Tuesday, August 28, 2012

And I hear voices.

I don't know about you, but I believe in God. I believe in Christ and in His infinite ability to communicate with us. I've been thinking about this blog posts for weeks. I've been meaning to sit down and write more, but things (always, duh!!) don't work out as I plan. I nearly severed a finger this summer (yes,true story), and typing and picking at the keyboard with one finger quickly lost it's appeal. Finger is healed quite well now. I can type more regularly, so here we are.

My son is dead. Isaac will turn 4 this coming April. It seems like forever ago and yesterday all at the same time. Some days I wish I could relive those moments with him alive in my arms, and some days I want to bolt from that reality. I look at little boys his age and my heart cringes. I hate the reminders. Of what should have been mine, of who he should be, and what his presence should be like in our family. He's missing. I miss him.

Some days I still clutch his blanket close, and remember that he touched the same cloth. That he was real and there. That I touched him and loved him and felt his body against mine. I have never washed that blanket. I never will. Touching that blanket is like touching him, we are one. Many days I feel his spirit in and around our home. I know he still lives, he lives in a spirit world, and I know that he is aware of our family and needs. I know he knows how much we love and miss him. I know that  heaven exists, that there are moments where the veil is so thin, that we are surrounded by those gone before us. Heaven is real. This is truth.

Call me crazy. But I have my own friend, spirit, guardian angel, family member - - maybe it's God, even, who communicates with me during only the most critical moments in life. I can count three times I have heard his voice. No, I am not nuts. Well, maybe a little, but not THAT kind of crazy. I think??

My dad, the asshole, the man that he was, chose a woman over my brother, sister, and I. She did not want kids, and apparently he did not either, because he gave us away. He gave us away to his friends. Louie and Val. Who also happened to be child molesters. I don't know how long it look, but Louie was after me. After all of us, I'm pretty sure, and maybe even after his own children. Initially we were made to share a bed with one of his daughters. She wet the bed and saturated my brother and I in urine every night. He and I ended up opting to sleep on the floor, huddled over a heating vent to keep warm. It was better than the other option - being cold and wet. That girl must have been hurting, we all were. I remember a particular moment when I first heard this voice. Louie was naked, in bed, his dog guarding the door way. I was petrified of that little dog, the dog hated me, too. Louis told me to get in bed with him. I felt sick to my stomach. I knew what was about to happen and I was terrified. I heard a man's voice in my head. I cannot really describe it. It was peaceful and loving and strong. Wise and comforting. The voice said: Tell Louie no. Leave the room. The dog will not hurt you. I did as I was instructed. The dog left me alone. And I can honestly say that I cannot remember a time that Louie ever touched me again after that moment. That moment was holy, I walked on sacred ground, I was protected.

The second time I heard the voice was soon after I received Isaac's diagnosis. The days after we knew Isaac would die were indescribable. We were so lost and broken and weary. I was so heartbroken with fear, over the possibility of my child bearing moments ending on that note. I just could not imagine it. Who survives that? As I lay in bed, my mind was wandering. How would I get the children through this? How would Andrew cope? Could I really carry a baby to term that would die? What was it like to have your own baby die in your arms? Would I lose my mind? Would I wail? Would I be strong enough to endure? As I lay there thinking, I heard the same voice again, like an old friend. He told me to let go of the fear. That I would bare another child again. And that the child would be a healthy baby boy. That we would get to keep him.

Isaac came, he swooped right into our lives, and then right back to heaven. Andrew and I knew that we would try again for another baby. What we did not know was that I would suffer loss after loss. I was beside myself. Surely I was not wrong. Surely I had not misheard. People in my life were telling me to forget about it, move on, that it was not meant to be. That I was not strong enough, why was I doing this to myself?  I knew what I had heard, and I knew that I was right. I knew that a way would be made for my body to produce another child. I prayed and prayed again. After 3 tries and miscarriages, I became pregnant with Avery. Avery was born July 2011. He was born alive and well and screaming (best.sound.ever). Never a sweeter victory was felt. We had done it. God delivered.

