Monday, May 23, 2011

Savannah's 2nd Birthday in Heaven

Wednesday, Savannah's Birthday, May 18th, was bittersweet.  The day prior, when I took Jeremy to school, his teacher told me that they were going to celebrate the children who had summer birthdays with an "unbirthday" party.  I was given the next day (May 18th) or Monday, May 23rd.  I thought about it for a few minutes, but then decided to choose the next day.  What a special thing to be able to celebrate both Savannah's Birthday and Jeremy's Birthday.  I stopped by and spent some time with Savannah.  I had some new flowers for her and also a "Birthday Girl" balloon with butterflies to deliver.

I decided to order special cupcakes to celebrate Savannah's Birthday in the same colors as her nursery.

I couldn't resist the ballerina.

All the kids are enjoying their cupcakes (the frosting mostly)...

It was a good day and I was so happy that the circumstances happened that I was able to celebrate both of my babies together.  It was a special day made much easier by Jeremy.  He said, "Now we have a really huge-mongous ladder so Daddy can get Savannah and bring her down from Heaven."  I wish it was that easy!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

2 years ago today....

Well, here I am.  It is May 17th ~ a day exactly 2 years ago when my world shattered to pieces.  We received the most horrible news that any expectant parent could possibly hear.  It was around 11am when we lost her, we believe in Church.  These are moments that will likely haunt me forever.

Surprisingly, I am not sad.  I am not angry.  I feel completely filled with peace for the first time in a long time.  I owe this completely to the people in my life who support me, love me unconditionally, and lift me up in my faith.  I still miss my daughter so much that it hurts, but now understand the meaning of her life and how she has changed the lives of everyone who knows her name.

Last week, I received a phone call from Savannah.  No, I am not crazy and yes, you read correct.  The call came in on May 11th at 8:44pm.  My husband and I were both home, a phone within reach of both of us.  I was lying in bed with Jeremy next to me as he fell asleep, protecting him from "scary monsters."  Later, I noticed the blinking light on the phone, indicating a voicemail.  In fact, it woke me up again in the middle of the night.  I got up out of my bed, picked up the phone, and put it in a drawer, and went back to sleep.

The next morning, I listened to it.  There was no phone number attached to the message.  It stopped me in my tracks.  Here is what I heard:

After listening to the message with my untrained ear, I knew it was Savannah and I was immediately filled with peace. It was a feeling unlike anything I have ever felt before. I am so honored that Savannah reached out to me.

To the human year, it just sounds like static or white noise, but not quite. I had the sounds analyzed by 16 different people who are trained in spirit communications and the translation was:

"Mommy, I am here. Mommy, I love you. It's me, Mommy. It's me. I miss you. Hi Mommy. Hi, hi, hi. I love you, Mommy."

Wow.  Gives you chills, doesn't it?  Faith is believing and trusting when you do not understand.

My Dad sent me this book, "Burst" by Kevin Wells. IT was not the book that I was expecting to pick up and read, and it too, brought me peace and hope. I learned that suffering is a gift from God. In times of deep pain and sorrow, it is then that we are closer to God. He is not inflicting it upon us, but rather using it as a tool to strengthen our faith. It is easy to question and wonder why things have happened, but in reality, each person has had their fair share of tragedy. It is an opportunity for growth and a lesson on how we can do better.

Today, as 11am inches closer in time, please pray for me and my family. It will undoubtedly be difficult for us to relive moment by moment of the tragedy that unfolded, but we have forgiveness in our hearts and an unconditional love for Savannah for who she is, and not what she wasn't.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes about Grace, the amazing gift that Savannah Grace has brought to our lives and everyone who knows her:

"Grace is what God gives us when we don't deserve and mercy is when God doesn't give us what we do deserve."

"Grace meets you where you are, but it doesn't leave you where it found you." ~ Anne Lamott

"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." ~ Edith Warton

"I don't think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains." ~ Anne Frank

Happy 2nd Birthday in Heaven, my love.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

When Mother's Day Changes You Forever...

Eric and I had been married for nearly 2 years when I experienced my 1st Mother's Day of 2007.  I was pregnant with Jeremy and my husband was deployed.  It had been nearly 60 days since I had heard anything from him at all.  It was a day like any other day, except that I had this amazing blessing growing inside of me.

The following year, Mother's Day 2008 was very special because my son, Jeremy had arrived, and was growing into such a fun age.  He was 9 months old and such a happy baby.  We attended Church together.  I remember it clearly because we arrived a little bit late to Church and in true Catholic style, the Ushers seated us in the front row.  During the Offeratory, when all was quiet except the priest (who is blind) was saying prayers at the alter, Jeremy decided to take the pacifier out of his mouth and throw it about 10 feet in front of us.  There were giggles but my face turned new shades of red.  We enjoyed dinner with good friends and enjoyed our 1st official Mother's Day together.  I remember feeling such unmistakable feelings of gratitude and love.

Mother's Day 2009 was again very memorable.  I was very pregnant with Savannah, with only 1 more week to go.  It had been a very trying and emotional week, but we attended Church and this time, there was a visiting priest.  Upon walking in, they asked my husband and I to bring up the gifts and asked me if I thought I would go into labor during Church.  I assured them no.  Mass proceeded and the visiting priest did a homily about the miracle of being pregnant and the connection of the baby and mom in utero.  Those ushers must have been at mass the night before and knew to be on the lookout for a pregnant woman.  I don't remember what else we did or ate but I remember feeling love and joy at the what was to become our family in just a matter of days.

One week later, our lives were changed forever.  We learned that Sunday, in Church, that the movement of Savannah that I was feeling would be her last.  Now, everything looked different and would never be the same.

The following Mother's Day of 2010 marked one year of terrible deep sorrow, depression, and a dark period where I had lost my purpose.  But with the support of my family and friends, but most importantly Jeremy, I was able to recover and celebrate my family.  It was not the way I had pictured it, but it was what it was.  As I looked around me and noticed everyone with babies, it was very difficult not to be angry and bitter.  But I learned that those feelings would only continue to keep me down and that I had to open my heart to forgiveness.  I had to embrace Savannah for her life and for the lessons she taught us in her brief life of 40 weeks and 3 days.

This year, Mother's Day 2011, marks another year where I have continued to heal while loving and accepting Savannah for who she was, and not what I wanted her to be.  I have realized that it is a day of hope and joy and a time to remember all of our blessings and children no matter how long they were here on Earth. 

It is also a time to remember those who have gone before us.  I have 2 amazing Grandmothers who meant the world to me who I know are taking care of my little girl and I hope are smiling down upon us with pride.  I am thankful for my own Mother who has raised me to be an amazing woman.  I am thankful for my husband's Grandmother, who was such an amazing woman in her time but now is still full of love and a wonderful sense of humor in her older age.

I look around me at all of the Springtime symbols that goes hand-in-hand with Mother's Day.  There are beautiful flowers and warm days and just an overall feeling of happiness.  It's hard not to smile when you look around you.  Just as easy as it is to look around you and feel the joy of the season and especially the month of May (my favorite month of the year), I make a concerted effort to look at all of the mothers, young and old, good or bad, and find peace in my heart that they, just as I, were given this amazing gift of being a mother.  Every day is a blessing and Mother's Day is an extra reminder of the blessing that is to be ~ A MOTHER.