6 Years

Dear Everett, 6 years have gone by since our world changed - when you were born into Heaven. Each year, as we celebrate your birthday, brings different emotions. I don't know why, but this year was tough. Really tough. I started crying at really really random times on Wednesday and haven't stopped since. I even found myself crying at Parent Teacher Conference Night! Lordy! I was talking to a fellow mom whose sister lost a child - and I couldn't stop thinking about her this week and the tragedy. So many babies and mother's on my heart as I think of you. I can say we are absolutely BLESSED to have met so many amazing people and new friends that have also lost a child. It is a club no one wants to be a apart of, but if you have to, it is nice to know someone is there that understands. We decided not to do anything crazy special this year. Since your death, we have tried to make a good memory on your birthday. We had a lot going on this weekend, so we stuck around. Maybe that is why I am more emotional. I keep thinking I want to go to the gravesite, not really to see you, but just to be close to that memory. Not sure if that makes sense. I know you are not there. We never even once considered cremation, but I can see now why people would choose it. To keep their loved ones close. Sometimes I do wish you were close, sitting up on my mantle, but then it kind of sounds a little creepy. Again, I have to tell myself, you are not really there. And I am reassured that our friends visit you at this time every year and planted flowers, so there is life and their is beauty, even at the cemetery. This year, I couldn't get thoughts out of my mind that I'm sure everyone goes through and that is the "what ifs". If I had just gone in sooner, even an HOUR sooner, you might have been saved. I sat at home for 6 hours. SIX HOURS. You had to have been alive during that time. It's like when we watch movies, old movies that we've seen a million times and we want to change the ending. We don't want the Titanic to sink or you hope that they don't slice her throat this time while her husband watches; that you can change the ending THIS time. Yes, that is how it feels going through my head. I think about what could have happened if I had gone in. Our weekend was full of love and joy from so many people and most of them didn't walk through that journey with us since we are no longer in Pittsburgh. Friday night, friends took our kids so we could go out to dinner, Saturday morning, a friend took our kids so we could go play with some high schoolers from church, laser tag, MY FAVORITE. And then last night, friends from church invited us over for dinner and to hang out. Surrounded by love and friendship and we are thankful. I love you Everett. I like to think that you are part of my "cloud of witnesses" and here with us in spirit. Say hi to my brother Brent - I KNOW you are both hanging out. love, Mom … [Read more...]

5 years

It has been 5 years since Everett died. Like every year, on this anniversary, we try to make a good memory - a memory of us as a family being together, playing together and enjoying each other. This year, we decided to go back to Pittsburgh and be with those we love and those who walked through our grief with us when Everett died. Hotel with a pool...of course. Foster's first swim. Hanging out with some good friends. We were able to see quite a few people in just 2 days - it was so nice to be with them. We had a HARD time getting out of church on Sunday. Gave us a lot of joy to see everyone. We could have spent way more time with friends but between all the naps and cranky kids and eating and swimming - well, it was a jam packed weekend. Our friends Faith and Hope had fun taking photos with the camera. They took some pretty good ones! I think there might be 1 if not 2 photographers in the making. Dale and Lindy got to join the hockey fun with friends on Sunday afternoon. When I think about that weekend, the weekend that changed our life, my focus goes towards the hours leading up to him being born. I can't help it, it haunts me. The good news is that God does restore, he does bring healing, he does bring joy. We have tasted it and seen it. We are so thankful for Him surrounding us with such an amazing support in Pittsburgh. I will always have a hole in my heart. I will always feel that my family is not complete. And now that we are planning on not having any more kiddos, I am trying to wrestle through the finality of that. I think all of us mothers go through a bittersweet phase of no more babies and I think if you ask a 52 year old woman, she might say she'd like a baby again (for maybe a day). Do I want another child to fill that hole or do I just want another baby? At least the doctors are deciding for us. Not recommended to have more than 4 c-sections as a diabetic. Thank you all for your love and messages on March 1st. We are grateful that you remembered our son. … [Read more...]

4 Years

We went out to eat the other day and a little boy came up to Lindy and they started playing. I guessed he was probably 4 years old! My mind raced of seeing Lindy with a little brother and how they would communicate. Dale asked how old he was, 3 years old. I was a whole year off. It's like a year just disappeared and I have no concept of what a little 4 year old boy looks and acts like! It took my breath away. Our little Everett would be 4 today and being Dale's son, he would have been so awesome. I wish I would have made a different choice that day 4 years ago. I don't have any other way to say it...I want to have one of those "choose your own adventure" books and go back to the beginning of the book and choose a different chapter. I truly believe in my heart of hearts that had I just gone to the hospital the minute I felt "different", that he would have been saved. No one can tell me otherwise, even my doctors. It is a burden I will bear for the rest of my life and it brings me great waves of sadness and tears when I think about it. I don't play the "if only" game a lot, but in this case, yes, if only I had gone to the hospital at 4pm when I started to feel nauseous and sick. Instead of the chapter we chose and didn't arrive at the hospital until 12 midnight. We didn't think ANYTHING was wrong. Dale got off work at 8pm and came home. I distinctly remember him saying "are you sure you just don't want to call the doctor?" and then I'd say, oh, lets wait it out a little longer, besides, who wants to labor in the hospital for hours and hours!? We took our time while my son was dying. We took our time. The hardest part is knowing they tried to resuscitate him. They would NOT have tried to resuscitate him if he was beyond hope. Thus, telling me that 8 hours earlier, he was still alive. 7 hours earlier he was still alive, 6 hours earlier he was still alive. You get the point. That is what goes on in my head. I know many of you will try to comfort me with "you just don't know what could have happened" - so I said it for you, you don't have to. :) I ask to choose another adventure but in my heart of hearts, I know, we can be used more by Him on this side of death than the other. So it is a hard thing to say that "I wish it never happened" but also saying "I want my son back, but I want to keep what I have learned from all of this." Does that make sense? Today hit me harder than I had anticipated. I let the tears flow. Surprisingly, the tears came as I received messages from all of those we love. Each message was so personal and heartfelt as family and friends remembered us and our baby boy. Many of them from those who held him in the hospital or came to the funeral and then many from all our friends we've made along the way. This year, we didn't get away on a mini vacation - we wanted to save time and money and well, we are just plain fried from so much stuff going on. So, we did our annual balloon release and visit to the … [Read more...]