Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Beautiful People

I found this quote and it touched a cord so I decided to share it and comment on it.

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."

--- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

I think, so often, those who have lost a loved one, suffered tragedy, survived a crisis, endured a chronic illness and simply struggled to find their way through a very tough situation are of two mindsets or maybe more so, respond one of two ways. Perhaps the analogy of ‘whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ would most suit here.
Loss and tragedy can often run and control your life. It can make you hard, cynical and so very angry. Those feelings, most likely, occur for everyone at some point in the grief process. In highschool, as many who know me will remember, I lost a very dear friend, a boyfriend in fact, to leukemia. I had been touched by the loss of young people before….not many who grew up in our area of rural Ontario seemed to be immune to it as it just seemed like each year a student or two were killed in accidents in our community. But this was different, this was so heartbreaking to me. It wasn’t that I hadn’t known it could happen but it still caught me by surprise and was the first time my faith was tested. I became very angry and very bitter. I became pretty attention seeking too. And in time, I mellowed, I grieved and I accepted.
With Cole it was different. Initially I wasn’t angry, bitter or cynical. I was lost, I was sad, I was devastated but I was not angry with God. That came in it’s own time though really, I would have to admit, it did not own me. I did feel a very strong sense of being lost, of not knowing how to cope with my feelings , of not being able to find my way out of the grief. At times I still feel that I am still very strongly embraced by grief.
But mostly I feel that I am like so many of the wonderful new friends that I have, those other parents who have lost a child or children in later pregnancy or in infancy, most especially to TTTS. I feel what so many of the people I have met are so inspiring as they have become so full of compassion and love and have grown so much by knowing the despair, the heartbreak and have struggled to find their way back to life after losing their child. They have learned to appreciate life, to embrace and to cherish each moment. So many people have been there for me on horribly sad days. So many of them have reached out to others to let them know that someone cares. They are full of compassion and understanding, they are my dearest friends at times.
They are beautiful people who didn’t just happen.

Friday, October 15, 2010

International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

In honour of International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, Oct. 15th. I am posting this amazing song. … I will warn you…today’s post will likely be one that you need the Kleenex for….

music & lyrics: Gerrit Hofsink

I've been waiting for you
For such a long time
You're always on my mind

And I'm lying awake
Most of the night
Waiting to hold you tight

Now that I do
And look at you
My heart is breaking
This can't be true

Lost you before I found you
Gone before you came
But I love you just the same
Missed you before I met you
On earth we never can
But in heaven we'll meet again

Close to my soul
Close to my heart
Right from the start

Lost in time
Lost in space
Can't wait to see your face

Now that I do
And look at you
My heart is breaking
I know it's true

Lost you before I found you
Gone before you came
But I love you just the same
Missed you before I met you
On earth we never can
But in heaven we'll meet again

Sometimes I find myself wondering what to do
With this pain that I’m going through
But I know one day, God will take me away
And I’m coming home to you

And when I do
And look at you
My heart is healing
I know it’s true

Lost you before I found you
Gone before you came
But I love you just the same
Missed you before I met you
On earth we never can
But in heaven we'll meet again

In Heaven we’ll meet again.

I ask that today you light a candle and participate in the international wave of light campaign to remember all babies lost in pregnancy through miscarriage or stillbirth or the loss of infants at or just after birth. I ask you to light this candle in memory of Cole. We miss him so much each day…but especially today when it’s a day to remember these special angels.
I love this song, I love the message it leaves. I am feeling so lost today, I miss Cole so much. I know that I will see his face again, really, I guess I see it each day.
Oh Cole… I am so lucky to know what you look like wee one but sometimes I think that just makes it that much harder. I lost you before you ever had a moment to take your first breath but you have given me so many moments that have taken my breath away. We did not meet on earth, I did not see your eyes wide open, your mouth smiling, I did not smell your sweet baby smell or touch your soft baby skin. My heart was broken when I learned you had left us before you we found you. But you are with me always and I know that you are waiting for me at Heaven’s Gate…I will be there and we will be together again. I will love you just the same as I love all of your brothers. For now I hold your brothers near and dear and pray that you will watch over us all and guide us through life till we all meet again.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Making a Difference

Sometimes when you are down, when you feel like no one notices what you do, when the world seems to be crapping all over you a reminder is needed....

The Starfish Story
adapted from The Star Thrower
by Loren Eiseley (1907 - 1977)

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."

