Friday, September 25, 2009

A special picture

Just had to add this picture here...thanks to Tammy for giving me the idea on how to create a picture of my boys. This is the first time I think I can honestly say that I feel like I can see Cole, picture him and Cameron together....and it feels GREAT!!!

Devotion 15 - Jesus Has a Rocking Chair

Have you ever wondered about someone who's passed on to Heaven, ever wondered what it is like there? What soothes you when you think of them there?
This book talks about Jesus having a rocking chair and our children rocking gently in it with him. I love the image...I am a real rocker and have often wondered about who's looking after Cole in Heaven. There have been a few loses in our lives over the last few months...women who've passed away before their time. I take comfort in knowing that someone with experience is up there playing Mommy and Grandma with Cole while he waits for me to arrive.
But the real message behind this entry is of music and how it has affected you through grief. There are listings of songs that might bring comfort to a grieving parent.
Anyone who knows me knows that music has been a part of my life for a very long time. I play many instuments and I LOVE to sing. If you are reading this then you are listening to some songs that mean something to me, especially during this journey. I'd planned to add some of the songs we used at the memorial service but I can't find them on playlist.
I know that God surrounds us with music and the ability to rejoice through it because it is so very poweful. I am often cursed with tears in public when I hear songs that evoke emotions and memories of someone who's passed away. But just as quickly as I cry I also smile because I know this is that person's way of saying hello!
So when you hear 'How Great Thou Art', especially by Alan Jackson, know that this is a special song for me and one I feel a great connection to all the angels in Heaven while I listen to it. If you see me crying in church, in my car when the radio plays, while watching TV or just when some sweet child sings a special song, know that I am hearing Cole's voice and knowing that he's right here with us all.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Reminder

I just posted a devotion that I typed yesterday and thought I'd read over some of the past ones as I often do...a great way to remind myself how far I've come. Today as I did this I held a wiggling Cameron in my arms.
Anyway, right now as I type and as I read a few entries the music played. As 'Angels Among Us' came on. Cameron stilled, looked at me and laid his head on my shoulder and then he sat back up and I sang this song to him...and I cried.
He truly is an angel among us and a blessing and gift from God. I am so very lucky and blessed to have all 4 of my children but Cameron will always remind me a bit more that angels really do live among us. He is filled with joy. I truly believe he has the zest of life of the two little boys who resided in my womb together and often say that I don't think he would have the same personality if his twin brother had survived. It's kind of like I get to have them both but in one body instead of two.
Thank you God for Cameron...I am the luckiest Mommy in the world!!

Devotion #14 – God , Where are You?

Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9b

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

There have been so many times since Cole passed away that I have felt so very alone. I feel so often that people just think I should move on and focus on what is good in my life and be grateful for what I have not what I am missing out on. So often it’s the silence that makes me feel this way…the times when no one mentions Cole, when no one acknowledges the struggles , the sadness, the loss and the unbelievable journey that the last year of my life has taken me on. It’s kind of like it never happened or like everyone else’s lives are the same and mine is forever changed.
Sometimes I feel like God has left me alone in this journey too, that he’s leaving me on my own in a sort of sink or swim scenario. I am not always sure He is listening to me when I ask for help to get through this intense grief. I know that He didn’t listen when I asked for him to save both of my sons. Coming to terms with the fact that I may never know or understand the reason for the ‘unanswered prayers’ is really hard for me. I ask God to help me with this, to help me to feel less guilty, to accept that He is all knowing and all powerful and to basically show me how to move forward. But so often there is just silence.
Where is God? Why isn’t He making this easier for me? Why doesn’t He just take away this pain?
Coming to terms with the fact that God hasn’t abandoned me is just about as hard as coming to terms with ‘the unanswered prayers’. Accepting that this is His plan on His timeline is a very hard thing to do. Learning to trust God through the silence is so very hard. I do not know how God wishes to reveal himself to me. Learning to listen to the silence and waiting in it is so very hard for me.
But He has not abandoned me or rejected me. His is my Healer and he wants to help me to grow and trust Him more. He is here listening, caring, feeling my pain…even when I don’t hear from him the way I want to.

