Baby On Your Six



Wednesday, September 27, 2006

17 Weeks

Dear Aaron,

Hi sweetie! Happy 17 week Heaven Day baby boy! It has been another busy week. I was just thinking today that I wish I didn't have to be this busy, because if you were here I would be busy with you. I wouldn't have time for some of the things going on. Plus some of the things that are keeping me busy are things that I'm doing in memory of you - so I wouldn't have to do any of that either if you were still here with me.

On Sunday me, daddy, Great-Aunt Roxie, Tracey, and your cousins Sophie and Claire did a "Walk to Remember". It was really nice. Bigger than I thought it might be. I was sad at first to see just how many people have lost a baby. We did a lap around the lake. As we were walking Roxie said, "Aaron would like this lake". I agreed and said you would have loved feeding the ducks and watching them. I asked Sophie what she thought you would do and she said you'd try to dive into the lake. Tracey and I told her there was no way I would have let you do that :)

After the walk there was a candle service and when they called your name we took up a lit candle and placed it with others. Sophie and Claire came up with us and put ornaments the decorated for you on a tree. (Daddy and I snagged those ornaments at the end so we can have them for our tree this year). It was just a really nice day. The bonus was that the Eagles won later that afternoon. Now if only the Phillies could make it into the playoffs your daddy would be very happy!

On Monday, I am giving a brief speech at a golf tournament about "our story" so that means a lot more people will be finding out about you. I hope I can do it ok. I am still trying to think exactly what I want to say. I am quite sure I will come up with something though - I never am at a loss for words when I am talking about you.

I love you Aaron - Bigger than the whole wide world!
Mommy

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Friday, September 22, 2006

A Good (read: Difficult) Book

I stumbled across a book last week. While perusing ESPN.com on my lunchbreak like I do most days, I read an article by David Fleming. At the bottom, was the following paragraph:
David Fleming is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. His first book was "Noah's Rainbow: a Father's Emotional Journey from the Death of his Son to the Birth of his Daughter". His next book, based on the controversial 1925 NFL Pottsville Maroons (ESPN Books 2007) has been optioned as a movie by Sentinel Entertainment. Contact him at Dave.Fleming@espn3.com

My thought process, after it, went something like this: "Pottsville Maroons? I wonder if that's the team from Pottsville, PA that if I remember correctly, got screwed out of the NFL title one year..."

Then, what I read REALLY sank in. "Noah's Rainbow? Father's Emotional Journey? Death of his Son? I should click that link."

So, I did. And I found this book. I found the publisher's website, and was able to read the first chapter online for free. So...I did. And the emotional impact of reading about another father who lost a son they were anticipating so greatly hit me square in the chest, and I spent the rest of the day having a VERY difficult day at work. But I knew...I just knew that it was important for me to read this book. So, on my way home from work, I looked at 2 bookstores on the route home, and neither had the book, nor could they get it.

DrummerWife tried to find the book while shopping over the last weekend. No luck. So, we ordered it off of Amazon.com. It arrived Wednesday, and since, I've been painfully reading through it, about a chapter or two a day.

I say painfully, because it is very hard to read another man's story, when it is so similar to my own. It has forced me to address a lot of issues that I attempted to brush under the carpet, or pretend that I was OK with. When it is presented to me, in the guise of someone else's story, I can so easily see the people Mr. Fleming describes being representative of people who have appeared in, returned to, or have always been in my own life throughout this whole ordeal. I can read about an emotional response that Mr. Fleming had to the death of son, and know that there was at least one moment where I felt that exact same emotion. I can read him say how much of a help his (whole extended) family and friends have been to he and his wife, and know with absolute certainty, that he is describing my own family and friends. He says how helpful a particular nurse was while his wife recovered in the hospital, and I can pick out SEVERAL nurses who fit the description of Mr. Fleming's.