The third time I heard this same voice was in early March of this year. I honestly don't know that I'll hear him again. Years pass with nothing, after all. Right after Isaac died I made him a custom sign. It's black, his name is cream, and through his name, in white, it reads "loved now and through all eternity". That simple sign and having his name displayed in our home has brought me countless moments of peace. After I made that sign I immediately felt like I should make more - - for other grieving women - - that it was important! I even made a couple of contacts, was told to make up a sample or two. I never did. I was too broken. Stuck in my moments of grief, which barreled down on my family for what seemed like forever. Isaac turned three this year. I was driving to pick up Andrew, and then I heard the voice. I was told to purchase all items necessary to start my business. To press forward and get things started, and quickly. First I felt a rush of excitement. Great news, right!!! And then I immediately felt fear. What would happen if I took the money from savings for my start up cost and totally tank? What would happen if I failed? Was I completely nuts?? I bought what I needed and waited the couple of weeks for every thing to arrive. I anxiously chatted with friends about how nervous I was. And that I was slightly afraid I was off my rocker. Shortly before Isaac's 3rd birthday, BABY BOARDS was born. I have been in business for 5 months, and made easily 500+ signs for other grieving families. Very few things have blessed my family more, to be doing such a tender work for other grieving brothers and sisters in loss.

Now that I've gotten this all written out, I'm kind of wondering what the whole point was. So now everyone will know how crazy I am?? Perhaps. But really just to share that miracles happen. That God lives, even if you are unsure. I am the one of the most undeserving people out there, can you imagine someone's potential that is much more dedicated than myself? Life changing realizations, friends. Let us all be all that we can be, and continue to work on becoming our best selves. If you know me in "real life", I know you're laughing - - mostly because you  REALLY know how far off I am from reaching that goal. At least we can journey together, right?? Any ways. Lots of work to be done. Time to scoot.

All my crazy ass LOVE,

Monday, April 23, 2012

Man Down.

So. I went to church today. And I went back and forth in my mind, for what seemed like hours, deciding if I really wanted to suffer attend, before church actually started at 1pm. I took Hannah and Ian with me. The Bishop spoke on a topic that's pretty tender to me. He talked about people that had fallen away from church activity and attendance. People who are living life styles not in compliance with gospel standards. People who had been offended or hurt. Or people who have suffered trials that they could not bare on their own. As he spoke longer, I started to squirm in my seat. He likened those situations, if you will, to a police unit that had come under fire. Some took bullets, 1 died. He went on to describe others that went back to rescue the others that had fallen. Man down. I thought about the Bishop, thought about him being at the hospital, in the very room, went Isaac's heart stopped beating. He witnessed my mother in law wailing in pain, Andrew's stunned look on his face when he came in the room to introduce Isaac to the family. He witnessed my children's hearts breaking in two. He witnessed me asking the nurse to check Isaac's heartbeat, because I need in that exact moment, Isaac had slipped away from us. MAN DOWN. In those moments I became the woman that could not do it on her own. I could not bare that burden for my family, no matter how I struggled to do so. I was in need. Isaac dieing pushed me off the cliff, broke the camel's back, broke my spirit. I am a fighter. I'm tough shit (that's pretty funny to write). I am strong. I am constant and dependable. I have a high tolerance for pain. But that. That broke me.

I've thought often over the last few years about what I did wrong. I asked for privacy immediately after Isaac died. Did asking for that mean not talking to me, or my family for months? Years? Did it mean to not email or leave something on my doorstep or mail a card. Did it mean forget my kids? And husband, too? Asking for privacy did not mean forget we exist! At least, that's what I thought. I am so thankful for the one or two people (out of a couple hundred or so) who knew us well enough to take a stab at comforting us. That loaf of bread. Those flowers. The card. Yeah, we needed that. I just don't know what happened to the other people. I lost it. And people ran.

