My arms are empty and acheing...

I can’t believe I’m a mother without…

Life has been twisted and turned upside down. As a mother, I had both the wonderful privilege of holding my sweet son as I brought him into this world…and the horrible chore of holding him as he took his last breaths and left this world, at only 7 years old. June 24, 2010 he earned his angel wings, passing away after an inspiring but brief fight against Cystic Fibrosis. Now I live, solely focusing on living a life to get to be with him again in heaven, and to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis research. I am dedicated to a cure, not only for my sweet sons legacy but so that other CF families never experience the greatest loss of their lives that we are now facing. My mother’s arms are missing Connerman, yet he still inspires me daily to leave a mark of LOVE on this world…so for you my sweet prince, mommy will try!

Love Love Love

Always Always Always

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Catching my breath…

It’s another Thursday.

I’m hating Halloween d├ęcor more each day. It’s coffins and the dead. thanks, but I’m all stocked up for now…

I’ve forgotten how he smelled.

I’ve forgotten how tall he was standing next to me.

I miss that horrible cough. I do. Just the sound of it.

I went into his bedroom today for the first time in a LONG while. The door has been locked. For good reason. I won’t be going back in anytime soon.

He keeps playing me our special couple songs on the radio, each time I’m in the car.

Sweet boy.

stress has taken over my body. my entire body is constantly tensed up and in knots.

Being so far away from him is tearing me apart from the inside out.

I keep thinking of that horrible day 17 Thursdays ago. That horrible, horrible day.

that horrible night.

that horrible next morning.

that horrible next week.

its so hard each day to keep going. to keep putting one foot in front of the other and giving my pain over to God, over and over again. Because His plan has caused me the greatest pain I could ever imagine. And right now I can’t see anything good coming from this. Conner’s lead many to His Kingdom and that’s awesome! But, he could’ve done that while he was alive.

I don’t have much in common anymore with people that I love very dearly. and that scares me.

life keeps going…

days keep coming

night keeps falling upon us…

but why can’t it stop even just a moment so I can simply catch my breath.

its been 4 months and the wind gets knocked out of me each and every day, many times a day, still.


I run into his teachers and my heart breaks.

I go places that he should be going with me to and my heart breaks again

I just want it all to stop.


please…please just let me catch my breath…


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Normal everyday activities, never again normal…


its that dreaded day.

I won’t even pretend it was ok.

cus it wasn’t.

brad stayed at my dads last night to go to the Seahawks game today…so last night, Hunter and I snuggled in my bed together…my heart was so heavy. we got up and got dressed and out the door to the first service at church. the church Conners service was at. it’s still hard to go there, but I’m trying. we dropped baby B at the nursery and went to the sanctuary. we were greeted with such love and our pastor hugged Hunter and I. Hunter chose our spot kinda towards the back…and he dove into his coloring bag the church has for the kids…he drew our family…even conner…it was beautiful. After the kids were dismissed to their Sunday School time, I just felt so alone. Not even that I was sitting alone, because that doesn’t bother me at all…but my heart felt empty. pastor spoke his message and kept locking eyes with me…once again I spent the entire service crying. not even just a tear or two…the ugly cry with the snot and the red, blotchy eyes. Pastor kept saying how much God loves each of us. That’s not news to me…but I needed to be reminded of that today. he led us in a song and one of the lyrics said something like “theres no one in heaven I long to be with but you…” and I couldn’t sing that. because I don’t mean it. He’s not the only person I want to see in heaven. I want to see my son. I need to see my son. I really feel such a heaviness in my spirit. nothing out of darkness or anger, I simply miss my son…DESPERATLY.

