Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It's been a while, this I know

So many people have private messaged, emailed, called, texted or visited in wondering how our family is doing since we lost our precious Angel. Lately, the days have been more bad than good (I hate to say). I feel my irritation rise more often inside than before. My heart literally hurts when I think of her tiny feet and her sweet little hands that they said would never open. WRONG! My angel opened her hands. Her little fingers so tiny that they didn't wrap all the way around one of mine. I remember her gaze into my eyes and stare at my soul. No words had to be spoken, we "just knew". I prepared myself for the worse, or so I thought. Oh how I laugh sarcastically at that thought now. Nobody can prepare for the loss of a loved one, especially a child. I sit here in tears. My heart overflowing with so many emotions. So happy that she is not in pain, not fighting for life every single day, no more apnea, no more cardiac arrest, no more life long struggles and fighting doctors to believe in the right for life. I anxious, to meet you in Heaven. The one thing that this whole experience has taught me above all others is that I'm not afraid to die. NO, I do NOT look forward to dying, nor am I leaning in that directions. If you lose a child you will understand that death is not an ending, it's just the beginning, of something so perfect. The Lord guides me daily to be a better mother, a better wife, a more "well rounded" person. Without His strength nothing would be possible. Even when Ava took her last breath in my arms, I felt the love of my family there and the embrass of the Lord. I felt whole in that moment. I had the chance to witness and hold a miracle angel in my arms and get to be called her mommy. I will FOREVER say I am her mommy. When someone ask the name of my youngest child, I ALWAYS say Ava Grace. She will always be counted and always be remembered and spoke of often. She changed me in so many ways. Before Ava, my life did not belong to the Lord as it should have, I would never had thought of training for a half marathon in her and her angel buddies honor. I would never have agreed to go on a radio show to talk of the deepest and most gut wrenching experience of my life, in hopes of raising money for such a WONDERFUL children's hospital. Batson NICU nurses and dr's truely set the bar high in the medical field. One of her nurses called me tonight, just to say hey. I miss you guys. Love you Amanda and Jessie! I've worked in the background of the March of Dimes many, many times, but never been in the "spotlight" per say. Ava has given me the strength to tell her story to many people in hopes that they will see how precious these "special needs" and preemies are to us as parents. I am not nervous in the least. I am once again anxious. People all over the world has read Ava Grace's story. To spread awareness of Trisomy and other genetic abnormalities that far away, speaks volumes! A lady in Argentina sent me a message last week and as soon as I can finish translating it, I will send her big hugs. So many emotions, one for each hour of the day.
      The loss of my brother has haunted me lately and made me miss him so much. I don't think I ever really grieved over him, as he died suddenly a month before Ava was born. He was my go to man when my husband was working. He had a way of saying the harsh truth and then sprinkling some sugar on top with just a few words. I miss his face, his hugs and his texts. He always made my day with his sarcasm. He was definitely right to tell me Ava Grace was going to be our miracle baby. That she was bubba!
     I've often been asked "how are your other children"? Well, Landon has his days where he wants to go to the cemetery to see his sister. Some days I catch him with tears in his eyes. Other days he talks about her like she was the best thing since chocolate and that she is perfect in every way. Heartbreaking when your 9 year old tells you that he would take Ava Grace's place in Heaven so she could be here with me. ****Tears rolling down my face**** I can not tell you how precious and tenderhearted this wonderful little boy is. He has been through hell and back this year and still manages to live life as normal as possible. God bless his soul! Trace, well he is a different story all together. He has freaked me out a time or two. He was laying in his bed one night (keep in mind he just turned 2) and made a startled sound. When I turned to him he pointed above my head and said "zizzy". He continued to point and followed his finger with his eyes, moving higher and higher until he said "zizzy go bye bye". If that doesn't give you chills, check your pulse. I instantly started crying. After a few experiences similar to this, I absolutely believe that children can see things we can't. They haven't been "mind altered" by the non believers in this world. My child saw something and amazingly he saw his "zizzy" floating above me all these times.
    Ava Grace is still with me in spirit and in my heart. I will forever carry her in my heart, until I can hold her in my arms in Heaven. The Lord did me the greatest favor by allowing me to meet, hold and get to know my little spunky peanut before He took her home. I only pray that the people that He has chosen for this same journey, can find some peace in knowing that God only chooses the parents in "need" of something "special", to care for a "special needs" baby. He knows that we will give them the utmost attention and dedication that a person can and will. Not only with a open mind, but a open heart as well. God bless everyone who has walked side by side with us and especially those who have and will, walk in our shoes.

 I am wearing a pair of shoes

They are ugly shoes. Uncomfortable shoes. I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes. They are loo...ks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think
about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.
Author~ Unknown

                                   Beautiful baby girl! Kissing you through the stars and clouds!
                                 My whole, sweet family all together. How I miss these days.
                                                    My brothers seeing me for the first time
                                           Move your paci Ava, I can't see your sweet face
                                           She almost got her little fingers all the way around
                                                              My mamaw loves me :)
                                             One of her first smiles that I caught on camera

                                                                                                                                                                He absolutely proved that! Thank you
 Ashley, Amanda and Amy for all the little notes and signs you made of encouragement. I love you guys so much!
      University Medical Center / Batson Children's Hospital will always be true heros in my book!
They've set the bar high for others to attempt to reach for. Good luck other guys! "skillz" as the nurses in NICU say. :)
                                      "That's Ms. Spunky Peanut to you" :) "Diva of the NICU"
 The shirt that I will wear in the Color Me Rad race, along with some other "pink and blue" for Ava's little boyfriend that's with her in Heaven. Love you Hayden!
The shirt that Landon and Trace will be wearing during the race. "Delta Angels" on the front. (We don't want to get our other shirts stained with paint.
                                            Borrowed this from Trisomy Angels Memorial