Church. Me. Good hell. Not the best. I have struggled through the past 3 years on.my.own. First, I would try to go to church, and just cry. Then I would go to church and pray hope no one would talk to me. I wanted to just go and not be judged. Not be judged for the journey I was on. Not have the women's leadership tell people I was "coming around" again, or was "softening up". I got tired of being asked if I was new. "Uhhhhhh. No, we've lived in the ward boundaries for, like, 10 years, my baby just died, I'm struggling to get here." I just don't get it. I'm not claiming to be the loveliest peach on the block, I'm really not THAT dumb, but really.... just ANY thing. Anything would have done. I have been so frustrated the last few years feeling like people were sitting around tapping their perfect little toes on the ground waiting for me to get over it already. I mean. After all. I MUST know the gospel is true, right? I'll see Isaac again, right?? I have peace, right??? WHY is it that people cannot imagine that sorrow can exist WITH peace. People, I HAVE peace. I'm also heartbroken. I had a baby die, I had 3 miscarriages after. I HAVE a testimony and I'm struggling at the same time. Weird shit, right??

So now. Man down. Still. But thanks to MYSELF, and a little a ton of help from God, we're healing. We're getting by. We're moving on. We'll figure it out. A little at a time, we move forward. I'm more open to new friendship. I've moved away from old ones that were never any good in the first place. I've accepted that I've moved through the faze that I was SUPER hard to be around. I appreciate the people who can look back with me and cut me some a huge amount slack. It's been hard. So hard. But I'm getting by. I'm doing it. I can go back to church and roll my eyes and people who really don't know any better. I have more joy than sorrow. I have less anger and more happiness. I have more tolerance and less irritation. I am so thankful to be 3 years out, instead of 3 months.

So. You tell me. YOU tell me what you need when you are the "man down". Help me understand you better, help other unknowing people understand better too. What are ways someone can help, when really nothing else is easing your heartbreak? I was not an easy person to comfort, what would have helped you, being in my shoes? Lets share a little here.....

xoxo All my love, Misty 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Dearest Isaac,

Happy 3rd birthday my most precious boy. We love you so much and we miss you terribly. We wish you were here, running wild and making messes and getting into trouble. I have missed every kiss and cuddle and smile every moment of my life since you came and left. Until we're together again, you remember how much you are adored and miss. One day we'll make up for all that was lost. We'll be remembering you extra on your special day.

Love, Misty, Andrew, Hannah, Ian, Olivia, and Avery

Thursday, March 29, 2012

This. Is. Normal??

Normal is having tears waiting behind every smile when you realize someone important is missing from all the important events in your family’s life.
Normal is reliving that day continuously through your eyes and mind.
Normal is every happy event in my life always being backed up with sadness lurking close behind, because of the hole in my heart.
Normal is staring at every baby who looks like he is my baby’s age. And then thinking of the age he would be now and not being able to imagine it. Then wondering why it is even important to imagine it, because it will never happen.
Normal is telling the story of your child’s death as if it were an everyday, commonplace activity, and then seeing the horror in someone’s eyes at how awful it sounds. And yet realizing it has become a part of my “normal”.
Normal is each year coming up with the difficult task of how to honor your child’s memory and his birthday and survive these days.
Normal is my heart warming and yet sinking at the sight of something special that my baby would have loved, but how he is not here to enjoy it.
Normal is having some people afraid to mention my baby.
Normal is making sure that others remember him.
Normal is after the funeral is over everyone else goes on with their lives, but we continue to grieve our loss forever.
Normal is weeks, months, and years after the initial shock, the grieving gets worse sometimes, not better.
Normal is not listening to people compare anything in their life to this loss, unless they too have lost a child. NOTHING. Even if your child is in the remotest part of the earth away from you – it doesn’t compare. Losing a parent is horrible, but having to bury your own child is unnatural.
Normal is trying not to cry all day, because I know my mental health depends on it.
Normal is realizing I do cry everyday.
Normal is being impatient with everything and everyone, but someone stricken with grief over the loss of your child.
Normal is a new friendship with another grieving mother, talking and crying together over our children and our new lives.
Normal is wondering this time whether you are going to say you have three children or two, because you will never see this person again and it is not worth explaining that my baby is in heaven. And yet when you say you have two children to avoid that problem, you feel horrible as if you have betrayed your baby.
Normal is knowing I will never get over this loss, in a day or a million years.
And last of all, Normal is hiding all the things that have become “normal” for you to feel, so that everyone around you will think that you are “normal”.
-Author Unknown

Monday, March 5, 2012

So, I started a business.