Normal everyday activities are no longer normal.

everythings changed.

not one thing in our lives has been unaffected.

the simplest of tasks leads my heart to sadness.

getting up and out the door to church in just 30 minutes seems like a miracle for some…for me it’s a slap in my face. when conner was here we could NEVER get out of the house in less than an hour upon waking up. he had meds and nebs and treatments and probably IV’s…so to get out of the house with such ease and speed isn’t cause for celebration, it’s unsettling.

loading two boys into the car and not 3…

watching Hunter leave for childrens church is great, but my Connerman would’ve sat with me during the service. He would’ve loved me to hold him in my arms during worship. He would’ve rested upon my lap during the pastors lesson. but he wasn’t there…

driving to Portland after church to pick up flooring with my two boys…it never would’ve fit if Conner was still alive and we needed room for 3 carseats. that just sucks.

arriving home from Portland to a backyard of people there from our church to help us finish projects that had to go on hold during these horrible few months…that was heart warming and heart wrenching at the same time. These are projects we could’ve completed ourselves had God not taken Conner…

right now our house is so quiet.

no oxygen concentrator buzzing.

no pari nebs blazing with a $5000 life saving drug.

no Conner laying on his favorite spot on the couch watching a show or playing Wii. Or snuggling me in my bed.

my eyes are constantly stinging with the threat of tears…any one word or any one remembrance will trigger enough tears to flood all of Washington.

A constant lump in my throat that makes it near impossible to swallow…it’s a constant reminder that he’s gone…

my body’s on edge always.

it’s always ready to cry.

to grieve.

to sink into my seat or slither back into bed and just sleep all this away.

so…God loves me????


He sees all this pain, all this suffering and he loves ME???


He absolutely does.

To see it, is a choice.

Each and every blessing is from Him…the sunshine, a favorite song on the radio just when I need it…a diaper without poopy in it when it’d be just enough to throw me over the edge (TMI I’m sure)…you name it. I know he loves me. and I know I love him.

but it doesn’t make any of this better.

or easier.

or less painful.

it is so hard for me to look at pictures of him lately. cus I see exactly what I miss the most. I see that little warrior that I love so much more than I ever dreamed possible. that young soul who changed so many peoples lives, and led many to Gods kingdom. I see that beautiful boy that I carried, nurtured, showered with love, hugs and kisses…fully knowing that his time would be shorter than average…but never knew it’d be done so soon.

it’s much easier to simply think of Conner abstractly. the pain is less intense that way. but seeing him in a picture makes it so much more real….

not one single thing is the same anymore…

not one activity can be accomplished without thinking of him.

there are not many moments in each day where hes not on my mind.

his death has rocked my world. turned it upside down…shattered my expectations, and killed my hopes and dreams and turned them into failures and regrets.

hunters picture he colored at church today had a rainbow and a boy under it. He said the boy is brother Conner…way up above the clouds.

Hunter asked me why Heaven is so high in the sky, so far away…

all I could say was that heavens not as far away as we probably think…

just one breath seperates life from heaven…

He’s just one breath away…

love love love

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Alone in a crowded room…

Tomorrow marks the 24th.

Meaning he’s been away for 4 entire months already. I am so lonely. I feel like I’ve been filling my days with people that I love, doing things that I love, but still…in the depths of my spirit I’m so lonely. I feel empty. pretty sure it’s a new wonderful stage of this grief. my heart is just empty. these past four months I’ve had to say goodbye to some people in my life that I love, permanately and some temporarily. I’ve had to figure out how to grieve. I’ve struggled to make sense of this mess. I try desperately to be happy. to not fall into a dark hole of depression…if I’m honest here I’d say that somedays I’m teetering…barely hanging on. I’m so tired of each new day…saying goodbye to the one prior that was so much like the one just before that one and on and on. I’m tired of this. it is so hard to stay positive and happy.

because there are many days, and many parts during each of my days where I have to sit down and try to make sense of this pain. why is it here? why us? why conner? I wrestle with God and His plan. every single day. I just hate feeling so desperate. so unhappy. so empty. so alone. alone in a crowded room…people send me their love, text their support, I still get mail of encouragement, but…my soul is empty. my smile can’t make up for the unhappiness in my heart. that too is fading. I’m sick of the charade. I’m sick of all of this. the pain of losing Conner intensifies each day, it knocks me to my knees in pain each day. each and every day. so why in the world would I want to get out of bed? why would I want to keep smiling? I can’t in this grief understand how Job could keep praising and trusting 110% in his pain. My heart loves God and believes in him and his love, but there is still a huge human part of me that screams ENOUGH!

