Wednesday, November 4, 2009


When we think of the word surrender, it usually conjures ideas of defeat or giving up. "Surrender! Come out with your hands up!"It may imply that we're no longer going to try or simply can't do it. Webster defines one definition of surrender as: to give oneself up into the power of another.

As a Christian, I constantly battle with the idea of surrender. I want God to have everything, except this or that, thinking I can do it better. And when I'm at the end of my rope, I finally (often reluctantly or begrudgingly) surrender what's left of the mess I've made to God. And all along, He is ready with arms open wide, prepared and patiently waiting to fully take this burden from me. So why do I wait so long? Why don't I just give Him the burdens that He's prepared to carry, that He wants to carry? 

Surrender is so difficult because somewhere in my arrogance and controlling nature, I too often still cling to the belief that it's mine. It's my life. It's my family. It's my problem. It's my pain. When in reality, it's all God's. He's the maker and giver of everything; the joy and the pain. God doesn't exist for me - I exist for Him. The sooner I get this and truly surrender, the closer I'll be to the peace that God longs for me to have.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Constant Reminders

As usual, we were 5 minutes late for church today. I hurriedly slipped into my seat, grabbing my bible and notebook to begin to take notes for today's sermon. When I slowed down to begin to listen to Paul, I couldn't help but notice an infant car seat in the row in front of me. A moment later, the mom pulled a beautiful, very new baby girl from the seat. She placed her over her shoulder and this little ones eyes met mine. The pain of what I've lost came flooding back. Tears began to spill and I knew that there was no way I'd make it through service with this baby staring back at me. Bob and I moved for the remainder of service.

Robert has been gone for over a year and I still get caught in these moments. I'm not sure when they'll hit, usually sneaking up on me when I least expect it. I don't know why it hit me so hard this morning. Perhaps I'm emotionally strained with October 15th Raleigh coming up? Maybe it was the look I saw on Bob's face as he sat staring at this baby girl; part sadness, part longing. 

It makes me wonder how I'll feel ten years from now or even longer. I've talked to so many women who've experienced a loss years ago, but still live with the pain of losing a baby. How they may look up when they hear a name being called; their child's name. They wonder how their life would have been different had their baby been here with them still. I believe that God made mother's different. There is an instant bond that begins to take place when a women knows that she is pregnant. And an inimitable pain when that baby is gone. A mother's heart does not forget.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Capturing what I've lost

We have a DVD of photos from a session we had taken at Juno Beach, FL when Mason was nine months old. Mason was digging through our DVD's a few nights ago and insisted that we watch it as a family. As I sat watching the beautiful photos flash across the screen, I instantly realized that Robert would be the same age as Mason when those photos were taken. 

I wondered how Robert may have looked by now. Would he have Mason and Bob's same chocolate brown eyes, or would he have his momma's blue eyes? Would he be getting ready to walk? Would I have still been nursing Robert? Would he be completely in love with his older brother, Mason? 

So as I sat holding my beautiful, healthy four year old son in my arms, I found myself overcome by the grief of not having Robert here with us. Robert has been gone for over 13 months and there still isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him. I miss my son.

Friday, September 18, 2009

October 15th Raleigh

In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, I've organized October 15th Raleigh. I wanted a way to honor Robert's memory and our miscarriage in 2004, as well as to reach out to all the other parents who've experienced a loss through miscarriage, still birth, infant loss or ectopic pregnancy.

This candle light memorial will be held on Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 7pm on the South Lawn of the State Capital, Downtown Raleigh. The evening will consist of a simple ceremony of music, an open mic time, a naming ceremony, as well as candles lit in memory of our little one's. This is a free, community-wide event to anyone in the Triangle area.

My prayer for October 15th Raleigh is that parents will find Hope and healing after a loss.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

What a difference a year makes

I still can't believe how quickly a year comes and goes. I can honestly say that my life looks pretty different than it did a year ago. Besides the obvious of going so fast from pregnant and planning a life with a new son to not pregnant and redefining what my life looks like after losing a baby.

There's just no way that you can lose a baby and come out on the other side as the same person, because you're not. Losing Robert has changed me forever. It's changed the way that I look at my life here and eternal life. It's changed my relationships with family and friends; it's drastically changed my relationship with God.

