Thursday, October 23, 2014

10 months

10 months.

my heart hurts today.
10 seems like such a big number....
.....yet still so small compared to how long it feels.
it feels like years.
years since i held my sweet baby boy.

oh, i miss him.
i don't know if i'm doing it right---this whole grieving process.
i know i'm not 'okay'....
i don't think i'll ever be 'okay'....
i know some days are less crippling than others.
but some days i still can't breathe.
i hear a song or smell a familiar smell or catch a glimpse of something blue or superman......
and i forget how to breathe.
the reality of it all consumes me and i can't remember how to breathe.
the reality is that my beautiful little boy is gone.
he's gone and it hurts.
it will always hurt.

i just miss him.

i'm still here though.
i am here and i'm trying.
i am getting through the days----focusing on school and my sweet girl.
the nights are a bit tougher----but i manage to get through those too, and still wake up the next morning. 
i am trying.
i am living and learning and searching for direction.
i am sad and i am happy.
i can still feel things, good and bad.
i was worried that the good would be lost, after losing my sweet boy.
i worried i would never feel anything good again, not fully anyway.
i was wrong about that.
i can still feel things that are good, things that are happy.
i can still feel pure love----when i look into my sweet girl's eyes, and when i remember my beautiful boy's perfect love.
i can still feel his spirit, even when the sadness takes over.
i feel sad and that's okay too.
sometimes everything just sucks.
it's all hard.

i'm living and learning, figuring it out as i go.
holding onto faith and hope---clinging desperately to eternal promises.

today it hurts.
today i will try and remember how to breathe.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

i still have a rope.

happy Sunday.
it's been a long, long-weekend.
i got some good studying in, and had a date with my sweet girl so that was good.

 we are resuming fancy pants picture time.....

and it's never complete without our beautiful boy...
oh, man do i miss him.

i taught a lesson in Young Women's today at church on the importance of gratitude.
we don't need to wait for things to be "just the way we want" in order to be grateful.
even if life is tough and we're at the end of our rope.......
we can still be grateful.
it's always our choice.

i am so grateful for my life, for where i am today.
of course, i would rather have my sweet boy in my arms, always.
but i don't have that.
he's not here but i'm still so grateful for the time i had with him and the knowledge i have of where he's at now.
i'm grateful that i'm still here, with my sweet girl---that we're still here together, living and loving and remembering our beautiful boy.
i am grateful that i continue to breathe, even when most days i don't understand how.
i am grateful for my struggles and for everyday triumphs that continue to happen.
i am grateful for friendships and how the simple love and strength from friends has saved me from completely drowning over and over.
i'm grateful for kind words from strangers, and silent prayers that i'll never even know about.
i'm grateful for hope and sorrow and life and love.
i'm grateful i can still be grateful.
i'm oh so thankful that i can still feel wonderful feelings of gratitude, even when i'm hanging onto the end of my rope for dear life.
i'm grateful i still have a rope.

blessed Sunday to you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

i feel, i think, i essay.

it's Wednesday and the start of fall break for me and my sweet girl-----a little break from school, which is nice.
i'm pretty sure i'll be studying the majority of the long weekend, but i'm okay with that.
i'm trying really hard at school and studying like a mad woman.
i have been stressed out beyond belief, but am so grateful for the busyness and distraction school brings---i don't know how i would be coping without it.

so for my English class i have written a couple of essays.
for the last one we were instructed to write a "Visual Analysis Essay", and i chose to write mine based off a picture i found through a friend's news feed on Facebook.
it's a subject that means something to me, and that is close to my heart because i've lived it.
my dad thought i should share it here, on my blog so people can see what i've been up to at school.
i debated on whether or not to show the actual picture the essay is about, or just let my words do the describing.
i decided to post the essay first, the picture at the end.

so here it is.
(p.s.  i haven't gotten my grade back yet, so i can't tell you if it's good or not......either way, it is what it is...)