I've only completed chapter 4, and I have many yet to go, but this IS an important book for me to read. Even though I do so through tears. This is just an important book.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

16 Weeks

Dear Aaron,

Hey baby boy! Happy 16 week heaven day. I miss you! I asked people yesterday to tell me what they would do if they had just one more day with you. The responses were interesting to read. Daddy said one more day would hurt too much if he knew you would be gone again the next day. I agree. I couldn't go through that hurt again. I guess when I was thinking about just one more day, I think more about what I would want to do when I get to see you again. I hope that in heaven we don't have to sleep, because I'll tell you what - I think that it's going to just be a whirlwind of activity. Well I guess knowing that we have forever to do all the things we're missing out on will help us to keep pace.

I've decided what stings me the most is when I think about the people that didn't get to meet you. If I would have known that this would have been the outcome I would have let anyone that wanted to meet you come in. It would have been like a parade. We were so focused out getting you better, we didn't dare expose you to all the germs etc. It's not a regret...at the time we were absolutely doing the right thing. I just would have loved to watch people look at you and "oooh" and "ahhh" over you. I would have loved for them to see in person how much your daddy and I loved you and that for those 33 days what we were like together as a family. You're always a part of our family - even if your not with us and I'll hold onto the memories I have and dream of the memories we would have made until we can be a family again.

I love you so much Aaron!

A million hugs and kisses,
Mommy

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

If you had just one day...

Mitch Album has a new book out called "For One More Day". The book isn't out yet, but the theme of it is about if you could spend one more day with someone you love that has died, what would you do with them, what would you say etc.

Obviously, I would spend the day with Aaron. It would be hard to pack everything I would want to do with him into one day, but first I would take him to our house so he could see the home we moved into especially for him. I would spend the first part of the day with just him and my husband, talking, playing, laughing and cuddling. I would apologize to him (I know I don't have to, but I would). I would tell him I am sorry that I got sick and he had to be born early, and I would apologize for any pain he was in while he was in the hospital. Then I would give him Christmas. Invite all of our family and friends over and let everyone meet him (okay so we'd probably need some big social hall area). We would decorate a tree, sing songs, and have "Grandpa Claus" come for a visit. At the end of the day I would give him a bath, get him into his pj's and just rock my little one to sleep while singing "You are my sunshine" and telling him that we will love him forever. I would hold him until well after I fell asleep.

So, I never ask for responses, but I would like to put YOU dear reader in the hot seat. If you could have one day with Aaron I would LOVE to know what you would do with him what your kids would do with him etc. Think of it as group therapy....

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

15 Weeks

Dear Aaron,

Hi my sweet baby boy, happy 15 week heaven day! It's been such a crazy week for us. A little rough, but we've made it through yet another week. Sunday was the hardest day we had in a while. It's probably one of the first days when I knew what you would have worn (We already had an Eagles outfit for you) and what we would have done. I looked forward to watching you and daddy cuddle while watching the football game (okay so you might have been snoozing away most of the time, but still).

There is a website someone showed me shortly after you went to heaven. It's www.ispokewithmychild.com There are two parts in it that constantly run through my head lately. One part is the child talking to the parent, the parent asks what you feel now...the child responds, "I feel...love...and my footprints in the sand next to yours. But you can't see mine because I'm standing on your feet while we dance." The other part is right before the child has to go and the parent says, "You have given me more knowledge of love that I could ever find in a lifetime." Every time I read that I realize how absolutely true that is. I loved you from the moment I laid eyes on you and that was in an ultrasound picture where you looked like a peanut. The first time I got to see your little chicken wing arm I knew that no matter what I would love you for all of eternity. It just stinks that I can't show my love for you like parents usually show their love for their children. I have to show it through this weekly letter, or through pictures or donations to the hospital etc. Anything I can find to pour all of this love I have for you into. Don't get me wrong. I look forward to this letter every week, talking about you, showing off pictures of you etc. I just wish I could show you off and shower you with all this love.

