Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ahhh, The Birthdays....

I am officially on the other end of both birthdays, and still breathing.  Like I said before, I spent some time mentally preparing for the days, and it turned out that it really helped.  I tried really hard to visualize what I wanted it to be, but kept it simple and flexible.  I had a feeling that not all of our kids would be able to participate in all of the celebrations.  I did my self talk and told myself that it is not because they don't care, it is because they are teenagers, it is the last weeks of school, they are busy.  I don't doubt for a second that they miss Tatum, and love Trevin.  I also know that everyone, including within our family, deals with these emotions differently.   So, I was in a constant state of adaptation of plans for the past several days, but it has been really good.
On Friday morning, Tatum's birthday we did our regular routine.  Once I got the kids off to school, I got myself ready and my friend came over, laden with knock off Swig sugar cookies that she made (jerk!).  She really knows my weakness (one of my many).  Then we headed down to the hospital to bring our little gift bags to the nurses. My friend found these super cute buckets to put them out at the department desks.

 When we got to the hospital it was fun to talk to everyone and remember with them.  I wasn't sure how I was going to feel while doing this, but it was good.  We went to Pediatrics last, which was good.  There was a nurse there that I have known forever.  I got pretty choked up when I was talking to her and telling her that it was Tatum's birthday.  It was hard being on that floor, where Tates spent several stays.  I wished that I could just go into one of the rooms and curl up in a ball.  How has it been a year?  Then as we were leaving we passed by the triage room where we started this journey over a year ago.  I would give anything to be back in time, just to hold her again.  I would never want to see her suffer like she did though.
After we left the hospital we went and grabbed some lunch, obviously.
Throughout the day I posted some of my favorite pictures of her on Instagram and Facebook.  I am so grateful for all of the beautiful pictures I have of her.  Priceless gifts.
 This was her birth announcement.  The caption on the announcement was "Hello World".  It is just how she greeted us.
These pictures were taken in December 6 weeks before she got sick.
These are the last pictures we took before she had her big seizure.
This was her trying so hard to sit.  We might have been propping her a little bit with some pillows, but who's judging?
This is a hard one for me.  Hilary sure misses being the big sister.  They love each other so.
A little smile captured between me and Tates.  She looks so little.
Another big sister moment captured by our good friend.  These pictures are such a priceless gift to our family.
Probably my favorite of me with Tatum.  I talked to her like this a lot.  So grateful that our friend captured this special moment.  this moment is etched in my mind.  
The rest of the day we were showered with thoughtful things from friends and neighbors.  I don't know how people are so clever and thoughtful, and mindful.  I am the worst at remembering other peoples anniversary dates, so I feel a little guilty that people are so nice to us.

That evening Lance and I went out to find a flower to put out on Tatum and Trevin's grave.  We found a really pretty Calla lily.   My niece and her husband came down to go to dinner with us.  When they came to the door they had this sweetest little miniature 
shepherds hook!  And the little plaque that had Tatum's middle name on it.  We put it out at the cemetery, but I am going to grab it after memorial day and keep it in our yard.  Adorable.  The shepherds hook also had a really cute bow on it that had a little hair bow attached to it.  I recognized it immediately as one of Tatum's.  Then my niece reminded me of the story behind the bow.  I had gone up one night to visit her mom, just a day or so before she died.  The girls had combed her hair and cleaned her up .  The gown that she was wearing had this really pretty teal color to it and I remembered that I had one of Tatum's clip bows with me that would match perfectly to clip in my sister in laws hair.  I guess that hair clip had stayed in her hair and the mortuary had given it back to my niece but she had forgotten about it, until recently.  Another tender connection between Tatum and her sweet aunt.
  We were teasing that my sister in law was probably throwing the biggest party for the two babies!  After we ate dinner, we went home and ate our brownie trifle.  I made this same dessert on Tatum's first birthday in hopes that she could eat some.  Nope.  She just looked at me with those knowing, kind, patient eyes and probably thought, "you crazy mom!"
Overall it was a good day.  I only had a few bouts of emotion.  I tried really hard all day to focus on what a difference having Tatum has made in all of our lives.  The differences are endless.  I would not be who I am today without her.  I tried really hard to just be grateful for her and the affect that she has had on people.  Such a sweet tender girl, that couldn't walk or talk, but changed everyone's heart who came in contact with her.  Amazing.  The day was not exactly how I had planned in my mind.  It was Lagoon day for the graduating seniors, so Halea was gone for most of the day.  But it all worked out OK.  I think it was a good day spent doing good things.  I hate that she would now be two.  I only know her as one, and so it is hard to see time pass by.  But this is life.  I am lucky I got to know her at all.  
The days in between the birthdays have been crazy.  The end of school has been kicking me.  I haven't slept and the kids seem to be running every which way.  I will be glad when school is out.  At least for a week or so, right?
Hayden had preschool day last week and so I brought Hilary and her friend Brady down to the high school for a couple of hours.  They did fun preschool activities.  When I told Hilary where she was going she got really excited and got herself dressed, back pack packed, and even let me do her hair.  As we were walking out the door she said, "i have to grab my hat".  I wasn't sure what hat she thought she needed.  Well, it was her snow hat of course!  Right over her hair do.  Luckily right before we got to the school she decided against the hat.  A little lesson I've learned over the years.  The kids will usually realize and fix their bad decisions all on their own, if you don't push them on it!
Monday was our big hike to the Y.  In years past I am always anxious to get down there early so it's not too hot or crowded.  This year we just took it easy.  It was a nice relaxed morning.  We packed our lunch and got out the door by about 9:30.  It was pretty warm by the time we got there, and super crowded.  But it all worked out fine.  Sometimes the kids get really competitive, and maybe sometimes I have too.  We sort of just race up the trail and try and get there fast and first.  When we started out Hayden and Heidi and Holden took off and were quite a ways ahead of us.  Halea and Lance and I stayed back with Hilary.  We had to encourage her for a bit to convince her that she should walk and not be carried.  Once she got going she was great.