Without hesitation, I will admit that around the time that Robert died, I was probably the furthest that I've been from God in a very long time. We had no home church. I was not reading my bible. I was not praying. I firmly believe that God will allow things to happen in our lives to get our attention and to draw us back to Him. No, God did not take my son from me, but he allowed it to happen.

My new relationship with God is a direct result of losing my son. My desire to become stronger in my faith, to connect with my church, to "grow up" all comes from my realization of why I'm really here.

Another awesome outcome over the last year has been the strength of my marriage. You often hear how a loss can tear a couple apart. Losing Robert has made Bob and I stronger than ever. Through the strengthening of our individual relationships with God, we've seen the overflow into our marriage. Sure, we still have our moments (who doesn't,) but are constantly striving to stay God-centered and to keep each other accountable.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about Robert. He would have been just about 9 months old now. There are times when I still cry and feel that physical pain of not having Robert here with me, but the tears are less and time does begin to heal.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

So now you have two!

I was shopping at Kohl's a few days ago and ran into a teacher from the school where I did my graduate internship last year. I was working there when I became pregnant and I had not seen her since I finished last June. She immediately and enthusiastically said, "So, now you have two!" Of course I had to break the news that we had lost him. I actually handled it really well (no tears), but it's amazing just how I go about my day and there are still reminders that Robert is not here with me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

While I'm Waiting

I love the lyrics to John Waller's song, "While I'm Waiting". It really sums up so much of what I'm feeling in my life and in my heart right now. Even though the wait can feel like torture at times, it's through the waiting that we can begin to see what God really wants for us; that he begins to unveil his plan for our lives. The very act of waiting and being obedient to God is an act of worship to Him and our confidence in who He is and what He says He can do. Will it be painful at times? Yes. Will we want to give up? Probably. But is He faithful? Absolutely.  
So today, even though I feel crushed, I will go on actively waiting.

"While I'm Waiting"
I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

Friday, July 3, 2009

Babies, babies, everywhere babies

Yes, it's a part of life. People are going to have babies. And when you're in your early thirties and at the prime baby making time, everyone around you will be getting pregnant and having babies. That is, everyone but me. I know I sound a little pathetic and that I'm feeling sorry for myself, but that's because I'm feeling sorry for myself. 

In the last week alone, 2 women I know have had their babies. Of course, I'm thrilled for them. It's such an amazing blessing. But I want to get pregnant too. I want to bring my baby home. I want to get over this "hump" of loss and onto the next chapter of getting pregnant again.

I'm a good mom. No, I'm an awesome mom! I love my son more than life itself and I desperately want another child, a sibling for Mason, but it's just not coming so easy.

The saying goes that "Timing is everything". I know that God's timing is not always the same as my timing (probably something to do with the fact that he's the God of the universe and doesn't have the same concept of time that we do). But none the less, I'm trying to be so patient and wait on His time. But all I really want to do is scream from the top of my lungs that I'm sick of waiting! I'm sick of feeling like the only one around me who can't conceive. I'm angry that I have to think about the anniversary of my son's death next month rather than celebrating his life. 

Today I need the strength to just keep going. 

Friday, June 19, 2009

When the joy outweighs the pain

It's taken almost a year, but I know now that I've finally arrived at the place where the joy and blessing of potentially being pregnant again and having another baby outweighs all the pain of losing Robert or the fear of losing another baby.

Of course I'll never forget what it feels like to say goodbye to my son, but I also know the pure joy of welcoming my new child into the world. 

I know what it feels like to to labor for twelve hours. To hold a tiny, lifeless child only to leave with empty arms from the hospital. But I also know the feeling of having a warm, beautiful, healthy baby in my arms. 

I know what it feels like to walk through the valley and to announce to all your friends and family that your son is gone. To prepare for a memorial service. To decide between burial and cremation. To wake and see a tiny urn every morning. But I also know utter elation of calling to tell everyone that a new life is here. To hear the congratulations and the joy in their voices. To know that people are genuinely excited for your family.

I know what it feels like to miss a son every day. To grieve the milestones. To miss planning the first Christmas or birthday. But I know how it feels to enjoy the last four years of everything amazing and special that Mason has experienced.

