It appears that until the school year comes to a close, I will be restricted to blogging one time during most weeks. This has been somewhat bothersome over the last few weeks because I have actually found myself with quite a bit to say, but without time to get it down in writing and get it posted. By the time I get a chance to get things in writing, I have forgotten what it was that I wanted to say in the first place. In many respects, however, the time away from baby loss land is not all bad. There are times that I definitely feel like I am missing out on some things during the week, but I am able to catch up on the weekends in a fraction of the time that I used to spend during the week. I have found that being away during most of the week sometimes help to keep me ‘up.’ Like some of my other blog friends have noted in recent weeks, I have found that sometimes staying constantly immersed in baby loss makes it hard to climb out of the hole. If I allow myself to have some ‘normal’ time/days, the baby loss hole sometimes seems a little less overwhelming and ominous and somewhat manageable. It sometimes allows me to feel human again and remind myself that I still have a very active life to live despite the fact that I have been forever changed by the loss of my beautiful peanut.
In the last two weeks I have read two newborn obituaries in the newspaper and been to a funeral. Blah. Not exactly uplifting momentum. I posted on Monday about the death of a former patient / friend of mine. I want to thank those who sent emails and left warm comments in response to that post. I spoke with his mother the following day, which I think was good for both of us. She asked if I could take some time in a few weeks to help her do thank you cards similar to what we had done after Gracie died. (We still had thank you notes to send for presents received at our baby shower. We knew that we more or less had a ‘free pass’ on thank you notes, but we didn’t want the gifts to go unrecognized. We used large labels and printed a ‘one size fits all’ thank you message that we put inside each thank you card.) We talked about the last few weeks of her son’s life and how to find a balance between the relief of knowing that he is no longer suffering and the grief that surrounds the fact that he is dead. My receptionist and I went to the funeral on Thursday. The minister who did the service also did Gracie’s service – I found out on Tuesday that they had picked her because of the positive things that they had heard from me and from others about Gracie’s service. As soon as we entered the church, the first thing his mom asked me was ‘Do you have any tips for getting through this?’ I reminded her that I can only offer her certain advice from experience, since her loss is so much different than mine, but I did tell her that there is one thing I was fairly certain of – she would very likely hear Becky’s voice through the entire service, but she would probably not absorb a word of what she was saying. I was at such a loss that I really couldn’t find anything else to say.
The last week has also had some up moments. Last Saturday, with the help of my MIL and a few friends, I threw a surprise party for my husband’s 40th birthday. Believe it or not, it was the first birthday party that he has ever had. Ever. It was a good time, and he was surprised. This past Thursday was his birthday, and coincidentally, the gift that I ordered from My Forever Child arrived on Thursday. He cried when I gave it to him, and I have to admit…I didn’t think that it was something that would move him to tears. I got him a small silver heart pendent with Gracie’s footprints engraved on one side and ‘Graciebelle’ and her birth date on the other side…so he can always have her with him.
On Tuesday we adopted a dog from the SPCA. It has been about 8 years since we have only had one dog, but in June we found ourselves down to one dog after our other dog died unexpectedly. Until Bailey died in June, Morgan had never been an only dog, and he has been pretty lonely over the last few months, so we have been watching the SPCA’s website for a while. Two weeks ago, they seized 26 dogs from a puppy mill near here, so we figured that we would go and check things out. Most of the puppy mill dogs are still not available for adoption, but they did have one available that was running free on the farm as a ‘pet’. I spent some time with her on Saturday and then Jeff and I took Morgan for a quick test run on Monday morning – the test run went well, so Jeff went and got her on Tuesday morning. She is definitely out of her element and it appears that she is still expecting to be hit, but she is settling in pretty well.
I am going to close with a ‘weekly’ list – they have really become more of a monthly list, but what the heck. I want to end on a positive note, so I am going to do a list of positives in my life (in no particular order)…
- A faithful and hard working receptionist/biller/kick-me-in-the-ass person in my office. She decided to come back to work for me after I found myself with an open position in a couple months ago. I am glad to have her back, as she has been a tremendous help in getting me reoriented and pointed in the right direction in the office. I finally feel like I am gaining positive ground again.
- My husband, whom I genuinely love. I know that he genuinely loves me, even on my crazy days.
- Spring. Enough said.
- Positive momentum for our fire department. A few months ago things were looking really ominous for our department. Over the last two months, the momentum seems to have shifted a bit and things are getting better. I am hoping that it will not be long until we are back among the best of the best.
- Making it through almost 8 months without Gracie...still standing. (Some days a little crooked, but still standing.)