Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Theology of My Five Year Old...


Over these past few weeks I've been noticing major changes happening in my little girl. It's like one morning she woke up and I saw a glimps of a little woman -- no toddler or preschool trait to be found.  It's just everything about her has changed.  Everything from the way she talks and walks to the size of her feet.  He mind is contemplating and exploring bigger and better things and she keeps no thought to herself but freely shares to anyone who will listen.

I find that I can learn the most about my daughter and the girl she is becoming by turning off the music in the van and just listening to the things she has to share.  We talk  a lot about God, death and what's for dinner. 

It's amazing to listen to the theology of my 5 year old.  She believes there is a God.  She believes that God heals. She believes that anything she asks him, He really can do, without any doubt in her mind.  She also understands that sometimes she doesn't get the things she wants, like the healing of her little brother because sometimes the reward of heaven and endless cookies and no naps is far better than more time here on earth. 


It's really an enlightening and humbling experience to listen to the thoughts Madi.  We as adults make it so difficult -- so many different views on topics that simply don't matter all that much.   She feels there are no limits  and that has proved to be a very cool way our little girl has found healing after the death of Gavin.  

It's that beautiful child like faith.  At what point in our lives and hearts do we start to make it so complex? 

Thanks Madi for teaching Mommie so many amazing life changing lessons. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wanting What Other's Got...


This post was originally written in May of 2010 --  the words still ring true today and I'm sure they will for rest of our lives.  I just found it sitting unpublished and decided to share.

The other day I attended an absolutely beautiful baby shower for a friend who will soon welcome a little girl into this world.  I had no expectation on how I would feel going to a baby shower, as this was my first one since my little boy died.  There is something about being in a room with lots and lots of women, mothers and grandmothers that is a unique experience in its self.

I found myself wanting what she and so many other's mother in that room had -- the normalcy of life.  The natural process of bringing forth life into this world and watching it grow to adulthood.  The sheer joy that comes from new life -- the part that doesn't include watching the tiny white casket being lowered into the ground.


It's so easy after experiencing the death of a child, or even the diagnosis of anything outside normal, to continually be blasted the monster called wanting what other's got.  It's a horrible monster to befriend as it never allows the joy to be seen in my current circumstance and rather always classifies my life as sub-par.

I'm learning it's all about choices.

I choose to embrace the life that God has laid before me.  It certainly doesn't mean I agree with the Big Man's plans and wouldn't have made things happen a different way.  But it does mean that if I can allow myself to stop looking at what other's have I will be blown away with the amazing things God has set before me -- the incredible beautiful that is growing out of the ugliest of circumstances.  

Monday, July 19, 2010

Taking One Step...


I have two more weeks until the SheRox Triathlon in Philadelphia.  I have been training so hard and I have to admit I just can't wait for this race to be over -- I'm so tired!  The training process has been a great time for me -- a time for healing and reflection.  My mind travels all over the place over the course of a 3 mile run or 15 mile ride.  I think a lot about my family -- who we are today, who we were just one year ago and a whole lot about who we are going to be in the next year.  I think tons about my little boy and as time goes by it seems my heart and spirit can finally begin to allow myself to remember the happy times -- not just the beautiful end of my baby's suffering.  


So many great things are happening in our lives, one of which is just simply learning how to live outside chaos.  My runs provide me a 30 min block of nothingness -- something that while Gavin was alive just never happened.  Preparing for death does not allow for times of nothingness.  We wanted to pack as experience in whatever time our family had left as a family together here on earth.  

As time is progressing closer to the race and even though I've been training so hard, my body is tired and my runs seem to be getting harder.  The other day as I was outside with the intense sun beating on my back I just stared at the ground and watched my legs move. 

One foot in front of the other. 


Amazing things can happen when we just put one foot in front of the other.  And it makes me  so stinkin' happy to know that eventually the race will be over.  There is always a finish line, there is always an end -- and sometimes there is even a prize.

I'm trying to grab a hold of this for so many areas of my life.  

One foot in front of the other.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

{a simple kiss}


I never was much of an affectionate person growing up.  I'm still not exactly a touchy feely person, but it's something that is slowly changing as I am growing older.  The crazy part is -- I grew up in a family of kissers.  A large family of kissers.  I remember leaving family dinners and bracing myself for the thirty plus juicy kisses I was about to receive and give.

The ironic part of this all is kissing is one of my most favorite things to do with my children.  There is nothing more sweet than holding my little girls cheeks and kissing her pure, often food crusted face.  One of the many lessons that I have learned after the death of my little boy is the power of touch.  One spirit connecting with another -- no matter how intimate the touch.


The afternoon we took Gavin off life support I vividly remember holding him tightly in my arms saying what I thought was my last good bye.  I held his little swollen hand to my face and with my hand in his stroked the side of my cheek over and over -- for what felt like a frozen moment in time.  I think there were at least ten people in that room getting ready to pronounce his death, but I honesty don't remember anyone else there.  That was my moment.  My sacred moment desperately trying to forever engrain the feeling of my little boys flesh into my heart and mind.

I have so many memories of Gavin's amazing life.  I often will smell a scent that takes me back to a special moment as a family before his death.  Occasionally I will hear a sound that reminds me of his pump alarms or even his cry or giggle.

His touch I will never be able to recreate.  


As Madison's mommie I make it my personal goal to try to touch her more often.  Even if it's sitting just a little closer or running my fingers through her beautiful blonde hair just a little more often.  We often just assume we give our kids enough.  But I'm learning that it's quite the opposite.  Sometimes it takes a little effort -- going beyond what feels natural in our own personalities, giving a little extra.

It's totally worth it. The second extra it takes to give her that extra kiss fills this mommies heart and mind to overflowing.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Gavin's Birthday Give -- The Recap...


On June 14th our sweet little boy would have turned four years old. We decided as a family that there would be no better way to celebrate than to take some time and give back to other families dealing with illness and hospital stays at the AI duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE.  


Early this month we asked the readers of this site to either donate whatever dollar amount they could or send us baby toys to give out to the kids at duPont.  We had a great response and were so proud to not only be able to make a nice donation to the hospital but also proud to have the amazing army of people who have supported our family and Gavin during the course of his life.  You all are incredible!



We raised a little over 2,000 dollars and received lots of baby toy donations.  With the money we received we were able to purchase two nice full size baby strollers for use on the unit in transporting the littlest patients, a pack and play, which the staff requested to have behind the nurses station, a beautiful highchair, and a bouncer seat -- all that will be used on the unit to give the families and children a better hospital experience and also help the staff.


With the remaining funds, which was about 1,300, we purchased lots and lots of toys.  We decided to stock up the Child Life department with baby and toddler toys, which are always in great need and high demand. 


We placed "Never Lose Hope" stickers on all the donations -- a way to honor our little fighter.  There is no better feeling that giving.  Thank you to everyone to donated -- both in small and big ways.  Know that even the simplest donation really makes an impact.  We have so many memories of little things that we received while we were inpatient that have made a lasting impact on us.  Everything from little dolls for Madison to a pair of sneakers that was given to Gavin.  We will never forget.

These families will never forget.