God – sometimes I wonder where you are. You didn’t respond in the way or timeframe I thought you would. I feel so abandoned and hurt at times. I feel disconnected from you and from so many who I call friends. Are You listening? Is Anyone? Silence makes me uncomfortable and rejected. Even though I can’t see You, I must trust that You are there. You say You will never leave me or forsake me. Please be my Healer. Help me grow and trust You more. I want to know You through the silence and quiet times. Show me how.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The First One Year Anniversary

God be with me today as I remember the news we learned one year ago at my ultrasound...TWINS!! I am feeling an overwhelming amount of feelings today and am hoping you can guide me towards feeling the joy that day brought me and help me to remember the good times.

Dear Cameron and Cole;
Today marks the anniversary of the day that we learned that two little lives were growing deep inside me, not just one as we had assumed. It was a day that marked the beginning of my life changing forever.
There are so many things from that day that I’d change if I could but I can’t. So instead I am going to try to remember as many things about that day and the days that followed as I can.
I still remember the ultrasound tech saying ‘I have some news for you…there’s two babies in there’. I teared up as she showed me the two of you for the first time but it wasn’t tears of sadness or even of joy…just of disbelief at the amazing thing that was happening.
When I left that office I went back to the lab to take my paperwork in . The girl that had done my blood work took one look at it and smiled and said “wow, that’s amazing”. And it was, and I felt like it was too.
The world kind spun around me abit as I walked out of the clinic and tried to call Daddy. I was mad that he hadn’t been there to meet you guys with me, disappointed that I couldn’t get a hold of him when I so desperately needed him and starting to feel more and more overwhelmed.
I actually told Charlotte, my midwife, before I told Daddy. She answered her phone when I called. She quickly assured me that it would be okay, that she was here for me for whatever I needed and that she knew I could do this.
Then I went to tell Daddy. He came around the corner of the van and asked me what I was so worked up about. I think his comment was ‘what is it…twins?’ When I told him yes he broke into a huge grin and started hugging me as I, admittedly, cried. He told me it was going to be fine, that we would make this work. I was becoming increasingly overwhelmed with the thoughts of two newborns, no room in the house, double daycare etc. Daddy kept assuring me it was going to be fine.
I had to leave to go and get your brothers from Cheryl’s as I was already an hour later than I had thought I would be. I called Grandma on the way there and got her while she was walking through the IPM grounds. I told her she needed to sit down. When she asked me why I told her I’d had my ultrasound today. AND was her response. When I said “it’s twins mom” she said “no shit, Jod!!!”.
I really don’t remember a lot about telling your brothers. I am sure I told them at Cheryl’s when I told her but the whole thing kind of blurred together. Cheryl was excited but also, being the realist that she is, very honest about how hard it was gong to be for us.
And as I drove to Teeswater to attend the IPM the world began to spin and shift again and I cried again. How could I do this, how could I manage? How could we afford this? Why us?
But then my typical organizing self took over and began crunching the numbers…if I had this many Epicure parties a week, found a weekend shift doing this, got this much government money for ALL the kids I was going to have….yup we could do this.
That day in Teeswater was one of the best days of my whole pregnancy. I saw Grandma and Papa within a short while of reaching the IPM and they were both so excited. Papa even picked me up in a huge bear hug. They had told so many people already and we all continued to tell everyone all day. I showed the ultrasound to everyone I saw. I loved the attention that you were bringing me. Everyone was so very excited and although I was overwhelmed and scared I was pretty excited too.
The next few days continued like this for me…feelings of excitement mixed with worry, fear, and an intense feeling of being completely overwhelmed. So many things kept me up at night and I went about 4 days with very little sleep. Everyone was so very happy and excited for us and so many people came forth with offers of baby equipment, clothes, help and support.
I have so often wrote about the guilt I have felt about not being excited about having twins. but when I look back I realize I was excited but I was also realistic. By being realistic and worrying about the things that were going to be hard I was beginning, early, to solve the problems we might have before they arrived. It seemed to me like I wasn’t enjoying my twin pregnancy when I first looked back at it but the more I think about it the more I realize and remember how much I marveled at all things ‘twin’. It was the most special time of my life and for as much as I wasn’t jumping up and down and showing overt excitement I know that I was so very happy, so excited and so eager to meet you both.
Every time I had an ultrasound I asked for copies so I could show off my latest pics of my babies. I remember returning to work and showing them off each time and then rushing home and scanning them and posting them on Facebook. Now if that’s not an excited mommy, I don’t know what is!!! I also remember the joy I’d feel as I got to see you moving on the screen, the wonderment of it all!!!
It was pretty early in the pregnancy when I started feeling you moving…just flutters at first, but lots of it. It never got be a lot of distinct movements, never got to the stage where I felt like I was being kicked all over. I wonder now if that was so I wouldn’t miss as much being pregnant with two active babies after God took you home Cole. But you were both busy boys for a few weeks. And you sure made mommy grow bigger and bigger. By Uncle Josh’s wedding in mid October I was suddenly blooming and looked like I did at about 5 months with your brothers…and I was only 15 weeks! By my birthday a few weeks later I was wearing clothes I wore at the end of my pregnancy with Zack and by early December people were asking if I was due in January.
I dreamed of matching outfits, matching Halloween costumes (that I wouldn’t put on you… I swore I wasn’t going to do that to my twins!!). I wondered all the time if you were boys or girls. I joined twin groups, searched hours for strollers and finally in early November ordered the ‘perfect’ one. I looked for cribs and equipment every place I could and spent hours planning and getting ready.
It was the most exciting time of my life and I loved every minute of it.
And since today is about the memories of the good times, of the coolest day of my life I am going to sign off now by telling you both that I love you both so very much!
Love Mommy