Hi Friends!

I cannot believe Isaac's birthday is coming up soon. Can you believe that he'll be THREE. Three. Three years since I held that sweet baby boy in my arms. I have missed him so much. I wish he were here, getting into trouble and making messes and giving me a run for my money. His birthday falls on Easter Day this year, although a nice coincidence, that time has so many hard memories attached. So many. We buried him the day after Easter in 2009. The sorrow and devastation. I honestly don't even like to think about it, it's too easy to go back there, to that place, to remember. It still hurts. Every day.

Anywho..... Do you like how I glazed right over switched gears like that? Oh that talents we have! (wink)

So. I started a business. I KNOW!!! A custom vinyl lettering and decor business. I can't say I have it completely together, but I'm organized enough to take orders, so that's good, right?? (now you shout RIGHT!!)

In remembrance of Isaac,  I am offering special pricing on baby boards for bereaved mothers. Read all about it HERE. Or head over to my Vinyl blog, which is Writing on the Wall, and read the Baby Loss Community tab.

Here are some examples:

I'm also offering a lot more:
Word blocks and chunky blocks.
Chunky blocks.
Boards. 3 sizes.
Vinyl Lettering.
Vinyl lettering.

Also, if you are interested in blogging about my new vinyl shop, I am offering a 15% discount off of one item, plus one free word block (you pick the wording). Email here, for details: misty.writingonthewall@gmail.com.

As always, love from ME to YOU!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

100 too many.

I really wanted to be outside tonight sawing through some lumber for my latest and greatest project, but alas, the wind is blowing too harshly and Andrew is worried I'll cut a finger off due to poor lighting. So. I made up this page. Did you know you can make pages now, in blogger. Nice, right? People have been making pages for a long time, I'm just slow.

My plan B was working on this list. Eeegads. I know. And you really don't have to read it. But, just in case you are bored like me, here ya go:

1. I miss my sweet Isaac boy every.single.day of my life. I think of him often. More than often actually. 2. I was born in 1981. I finally made it to my 30's. 3. I was married in 1998 4 months before I turned 18. Can you believe it? Still going strong. 4. My children are the loves of my life, second only to Andrew, and God, of course. 5. Speaking of God. I'm still trying to figure out my relationship with him. And Jesus. 6. I was adopted, and I wish nothing more to forget my adoptive parents. Why? They are sad examples of humanity. 7. My biological father is dead. My mother is alive and crazy somewhere in the USA. 8. I still wish every day I had a Mama and Dad to look after me, and love me. 9. Having parents not care about me screwed me up forever. That, and being molested, beaten, and emotionally abused. 10. In despite of numbers 6, 7, 8, and 9, I am actually a fairly HAPPY human being. No joke. 11. I'm Mormon. I belong to The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints. 12. I'm not sure that I am a very good Mormon. 13. I sure hope there was a reason good enough for Isaac to die. 14. I have been trying to get fit and lose weight for the last 10 years. Maybe this is the year? 15. I don't do friendship very well, but I sure do try. 16. I love gardening and roses and mowing and the feeling of the sun on my face while I do it. 17. I could have a love affair with mashed potatoes. And homemade macaroni and cheese. And meat. 18. Speaking of meat, I think I was meant to be a carnivore. But I'm human. Really. 19. I love to sing loud and dance wildly. Not in front of anyone anymore. Just the kids. And occasionally Andrew. 20. I love earth tone colors. 21. I love homemaking. 22. I love cooking. I'm good at it. 23. I hate cleaning up AFTER cooking. 24. I rarely have enough energy to ENJOY cooking anymore. 25. I like the room to be very cold when I sleep at night. 26. I am a night owl. I hate getting up in the morning. 27. I thank God every single day for Avery. 28. I check on Avery several times a night to make sure he is not dead. 29. I still cannot believe Avery came to us. After Isaac dieing and 3 miscarriages. Amazing. 30. I wish I were more calm. And nice. Definitely more nice. 31. I REALLY like the huge water slides at the pool. They make me scream. The kids think it's really funny. 32. I worry every day I am screwing up my kids. I hope I haven't, not too badly anyway. 33. I don't trust people easily. I wish I did, but I don't. 34. I love bare feet. 35. I hate shoes. 36. I love pedicures. Oh. And getting my hair done. 37. I love to go to the movies. Especially for the popcorn. One of my most favorite foods EVER. 38. I love getting mail. Cards. Or packages. I wish I got more. 39. I love talking on the phone. I don't even have to leave the house to do that. 40. My husband is my best friend. 41. Speaking of my husband, sometimes I wonder how I scored such an AMAZING human being as my partner in life. 42. I hate it when my kids get picked on at school. It makes me want to kick some ASS. 43. I have a horrible potty mouth. I need to stop talking like shit. Ha. 44. I love email and facebook and texting. 45. I love blogging, I just don't get around to it much. 46. I love strawberries. 47. I love getting love notes, and writing them. 48. I say sorry a lot, I think that's really important. 49. I fear that another one of my children will die. Everyday I worry about that. 50. I still feel jealous when another woman gives birth to a healthy baby. Why not Isaac. Why not??? 51. I'm not book smart. 52. I'm actually pretty funny. 53. I'm honest. Sometimes too much so. 54. I'm bold and brave. I don't take shit. 55. If someone were to get in between me and my family, I'd flatten them. Wouldn't you? 56. I love yoga pants. 57. I like my eyes. 58. I hate to read. But I do enjoy writing. 59. I love to play in the snow, and outside. 60. I love the water. 61. I love to laugh. So hard I pee my pants. 62. I love shopping. I love shopping for my kids. 63. I love Christmas. 64. I love shopping to find the perfect gift for someone, and then wrapping it up really pretty. 65. I love purses. 66. I love organization and labeling things. 67. I hate being late, in fact, I'd rather be early. 68. The only late thing I like, is my period, when I really want to be pregnant. 70. I would love to live on a farm. 71. I'm good at singing. But I don't sing outside my house much anymore. 72. I love snuggling. 73. I love watching snow fall. And I love the rain. The sound and the smell. And thunder. 75. I miss living on the ocean. 76. I love to feel needed and valued. I value that in friendship. 78. I like making plans and schedules. I am a control freak. Bad habit I tell you. 79. I love the sound of my kids playing and the sound of my children's laughter. 80. I love for people to hang out at my house, and to feel welcome. 81. I love girls night out. And date night. I do both of those often. 82. I like kicking it around the house. Especially with Andrew. 83. I hate the school year and homework. I miss my kids when they are gone. 84. I LOVE summer vacation. I love the freedom of late nights and sleeping in. Wait, I have a baby now. 85. I love baby food jars. 86. I hated that I could not shop for Isaac, I REALLY love that I can shop for Avery. 87. I like soft light. Bright light gives me headaches. 88. I LOVE fire. I love my fire pit. 89. I love my grill. I love cooking out. 90. I love our family cabin in the woods. I love getting away, but not having to go far. 91. I love to feel safe and loved. 92. I love cuddling with my kids, even my big ones, if they let me. 93. I worry every day if I did good enough. 94. I bake my own bread. I love hot bread and also the smell of bread baking. 95. Part of me likes to be a kid with my own children. It's kinda like I get a do over. 96. I love boxes and bins. 97. I like my house to be tidy. 98. I hate to do laundry. 99. Lima beans make me gag. 100. Good hell. I'm glad I can stop writing this list now!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Better for it.

