April 12, 2010

It's Been a Long Time

Dear Friends,

I know it's been months since my last post...and that I promised an update would be forthcoming soon. Honestly, I don't have any good reasons as to why I haven't been writing...I think I just needed to have a little space. I needed to try to find a way back to the person I was before my son lived...it's not been an easy road...I've certainly learned that we can't put the past behind us...It's just not possible. No matter how hard I've tried to bury my sadness...it comes back in the most unpredictable ways...

On Saturday night, Ryan and I sat down and watched an old movie classic, Saturday Night Fever. One would think that as harmless and so unrelated to my experience as that movie was to my life...It wouldn't have garnered any kind of emotional response or meltdown. But it did....probably the worst I've had in months. During a particular dance scene, Ryan started laughing and, as I watched his smile and his movements, it triggered the most upsetting episode of tears that I've had in quite awhile. I didn't see him as my husband at that moment...but I saw him as the little boy I've viewed in many home movies...chubby cheeks, wide eyes.. I'd seen him this way in old family movies we've watched together...Ry was such an adorable little boy. But, in that moment, my thoughts shifted to Christian. My sweet boy whose face I will never forget... I saw him a little older...in a fit of laughter...looking sweet and innocent. It hit me hard...and I was snapped back to the reality of my life..of longing for moments I will never share with my little boy.. and it hurt so much. It has never stopped hurting.

That's why I'm writing to you today... I've been trying to ignore my pain. But the reality is this is my life. This quiet sorrow I've been trying to hide....it is who I am.

There is a dichotomy which is evident in all that has transpired over the last year and a half. On one hand, many people have suggested that I am a strong person for absorbing this loss and advocating for the beautiful life of my son.. But the reality is that I have been wounded...of course, it's not a mortal wound.. but it is permanent. Today, I am weak in my resolve to grow from the death of my son. I struggle each day with how I am going to project myself to the world. Will I be strong or will my eyes be puffy from the tears I've shed as I relive the terrible day my son died in my arms. Today, my eyes are puffy.

Dichotomy? I think so....how can one be strong...and weak? How can I feel like I've experienced the most amazing and joyful time of my life with God's very presence surrounding my family in a veil of sweetness...and then feel choked with sadness and despair over loss so deep? This was the deal... I made my peace with God... let me know my son.. and I will remain faithful to His plans for our lives. I will never doubt God's plans for my son..because I know Christian's life had purpose. But what about me?

My friends, last year was a tough year. I felt that I had truly lost my way. I want to share with you some of the things that have happened over the course of the year...I have been hesitant to share them with you...I wanted to project a person who could overcome grief and see sunshine and God's glorious promise of life. I wanted to make all of you proud of me. But, in doing so I have denied my right as a mother ...as a human to grieve. So, here it is for all of you know...good, amazing...and bad.. This has been my year.

Of course many of you already know that 4 months after Christian died, I broke my wrist...and it couldn't have happened at a worse time. I'd been so sad during that time. Honestly, there were many, many days where I sat in one chair...looking out at my son's garden for hours on end. I remember sitting down with my coffee in the morning and getting up when it was time to go to bed..barely conscious of the time and only briefly noting the shadows that crossed the room from morning til night.

To tell you the truth, I was afraid to go to sleep. The last day my son lived on this earth continues to haunt me...even to this day. And I've had nightmares about those final moments. He died so many times on that Friday...each time I held him and kissed him thinking he died. And he would struggle to come back to me and his father . I know he didn't want to leave us. I remember begging him one final time to please stop fighting. I felt so powerless to help. I would have traded my life for his...gladly. Just please, God, please take my little boy...don't let him suffer anymore. I remember the way he sounded when he took his last breath...I remember the last noise he made...a soft whimper.. And then he died. And a part of me died too. I've held these things inside for too long. My sweet, sweet boy died in my arms and I couldn't do anything to save him. It will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Those months afterwards were hell. It was an effort to move and I spent so much time thinking of ways I could check out of this life so that I could join my son in heaven. The thought consumed me for months.