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Devotion #13 - Why Do I Feel So Guilty?

Oh such a topic so close to my heart...the guilt I have overruns at times and I have no idea where to go or where to turn. This chapter talks so much about the guilt parents, especially moms, feel about why they couldn't save their baby. I have some of those feelings as I had wondered if I should be doing more to help my babies gain weight as suggested in twin books. I also kept a mild exercise routine up after my OB gave me the no walking, no lifting, no sex etc . speech. (but this was all to stop premature labour so really isn't applicable to me). I also feel guilty that I didn't educate myself more as I would have had other questions to ask, tests to insist on etc. But do I really blame myself for the loss of Cole...not at all.

Do I feel guilty about issues surrounding him...for sure. I've talked about them before here but today is a good day to really get into it and try very hard to press 'stop' and focus on the One who understands my suffering and can free me from this guilt.

First though for a list of the things that make me feel guilty:

1) I feel tremendous guilt that I wasn't overjoyed about being pregnant with twins...really about being pregnant at all. I was excited at times but so often the worry and stress overshadowed that joy. I feel like this negativity brought forth the troubles we had and the outcome of the loss of Cole.

2) I feel guilt that I am not always sure that isn't the way it was meant to be anyway...that we could never have managed 4 children, never have survived financially, emotionally etc and that is WHY this happened.

3) I feel the most guilt though because I don't know how to miss Cole...I say I miss him, I am so very sad that he is not here but sometimes I think I just do and say those things because the world expects that. I don't know how to miss someone I never met and someone who I wasn't sure how he'd fit into our lives. I feel horrible that I couldn't touch him, hold his flesh in mine, kiss him or look at him really when he was born. I feel awful that he really isn't even real to me anymore...I don't know how to deal with this confusion, this emptyness I feel. I wish he'd be born alive or born with hours or days of dying so that it would seem more real to me.

