We have had an eventful few weeks.
Holden got his braces off , at least for a little while. He will get them back on probably in December. He is enjoying his reprieve.
My niece and her family have been visiting from Switzerland. A few months ago she said that she would love to help me make a quilt out of Tatum's clothes. I was excited, but hesitant to think about cutting up her clothes. I was so grateful for the offer and I know that she really just wanted to do something for us. I had seen people do that with their kids clothes before so I knew that I would like it if I could just get past the letting go of her clothes. I kept wanting to go through her clothes and figure out which ones I was going to be able to use, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Instead I waited til the morning she was coming. That's about right for me. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be to just open her drawer and touch her clothes. As I started pulling out each sweet little outfit, memories started flooding my mind. To touch them felt so strange. How could she have worn these little tiny clothes. She seemed so much bigger to me. How could it have been over a year ago that I was able to get her dressed. I tried to be brave and just dive into the looking. It was hard not to relive every memory of her in her clothes. Why such an attachment to clothes? I came up with a pretty good pile of clothes that I felt I could use. Some of them I decided to just use the backs so I could still keep the fronts of the shirts. I decided that there was no way that I could cut up my favorite outfit of hers, or her Don't Bug Me jammies. Luckily after Tates died I purchased every pair of pajamas and every little outfit that they had at WalMart. I wasn't sure what I would do with them, but I just wanted them. I donated a lot of the jammies, but I had several pair left over. My niece was encouraged with the pile that I brought down. But then I went through the stack again, and I wavered again on what I could part with. We still came up with plenty for the project. Before she got started I asked her if it was OK if we didn't do a quilt, but a pillow for each of the kids to have, that I could give them at Christmas time. She liked the idea and so she got started on our secret project. She put a lot of work in to cutting and pressing and organizing and sewing. I just can't believe that she spent all of that time. It was really fun to visit while she sewed. I think that the pillow fronts turned out super cute. I think the kids will be happy with them.
While we were going through Tater Bugs clothes we came across her cute Brobie shirt. She wore this on one of her last days. It should have been pretty big on her, but her poor little tummy was so swolen, it was almost tight on her. I told Hilary that it was Tatum's shirt, but she insisted on putting it on. She squoze herself right into it! We got a good laugh out of it. It was an 18 month size!
Hilary got her cast off. It was a little traumatic. The mesh inside had started to irritate her skin so it was sort of stuck to the skin, so the skin was really read and sore. Poor little girl. She tried to be brave, but I could tell it was really hurting her. She was pretty upset in the office. One of our doctors called us a few hours after we got home to check and see how she was doing. fortunately she has little kid super healing skin. Within a day she was bending it normally and using her arm as if she had never had a cast.
One day last week I decided to try and be a nice mom and take Holden and one of his friends to the last place in the world that I ever want to go to, Trafalga. For those who don't know what this is, it is like the fun centers from the eighties. They are over crowded, loud, smelly, filthy, over priced, run by teenagers, etc. I brought Hilary to be my little buddy while Holden and his friend ran around and played games and laser tag. They have a little play ground area that has slides and climbing things so Hilary decided to go there first. As I walked in all I could see were strollers and babies everywhere. I mean, this is Utah county, but this was ultra concentrated. There were several mom's sitting there watching there kids. I was sort of sitting next to a lady who tried a few times to make small talk. I felt rude, but I was in no mood to make small. I didn't want to answer questions about my kids or family, that seem to inevitably come up at places like this. Why do people think they need to know all of this? Some days I just don't want my story to be different. But it is. Hilary really wanted to go on this ride. She looked like she was about to burst into tears, but she muscled through and over came her fears. After she got off the first time, she waited a few minutes, but then she asked if she could ride it again. That's my girl.
July has been ice cream month, so I have felt it was my patriotic duty to participate and fully commit to celebrating right. It's almost like Costco knew it was ice cream month because they put all of their awesome ice cream bars on sale!! Curse them. One day after a really hard day at the hospital I decided to splurge and get a shake from the hospital. I don't think I have had one of their shakes since Tatum was sick. Definitely the best shake I have had. I finished every last drop!
I woke up with a bad feeling about Monday. It was confirmed by 7:30am. I got bit by our neighbor dog, who was on a leash! They owners are very responsible dog owners, so I felt really bad for him. It really shocked me because it happened so fast and then I was totally bleeding everywhere! The rest of the day kept right in line with the beginning of the day.
A few days ago Hilary got this getup on and asked me if she looked like a mom. Yes, right down to the plastic high heels and wide opened mouth, head tilted to the side, hip slightly out! she kills me.
a few months ago I planted these pretty little flowers that someone gave us. For the first little bit I thought these flowers would never make it. They looked awful for a few weeks, and most of their flowers had sort of died. I tried to baby them, give them extra water and just hope that they would be OK. After a few weeks they really started to flourish. Then a few days ago I went out to these pretty yellow flowers and found this? A random pink flower. Or is it random? It was funny because I got so excited when I saw it. I thought it was so cool and unusual. It looked nothing like the other flowers, yet it was beautiful. Some might have cut the pink flower out because it might mean imperffection, but it made me feel happy. I think that I feel a little bit like this flower. I am standing where there should be a lot of yellow flowers and I am the pink, alone and often isolated in my grief and pain. I know that everyone feels and sees my differences and most times I don't want them to. Some days I just don't want my story to be different, I don't always want to be the pink flower. The irony is that all of us are essentially the pink flower. We all have parts of our stories that are hard and difficult and that we wish were different.
We have had several boys in our neighborhood leave for missions, and come home from missions this past week. It has been really hard for me. I thought that it was probably just because it is hard to see other families get to be whole again after their son or daughter has been gone for two years. Our family will never be whole, and that is hard to ever accept. Then I started thinking that maybe it is because Trevin would have probably been coming home about this time from his mission. But he is not coming home. I am always so happy to see these young men and women come home and see the changes in them, so I hate the feelings that creep into my mind. I just miss my kids and I know that will never stop.
I fly out to San Diego tomorrow for my grandmas funeral. I am terrified of flying, and this time I am going alone. Tonight I treated myself to a Haagen Daas ice cream bar just in case it's my last! If I died tomorrow I would want people to know and remember a few things about me: I loved the Lord and had a testimony of His atoning sacrifice that worked miracles in my life every day. That I know that I have never carried any of my burdens alone. He has always been by my side. That I loved my family beyond measure. That I tried to have fun and live life to its fullest.