So when I weigh it all, I'd do it again. The bitter and the sweet. Life brings us valleys so we can appreciate the mountain tops. And there are a lot more valleys or heading up & down the mountain than there times on top. So much so that if we're not careful, we just may miss it. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

When you know you've hit your limit

I know it's been some time since I've written anything on this blog. Overall, life has been good. We're caught up in the whole TTC thing again and it's just enough to keep my mind off of other things; for a while, anyways. 

It was such a blessing to celebrate Mason's 4th birthday on Monday. Celebrating with friends was fun and crazy and Mason was loving it. But it's amazing how even in the middle of a celebration, the loss of Robert can hit me. Three babies and one pregnant woman at our party. Which is fine, but throw in the non-stop baby/pregnancy talk and I felt like I was in a black-hole. I had to keep myself busy or go outside just so I didn't break out in tears. Who knows, maybe someday I'll want to swap pregnancy and delivery stories again, but not now. What so many people quickly forget is that my last delivery didn't turn out so well. I was in labor for 12 hours and delivered and held a baby that I didn't get to bring home. I won't get the milestones of rolling over, crawling, first words. I won't get to celebrate his first birthday or any birthdays. I don't get to wake up and snuggle and nurse my son every morning. Instead, I wake up every morning and see his remains in a tiny urn on my dresser. Yes, I know that's not Robert, but it's the only way I even know it was all real. That's my reality. 

And another thing. Yes, it was nine months ago. But guess what? I'm NOT OVER IT! I'll never be over losing Robert. Yes, it gets a little more manageable over time, but there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my son. And even when we eventually do get pregnant again, I still won't be over it. One child doesn't replace another child.

Yes, it's a fine line. I don't want people walking on egg shells around me, afraid that what they'll say will upset me. But I want people to be aware that careless words hurt. When you're friends with someone and love them, you need to be aware of the balance. It's a give and take on both sides and at this point, I've reached my limit. Now, do I think that my friends were trying to intentionally hurt me by what they were saying? No. Do I think that it went overboard with all the pregnancy/baby talk? Absolutely! Guess what ladies, we love our kids and families. But we are still women who can talk about things other than allergies, diapers and hiccups ad nauseam. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A loaded question

When someone knows that you're a mom, the first, most natural question is to ask about your children. How many kids do you have? What are their names and ages? So when I'm in situation where I know I'll be meeting and talking to moms who don't know my history, I find myself scrambling to decide what I will say. If I say I have one child, then I feel like I'm letting Robert down. But if I say I have two, then I'll have to explain the loss, and let's face it, people just don't want to hear about a baby that died. I could say, "I have one living child," but in my experience, that's also a major downer to people. I've seen the conversation abruptly stop with that one, too. 

I hate that I even have to think about things like this.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Comparing hurts and losses

I've noticed recently how many people try to compare losses. I've heard over and over again for the last eight months from friends and other women that their own loss was not as "bad" as mine because they were only in the first trimester and didn't have to go through labor and delivery. On the other hand, I've known people to say that because I was not full-term that it wasn't as bad as "so-and-so's loss". My best advice about comparing losses: Don't do that. Comparing hurts and losses is a waste of time. Just because I lost my son in my second trimester doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt as much or it's not as much of a loss for a friend who lost a baby at 8 weeks pregnant. Walk in someone else's shoes for a day and see if you still want to compare.

I'm so glad that God doesn't compare or prioritize our hurts against anyone else. Can you imagine if he was saying, "Well Katy, I have this women over here who delivered a few weeks later than you, so she's hurting more and needs me more than you do." No way! God knows our hearts and our hurts, and they are all just as important to him. Wouldn't it be great if we could all treat each other with the same kind of love and respect?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sometimes I feel out of place

My life and overall perspective has changed so much in the last year that sometimes I just don't know where I "fit". I've been in this world of grief and loss for almost eight months and it sets me apart from my prior life and the people in it. And while I've met new, wonderful people who share my same journey of loss, I just don't want to stay in that world forever. On the other hand, there is always a new gap between the people I knew before losing Robert. I can feel it, even though I've accepted it. Especially with those friends who were pregnant at the same time I was, because they've all had their babies by now. 

