Thursday, May 28, 2015

book #13 the year of billy miller

lucky #13 is finished! the year of billy miller by kevin henkes was a really sweet book about life in second grade. i read it and now i'm having georgia read it. i usually let her pick her own books to read....about 98% of the time i would say. and then there are times when i feel like there are books out there that she is overlooking because it's not about a fairy or princess or pony or something. books that might have a little bit more substance. with the year of billy miller, while it's not one that she would instantly reach for, i think that it's one that she will find entertaining once she starts it. i think that we may start it together to get her going....i'll let you know how she likes it! 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

book #12 bastard out of carolina

last night, I was so close to finishing book #12 for 2015. it was late. i wasn't sure i would stay up to finish. but my curiosity to find out what happened at the end of the story outweighed my desire to sleep. so at 1:15 am this morning, i finished up bastard out of carolina by dorothy allison. 

bastard out of carolina, follows the story of ruth ann aka "bone." her mother was unwed when "bone" was born and was therefore labeled bastard in bright red letters on her birth certificate. her entire life she was fighting that label. 

"bone's" mother married a man named glen. daddy glen had a temper and took it out on her. she also didn't like the look he would get in his eyes sometimes and she knew there was something else that he wanted from her. 

i found the end of this book heartbreaking for poor little "bone." the first 12 years of her life were can only hope that the rest of her life got better!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day, Hymns and Wicked

A few years ago, I wrote about why I choose to celebrate Mother's Day in this post. It was a gentle reminder for all of you to remember those who find this day hard. I'm one of those who find this day hard, but I also find it pretty awesome too. It's a confusing mix. 

There are all sorts of reasons why this day is hard for so many of us.................................
the death of a child, miscarriage, stillbirth, infertility, not being in a point in your life to have children when you desperately want them, the death of your own mother, a bad relationship with you mother or child. Those are all hard to deal with on normal days, but when there is a day when it's all about mom and honoring her, it makes these things (and more) especially hard. 

For me, most of you know, my baby girl Violet was stillborn. Everything was going fine and then one day it wasn't fine anymore. And from the moment I heard, "I'm sorry we can't find a heartbeat." my life changed. I'm forever changed. And not all of it is a bad change. Since Violet's death, I feel a greater need to make a difference in this world. And not just for my family and those close to me. This is why I started Violet's Day of Kindness. A day to honor what she meant to our family and to spread joy wherever we go. I feel like I not only have to live my life for myself, but for her too. She didn't get a chance to take a breath here on earth, so I have to make sure that I'm doing all that I can to make sure her life has a greater purpose. 

That day that I went to the hospital to deliver my sweet sleeping girl, I remember praying so very hard for it all to be a mistake. I knew in my head that the outcome was going to be the same, but in my heart I still had a glimmer of hope. Just a little bit. I was praying for a miracle. But, the miracle I was looking for didn't happen. My little girl still had no heartbeat. There was nothing to do to save her. But here is where the miracle happened, it happened in me. It happened in my life. I became more aware of the pain that others go through. I developed friendships that would have never come to be if this had not happened. I would have never started doing random acts of kindness for others. And there are so many other things that probably would never have happened if it wasn't for my wonderful little Violet. So, when I say that I'm forever changed, it's not such a bad thing. There are bad parts to this, of course, but there has been a lot of good as well. Those of you who are fans of the musical Wicked will know this reference....
"I've heard it said, 
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn.
And we are led to those
Who help us most to grow if we let them.
And we help them in return.
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you. "

"Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun,
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood. 
Who can say if I've been changed for the better
But because I knew you. 
I have been changed for good"

And I have been changed for good by one little girl. 

Today at church, there was a song that was part of the service....I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry.....and I cried big, weepy tears. It was the kind of cry where you have to get up and leave the service and hide out in the bathroom for a bit to compose yourself again. After the service a friend asked if I was ok. I said yes. She then told me that she was sitting there listening to this song and thought how beautiful it was. Then she saw me get up and leave and it hit her that not everyone would feel this way about this song. That this song is very painful for those of us who have lost a child. Those of us who never got to hear our child cry. The song tells the story about all the things you get to see your child do. All of those firsts, I never got to do with Violet. 

"I was there to hear your borning cry, 
I'll be there when you are old,
I rejoiced the day you baptized,
to see your life unfold.
I was there when you were but a child,
with a faith to suit you well;
in a blaze light you wondered off
to find where demons dwell."

But, while I find this song very painful, showing others my pain has reminded them of the suffering that many of us go through. And so often we are suffering in silence. And that is one of the things that I can take away from all of this tragedy, that maybe, me being vocal about what it's like to lose a child, specifically through stillbirth, will make others more aware of the difficult road we have to walk. And maybe instead of hiding from the elephant in the room others will know it's ok to talk about our tragedy. That talking about it, helps us heal. That remembering the good times is helpful. 

And as I was thinking about all of this today, I got a message from another friend who said that she's been seeing all the purple flowers in bloom this spring and she can't help but think about Violet. And that is what I'm talking about here folks!!! Knowing that someone else thinks of her from time to time, means the world to this grieving mama. That helps me heal. 

So, I know that Mother's Day is almost over, but it's never to late to reach out to those who are hurting today. Just a kind note, a quick hug, a little "how are you?" can make a huge difference in someone's life. Be the reason that someone that someone changes for good. 

Peace, my friends.