I've been reminded lately by a few wonderful people about the differences I make...especially in the world of TTTS. My first remniders came in the last 10 days or so as 4-5 online friends sent me messages of thanks, of requests for support, of words of encouragement after I made the latest 'twin video'. I also had a request for support and connections for a new TTTS mom from right here in my area. She had the same medical team that I did and one of the doctors that I have remained friends with approached me to offer support. It really amazes me to see the difference I can make... I just do it and think nothing of it. It doesn't seem like much to me, though I am sure that when I am on the computer (too much) it seems like a lot to my family. But it is a way to help keep our son Cole's memory alive, and it pays tribute to his twin brother, Cameron.
But even more of a sign of the difference I can make can be found in this story
and this wonderful idea that my new friends whio work in fundraising for the foundation at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto came up with. I am the first person to use the 'service' and am so proud to feel Cole working through me to keep his memory alive...to help all families struggling with pregnancy complications. With any luck Cole will not be welcoming too many more angels to Heaven as with this money, this support, Dr. Ryan and his team will save more and more wee lives.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Moments that Take our Breath Away

Today started out kind of like the weather...miserable, cold, achey and grey. I was tired and grumpy and full of negativity. Moments like these seem to make everything, everyone seem to be against me...and I hate it. I hate jealousy and wishful thinking...I hate wanting the things I don't have and I hate wishing I was somoeone else. It always seems in moments like this that I feel the ache of losing Cole over and over...I relive it, I often tear up....I just go backwards so far.
So as I am driving along on my way to work, feeling down and sorry for myself this song plays on the radio and I almost stopped the car. I have heard it before, even thought about sharing it here but today it just hit me...it was just what I needed to hear....

The Breath You Take"

He looks up from second base, dad's up in the stands
He saw the hit, the run, the slide, there ain't no bigger fan
In the parking lot after the game
He said, "Dad, I thought you had a plane to catch?"
He smiled and said, "Yeah, son, I did"

But life's not the breath you take, the breathing in and out
That gets you through the day, ain't what it's all about
You just might miss the point trying to win the race
Life's not the breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away

Fast forward fifteen years and a thousand miles away
Boy's built a life, he's got a wife and a baby due today
He hears a voice saying, "I made it son"
Says, "I told you dad, you didn't have to come"
He smiles and says, "Yeah, I know you did"

But life's not the breath you take, the breathing in and out
That gets you through the day, ain't what it's all about
You just might miss the point trying to win the race
Life's not the breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away

Just like it took my breath when she was born
Just like it took my breath away when dad took his last that morn

Life's not the breath you take, the breathing in and out
That gets you through the day, ain't what it's all about
Just might miss the point if you don't slow down the pace
Life's not the breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away

Life isn't about the breaths we take...breathing in and out takes no effort, requires no thought and is the easiest thing to do. Being able to breath is great, getting through the day easily...wonderful. But it doesn't make a life. Struggling to breath I guess doesn't make a life either but it sure makes you appreciate what effort it takes to breath. And worrying about how to take those breaths only distracts you from the amazing things in your life. We seem to get so caught up in runnning our lives, in breathing each day, that we forget about what makes a life... the moments that take your breath away...
the first time someone you are in love with tells you they love you
the words will you marry me and I do
the +'ve sign on pregnancy test
the sound of your baby's first cry
first steps, first words, hugs, kisses etc.
the words, for me, 'there's two babbies in there'...now there was a moment that took my breath away
seeing my babies (all 4 of them at different points) on ultrasound...wow! But even more so watching Cameron and Cole bump into each other, kick each other, hug each other....breathless

Those are all moments I've had that have taken my breath away. Like George Strait, I also had my breath taken away with the loss of a loved one. For sure one of the moments that left me breathless was with the news that Cole was gone... I was devastated and shocked and found it very hard to breath. But it still didn't compare with the breathlessness that I had at the announcement of his existence. Even now when I think of those days my breath gets caught in my throat.
When I think of the first time I held my very first child...wow, what a breathless moment.
With Brycen breathless moments have always come with words...he says so many adorable things. Some (I love you as big as the sky mom) are filled with joy and others steal my breath as they bring tears to my eyes (mom I miss Cole so much, can't we just go to Heaven and bring him back?).
And Cameron, he has made me breathless from day one. I knew, from the moment I suspected I was pregnant that this baby (babies) was different. I am breathless so much of time when I am around him, he shows me daily what miracles are. His hugs, his love, his joy, his excitement.... the life he seems to live that is full of the life, energy and love of two little boys....breathless!
I hope your life leaves you breathless!