybe it was because I hoped through my musings I would find the Grand Master to my funk.

This all changed Saturday when I was talking to my dear friend Holly (let me know if you want to get in touch with her).  She has spiritual abilities to say the least.  She had never been to my house before and new little about our loss.  The first thing she said when she came to my house was that Trey likes the tree we planted for him and that he loves to play in trees.  (Again, let me know if you want her info.)

Back to the story.  I was talking with her and she asked how my holidays were.  I said that they were excellent filled with family and friends but I also shared with her my feeling that Trey has been distant.  Before I even finished my thought she shivered and said she had chills.  I asked her why and she said that he's been away to be with the kids from Sandy Hook.  I nearly fell over.  Here I was thinking he was trying to help me when he was serving his purpose in Heaven.

At that moment I felt a pride I had never felt in him EVER and EVERYONE knows how much pride I feel about my son by how much I talk about him, help others in his name, and hold him close to my heart.  The dismay I had felt over his distance did not melt away, it DISINTEGRATED!!  My heart and soul were at peace, mostly because he was welcoming those precious babies into Heaven's playground.  My friend went on to tell me that those 20 children did not understand why they were in Heaven.  To that I said, they left every bit of the tragedy, fear, and pain on Earth and she agreed saying that those elements have NO place in Heaven.

As soon as I got home December 14th I searched on Facebook for sites for Sandy Hook Elementary and Newtown and left messages and comments saying that I had lost a child, not in the horrific way they did, but I was here for them when and if they EVER needed.  Saturday's events led me to believe that Trey is taking care of the kids and I am reaching out to their parents and community.  For some reason I feel he needed to take those babies into his care before I could do my work here.  Even if not a one of them contacts me, I feel good knowing that I reached out.  It's hard to ask for help and they don't know me from Adam but that doesn't stop me from feeling for them and wanting to help.  I am not focused on that now though, I am IN LOVE with the idea that Trey took those angel babies in.

My baby boy helped them.

My son had a role in helping these babies.

Trey served his purpose, one of many I am sure.

You couldn't find a prouder Mommy, EVER!!!!



RIP sweet babies and the 6 adults who gave their lives protecting them.  HUGS, prayers, and love always!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mother of the Year

We are fortunate that our Rainbow Baby is healthy but on the few occasions when she is not, my entire being is rocked to the core.

At about 5 months old she had a cold which I treated at home the way my mom did.  My brother and I hardly went to the doctor for the common cold, we were treated at home with rest, vitamins, Vicks vapor rub, and chicken noodle soup.  Throughout my life I have followed the same regimen with everyone in my household.  I applied the same to my daughter and her spirit, appetite, and diapers were normal though her nose floweth!

Two weeks later I am sending an email to her pediatrician concerned about the duration of this cold.  Three days go by with now response so I sent another email which was also not responded to.  Finally I called the advice nurse and according to the information I gave them about hew symptoms, what we were doing for her, and the effects of our efforts, they insisted on seeing her IMMEDIATELY!  Incurring a $40 for an urgent care visit was the least of my worries.  I explained to the doctor how two of my emails were ignored and he looked in the system to see that despite nurse assistance to the doctor the emails were left unanswered.  We left with a nebulizer, steroid, and an antibiotic.  Despite my innocent efforts, no "Mother of the Year Award" for me.

Earlier in 2012, we are treating what we think is a diaper rash that got so bad that we let her run around the house without a diaper so that maybe it would air out.  On a Monday afternoon I picked her up and asked her daycare guru about her "diaper rash" and she said it was actually a yeast infection (which I thought only happened when an antibiotic is administered).  My husband asked how she got it and I had to tell him that I did not know but it was just as likely as me getting one.  "Mother of the Year Award", go ahead and pack your bags for greener pastures.

Present day: we are hanging with my husband's father and family for Christmas and his wife (a retired nurse) clues in on how warm she is and that her chest is "rattling".  She has explained NUMEROUS times how I can tell if her chest is "rattling" but I have never been able to acquire the skill.  She gives two juice boxes for hydration and a dose of children's Tylenol as we hit the road.  Again, "Mother of the Year" I am not.

