Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Blues

Peanut -

Today is Easter.  A day when Christians celebrate resurrection.  A day when little children dream about chocolate bunnies and colorful egg hunts. A day when families gather for breakfast casseroles, ham, fruit salad, a bloody mary or two, mimosas, and baked desserts. This holiday will always be a hard one for Momma.  Especially when the day blooms warm, sunny, beautiful just like it was on the one Easter we were lucky enough to spend with you.  So different from the cold, harsh gray day that was the first Easter we faced without you.

After you passed away Momma felt strongly that everyone who loved you should have some memento, some tangible piece of your existence to hold and love.  Unfortunately, Momma was a little rash when making some of those decisions.  I gave away your Easter basket, complete with a liner that had your name spelled incorrectly - Conner instead of Connor.  Oh, how I wish I had that basket today.  So that every Easter I could leave it out for the Easter Bunny right next to your little brother's basket...his basket with a liner that matches yours.  Much like your Christmas stocking, this would be a way to mark you and your presence during these holidays.  To honor you.

I gaze at one of my favorite pictures of you, taken Easter day 2010.  Your froggy onesie, bright blue eyes and brilliant smile...this photo sums up the joy and light you brought to this world.  This picture helps to lift the heaviness of Momma's heart.  To brighten the dark melancholy that has settled in today.

Peanut, I miss you.  More than words can express.  I love you my sweet Nutbrown Hare.  To the moon - and back!

- Momma

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Peanut -

The other night, as Momma was checking on The Pickle to make sure he was still breathing, it became apparent that his nightlight needed new batteries.  SLAM.  Another unexpected door closing.

That nightlight just happens to be your beloved Cloud B. turtle, with his shell that projects various constellations in blue, green and turquoise.  And, those batteries just happen to be the same batteries used when you were alive.  Batteries that knew your touch, strong left-handed throwing arm, coos and sighs as you delighted in the stars projected on your ceiling.  A turtle and batteries who were the last to experience you alive along with Momma as she turned on a constellation for you the night of January 25, 2011.

After dutifully unscrewing the battery cover, replacing the AAA batteries, and returning Sleepy Turtle to his place, Momma found herself staring at three old, useless batteries.  What to do?  We can't hang on to them.  Batteries just aren't "friendly" that way.  But, am I a terrible Momma for just tossing them in the trash?  Is this whole line of thought simply ridiculous?

In the end, the batteries wound up in the trash can.  Why?  Because what you loved about Sleepy Turtle had little to do with the batteries but more about the beauty and comfort from his stars and colors...and new batteries have restored their luster.  I can feel you smiling from heaven at that decision.

As Momma grappled with this "battery crisis" I realized...this blog just turned two.  The blog has reached a milestone you will never realize on earth.  This blog, this refuge and outlet for Momma's raw grief and gradual journey towards hope and joy.  For those who haven't been here from Day One, I share the First post.

Peanut, time has not dulled Momma's grief or love for you.  What it has done is given Momma the space to learn about and build the tools to incorporate that grief into life going forward.  To figure out how a New Momma "shows up."  And how that New Momma lives to honor you.

I dream about you often...dreams I welcome.  Hoping I see you again tonight, tomorrow and the next night.  Why?  Because I miss you.  I love you, my Little  Nutbrown Hare.  How much?  To the moon - and back!

- Momma

March 2011 - 6 months old.  Look at those eyes!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

3 1/2

Peanut -

Today marks the day you would be, should be, 3 1/2 years old.  Momma woke up with an especially heavy heart this morning, and couldn't put her finger on why until glimpsing a calendar.  Even then it took a few seconds for it to click.  March 12.  Your half-birthday.  We only got to celebrate it with you once on never reached your second one that would have marked the 18-month milestone and the transition to the next size of infant/toddler clothes that already filled your closet.