At first I didn't get the verses that go with this chapter...I won't type them out because the it's easier to just type what they are about...basically they talk about how God controls everything. I was sitting here thinking to myself 'but what does this have to do with my guilt...God controls that???'. And then I realized as I read's not the guilt He controls but the action itself. He took Cole from us, He is all powerful, has supreme authority and power. He controls Everything!!! How does this change my perspective?....

Tough question for me at times. It changes it in that I know that I had no control over any of the things that happened to us. It doesn't matter that I wasn't overjoyed at the news, that I didn't spend the time with him that I would have liked or that sometimes I know it is easier. The guilt doesn't matter because I can't change anything. I can be angry about it if I want but anger is so powerful...but doesn't change things either. I didn't get to choose this for my family but I do get to learn from it. I can see now that we MUST be happy with the gifts God gives us...there is no point in not celebrating the gift of life inside of you...God put it there for a reason. I know that I didn't will Cole to die because I was scared and that God didn't take him for that reason either. I don't know the reason but it wasn't to 'teach me a lesson', punish me for my sins or because he thought I couldn't afford 4 kids. He doesn't work that way and neither should I.

From that I realize that I have no right to pass judgment on anyone. I don't have the right to say 'why did that woman get to keep her twins', 'why does that teenage mom who can't afford a baby have one', 'why does someone who doesn't care about her kids get to keep her child and I lost mine'....because I don't the right to question his actions!!! He has done this for a reason of his own and in time it may become clearer to me or it may take me till I reach Heaven to truly understand. Either way it is His decision.

Each time I feel the need to play back all the things that happen and question whether I made the right decisions, felt the right emotions, reacted the 'right' way I need to stop and remember that God is in control and He will guide me in the right path.


Sometimes I feel like there are more things I could have done to save Cole but most of the time I just feel so guilty that I wasn't as excited as I should have been and didn't my pregnancy for what it was...a miracle from you. I keep replaying my emotions and reactions to the things that happen all the time. Please help me to press 'stop' and look to You. You are the answer, You are sovereign. Nothing can touch my life without Your permission. Free me from my blame and guilt. Help me to press stop on this tape when I feel guilty and to put in a new tape today and move forward.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Devotion #12 - Why am I so angry?

Reading this chapter, working at this devotion has made me realize just how many things there are to be angry about and just how perfectly natural it is to be angry.
When I was in the hospital in London my social worker spent a lot of time getting me to talk about my feelings. At the time I was so sure that I wasn’t angry…actually I was shocked because I wasn’t angry. I think it was part of the coping mechanism that carrying Cameron and Cole became after Cole passed away. I think I was afraid to get angry for fear that Cameron would feel that anger or that it would take away the strength I needed. I was more angry that I was so out of control of everything in my life than I was about the fact that I’d lost my son.
So many things make me angry lately. Reading stories about TTTS mom’s who didn’t lose either of their babies makes me so mad. I often bitterly exclaim after reading their stories “You don’t know how good you’ve got it…you are so damned lucky”. Seeing or hearing about mono di twins that had no troubles at all makes me even more angry. Some of the things that make me most angry are the things like I wrote a few days ago…people who don’t recognize Cole and his loss as important as other people's loss, people that don’t recognize him as a valued part of our family, people who minimize our loss.
Do good Christians get angry? You bet your boots they do. God gets angry too….just look at Adam and Eve or Jesus in the Temple with the moneychangers. Sometimes it is easier to be angry at God. Sometimes I just want to scream at Him “You had the power to save my son, you could have stopped this awful disease from happening. You could have protected my baby by performing a miracle and saving him but you didn’t!!!” Why?”
I am not sure I know what all is behind my anger. Envy of other twin mommies, disappointment that my twin pregnancy didn’t work out, fear that I will stop remembering the twin moments, the movements and the visuals I have of Cole. I am encouraged to try to write to God about all that makes me angry and how I feel about here goes.

