Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas

My sweet Mikkie,

Christmas just isn't quite the same this year. I've tried to stay strong through it all, but when we went to visit your grave, I just couldn't hold it in any longer. It is a sobering thing to visit the grave of your baby girl on Christmas. As I looked around at the other graves, you are surrounded by red poinsettias, then there's you standing out with your bouquet of bright flowers. You always did stand out above the crowd, you were and always will be my little piece of sunshine, brightening up life with your beaming smile. I can barely get through typing this without getting teary, just thinking of that smile makes my heart ache. My emotions have been fluctuating these past 2 days from feeling peace and joy to heart ache and loneliness.

I can't even imagine what your Christmas is like, being face to face with Christ our Savior. Once again, I believe we are the ones that are missing out.

All I want this Christmas is to feel you with me, as if you were in fact by my side. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I don't think I've felt you like your daddy has. It frustrates me as well as breaks my heart. I know you're there, somewhere.
I don't mean to sound negative when I say I'm eager for this year to be over. At the same time, I'm clinging onto it because it's the last year I got to spend with you, and as the years disappear, I'm afraid my memories will too. Life is already starting to feel somewhat "normal" and that's not ok with me. "Family never gets left behind or forgotten". I will not let you be forgotten, Mikkie, I cannot and I will not.

I've had quite a few people write me recently with sweet words of comfort and love. It's amazing to me how people, whether I know them or not, take the time to write such sweet, sensitive words. Every single one of the emails were exactly what I needed to hear to bring some comfort. I am extremely grateful to those people for letting their hearts be touched to want to write to me.
The following poem has been shared with me by several people. I've never read it before, and it really touched me.

I’M SPENDING CHRISTMAS WITH JESUS CHRIST THIS YEAR
I see the countless Christmas trees
Around the world below.
With tiny lights, like heaven’s stars
Reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so spectacular,
please wipe away that tear,
for I’m spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this year.
I hear the many Christmas songs
That people hold so dear.
But the sounds of music can’t compare
With the Christmas choir up here.
For I have no words to tell you
The joy their voices bring.
For it is beyond description
to hear the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me,
I see the pain inside your heart.
For I’m spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this time.
I can’t tell you of the splendor
Or the peace here in this place
Can you just imagine Christmas,
With our Savior, face to face?
I’ll ask Him to light your spirit
As I tell Him of your love.
So then pray for one another
As you lift your eyes above.
So please let your hearts be joyful
And let your Spirit sing,
For I’m spending Christmas in heaven
And I’m walking with the King!
--Author Unknown

Merry Christmas my Angel girl. You are greatly missed by so many. I love you more than anything.

Love me,

Mama
Sunday, December 19, 2010

Death

Sweet angel Mikkie,

Death has been on my mind a lot lately. I read that this world is the land of the dying, the next is the land of the living (where you are!). For so long I've always thought the opposite, I feared death, but here in this mortal existence is definitely the land of the dying. I think why then do we fear death? I guess before, it was because no one close to me had passed so I was clinging to life and my loved ones, deathly afraid of ever being parted from them. Now I'm torn between wanting to go and wanting to stay, I so desperately want to hold you in my arms again and see your sweet, precious face, but thoughts of leaving Faith and your daddy behind is an unbearable one. So, I'm stuck here feeling like I'm in limbo, knowing I cannot be completely happy until we're reunited with you.

Another thought I had when I was talking with your daddy is this life is like school for us. We come here to learn and be tested over and over. The point being, we are in school, waiting to go on with "real life" like you :) Death is a new beginning.

In the book "For they shall be comforted" once again, I liked the following quote:
" The change called death is ordained of God and is a blessing to man. It would be tragic if men could never be released from mortality that they might put on immortality. Death releases man from his mortal existence and makes it possible his onward progress toward eternal life and exaltation."
I agree with that. Can you imagine being stuck here on this earth? Now that to me would be a hell. After I read that quote I really see death as a blessing.

Another quote says, " I care not whether I am dying or not; for if I die I shall be with God; if I live, He will be with me." I would feel the same way too if it weren't for my family... they are the only reason I care to be alive, well that and shaping myself up so I can be a better person. :)

This quote really stuck out to me as well: "The Lord takes away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again."
I am indeed grateful that you don't have to suffer in this wicked world anymore, I should be rejoicing more for your sake. I guess my mourning is selfish then, more for myself; I'm happy for you that you are saved, you have nothing to worry about, it is you that should be mourning for me and the rest of us stuck here.