I can feel a new season beginning. One that doesn't feel so sad, but hopeful. Not that I will ever forget my son, I just know that my life is continuing and it feels right. Even so, I know that I am still allowed to have sad moments or even days and more importantly, that it's okay. 

I was at the zoo with Mason on Thursday. We went with a dear friend of mine and her two kids. At one point, her daughter (almost 5 y/o) was hugging and kissing on her little brother (almost 8 months old) and I found myself feeling sad. I felt sad for the little brother that Mason does not have here. I know how much Mason loves babies and how sweet he is with them. I know what a wonderful big brother he will be.

Friday, April 3, 2009

One of those days

Today, I'm just tired. The whole TTC thing can really start to wear on you and I could seriously see myself slipping back into a depression if I didn't watch myself. I'm also sick with a head cold and pushing myself pretty hard lately. I often find myself trying to be everything to everyone and my physical, mental and spiritual health wear thin. 

Most people think I'm doing so well, which for the most part, I am. But there are still those days when I feel like I'm just barely hanging on. 

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pleasant surprise

I have to admit that I began this blog with somewhat selfish intentions. I wanted to work through this journey of loss in order that I may find healing and peace. Little did I  know that along the way I would touch peoples lives with my story. 

I'm so touched by the many e-mails, pm's and even face-to-face words of affirmation that I've received over the last month about Robert's blog. And while I'm honored and humbled, I also can't take the credit. I simply listened to God and started a blog. My words are His words.

It's hard to allow yourself to be vulnerable, but it's truly amazing how God can bless you and other's around you when you choose to let go and let God take control. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So what now?

I'm not the only one out there who's experienced a loss or illness or some sort of tragedy. No one is promised a perfect life, devoid of pain. Life here on earth, and all that comes with it, is unavoidable. But regardless of where we've been, we make the choice of where we go from here. Are we going to let it crush us or will we come out on the other side stronger than before? Will we allow bitterness of heart and spirit to take over or will we savor the sweetness of the blessings we're given? The choice is ours. 

And then you take it to the next step: How can I love and impact others who may be hurting after a loss (or illness, etc.)? I love the book A Purpose Driven Life and especially that first line, "It's not about you." I've started asking myself a lot more what I can do to help other women who've experienced a loss. And even though the hurt is still there, with time brings clarity and healing. I know that God will use me if I allow him to. So what's stopping me? Why does stepping out in faith feel so hard? 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I miss my mom

I can't help but to miss my mom. No, my mom hasn't passed away but we have been estranged for well over a year. Which means that she never even knew that she had and lost a grandson. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to pick up the phone and tell her, but I haven't. I remember wanting so desperately to call her the morning I delivered Robert. I was all alone in my recovery room, so exhausted in so many ways, and it took everything in me not to pick up my mobile and give her a call. It was one of those pivotal moments in my life when I really needed my mom, but I knew in my heart that she could not be there like I needed her to be. I was also very angry at her for that. But I realized, once again, that I can't expect something from her that she's unable to give me, therefore being angry is futile. 

I've had several people ask me how I feel about the fact that I gave my mom one of my kidney's and we no longer talk. My response: God does not make mistakes. I may not have the relationship I wish I had with my mom, but I know that she's alive and healthy. God blessed me with the exact family I was supposed to have. He gave me the exact dad, mom, sister and brother that he intended for my life. Who am I to argue with that? I also don't believe that it's beyond hope for me and my mom. It's so easy for me to say, "It's been like this with my mom for so long that it will never change", but then I am saying that I don't trust God. But I believe that God can change a person's heart. So I pray everyday that God's will be done in my broken relationship with my mom.

The one thing that I find so awesome is that regardless of the fact that I no longer have a mom or a dad in my life, it does not mean that I'm all alone. God tells us that he's a father to the fatherless (and the motherless). I find comfort in knowing that I have an amazing, loving heavenly father that loves me unconditionally. I also have a wonderful example of what it means to be a good mom to my own children.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Not just hope, but having faith

I don't believe that it's enough for me to "hope" that God has a plan for my life. That sounds too much like I'm making some random wish. I need to have faith in the promise that through seeking his will, he will reveal his purpose and plan for my life. It's so easy to get caught up in telling God what you want (and getting angry when he doesn't give it to you) instead of asking him what he wants. But it's so much easier said than done. 