Dear God;
This isn’t a prayer to you today but rather a letter to tell you how I feel about the journey you have placed me on.
I don’t understand why I have been chosen to take this journey. I am certain it can’t be that you have great things planned for me because many days I can hardly stop myself from being such an angry and sad person.
I am so very angry that my life has become what it has at times. I do not understand why you took Cole from us and I don’t understand why if I wasn’t meant to be the earthly mother of twins then why did you create them inside of me. I hate that I wasn’t happy at the start, hate that I can’t take back those moments and feel the joy that a twin pregnancy could have given me. I am angry that you didn’t allow me to meet my son before he left this earth and even angrier that I couldn’t bond with him, with his body, when he did finally arrive. It hurts me so much that I missed out on the joy of his delivery and even of Cameron’s delivery because I was so caught up in my grief.
I am angry that I missed so many months of my older children’s lives and that my family and marriage has felt such serious strain and stress. I am not sure we’ll ever recover form this some days.
And yet as I express all of these things to you I am also so very grateful for the wonderful gifts this experience has given me. Cameron, the most amazingly peaceful and happy baby, my other boys and Geoff…who I watched struggle and grow in strength while I was away, the love of family and friends, the support I never knew existed for me, the new friends….some of them life long I am sure. All of these things happened because of Cole. These and so many other wonderful gifts of love and hope from You.
I can only hope and pray that soon the anger will be overshadowed by the peace, hope and joy that your love gives us all. I want the feeling of Joy and Happiness to come first and the memories of Cole to bring me smiles not tears.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger. Ephesians 4:31

Devotion # 11 - Drowning in a Sea of Why

The subject of why is one that plagues me all the time. Why did our severe TTTS take so long to show itself…why was our diagnosis so late and so severe? Why didn’t the poor cord insertion show up on ultrasound? Why didn’t Cole pass away sooner when all signs point to such a poor placenta? Why was the pregnancy so perfect until that point? Why did I only lose one baby (not that I’d ever want to change that…but why??)? Why did I not go into labour and have my boys sooner…when all signs showed that this would happen?
Why, if I was only meant to bring one baby home, did I get pregnant with twins in the first place?
Most of the obvious questions such as what happened to cause Cole’s heart failure (excessive fluid in his body), why did Cole die so quickly (because TTTS happened so late and the boys were so close in size there was much more fluid going to his body and therefore his heart was working so very hard), was there a chance to save him if we’d known sooner…guess this questions ties to a lot of the ones I asked above (there really doesn’t seem to be much chance that things could have been much different because Cole had only 25% or less placenta share and a severely velamentous cord insertion so far from the placenta that nutrients would have struggled to reach him once he got bigger – if he’d survived TTTS he likely wouldn’t have survived SIUGR and it most likely would have meant major effects on Cameron as well) and did we do all we could have done for Cole (yes, I took great care of myself…the healthiest pregnancy I ever had, had tons of tests and ultrasounds and kept myself fairly educated)….all of these questions have been answered. I got some reports to find some of this information out and asked others to help me understand it. Some of the questions regarding the ultrasounds that could have detected problems could be answered by my OB and I may need, in order to heal, to go and see him to ask him some of this stuff. But knowing it isn’t going to change the end result…I already know that there was so little chance for Cole.
As for why I didn’t lose both, why I didn’t go into labour, why everything was fine for so long etc….I think only God and Cole can know that for sure but I’m pretty sure that like the answer to why I got pregnant with twins and only am able to raise one of them, it’s because God is there for me, to lift me up when my life hits rock bottom, to be my salvation and my hope. There is purpose behind all the He does, He is always and forever there for all of us.
I came to the conclusions of this devotion months ago…that like Job there are questions that we have that may never be answered. I have said for months that there are things this side of Heaven we are not meant to understand…and that we had better all do whatever we can to make sure we live good Christian lives so that we make it there and do get those answers. But what I didn’t think of at all till I read this chapter was that it isn’t about the why’s but rather about the who’s. I must learn to look beyond the why and view my loss through the lens of God rather than human sight. In the book of Job there are sixteen why’s asked and in response there are fifty-nine who’s which refer to God. A good place to start don’t you think…some reading to do for sure.

