Monday, October 18, 2010


I made a wrong turn. Somewhere between posting the "30 days" assignments and contemplating how much of my everyday chaos to share there was a collision of epic proportions. My psyche is still in the trauma center and the prognosis is shaky at best.
Life this house it happens a lot. Sometimes so much that I lose days without even realizing any time has past. There are multiple lunches to pack each morning, entirely too much estrogen to contend with in the morning school preparation schedule and more social calendar entries than most communities ever see. It's healthy for them. It makes me feel good to know they are busy. And it wears me out.
Tonight my 13 year old realized that she has a little too much on her plate for Mondays. So she very maturely says to me- Mom, I think I need to look at my schedule and make a decision between cheerleading and dance class. It's just too much trying to do both on the same day. I was almost proud. Almost because in the next breath she points out that she could transfer out of her current dance class and into one that meets right after school on Mondays. This would give her plenty of time in between activities. The hitch? This class requires the dancers to add a second dance class of another genre but it's ok mom cuz I can do the second class on Tuesdays since I don't have anything on Tuesdays.'s perfect. See?
Perfect. Except for the additional costume fees, class tuition and the fact that I already have 4 other Tuesday activities divided between your two younger sisters to keep up with. But hey, you don't have anything so sure---let's add something.Seriously?
See....detoured. Again. Because this entry isn't about dance class or kids' activities. It's about me. My brain. My exhaustion. My frustration. With everything and everyone. Maybe it's because winter is around the corner and I miss the sunshine desperately in winter. Maybe it's because the kids are growing up so incredibly fast and I realize a little more each day that there are two little ones missing and that there will never be another little one in this house. Maybe it's because I am lonely. In my own home. In my own skin. In my marriage. In general. Yes,I have four amazing children who still live at home. Yes, I talk to my mother everyday. Yes, I have the two most incredible grown sons a mother could ever hope to have. But I am lonely. Almost always.
So I got detoured. Detoured from my daily posts geared toward reflecting on how the loss of my children has changed me. Detoured from taking better care of myself. Detoured from functioning in general.
Does anyone have a map?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Forever Child

Ok,so I know I am a little behind....days actually. Sue me later. Not that there would be much but the process might break up the monotony of my days!!

Things have been chaotic here (imagine that) so I promise to catch you all up on that as well as catch up on the 30 days of posts asap. But right now....I wanted to share something with you.

My Forever Child is an awesome site....they make some of the most beautiful things for memorializing our babies. And they are having a BIG giveaway in honor of October 15th. So-check it out....enter....and while you're there take a look at the site!!

~~Love you all!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 9

So I'm supposed to choose a photo I have taken since losing my girls. Yeah. Good luck with that one. You obviously have no idea just how many pictures I take. Of everything. Of nothing. So choosing just one is a bit of an undertaking. Let's see......
Ok. I am choosing this one. And here is why.
Dragonflies have become a symbol for my daughters. More than a symbol really. A sign. They have become the link between me and my angels. Where they are so are Chloe and Zoe.
My mother likes to say that my grandmother-whom I was intensely close to-is watching over my girls waiting to give them back to me when I get to Heaven. Just before my husband's grandfather passed away on Father's Day this year he had told me that when he made it to Heaven he would give Chloe and Zoe a kiss for me. My mom kind of laughed a little and said "You know...I think that is beautiful. But I hate to tell him I don't think your grandmother is giving them up to anyone!!! "
So now to the picture......while home visiting in Ohio this summer I took the kids to the local museum. There is an old house on the property which my grandmother worked in when she was 13. (The same age as my oldest daughter who shares her middle name by the way). Walking through that house with my kids it was surreal. I could feel my grandma walking the halls, doing her work and sitting in the old kitchen eating her lunch. Out back is a flower and herb garden called The Children's Garden. There are wonderful things there to teach kids about flowers and such. And there is a brick path that winds all the way through and around the entire garden. At one point we looked down and noticed a pattern in the brick walk in a different color brick. It was a dragonfly. There are two. Just two. In the entire path. And they are at the point of the path that is overlooked by the windows of the dance hall in that old house which is where my grandmother did most of her work for the family. Coincidence? Or was it a message from my daughters and my grandmother letting me know, letting us all know ....they were there. They are always there. And they are being cared for while they wait.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 8 of 30......