This isnt something that I can ever expect to get over. losing a child isn’t something one could ever get over…simply get thru…if that even makes sense. I have no idea what I will feel tomorrow…hell I have no idea what I will feel in 20 minutes from now. I still smile and play with my kids, and joke and share laughter with my husband and my close friends, but that’s only the surface layer of me. I think of myself now more like an onion…how dumb…I know. but it fits. my top layer is thin…surface…it will smile and laugh and try to make the best of each moment that I can…Lord knows I don’t wanna give into all these horrible feelings of pain and hurt. but if you were to go down a few layers…you’d see pain…you’d see despair…cutting into that truth would bring you to tears with the smell of desperation and pain.

I feel like the oldest 30 year old in the world.

the holidays are coming…my husbands birthday is coming…I tell you my mind just races back to one year ago. about this time I was sitting down to start the first of MANY discussions with the CF team about Conner’s deteriorating health. almost one year ago I started writing in this blog for sanity. one year ago he was oxygen free during the day. he was still well for a few weeks at a time…instead of maybe one week tops. One year ago we got their Halloween costumes…our 3 sons…


Conner was Darth Vader, hunter was a clone trooper and baby B was Yoda…we were a family of 5…LIVING 5…

a year ago we were starting the planning for Conner’s Make a Wish trip with his wish fairies…



here we come to the holidays…I don’t know how we’re going to make it thru these next few months. I miss my son. so much. my entire life is shattered beyond recognition. I wish I had no responsibilities so I could simply sit at home and try to come to terms with this monumental loss. I cannot wait to ask God why…why why why. I fought day in and day out, around the clock for conner. I scheduled and took him to each appointment, I held his hand thru his pain. I did every single thing I could for him…and now it doesn’t matter. I’m supposed to just move on and get “over” it. I can never. never. I will never again be full, complete…truly happy until I get to heaven. I’ll make the most of my time here like ive been doing. I love my husband and my children and we will just keep trudging forward, one foot in front of the other…but all of us collectively won’t feel complete until we’re all together again. theres a HUGE gap in our lives. in our house. in our each and every moment. hunters crying more. he’s acting out more. baby B talks of Conner so much. Stares at his pictures and dances to his songs. brad cries himself to sleep many nights…I do as well. I’m not sure how he functions thru each day while he’s at work…for me…every single moment I’m awake im surrounded by his memory and my failure. and it’s a hard pill to swallow most days. it’s too much pain to even put into words. I lost my son who was so sick and medically fragile, and that I fought for from 4 months pregnant…and it just wasn’t ever going to be enough. and that hurts like hell…hurts so much.

I keep looking at the pictures of his last few weeks….

my heart just aches…









(this one KILLS me!)



(the day before he passed…)


(the day he left us…the longest day of my entire life!)



(early in the day with my FUCF shirt on)



one moment here…..the next minute…





and my heart just can’t move forward….

love love love


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thankful Thursday



today is a hard day to find anything to be thankful for. it’s a hard day to get out of bed.


gone 16 thursdays already…almost exactly 4 months…

I’m struggeling to find the meaning, the lesson, the message and struggeling to find hope.

so for today, to be completely raw and real…today I am thankful for quiet time while Hunters at school and baby B naps, today I am thankful for quiet.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stop & think…

I’ve been stuck in bed so much since Saturday afternoon that I’m sore from just laying…I was able to sleep most of the time which is wonderful but there were many times all I could do was lay there, awake…thinking.

about Conner.

about friendships.

