Last week I was called in for work to a hospital that I don't visit as often as the others. I maybe go there 10 times a year. So I know the nurses there, but not nearly as well as I do at the other facilities. As I was working with the sweet baby one of the techs came back to watch me do the hand molds. She hadn't seen them done before so she just wanted to see the process. As we were visiting she reminded me of who she was. She had lost a baby a few years before. I remembered her story perfectly, but I did not recognize her. I always feel bad, but the moms usually look so different when they are in the hospital as opposed to after they have recovered from their delivery, showered and put clothes on. I normally recognize the dads, because they look the same, but not the moms as much. It was nice to talk to her and get caught up. She has since had another baby and things seem good for her. She seemed to know a little bit about Tatum, so we talked a little about my situation too. I am always so happy to see people years down the road. They never forget, and those tender feelings are still there, but they change and grow into their potential. That part of this process can be very beautiful.
As I was getting ready to leave the hospital one of the nurses that I have known for a lot of years came up and said, (with a big innocent smile on her face), "How is your baby? She's probably not a baby anymore" In my head I thought, yeah she isn't a baby anymore, she is a full grown spirit. I tried to tell her in the nicest way that Tatum had died and that yes she wasn't a baby anymore because she would have been turning two in May. Her face just screamed devastation, embarrassment and sadness. I felt so bad for her. I kept trying to make her feel better and reassure her that it wasn't her fault that she didn't know. Poor thing, I hope I didn't ruin her day. It was not a great start to my day either, really.
The better news of the week was that Halea found out that she was going to be the Prom Queen. Hilarious. It was really cute. The student council came and kidnapped her and all of the other royalty and took them to breakfast. It is something that she never would have aspired to, but she felt pretty honored that her peers chose her. Really sweet.
The picture is a little dark because it was 4:00AM!!!
Several weeks ago we were talking about Prom and dresses and Halea told me that she had decided to wear the same dress that she wore to Prom last year. Her dress was so pretty and a little more pricey than any of her other dresses, so I thought this was a great idea. She is so wise when it comes to her money. She must get that from me. hahahahah!! When she was getting ready on Saturday she said to me, "I can't believe that it has been a year since I was getting ready for Prom last year. And Tatum was here.". I told her that I was glad that she chose to wear the same dress this year because it felt sentimental to me. She agreed. She liked that it reminded her of last year when Tatum was right here in the kitchen as she was getting ready. So sad to be making all of these new memories without sweet Tatum. I am grateful that we can try to weave our new memories with our old. It makes it feel like she is still a part of our lives.
Oh that smile. I miss that smile.
Hilary was way more impressed with the flower for her date than anything!
So Halea has been having the best senior year. Icing on the cake, we found out on Wednesday that she will also be speaking at her graduation. We are so very proud of her. She has worked so hard and has done her best to be herself and follow her passions.
On Monday I went over to my good friends house so she could help design a card that I needed for a bridal shower I am having for a friend. She was watching two of her nephews, one of which is about 5 months old. She said that he had had a cranky day and only wanted to be held. As we started to work on the computer he started to get cranky, so I picked him up to try and settle him. It felt amazing. I don't know if I have held a baby like that since Tatum died. I have had the craving to hold a baby since she died, but just haven't. It felt amazing. It felt right. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I miss holding someone who cuddles like that. Hilary came up immediately and started stroking his little head and said how cute he was. I know she misses her baby too.
On Tuesday I ended up spending about 7 hours at the hospital helping with a patient. Every time I go to Utah Valley I just have the overwhelming wish to be there with Tatum. No one "likes" to be in the hospital, especially with a sick child. I just always felt safe there, like I had another set of eyes helping me to watch Tatum and make sure that she was going to be safe and OK and comfortable. I was among my hospital family and I could focus solely on Tates. I really miss being there with her. I know that must sound really weird.
Tonight Halea and I were able to go and visit with her very favorite High School teacher and his family. Their 5 month old baby died three weeks ago. This teacher truly helped shape Halea into the person she is today. He has had such a positive influence on her life. I am forever grateful to him. When we found out that it was their baby that died we were so devastated for them. Halea's comment was "They are such good people". Unfortunately that does not protect us. We are all sent here to learn and grow and change and reach our potentials. This can only be accomplished through trial.
I have absolutely been dreading the month of May. First of all, it was a really hard month last year. Tatum was in and out of the hospital with aspiration several times and I felt like the entire month was spent trying to get the doctors to switch her feeding tube out. I just knew once I could get her tube switched and a pic line for her that her health would improve and that she could be more comfortable. This just wasn't to be.
There are also 2 birthdays in May (Tatum 23rd and Trevin 27th). Then there is Halea's big graduation, which brings with it another set of crazy emotions. Then there is Tatum's graduation day. I truly can't believe that we have all made it a year. ( I guess we haven't "made" it yet!). I don't want to say it has been a year. That sounds so long ago.
The other day I was having a conversation with someone about time. When you are grieving, one of the favorite comforting lines that people like to say to you is "time will heal all things". Well, that is a lie. Time does not heal all wounds. Time gives your muscles time to build up so that you can carry your heavy wounds a little easier. I feel like time is my enemy sometimes because I feel like I forget things and details that I don't want to forget. Time enlarges the gulf of the last time I was able to hold Trevin or Tatum, which I hate. On the other hand as time ticks, it brings me closer to the time I will see them again. I definitely have a love hate relationship with time.
I don't want to have a negative month, so we are trying to prepare for the upcoming days and we are trying to create some positive traditions so that we can celebrate the beautiful time we were able to have with Trevin and Tatum, because we know how much of a gift that is.