Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Trip to the Zoo





   Saturday afternoon my sister, niece, mother and I took a trip to the local zoo.  We thought it would be good to get out and enjoy the sunshine together and the much needed girl time.  We loaded up the wagon in the back of my car and took off.  We got to the zoo with about an hour and a half to spend strolling around looking at the animals. 
      We got to the zoo and I was so happy to go wander around the zoo with my sweet Adleigh and show her the giraffes she had been waiting to see.  She had been telling me she was going to feed them and ride a baby one and how she wanted one at her house.
 
     As we walked toward the ticket booth, Adleigh decided she wanted to walk and didn't want me to pull her in the wagon, so I hurried back to my car with it, so I wasn't stuck pulling an empty wagon.  That's when it hit me.  There were strollers and babies everywhere.  I'd never have the chance to take Jake to the zoo.  I'd never get to watch his eyes light up in wonder at the animals.  I couldn't help but have a mini breakdown... my eyes filled up with tears and I just cried as I walked back to my car.  Who knew that something so normal to everyone else could affect a mommy so badly.  I loaded up the wagon, regained my composure and returned to the ticket booth.  After all, there were giraffes to see and duckies to feed.  For the rest of the trip around the zoo, it seemed all I noticed were the strollers, and people with babies, it was like we were following them... everywhere I looked there they were.  And to make matters worse, they all seemed to be baby boys.  I tried to be happy for the trip, and managed to hold back the tears... it was after we left that I realized how sad I was.  It had been a couple of weeks since I had felt so utterly sad and depressed.  

  As I drove my sister who was sitting in my passenger seat noticed I was troubled.  She asked if I was ok and said I looked like I was going to cry.  She had no clue how right she was.    Later that night after dinner with the family at our local mexican restaurant Posado's, I came home and lost it.  I layed in my bed looking at pictures of my angel, touching his sweet hands and feet on the porcelain mold the nurses made for me and thinking how horribly unfair it is that I don't have my baby boy.  That my baby is in Heaven.  I wondered why people who in my mind don't deserve kids,(people who do drugs, people who abuse their kids),  have happy healthy babies and mine passed away.  All I could do was cry.  I unwrapped Jake's stuffed lamb, layed out the blanket he was placed in and just snuggled it as close to me as possible... it's all I have that was close to him.  Eventually the crying stopped and I went to bed... just as sad.. missing my baby boy... when I awoke the next morning my face showed the pain from the night before.  My  eyes were so swollen they wouldn't open but about halfway... that's about how I felt as well... as if I was half there... half of me is here on Earth and the other half is in Heaven with Jake. I Love him so very much and miss him like crazy every single day.  
I can only imagine how joyous the day will be when we are together again in Heaven and look forward to that day.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Blessings

        When parents lose a child, most would think the parent would lose confidence in God, in the blessings he bestows on them every day.  While this may be true for some, it's the opposite for many.      

        After Jake passed away a little over two months ago... I began noticing what exactly the Lord had given me that I was thankful for.  I am blessed to have an amazing five year old, a great, supportive , loving family, a car that works, a great attorney to handle my legal proceedings.  I am greatly blessed to have had a hometown funeral home who so generously only charged me for the opening and closing of Jake's grave and a couple of other small things, and who made sure every detail was as it should be.                          
                                                            
       Sometimes these things don't compare to Jake and what a blessing it would be to have him with me... to have had him in my life.  Don't get me wrong I still think of my angel as a blessing, just a different type.  I perhaps received one of several huge blessings yesterday.  I have been wondering about certain bills that I acquired during my adventure to loss that I hadn't received yet.  I telephoned one of the places, and told the customer service rep that it had been two months or more and I hadn't yet received a bill.  She stated that for a reason unknown to her, my bill had been paid, in full.  I would owe that organization nothing.  I was in shock and still am, honestly.  This is amazing. 

       This is the Lord at work in my life for sure.  The Lord knows what I can handle, he knows that this would uplift my heart and remind me that he is ever present.  He's not to be forgotten and he hasn't forgotten about me. I know there are some who don't believe in God and can chalk up anything said about him to some other phenomenom.  I'm here to tell you that God is great and real and so alive and ready to bless you and bring great peace to your life.  He wants to show you just how much he loves you.  It always makes me feel a little better, when I'm feeling picked on, like i'm the only lady ever to lose my child and that I should still have him safely inside... waiting patiently for June, that God gave his only son to die for ME and YOU!  God gave his son willingly.. I couldn't have given my son up for someone else... I don't think that is normal human nature.  We as mommies and daddies love our children!