Even though I don’t understand why this has happened to our family and maybe never will, I know that You are unchanging, trustworthy, in control and good. I believe You have a purpose in what has taken place…a purpose for me, for Geoff, for our older boys and most especially for Cameron. He is, most definitely, an Earth Angel, a Miracle and a true sign of your divine blessings and goodness. Forgive me for asking the same questions over and over. Lift me up again with Your hope and truth. As I continue to journey through questioning and move to a place of hope and healing please rescue me from drowning in despair. Help me trust You with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding. Give me divine vision and enable me to see beyond the why to the Who.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Okay so I've already posted twice today but I just finished updating our family blog (see sites I love link). I posted this beautiful picture of a garden statue we received from a most unexpected person. Isn't it perfect!!!
Anyway, it got me to thinking about minimizing our loss...again. We often will donate money to purchase statues like this, flowers or make a group donation when someone we know passes away such as a neighbour or relative.
And for all the lovely statues we do have in Cole's garden, all the beautiful flowers and plants and the many garden stones, we have nothing from the group that most recently asked us for not one but two donations.
It makes me wonder...if Cole had been born alive and died then or within days or weeks or even if he'd died as he did inutero and been born right away would we have gotten something from this same group. Is it selfish of me to think this???
Why can't people recognize that just because you didn't get to meet a baby who passes away, especially when it's one who's left behind such a visual reminder of his existence, it's still a tremendous loss to that family and should be treated as such. It feels like such a slap in the face when they ask us for money and most of them never even sent a card when we lost Cole.
Okay venting is done for the day!!!

Devotion #10 - Husbands and Wives Grieve Differently

You may notice that these lengthy devotions are posted on the same worries, I haven't been hiding in my basement again. We've welcomed an exchange student into our home for a few weeks and she's sleeping in the room where our office is. With the busy times of school starting last week (check out my other blog for pics of that) I didn't have as much day time to blog so I did it on our laptop (not internet connected) at night and transfered here today...finally. I also added a playlist feature with some songs that remind me of Cole and my journey of hope, healing and faith.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4