about my passions, my dreams, my hopes…

my failures…

It was too much time to just sit and think. Especially when Conners face is what I wake up to in 16x20 on my wall facing my bed. His smiling face as I love to remember it most…


well…without the oxygen tubes would’ve been nicer, but this is just how he was to me. How he will always be to me. Smiling in the midst of tremendous adversity and pain. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to not be able to breathe for so long. I can not imagine what it was like to get that huge push pin needle poked into his port so often for IV meds. Or sitting on the couch, watching your siblings run outside and play while your stuck in doing treatment after treatment, knowing that you couldn’t keep up anyway. I just can’t imagine that.

and yet he smiled…


I just can’t accept that he’s gone. as in really gone.

seems it was just yesterday we were still in the fight. it really does. time has passed so quickly, yet its passed so slowly as well. bizarre.

but i miss him.


it’s hard having all these firsts happen over and over. it makes me miss him more.

we went to the pumpkin patch this past weekend, without him. I remembered him carrying that big pumpkin at Spooner farms at 3 yrs old saying “heady big pumpkin mama heady big” which obviously is how he said heavy. it played in my mind over and over again. he wasn’t there. But we managed to push thru and enjoy the afternoon (before I landed in bed with the flu that is)…we got 5 pumpkins…a white one for our angel boy…







(left to right, daddy, mama, conner, hunter and baby b)


There was no way we’d go and not get 5 pumpkins…when we saw the Boo pumpkins (white ones) we knew right away that was perfect for Conner. We bought two mini pumpkins as well and took them to his grave. One orange, one white.

I think having the flu really made me stop and think about life and whats been going on the past few months and I spent alot of time soul searching amidst dreaming in la la land…I feel good about the choices that I’ve made and I feel good about where we are headed as a family of 5 minus a beautiful 1. It still hurts fiercely, and my emotions run the gammit day in and day out…but I just trust that one day this will all make sense, and God will get to pour out my bucket of tears that He’s been collecting and He’ll reunite me with Connerman…which makes all the pain in this life worth it.

Love Love Love


Friday, October 15, 2010

I hope I loved enough…

It feels so long since I last saw him. Since I last heard his sweet voice, or held him close, or laid next to him in his hospital bed. It feels like forever since I heard that familiar buzzing of oxygen in my house, or the neb constantly going, or the Vest machine going, or meds to fix, needles…all of it. I think not having those things each day is what really compounds the loss. Brad had to work to provide for our family, so most of this fell on my shoulders, not all, Brad took the night shift on IV’s and stayed over when he could at the hospital…but Conner (and the other boys as well) was my full time job. Especially since about January on. I remember calling Make a Wish to see what would happen if Conner passed away while we were in Hawaii…yet he fought thru it. He had about a month after that trip where he was IV free, and feeling pretty well. But then it all caught up to him again. From about February until the day he flew to Jesus his care was around the clock. Pictures are now landmarks to me. I look at the dates on them, sometimes not believing that a particular picture was taken a week, or two weeks, etc before he left us. It was just so sudden, yet it wasn’t. The regrets in my mind are huge. HUGE. I wish I’d known. I wish I could’ve seen what everyone close to me could see. But a mother’s eyes don’t work that way…what we see gets funneled thru our hearts and our minds tell us we’re overreacting. But now I know that I can never get that precious time back. That for the rest of my life in the back of my mind I will replay what I WISH i could’ve done OVER AND OVER…what I should’ve done.

I still can’t believe he’s gone.

That he’s not coming home.

I crawl into bed each night remembering how Brad and I held him and each other the last 10 minutes of his life. That’s precious time I’ll never get back. EVER. I hope that I said everything to him that I needed him to know. I hope he knew in his heart how much I loved him. How much it killed me to let him go, yet how grateful I was that he would no longer struggle and suffer in pain. I hope he knew that I tried everything I could to save him. I called Dr’s around the country, I took him to many specialists, I even called and looked into alternative medicines. I needed to try everything I could for him. All the while I wonder if he could see thru my smile. If he knew my pain and my constant worry.