Innocence Cut Short
The image I have chosen to analyze is a photograph I came across through a feed on my Facebook wall.  This photo immediately grabbed my attention, to the point where I couldn’t focus on anything else.  The image is shocking.  A little girl, roughly ten years old, sits nearly naked on the littered floor of a dingy room.  Green streaks tinge the wall, highlighting cracks running down the length of the concrete and alongside the baseboard.  The young girl, with long, dark, wavy hair falling across her semi-exposed body, sits cross-legged amidst photos of fashion models strewn haphazardly across the wooden floor.  My eyes were first drawn to the middle of the image.  A small cherubic hand grips a pair of scissors---large, heavy, metal shears as big as the girl’s forearm, creating the framework for the picture’s focal point.  Her right hand firmly pinches her midsection, grasping a fold of soft pale skin.  The little girl looks down at her stomach, ready to cut her own flesh as the scissors come into contact with the portion of skin she clings to.  The sharp lines of the blades point like an arrow, directing your attention to the pure whiteness of the child’s innocent skin.  Her face appears forlorn.  Sad.  Defeated.  The colors of the photograph are cool tones, dark and drab.  The photo contains no warmth; setting the tone of overwhelming sadness and depression.
This image invokes a variety of emotional responses from me.  Sadness, disgust, frustration and empathy are a few.  The photographer’s intent is to bring to light the fact that our society is sending---particularly sending young, impressionable girls---a very clear-cut message:  you aren’t good enough the way you are; your body needs to be “perfect” in order to be loved and accepted.  This message is not only sad and disturbing, it’s a lie!  “Perfection” is an unattainable goal, yet society lures us into believing it can and should be achieved with its airbrushed and digitally altered images of “ideal beauty”.  Young girls see these images and fall under the spell of their deception. 
I feel empathy for this girl; I was this girl.  Anyone who buys into what society is persistently selling is in some way too, this girl.  We may not sit in the same dingy room or physically hold scissors in our hands, but the same emotions exist---disgust, loathing, and an overwhelming sense of inadequacy for not being “good enough”.  These feelings are our internal scissors.  Self-hatred, negative self-talk, and sometimes hazardous eating disorders become the tools we use to “cut” ourselves.
By taking this picture, the photographer wants to generate awareness in his audience surrounding this issue.  The image forces its viewer to become aware of the shaming nature of society and the media’s unrealistic portrayal of beauty and perfection.  In a very powerful way this picture shows the effects that the media can have on young, impressionable girls whose minds are being shaped and molded by everything they see and hear.  Using a child as the subject, the photographer appeals to the emotions of the viewer.  The concept of such young innocence bombarded by adult expectations is alarming, as it should be.  The color scheme accurately represents the psychological tone the artist wants his audience to experience.
This photograph aims to trigger a strong reaction from its audience.  While important and vital in regards to spreading awareness, exposure to such a bold image could also be problematic in certain situations.   For those who have not yet been tainted by society’s push towards “perfection” and “ideal beauty”, this photo might open the door to such thoughts and expectations.  Young susceptible children, still unblemished by the world’s unrealistic demands, need not be introduced to such negativity any sooner than necessary.  The photograph runs the risk of lending ideas to the discouraged viewer seeking methods to injure him or herself. 
Powerful and effective, this image brings awareness to the issue the artist has chosen to reveal so boldly.  It becomes disturbingly clear by assessing this photo that destructive messages saturate the media and when ingested, become like a toxin to our souls.  When viewed by a mature audience, this image can have advantageous effects.    Awareness can breed change.  However, discretion should be used when it comes to young children, weighing the benefits and the risks of exposure to such material.  The photo struck a chord with me.  It successfully prompted an intense array of emotions, fostering a desire to personally strive to bring about more awareness and change to these significant issues.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

i cry.

good Sunday morning.
ahh, i feel like i need to write-----lots of thoughts and emotions going on that need to get out.

i miss my son.
of course, that's not new.
i miss him all the time, everyday.

