Saturday, December 13, 2014


On Gabriel's birthday I had put a status on my Facebook profile, like I always do.  Something acknowledging Gabriel's day.  Of course the loving and supportive comments come flowing shortly after, it's always easier to get through a tough day when you have constant reminders sporadically placed throughout the day that let you know people love you and are thinking of you.

There was one specific comment that really got me thinking.  It was late afternoon when I saw this specific comment, it read "your mommy and daddy are so proud of you...." with some other sentimental words following it.  This simple comment got me thinking in a way I haven't thought in a long time. In fact, I've thought about this one comment for days.  I started pondering exactly why this comment touched me and  it's meaning, I quickly realized that although I hadn't thought of it that way, it's truth. 
I AM proud of him.  I'm proud of everything he accomplished in his short life, both inside and outside his womb.  I'm proud of all the lives he's touched, all the people's hearts that have wept for him and celebrated him.  I'm proud of all the lessons he's brought into people's lives all around the world.  He only lived a short life, extremely short, but he made huge waves.  
I'm proud of who he's made me. I'm a completely different person than I was before I met him.  I tend to be more sad, emotional, and on edge but  I also tend to be more understanding of strangers untold stories and struggles.  I have grown to look in people's eyes and heart instead of focusing on what anger or upset is streaming from their face.  I strive to want to give and have found myself completely surrounded in this "loss community", a place where I feel comfortable, confident and understood. Nobody wishes to be a member, but when you are forced into it, it's a wonderful community to be in.
I always show his photos to everyone and anyone who is willing to see them, I show him off with pride the same way I show off my other kids.  I never thought about it this way before, but yes I am proud.  I'm happy to have him a part of my life's journey, even if it's a sad chapter and sometimes tears me down, he's made me who I am today.  I may not have gotten to raise him into a child and a man, but he' s certainly raised me  from who I was 3 years ago to who I am now. 

During the 5 days I've pondered this comment, I saw a beautiful poem online.  I can't find or even quote this poem right now, but the poem really solidified what I've been thinking. Something in these thoughts has changed my thought process.  I will no longer hesitate when people ask the dreaded question "How many children do you have?" because my answer is firm. 
"I am the proud momma of 4 beautiful babies, 3 that can run and 1 that can fly."
I'm so proud of you little man. Thank you for all you continue to do.

Monday, December 1, 2014

His birthday is rapidly approaching

It's been awhile since I've updated. Life has been pretty busy with various illnesses, school, work and other regular life activities.  Halloween has passed, Thanksgiving has passed, and now December is upon us.  This is a time of year that is especially rough for us.  With Gabriel's birthday to start the month, then Christmas which is always a tough time - remembering that we don't get to celebrate with him, and then the new year (which lets face it, can be a bit scary), it can be rough.

Gabriel's birthday is in 1 week. He'd be 3 years old now. It's unbelievable that it's been nearly 3 years since I held our first son. It's been nearly 3 years since I stared at his perfect little face.  I can't believe how fast the 3 years has gone by, but I guess in a growing family time goes quickly. So much has changed.  Our lives have been in a whirlwind, but soon I hope it will slow down so we can enjoy life a little more. I just feel like things are constantly changing, constantly happening and the world keeps spinning faster and faster.  Eventually it starts to feel a bit out of control.  In those moments I know I can go to the cemetery and be near Gabriel, where the world is quiet once more and everything seems to stand still - only for a moment in time.

Just in time for Gabriel's 3rd birthday, I've decided to volunteer my time with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.  They are the organization filled with volunteer photographers who go out to take photos for families who have lost a child. They are the organization that connected me with a photographer who captured every second of Gabriel's short life and many moments after.  Surprisingly to start out, I will not be taking photos.  I will be volunteering my time in the community, recruiting, connecting families with photographers and making sure hospitals have all the tools they need to offer this service to families.  After I've worked on my low light photography skills I will eventually move into being a photographer for them, just not yet.  I hope to be in that place before Gabriel's 4th birthday. Tomorrow I will meet with the recruiter to get everything set up and going.  It's taken 3 years to get to  a place where I can finally give back.  It isn't easy knowing the field I'll be volunteering in and the situations I may face. In my heart though, I know it's what I need to do. I have wanted to help for so long, and now I'm finally able to.  And eventually, I'll be able to use my photography skills to benefit these families even more.

Evelyn is growing up so fast, I can't blink these days or I might miss something.  She mentions Gabriel sometimes. Most recently we were all hanging out on the couch and Evelyn was scared.  Derrick explained that she has angels watching over her and she doesn't need to be scared, Evelyn's response, ever so innocently was "Like Gabriel?".  Yup like Gabriel *cue tears*.  I nearly lost it whens she said it.  It was an emotional time, her realizing that Gabriel is an angel and lives with Jesus, and she's starting to understand what that means.  It's always interesting to me to hear her speak of him and the way she understands him. It'll be more interesting to hear how the boys view him, as Evelyn and the boys have very different relationships with him.

This time of year, Gabriel is always on my mind.  I never forget him and I know he is with me all the time.  Thinking of him and who he would be consumes my heart and mind, I will never stop thinking of him and loving him.