Can I just say that it is nearly impossible for me to get "computer time" in my own house? I not only need the computer itself, but I also need it to be somewhat quiet for me to be able to think clearly as I try to put my thoughts into words that make any sense. Thus my posts are getting further and further apart, which unfortunately means they are lengthy. These teenagers are killing me. It seems like the only time I can have to "myself" is any time after midnight that's convenient for me. Currently I have one said teenager still packing up her stuff to bring upstairs! Ugh. So, I really apologize if my spelling and grammar are horrid. I blame it on them.
So last Friday I went to lunch with my good friend. (do I go to lunch too much?, anyway) She asked me if I had thought of how I wanted to celebrate Tater bugs birthday. I had been thinking about it, but I really had no concise thoughts come to mind. I do really want to get their headstone placed, but I just don't know if it will make it in time now, seeing as I can't make any decisions on what we want it to say! We talked a little bit about some ideas that she had, which I loved. She is really thoughtful, especially when it comes to little Tates. She suggested that we hand out little pink nail polishes to the parents at the hospital, with a cute little card attached in memory of Tatum. Of course the idea grew a little from there. It had to involve a chocolate, right? And if we can swing it, her super fantastic lip balm. We are going to try and hit a few places up for donations because I would probably need a lot of these little gifts to cover the places in the hospital that I think it would be appropriate. I knew that her birthday would be coming, but I can't believe that it is less than three months away. I don't know how that is possible. On Sunday Halea and Heidi and I were looking through pictures on my iPad and there were a ton of Hilary at about 18 months. We couldn't believe that was what Tatum would look like and be doing. She would be walking and talking and doing such funny cute things.
Then I told my friend that I wasn't sure what to do with the May 31st day. Luckily Trevin's death day is far away from his birthday. So his birthday feels like a sweet time and then his death day has always just been a quiet, tender day. We don't usually do anything, really, but maybe go to the cemetery. I just kept feeling like we needed to do something on that day, to remember and honor that day because it is a really special day too.
Friday night I told myself that if I woke up early, on my own, I would try and go to the temple. Well, if you know me, you know that my body almost never needs an alarm clock. I have a weird mechanism inside of me that if I tell myself I am waking up at a certain time, it is almost guaranteed I will automatically wake up. Weird. Sure enough at about 5:00am I woke up. I thought, "that is too early, one more hour". Sure enough, 6am I woke right up. So off I went to the temple. I am always happy to start my day on a good note, especially a Saturday. As I was leaving the Temple I had a thought. I really want to go to the Temple on May 31st. Our home on that day, felt like the Temple. Sacred, reverent, pure, thick with angels all around, ministering to our broken hearts. What better way to spend at least a part of that beautiful day. So I invite anyone who can and wants to attend the Mt. Timpanogos Temple on Saturday May 31st with us (probably a morning session, I will post the time as we get closer) we would love it. If you live far and want to attend a Temple closer to your own home that would be awesome too. If you are of a different faith, go to a service at your own church on that day, or simply say an extra prayer for those you love on that day. I really just want it to be about showing people love and service on that day.
I came home and decided to start some pancakes before everyone got going. After breakfast I started just puttering around the house doing things. Around 12:30 I got a call from the hospital. They needed me to come in and help with a family that was having to make the difficult choice to take their young adult daughter off of life support. I pulled it together and ran down to help them do some hand molds. The room was reverent and sad, yet peaceful and calm. I talked to the mom for a few minutes before I left. Her daughter was just a year older than what Trevin would be. I could only imagine the whole that her absence was going to leave in their family.
After I left the hospital I delivered some pictures that I had for another family from the hospital. When i got to their home I realized that they were just up the street from the Provo cemetery. Begin irrational fear #1. I decided to do a drive by Trevin's old plot to make sure that they hadn't put anyone else in it! I really just felt like I needed to make sure that it was still empty. Weird, I know. Luckily it was still empty, or I am not sure what I would have done? It still feels sort of weird that he isn't there any more, but I love him being closer to us. It feels right.
I left the cemetery and went to quickly drop some things off to a patient who had a baby that was about 9 days old and not expected to live. When she delivered her baby I went and did hand and foot molds for her and took some cute pictures, and so I needed to deliver them to her. When I knocked on the door her younger teenage sister answered the door and she had tears in her eyes!!! Oh know, I thought. Most of this family only speaks spanish, so the sister just motioned for me to head up the stairs to the bedroom where the parents and the baby were. As soon as I saw and heard the baby I knew that she was getting close to dying. They were pretty upset, obviously. This is their first baby and they are young so I felt soo sorry for them. I sat and talked to them for a minute and explained to them some things about when someones life is ending. It is really strange that this would happen. When I was at the hospital visiting with this mom she was talking to the man from hospice and asking all sorts of questions about when the baby would die. She was so nervous and scared, again obviously. As I was leaving I thought to myself, "I wish I could just go live with her until the baby dies, so I could help walk her through, so maybe it wouldn't be so scary for them" Then I thought, "that would be a cool job". Well, prayer answered! I decided to stay until the hospice nurse arrived so they would not be without someone from the hospital. Their home was full of friends and relatives coming and going. I went downstairs so they could be alone with their sweet baby. There I sat surrounded by about 5 or 6 people all speaking Spanish. I wished that I had paid more attention in Spanish class!! After about 30 minutes the hospice nurse arrived, and I knew her! She used to work on Labor and Delivery at one of the hospitals I work at. I ended up staying for another hour or so. As I left that sweet environment I wondered why this has been my lot in life. Why have I been chosen to experience these very sweet, sacred times over and over again? I don't know why, but I know that it has softened my heart and changed who I am and so I am grateful. I get to feel and witness the tender love that can be tangibly felt when someone is passing from this life to the next. A lovely reminder of how thin the veil really is.
