Sunday, July 26

Yesterday

The funeral yesterday was just what you would expect it to be... long and very difficult to get through.  But with the help of our families and friends, and a few breakdowns along the way, we made it.  Our little Connor is peacefully tucked away.  He heard more "I Love You's" yesterday than I really believe many people hear in their entire lives.  I'll tell you something... at only 2 days old he was one loved little boy.  Well, he still is very loved.

We did have a lot of people not show up yesterday who really should have been there.  It's hard... we're not trying to be petty or say that we should be the center of the universe, but yesterday was a BIG DEAL.  People should have dropped studying for 2 hours or drove back from a vacation trip or even just called.  It really hurt because people say they will do anything for you... that they want to be there for you, but really, they'll only do as much as is convenient.  And even that... only if they're in the mood.  Besides our parents-- who went above and beyond-- we didn't ask anyone for ANYTHING except to be there for us.  I understand that some people are uncomfortable and don't know what to say... but do you think we are comfortable?  To put it into perspective... even our "tax guy" came... when someone of my "best friends" didn't.  It's going to take a LONG time to get over the hurt.

But now that I'm done being petty... I'm going to share some of the words that Johnny and I shared at the funeral.  Johnny had to read mine because I couldn't keep it together.  But he did an amazing job.

My Mom and Dad Are Survivors

My Mom and dad are survivors,
or so I've heard it said.
But I can hear them crying at night
when all others are in bed.

I watch them lay awake at night
and go to hold their hands.
They don't know I'm with them
to help them understand.

But like the sands on the beach
that never wash away ...
I watch over my mom and dad
who think of me each day.

They wear a smile for others ...
a smile of disguise!
But through Heaven's door
I see tears flowing from their eyes.

My mom and dad try to cope with death;
To keep my memory alive.
But anyone who knows them knows
it is their way to survive.

As I watch over my mom and dad
through Heaven's open door ...
I try to tell them that angels
protect me forevermore!

I know that doesn't help them,
or ease the burden they bear.
So, if you get a chance, go visit them.
Show them that you care.

For no matter what they say...
no matter what they feel.
My mom and dad have a broken heart
that time won't ever heal.

My words are a little bit longer...

I have wanted to be a mom for as far back as I can remember.  My brother Matt is only about a year younger than I am.  From very early I took it upon myself to be his surrogate mother.  My dad used to say “He’ll never learn if you always do it for him!”  It drove my dad crazy.  I didn’t care though—I loved taking care of Matt.  Over the years many things changed—Matt could do things for himself, but I still wanted to help and take care of him.  It was in me.  Matt was my substitute until I could have a child of my own.

From the very beginning I knew that Johnny wanted children just as badly as I did.  It was such a huge factor for us.  So, when Johnny and I found out we were expecting on February 7th (I could tell you the time, what I ate that day, and how I was feeling), we were elated that our wishes were coming true.  The dream became even greater when we found out on March 3rd that we weren’t expecting one baby—we were expecting two!!

Immediately Johnny and I were thrilled.  Maybe thrilled isn’t the right word.  Lots of people are scared when they find out that they’re having a baby.  Things change—their lives will be different, they will have to dedicate their energy away from themselves.  We didn’t care.  That’s what we WANTED.  We loved talking about the future… baseball games, family trips, mini vans—yes, I actually want one!  I don’t care if it’s a “mom mobile”… that’s what I want! 

We wanted it all WITH these little guys and we wanted it all FOR these little guys.  Everyone else who loved them did too.  I guess we still do.

A few weeks later we were thrilled—and a bit surprised—to learn that we were having two boys.  Immediately Johnny and I agreed on the name Connor for our first little boy. 

Besides getting married and having kids, it was one of the easiest decisions we made.  There was not discussion.  And if you know Johnny and I … you know it is rare when we agree on things immediately.  From that moment on Baby A became Connor.  He had a name and he was loved more than many people are in their whole lives.

Eventually I started feeling the little guys kick.  The feeling was incredible.  I’d stop things just to wait for a little nudge.  I sat at school with my hand on my stomach as I read stories to my class.  I wonder if my students noticed that I would smile at completely random times when the guys were saying hi.  If I had a bad day, I’d ride the whole way home with my hand on my stomach going way too slow.  It never got old. 

As things progressed over the past few weeks and I ended up on bed rest, I tried to keep a positive attitude.  But to be honest, there were only 2 things that could keep my truly happy and make me smile even when I felt miserable.  One was to hear their little heartbeats on the Doppler and the other was to feel their little kicks.  It was a reminder of why I was there and what I was pulling for. It was Connor and Colby’s way of telling me that things would be okay.

And it was.  As they entered the world on July 19th—a lot early and a little impatiently—I was elated.  Again, I don’t think elated is the right word here.  But it will have to do.  Hearing the first cries, kissing their little heads, and seeing the joy on Daddy’s face are all things I won’t forget.