Two days ago: I change Lorelei's diaper which contains a nuclear green poo (she never has poo in the evening) so I jokingly text her daycare guru about feeding her pea soup (which I know she didn't) as I wonder about the amount of broccoli she has had in the last few days.  I pick her up today and low and behold the green poo was a sign that 9 of the kids at her daycare exhibited prior to being absent due to the flu.  She has been a cranky mess this week, her first week back after the holidays, and I wrote it off as a savant terrible 2's episode.  "The Mother of the Year" award is running and screaming away from me.

UGH!!!!

Where does this lament come from?  Why do I beat myself up so much?  I have three theories.

1.  INSTINCT:  I have heard it said that there is such a thing as a "Mother's Instinct"...apparently I need to call customer support for mine.  If it worked, I would have known Trey was in trouble and upon his birth he would and SHOULD not live.  And so it carries on to my living child, I do what I think should be done only to find out that I am doing more harm than good.

2.  EXPERIENCE:  I gave birth to two kids right????  I should know most of this stuff by now right???  The second time around should provide me with more information so that the aforementioned instinct would take over in any moment of doubt.  All of this uncertainty F@CKS with my pride as a parent and as a person.  When someone reveals something I didn't recognize the tears of disappointment and panic flow.

3. FEAR:  I watched sickness take my baby boy while I watched helpless.  After we lost him and went on to conceive Lorelei, I was in a state of panic constantly during my pregnancy, her birth, and throughout her life.  When she was born you couldn't hold me down to sew up the tears that had formed where she was born.  She had merconium in the womb (she pooped in the ambiotic fluid and was sucking it in) so John didn't get to cut the cord (but with Trey he did even though he was in distress and had a 6 inch cord WHAT!?!?!?!?).  They whisked her away to "the cart" where the NICU nurses evaluated her, Deja Vu NIGHTMARE!!!!  The midwife made the mistake of telling me she might have to go to the NICU so I was trying to stand up in the stirrups yelling, begging to hear her APGAR score and if she would have to spend time in the NICU.   (Strike 2 against midwives).  My cries were met with stares meant for a crazy woman.  My WONDERFUL husband explained the fact that we had gotten a score of ZERO and the child that received that score was no longer with us.

Well, it seems that my diatribe in that last confession defines my lament.  I am scared that I will exhibit the lack of motherly instinct that has failed me in gargantuan ways before and that I will lose yet another child.  I fear being outsmarted by the experience I should have had if Trey had lived.  I fear not being perceptive enough to recognize issues as a mother should.

So how does one recover from such defeat?  I will create my own "Mother of the Year" award:

Applaud my recognition of the things I do not know.
Beat myself with a wet noodle for making mistakes.
Cherish all of the things I AM doing to be a good Mother.
Decide to keep learning and do the best I can.
Encourage a more positive attitude when I feel defeated.
Forgive my assumptions.
Accept that I am not perfect.

I think I will win...
 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cinderelly, Cinderelly

Tuesday my first grade students joined me in the return to school after the winter holidays.  It is always an exciting day, buzzing with what everyone got for Christmas, where travels led us, teeth lost, relatives seen, interactive video games conquered, new clothes, new notches in the height chart and of course the sleepy lingerings yearning to go back to bed.    It is a day to get back into a routine and cherish the lull of tired brains before they storm in the next day ready to go.

Little did I know that the day had so much more in store for us.  Every other Tuesday we get a visit from our guidance counselor, a dear friend who fills my students' hearts and souls with lessons on character traits, healthy choices, problem solving strategies, conflict resolution, and SO much more.  I always enjoy her time with our students but I know they enjoy it more.  This particular lesson really hit home, not only with our classroom community, but with content we were learning, the needs that some of the friends in our class have and the lives of the adults who teach these young minds.

She showed this video (it actually played in the VCR) that was the equivalent of a movie with commentary.  It showed snippets from the movie Cinderella that were followed by commentary about the perseverance, commitment, tolerance, and integrity of the heroin of the story, Cinderella.

The lessons focus on her ability to take a negative situation and approach it with a positive attitude.  She  often feels frustrated but takes a deep breath (I have reminded some students of this practice at times this week) and tries to make the best of things.  Despite any set back, she never gives up on her dreams and is ready in aid for anyone who needs help.

The kids were enthralled by the lesson, soaking all of it in and making connections with every lesson.  During the lesson, I was organizing a cabinet and enjoying the familiar lyrics and speaking lines that I learned and enjoyed in my childhood.  But I also observed the children, especially those who lose heart all too easily, enthusiastically engaged.