Better for it. Are you? Do you feel like you are better for living your life how you have, do you feel better for journeying through trials and growing experiences? Sometimes I struggle with that question. Do I feel like I am better for it, because I have lost a child, or been abandoned by parents or molested or abused? I actually don't really know how to answer that question yet. But this is what I do know - - - if I let it be so, I COULD be. I could turn bad into good, sorrow into joy, darkness into light. I can allow myself to continue to be a better mother for it, a better friend, wife, and neighbor. Growing for me is a slow, more times than not, a PAINFUL process. I am stubborn and closed off. Growing for me has taken YEARS, I suspect it will take many many more. It's my goal, though - - my goal to continue to move forward, even at a slow pace, and be better for my life experiences. Better for knowing and sharing with YOU. Better for learning how to by my best self.

I am better for knowing Avery. I am better for having been given the chance to become a mother again, better for being blessed with the opportunity to raise and nurture a living baby, who is mine on this earth for at least a little while. He is an absolute joy. His smile and love in his eyes, for each member of my family, is heart warming in a way that I cannot explain. It's as if he knows he was sent to us to create a healing in our home that would not be possible with out him. He is our shining star, his place is unique and sacred in our home.

I am better for knowing each of my children. Hannah is selfless. She helps, she is responsible, she is smart and kind. Ian is loving and tender. He is sensitive and soft. Olivia is wild and strong. Determined and loyal. Isaac is pure and perfect. He is a teacher and a guardian. Avery is joyful and sweet. Affectionate and soothing. I would do well to become half the person that my sweet children already are. Nothing is more important to me then them.

We survived "D-Day", diagnosis day. January 15th marked THREE YEARS since we would find out Isaac would die. My heart was sad on Sunday reflecting on all that we have been through, all that we suffered during that time. My mind drifted back to the day that we found out. I have never been so shocked in my entire life. Andrew wasn't able to take work off, I went to my ultrasound appointment alone. When the doctor began with "I am so sorry, I don't know how to tell you this.....", I completely panicked. A million things had to have flown through my head at the same time. I remember thinking that whatever problem this baby had, we could handle it. We would simply find a way to pay for what he or she needed, and our family would adapt. I guess it never even entered my mind that the baby would be so unwell, he or she would die. After I received the news, I mentally checked out. The doctor wanted to me look at the screen to see Isaac's beautiful feet and hands, and I wouldn't turn my head. It took every ounce of strength I head to not begin sobbing uncontrollably on the table. I got off the of the table, straitened my clothes, and stumbled out to the car. Once I was in the car - where no one could see, right? - I began sobbing. I do not remember the last time I ever cried like that. I laid my head on the steering wheel and wailed for what seemed like forever. When I could breath again, I lifted my head, dried my eyes on my shirt, and drove to my in law's home. I tried the best to explain to them what had happened, but they were just as dumb founded as me. I never, in 10 or 11 years, have clutched my father in law to me in a hug, but I walked over to him. He grabbed me, and the sobbing just started all over again. I don't know how me managed over the next few days. I had to break the news to Andrew, the kids, the extended family. We had doctor appointments and more doctor appointments. We had huge decisions to make. I wasn't sleeping. The kids were not sleeping. In fact, we were all sleeping in the living room together. That is a time in my life I wish to never ever visit again. I am forever changed by that experience, and by that loss. I have never grieved so hard and felt so lost. I was so utterly heart broken.

And now here we are. 3 years later. 3 miscarriages and a BABY later. We are not the same, I know I will never be, but I am trying to find ways to be better for it. Just how, that remains the question.

We miss Isaac so much. We speak of him often and I look at his pictures around the house every day. I try not to visit my grief over him much, because I simply cannot survive in that place. Time moves on, somehow we must allow it to take us along.

I am better for writing. I have always loved to write. My goal is to write more this year. It does not matter who reads and who doesn't. My soul feels purged and better for it. And that, my dear friends, makes writing time well spent.

Until next time, all my love,