This one is easy. This one I knew the moment I got the list for the 30 days of post. There is no question, no choosing. It just ...... is.
To the naked eye this picture is beautiful. Peaceful. Precious. It is perfect. And it is. All of those things. But to my is incredibly sad. It invokes deep feelings of pain and devastation. And it sends me back to "that time" of my life. (As if this time has erased that one.....)
August 8,2007. We had played outside at the park all day. Enjoying the sunshine and warm air. Reveling in the slight breeze that would come at just the right moments. And I imagined that the next summer I would be standing here this spot.....listening again to the laughter of my children. Only then I would be pushing a stroller. A double one. With two little girls who would soon enough join their siblings in the ritual of climbing up the sliding board instead of sliding down it and squealing in delight at their accomplishment.
My baby boy was not quite two years old yet. He had played hard all day. And he had missed that all important nap. He was exhausted. And so, pacifier and all...he had fallen asleep in the tub while I was bathing him. I remember wrapping him in his towel and lying him across my bed. And staring. Drinking in my little boy who in a matter of months would no longer be "the baby" of the family. Wondering how he would handle relinquishing that title. And thinking I was the luckiest women ever.
One week changed that. One week completely redesigned the meaning and emotion of this picture. One week later my daughters died as I slept in that same bed. That picture, of my beautiful, sleeping boy was the last picture I took of any of my children. Until the next picture...which was of my beautiful,sleeping angels.

Out of the mouth of babes.......

Extra post today.....
So Lily A.K.A. Princess Diva says to me..."Mommy,I want you to be pregnant again. And I want you to have two baby girls again so I can have two baby sisters. I mean,I am almost 7 years old now mommy so I can help take care of them when you need to rest ya know.And mommy.......this time I want you to actually bring them home with you."
And there it is. The proverbial slap that renders you speechless and knocks the breath from your lungs. Just when you think you are having a good day,week,month, are suddenly shocked right back into your dark place.
Then there is the comment from the younger sibling which pulls you back into the sunshine,......"Um,no way mom. It better be two baby brothers cuz I don't want no more sisters. Enough girls already."
Ya just gotta love their innocence and honesty.

A picture that makes you happy......

Not an easy task. Choosing just one. Any picture of my children makes me smile. It fills me with joy. And yet at the same time makes me aware that there should be more pictures. Of more children. Things just never seem to go the way we think they should,do they? Hhmmm.
So...I have been thinking about which picture I should choose.....I think I mentioned yesterday that I take pictures of everything. That wasn't an exaggeration. So I am literally pouring over hundreds and thousands of pictures trying to decide just which one I can pull out as The One for today's post. ( I already know which one will accompany tomorrow's and it won't be what you are expecting.) Choices,choices.
Here is the one I came up with. This was when I thought my life was perfect. That it would continue to be perfect. That all of the dark was behind me and there was nothing but sunshine ahead. This picture was taken 3 days after I got my oldest two daughters back. (Their father and his gf had kidnapped them from school two years was the hardest 18 months of court dates and 400 mile trips trying to stay in their lives and fight to bring them home.) My oldest two sons had gone out to buy little trinkets for their sisters this day. The four of them (in this pic) wanted to inflate the air mattress in the middle of the living room and stay in their Pj's and watch movies all day. It was beautiful. Looking at it now brings tears to my eyes. Happy ones. My children were ALL home. And there were two more in my belly growing by leaps and bounds who would join us that year and make my life beyond perfect.
Or so I thought.
So. This is the one. The picture that makes me happy. In this moment. At this time.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