Know that I am always thinking about and praying for all other parents who have been through the pain of stillbirth and all other baby loss parents as well.

Have a great Thursday night!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Strong Enough

Every day is different for me.  Most days I feel ok.. strong enough to face the day.  However for the days that I don't feel quite so strong... I know the Lord is always beside me and is Strong Enough.

This song fits well into my life and I'm sure many other parents who are grieving.  I know of many parents who are in horrible situations right now.  Each of you are in my prayers...  to the parents of the little boy who shot himself accidentally with his mother's service weapon... to the parents of the boy killed in Tyler today when hit on his bicycle by a car... to the momma and daddy who don't know what the next couple of weeks will bring for your sweet angel... my heart hurts for you.



This song has touched my heart more than one would expect.  I had heard it many times before, but it really didn't have such a huge meaning... until I was laying in my hospital room, waiting for my body to change.. waiting for Jake to be born, knowing he'd be born still.  I had KLOVE turned on, on my phone, and this song came on.  It was perfect.  In that moment and still now I know that I don't always have to be strong enough, but the Lord can be strong enough for both of us.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Never alone

This morning I have been feeling ill and trying to relax in bed some before our day gets busy.  As I've sat here I read the blog  a relative of a friend has began as she journeys through grief after losing her 20 year old son in a horrible accident.  Loss and death aren't ever easy. I was reminded of my sweet baby boy and how much I miss him.  I turned to my Bible for comfort and was going to look in the index for a passage... I opened it, and there, my fingers were where God wanted them.  Already circled in my Bible were the words I needed to read.

               1 Corinthians 15:58

"Therefore,  my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. "

To me, this is the Lord telling me that he knows I am in pain, but not to let this move my faith.  He wants me to work for him,  grow even closer, know his word inside and out.  Lord I am willing. Lord move me!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sending our Love to You

Blue, Yellow and Pink Heart Divider

Two months ago yesterday, my son Jake, went to Heaven after being born still.  His big brother Payton, his mimi and I drove out to the cemetery and released four balloons for him.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures.

Green Heart DividerGreen Heart Divider

My sweet Jake is so very special to everyone!

 Green and White Heart SquareBlue Scribble HeartGreen and White Heart Square

I can't wait for Jake's headstone to be placed there for him.
 Green Scribble HeartBlue Scribble HeartBright Polka Dot HeartBlue Scribble HeartGreen Scribble Heart
Payton all on his very own kissed his balloon before he let it fly to Heaven to see Jake. <3 He's so sweet and loves his baby brother so very much!  Payton saw this Spiderman balloon at the store and decided this is the one Jake needed from him... so that is what he got <3

After Payton sent Jake kisses, I thought his mommy should send him some too!
Finally it was momma's turn to release the balloons I had chosen for Jake.

All of mommy's love floating to my angel in Heaven


Pink White Heart SquarePink White Heart SquarePink White Heart SquarePink White Heart Square

This last picture is very beautiful to me... Jake's tiny grave is right below the center cross, just outside of the cemetery : )

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jake's Funeral

      When I was released from the hospital two months ago, I came home and was expected to rest and recoup from all of the stress and trauma of losing my baby boy.  But, first I had to plan his funeral.  I had started doing this from my hospital room the night he was born... but was nowhere near through.  I had to choose where he would be buried... who would officiate... what type of flowers would cover his tiny casket.  All I remember is the great hassle it all seemed to be. 

      Jake's funeral was on a Thursday.  We went to order Jake's casket spray and a standing floral arrangement from a florist here in our hometown the Monday beforehand.  The florist was swamped as it was the day before Valentine's day.  I managed to hold my emotions until the ladies asked what we needed and I sadly had to tell her I needed to order flowers for my son's funeral.  I started bawling.  The ladies asked me what I would like.  I told her I was thinking a standing heart spray and a small white spray with ribbon intertwined for his casket.  The ladies went and retrieved  a few flowers from her cooler... daisies, a couple of droopy, semi - wilted yellow roses and some sort of greenery.  They were not pretty and the way the lady was arranging them did not appeal to me.  I wanted white roses and blue hydrangas, which the lady told me I couldn't have because they wilted fast and wouldn't last in an arrangement.  I was so sad... my baby boy deserved more than droopy flowers that were not nice shades... he deserved the best.  I refused to settle for less than the best.  We left the flower shop very sad but determined to have the best and most beautiful flowers for our angel.  We drove to the next town over, and paid a visit to the lady who made the floral arrangements for my sister's wedding.  This lady was so very sweet and helpful... she listened to every single want I had... she didn't mind at all the tears that fell while I looked through each book that she had with every possible arrangement and spray.  The florist contacted her wholesaler to make sure that the most beautiful flowers were delivered to her for my baby's funeral.  I was touched that she cared so much.  The sweet lady even volunteered to attach a stuffed animal to the arrangement and add the special ribbon I wanted... all I had to do was bring them to her.  On the day of Jake's funeral, so that his flowers would not wilt, she opened her shop early and attached each beautiful flower one by one and delivered them to our funeral home.  I will be forever grateful to her for this.  She made this situation so much better.  I was at peace that at least this detail of this hard situation was finally right and I got what I felt Jake deserved. 
    