I don’t think losing a child at any age is more devastating than any other. I know of people who’ve lost their babies while they were pregnant with them, or shortly after birth, or a week later, or at 42…the pain is just the same. Yet in this pain it’s easy to feel cheated. That God cheated me away from more time. Honestly, there would never be enough time. I wished that the plan was for our child to grow old like he’s supposed to. Yet, I’m so thankful that I got so much time with Conner. Most of it was spent fighting for his life, a job that I had my PhD in and I took seriously. Literally a job of life or death. I know I couldn’t have saved him. It wasn’t God’s plan for whatever reason (I may never know it this side of Glory), but I tried. I tried so hard. That’s why I feel someday’s like I should’ve done more. Found another Dr, got another 2nd opinion, searched for more medications, just done more.

That day that he died…I still can’t even think about it. I’m so thankful that I blogged about it, so one day I can look back to remember…but right now i still can’t. It’s everything in me to try to not get lost in grief. I have flashbacks from that day…and its more like a nightmare. I can’t believe how calm Brad and I were that day, it really surprises me. Denial big time and i thank God that He did that for us. We rearranged our furniture in our living room recently, which is nice because then we’re not contantly looking at where Conner would be sitting etc. One small change makes a huge difference. But it’s just devastating.

I feel so weak, so lost without him, and such a failure to him.

i know there was nothing I could’ve done to save him…I just hope I loved him enough while he was here…



Love Love Love

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another Thankful Thursday…

Naturally its been a week so I cannot recall what I was thankful for last week…so I hope they don’t overlap…my brain is mush anymore anyways, so I’ve learned to give myself a break. I learned you have to do that. Nobody is more critical of you, then you are of yourself. Myself included. We can be our own enemies if we let ourselves stay in the dark…

This week I am thankful for books.

I’ve been reading many facinating books on grief and loss of a child, and I’m learning to accept my feelings and emotions as normal. it helps me to not feel so alone. Some of my recent favs are Mary Beth Chapmans book “Choosing to SEE”, Angie Smith’s book “I will carry you”, “How to go on living when someone you love dies” by Theresa Rando PhD,  “The Empty Chair” by Susan Zonnebelt-Smeenge, and “When Your Family’s Lost a Loved one” by Nancy Guthrie.

amazing books.

amazingly insightful.

I’ve gotta huge stack of books yet to read so I’m working my way thru them…

but alas today…I’m absolutely thankful for books on grief and loss of a child…



Love Love Love

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

broken hearts


I don’t know if it’s simply wishful thinking, or just me being naive, but I’ve had a few ok days in a row, so I chose to believe that maybe life was getting back on track.

it’s not.

today proved that to me yet again that dreams and wishes and hopes are so much sweeter than the coldness of reality. i think because it’s been so beautiful outside, my favorite time of year, the leaves are falling and slowly turning, but it’s warm enough to be outside without a coat, playing or gardening, with the warm sun dancing across my face…i felt good. i let it make me feel good.

i needed so badly to feel good.

Yet today, another beautiful day, sunny and warm but there was a heaviness in my heart all day long.

This am I took Hunter to his 2nd session at The Dougy Center which is the nations leading children’s bereavement support group in Portland, OR. I got him in the siblings class, so all the children are ages 3-6 and have lost a brother or sister, not a parent, etc. So their pain would be similar, never the same, but similar. He again, was hesitant for me to leave him, last session I stayed with him the entire time. and that proved to be difficult. children are so much more on the surface with their grief than adults are. they’re more expressive and more brutally honest with their emotions and pain. It was hard to hear all the children’s pain.

the session starts with a circle time and Hunter had me stay with him for that before they would split up and go to seperate rooms of their choice to play, draw, paint, jump, run, scream, build, whatever their hearts desired to do. So i stayed. They started by “celebrating” an anniversary. A brother and sister lost their oldest sister a year ago this Friday. they brought pictures, they told of what happened to her. Then they went around the room and each kid took a turn saying who in their life died and how…and I cannot tell you the pain in my heart when over and over the sentence the children used to describe how their siblings died “was from a broken heart…”


that i understand. as a parent it’s hard to go into all the specifics and overwhelming details of what exactly happened to their sibling. So dyeing from a heart condition becomes dyeing from a broken heart. Dyeing from Cystic Fibrosis became dyeing from broken lungs. makes perfect sense on a surface level…

but dive into it with me.