When I finally had my surgery in January, my mood seemed to elevate somewhat because I was feeling better about my injury and I wasn't in constant pain. Truthfully, Ryan and I had made the decision to try InVitro once more and were scheduled for our cycle in March. I scrambled to try and get healthier so that my chances of getting pregnant would be increased. I shoved all the feelings I'd been holding on to in the back of mind and focused on healing. We only had a month to prepare.

I've always been an athletic person...and getting back in the gym would be a natural way for me to relieve the depression which seemed to lay claim on to my well being. But shortly after starting a workout regimen, I hurt my back. Probably the most excruciating physical pain I've ever been in in my life. I couldn't move. Even now I shudder when I think of that pain....I would rather break my wrist a thousand times over than to have to withstand another back injury.. But nevertheless, I completely reverted back to depression. I had to stay in bed for almost a week...trying to relax my muscles enough to be able to move again. The slightest movement sent unbelievable pain coursing throughout every nerve in my body.

It was also during this time that Ryan and I had to start our InVitro cycle.. I could barely sit in the car to get to my doctor's appointment. And it took every ounce of strength I had to lift my legs in the stirrups for my exams. But I did it. And after about a week and a half...the pain in my back subsided enough to where I became more mobile.

When we started our IVF cycle...I was definitely on the mend...but had to endure daily injections of hormones in my stomach...I had done it before..but for some reason, this cycle was painful. Each day, 2x per day I got my shots..and a little bruise on my belly where Ryan would stick me. And I kept saying it's okay...we're going to make another baby. It will happen.

During all of this...I continued to push past my grief. I didn't want to think about it although my internal torment showed through in other ways. I started losing a tremendous amount of hair... and my skin broke out in a rash that would ultimately take me 8 months to get rid of. Physically I was in horrible shape and I was tired.

My IVF cycle only produced 3 eggs... again, another tick against my emotional well being. My nerves were frayed and I was on edge. But, by time we were ready to "launch"...we had two viable fertilized "A" quality eggs that were implanted into my uterus.

Ryan and I were ecstatic...all the physical challenges I'd faced up to that day seemed to disappear and Ry and I were confident we would be making babies again. This was my last chance. Ryan and I have exhausted our financial resources trying to have a family...and time was not my friend. My biological clock was ticking loudly. And I felt the weight of this on my shoulders.

Sadly, it was not to be. In April, my cycle came and my hopes for more biological children were dashed. I had failed. It was a bitter disappointment and I hated myself. I beat myself up wondering if it was my fault...I was injured...I was depressed...I wasn't healthy.

But mostly, I quit asking God for help. During this time, I needed his help. I needed Him to make me feel special...the way I felt when I was pregnant with my son. Back then, I spent a lot of time talking to God and he was there with me...helping to buffer the uncertainty and pain of the future. But somehow, during my time grieving, I'd backed away from my relationship with God. It was a tough and lonely time. Part of me wanted to know Him more...and yet I looked for other things to divert my energy to.

I learned that without God...there is no healing. We are only kidding ourselves if we think we can do it on our own. Trust me, I know... I've tried.

Also, I had been seeing a grief counselor to help me deal with the pain of those last hours with Christian... too much to bear. But in April, when she diagnosed me as being "severely depressed" and suggested medication, the fight in me began.

I was so outraged by the notion that I could be labeled as being, "severely depressed". I wanted to scream at her and ask if she had ever lost a child. I had earned the right to be depressed...the battle scars I have on my heart aren't there on their on volition. The idea of it all made me so mad...that it spurred me to get better...what ever that meant to the outside world. I think it was at this point that I realized perhaps sharing too much of my life may be detrimental to me... I didn't want to be judged and I felt my counselor was doing just that.

In a way, I believe that's why I couldn't write much last year. Each time I wanted to open up about what was going on with me...I felt paralyzed by fear. I didn't want to be judged for not being strong enough or faithful to God enough.

I am so sorry for being absent. Even though most of you don't know me personally, you are all my friends. You have supported me and cried with me.. You have laughed with me and have patiently listened to my stories. And I haven't trusted you enough to let me be me. Even now I am ashamed of the words I write. I'm sorry.

