Thursday, September 30, 2010

Handmade Cards from the Heart!

Today was a vacation day for me, as I have 18 to use before the end of the year. I was supposed to be enjoy these vacation days with my son, but that won't be the case. Instead of sitting and wallowing in my sorrow, I have decided to continue to push forward, by doing things in honor of Wyatt.

I decided that since the weather was stormy and windy today, that it would be a great day to work on my newest endevor, "Handmade Cards from the Heart!". I have decided that I will use up all of the store bought cards I have around the house, and then never again buy a card. I will be making all my cards from that point on.

Today, my focus was on BLM cards. I made a total of ten cards today and of course, I photographed them so everyone could take a peak.

Each card was made with love from the heart. I have decided that I will be including a card, like these, in each of the "Angel Care Packages" that I make for the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania.

On the back of each card, I have added a simple and very plain symbol to show that I created each card. If you have received a handmade card from me in the past, you probably noticed the symbol on there also. I will continue to use this symbol for every card that is made.

Of course, I have my favorite! The favorite card was made with one BLM in mind, for I thought of her little girl the entire time I made the card. This card had a lot of love put into it and I know that when the BLM receives it, she will appreciate it!

So, that is what I did with my first vacation day taken after the loss of my son, Wyatt James. I currently have 17 vacation days left, with the next one being taken tomorrow. I plan to continue to do something in honor of my son on each of the vacation days I have this year. For, I would have been spending time holding him, playing with him, teaching him, and loving him if he was with me on this Earth right now.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Memorial and An Angel Care Package

The hospital where Wyatt was diagnosed with HLHS and delivered held a memorial service today to honor all of the children who were lost this year. We received an invitation for the service a few weeks back and we decided it would be something nice to do with our parents.

We traveled up to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) today. This was the first time we had been back to the hospital (or even back to the area) since we left on Monday, June 7. I thought it was going to be difficult to return to the building where I said goodbye to my son. But oddly it felt peaceful, I felt as though I was returning home.

The service for the children was beautiful and very well coordinated. A few songs were sung and poems read. Then photos of each child were displayed in a slide show and each name was read. Most mothers and fathers were crying. Brian and I were fighting back tears, but neither of us cried. Of course, we had Cheeky was there with us to help us stay strong.

One of the slides in the beginning of the show caught my attention. The slide said, "The mention of my child's name may bring tears to my eyes by it never fails to bring music to my ears." This slide couldn't be more true. Just because my son is no longer with us, doesn't mean his name shouldn't be spoken. I love to hear family and friends speak of him and include him.

Wyatt's photo was displayed during the service and his name was read aloud. It was such an honor to see my son's photo displayed for everyone to see. Upon waiting to hear his name, my heart was racing. I was so nervous for some odd reason. It was strange, but wonderful at the same time. Then she said it. Wyatt James McGrory. I took a picture and continued to sit there in awe over my son.

After the memorial, I was able to meet another BLM for whom I became friends with on FB after the loss of Wyatt. It was so wonderful to be able to meet her and her family in person, even if it was for just a short time.

Although the paperwork said that we shouldn't visit the floors after the memorial, Brian and I decided to visit anyway. We wanted to hand deliver the care package that I created. I put the finishing touches on the blanket this morning before rolling it up and placing it, with the teddy, in the pretty box. The box turned out so beautiful, I couldn't wait to deliver it.

I was so excited all day to deliver the box and we were finally going up to the SDU unit. It took us a few strolls through the hospital and visits to multiple floors before we remembered the right path to the floor. But we finally made it there.

Immediately we were greeted by Emily, a nurse from SDU. She wasn't one of my nurses while I was there, but I remembered her face. Then to my surprise, one of the other nurses remembered Brian and I. She was talking with Emily then she looked at us and said, "you both look so familiar." I responded by saying, "we were here in June for Wyatt." She immediately said, "you stayed in room 7, right, I remember you." It was Hailey.