I confess that I had a bit of a temper tantrum this weekend and for the first time in 6 months, I did not go to church on Sunday. I was angry with God and I was going to let him know. The pain of losing Robert hit me harder than it had in months and I could not understand how God could let this happen to me? And even worse, why it still has to hurt like this? But then I remembered Proverbs 3:5-6. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." He doesn't want us to labor over trying to figure this out; he wants us to know that he's already got it covered. Within my finite reasoning, there are so many things that I can not and will not fully understand. Within his infinite love and plan for my life, I don't have to. Isn't that an amazing promise?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hebrews 11:1

Three types of people

In the last six months, I've come to the conclusion that I know three types of people since we lost Robert. First, there are those who've experienced this kind of loss and have nothing but love and support for me and for our family. They ask me how I'm doing (even six months out --- what a novel idea), they tell me that they're praying for me, they ask me about my son. Next, there are those who've not experienced a loss, but they desperately want to love us and to understand as best they can. They also ask me how I'm doing and admit that even though they don't know what it's like, they still care about me and what my family has experienced. And last, there are those who've not had a loss and just can't handle my loss. They show neither compassion nor friendship. They avoid me like the plague or even worse, just pretend that it never happened. I believe this to be the ultimate in selfishness. Or beyond comprehension, they actually blame me for what happened or say that I deserve what happened to me, that it's no wonder I lost my son. I know, it's hard to believe that these types of people even exist, but unfortunately, I have heard it all.

So to my friends and family who fit in the first two, I am grateful everyday for your love and support. I feel your prayers and love, and it has made a difference in my life. As for the third (and there are a few of them), I can only pray to God that this pain never touches your life. I'm not angry anymore, but I have moved on.

TTC and other stuff

With hope and fear, we are TTC again. We're on our third cycle, which is actually a  first for us (with Mason it was only one and with Robert, a matter of a few weeks). Waiting is one of the hardest parts of all of this. And then there's that disappointment when there's no BFP and only AF. Almost feels like insult to injury; to have a child die and to not get pregnant again. You can't help but to wonder "why me?". Even after all the tests came back and we were told that we'll definitely get pregnant again, I can't help but to wonder if there is something wrong with me. I know it probably sounds ridiculous, but I still can't help but to blame myself in small way for what happened; after all, it was my body that couldn't give him what he needed. 

It's also frustrating that my cycles have been so crazy since I delivered Robert last August. I'm so tempted to test, but I'm scared of being disappointed once again. So I just wait until AF arrives, then it's back to square one. At least it's fun trying.

I know that so much of this comes down to control. I want to try to control something that is not up to me, but up to God and his planning and timing. It is definitely the hardest lesson that I've learned so far: God is in control; I am not.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Today was the first time in months that I looked at Robert's pictures. I've had them tucked away in the special bag that I was given at the hospital, along with his baby blanket and other mementos. When we were in the moment, I didn't want photos. Now I regret not having more. Even without them, I can still see him perfectly in my mind. Although I was almost 5 months pregnant at the time of his death, he was weeks behind in growth. I'm truly amazed that he made it for as long as he did. He was so tiny but so perfect. In the scheme of how many babies are born every year, there are very few parents that have the chance to see their baby when they are only in the second trimester. It was truly such a miracle to see all of him, from his cute little ears and nose, all the way down to his sweet baby toes. Truly unbelievable. God is truly unbelievable. 