What gives me most comfort is "Death comes to all of us, but so does life everlasting."
Wow. Since death will be coming to us no matter what we do, the best thing we could do for ourselves is to get prepared. Make sure we give forgiveness where it's due, learn to love ourselves and others with a Christ-like love, make sure that if we would die today we would have absolutely no regrets. That's my goal, to live as if I were dying. Because, we are after all, dying a little more each and every day, getting closer and closer to the land of the living. :)

I will write again soon sweet baby girl, for I have much to say.

Love me always,

Mama
Sunday, December 5, 2010

It can always be worse

Sweet Angel Mikkie,

Around the Thanksgiving holiday, I've been focusing more and more on what I'm grateful for. I am reminded that things could always be worse. I think I got it bad, think my life is the worst? I take a look around and realize how good I have it.

I want to share everything I am grateful for dealing with you.

I'm grateful for the day you were born. Even though you had a little colic, you were sweet as can be. I'm grateful that you caught on to nursing so quickly, saving me to have to repeat that distress.
I'm grateful that you were a pretty healthy baby.
I'm grateful for your smile, which always always brought sunshine to my soul.
I'm grateful for your laugh. What I wouldn't give to hear that precious sound again.
I'm grateful for all the "Mikkie hugs" you gave me. You were always so willing to give me one.
I'm grateful for the nights you woke up crying...giving me the opportunity to cuddle with you and rock you in my arms.
I'm grateful for all the times you've cried, so I could comfort you and hold you in my arms longer than you would normally stay.
I'm grateful that I got to know your vivacious, fun, sweet personality. You were so full of life and gave even more meaning to my life.
I'm grateful for all the noise you made, it's a much better alternative to the deafening silence.
I'm grateful for the time I got to be with you, that I was able to stay home with you and didn't have to work. I absolutely treasure that time.
I'm grateful that Faith got to make a best friend, to be with and play with all the time.
I'm grateful for all the times we got to play around with each other, with all 4 of us.
I'm grateful for the hand smudges and marker on the windows and walls from you. They mean more to me than I ever would've thought before, because they're from you.
I'm grateful to have been able to see you conquer many milestones, you were such a quick learner.
I'm grateful for the time we got to have with you, even as short as it was...it could've been even shorter, so I'm grateful to have spent that tiny fraction of your life with you.
I'm grateful that God chose me, of all people, to be your mother. I definitely got the better end of the deal.
I'm grateful that even though you went in the way I'm most petrified of, you didn't have to suffer long at all. I hate to even think about it, but I'm grateful that you weren't hanging on just for me or anyone. I'm grateful that you didn't have to be hospitalized and have it come to a point where we would pray for you to go just so we didn't have to see you suffer.
I'm grateful that you went at a time when we were surrounded by loved ones to comfort and to help us.
I'm grateful for all the pictures and videos we have to help us remember better.
I'm grateful for the Plan of Salvation, to know that I get to see you again, and receive the honor to finish raising you!! Oh what a happy day it will be!

I remembered the amazing talk President Monson gave in Conference, "The Divine Gift of Gratitude" and these bits stood out to me:

“When you walk with gratitude, you do not walk with arrogance and conceit and egotism, you walk with a spirit of thanksgiving that is becoming to you and will bless your lives.
We have all experienced times when our focus is on what we lack rather than on our blessings. Said the Greek philosopher Epictetus, “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."
We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. Someone has said that “gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
The grateful man sees so much in the world to be thankful for, and with him the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy, and light drives darkness out of his life.” He continued: “Pride destroys our gratitude and sets up selfishness in its place. How much happier we are in the presence of a grateful and loving soul, and how careful we should be to cultivate, through the medium of a prayerful life, a thankful attitude toward God and man!

Someone has said that “feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." To express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven."

How true it all is! If I can only live my life with more gratitude; not just expressing it, but living it! My heart is so heavy yet so full of gratitude to my Savior. My blessings far outweigh my hardships, life really isn't as bad as I make it out to be sometimes.....things could always be worse! May I continue to give Him the gift of gratitude and in all things give thanks!

I'm so grateful for you, my sweet baby. I love, love, love you so much!

Love me,

Mama
Saturday, December 4, 2010

Accept

Dearest Mikayla,

How I went through two weeks without writing you, I don't know. There's been all sorts of things going through my mind and the times where I felt most depressed (which has been more frequent lately) I refrained from writing because I knew my perspective was turned the wrong way. I didn't want you to think that I'm a complete hopeless mess.

