Thursday, March 21, 2013

One Year

"An angel opened the book of life
And wrote down my baby's birth,
Then she whispered as she closed the book
Too beautiful for earth".
*author unknown*

In Memory of Abigail Rose Bachman
February 29, 2012 - March 22, 2012

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Abby's Special Day

I am having a really really hard time getting the inspiration to write about Abby’s Remembrance Day Celebration.   I don't know why really.  I guess I'm just really sad that it is over.....

Overall, it was a great day.  I feel proud of Roberto and me.  I feel blessed to have been able to give her the day that she deserved.  But it was a bitter-sweet day. 

I am so touched by the love that we received on Saturday.  It was a day I wanted to ‘celebrate’ and not dread.  We did a great job just doing that!

We were gathered by friends and family to celebrate Abby.  I believe about 45 in total!  I was worried that Abby’s essence would be lost in the chaos.  So Roberto created these Abby Stories all around our home with a ribbon in the right hand corner and hung them up on the walls.  (They are still there).  In the depths of the loudness and laughter, children’s cries and party doings, it kept Abby near me and helped to remind me why we were doing this in the first place.  I believe we did a great job keeping Abby’s memory alive.

We had a cake for little miss Abby.  I made a rainbow cake with purple icing.  Emilia decorated the icing with a rainbow made with skittles and marshmallows for clouds.  Abby’s name was spelled with skittles too!  A few days prior, the kids asked ‘who will blow out the candles’??  My reply was ‘Me’.  I wanted to do it.  When the time came, we sang Abby a Happy Birthday!  I cried through most of it.  Not many could see that, but I held back the tears as best as I could.  Imagine singing happy birthday to your child who isn’t with you to blow out her own candle.  That opportunity will never be had. 

When it was time for the balloon release, we grabbed our sharpies and wrote messages to Abby in heaven.  I got writer’s block!  I ended up with a simple I LOVE YOU ABBY!  She knows it too!  The balloon release was spectacular!  I loved it!  It was breathtaking seeing 50 balloons rise in the sky!  Makes me smile when I think about it!

We received a nice collection of baby toys, clothes and books to donate to CHB.  We received some lovely personal gifts too.  Thank you!!  Also, thank you friends and family who brought some yummy appetizers and desserts.  And for just being there to hold our hands. 

So Abby’s birthday has passed.  It felt good leading up to her birthday.  My heart felt warm, feeling loved and supported by my community, friends and family. 

And now I feel like I am slipping back down.  Back down the mud slide.  Grief has a funny way of doing that to you.  The emotional roller coaster.  It really does exist. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

One Year Ago on March 6th

One year ago today, March 6th, Abby was transferred to Children's Hospital Boston.  Memories are taking over my mind.  I remember how Roberto and I were so thrilled that Abby was headed to CHB.  We felt so blessed and fortunate that we had this opportunity for our family.  (Just recently we received the news that his health insurance costs were increasing.  To save money, we could opt out of our existing plan and choose a less expensive one with a smaller network of doctors or stay with our current plan for an increase of $120 per month.  With the less expensive plan, we would lose the ability to have access to doctors at CHB, Umass Memorial and BWH.  I was like, "No Way".  We needed all three of those hospitals last year and since we don't have the ability to look into a crystal ball to forsee our future, there is no way I am giving them up.  NO way.)

Each morning as I rise, I am reminded that Abby isn't here.  There is a five second refuge and then the memories of her absence trickle in.  Strangely, the mornings feel like they did one year ago.  Bright as birds start to softly chirp.  The smell of coffee brewing.  Roberto always had the coffee going to welcome my mom.  The mornings feel a bit warmer.  And the days are getting just a tad bit longer.

We were given such hope one year ago.  Prior to being admitted in CHB, Abby had her scope done to see the extent of her tracheomalaysia and she was given a really positive report.  I have an album I created on shutterfly that outlines Abby's days at the hospital and I've been turning the pages to match the current date.  Abby was so stinking cute!  She was loved by everyone who took care of her.

I often feel guilt of not being more present at the hospital with Abby.  My arms were stretched to the max.  I was recovering from the c-section.  My baby was in a NICU.  I had a child in kindergarten and two at home during the day.  My husband was back to work.  Thank GOD for my mom who was there for us day in and day out to babysit, clean and do laundry duty.  Thank GOD I had my sister-in-laws and niece come and help me the weekend before Abby was born to stock my freezer with meals.  We spent the day making chicken, port tenderloins, quiches, pot pies, etc.  Those meals carried us thru a good two to three months. Thank GOD I had my SIL and nieces available to watch the kids so we could go to the hospital and be with Abby.  Not to mention, thank GOD I was able to drive by myself one week after my c-section. 

Sometimes, in my deepest sorrow, the gifts that we have received as a result of all this aren't enough.  They will never be enough.  I still wasn't able to be at the hospital enough to be with Abby.  I still didn't get to hold her enough.  To change enough diapers.  To feed her enough.  To kiss her enough.  To sing to her enough.  It was and never will be enough in my heart. 

I remember arriving home from the hospital on March 6, 2012.  I was exhausted.  Emotionally.  Physically.  Mentally.  I vaguely remember having dinner with Natalie (my niece who was watching our kids) and Tony (her man), my  mom and Roberto.  I remember excusing myself after eating and going to bed.  I remember crying myself to sleep while begging God.  I begged him, "I WANT HER.  I WILL DO ANYTHING.  PLEASE LET ME HAVE HER.  I CAN'T BURY A BABY, SO PLEASE LET ME HAVE HER".

I guess HE said NO.  :( 


It was easy for me to go to the place where I felt like I was being punished by God soon after Abby died.  That he was mad at me and was getting back at me for all of my wrong doings in my life.  But God is a loving God and I have found ways to receive Abby's passing as fruitful instead of barren. 

As a result, my relationship with My Heavenly Father is definitely stronger.  I could have walked away and said screw you.  I'm outta here!  But instead I thank God.  I praise HIM in this storm.  Maybe not everyday, but I am trying.  I am finally allowing myself to get real with God.  To get raw.  And HE still loves Me.  Quite the God!