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

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Get in where you fit in…

But what if you don’t know where you fit in???



Life has been “off” lately. Part of me wants to just shut my door to the world, turn off the phones, unplug the computer and just hibernate. Another part of me knows the importance of getting out of the house, into fresh air and to not be alone. And yet, another part of me wonders when this life of “newness” will feel old…and maybe not so fresh and new. My family is what keeps me going. My 3 boys (Brad included) keep life a little normal, and there’s a lot of love in our home. But I’m just tired of things being so different. I’m starting to do things now, new things that Conners not a part of physically, and it just feels like he should be you know? and doing all of the holiday decorating, and even picking out the christmas tree, that was difficult to do without him there.

things are evolving now…

and so some things have got to change…

it’s too hard to feel like we have to keep doing the things we’ve always done and try to fake our way thru it. Why? so others don’t see the obvious pain? that’s not being fair to us in our pain. so slowly, but surely we’re going to have to find our new way of comfortable living. doing only what we can physically and emotionally handle. nothing more. it’s so difficult to do. we’re creatures of habit and tradition…and I don’t know about you, but I haven’t gone and changed many traditions around in my lifetime. I cherished them. I still do. but losing him made me realize that the people that matter the most live in my home with me. those are who I live for. those are who I love most, and matter most to me. I feel I always knew that but maybe it’s just that you really don’t get it…you can’t appreciate it until something’s been broken that can’t be fixed. and our family has been shattered by losing Conner. Shattered beyond recognition. nothings the same. not one thing. so from that perspective it’s so easy to see now how easy it’s been to get swept away in tradition, especially this time of year.

I must say how much I LOVE the Dougy Center. I knew immediately how important their childrens’ bereavement program would be for Hunter, and Bradyn when he’s a year older…but I never put much weight on the parent aspect of it all.

it is fantastic and invaluable.

it is smack you in the face reality, and love, and tears, and unspoken understandings and laughter.

it is help with difficult circumstances and advise from people who’ve walked in your shoes.

even in the best of friendships there’s a void of understanding when it comes to the loss of a child. it’s a very difficult situation to maneauver in. there’s no way you can possibly know all the tiny things that trigger our tears or our joy cus you’ve never been there, it’s a do I talk about Conner or not talk about him, always wondering relationship. I am so grateful for those who are brave enough, not just for me but for any grieving parent, who are willing to step into that arena of unknowing. I can imagine it’s a scary place to be. learning while experiencing it. not always knowing what hurts until you’ve said something that triggers pain. how brave you are! Talking about Conner is so natural. He’s still very much a part of everything we do, conversationally. and believe me, I haven’t forgotten that he’s dead…so no worries that bringing him up will make me remember, cus I’ll never forget it. Smile talking about him, not just me, but especially hearing other people simply say his name validates his meaning and his existence to me. that he truly was here. that his pain was for purpose. that others remember and think of him also. I love nothing more than to hear his name spoken out of others lips. I don’t ever want him to be forgotten. I can imagine that for others with similar loss it is the same as well.

I had a day of joy the other day. where I just felt happy for Conner. Imagining him helping decorate for the biggest birthday party of the year in heaven…CHRISTmas. I was just thrilled for him. But the pain of missing him still stings as much, if not more, then it did when he first passed on. it’s changing and evolving. and more and more it’s becoming more permanent. more real. he’s really not here. I can’t just hug him whenever I want to. or pick him up and dance with him in the kitchen like I still do with his brothers, or tuck him into bed in his room, or simply just hear him speak. just see him. breathe him in. smell him. each day he slips a little farther away in that realm, absolutly I know he’s Rejoicing In Paradise (I HATE RIP), but until I get there, this earth will never compare. it will never come close to having anything more in it that my heart desires more than my family. sending me signs of RED and LOVE is so heartwarming, please don’t misunderstand. I LOVE that he makes his precense known at just the right moments, but I’m human and I WANT MORE of him. I wasn’t done loving him yet. I wasn’t done teaching him about life and about love and about girls having cooties, and that its ok for a boy to cry if he needs to, or how to write in cursive. we were working on telling time and he was a fantastic reader and writer…but there was just so much more that we’ll never get. I see Hunter reading and spelling so well and it pains me…a part of me doesn’t feel safe in fully investing in any of it anymore.


it can be gone tomorrow. and boy don’t I know that. look well one day, gone the next. watching Bradyn grow up, he’s speaking full sentences and is a total boy and Conner would just adore him. He always did. (I HATE writing in past tense!!!!) but in my heart I know that Bradyn won’t have all those memories of Conner. He says his name a lot and recognizes him in pictures…but like Hunter, well like all of us I guess, we’re living a life that more of it will be spent without Conner in it, than with him. there will come this time where he stops coming up so frequently cus we’ve moved into territory he’s never been in. there will come a time when others stop talking about him, as well as a time where my grief will have to become private and not so out in the open because the world has long moved on. it’s natural. I dread it. so part of me hates feeling this way. but part of me cherishes that I am still able to feel this way. if that makes any sense at all. grief is so up and down. so unpredictable. it’s a huge gaping wound that I have no clue how to fix, or even where to start. and I know it will never fully heal, nor ever fully close. permanent scar.

I know that Conners still very much with me.

But I just want more…

I SOOOO was not done loving him yet…



Love Love Love


  1. I just wanted to let you know that my boys, Kian and Brahm, who never knew Conner, talk about him often. They wonder what he is doing in Heaven, and if he is having a good time. I know he affected their life without even meeting him.

  2. love, love, love

    Your words are so powerful to me. When you talked of wanting to tell Conner all about how girls have cooties, that he was learning to tell time (I just bet he is telling time all over paradise, don't you?!:) etc -it breaks my heart for you. You "weren't done loving him". Sarah, I am so very sorry.

    You bless my life over and over again!

  3. Sarah,
    I just want to write you a quick note to tell you about the impact that Conner has had on my life. I have never met Conner, but I stumbled upon your blog from a friends blog. I laugh and cry often when I read your posts.
    I teach second grade and have told my students about how special Conner was and how much he loved red, especially legos. My students even suggested that we put red around our classroom Christmas tree for Conner. I guess I just want you to know, that you are truly amazing and I pray for your family daily. :) You are one great Mamma.

  4. Sarah,
    I've been thinking of you and your family a lot recently...Just thought I'd stop by and read a little.
    I agree with you not being done loving Conner. I was not done with Aidan and never will be.
    Sending lots of love and prayers from cold and snowy Ohio!


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