Memorial Page

Then and Now.


So many things have changed over the years.  Us Mommas stepped away from the blogging, as we found it continued to bring us back to the pain when we wrote about it.  There have been several times that I (Carrie) have considered deleting this blog, but I know how it felt early in the first days of loss to search the internet looking for just one mom who might understand the depths of my pain.  That is what causes my hesitation to delete.  I know if what we wrote in the past, or our existence, or our understanding helps just one other parent..  It's worth keeping it here. 

I'm not entirely sure if anyone sees this blog anymore, or if these posts appear in any feeds.  I would greatly appreciate it if you could drop a line, leave a comment or send an email to let us know where it stands.  Thank you so much. 

She would have been 5..

Our daughter Lila would have been five today.
It's so hard to believe time has gone by this fast, I look around me- imagining what life would have been like with that sweet little girl playing alongside her brother and sister.  
Our son is three years old and doesn't completely understand that he has two sisters.  He tells us, "Sissy Wyda- I can't see her?"  
I know and believe with all my heart, I will hold her in my arms in Heaven.  
And my heart will be healed completely from the biggest break it ever suffered.

Praying today for all the people who have experienced this same kind of pain....

This month.

This month has just begun, and I have already met two mommas via the web who have survived SIDS.  It's hard to believe just how many people this unexplainable tragedy happens to.  I was curious about the numbers, so I googled the facts. 
 
"Since 1983, the rate of SIDS has fallen by over 50 percent. Sadly, there are still about 2,500 deaths per year in the United States."
 
I can't even fathom that number.  And for each one of those 2,500 babies there are countless people who hurt from that death.  It's really a shocking thing, and yet, here we are-- so many of us survivors.  We keep pushing forward because that's what we have to do.  And I keep praying that all of us, as we do this, can find joy despite those huge cracks in our hearts. 
 
I wanted to see a clear example of how many babies 2,500 is.  It's so hard to picture...  So, here is one little O for each child..  It's insanely difficult to process.
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o

o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o

Love Can Build a Bridge.

I was sitting here listening to Country Gold tonight and the song " Love Can Build a Bridge" came on. I had totally forgotten that I'd had this on a mix cd in my car back in 2008, and I played it repeatedly because it soothed our Lila when she was fussy. I remember singing this to her day after day on my way to and from doctor visits, work, etc. It's so strange to listen to the words of the song and look back knowing what I know now. It's also difficult to hear because I know that love is what is bridging us now across this great distance between Heaven and Earth. I can't wait to smile at her, face to face and tell her how glad I am to see her when I get there too one day.

Four Years.

It has been four years since our little one went to Heaven. We slept so peacefully that night that I felt the heaviest burden of guilt when we awoke to the chaos that had suddenly become our lives... But it dawned on me during the early stages of grief... that it is absolutely true that GOD is in control of everything. We only fool ourselves into thinking we own these moments and control our destiny and that's why grief knocks people down so hard! Until we surrender to God and accept that there is a gorgeous, sparkling eternity of hope on the other side- we live in darkness. We stand united as a family now, only because we chose to break through that darkness and look to the Lord to help us. He has healed us, put our hearts back together, allowed us to help others hurting from the same thing, blessed us in so many ways we can barely recount them all without taking the span of an entire week.



If you have lost a child, my heart breaks for you, but I am filled with much hope that the Lord will pick you up and carry you through this and show you that their life hasn't really ended- they are with Him! And your life hasn't ended either- this is only a new chapter that started in a way you never would have wanted, but there is so much on the other side once you climb over this mountain. You can do this with His help. Trust in Him.

Giant hugs to you. You are in my heart and in my prayers.


Christmas

Last night I was thinking about our one Christmas with our two girls. It was joyful, noisy and busy in our house. We had no idea that within a handful of weeks our littlest would be spending her time with Jesus. That following year, '08, Christmas was quiet and sad. We did our best to make it Merry for our 3 year old, but we all knew there was someone missing. It was the oddest feeling in the world to watch that sweet little girl sit there by herself opening gifts with no sibling there to share it with.

I am extremely thankful for our two year old little boy. He came into our lives and brightened everything back up. When he is all grown up, I intend to look him in the eye and explain all of this.. and to tell him that God patched our hearts up with love for our little baby boy.

I am incredibly thankful for the two children I have here on Earth, and thankful, but longing- for the one I have in Heaven.

If you are going through the loss of a child during this season, I am soooo very sorry. I send you the biggest hug this post can hold. Please know that you are not alone. There are many of us out here, we know that deep pain and the hollow feeling in your chest. I will continue praying each night for all of you. Hold tight to the knowledge that you Can see them again!

4

Today would have been our Lila's fourth birthday.

It's hard to wrap my mind around that, I can't believe it's been that long. I find myself wondering what she would have looked like, and how close she would have been to her big sister.