From late April until now, I have spent much of my time trying to suppress the emotional roller coaster of events that continue to shape my life. I have been focused on getting healthy...which has eliminated virtually all of the dark and dangerous feelings I kept bottled up inside.

Getting fit and healthy again makes me feel good about myself and my life. So I go to the gym...I eat right...and I've lost nearly all the weight I gained during my pregnancy. Some days it feels as though I've climbed Mt. Everest to reach the place I'm at today...many weeks I plateau..and revert to a place and time where sadness grips my heart. Saturday was one of those days...but it's okay. I am finally able to open up out my trials this past year.

I feel good about it...reconnecting with all of you has been long over due. And I've missed you.

I started working again which has made a world of difference in my confidence. Before getting back to work...I had HUGE anxiety about being in public... about talking to people... about being away from home. After Christian died, I separated myself from my circle of influence here in Naples...I shopped in different grocery stores, I got my hair and nails done at different salons.. I didn't want to run into anyone who knew my situation because I couldn't bear the look I got...that look of pity. I hate that I'm telling you this, but you need to know. I shut out some pretty amazing people in my life. People who mean well and who care about my family. I shut them all out because I didn't know what to say. All is well....things are great. Really? Really.

At work, I got my confidence back...I am blessed to know some pretty awesome people who have embraced me for all that I am. Today, talking to people is no problem. I can do that. Completing a thought ...no problem, I can do that too. And taking care of myself...I can do that!!

I guess what I am trying to share with all of you is that....the whole process of grief is not a steady climb to eventual healing. I will never be the same as before. I can be happy, sad, very sad... and still be hopeful that tomorrow will bring a better day.

I have fought through a lot of pain, physical and emotional, and have hard earned proof that even in the midst of despair we can find the strength and grace to handle anything that comes our way. BUT we cannot do it without our FAITH in God. I truly lost my way last year. But each day, my life continues to get better.

I miss my son. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't think of him. Each night, my husband and I kiss his bear goodnight... and his garden is just magical. I can't wait to show you pictures of his special place...I honestly believe God has his green thumb on our little plot of land. Before Christian's garden, Ryan and I couldn't grow a weed...and my son's place flourishes..everything flocks there..birds, squirrels...I've even had a couple of ducks! It's a source of comfort to me each time I look out my window!

So I know this post is long...but let me close with this...I've had quite a year...good, bad, amazing... I still feel optimistic that life will only get better. I know I will see my son again...I see him in my husband! What a beautiful reminder that we made this incredible little boy together.
My relationship with Ryan continues to blossom....he is the most amazing person I've ever known.

And....Ryan and I are parents...Christian is our little boy. Perfect, beautiful...amazing! And he is going to have a little sister, Maya... Yes, friends, we are adopting a little girl from China....

More good news to come...

Love you all,

Leah

August 18, 2009

Christian's Birthday Tribute


video

Dear Friends,

I am working on my next post in the next day or two. But, I wanted to post this video Ryan made as a tribute to our son's life. Today is Christian's birthday...so I much I need to say...but I want to let this video tell you some of our story...

You'll have to pause my music at the bottom of my page in order for this video to run properly...

With Love,

Leah

May 14, 2009

Coming up for air

Dear Friends,



It's been three months since my last post... a long, long time, I know. I have no good reasons for my absence... I guess I just needed some time to myself.



Many of you have written emails letting me know you are still here with me on my journey and I do so appreciate the support and love you continue to show me and my family.



It's been nearly nine months since Christian died and still I have trouble coping with his absence from my life. Will the pain ever go away? I don't think so. And I hope not. This pain has left a scar on my heart that will forever remind me of the most joyful time of my life. On most days, I welcome the constant heartache. Because with it comes the vivid memories I have of my son. Joy, love, loss, loneliness... all feelings which have permanently taken up residence in my heart. No, I am not the same person I was a year ago...when I began this journey. I was innocent then...so naive. I feel I have aged a hundred years since that time.



