Monday, April 1, 2013

Bay State Parent Magazine

Back in February, I shared with you all the amazing gift that a local business gave to my family, Balloons All Over.  (See Abby's Birthday Post on February 28th for a little reminder!).

My news quickly spread and reached an editor to a local parent magazine, BayStateParent.  Jennifer asked me if I would be willing to share Abby's story in the April issue, which was featuring babies.  I immediately went into a frenzy of joy!  I will take any chance to share my story of Abby with anyone who will listen.  All grieving parents want to speak about their loved ones as much as we can.  And as you all know, I try to do so with my blog and facebook.  But this opportunity is such an honor!

I write to release emotions.  To express my deepest thoughts.  To share my struggles and gifts.  I put it here with the intent that it goes somewhere to 'la la land'.  I never dreamed that it would be worthy to be featured in a magazine! 

Thank you God, for providing me a gift within my struggle.  I hope that sharing Abby's story will affect its readers in a way that you seek. Please use me as a means to show that not all fatal diagnoses have to be solved by medical interventions.  And that by carrying to term, we may have struggle and we may feel inconsolable pain but we will find solace because we not only choose life, but we choose You!   

Love never dies!!

In the magazine, two older blog posts will be featured.  One is a letter that I wrote to Abby shortly after she died.  The other is a more recent one, her first birthday.  Both are very special to me and dear to my heart.

The magazine is a free publication.  Our story can be found on page 28.

God Bless.

In like a LION, out like a LAMB

There is the old expression, March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.  I can honestly say that has happened for me.  Not in the traditional sense but more in the emotional sense.

My Lion was March 22nd.  Abby's Heaven Date.  Most of March 2013 was extremely painful.  So many moments.  So many memories re-lived.  From the date of her birth to the day she flew into heaven, it was a very tumultuous storm.  Some days I forced myself out of bed wanting to stay in it.  I would lie there for thirty minutes to an hour praying and remembering, sobbing and holding her little onesie that I sleep with.  This little onesie is the last piece of clothing that was on her little body when I had to let her body go and give her to her doctor for the very last time..... When I did get out of bed, I did the bare minimum around the house.  Laundry when I absolutely had to.  I didn't go grocery shopping.  I didn't cook for almost two weeks as Roberto often came home to cereal.   The kids were bouncing off the walls, mostly bored.  I could barely breathe.....

During March, I remembered her life with me.  And I did alot of wishing.  I was so mixed and torn.  I was greatful to have had three weeks with her.  Greatful that the kids were able to meet her.  Greatful to have been able to hold and sing to her.  But I was also feeling jipped.  Jipped of a future lost.

March 22nd.  Her Heaven Date.  Roberto took the day off.  To honor Little Miss Abby, we visited the cemetery and lit a candle for her on her table.  Roberto's niece, Melissa, came over and my in-laws, Roberto's sister, Marie & Dave brought dinner.  That meant the world to me and Roberto.  It was a nice distraction, since the day was so terribly difficult.  I did not have the heart to 'celebrate' her Heaven Date.  I just didn't feel like it was worth 'celebrating'.  There is nothing about that day that I want to ever be joyous about.  And I couldn't wait for it to be over......

The 'dreadful' day that all parents dread came for us and passed.  When I woke up on the 23rd, I was relieved.  Sooooo relieved.  The heaviness in my heart and fog somewhat lifted and I was able to breathe.  Since then, I can hear Spring blooming.  I can hear the birds chirping outside.  I can enjoy my kids' and their amazing smiles again. 

My Lamb was Easter.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  (Last Easter was just downright awful, since it was only two weeks following Abby's death).  But this year it was a nice surprise to be okay.  My prayers the night before Easter Day, I prayed to have the energy to get thru the day.  I asked God to give me the strength.  I just couldn't do it by myself.

And my prayers were answered.  Easter morning, we woke up and had our traditional egg hunt (indoors mind you!).  It is easier and warmer with little ones.  The kids received their Easter baskets left for them by the Easter Bunny (sssssh).   They all ate their candies and chocolate along with a piece of fruit and were ready to attend the 8am mass!

Of course, the Easter Bunny left one special little egg for our very own special little 'egg'!  Lucas was so sweet, showing it off to his friends later in the day!


After mass, we always head over to the cemetery to say 'hello'.  We always give the kids the option of either getting out of the car or staying in it.  But I made them get out this time.  I wanted them to see that the Easter Bunny had left Abby some chocolate and a little present too!  And when the saw that he did, they were so wonderfully excited for her!! 

 Whenever trying to get my kids to say 'cheese' for a picture, they always need to have some goofy time for silly faces!

Prior to leaving, Emilia, from time to time, likes to have some alone time with her sister.  She likes to talk to her.  I haven't a clue what she says though!  Even though they don't express it alot, our kids grieve too.

We had decided to stay home this year and invite our friends Erica and Adam with their three girls to come over for a non-traditional, kid friendly lunch!  Erica has three beautiful girls, one of which is a six week old!  I thought it would be really nice to be together this year.  It tickled my heart that I could pay-it-forward in Abby's memory.  My in-laws were so good to us when we had babies during various holidays, I wanted to extend that love that I received to my dear friend Erica.  I told her if the meal doesn't taste good, we could always order Chinese! 

I prepared a ham, potato salad and macaroni and cheese!  All from scratch, all of which that I made.  Pats on the back to me.  I know, it doesn't sound that fabulous, but all the kids ate it and all the adults ate it and there weren't much leftovers, so by my book, it was a hit!

We embraced Easter with a sense of peace.  And even though I didn't have Abby to share it with, it was one of my most favorite holidays.  And that says alot for me right now, since I find it difficult to 'stop and smell the roses'.  But look at those roses above.  How can I not smile?

I am wishing you a Blessed Easter Monday.  (I am Canadian after all!).

Pictures of Abby's Remembrance Day Celebration!

A warm thank you goes out to our niece, Natalie, who was our photographer that day!!  Thank you Natalie for capturing our moments while we were able to remain present for our sweet Abby.