Emily then took us to the front desk and to my surprise, I saw another familiar face. Leila, the nurse who was in the room to assist with the delivery of Wyatt was there in front of me. She was the first to hold Wyatt, the one who cleaned Wyatt, and the one who handed me my son. I couldn't believe that she was the one who would be receiving my first "Angel Care Package".

We talked about Wyatt and how we were there for the memorial. Both nurses were please to see that Brian and I were doing so well. They commended us both for being able to return to the hospital and even more, for being able to return to the SDU floor.

We walked right passed the room where I last said goodbye to Wyatt. I felt a warm feeling move through me and I realized that it was a happy feeling. I asked the nurses if they receive a lot of care packages like the one I had delivered and they responded no. I told them that I would be making more blankets and would bring them up in December.

Then I handed the "Angel Care Package" to Leila and asked her to please give it to a family who sadly has to experience the same loss that we did. I explained that the blanket and teddy were gender neutral, so it could go to either a little boy or girl.

After walking out of the SDU unit, I felt happy. Although I had just returned to the same floor where my life was changed forever on June 6, I had just done something so very special. Something that many others can't fathom. I just went back and stood in front of the same room where I had placed my son back into his bed to be wheeled away from me only a few weeks ago. But, I did it to provide another family with something that they will be able to hold on to forever, an "Angel Care Package".

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Cherished Award

Today, after returning home from work, I logged into the computer and viewed Wyatt's Whisper. This is something I do everyday. I enjoy looking at Wyatt's blog over and over again. I appreciate the comments that other BLMs and friends leave on each post.

Today was exceptionally special. As I reviewed the last few comments, I came across one that said:

"Check out my blog...I just gave you an award. =)"

Of course I was so excited. I immediately went out to Amazing Mikayla Grace to view the award that was given by Melissa to Wyatt's Whisper. "One Lovely Blog Award" was the name of the award and it was so beautiful.

I enjoy writing in memory of our son, Wyatt James. To know that others appreciate Wyatt's Whisper this much means the world to me. Without Wyatt's Whisper, I don't know how I would have made it through the past "almost" 4 months. I needed an avenue to vent. I still need an avenue to vent.

In addition, I have found so many other wonderful mothers, who have experienced the same tragic, life changing event that I experienced. We have formed a bond that no one else knows unless they are part of "The Club", the sad, life changing club.

By excepting the award, I agreed to follow the simple rules, which are listed below:

1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link.

2. Pay it forward to 10 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they have been chosen.

I have hand selected the blogs for which I would like to award the "One Lovely Blog" award. And they are:

1. Sawyer's Heart
2. The Avery Diaries
3. In the beginning there was Genesis
4. Aidan, Baby of Mine
5. My Heart Song
6. Hailey's Journey with HLHS
7. Big Love, Big Acceptance - or so I say
8. Eli's Valley
9. A garden for butterflies
10. Cora's Story

And here is the award:

If you have been selected, please continue this award by following the rules above. I enjoy reading and following each of your blogs. You each have inspired me is so many ways. Much love to all.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Our Gift of Four Hearts

I just can't believe it.... While standing on either side of the screen door, Brian and I were having a brief conversation about finding four leaf clovers. We both discussed the fact that we had never in our lives found one. Brian went on to say that he always looks for one but never finds it.

After the conversation, I continued back to the stove to finish cooking the sausages and spaghetti. Brian went back out to the yard in search of his clover.

Not even two minutes later, the screen door opened and in came Brian. As he walked in my direction, I realized he was holding his hand as if he was carrying the most delicate creation ever. Inside of his hand was a gift. A beautiful, bright green four leaf clover.

I couldn't believe it. We both looked at each other, holding back tears. We knew where it came from. I immediately said, "Guess this will be my reminder photo for today!" Brian said, "I asked Wyatt to allow me to find Mommy a four leaf clover."

Yet again, our son ensured we were both aware that he loves us by sending us a little gift.