I've spent many hours in Christian's room. Nothing has changed... His toys, clothes and bassinet are still there....waiting for him to come home. I am unable to pack them away...afraid that by doing so, would mean admitting to myself that he is truly gone forever. And, I'm just not ready to let him go. Some days, I feel this giddy excitement when I cradle the teddy bear which held constant vigil over Christian's little body while he was in the NICU. It's almost as if I'm anticipating seeing my son again...and then reality hits me. The precious few days I spent with my son are all that I will ever experience with him in this lifetime. That bitter reality chokes me. Even now, tears form in the corners of my eyes. I miss my son so much.



This past Sunday was Mother's Day... another holiday...another first...another dismal reminder of what I had...of what I've lost. I suppose it's unnecessary to tell you that it was a tough day. My mood began changing a few days before Sunday... sadness...uncertainty. Would I be included in Mother's Day and all the fanfare which make up the day? I wasn't sure... Of course, I carried my son for 8 1/2 months... took the best care of us during that time. I gave birth to him...made the best decisions I could for him when he struggled to live, and I held him close...my tears covering his face as he took his last breath in my arms. I am a mother, right? I had 4 days and I did the best I could. I am Christian's mom... I was there when he took his first breath....and I was there when Jesus called him home. I thought I would be included in the day... but I was disappointed.



I made mention to Ryan a few days before Mother's Day that I was sad. Somehow, he mistook that statement into believing I did not want to celebrate the day. And that's just what happened. I was so horribly let down and hurt.



We woke up early on Sunday morning because we planned to surprise Ryan's mom for Mother's Day... Since she lives 1.5 hours away, we needed to move quickly to get to Sarasota to meet her and Ryan's younger brother, Mike, for breakfast. I remember waking up and my foggy morning brain hearing Ryan say, "Happy Mother's Day". He said it in a low tone...almost somber for the occasion and I couldn't help but think that I must have heard him incorrectly. I didn't press him, but rather, I acknowledged the sentiment with a wistful smile before I bounced out of bed to get ready for breakfast.



Little did I know that would be the extent of what the day would hold for me. As the day grew longer, my heart sunk to the lowest depths. My first Mother's Day and I would be forgotten.



At any rate, breakfast with Patti went off without a hitch...she was surprised and we were elated to be able to spend the time with her. On the ride back home, we were both off in our own little world... the combination of a hearty breakfast and a long trip back home made for a lull in conversation. We were exhausted! And, as soon as we walked into the house, we both made a bee line for the bedroom for a mid-day nap. At this point, I still held out hope that Ryan would give me a card or letter...something to mark the day. I drifted off to sleep determined to give him the benefit of the doubt...although my rest was constantly interrupted by an awful pain in my stomach. I knew he forgot about me.



I don't know at what point in the day when Ryan realized he made a grave error...I could only tell later on in the afternoon because he was very quiet and VERY reserved. For my part, I fought hard not to crawl back into bed and cry myself back to sleep. I wished the day would hurry up and be over with... I kept telling myself this was nothing compared to what I've experienced in the last several months... I could handle disappointment. But I was on the fringe...



By the end of the evening, our conversation basically consisted of one word sentences...and several, "umm hmmms". There was a huge and vast empty space between us waiting to be filled with some sort of explanation...but it never came. We went to bed uneasy about what transpired throughout the day.



The next day was a blur... it was as if the air was sucked out of the house. It seemed as though we couldn't be near each other. We weren't fighting...we weren't bickering...we just weren't in sync. I got a card in the mail... a Mother's Day card from dear friends of ours...but it was a God Mother's Day card...no mention of my own son... I think that was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back for me... I was HURT.



I went to bed that night doubting my relevance as a mother...If no one else seemed to think I was a mom...perhaps I really wasn't. I was sick hearted and I missed my son. I kept repeating the words, "I am a mother"....over and over again until I fell into another restless night's sleep.



Everything finally came to a head on Tuesday. I finally asked Ryan what I had done to make him behave this way. The pain in my voice was evident because with each word came a pregnant pause...I had to choke my tears down and it was a struggle. He just said that he was, "going through some things..." and left it at that. Angrily, I snapped that while he was dealing with his issues, he was tearing my heart out. I hung up on him...disgusted with myself for losing control.