how true are those words.

died of a broken heart.

there are somedays i feel like that will be the end of me. my broken heart. the pain sometimes becomes so unbearable that even the smallest of tasks becomes physically overwhelming. impossible. I feel many days that a broken heart is a true disease. it’s not depression, it’s not simply sorrow, and it’s more than grief. It is so completely different then when we were in high school and we were so called “broken hearted” when our “love and future spouse” broke up with us. right? boy that pales in comparison.

But burying my child has broke my heart.

shattered it…beyond recognition…beyond repair.

there are days that come and go, that are like the days of early this week, where they are fine, I feel well, the sun is shining, my spirits are stable…and I feel good. but that is a very temporary state i’ve found. nothings normal anymore.

i miss getting out of bed cranky trying to rush to get the kids up and dressed so I can get Conner to school on time. I miss the dull boringness of the day…how many days passed by with ease, painfree, and peacefully. I miss the days where even as I smiled that in the back of my mind I didn’t hear the constant theme POUNDING in my ears “conners gone. hes not coming back. his body is in the cold ground”

life is just different.

as we went around the room today at the Dougy Center, (the parents have their own session as the children do), a man gently smiled and welcomed me to that club. Oh yes, Im well aware of that club. that one that nobody wants to join. OUCH. I hoped that maybe I wasn’t the newest death represented, but alas I was. I don’t know what I was thinking. its only been weeks…for some there it’s been years, for some its been nearly a year, and for that one special family that we honored today by lighting candles for their angel in heaven, some have been gone a year this friday. and that just sucks.

we were such a hodge podge of people, adults crammed into this room with probably nothing in common except for the death of a child. one mother lost her child in a car crash that was caused by her falling asleep at the wheel, one of leukemia, two of heart defects, one from SIDS, and on and on it went. but the clear emotion in that room was pain. intense pain. it was nice to sit there in silence and simply listen. they’ve been living this longer than I have. some of them have punched their cards to renew their membership a few years now…whereas mine is he shiniest one in the bunch. new. it was nice to just be surrounded by people who got it. and yet it was so difficult as well.

traveling to Portland, where Conners care was, well and where much of his life was spent, is becoming more difficult each time. i see that hospital, or even the exit to the hospital and my heart wishes i was headed there. i look in the rearview mirror expecting to see just Conner in his seat either napping or watching his dvd as i drive him to clinic…but all i see is Hunters sullen face…and the pain that we share is enough to probably slow the car down a few mph.

i have to give these burdens to god many times throughout my day…over and over again. The Bible says that He’s carrying me, and catching every one of my tears to feel the full weight of my sorrow…and I believe it’s true. I’m just so physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted from trying to keep up with the Jones’…funny cus I’m one of them!

there are days now…where i have to talk myself out of bed. i havent had to do that before.

i barely answer my phone. i just feel neck deep in grief and it is overwhelming.

so i truly think that yes…those children imparted much wisdom to my day today. i truly believe that people can infact die from a broken heart…

and i pray to God that I’m not one of them…

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Woman of Faith…

What an amazing weekend of encouragement and LOVE.

Friday a friend and I left for Portland, OR to a Women of Faith conference and WOW…it was powerful. We made it to the am session Friday as well, which I must say was one of my favorite parts of the weekend. There was two speakers that spoke directly into my heart about grief and loss. About relationships and about raising my children with all the LOVE I can…focusing on their STRENGTHS more than their WEAKNESSES! It was amazingly touching.

Saturday was the full day event with many speakers, singers and worship time. Natalie Grant was there and unknown to me, Sonja had written Natalie’s manager a letter about sweet Connerman and explained how the song she sings called “Held” is one of just a few songs that I sing and think solely of Conner. It means the world to me, that song does. Natalie actually read that letter ON STAGE…and keep in mind I knew NOTHING of it! I started sobbing…the UGLY sob…and she sang it in honor of Conner and I.