I quickly began photographing the clover. That is when I noticed the four hearts. I never really looked at a clover so closely before. Did you know that each clover is in the shape of a heart?

And there in front of me sat four perfectly shaped hearts, all attached to one another. All of them connected perfectly into a beautiful four leaf clover. A wonderful sight for Wyatt to send to us. For we know that one heart must develop to perfection, as it is so delicate, and now we are receiving four. Such a gift.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Not a Turtle

I thought I was getting used to that heart wrenching question. The one that grabs my heart and squeezes until I feel like I am going to collapse. But I was wrong. That ugly question presented itself to me again today, but in a different form. This time it wasn't "How's the baby?", it was "What did you have?"

One would think that would be an easier question, as the answer is as simple as two words, "a boy". But its not easier. It is harder. I was caught off guard. I hadn't been asked the question in that form yet. And as I was fighting with what to say, how to say it, and my physical demeanor, the vision was clear.

The vision of the first time I looked down to see his little face. His perfect little nose and his puffy little "look like me" cheeks. The first time I saw my son, the baby that I had hoped for since I was a little girl. The baby that was the perfect mix of his daddy and his mommy.

As the vision was quick to come, it was slow to leave. It stayed with me even after I left the corner of the hallway where it all took place. I know I provided the answer of "a boy", but I didn't allow time to talk about him, to tell of his name, or to brag of him as most parents would do. I quickly turned and walked away, not even thanking the individual for asking.

After, I continued to see the vision of the soft, untouched skin, the petite little face, and the baby who was the perfect son. I tried to refocus, but I couldn't. I allowed the vision, the question, to get the best of me. But did it?

It did as I was in tears and sat at my desk praying to God to give him back to me. But maybe the vision and the question allowed for something more. Maybe it made me realize that I can't continue have a shell built around me on the outside to protect the insides. I don't need to rely on a shell to act as my backbone. I am not a turtle.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Poem

Today was one of those emotional roller coaster days. One of those days where I am happy one minute, sad the next, then side tracked, but right back to sad. There were a few times today that I found myself wanting to just sit and cry, for no reason other than I miss my baby.

I watched the clock today at work, I couldn't wait until it was over. I needed to get out so I could have time to understand my feelings. I drove to the park, went for a walk, then drove home. On the way home, I began to understand the feelings. I thought to myself, it is okay to feel on the verge of tears every now and then.

You see, for the past three weeks, I have been so strong. I have made it through every day without tears. I still think of him every moment of the day. I still miss him more than ever. I still want him with me and wish I could hold him, kiss him, rock him, comfort him.

But the realization is, I can't. I am stuck here and he is there. I was watching TV this week, and I remember hearing someone say "Life is nothing more than a journey between two places". I don't remember what show it was from or anything, I just recall hearing it. I immediately related to the statement and I even referenced it today in a conversation. I thought of that same statement on my drive home. I thought about how I could incorporate both places into my journey, my life.

I have joined this group on FB called Journey Through the Bible. Each day another passage of the Bible is explored and we are asked to leave comments regarding the passage.

Today the passage was: Genesis 1:6-13
6 And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water." 7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day. 9 And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

... and this was my comment - " So, I have been trying to understand the Bible more since the loss of my baby in June. Here is my comment on this passage -
If God created the sky, the waters and the land, then why did he have to position land so far from Heaven? Why do we feel so disconnected from Heaven and so far away? Why couldn't he have placed a stairway from the land to the sky so I could visit my baby?"