30 Days......Day 6

Ok. Here's the thing. Today I am supposed to name 20 things that calm me. Now,there are things that help soothe me and the state I may or may not be in emotionally at any given time. But CALM isn't exactly a word I would EVER use in reference to any part of my life. Hence......"Chaos Multiplied". Get it?
So-having said that.....let's see......what are 20 things that "soothe" me?
1. The sound of my children laughing. It doesn't matter what or why----just that they laugh. It centers me. It lets me know that THEY are ok and that is all I care about.
2. The breeze. It's a loving touch, a quiet whisper, a warm embrace.
3. The Resevoir. It's a place where I have often gone to gather my thoughts and organize my pain and revel in my joy. Chloe and Zoe's flowers are planted there. So is part of my heart.
4. MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC. Did I mention I love music? I could fill a million of these lists with each song or piece but for the sake of my reader(s) I will just leave it in one group. Music. It soothes me like nothing else can.
5. Crying. Yes,it seems counterproductive but oddly is not. Sometimes if I am falling into my dark place again or feeling especially on edge-I cry. Giving myself permission to sit down and have a good soul-cleansing sob is amazingly "calming". Just make sure you don't have to go out in public soon after or you risk the "OMG what kind of hack injected her with all that collagen?" sort of looks.
6. His voice. That's all.
7. Ben and Jerry. It is amazing how much they can make me smile without much effort. All I need is a spoon.
8. Water. Whether it's the sound of the rain outside my window, the warmth of the shower,the coolness of a swimming pool or the saltiness of my own tears (see #5) it doesn't matter. It is cleansing...washing away all the ickiness and pulling out the peacefulness.
9. Writing.Obiously.Duh.Next....
10. Taking pictures. For those of you who are lucky enough to be part of my Facebook circle you have seen evidence of this. There are pictures of everything. All the time. From numerous angles.
11. Walking. Walking enables me to be completely alone with my thoughts (and the voices) and try to sort through them without interruption. The best walks involve #4,at times #5,hopefully #3 and if I am incredibly lucky........#6.
12. Driving. Same sort of concept as #11 and ALWAYS involves #4.
13. Reading stories of other BLM's. There is something intensely painful yet incredibly calming in sharing a common pain. There truly is strength in numbers and the numbers of "us" are staggering. No matter how different the details of our stories there is always that one shared thread.....the reason we are a sorority....our loss.
14. Singing. Yes,I know I already listed music and technically singing is music. But this is different. This can be singing along with the radio,tv,MP3 player or whatever......but often it consists of just me. Just my voice.Just the music in my mind.
15. Talking. Not just mindless babble. Conversation. Something deep and philosophical. Something that other people consider off-limits in everyday social interaction. Picking someone else's brain on things like religion or politics or simply parenting styles can be extremely calming. It puts things in perspective and lets me know that not everything HAS to be perfect in my world and not EVERY choice I make HAS to be the "right" one according to popular theory.
16. Television. More specifically true crime series or medical drama shows. Things like The First 48, Grey's Anatomy.......they draw me in and take me away from the chaos. And let's face it.....there is no better medicine for someone who THINKS their house is filthy than watching a healthy dose of Hoarders!
17. Watching my kids play. Undetected. In secret. Taking in the moments they are lost in. The imagination. The innocence. The sheer unadulterated joy at finding a worm,carrying a stick or seeing a moth and screaming "Butterfly!!". Children have an uncanny talent for making adults look completely self absorbed and ignorant as to what TRULY matters in life. It's all about who can spit the furthest or whose scraped knee bled the most. Nothing else matters.
18. My mother's support. My mother is one of the two most amazing women who have EVER walked this planet IMHO. The other one was HER mother. My mother dropped everything three years ago to get on a plane and stand beside me literally holding my hand and talking me through the darkest moment of my life. She was there when my angels were delivered. She took their pictures. She touched their faces. She kept me centered so that I wouldn't miss a single moment of their birth because she knew I would NEED those memories. She cried with me. And when no one else could have---she made me laugh. When life is spinning out of control she is my emergency brake.
19. My best friend. (See #6). He is the voice of reason when I want to be rash. He is the voice of sanity when I want to scream. He loves me unconditionally even when I don't like myself very much. He is my happy place when it seems that all joy is lost.
20. Emotional movies. Something intense. Something deep. Something that is either completely heart-shattering or totally elating. Nothing in between and not comedies. Movies that move me. The calm is in the motion.

Whew!! That was actually harder than it looked!! But....if there was a #21....this entry would be it!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

30 days.......

Day favorite quote...

This one is a little more difficult because I have many. Sometimes they stay the same and others they change with my mood. So. Today,for this day,for this mood I would have to say that my favorite quote is "a tiny life does not equal a tiny loss".

I think some people forget that we (as in all bereaved parents) have lost our children. They were beings. They lived no matter how briefly. They are gone. We are left to roam the Earth without them and ponder daily what they would have looked like,sounded like,acted like. The loss of a child....even one that never took a breath outside of its mother is a loss like no other. There is a gaping wound that never heals. It scabs over and feels less painful for a time. Then somone says something or we see something or hear something and suddenly the scab is ripped off and the blood is once again flowing. To lose a child is to lose our own identity. Yes,we soldier on and live. Yes, we function. Yes,we even appear to be "normal" (how I loathe that word) to the outside world. But we are not. We are changed. We are broken beyond repair. We become different people with different lives and lead a different "normal" than before. Our loss,no matter how tiny the world may percieve it to be-is epic to us.

Monday, October 4, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days......