  She talked the entire way up.  People were cracking up listening to her.  We saw a little white poodle at one point.  She asked Lance if it was a sheep.  We laughed and he said no that it was a dog.  She laughed and said "it's a lamb dog!"  It was like that the entire way up and down.  She is such a crack up.  After hiking the Y we went and got our Slurpee's.  Then we went home and started some yard work.  I know, fun vacation day.   Then we had a little barbecue with some friends.  It was a really fun, relaxing day.  It was really strange to not go to the Provo cemetery.  Last year this day was so different.  Lance took the kids hiking to the Y by himself because Tatum and I were in the hospital in Salt Lake making the decision to take her home to die.  This year, Trevin and Tatum are both in the Lehi cemetery, which I am so happy that they are together.  It is just strange after going to the Provo cemetery for 18 years.  

Trevin's birthday was not what I expected either.  It just felt like a normal day.  I had a lot of things that I needed to get done in preparation for Halea's graduation, and other things that I have been working on.  On Tatum's birthday our dishwasher flooded our wood floor, warping several boards.  I think that it is secretly her birthday present to me.  I have been wanting to resand and refinish our floors for a few years now.  Well, now they have to be done.  So I was working on some of that.  Having their birthdays so close is good, but also pretty emotionally exhausting.  I just wasn't sure what I wanted to do.  For a few years now I have been making broccoli cheddar soup because he really liked that when he was little.  So that was one thing on my wish list.  I thought that I might make a dessert of some sort, I mean it was his 21st birthday.   That is a biggie.  He would have probably been close to coming home from his mission.  I could have been a grandma in just a few years!  The day ended up being crazy.  I ended up running to Smiths and buying broccoli soup and Hilary picked out a Superman cake for him!  Classic. 
That night I was called in to a hospital.  It was good to go and do something that all started from him.  Without him I would never be working at the hospital.  Grateful for that in my life.  Afterwards I ran down to our main hospital to pick something up.  As I rounded the corner to Labor and Delivery there was a huge picture of Tatum hanging right in the main entrance to L and D!  Hung just 10 minutes before on Trevin's birthday.  Unbelievable.  I knew that it was coming, but it had been a few months so I had sort of stopped waiting for it.  It was way better than I had hoped for.  I am so lucky, I work with the best people.  They have all been so kind to me through this past year especially.  I don't know what I would have don without all of their love.  This really saved the day!
 Again, it was an OK day, just not what I expected.  I guess that is sort of what life is all about, flexiblity and loving what happens not what you hope happens.  I feel OK with where I am at emotionally.  I know that I am going to make it.  In a sense that is the hard part.  I know that I will live on, it is just going to be with out Tatum and Trevin, for now.  It's just hard.  I miss them both so much.  It is hard to imagine how different our lives would be had they lived. 
To top everything off, my good friend brought me this cool framed family tree last night.  It has all of the kids names on  the branches and Lance and I are the trunk where all of the kids names originate from.  It is so awesome and symbolic.  I don't know how or why people are so kind and thoughtful to me.  I am so lucky.  

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