  Although, the flowers were done, there was much left to be done.  After we left the florist, I had a meeting with the funeral director.  I have nothing but kind words to say about our local funeral home!!  I had gone to school with his daughter and son, and when my mother called him,  he knew exactly who we were.  We were told that they provide the casket and funeral service free of charge.  We had to pay only for the opening and closing of his grave and some other miscellaneous expenses.  The nurses in my hospital were shocked, nobody there in Houston even offers the parents anything like that.  When you come to East Texas though, everyone here treats everyone like family.  There were many questions to be answered.  I had to decide which music to be played... answer questions for Jake's death certificate... decide how I wanted the program to read.  It was very hard being in the funeral home, knowing Jake was there and not be able to see him.  I was so close yet so far away from him.  It was absolutely horrible.  After leaving the funeral home I contacted the preacher whom I decided I wanted to officiate over Jake's funeral.  He was more than happy to do it for me, and we made an appointment to meet at the cemetery to decide where Jake's final resting place would be.
    
 Upon arrival at the cemetery the next day, our preacher stood in the midst of many headstones and we bowed our heads and prayed.  This was so very touching.  It was so nice of him to pray for our strength and comfort during these times.  My great grandmother and other family and dear friends are buried there.. so I had decided I wanted if possible to have Jake buried near them.  I was elated when my preacher opened his book and there was an open plot next to my great grandmother.  Un-beknownst to me, in the state of Texas however, plots must be 4 feet apart... and whoever placed the headstone to the right of my great grandmother placed it 3 ft 8 inches... making it impossible for Jake to be placed next to her.  I was soooo incredibly sad.  I just stood there in the rain crying.  My preacher, then decided he knew where I should put Jake and began telling me how there were two spaces there, and he knew I'd want to be buried next to Jake... even if I moved to Washington this would always be my hometown... this however is not what I wanted.  I wanted to feel like Jake was next to our family and was being taken care of... even though I know he's in Heaven.  I didn't want someone else trying to hassle me, tell me what I felt, what I wanted... I just wanted someone to listen to me.  Someone to say, Ok Jessica, you want your son by your family, please put him there.  After about 30 minutes, we again looked at the book that listed the open plots, and I found one two spots away from my great-grandmother... I knew this is where I would put Jake.  And, AGAIN, I was hassled... my preacher began spouting out things about how it would be difficult to get a tractor in there...and how he would run over people... and on and on... and again how I would regret this when I am older and it would be too late.  I finally broke down... was crying yet again and told him, that when I am old and die... I won't know where I am buried... I'll be in Heaven... and if my family does decide to bury me there where Jake is, at least i'll be in the same cemetery he is.  Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be hassled so and have something that should've been relatively simple, turn into such a fiasco.
      
    The next day Thursday was Jake's funeral.  I had went earlier in the week and bought a nice black dress and heels for the occasion.  I'm not sure what all happened the morning of the funeral anymore.  All I remember is Jake's funeral started at 11am and I was still in my pajamas about 10:30.  I remember thinking that maybe if I didn't get dressed... it wouldn't happen... I wouldn't have to bury my son.  I will never forget that feeling of utter despair.  I remember how bad every single muscle in my body felt, and how moving one foot in front of the other was so very hard.  We finally made it out of our house and drove to the cemetery about 10:45.  I was so very afraid we would be late.  I remember making the comment... " Oh GREAT, we're going to be late to my own son's funeral."  To say I was emotional would be saying the least.  We weren't late.  We arrived right at 11am.  My close friends and family were already at the church and greeted me with a love I can't explain.  It was comforting to see all of these people who are so dear to me, there for Jake.  There were even people there I didn't know at the time.  Two ladies later identified as leaders in my sister's church had driven 30+ miles to attend Jake's funeral and deliver a book of devotions to me.
                 In the end, despite all of the hassle ,his funeral was beautiful. My preacher said everything I needed to hear.  I hardly remember looking at his face at all... I just remember staring at Jake's casket, wishing I could see him, hold him, kiss him just one more time and crying like i'd never cried before.  Instead of my sweet Angel boy I had a little lamb wearing his hat and receiving blanket... listening to songs I would have loved to have him hear in person, instead of from Heaven. 