About an hour later, he sent me a text message asking if we could talk when he got home. I never responded...too afraid of what I might say to him in anger. It took a monumental effort for me to meet him at the table for a discussion. At this point, I felt indignant... he hurt me and I wanted make sure he knew it! But after I sat down and looked at his face, I realized he was hurting just as much as I was. Instantly, the stiffness left my shoulders and I let them sink down...the weight of all the pain I was feeling bearing down hard. All I could muster in that moment was a pitiful and questioning look.... "Why?...What happened?"

After several moments of awkward silence, we broke the ice... In a fragmented voice, he told me he was sorry....he misread my wishes about Mother's Day and he felt horrible. Actually, his words came out in bits and pieces...but I could put everything together..I knew what he was trying to tell me. I was okay after that... all the disappointment left me and I was OK!

We struggled through the next several minutes...trying to find our way back to the easy rapport we've managed to cultivate over the years. But it was hard... on both our parts. We stumbled over words and had long period of silence between us. But the huge cavern that separated us seemed to shrink with each passing minute. Finally, he got up put his arms around me and told me I was a great mother... We just stood there...hugging each other. Our actions speaking louder than what our voices could communicate. We were back on track...

What amazes me about this event is just how fragile our relationship really is. Ryan and I have been through a life changing experience... we had a son together. And, he died. We have cried together, laughed together...and truly leaned on each other in the most difficult of times. And yet, we still have much to learn about each other. We are still growing in our relationship. Christian's life was the pinnacle of achievement in our marriage. But we still have much to learn about each other and we are still building a life together. There will still be moments when talking to each other can be as foreign as each of us speaking different languages...but we will get through it. We have seen each other so broken...tears and snot running down our faces... curled up in a ball and fighting to breathe... but we are standing today. And we are together.

It wasn't the Mother's Day I had hoped for...but I'm grateful for the experience. Each day I learn knew things about myself and about my marriage that continue to shape who I am. Some days it's not pretty...but then again, I have a long way to travel on this journey.

Love,

Leah

February 6, 2009

Where to start

Dear Friends,

It's difficult getting started after being away from my writing for so long. I have so much to update you on...so many events to share..and yet, trying to figure out where to begin is extremely overwhelming.

I guess I should start by giving you an update on my wrist. As you already know, I had surgery on January 20th which went well. My doctors were able to reset my wrist and support it with a permanent metal plate and 11 screws. The bandages and stitches were removed this past Friday and I have now graduated to a Velcro wrist brace. After 3 different casts over a period of nearly a month and surgery, I am finally on the mend.

Although the surgery went well, I did have some complications with regard to the pain block which was administered prior to surgery. Truthfully, the pain from surgery was incidental to the pain I felt from the block. It's funny (or maybe not) that the sole purpose of having a pain block was to help alleviate any discomfort I experienced from surgery. That was certainly not the case.

As a result of the complication, I had a lot of bruising, swelling, and considerable pain down my arm, sides, back, and neck. The block even affected my good arm. Apparently, I am one of a very small percentage of individuals who experience any kind of complications. Of course, I should have known that! My track record has proven to be just the case with regard to many instances in my life as of late.

I am the one percent or less....and that fact is depressing.

Needless to say, I was in pretty rough shape for a week.

But, as time heals all wounds...I have started feeling much better these last several days.

It's been difficult to not feel sorry for myself. I've often wondered why I am being so challenged in my life. It's been nearly 5 1/2 months since Christian died...I'm still so sad and hurt... Yet, I haven't been able to focus on my emotional healing these past several weeks because of the physical pain I've been dealing with since December. 26th. In fact, my recent injury has left me even more vulnerable than ever before.

Yes, I'm feeling pretty beat up these days... I've been struggling to see the glass half full...and I hate the way I feel. I had the most incredible experience of my life... 4 days and 3 hours with my son! And now, instead of revelling in the beauty of those fleeting moments, it feels as though I've been dropped in a hole...bleak, dark and alone.