I received several FB messages and a few likes with regards to my comment. But one message that I received was perfect for the day I was having. It brought me to tears when I read it, as I realized that I will have the chance to see my baby again one day. The message was a poem, the same poem I listed below:

~~~~Safe in the Father’s Arms~~~~

Far away from fear and death
Do my children play;
Never to know the sting of sin
On their spotless soul;
Never to know a single tear
Nor stab of searing pain.

In the Father’s arms are they,
His face do they behold.
In arms of tender comfort
They rest in loving cheer;
Salty taste of tears
Never to crease their face;
Not burnt by scorching sun
Nor chilled by thunderous storms.
Untouched by earthly shadows
And haunting pangs of night,
They giggle in golden warmth
And snuggle in contented glee.

Lifted higher than dreams can go,
They soar above
The failings of earth
And thrive in the love
Of the Father
Whose tender grace sparkles
And wondrous ways smile
With endless delight.

Yet my arms feel empty.
With painful chest
I long to hold them
To my breast;
To see their smiling faces
And ease my painful fears.
Yet this I know:
They are safe
In the Master’s care.
And I shall see them face to face
And hold them when I’m there.

They’ve breezed their way to Paradise.
How smooth their getting there;
So free from blame and shame.
More pain than them I’ve known,
Yet our destiny’s the same.
Their journey there was easy;
Long and hard is mine.
But whether quick or long,
We will meet again.

Till then, my loves, rest easy.
Behold his face and rejoice
Without a single fear.
I shall come to you some day
And you shall dry my tears,
As I weep in joy
To see your cheery face.
And even now at times
I think I hear your giggles,
But rest, my loves, in his arms,
Till I am with you there.

Although my child is no longer in this place with me, I know he is in a better place. This poem says it all. He never had to live in the place I am living, feel hurt or pain. He was chosen to live in the other place, the place of peace and happiness. There are days that I find it hard to remember that he is at peace, for I am in so much pain that I overlook his peacefulness. Today was one of those days but in the end I was reminded and I can understand.

~~~~ Many thanks to Robert Smith ~~~~

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wyatt's Wishes Makes First Appearance

The weather outside today was cold and dreary, but my heart was filled with warmth and sunshine. Today was one of the greatest days since June 6. Today, family and friends gathered together to walk in memory of our little Wyatt.

That's right, we came together and formed a team called Wyatt's Wishes. This was the first time that Wyatt's Wishes went public. We walked today to support the American Heart Association. What could be better to support for our first walk? Wyatt grew his wings due to a heart condition, so supporting the American Heart Association seemed fitting.

Prior to the walk, the team raised a total of $655.00, which was donated to the American Heart Association in Wyatt's name. But get this, my employer will be matching this donation. Therefore, $1310.00 will be donated to the Heart Association.

To display our team name during the walk, we had t-shirts printed. My sister, the artist that she is, drew the design. Then my mother-in-law printed the shirts. They turned out beautiful.

Since Wyatt couldn't be with us, I decided that we would bring his monkey. Brian brought Wyatt this monkey at the hospital. This little guy was at Wyatt's side the entire hospital stay. It was only right to bring Cheeky Monkey with us on the walk.

The morning was very wet and cold. Everyone met up and received their shirt. We then headed over to start the walk. Upon waiting for the walk to begin, the rain stopped. It was still damp, but it wasn't raining. Although it was wet and cold, no one complained once. Everyone was happy to be there to show their support for our little angel.

Something about this day made it feel as though Wyatt was right there with us. In a way, it felt like Wyatt was right in my arms. Today was one of the very few "happy days" since the beginning of the summer. The day was perfect except for the rain. But the way I see it, rain drops are just tear drops from Heaven.

The walk began and I was in awe. It was so great to see everyone so happy to walk for Wyatt. Friends, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins came out to walk with Brian and I. It was a sea of baby blue and it was beautiful.
We basically walked as a team. There were several little ones so we split up a few times, but ultimately we came back together.

As we were nearing the end, we looped around a little park and I noticed a beautiful waterfall. As I stood there looking at the little waterfall, I felt as though the whole world froze. I heard nothing but the sound of the water flowing down the rocks. That is when I felt my baby there, as if he were talking to me. It was as though he was saying, "Mommy, you see, you have to pay attention to the small things in life, you have to listen and you will understand. I am with you ALWAYS and I love you." He was there. My Wyatt was there with all of us today. He was looking down on us and he saw just how much love his entire family has for him.
Just a few minutes later Wyatt's Wishes finished our first 5K walk. It was amazing. Everyone came together on a rainy and cold morning to remember one little boy. A little boy who was too perfect for this side of life's journey. A little boy who is now on the other side of life's journey as our little angel!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Three Month Angelversary!