Today I happened upon another blog that I was instantly taken with. This blogger is doing a 30 posts in 30 days format from the standpoint of the mother of an angel baby. I loved that concept and the questions for the month so I have decided to follow her lead. Of course,as is usually the case I am behind. So here are my first several days worth all wrapped into one post. Check back often....and if you feel like it modify the questions to fit your own life circumstance and join!! What a great and creative way to introduce yourself to others!!!
I suppose a little back story is warranted here first......
The abridged version is this: my daughters died. Two of them. Identical twins. And in that moment my life,my soul and every facet of my being changed. Forever. There it is. My dark secret. I am the mother of two angels. goes way beyond that but for now this is where I will leave it. There will be much,much more to follow on this subject.
Now.....Day 1 (Oct. 1st).....a song that reminds you of your child or one you can no longer listen to.
There is a vast array of music that reminds me of Chloe and Zoe. Many because of the lyrics or just a line of the lyrics and others simply because the music moves me to a place where I feel their presence. I think the first song that really pulled me in after they died was "Boston" by Augustana. I know it has nothing to do with losing a child but it has to do with wanting to disappear and start over where no one knows you,your life or your story. I craved anonymity in the days following "the event". For weeks I wouldn't even walk outside of my house....there was this intense fear that if anyone saw me they would simply know.And I didn't want them to know,to look at me with "the look". This song reduced me to tears and still does. Of course there are so many others that reduce me to tears, cause me to smile or even laugh and many more that comfort me. Music is a constant in the absence of my children and the music of their laughter.
Day 2 (Oct. 2nd)......a movie that either helped you through your loss or jumped out at you because of it. Seven Pounds. I have never really contemplated the correlation here....I just know that I watched it during my depression and cried like a toddler whose favorite toy disappeared. Still do and I have watched it at least 100 times. When I am feeling especially sentimental for my daughters or missing them more than usual (is that even a possibility) I watch it. And I cry. A lot.
Day 3 (Oct. 3rd).....a TV program that helped you get through your loss or moved you. Let's get this straight no way shape or form will the answer to this question EVER involve anything showing Octo-heiffer or that other Kate witch ...both of whom send me into a very dark "I want to grab the closest sharp object and throw it at them" sort of place. Not good. At all. Having said that....I love true crime shows, legal tv series,medical shows and things of that nature. I am addicted to Greys and Private Practice. As far as my loss.......I would have to say the series " The Locator" has moved me. People being reunited with the children they "lost" years ago. To be so lucky. And yes, I cry at every single episode.
Day 4-(Oct. 4th).......your favorite book and has it changed since your loss? Prior to the death of my daughters my favorite two books were easily "The Lottery" and " To Kill A Mockingbird" (which also happens to be one of my all-time fave movies). Since losing the girls though my favorite book is now "The Shack" by Wm. Paul Young. This book is amazing. Simply. It moved me. Deeply as no book ever has. A very good friend suggested this book to me one day. He said there were parts that made him think of me specifically because I had lost my daughters. It's funny,people have made comments before and I always thank them and sort of browse the book or whatever. This time for some reason I felt compelled to go buy the book which I did within hours of his suggestion. I read it cover to cover in a couple days. Then I read it again. And I cried.....that deep,soul screaming,body wracking sort of cry. This book reached into the very depths of my soul and moved me in ways I cannot begin to explain because I am not entirely sure I understand them myself. The book was so good that I bought a second copy (my original has highlighted passages,notes,etc all over it) for my oldest daughter to take to a youth conference with her. The author was one of the scheduled keynote speakers and I wanted his autograph. That signed (and very pristine) copy is in Chloe and Zoe's memory box and will stay there.....amidst the other trinkets I have to remind me of the minute time they spent with me.
So...there you have it. I am caught up now. Tomorrow is another day........

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Well,here it is. My first post. For someone who never shuts up I am suddenly finding myself at a loss for words. I mean...seriously....what am I supposed to write about? Should I become one of those sickeningly annoying people who blogs about every single thing her children do? Should I fashion my blog after one of those Queens of Male Bashing? Who am I kidding...I am already both of those people. 
I guess I will start here.....with the reason I am blogging in the first place. I write. All the time. All sorts of things for all sorts of reasons. Mostly I write because it seems to be the most effective way of making the voices in my head shut up. They talk incessantly.It's obnoxious really. And I tire of it. So ....... I write. 
Writing has helped me celebrate the highs,overcome the lows and survive the depths of the darkest places a person could ever travel to. It has helped me cope,accept and persevere. And quite frankly it has made me laugh when all I wanted to do was cry. 
So-there you have it. The reason I am here. How about you? Why are you here? Other than the obvious reason being you are nosey and like to search for tidbits of others' baneful existence to make you feel better about yourself and your own paltry life. Just kidding. Sort of. (Sarcasm....recognize it?) Whatever brought you here...thanks for visiting. I hope you come back often because I happen to have a lot to say.