yesterday two of my friends and i went up to Primary Children's Hospital to get information on doing a tree in memory of Connor for the Festival of Trees.
 my sweet girl's dance coach came to me and asked if it would be ok if they sponsored a tree, a "Super Connor" tree, in memory of my beautiful little superboy.
{my heart}

"For 44 years, the Festival of Trees has been a “Gift of Love” to children. The Festival is organized by a volunteer board of 90 women who enlist
 time and talents from thousands of individuals, organizations, businesses, and families throughout Utah and beyond.  $35 million has been raised for children at Primary Children’s Hospital through the Festival since 1971."
Festival of Trees
Every penny raised goes to help children at Primary Children's Hospital.
this makes my heart happy.

what will happen is we'll collect donations and then buy and decorate a tree (Superman-themed) and then it will be displayed and auctioned off at the Festival of Trees.
all the money will go back to Primary Children's, to help all the little kids like my sweet boy.
this makes me feel all kinds of things.
good things, hard things, happy things, sad things.
it's a wonderful thing, sponsoring this tree.......and it's also hard.
we're sponsoring it because he's not here...
it's "in memory" of him because that's all we have left----memories.
that's hard.
i miss him.

walking back into the hospital always brings back a flood of emotion.
the last time my beautiful boy was alive, he was in that hospital.
the last week of his life i spent with him there.
i left my perfect little boy on the 2nd floor of that hospital, and walked out the doors without him for the first time in my life, less than 10 months ago.
walking back through the doors without him's hard.

it just reminds me that he's gone.
but walking back through the doors with a purpose makes me feel stronger.
walking back through, knowing that i'm going to be doing something to honor his memory and help other kids like him----there's a power in that.
i gain strength everyday by living with the pain.
i grow stronger by acknowledging the hurt, embracing the grief, and finding ways to move forward anyway.

i went for a long drive yesterday evening---a much needed long drive.
i drove and listened to music and cried until i had to pull over because i couldn't see.
i drove to the cemetery and then cried some more.

i drove aimlessly, watching the sun set and felt the tears cleanse a part of my soul that so desperately needed cleansing.
i cried because it hurts.
it hurts and i miss him and i wish he were here.
i cried because his life was so beautiful, and his death is too.
everything about him is beautiful and i cried because i'm so grateful i was blessed to be his mom.
i cried.
because crying helps.
i cry because it hurts, and it helps.
i cry because i just miss him... 

i am honored that my friends wanted to sponsor a tree for my sweet boy.
i am grateful to be able to help, especially since this time of year is going to be extremely hard.
i am so thankful for something physical i can still be doing for him, in honor of him.
i am grateful for his life, and his beautiful life after death.
he is perfect.
and i just love him.
that is all for today.
happy Sunday to you..

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hope will guide me

it's Sunday.
a tender Sunday for me......
i really miss my sweet boy.

yesterday was the Superhero Hopewalk with the Hopekids.

me, aubrey and several of our friends walked in honor of my beautiful superboy.

it felt great, to do something for him.
walking, wearing his Angel Connie cape, those are physical things i can still do for my son.

 i want so desperately to keep doing things for him.
i miss the everyday things i did, i miss it all.
 i just miss him.

it's hard.
it hurts.
it just does.

 that's the only way for it to be, i think.
it hurts so much because i love him so deeply.
and that's okay, because i cherish the love and the love gives me strength to work through the hurt.
i am still here, i'm surviving.......somehow, by the grace of God and the love of others.
i am surviving the hurt because i'm surrounded by so much love and support.

i feel all the love, from near and far---i feel it and i use it to get me through.
my sweet boy's love is like a ray of light that cuts through my darkest days.
i am never in complete darkness because i have his love. (and His love)
i struggle.
but i expected that.
i knew this would be hard, i just didn't understand how hard----no one can unless you've lived it.
what i didn't anticipate was all the love i feel, along with the hurt.
the love makes the hurt bearable, and for that i am so grateful.
i am grateful for the love i feel daily, and for the support that keeps me from falling apart.
i am grateful, so very grateful.
 especially on tender Sundays like today.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

longing for warmth.