I had all sorts of talks with different people throughout the week and I've seen an important lesson surface. I'm having a hard time because I still feel guilty. People can tell me to not feel guilty and it's not my fault until they're blue in the face, but it doesn't work. You can talk and yell and scream and try to beat things into people, but unless it comes from within themselves, it will have no effect. I think it's natural for any mother to feel guilt (they find a way to somehow assign themselves the blame, whether it's their fault or not). I had this invulnerable thought that if I had not had a bad attitude and stayed in the pool with you, I could have prevented the accident. That fed the thought that it was my fault, I was to blame. Well, it's not my duty to place blame on anyone including myself. Now that my perspective is bit more clear again, I see that I just need to accept what happened,; accept the fact that no matter where I was or what I was doing you still would have gone because you just didn't need to be here any longer. I could be more happy if I could just accept things. Your daddy seemed to have forgiven and accepted things quicker than I, not that it's a competition, but I don't know why I've been struggling as much as I have. It's been a harder battle for me to overcome.

I would cry out "I just want to know why! I just want some answers!" I remembered something I had read and highlighted in a book, "For They Shall Be Comforted" that said "He could give the answer to our questions, Why? but he refrains , knowing that our faith in Him and in His purposes will increase through prayerful searching...... He will hear our earnest petitions and in His own time will give the answer to our question, Why?"
I've had a few people tell me already that I probably won't get my answers. Maybe once I accept things the way they are, maybe after a little more faith is shown, or maybe not at all. Whether I receive them or not I need to accept what God is doing is for the best and in all due time, in this life or the next, I will understand.

Accept: be designed to hold or take; tolerate or accommodate oneself to.
We all live on this earth with this foolish thinking that we have control. We do not! I had to experience one of the worst things imaginable to realize that. Even after that more things happened and happened and happened; the sooner we accept that and the sooner we learn to lean on and depend on our Savior, then and only then will life be tolerable, because we realize who's really in charge. He's the only one we can depend on. I've been going crazy thinking how much I relied on my own strength and thinking I had control on my life. The only thing we have control of, which is utterly important and will determine the outcome of life, is our attitude, which comes as a result of our free agency. I don't think I really knew (even now maybe) just how much power we have in determining our outcome just by simply having the right attitude. Easier said than done of course. Bad things will happen in life, but life itself doesn't have to be bad because of it. It's all necessary and essential in God's plan. Accept it and lean on Christ= tolerable, happy life. Deny it and try to do things yourself= unbearable, miserable life. We choose.

I hate how all these thoughts flow through my head when I'm in the car or away from my computer or paper, then when I do come to write I all the sudden have a writer's block. You'd think it would be easy to write since these are my feelings, not some rehearsed talk or something. Well, whether my words are jumbled or not...you get what I'm saying, right? :)
I will probably do better if I don't let it build up so much. I should write it down immediately, freeing up my mind for more thoughts. Good idea, thanks Mikkie. :)

I have so much more to write, so much more I'm feeling, but that will come in the next letter.

I love you baby girl!

Love,

Mama
Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happily Ever After...

My dear little "Pookie",

That's one of my favorite nicknames for you. Your auntie Tam came up with it and it just kind of stuck after that.
Your birthday party was a week ago and turned out great! Well....as great as it can get without the main star there...you. I was hoping that your headstone would have been in by then. I just got an email a couple days ago saying it was in on Wednesday. 4 days late, dang it! If I didn't procrastinate and do it when I first thought about it, it would have been in. At least it's in before the snow came; we would have had to wait until Spring in that case, so that's a good thing. It looks beautiful though, turned out very nice. I like having your picture on it, helps to have a visual.
Your daddy and I were excited to see how it turned out, so we went right to the grave after eating out on our anniversary. Some may say that's a depressing way to spend an anniversary, but I think the complete opposite. It made me happy. New York was our big shabang for our anniversary, so it was nice to just do something simple....and meaningful.

Can you believe your daddy and I have been married for 5 years? It seems like a lot longer than that. The newlywed stage seems like a lifetime ago. I'm sure that's how you feel about this life now that you're in heaven. Hopefully you have good memories of your life here. Even though I can think of so many things I could have done better, we did try our best.