Today marked three months since I delivered our little boy. He wasn't supposed to be here until 8/19, but he came on my 30th birthday. The delivery was different than most because I was delivering an angel.

I spent many years watching the television show Touched by an Angel, but I never thought I would be able to deliver an angel, hold him, and love him so very much.

Since the day I had to say goodbye to my perfect angel, I have wanted to do something special for him. Today we did it. To celebrate Wyatt's three month angelversary, we purchased three balloons to release to him. Two blue and a green.

After shopping during the day with my mom, I rushed home as I noticed the sun was setting. I made it just in time. Brian and I headed to a corn field just past our house to capture the sunset.

It was perfect.

Wyatt's 3 Month Angelversary Balloons!

Brian making sure the balloons were positioned perfectly!

A proud Daddy!

A Mommy wishing she could fly like the balloons to be with her son.

Here you go my child, enjoy!

I don't ever want to let go!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

How's the Baby?

Returning to work. It's hard for all new moms. A new routine, saying goodbye to all those days in the house with the baby, leaving the baby with someone else to watch, and returning back to reality. But to a new mom without a baby on earth, it is even more difficult. There is still the new routine, just in a different sense. And although the baby isn't on earth, the baby is constantly in the mom's thoughts. But the new mom without the baby on earth has to learn to deal with the question of "How's the baby?"

That was me this past week. My first week back to work was exactly like I thought. Receiving the hello's and welcome back's, learning and understanding changes, and countless emails (1184 to be exact).

I made it through the first day, perfectly. I mean it was tough but I didn't have to fight with tears. Everyone welcomed me back with open arms, no one mentioned anything about the baby, and the day moved extremely fast. The second day was about the same.

The third day back was good but I happened to run into that one person. The person who means well but kicks you in the stomach at the same time. Yep, it happened. The three words that most moms can't wait to be asked. "How's the baby?"

As I said in a previous post, I wasn't going to plan for this question, how can you? I figured when I was asked it, I would just let the words come out of me. But that didn't happen. I was taken back by the question when I was asked. I suppose because I hadn't received the question the first two days back to work, so I figured I wasn't going to get it. I didn't know what to say. The question was asked of me only in passing, so I didn't have much time to figure out a response. So, I opened my mouth and out it came "He's okay."

After I said it, I couldn't believe that it was I had used as my response. I kept thinking, "He's okay", are you kidding me???? "He's okay"??? Then I heard the voice of understanding from next to me. The soft, kind voice confirmed that he is okay, just in a different sense. I explained that I just didn't know what to say and that is what came out. The same kind voice showed understanding and confirmed that it was okay.

A few hours went by and it was behind me. The moment I had dreaded since Wyatt was delivered was past me now. It would never have to be like that again, or so I thought.

The forth day went well. I started to get back into the swing of things and even went out to dinner. Then day five arrived. The dreaded question was not only presented to me once on day five, but twice. I came to the realization that the response I had provided before, wasn't going to work again. I need to figure out something else.

I decided I needed to just explain what I could. I explained that he baby, Wyatt, was sick with a severe heart condition. I explained our desperate attempts to help our child. And lastly, I described the pain of losing him.

As I said before, the person meant well in asking the question. It is a question every mother wants to be asked. But after the real explanation, it was quickly realized that the question was like alcohol to an open wound. The burning pain showed clear on my face.

I continued to feel that I must be strong for others. I must protect them and not let my situation hurt them or make them feel uncomfortable. However, I am starting to realize that I can't do that. I need to be strong for me. I need to protect myself from the alcohol burn. I need to do this so that the wound can begin to heal. To heal and form a scar that will remain forever.