it's cold.
the seasons have shifted, and you can definitely tell.
i love fall, the crispness of the air and the comfort of snuggling into a warm hoodie or sweater.
fall has always been one of my favorite times of year.........
...........but this year it's harder.
i think any time there is a change, a shift from what i've grown accustomed to-----it makes me miss my sweet boy that much more.
things are changing, life is moving, time is passing by..........
and he's still not here.

he's not here and yet my life is inching forward, day by day, season by season.
soon it will be year by year.
that's hard.

i'm still experiencing all the 'firsts', and that's hard in its own way....
but even harder will be the 'seconds' or 'thirds'.
every 'first' that i pass through means i'm that much further from when he was here, in my arms, where he belongs.
i belong with him, my beautiful boy belongs with me!!
the changing of the seasons just reminds me that he's not here.
he was last year.
last year he was here in my arms, where he fit best.
i just miss him.
i'm so cold all the time, without him.
he kept me warm, the physical warmth from his body always intertwined with mine----
but there was also a warmth from his sweet soul that i miss the most.
his spirit cast such a warm, comforting glow that cannot be replicated now that he's gone.
i miss that.
i miss his body and his soul.
now, i can still feel his spirit, his presence, his soul-----just not in the same way.
it's different now; i have to try harder, put in so much more effort on my part to be able to feel my sweet boy.
maybe that's how it's supposed to be.
maybe i need these tests, these trials, these times where i have to really try......maybe i need this to make me a better person.
maybe i need to be stronger, and strength comes from struggle.
true strength comes from the ability to keep trying, when all you want to do is give up.
i am trying.
i am trying everyday to find hope in this heartache.
to find peace in this awful pain.
i catch glimpses of it.
i have moments where everything is clear and in those moments i feel him.
i feel my beautiful boy's perfect spirit, and everything is okay.
in those moments i'm not cold.  there is a warmth that comes that could only be matched if i were actually holding him again.
i miss him.
plain and simply, i just miss him.
 i always will.
but i'll keep trying.
and hoping and searching for peace.
and when those moments come, i will treasure them and hold onto to those feelings.
i'll keep them in my heart for days when i'm just cold.
days like today.
happy Fall Sunday, everyone.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

9 months

9 months today.
nine whole months since my perfect little soul mate left this earth.
9 months of me without him; mommy without her beautiful boy.
nine months is hard.

and it still baffles me that it seems like so much longer.
it feels like ages since i've held him or kissed his sweet face or listened to his noisy breathing.
ages since i've suctioned him or given him his meds or sang to him in the tub.
it feels like ages since i've changed his tube or tickled his toes or told him how much mommy loves him.
it has to be longer than nine months.
9 months can't be right.
 it feels like so much longer.
to my heart, it feels like forever.
i go on about my days because that's what i have to do-----i go on, moving forward in this life because that's the only choice i have.  i go on because that's what he would want his mommy to do, and because that's what his Sissy needs most.
i go on because i can't go back, and standing still would hurt the most.

i go on.......
but oh, sometimes how i wish i could just go back!!
one more snuggle, or kiss or smell of his sweet breath.
one more chance to look him in the eyes, and have him look right back into more chance for him to really see me so he can see the love that is in my heart.
because when he looked at me, when he really saw me.......his eyes pierced into the very deepest part of my soul, and i knew he knew.
i knew he knew of my love for him and in those moments, i could feel the power of heaven through his beautiful blue eyes.
he was so wise, so strong, so perfect.
he was everything.
and i just miss him.

i am trying to do things to make him proud.
i am trying to move forward in a way that honors his life and all that he taught me.
i am trying to be present in a life that feels so big and empty and new.
i am trying.
i keep trying, and that's all i can do.

9 months makes no sense.
the days go by but time has lost all meaning to me.
 i will just trust in my heart and my love and my hope and faith.
that's all i've got.

mommy misses you, angel boy.