This is by far one of the devotions I’ve struggled with publicly writing about the most. It’s like airing your dirty laundry in public….no one wants to do that. But then again this is likely a subject that no one will be too surprised to hear what I have to say or how hard it is to write about.
So let’s begin with the first question…how do Geoff and I grieve differently. Let me take you back to the beginning. When Dr. Yiagi, the cardiologist at Sick Kids began scanning me on that fateful day in December Geoff was standing near my feet watching the screen. He saw that Cole’s heart was no longer beating, he knew right away. We weren’t given time to be together at that point, the doctor just pulled the ultrasound probe away from me and let me curl up and cry but then quickly was back to business. Geoff was the one who began to make phonecalls but for me this was the start of where I felt us separating in our grief. He needed to act and I needed him to be with me. For the rest of the time we were in Toronto it was like this. He kept his grief from me a lot and would go for walks and smoke breaks to keep his grief hidden. I was always so public with mine.
Once we were home he seemed to be able to move forward better then me….but then again he was working and had something to distract him. The same could be said for the time I spent in the hospital…I felt so much grief and loss and he seemed to coast through it and was more upset about having to handle things at home then with the loss of Cole. The flip of this was that I had so many people to listen to me...professionals, visitors, other antenatal friends and people who read our caring bridge page or who I met online. Geoff had no one really and I'm sure it was a very lonely time for him.
The week leading up to the birth of the boys seemed to change that somewhat and he became more and more affected by grief. For him it would come out in bursts of misdirected anger and sullen moods.
For me I struggled from day one. I’d felt Cole move…first, most often and most intensely. I bonded with that little boy, I carried him and loved him from his first flutterings. I felt a tremendous sense of loss, of confusion and of utter disbelief. As time went on I began to accept things as reality more and thought I was dealing with our loss better as well. Really what was happening was that it was all becoming very clinical as I saw atleast 2 doctors a day, had ultrasounds, NST’s and bloodwork all the time…I was simply a product of the system.
Geoff and I came back together in our grief on the day of delivery. I think I actually dealt with the loss of Cole and the reality of delivery better then Geoff…that day anyway. And as I stayed with Cameron in the hospital I became distracted again with what our loss really meant. Until just before he was to come home….then it hit like a ton of bricks….I was only taking one baby home!!!
Geoff seemed to have accepted this within days of the boys arriving and since then he’s, for the most part, shown little emotion about the loss of Cole (note I said shown... not necessarily how he truly feels but rather what he shows on the outside).
I struggle so much more, cry so much more often …or so it seems. But then we’ll have chats about how it feels to see twins or what we think it will be like on the anniversary date of finding out we were expecting twins and Geoff will say things that make realize he’s hurting in his own way too. But really I feel alone in the sadness and grief that the loss of Cole has created. I don’t’ think Geoff understands sometimes how hard it is to do all the ‘mommy stuff’ with Cameron as it is a constant reminder of what I lost. Even just nursing Cameron is a reminder. The pain is so intense sometimes and I feel like he’s just able to move on 3 steps at a time while I go one forward to two back somedays.
Sometimes I think our grief has drawn us closer and other times I am not so sure. For the most part we talk more about our feelings and the love we have for our children. We talk often about Cole and how we feel about him. But there are also some intense moody times that are so very hard on everyone.
We sought some help but it seems hard for both of us to ask for help, to talk to an outsider about what hurts the most. It’s definitely an area we need to work on (and incidentally I have yet to call for counseling for me either…but I will, really, I promise). Perhaps admitting here that the mood swings, depression and struggles we have through our grief are affecting us and the relationships within this household is enough to push to me to take action.
Geoff and I have been through so much in the last 9 months and are forever changed because of this journey. Sometimes I feel so alone and sometimes I feel like the gestures and actions he uses to comfort me only make it worse. Forgive me for not remembering that we are entitled to grief in our own ways just was we were entitled to love in our own ways. Help me to remember that although my love for Cole was different than Geoff’s for the obvious reasons of maternal bonding it doesn’t make it any more or less important. Forgive me for the way I feel and for wrong actions and words I’ve spoken to him. Help me to be sensitive to him. Transform my hurt to hope and the distance I feel to a deepened relationship with You and in that a deepened relationship and understanding of the man that I married.

Devotion #9 - Happy-Sad days

Happy-Sad days…that is the topic of this devotion and boy do I have tons to relate to this one. It’s a devotion that talks about the author’s son asking her why she looked sad today. I get this from my son, Brycen, all the time. At first it happened just after we lost Cole and most days were very sad, despite it being the happy exciting time that Christmas is in a child’s life. He would often say to me “You no be sad today mom?” Now he just takes my face in his hands and says “Mom are you sad?” He always seems to accept that I am sad because I miss Cole but it really doesn’t explain to him why I am so sad.
I am supposed to explore these why’s…reflect on my lost son…how old would he be and what would he be like?
Once again I am back to the difficulty that using a devotional book designed for the loss of a singleton baby. Perhaps when this is all done and I’m in the right place in my life I just might write my own book to help someone who’s lost one of their multiples. Anyway, back to the reflection of Cole…he’d be 6.5 months old now. Babbling, rolling over, smiling and happy if he was anything like his twin. I know exactly what he’d look like…