Nor will I forget the precious 43 hours we got with Connor.  He gave me the ultimate gift- my ultimate desire—I was a mom.  But even better… I was HIS mom.

Now, taken too soon, it hurts to say goodbye.  I can’t pretend that I completely understand why we had to say goodbye so soon.  My first baby, Colby’s big brother, will always be missed.  The will never forget those sweet features- the crinkly ears, those tiny toes, the dark hair, or those big blue eyes just working to take everything in. 

But mostly I won’t forget the love I have for him.  The love I’ve had since long before I knew him. 

At closing, I just want to say that Connor will be forever loved.  He was a dream come true.  His life, although brief, was so important and meaningful to his daddy, brother, and I.  There was no shortage of love in his life, I promise you that. 


If you have read all of this, then you deserve an update on Colby.  :)  Right now he's doing great... he's eating with a feeding tube in addition to his IV nutrients.  He's on the CPAP instead of the ventilator (GREAT day!!).  We've gotten to hold him once.  We can hear his cries now!  He's starting to regulate his own body temp.  He has no more blue light for the jaundice!  Overall, he's a cutie who made it to 28 weeks yesterday!  Here's to MANY, MANY more!!



15 comments:

May said...

You have all the sympathy I can possibly muster. What beautiful words.

Great news that Colby is on CPAP! Go little man!

Carrie said...

I am again so very sorry that you lost your little angel. I cannot imagine your pain.

What wonderful news about Colby. I cannot believe he is already using CPAP and a feeding tube! What progress!!!

Sending you all my loving thoughts.

ashley said...

Bless your heart. You're being so strong. When Colby's old enough, he'll know that he had a wonderful brother. I'm elated he's doing well.

Jen said...

Stace-

My heart is breaking for you!!! You are such a strong mother, both of your boys are blessed to have you as their mom!!! I am praying that Colby will continue to grow bigger, stronger, and healthier each day and Connor will help you find peace in your heart as he is in God's loving hands!!!

Hugs!!!

Verna said...

When words fail us. I'm not good with words, and I never seem to say the correct things.
Thinking about you and,

Praying for you!!!!!!

Infertility is Hard said...

Oh Stacey, your words were beautiful, and made me cry. What a LUCKY little boy Connor was and is. To be so loved. . . what a gift.

And you aren't being petty. You and Johnny just went through the hardest thing in your lives. People should be there for you. No matter what.

Please know that me and your other blog friends are thinking of you constantly.

I hope Colby continues to grow and improve every day. I also hope that you and Johnny can begin the healing process.

Sarah said...

Once again, I am so very sorry for the loss of your little boy. The words of your husband and yourself are beautiful and heartbreaking.

Also, I am sorry that some of the people you felt should have been there, werent. I understand your hurt feelings.

Lots of love for the you all.

Ashley said...

Stace, you are not being petty..you are being real and all of us would have felt that way! I know all of your blogger friends wish they could have been there for you. As I cry right now, I am wishing I could give you a giant hug. Your words were beautiful.

I am so happy to hear that Colby is doing well!! He will forever have an angel watching over him.

You guys are in my thoughts and prayers!!

((HUGS))

Ashley said...

PS. Do you have an address or a PO Box that you wouldn't mind giving to me. If you don't want to post it you can email me at apatin1@hotmail.com

Nikki said...

Hey Stace,

I know this is excruciatingly painful for you. And it just makes me kick myself, that I was unable to get past my own issues and get to know you, my sister-in-law, better. But if you need anything, from Jeff or I, please don't hesitate to call us. I mean anything, even if it's just to come hang out, or watch movies about sparkly vampires, or just to sit by Colby's side, please let us know.

Love Always,
Nikki

Carrie said...

I wish you were feeling more supported during this very difficult time. I was there with you in spirit and will continue to think of you often.

I am so glad to hear that Colby is doing so well. His progress is amazing!

Seraphim said...

You aren't being petty. Your heart has been broken. Just know that there are strangers here praying for you and thinking of you. Your little boy will not be forgotten xxxx

Shinejil said...

I have to second everyone: You're NOT being petty, because this is a huge loss for you and your husband and friendship isn't just about the fun and games. It's also about love and doing what's really hard because you're needed. So don't worry about that; just feel what you feel.

I'm glad you got to share Connor's story with your loved ones, though it's heartbreaking that it had to be under such circumstances.

Go, Colby! I'm cheering for him and his continued strong progress.

Michele said...

sending big hugs

Poppy said...

Your words were touching and so beautiful.

And you are not being petty. Not at all. We too were hurt by those who chose not to attending the calling hrs. or funeral service. Terribly hurt and we felt like we found out during all of that that we didn't have as many friends as we thought we did and some people in our lives are no longer there. And that's ok. Our little guy deserved to be surrounded by nothing but the best. Try not to let the no showers get you down. They don't deserve that much of your energy.