The other day I was reading Your Happily Ever After, it inspired me. I like the part,
"For a moment, think back about your favorite fairy tale. In that story the main character may be a princess or a peasant; she might be a mermaid or a milkmaid, a ruler or a servant. You will find one thing all have in common: they must overcome adversity.
In each of these stories, Cinderella, Belle, and the miller’s daughter have to experience sadness and trial before they can reach their “happily ever after.” Think about it. Has there ever been a person who did not have to go through his or her own dark valley of temptation, trial, and sorrow?"

Adversity is inevitable. It's comes to us all.
"It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life’s story will develop. Enduring adversity is not the only thing you must do to experience a happy life. Let me repeat: how you react to adversity and temptation is a critical factor in whether or not you arrive at your own “happily ever after.”
"You are truly royal spirit daughters of Almighty God. You are princesses, destined to become queens. Your own wondrous story has already begun. Your “once upon a time” is now."

To think that our "Once upon a time" is right now, that we are writing our story right now, living it each and every day.... it makes me want to change the way I do things, the way I view things. I want my Once upon a time, trials and all, to make me a better, stronger woman and that I will be able to have my "Happily ever after". Nothing, absolutely nothing could make me more happy than to make it back to my Heavenly Father and you, my little angel baby, and the rest of our sweet family.

When you look at trials for what they really are, tests to make us better people, to mold us into who God wants us to become, they don't seem as bad. They're definitely not fun to go through, I'm not saying that I want more, but since adversity comes whether we like it or not, ready or not, we might as well let it affect us in a good way.
I don't know if you know this, but about 2 weeks before Bear Lake, I was praying for some testimony building experiences. I joke to your daddy that I shouldn't have prayed for that. I think I had a distorted view about adversity, not that it's crystal clear to me now, but I'm understanding more the need for it. If we didn't have adversity and we all lived happily and comfy and cozy....what would be the point of this life? I think about that and am reminded of the scripture that says "..there must needs be opposition in all things, for without it we could not discern the sweet from the bitter."

I hope that I can let my trials shape and mold me into the person I'm destined to become. I want to reach my full potential and always strive to bring out the best in myself and others.

“Your adversity and your afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if you endure it well, God shall exalt you on high.”

I am determined to endure this life well. It's nice to have a companion, your daddy, who is on the same page and helps encourage, uplift, inspire and love me every step of the way. There is no one else that I'd rather have by my side. You have a pretty amazing daddy, Mikkie. How he ended up with me I don't know, but I'm sure glad he picked me. He is my knight in shining armor and is continually rescuing me from anything. I hope to make my Once upon a time a good and memorable one. Thinking about my Happily ever after helps me get through the drudgery of this life.

I love you very much sweetheart.

With all my heart,

Mama
Thursday, November 11, 2010

Birthday

Dearest Mikkie,

Two very short years ago (from yesterday), I held one of the most beautiful baby girl's in my arms that I just gave birth to...what a miraculous thing birth is. Every baby is a miracle. Did you know that your uncle Dale helped pick out your name? I didn't like it at first, but it kept coming back to me. It's supposed to mean 'Heaven sent'. How appropriate is that?! You are definitely a Mikayla, a "Mikkie".
I woke up to the sound of giggling, tiny feet pounding the walls and tiny hands shaking the crib senseless. I sneakily crack your door open and watch as my precious babies play together. Your older sister, Faith likes to climb in your crib and bounce around with you, which I usually discourage but wouldn't want to ruin the tender moment. I accidentally move the door too much, causing it to give a little creak. Both of you suddenly stop and seconds later I have 4 of the most gorgeous blue eyes staring at me with great excitement. Knowing I blew my cover I swing the door open and rush to your crib with my arms wide open ready to receive my girls with a big hug. Both of you scurry around the crib with more energy, happy to have an audience. You jump up and wrap your arms tightly around my neck as I lift you up and squeeze you tight, "Happy birthday Mikkie, my sweet lil angel pie" I shout with excitement! With pure joy you squeeze me even tighter. I swoop Faith up in my other arm, giving attention to her begging to be held also. Today is a special day and I'm throwing a great big party with all our friends and family present. Your eyes light up even more than they already do at all the fun, bright colored decorations. Once your eyes hit the arrangements of delicious cupcakes and goodies, you make a beeline for them ready to poke your fingers right into them. You get a chance to shove your face into one later when everyone sings 'Happy Birthday' to you. You run around following Faith and all of your little friends wanting to be included in whatever they are up to. I watch you from across the room as you have the time of your life with beaming smiles that light up the entire room. I can't help but smile ear to ear when I see that precious smile of yours and hear your contagious little giggle. I sit back and soak it all in, being careful not to move in fear of the moment being shattered.......