After her singing break I got to meet her…ONLY GOD…she had read my blog and it touched her to her soul. She has never dedicated or read a letter on stage like that before, this was the first in her backup singers memory. I felt so blessed.







God came thru for me this weekend so much more than words could ever explain, and far more than I could ever have imagined. It’s like every speaker was speaking solely for me, they were speaking my story, my grief, my pain, my loss, my love of God, everything.

Sonja and I stayed an extra night to simply relax. And relax we did…we stayed by the airport in a gorgeous hotel, had dinner with another AMAZING CF mama, laid in bed watching Iron Chef til midnight, woke up and ate cheesecake and leftovers and filled the day with shopping…and ended it with some Yo Cream (which I’d never had before!) and it was fantastic!

God was there.

In that Rose Garden Arena.

He healed a bit of my broken heart,

my broken spirit,

my broken soul.

All I can say is this weekend refueled me, recharged my soul, and filled me up to take a step forward tomorrow…


Love Love Love

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thankful Thursday…

thankful Starting something new…Thankful Thursday. I figured it’d be the best way to focus on something good on this horrible weekday that I dread so much. So every Thursday I will write about the one thing that day I will focus on being thankful for…

Today I am thankful for…

Hawaii…and our Make a wish memories…

I will rest in that today…

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Truth and Lies…


Signing up for MOPS (Mother of Preschoolers) last May, I guess I never thought I’d be returning without Conner. It’s not like I just dropped him off at the childcare room. He was in 1st grade, so he should’ve been in school with his friends. But his illness made him home tutored last year. So he would sit at my MOPS table with me. He’d do the craft, eat a banana or drink his Boost and chat with the ladies. He’d sit in my lap. I can still feel it and picture it, how he’d sit on my lap facing outwards yet put his arm up and behind my head, a non-stop Conner hug. He needed me. I needed him. He felt safe with me. I felt safe with him.

He wasn’t there today.

These firsts are getting harder and harder. Because they aren’t always the obvious things that I know will bring sadness and pain, they often take me off guard and hit me suddenly, regardless of whose around. I have no control over the when and the how. It’s hard.

I walked into that church, that beautiful, horrible place where we’d spent so much time as a family doing Wednesday night dinners, Little K, vacation bible school, MOPS, and church…the same church we did Conner’s service at. I didn’t really think about it, I’ve been in that sanctuary a few weeks back, and that was knowingly going to be difficult and proved to be horrible and painful. But walking in the side door and turning the corner to the nursery and the man sitting there was the friendly, loving funeral director.


the man that took my baby out of my house for the last time.

the man that surely was there as my son was lowered into the cold ground.

the gentlest man I’ve ever met perhaps, but none the less a very difficult man to run into. I breathed a sigh of relief when he wasn’t at church a few Sundays ago, I couldn’t take it if he were there. But today…

He has never been at MOPS before, it took my breath away. My heart sank. My knees shook. Somehow I dropped off my kids and went downstairs to the meeting room. Then it hit me. This was the same room we had refreshments in after Conner’s service. The very same room that last MOPS season he sat in my arms and held me close and smiled kindly at everyone he saw. The pain overtook my heart. But by the grace of God I was able to swallow back the tears, I didn’t want to be stared at anymore than I already was. I went thru the meeting trying to smile and say hello to familiar faces but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was being watched or that people were avoiding me. Nobody knew what to say to me, so most didn’t even say hello.

I had my picture taken for the phone directory, they asked me to verify my kids, next to Conner’s name it said (with Jesus)….so they knew, they all knew and I knew.

I made it thru craft and prayer and the kind of shockingly quiet visiting time I kept my head held as high as God would provide for me. Surely I couldn’t sit there without Him.

and then again it hit…

The ending devotional.

A prayer about new beginnings.

Life’s changes. Life’s greatest pains.

I was done for.