It's hard to think back on March 12, 2011 when the pain of your loss was truly settling in with its harsh, sharp reality.  This day was one of many milestones - many "firsts" - we had to face in that initial year of loss and grief.  I can remember it felt like someone was pouring salt into the gaping, ragged wound that was my heart.

I now picture my heart as (somewhat) healed, with a thick, ropey scar that has forever changed its shape, composition, functionality.  It is that re-formed heart that allows Momma to think about the 3 1/2 version of you with a smile.  And, admittedly, some tears.  I picture you piecing words together into longer and longer sentences, forming little, funny stories.  Learning to actually play with your friends and classmates, rather than simply playing side-by-side.  And standing at the bathroom sink brushing your own teeth, while Momma supervises.  I see your brilliant blue eyes, and clever grin sparkling with intelligence and kindness.

Peanut, the world lost so much potential when you passed away.  This earth needs more good people, smart people - people who will make a positive difference.  And while you and your Peanut Effect have made a tremendous impact, Momma can only imagine what amazing accomplishments you would have achieved had you been allowed to stay just a little longer.

Today Momma is hitting the "pause" button.  It has been too easy to get caught back up in the swirl of life, the insanity of work.  It seems I have lost some of the clarity and common sense I found while sorting through my own grief.  The time has come to re-evaluate, and rediscover what it truly important.  It is only through that journey that I can and will continue to live a life that makes you proud.

Peanut, I think I will buy a balloon this afternoon and send it up to heaven for you to play with as you celebrate this day.  I so desperately wish we could enjoy this sunny day together.  I love you, I love you, I love you.  How much?  To the moon - and back, silly!

- Momma

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Growing Up In Heaven


Momma started reading a book earlier this week titled, "Growing Up In Heaven" by James Van Praagh.  While Momma has always been a bit of a skeptic when it comes to so-called spiritual conduits, this man has a deeper message and understanding of the grief of bereaved parents than any other author, expert or individual I've experienced in the last 2 years, 1 month and 4 days.  (But, who's counting, right?)  By Chapter Three, Momma knew this book was going to be impactful.  Positive. Affirming.

The author asserts that during our time on earth we are merely vessels.  Human bodies carrying out a higher purpose during the evolution of an eternal soul.   When that soul's journey is complete, it exits this world.  Sometimes a soul returns to finish some other purpose - for instance helping another soul realize its mission.  But time on earth does not hold any real value.  It is merely a stop on a much larger, longer journey.

Momma gets that.  It resonates.

You always struck Momma as an old soul.  I stand by that.  Momma believes you came back to help other souls...maybe or probably mine.  To teach me to be a Momma and to love without reservation.  To be selfless.  Authentic.  In the wake of your loss Momma has found a sense of peace, assurance, transparency.  I attribute that to you.

I feel your presence constantly.  It's not in the form of goosebumps, flaring lightbulbs or shadowy figures.  It's more of a presence in my heart.  A voice in the back of my head.  A surge of confidence or love in the midst of a trying moment.  Quite simply, in the moments that make me a better person.

The author talks about our children continuing to grow and progress during their time in heaven, which means today you would face Momma as a boy.  A boy right on the cusp of 3 years, 2 months of age.  What should you look like?  What should you be doing?  I wonder....

There is also discussion around what heaven looks like and that it is nothing that resembles the harps, clouds and winged angles we envision.  Again, Momma gets that.  This is reinforced by a dream I had in the weeks right after you passed  This is heaven.

Peanut, I see signs of you on a daily basis.  In the surprising beam of sunshine during Momma's commute this morning that broke through a dense, gray cloud bank.  In the 3:30 am wake-up wail from your little brother - so very much like you.

My amazing son who changed this world, we miss you more than you can imagine.  While life, hope and happiness have found a way to move forward for us, the color, shading, and tone will be forever altered, dampened. What will never change?  How much we love you. How much is that?  To the moon - and back!

- Momma

Connor, playing peek-a-boo after his first haircut.