....then I blink and confusion hits me as hard as the tears throbbing in my throat. I think to myself, that's how the day should've been, but as much as I want it to be true, the day was the very opposite of that.

I awoke with a heavy heart at the realization that it was the day you would be turning two, but I did not have you here in my arms to shower you with birthday hugs and kisses. My arms were lonely and aching as much as my heart. I forced myself out of bed at the realization I had another little angel downstairs waiting for my love and care. We got ready and drove over to Gramma's house. 1/2 hour and a million tears later we arrive and were greeted by Grampa, who took me lovingly into his arms knowing what I was thinking and what the day meant. We sobbed into each other's shoulder's, paying no attention to the stinging bite of the chilly air.
After mostly the same routine with your Gramma, we decide to head to the cemetery. Faith picked out a special balloon for you and I picked out some vibrant pink flowers that reminded me of you....bright and full of life. It was touching to see your Gramma let the balloon go in the sky as she said something to you. There were a lot more tears than words that day.

I had a very hard, miserable day, Mikkie. I so very badly wanted you to be here, to be in my arms where you're supposed to be. I wanted so badly to go back and change things. When I knew I just couldn't, frustration and anger would seep into my heart. I'm sorry to say I was not as strong as I could've been, and because of that I feel once again I failed at giving you a special birthday. That made me feel even more awful.
After having a long talk with you grandparents, I started to realize that you can't focus on things you can't change or have no control over, it just leads to great frustration. I may not be proud of how I handle things sometimes, but the past is the past, I can make the future better by focusing on the present and just trying again....giving life my best shot once again. I think of the atonement and what that means to me. Christ atoned for our sins, he felt every single possible thing in the whole world from beginning to end, there is nothing that He hasn't felt or experienced. If it was so important that He do this, I know it's got to be important that we take advantage of this great and merciful sacrifice made for us....to never give up- it's NEVER too late to turn around and change. He will accept us gladly with open and accepting arms and be glad that we made the decision to come back. I can sit here and get depressed on my faults and weaknesses and say "What's the point, why should I go on"...because He went on, He did not give up on us that day at Calvary, He went on through the most unimaginable pain ever experienced. I owe it to Him to go on through my trials, through my hard times and not give up on Him. After this life our trials are going to seem like such small, minuscule problems that we will look back and think "look what it made me into today, I'm a stronger, wiser and better person because of those experiences." I have to remember these are growing and learning times, I can learn and grow a lot if I allow it.

Mikkie, I'm sorry I wasted such a special day yesterday. Your daddy told me that the best present we could give you for your birthday would be to be happy. Can I have another chance?I'll try again on Saturday for your party. I won't let it be a miserable day.
I continue to hope that you really know how much I really love you. You are mommy's little girl, you've always been a "mama's girl" and always will have a special place in my heart.
Thank you Mikayla, for coming into our family 2 years ago, blessing and enriching our lives even more with your presence. I am a better person for knowing you, my life is forever changed. I am truly blessed to have you as my daughter. I love you!

Love me always,

Mama
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

God's will

Dearest Mikkie,

Where to begin? Things would be a little bit easier if we hadn't shared our news with everyone already. Monday I felt like something was wrong when I started spotting, but tried not to worry as this has happened to many people I know and things turned out ok. Yesterday I woke up and nothing had changed, only the color was brighter red, so to get a piece of mind I called a nurse to ask. Apparently she thought it was urgent enough to schedule an appointment for an ultrasound. An hour later I was there in the room, not knowing what to expect. I had hope things were ok until they tried several things and looked at pretty much every organ in my body, then finally had the doctor come in...I then knew things didn't look good. Doctor took one glance and said, "there's the sac, but there's no baby in it, I'm sorry." I thought, What?!?! What do you mean no baby! According to my diagnose "Blighted Ovum", I was pregnant at first but it didn't go through. All 3 of them stood there staring at me, and I thought to myself, "Little do you know what I just went through 2 months ago. You have no idea how much harder this is after such an ordeal, this isn't just any miscarriage, it was my HOPE." At that moment I didn't want anyone to be in the room, so I hurried talking to him, got out of the room, zipped to my car (with Faith in tow) and my heart just burst with pain and tears that I thought I was more immune to by now.

