The hospital has been quite crazy this week. I have had several calls to the hospital then we had our support group meeting that my friend and I run and then we had an all day training in Salt Lake. Our support group was pretty good this month. Some months are definitely better than others. We had a few people come that haven't ever come before. There were a few things shared that I wanted to record so I will remember them. There is always a question that bereaved parents hate to answer, "how many kids do you have?" I have a lot of really funny stories about this. One time I was in Walmart getting some last minute Kindergarten items for Halea. The lady in front of me started a conversation. She asked Halea if she was getting ready for Kindergarten, etc. Then she asked me if Halea was my oldest. Well I didn't really want to explain to the Walmart lady my life story, so I said "yes". Halea turned around, looked up at me and said, "I'm not your oldest". I then proceeded to tell the Walmart lady my life story. When people used to ask her if she was the oldest in her family, she would almost always reply "I'm the oldest still alive!" The kids usually don't let you get off easy. I used to evaluate people when they would ask me this question. 1. am I going to see them ever again? then I would sometimes answer with only my kids that were alive 2. is there an opportunity for them to ask more questions, my answer would usually be only the kids alive. 3. I am going to see them again, then I would include Trevin because they would eventually find out so I had better tell them and get all of the awkwardness out of the way now. I got pretty quick at assessing what I would say. Sometimes if Lance and I were together I would not say anything so he would have to answer. I always wanted to hear what he would say. He would usually look at me, pause, and not include Trevin, to avoid further questions. Several times we got some really weird glances because I know people were thinking, "do they not remember how many kids they have? Seems like a pretty straight forward question".
This night at group there was a couple there that had lost their first baby, so they had no other kids. She wanted everyone to tell her how they answer that question. Everyone had a little different way of doing it. One lady says I have one son who is (age) and our youngest son died on the day he was born. I felt so bad for this sweet family that has no other children. I remember that feeling of being completely lost. She said you don't feel like a mother, but you are. I so remember that. It was so heart breaking to listen to some of her feelings. I can't believe that our human hearts don't just break from the anguish you feel when you lose a sweet baby.
Then there is the phrase that people use that we don't know exactly how to respond, "I'm so sorry". Now, we would much rather people say that than something silly like, "you are the parent of an angel, how lucky", "she was too good for this world", "he's in a better place", "he's better off". The list could go on and on. When people say that they are sorry for our loss, I usually just say thank you and move on, because what else should I say, "you should be sorry". If you say that, they might report you to the crazy police. A lady at our group shared what she says in response to all of the "I'm sorry's". She says "It is a privilege to be his mom and I am grateful for the time I was able to spend with him." I just thought that was so sweet. I think that is how all of us feel. It is a privilege and an honor to be a parent for any length of time.
The last thing was from a sweet dad. The first time dad that had a full term sweet baby. The wife was relating a story. She said that they were talking about their feelings or something and he said, "I want to live my life so that she can visit us and want to be around us everyday." When there are bad feelings or you create a poor spiritual atmosphere around you these sweet perfect little beings can not really be in our presence. What an amazing goal to set. It could fix a lot of things in all of our lives I bet. I am really lucky that I get to work with and see such amazing little miracles. I see people survive and thrive and change through some pretty tragic circumstances. The human spirit is resilient, and through the Atonement it can actually learn to thrive again and become better! That is a miracle.
Tonight was the General Women's meeting for our church. It was amazing and had great counsel for all of us. things I know, but it is always good to hear them again. As I sat there listening, I was so grateful for all of my beautiful daughters. Each one has come with their own special mission for themselves and for me and our family. Halea has come to pave the way for the others, and set the example. She has done such a fabulous job at both. Heidi came to be our calming influence. She rarely causes contention. She is our forever peace maker. I thought Hilary came to slow us down as a family and to take care of us with Tatum, and to be Tates big sister. Now I know that she came to save us. The other day Lance said, "Having Hilary has been vital to all of our healing because we still have someone small, and funny and someone to take care of". I agree. I would have gone crazy this past year were it not for her. I am freaking out that she is turning 4! She won't be small much longer, but she too has done her job up to now. Then there is our sweet Tatum. Her mission is much more far reaching than I am sure we know at this point. I know that we will see the ripple effects of her life for the rest of ours. I know that she came to soften all of our hearts and remind us of our bond as a family, and that life does not end here. She taught us strength, and humor and pure pure love. Joy. And how to find Hope when it feels like there is none. All of our daughters are amazing. I feel so lucky to be their mother. What a gift.
Here are some of the Walker happenings this week:
Hayden was gone all weekend in St. George with his tennis team. It was super quiet here without him, not in a good way. I really missed him. We had been told to send him with about 100 dollars. This needed to cover his food for three and a half days. They also needed to pay for golf, and the tennis fee for the tournament all of which was about 45 dollars. He begged me to send him with a little extra because his friends were all bringing more money. I scrounged through all of our cash and ended up giving him 125 dollars in the end and I told him to please be wise with it and bring me any change. I was sure he would not have a dime when he got back. (he might have a little of his mother when it comes to spending!) Well he came back with about 27 dollars. I was shocked and so proud.
It is nice to have us all home tonight. We all watched the movie Gravity with our niece and her husband after women's conference. It was pretty intense. Two actors! Who would have thought you could make a movie with two actors.