I know I am not the only one that misses you. One of your littlest cousins talks about you A LOT. She always wants to know about you. This is the same cousin that asked why I couldn't make you all better. She is a 4 year old that helped me more with my grief than anyone else could have - especially with the why couldn't I make you better question. This week she was at lunch and said to her mommy, "I wish baby Aaron were here. I miss him." Her mommy started to respond with, "So do.." and she interrupted with, "Nikki and Josh!". That story made me laugh and cry at the same time.

You are missed so much here peanut and I know that every single day you feel love. You taught me how deep love actually is and that nothing...not even death...can weaken it, because I know I will be with you again.

I love you Aaron.

A million hugs and kisses,
Mommy

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Monday, September 11, 2006

We all know what today is...

...so I'm not going to bring it up other than to acknowledge what it is, and to say that 5 years later, and today still hurts on some level - I think it always may.

What I really want to say today however, is that to echo DrummerWife's post from last night, I would like to thank all four of Aaron's grandparents. We were lucky to have you all by our side during the duration of Aaron's hospital stay, and for the 27 years of our lives. Aaron would have been very fortunate to grow up with all of you as his Pop, Grandma, Grandpa, Mom-mom, or Pop-pop, whatever. Yesterday's grandparents Recognition at church really drove all of that home for me. When I saw DrummerMom crying as DrummerDad held her after they both stood to be seen as Aaron's grandparents, it made an already difficult morning that much harder for me. I love you both, and I'm proud to call you my parents, and I wish so much that you would have a chance to hold a living Aaron, to feel him in your arms as I was fortunate enough to get to do. I'm so sorry you never got that opportunity.

And to DrummerMother-and-Father-in-Law, I wish the same thing for you as well. I know that none of this has been easy for any of the four of you. Thank you for being there for the two of us.

Also, I want to note that yesterday was quite a difficult day for me. From the moment Aaron became a possibility I looked forward to the little traditions that he and I could start together. And one of those would have (hopefully) been watching sports together as my father and I did as I grew up. Yesterday marked the beginning of what would have been Aaron's first football season watching games with Dad (and Mom). Admittedly, he'd been a little young, and wouldn't have had the foggiest clue what was going on, but it would have counted in my book. As I sat in church yesterday, I suddenly realized what the day was, and that it was just one more thing that I wanted to do with Aaron that I could never do with him.

Coupling that with Grandparents Recognition, and I didn't have a very good Sunday morning.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Happy Grandparents Day

Click to view larger image.

A picture of the grandparents after the first surgery -
what a relief it was we had such good news that day.)

Well...today at church we took time in the service to honor Grandparents Day. I wanted to take a little bit of time to honor Aaron's four grandparents I wish more than anything else that today. I wish Aaron could be here to share in this day with you all. I wish I could be giving you with a new picture of him or some cute little gift. I wish you could have all seen him in the little Eagles outfit we had for him today while he watched his first football game. Instead, here I am just trying to say something to all of you so you know that we knew what today was.

I was trying to find a poem or something for you in honor of what today means...instead I found this it's from the sermon from Aaron's memorial service...

He was brought into a family that would stand together in love and faith facing what would probably be one of the most difficult and wonder-filled times of their lives. In the midst of facing the brevity of his life, we still come in response to Aaron's life, not only his death – because he remarkably engraved a place in each of our hearts and lives with his life. We will say goodbye, before most of us have even really been able to say hello, only because we must.
Victor Frankl once said
"We cannot judge a biography by its length, by the number of pages in it; we must judge by the richness of the contents. Sometimes the 'unfinisheds' are among the most beautiful symphonies."

Aaron touched each of you in his own way as baby son, or a grandchild, or the child of someone you care for dearly. There are many in this world who only dream of being loved, cared for, prayed for, and hoped for spread over an entire lifetime the amount that Aaron received in his infancy.


And even though those words are not my words - I do know this...First of all we are who we are because of the parents you were to us. We were able to be the parents we were to Aaron because we had good examples. Secondly, your love and support to Aaron was overwhelming. You loved him and helped us out so that we could spend as much time as possible with Aaron. He was loved more in 33 days than some are in a lifetime and his grandparents were right there with us on the crazy roller coaster ride.