20 Things parents of angels wish you would remember

I recently came across this. I love that it's so succinct in summing up how this whole journey feels. Although I relate to all of these, I've made bold the ones that really say it for me.
  1. I wish you would not be afraid to mention my baby. The truth is just because you never say my baby doesn't mean he doesn't deserve your recognition.
  2. I wish that if we did talk about my baby and I cried you didn't think it was because you have hurt me by mentioning him. The truth is I need to cry and talk about my baby with you. Crying and emotional outbursts help me heal.
  3. I wish that you could talk about my baby more than once. The truth is if you do, it reassures me that you haven't forgotten him and that you do care and understand.
  4. I wish you wouldn't think that I don't want to talk about my baby. The truth is that I love my baby and need to talk about him.
  5. I wish you could tell me you are sorry my baby has died and that you are thinking of me. The truth is it tells me you care. 
  6. I wish you wouldn't think what has happened is one big bad memory for me. The truth is the memory of my baby, the love I feel for my baby, the dreams I had and the memories I have created for my baby are all loving memories. Yes, there are bad memories too but please understand that it's not all like that.
  7. I wish you wouldn't pretend that my baby never existed. The truth is we both know I had a baby growing inside of me.
  8. I wish you wouldn't judge me because I am not acting the way you think I should be. The truth is grief is a very personal thing and we are all different people who deal with things differently. 
  9. I wish you wouldn't think if I have a good day I'm "over it" or if I have a bad day I am being unreasonable because you think I should be over it. The truth is there is no "normal" way for me to act. 
  10. I wish you wouldn't stay away from me. The truth is losing my baby doesn't mean I'm contagious. By staying away you make me feel isolated, confused and like it's my fault.
  11. I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be "over and done with" in a few weeks, months, or years for that matter. The truth is that it may get easier with time but I will never be "over this".
  12. I wish you wouldn't think that my baby wasn't a real baby and it was blood and tissue or a fetus.  The truth is my baby was a human life. He had a soul, heart, body, legs, arms and face. I have seen my baby's body and face. My baby was a real person.
  13. My babies due date, Mothers Day, celebration times, the day my baby died and the day my baby was delivered are all important and sad days for me. The truth is I wish you could tell me by words or by letter you are thinking of me on these days.
  14. I wish you would understand that losing my baby has changed me. The truth is I am not the same person I was before and will never be that person again. If you keep waiting for me to get back to "normal" you will stay frustrated. I am a new person with new thoughts, dreams, beliefs and values. Please try to get to know the real me --- maybe you'll still like me.
  15. I wish you wouldn't tell me to have another baby. The truth is that I want the baby I lost and no other baby can replace him. Babies aren't interchangeable. 
  16. I wish you wouldn't feel awkward or uncomfortable talking about my baby or being near me. When you do, I can see it. The truth is it's not fair to make me feel uncomfortable just because you do.
  17. I wish you wouldn't think that you'll keep away because all my friends and family will be there for me. The truth is, everyone thinks the same thing and I am often left with no one.
  18. I wish you would understand that being around pregnant women is uncomfortable for me.
  19. I wish you wouldn't say that it's natures way of telling me something was wrong with my baby. The truth is my baby was perfect to me no matter what you think nature is saying.
  20. I wish you would understand that what you are really saying when you say "next time things will be okay". The truth is how do you know? What will you say it it happens to me again.

Not ready until now...

And even at that, I'm going to take this slow. I've become very aware at how many moms blog to work through the grief of losing a child. I know that I will never forget Robert, but I have hope that God will help me to manage his loss.

It was six months ago this weekend that we learned that our sweet Robert was gone. Grief is a funny thing (but not in the "funny ha-ha" sense). I couldn't possibly have planned for a loss like this, so I had no idea how it would feel to be here. Even six months later, I grapple with the "why's" on a daily basis. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about what I've lost, about how my life would be different with him here. About how our family would be different. But losing Robert has also made me acutely aware of all that I do have, of just how blessed I really am. 

I praise God everyday that my marriage has not only survived losing Robert, but that it has thrived. I feel closer to Bob than I ever have. We made a very deliberate decision while I was even still recovering in the hospital that with God's help, we would make this journey together. That's not to say that we haven't grieved differently and separately at times. It was always very important that Bob recognize and work through the grief just as much as I am. After all, losing Robert happened to him as well. 

And then there's my beautiful boy, Mason. Though too young to fully comprehend the death of his brother, so aware that something is different. Ironically enough, I was sitting with Mason on Saturday evening, reading books before bedtime, when he looks at me and asks, "Mommy, why don't you have a baby in your belly anymore? Don't you like babies anymore?" As the tears rolled down my cheeks, I told him once again that he went to be with Jesus but that we'll have another baby again. He innocently continued reading with me while meanwhile, I felt crushed. I know that there'll be days like these.