Later that day, I was with a reading group discussing a book about a farmer who would not give a pear to a poor old man with no money.  I was able to reference my friend's lesson and the kids chimed in with connections to Cinderella without my prompting.  Our curriculum this quarter has us learning about Harriet Tubman.  As we learned about her life and purpose, the kids once again chimed in with "It's like what Ms. Strother said about Cinderella".   Today I was meeting with a different reading group who was reading a non fiction book about achieving your dreams and I'll be darned if it did not come up again in our discussion.  "Cinderella didn't never gave up on her dreams just like the people in this book".  I was too impressed to correct the grammar.

My heart remained warm in the glow of that lesson for many reasons.

I believe at many points in our lives we encounter hard times whether it be heart ache, stress, judgment, bereavement, sickness and anything else that causes our hearts to doubt, our brains to worry, and our souls to question.  The lesson of Cinderella can teach us a lot in a time when we think ourselves long passed fairy tales.  We all have struggles that leave us feeling defeated, hopeless, frustrated, hated, taken advantage of, and quite simply in the dumps.

Yet we have also been in situations where we reach beyond our own struggles to be the better person, help a friend, be the bigger person, keep our chins up, be a positive example for others and keep the faith when times are trying.

I am sure the kids got a lot from the lesson but I wonder if all of my 30 years (give, not take, a few) gave me the benefit of the lesson as well.  These 6 and 7 year olds sponge in all that they learn but as we get older maybe we shy away from childish ways, I mean learning.

Nowadays we always ask our students to make connections with the content they are learning to their own lives, world, and literature.  I wonder how many adults do the same.  My students connected with this lesson on EVERY element possible on their level and yet I also connected on my level.

The students can tell you what they learned from the lesson, apply it to life and literature, and empathize through role play what they would do in similar situations.

So what did I take from my dear friend's lesson?

Help those in need.
Be true to yourself.
Avoid judgment.
Make the best of any situation.
Carry a positive attitude.
Handle situations with respect, both for yourself and those involved.

But most importantly...

"A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're fast asleep
In dreams you lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling thru
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
the dream that you wish will come true"

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I believe I speak for everyone...


I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok I just want to be ok today I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok I just want to be ok today I just want to feel today, feel today, feel today I just want to feel something today I just want to feel today, feel today, feel today I just want to feel something today [CHORUS:] Open me up and you will see I'm a gallery of broken hearts I'm beyond repair, let me be And give me back my broken parts I just want to know today, know today, know today I just want to know something today I just want to know today, know today, know today Know that maybe I will be ok [CHORUS] Just give me back my pieces Just give them back to me please Just give me back my pieces And let me hold my broken parts I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok I just want to be ok today I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok I just want to be ok today I just want to feel today, feel today, feel today I just want to feel something today I just want to know today, know today, know today Know that maybe I will be ok Know that maybe I will be ok Know that maybe I will be ok

Friday, January 4, 2013

Blog Lovin


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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Imagine

No one really understands what it's like to live with the loss of a child, in ANY stage of life, unless they too have lost a child.  For those of you who have never lost a child, here is the reality:

Look at your children, look deep inside them, all of the memories, the milestones, the plans you have for them, the hard times, the good times, everything you're proud of, everything you wish you could better.  Remember their birth(s), their firsts, their personality developments, your Mommy Daddy moments, your sleepless nights, your amazement at their accomplishments, their relationships with loved ones, their schooling, their passions, their relationship with you and the relationships with the loved ones they adore.  Imagine your bond with them, your journey with them, your pride in them, the guidance you provide for them, the trying discipline moments, colic, birthday parties, the compliments about them, holiday memories, their exploration, the pictures taken of them, dreams you have for them and the disappointments of those dreams that led you to believe in their choices in their life.  Recall the number of diapers changed, the amount of money spent, the measures taken in the name of safety, the sacrifices, the blessings, the memories, your regrets, your triumphs, your plans to spoil your grandchildren.  And there is always the worries, the video tapes of various events, the battery operated toys that are so hard to open yet bring your children such joy, traditions, the love, the hugs, the booboos, and the bond you share.

Now imagine your kid(s) not here...

Or never having those moments at all.