Our lives would have been drastically different, that -I know for sure.

I'm thankful that God gave us the strength to keep going after her passing, to hold tighter to one another and to be able to manage the pain. We couldn't have done that without Him.

The Grief/Joy Exchange.

This past week I had a bad day.
A day full of sadness and tears, remembering the pain we went through. It was this week that I realized how my life is playing out (my life since loss). It started out with a load of grief so heavy I could barely carry it (I tried to let the Lord carry it for me, but in the beginning that was a hard burden to drop at the foot of the cross.) As the past four years have passed my good days have multiplied and the bad days have lessened. I can see where, at a year in, my days were an equal mix. As we've come through these last four years- I have had less and less of those bad days. I am thankful the Lord has grown and shaped my heart, and moulded me into a stronger person.

This week I had the opportunity to share our Lila's story with yet another person suffering from loss and hurt. We randomly had a woman stop on the road in front of our home (we live in the middle of nowhere) She was traveling (on foot from far away) and she was "thinking of giving up her religion." She said she had experienced large amounts of grief in her life and she was angry. Lila's short life has brought us many opportunities to share the truth about Heaven with people we've only just met. We were able to share with her the truth that religion isn't what gets you to Heaven- it's your honest relationship with the Lord.

I am so thankful for our little girl.
I consider all of this part of the grief/joy exchange.

Maddie and I started a small tradition in memory of Lila.. it's quite simple really- we pour glitter on her grave stone. It sparkles in the sun and is absolutely gorgeous. It reminds us of the sparkle she added to our lives while she was here.

Our New Addition

This is Brennyn and he is the newest addition to our household (OK country mom). He was born on June 28th and has been an absolute blessing. He is a very good baby and I am praying that he stays that way!!

It is crazy the transformation that can take place from one child to the next. When I was blessed with Abigayl, I never once thought about SIDS. I was more concerned with autism. It is what is talked about in the media so it was the only real concern I had. After she passed and Rowynn came along, all I could think about was SIDS.  To this day, I am thankful for my obgyn making the judgment call to bring in a pediatrician that set us up with the apnea monitor. I don't think I would have survived Rowynn's infancy without that machine.

With Brennyn, we have the apnea monitor but we rarely use it. I find myself at peace with knowing God is in control and Brennyn will be okay.

For all of you mommies that have recently lost your sweet baby or those of you who have been on the journey for months or years, it will eventually get "easier". I have been walking this road for three years and through there are days I don't feel my heart will survive, there are many more days that I am full of joy. Not only joy from Abigayl's brothers but, joy that lies in the memories I have of my beautiful daughter.

A Trip Away

At the beginning of this month we decided to take Rowynn on his last family trip that would be just the three of us. I know he is young, 14 months, but we thought it would be good for him to get to have a new experience before his baby brother arrives.

For our family trip, we headed to San Antonio to let him experience Sea World. We chose Sea World because he loves animals but we also chose Sea World because it is a special place for us. It is a place where we were able to find our smiles and connect after we experienced the biggest tragedy of our lives.

A couple of days after Abigayl's funeral, we decided that it would be best to get out of town for a few days. We didn't have a lot of money so we needed somewhere that was within driving distance. We had not been to Sea World and we knew we could make the drive in one day. It was a perfect fit.

While in San Antonio/Sea World, we were able to genuinely smile. We allowed ourselves to have fun but we also felt sad that Abigayl couldn't be there to see all the pretty animals. I think the best part of the trip was that it allowed Rusty and I a few days away from family, friends and the constant reminders of our sweet little girl. It gave us those few days to connect and talk. It is hard not to talk during a 12 hour car ride!

The point in all of this, take time together. You and your spouse need time to connect. Marriage is a fragile thing and the passing of a child can drive a deep wedge. The advice we got from the doctor at the hospital where Abigayl was taken has stuck with me, he said, "Lean on each other because it is so important that you do that now. Don't point blame. There is nothing that could have been done." I am blessed because since moment one when Rusty walked through our front door and saw the paramedics working on Abigayl, I told him I was so sorry and he told me that it wasn't my fault. He has never pointed blame at me, even when I blamed myself.

Another on the Way!

I know that I have been an absentee blogger over the past few months and I apologize. Having a fourteen month old keeps me on my toes. Plus I have started watching TWO five year old boys AND I am 27 weeks pregnant!! Let's just say that there is not a lot of spare time anymore! Even though, my goal is to be more consistent with blogging on here. Just because I have Rowynn, it doesn't mean that I don't deal with really hard days or moments in the day.

Today I have to make this one short. But, I wanted to send out an apology for my lack of writing and also say that I will be better at being a little more consistent.

I hope you have a wonderful week and know that my thoughts and prayers are with all of the families that have lost their precious baby. I know the pain you are going through and I am so sorry.