2 Months down... forever to go

Pink and White Butterfly       Purple and Yellow Butterfly
Yellow and Blue ButterflyPolka Dot Number TwoGreen and Yellow Butterfly

Two months ago today at 10:26pm, Jake would have been two months old. 

Two months ago I was dreading that moment when my sweet baby, whom I had carried joyfully inside me for close to 24 weeks would be born.  I was dreading the end. 

Two months ago I began this journey through never ending grief.

Today Jake's big brother, mimi and I will release balloons in his honor and imagine where they go.  We like to think that Jake plucks them out of the sky from Heaven. : )
Heart Balloon

Not a day goes by that Jake isn't the first person I think of when I wake up and the last person I think about when I go to bed at night.  It's almost as if everyday when I wake up in the back of my mind I hope that this is all a really bad nightmare and I'll wake up and he'll be here safe and sound with me.  Sadly, everday my reality is still true... there's no waking up from this nightmare.  My sweet Jake is gone.  Soon I will blog about my experience of trying to plan Jake's funeral... I feel very compelled to do so. 



We miss our angel so very much!
Baby Angel
Happy 2 Month Angelversary baby boy.
Pink Hand Drawn Scribble HeartHeart Hugs Clip ArtBlue Scribble Heart

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Easter!

Blue and Green FlowerBlue Easter EggPastel Easter EggYellow Easter Egg



Happy Easter to all of the other
Mommies and Daddies
to
Precious
Angels
Pink Flower Swirl

This will be my first official holiday without Jake.  I think Payton and I will take him some pretty Easter Lilys to put by his graveside.  Earlier last month we took a small blue wooden Easter bunny and a pinwheel... then later added some Easter eggs.  I know Easter is far from being about eggs and bunnies and such... that the Lord died for our sins and rose again.  I'm quite certain Jake knows this, since he is in Heaven.  But he is still a baby to me and my angel deserves a little bit of the Easter other kids enjoy too. :)

Maybe they have a special real Easter Bunny in heaven for the Angels
Bunny Angel

I miss my baby boy so very much.  I hate that for my sweet Angel's first Easter - we have to spend it apart... never in a million years did I dream this would be the way things would be.
Easter Chick Clip Art

Just remember that although we are sad because our angels are in Heaven... the Lord lost his son too... gave him willingly, for our sins, so that we may be saved.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


Much Love to each of you on this Good Friday, Easter Weekend.


I Love You
Jacob Austin !

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Expectations

 

       Everyone expects the best most of the time... no one thinks that any bad will ever come to them.  It is with a sad heart that I say I am one of those people who is used to watching other people's misfortune and praising the Lord it wasn't me. I could pray for that person or family and volunteer to do whatever they may have needed.  It wasn't until I began having a problematic abusive marriage and was hospitalized after my water broke early with Jake that I realized that sometimes expectations aren't met. 

       Great expectations seem like the devil to someone who is in pain.  Even while I was hospitalized I tried to keep my good expectations, that somehow my situation would turn around... that my sweet Jake would be ok, and I would have a happy healthy baby boy.  I expected the Lord to do as I wanted him to, even though I prayed for his will to be done.  I expected my husband to turn into a better man than he was and care for his son and wife.  I don't think my expectations were too much.  I don't think it was more than the Lord was willing to do.  I don't feel that I was unworthy of a sweet baby boy and husband who loved me.  I believe that even though the Lord knew I'd be in pain, he knew what he had planned for my life.  He knew that after the loss of my son I would draw even closer to him. 

        I am very much an optimist in all situations.  I will always look for the good in situations before I look for the bad.  I however will not say that after my expectations for the perfect life and family have not been met just yet... that it is not harder to find good in all situations.  It is very much harder to now not look at what used to be wonderful and wonder if something bad may happen.  I guess that this is in self-defense.. if you look for even the slightest possiblity of a problem... of something to go wrong, you will already have a plan in place for when and if it does go wrong. 

     I know the Lord has a plan in place for when things go wrong or don't meet my expectations.  I just have to keep my faith in the Lord and know that eventually all will be right, even when they feel so incredibly wrong.