Thank you for everything and thank you for being the best grandparents that Aaron could have ever asked for. Happy Grandparents Day!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Its Friday.

Man alive, are four-day work weeks great, or what?

So, today DrummerWife is meeting with a new grief counselor. In light of our first counselor's current health, we figured we'd be proactive and find someone else for the time being.

This new counselor takes our insurance, but in an effort to save some moolah, DrummerWife is going to go on her own. I'm really doing pretty well lately, so I'm going to see if I can't just wait it out until DrummerGriefCounselor is ready and able to see us again. Here's hoping DrummerWife and NewDrummerGriefCounselor get along.

Also, I think this weekend we may be taking over long-term cat-sitting duties for a coworker of DrummerWife. She's moving, can't take her cat with her, and wants her little feline friend to be with people she trusts until such a time that she can get the cat back. The cat's name is Guinness, and assuming we do get her this weekend, I'll throw a picture up here.

And that's that.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

14 Weeks

Well you get 3 posts for the price of one today :) Regardless, I couldn't go without my weekly letter to Aaron!

Dear Aaron,

Hi peanut! Happy 14 week Heaven Day! I was getting ready this morning and for some reason flashed back to me on the operating table. I heard your first cry again plain as day. I can remember laying there and after awhile just hearing 2 sharp cries. Not quite what you normally hear from a newborn, but I remember looking at your daddy and both of us were crying. I was impressed that your cry was that loud for your size and I was so happy to hear you cry. Daddy said he wanted to just jump up and go make you all better. They told us after that we wouldn't hear you cry anymore, but just because you were on the ventilator. After that I got used to looking at your face to see if you were crying or fussy. Even if I couldn't hear you I could tell. Then for awhile you were on CPAP and we could hear you crying then. It was so quiet and so cute - you weren't really much for diaper changing, and that's one of the things I looked forward to the most. It was one thing that I could do for you. You were a champion at peeing for a long time. You constantly peed right out the diaper and all over your bed. The nurses constantly had to change your bedding because of it. That made it even harder for us when you just stopped then. We couldn't understand it!

I will never forget the few cries I got to hear or the way your face scrunched up when I couldn't hear you crying. Every morning the first thing I do is look at your picture. Your nose was still my absolute favorite. I loved that you had my nose! I miss you Aaron, as always. We'll be walking the mall this weekend so we can "introduce" you to even more people.

I love you Aaron! I wish I knew what you were doing right now :)

Hugs and kisses,
Mommy

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So, I was back at Robert Jordan's blog...

...and I saw a post by a fellow fan of his who currently has a newborn daughter at 28 weeks gestational age. If I remember the details correctly, the baby was born at 23 weeks. She's just had heart surgery and is recovering well.

As I did on Mr. Jordan's blog, I'll do so here and wish Sye and his young daughter good luck, and continued healing. We know all too well what he's going through. I'll be praying for them both, and hope you'll join me.

Not to sound selfish...

...but how does this stuff keep happening to us?

Let's back it up, and I'll explain what I'm talking about.

DrummerWife wasn't feeling well last night - just a little run down and tired, most likely. So, I called the grief counselor to let her know that we would have to cancel for the evening. Our grief counselor informed us that it was actually nice that we were canceling because she's been really busy for the last week. It seems she was diagnosed with breast cancer last week, and they are operating on her this Friday.

First off - our prayers and thoughts go out to her, obviously. She's been a wonderful help for us over the last few months, and she is really just a very nice, genuine, sincere individual, and we hope that everything works out for the best for her. But, if they're operating that quickly after diagnosis, I'm guessing it's pretty severe. =/

Secondly - HOLY CRAP. I guess we need to start looking for a new counselor. At least for the time being. Because I'm guessing she's got better things to do than listen to us...like, maybe...recovering.

Life. It just never stops, does it?

Good luck, DrummerGriefCounselor.