My friend who sat across the table from me looked me square in the eye and all i could say in front of all these relative strangers sitting with me was “i’m so sorry…”, covered my eyes and started to cry. All that built up pressure and pain overtook me. I hated being there. I wanted to go, I knew all along after Conner passed that if I don’t sign up to do SOMETHING it’d be WAY too easy to sit at home and do NOTHING. I have every excuse, but I don’t want to do this alone. I need fellowship, I need love, I need friendship, I need people. And in that moment I felt like maybe it was too soon, a bad idea to go back to this thing, this very important thing in my life…but not in my new life but in my last life with Conner. I wondered if that meant that this too will have to change? Can I possibly be strong enough to return? These poor girls sitting at my table maybe didn’t know what I knew in my heart, maybe they didn’t know my son is with Jesus now, who knows. All I know is that I already felt like people were staring, unsure of what to say, or trying not to make eye contact with me, and there I go crying. Of course I couldn’t, nor can I help when that happens…but I know it certainly doesn’t help people want to reach out to me. who knows…

i just hate this new life.

i hate that God trusts me too much to be strong.

that He thinks I can make it thru this because I don’t feel most days like I can.

I know I don’t stand a chance without Him…but I wish this wasn’t my lesson.

I wish this example and lesson wasn’t born from the death of my child.

I wish to wake up from this never ending fog and find that it was all just a bad nightmare…

but i know that i won’t…because I know that it’s not.

it’s the truth.

I guess I just wish sometimes that my truth could simply be a lie…


Sunday, October 3, 2010

I too am thankful…

Just like Ronnie, I too, am thankful…

Today I am thankful for my breath.

I am thankful that God speaks into my heart each day.

I am thankful for an amazing, humbling, loving, amazing 7 years with Conner.

I am thankful to have a husband who adores me.

I am so thankful to have a husband I adore just the same.

I am thankful for Hunter and Bradyn.

I am thankful for a family that loves me unconditionally.

I am thankful that God has provided me with this outlet to really get my head clear of static.

I am thankful for my very close group of friends who would do anything for me, and be by my side no matter what time I called.

I am thankful I have friends that I would do the same for as well.

I am thankful Lord just to have breath…

I am thankful that I am close enough to visit Conner whenever I feel strong enough to do so…

I am thankful for the lessons He is teaching me each day…

I am thankful to live in a country where I’m free to speak my mind, make my own choices, and attend church as I wish.

I am thankful for music. It feeds my spirit…

I am thankful that MOPS starts back up on Wednesday…can’t wait to feel a part of a group again.

I am thankful for a day without tears…

I am thankful to be alive…

I am thankful that I found God, I cannot imagine this life without Him.

I am thankful (and SHOCKED!) that this past Thursday I said “good Thursday to you!” outloud! The first Thursday I wasn’t consumed by grief…a giant victory!

Yet I am also so very thankful that if this Thursday is grief stricken that my God will be there to lift me in His loving arms!

I am thankful for lazy Sundays filled with lots of catnaps…

I am thankful that Women of Faith is this Friday and Saturday…I cannot wait!

I am thankful for sunny days in October.

I am thankful for memories and precious pictures to carry us thru…

I am, so THANKFUL…


Thankful For smiles…


Thankful for special moments with Grover


Thankful for his baby brother, Bradyn


Thankful to be his dad!


thankful for science…


Thankful for last Halloween…


Thankful for school


Thankful for best friends


Thankful to be outta the hospital in time for Thanksgiving


For decorating the tree together


For amazing, Lifelong friendships


Thankful for relationships and grandparents



thankful for some smiles


thankful for sillyness





thankful for last embraces



thankful for friendships



thankful for a chance to say goodbye…


thankful for love


thankful for generosity from strangers


thankful for bingo buddies


thankful for smiles amidst the pain



thankful for visitors his last hospitalization


thankful to have been able to carry him, love him, raise him, support him, hug him, and call him mine…if even for only a little while…

so thankful.


Love Love Love



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