I'd tell you that I need a break...but that would only be too funny given my current situation.

It's a far cry from my life a year ago.

One year ago...such a small measure of time...and, yet, so much has happened! I remember those early days of my pregnancy wistfully...I was so naive back then. Ryan and I were still in awe of the news that we were pregnant. And although I hadn't yet begun to show, Ryan was already rubbing my stomach...with the smile of a proud papa covering his face. We giggled so much those early days...every single time we caught each other's eyes, in fact. We were so happy.

Of course, Ryan and I still didn't know we were having a boy...but we knew the only name we could agree on was, Christian Dale Paige. Little did we know that God had already begun to lay his plans out for our family...for our son.

In my darkest moments, I have found comfort in knowing that Christian's life was mapped out long before I ever knew him.

January 23, 2009

On the mend...

Dear Friends,

It's been a long (and painful) month, but I am happy to report that my surgery went very well on Tuesday. The bandages and stitches come off next week and I'll be able to wear a removable brace until I am fully healed. I am so excited to be able to use my hand...at last!

I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to brushing my hair! Strange as it sounds, I haven't been able to give my hair a good brushing in nearly a month. Every little task has been a struggle to accomplish...made especially more difficult because I broke my dominant hand.

It's incomprehensible to imagine how much we take our mobility for granted...until it is restricted for whatever reason. I can only say that I am thrilled to be on the mend!

Now that I can put pressure on my fingers, I am excited to be able to post more regularly.

Thank you for your prayers and well wishes!

Love,

Leah

January 19, 2009

A brief note...

Dear Friends,

It's been such a long time since my last post and I've missed all you very much.

Tomorrow, I am going to have surgery on my wrist which, I'll admit, makes me a little nervous. I am going to have a metal plate permanently inserted in my left wrist to help stabilize the bones that were broken in December. Apparently, the fracture isn't healing as it should and needs to be additionally supported by the plate. The good news is that once we get through tomorrow and a few weeks of recovery, my wrist should be almost 100 percent...and I'll be back to share more stories of my beloved son, Christian.

For now, I must say that I Love You all for continuing to travel on this journey of faith, love, and healing with me and my family. It means the world to me that you are all a part of helping to preserve the precious memories I have of my little boy.

Hopefully, I will be able to manage a little better after tomorrow...it's been difficult and awkward having the use of only my right hand...especially considering, that I am left handed! I tire easily which is why I must keep this post short...I hope you understand.

With Love,

Leah

January 6, 2009

Grief...

Leah and I have been so blessed. I believe we have come to a cross road in our grieving. The choice to let our grief for our son steer us into a downward spiral or manage our grief and use it in a positive manner. Many of you have shown us how our grief for our son has helped you. Whether it was with your own grief or someone you knew. The constant flow of comments and well wishes are overwhelming and we are so thankful that you continue to keep us in your prayers.


We are on the mend. I know we will never heal, but really don't want too. I feel the pain and accept it...almost like a badge of honor for my son. He has forever changed me...for the better.



God bless,



Ryan

January 4, 2009

Our Wisconsin Vacation


Christmas Mountain

A day of tubing promised to be great fun...


Ryan zipped down the mountain head first...






Leah went down a little more conservatively...


Bumpers cars at the bottom of the run


A natural in the snow...





January 3, 2009

Down...but not out!

Hey everyone, we are back from vacation. It was a white Christmas for us at a cozy Wisconsin cabin. It was just what the doctor ordered until Leah broke her left wrist tube sledding on Christmas Mountain.

Here's the story: Dressed in ski pants, ski jacket, and cowboy boots Leah made it to the top of the slope eyeballing the coarse. Tongue out and studying the fastest path down the mountain, She leaped onto the rubber tube expecting to soar down the mountain. When the unexpected happened. Leah bounced off the tube falling forward, hearing a loud crack and feeling tremendous pain. Her tube slid down the hill without her. She was calm...I think in shock...made it down the slope on another tube and walked over to me as white as her jacket. "I think I broke my wrist " She said. I rolled her glove back and sure enough, it was broken. She was such a trooper singing Christmas songs on the way to the hospital trying to keep our friends 5 yr old little girl from getting upset. She is now in a cast and will not be able to write in the blog for about 4 weeks. I will try to fill her shoes until she is better. There is so much to share and I will do my best.