And oh how hard it is to realize just how much we’ve lost. I don’t even need to ask myself why does this have to be so hard, hurt so much, consume me so intensely. Because each and every day I see the baby I’ve lost and miss so much in the light and love that emits from the smiles of his identical twin.
Somedays that is all it takes to set me off…just a smile from Cameron. Often it is more the thoughts of the things I won’t see my twins do together. And I guess that is a big part of it…it’s not so much the loss of Cole that hurts but the loss of our twins together. I am blessed to still have a baby to hold and watch grow up, I’m not empty armed.
As we start to near some of the anniversary dates I begin to think more and more about what has happened to us in the last year…and that makes me sad. It will soon be 1 year since we learned we were having twins and I know that will be a hard day. Cameron’s firsts are hard too….right now he’s just starting to play with toys, sit up on his own, roll over to get somewhere, take an interest in eating food. Each of these moments is a joy for us and yet they are moments filled with sadness too.
A few weeks ago I made a video of photos and songs to celebrate Cameron’s first 6 months of life. I know that I will celebrate Cole’s life with another video. I’ve made one but this one will have more to it…more memories, more photos (maybe even one of him though I am not sure I want to share those or how to share those) and more about the dreams we had for him. I also know that I’d like to celebrate his angelversary (the date he passed away) with my boys and Geoff. I want to let off balloons and blow bubbles up to him in heaven and I want to go to his garden and lay flowers at his stone and cry.
I also want, desperately, to find a way to help others, in his memory. I would like to do a fundraiser and donate money to Mt. Sinai and I really think writing something that can help others is a way I can honor this special little boy.
The son in the book tells his mom that she is like a yellow traffic light…not red , not green…not all happy , not all sad but a bit of both. And I guess that’s me too….I am sad because I miss my baby and we missed out on raising twins together but I am so very happy that I have Cameron here with us and that Cole is in heaven and is at peace. And this is okay…to be happy and sad together.
I am encouraged to write a letter to Cole in Heaven…I’ve done this before though not for awhile but I talk to him all the time…here’s what I say;

Hello there beautiful baby;
I see your shining blue green eyes each day as I gaze at your twin brother and I wonder if you are as wonderfully happy as he is….or is he as wonderfully happy because he has you in his heart. I hope that you are enjoying all the toys up there in Heaven…do you bounce as high as Cameron on your exersaucer? Do you snuggle up and give kisses too? Do you miss me as much as I miss you?
This is so very hard, this living without you. I wanted so much for you, looked forward to watching and Cameron grow together. It was always so hard for me to know how to react about the life we would all have together. I was so very overwhelmed for so long but the worst of that busy time I worried about is over now with Cameron and I know for sure I could have done this….it would have worked, we would have made it. I could have been that twin mommy I was so scared to be. I have enough love in my heart for all of my children. I miss you so very much and although I know you are at peace in Heaven, most days I just want you here with me.
I wonder if I’ll know you when I get to Heaven. Well to be honest, some days I wonder if I’ll get there at all. Do you grow up along with Cameron? I assume as much and picture you that way…that though your body stopped growing inside of me you continued to grow just like your twin. When I reach the gates of Paradise I imagine you will give me the hugs and cuddles I’ve missed so much and you’ll look just like Cameron when I leave him here on Earth to join you there.
I want you to know that I love you so very much and miss you from the very depths of my heart. I know that I am forever changed because I had you, you will be a part of my heart and soul for all the days of my life.
Love you smiley red haired angel baby!

My emotions are triggered by so many things…a smile or belly laugh from Cameron, seeing twins somewhere, finding an ultrasound picture of Cole, a wonderful gift for Cole’s garden from an unexpected person, writing thank you cards and memories….so many memories. My emotions change so quickly but you are steadfast in your love for me and your truth. Remind me gently of your presence in my pain and show me how to make it count for good.