Needless to say i was completely drained after all of this. Oddly enough, life must continue on. I wish sometimes that I had a little debriefing period after this kind of day, but unfortunately the laundry was still waiting for me and I still had some things I needed to do at the house. So, I snapped out of it and carried on.
I knew that this week was going to be a little bit crazy. Heidi was heading off on an overnight leadership field trip with her seventh grade class, then the next day Halea was going to a two day school competition in Salt Lake. Enter several more irrational fears. We have never allowed our kids to have sleep overs. I never did super good with them when I was young, and I just don't love the idea of going to sleep without us all under the same roof. So we have just always had it a rule, no sleepovers. With some school and church events the older kids have all slept away from home a few times, and I am always freaked out! So Heidi left this morning and I have been trying to shut off my irrational thoughts that something will happen while she is driving on the bus, or she'll choke on her food, or die in her sleep. Really, these are the things I worry about.
Then Halea tells me on Monday night that since she didn't have school on Tuesday (some weird Juniors only testing day) that her and several friends were going to drive to the Manti temple. Well, that is about 2 hours away and you have to drive on Scary roads, and when we woke up this morning, yup RAIN. Which usually means snow on the roads to Manti. So when she left this morning I just kept thinking about how I wouldn't be mad at her cute friend that was driving if only Halea died in the car crash. How I would have to forgive her and that she would always be a special part of our family. Or how I would care for Halea because she survived the crash and is now a paraplegic. I kid you not, these are the thoughts that run through my mind.
I still had to carry on with the daily tasks even though my brain was spitting out all of these very irrational thoughts, so I took the boys and Hilary to the orthodontist. The people who work there are always so sweet to us. Even though Halea has to come in and have new retainers made because she hasn't worn them and so now they won't fit, imagine. Hayden lost his retainer and now one of his teeth has moved:) It's like these sweet kids have forgotten that their beautiful teeth cost us a small fortune! As I was making appointments the office lady asked how we were all doing. They are always so nice to ask, and remember. I know that it must be awkward for people to ask, so I am always so impressed when they approach the elephant in the room head on.
Today as I was leaving to run a few errands I was worried because I left some cut up pears for Holden and Hilary to eat. What if Hilary choked? Would Holden know what to do? He was going to be alone with Hilary for about 20 minutes until Halea got home. What if something horrible happened?
Tonight Halea has been getting ready for her trip that she leaves on tomorrow afternoon. Let the worry begin. While we were wrapping things up tonight Heidi called. When I heard her voice my heart skipped a beat. I asked if everything was alright. She said yes, she just missed us. Cute, but don't do that ever again! I almost had a heart attack. Then she proceeded to tell me that their bus broke down on the way up to the camp. Irrational fears confirmed!!
Then tonight, Lance got Hilary to sleep about 9:30. Not too long after he came down we heard her crying. He went to check on her, called me up to her room (never a good sign) She had thrown up everywhere. She was just laying there on the bed and she looked really weird, almost like she could go into a seizure. I kept asking her if she was OK. Definite flash backs to Trevin. The night that he had his big seizure he had thrown up in his bed just a few hours before. It was an inhuman amount too, and so was Hilary's. Tates also had a big throw up episode a few days before her big seizure. We got Hilary all cleaned up tonight, changed all of her bedding and got her all tucked back into bed. Lance stayed up there with her and within a half hour she threw up again! Poor little thing. Re do on the bath and the bedding, and tucked back into bed. Lance stayed up there with her, and I think that I will be hitting the couch tonight so I can hear her in case she needs me.
When your child dies you lose a certain part of innocence in life. My brain now knows that kind of devastation is a possibility and so sometimes it is hard to shut those thoughts down. I think that it is part of self preservation. A preparation if you will. My brain just plays out scenario after scenario so that my heart is prepared to handle what comes. Hopefully it is all just that, preparation for something that will never happen again. That just would not even be funny. Today I went and visited with a family that lost a 20 year old daughter a few days ago. As I was talking to them I just couldn't imagine the immense whole that is now in their family. Trevin had lived with us for 18 months and Tatum for just 12 months and their absence will be felt forever in our family. I started thinking about what if one of our older kids was just suddenly gone. It's all so hard.
Let's end this on a happier note:
Life is good, just sometimes a little irrational.