Love and God bless,

Ryan

December 3, 2008

Turning the Page...

Dear Friends,

I've been wanting to write this post for some time now...but, as I mentioned previously, the words have not come as easily as they once did. I feel as though my writing has become stagnant over these last several weeks with my constant reflections on heartache and despair.

It's almost as though I'm manic! I bounce between feeling great to feeling down right awful. I can't tell you how many times I've caught myself laughing hysterically over something silly or funny only to find myself crying pitifully in the next instant. It's frustrating!! There have been many days where I've truly felt like I've lost my mind! I'm constantly trying to convince myself that what I am feeling is normal and healthy.

At any rate, I guess I needed a break. I've needed to figure out how to function and be a part of a world that continues to move forward without me. I go through the motions each day...brush my teeth, make my bed...live my life...but my actions are mechanical. And emotionally, I've checked out. I wish time would stop only for little while and allow to me grieve over the loss of my son. Then, I would be okay... I wouldn't feel like I've been left behind. I get so panicked when I think about all the "catching up" I need to do. Ahh...my life sucks right now. These are lonely times for me. Hours tick by seemingly at the blink of an eye. There are days when I don't move...I don't do anything. And then I feel guilty because I've wasted the day. It's a vicious circle that I constantly move in... so many different emotions I experience on any given day. And I am tired.

But you've heard all this before...I keep saying the same things over and over again. And I suppose, I feel like there is nothing more to my story that I could offer you...nothing positive that you could take away from my experience. It's partly the reason why my posts have been slow in coming. I hate sounding like a broken record. I'm sad..you get it. That should be the end of it right? I wish it was that simple.


Thankfully, I have an amazing husband who has big shoulders that I can cry on! He's been great! He makes me laugh. He tells me I'm pretty...even when I know I look like hell. He has an unlimited supply of hugs and seems to always know when I need one. He's been a blessing to me. My heart just swells with love when I see him tinkering in Christian's garden. You have to understand, Ryan is a "man's man"...he's the proverbial bull in a China shop! But in Christian's garden, he is so careful. His gestures are so tender and loving...like little hugs for his boy...as he tends to the plants which have become rooted in this special place...It's a joy to see. I watch him from the living room window...not wanting to intrude on these quiet times he shares with his son. I know Ryan needs his time too.

The good news is that last month, we finally started seeing a grief counselor. I've learned so much in such a short period of time. Our doctor has given tools to help us deal with the grief process. No medication...just lots of positive dialog. At first, I was apprehensive about going to see her. I thought, for sure, she would tell me I'm crazy or, at the very least, depressed. But that wasn't the case at all. In fact, I'm learning that everything I've been going through is normal and healthy. Grieving is a 3 year process. I never knew that! I've been unrealistic about my own expectations... and I'm learning to be patient with myself.

Most importantly, seeing a grief counselor has helped my marriage tremendously. The doctor has a way of pulling out information...or better yet...interpreting information that Ryan and I both share so we can better understand where each other is coming from. It's a bumpy road... but we are managing. Good days...bad days...it's all part of the journey toward healing.

My son's beautiful life has been temporarily overshadowed by this grieving process. I knew it would be hard to deal with his death...but I never imagined this life that I'm living now. I don't know what I expected...I guess, I thought I would be more prepared because I knew Christian was going to die. I underestimated how much he would impact my life. I was so naive! But I am getting better. And, one day, my posts will only be happy recollections of the amazing time I shared with my son. I'll get there...I promise!

I still have more to share...but I think I'm going to give it a rest for tonight. You have lots of rambling to digest in one sitting... but I'm hoping that, at least, I don't sound like a broken record anymore. Baby steps... I've said it before... You've been so patient with me. I love you all! Thank you...thank you...thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for your continued prayers!

Love,

Leah