When Faith came to the front seat and gave me a hug, I said immediately through my mumbled words, "Faith I love you, Please don't you ever leave me!" It was more of a desperate demand than a suggestion. I didn't know quite what to think about life at that point. All I knew is I didn't feel like driving, I just wanted to cry and beat something up...too bad I wasn't by my punching bag, I could've really used it. Instead I just clenched my fists and screamed, letting it all out.
By the time your daddy and Aunt Tammy got there, I was a bit more calm. Tammy took Faith for the night and daddy took me out to eat and a movie. At first I didn't want to do anything. But I had remembered the prayer I said on the way to the doctor's.

When you were being flown to the hospital, those 2 1/2 months ago, I found out the hard way that life is so much easier if we accept God's will and make it our own. I prayed so hard for what I wanted, that I didn't make time to think or feel what His will was. I think I even knew what it was, but foolishly thought that if I prayed hard enough or bartered, He would change it, but God does not barter. We accept and do His will or we are just asking to be miserable.
So, I tried to do things a little differently this time, hopefully learning from the first time, and I said to Him, "I don't know what's going to happen, and once again I feel like everything is out of my hands. I beg of Thee to let this baby live and I may continue to have a healthy pregnancy, BUT... (this is what I did not say last time, it was "do it or else I won't _ _ _") if it's Thy will that this baby not survive, then I pray ye will bless me with the spirit of understanding, comfort and peace strongly." Of course it didn't happen right away, God allowed me some time to vent my frustration (which I think I was entitled to) and grieve the loss of another baby; a baby I never got to meet.
When your daddy took me out for dinner, we got to a park to eat, and I could see the worried look on his face. Worried about me. His comment about not wanting me to go crazy made that clear. I suddenly felt invigorated as if Someone had breathed in me, hope, love, and peace. I told him that I'm ok. Amazingly enough, I felt at peace with things. I told him I know it just wasn't meant to be, if it was, things would've worked out. I'm not sure why it had to happen at this exact timing (kind of rotten in our opinions), but it was God's will. I know it's just another test. Maybe I didn't get it right the first time, or maybe there's just something else to learn. I know that this is not a punishment, I know God loves me, and I know He's very aware. I seem more able to accept His will this time, and therefore allowing the spirit of peace and comfort to envelop my soul. I thought of Joseph Smith and his wife, Emma and all the trials they went through, yet through all that they stayed strong. I thought of how many babies Emma lost and how I can relate to her, but one thing I didn't have and I wanted was her faith and strength. Joseph not once cursed God, he knew that through all that, great things would come from it.
I hope that God sees me as a woman of faith. I hope that when all is said and done, I will be judged as dealing with my trials well, and that I can be counted among those great people like Joseph Smith, Nephi, and so many others.

In this time of great misfortune and amongst so much sadness, I want to take a minute to give thanks. It's almost Thanksgiving time, which I think is a very appropriate time. Although, every day is appropriate to give thanks. I have so much to be grateful for. I am extremely grateful that I still have my sweet girl, Faith with me, and my loving husband. We're all healthy and not struggling with illness. I still have most my family here also, who have been angels in my life uplifting, encouraging, comforting and loving me at all times. 5 years ago another great family was added to my life, the Harper's, I have been blessed by knowing them and have also felt of their love, comfort and support. We are blessed to have a job, in these times that is a great thing. We have a beautiful home with so many comforts. We have 2 more guardian angels looking out for us, rooting us on to make it to the finish line, saving us a spot in our heavenly home. We have a loving Father who is over all, who knows all....that should bring us all great comfort, to know that the One who's in charge over everything is so just, so loving, so forgiving! And even if I lost everything, it would only be for a short time, and even then I would still have my faith...that is something that can never be taken away without my consent. I'm grateful to be alive to help accomplish God's work and to do good things, and do His will...which I'm still praying to know. I know I will be more happy to be on the same page as God.

Mikkie, my heart has been very heavy this past week and I have been aching for you, I really hope you know how much I really love you. You are such a sweetheart and I love having pictures to look at your sweet, precious face that I see everyday. I'm honored to know that I was living with a Celestial being. If only I treated you more like one. Til' we meet again, my angel......

With much love,

momma
Sunday, October 31, 2010

Roller Coaster

My dear Mikkie,

What a life! no words to describe it except WOW. I'm sure many other people would say the same. Things hittin ya from all directions, happy and sad, good and bad..giving you an emotional roller coaster.

When you left I told myself and others that I would not have any more kids "why should I have more kids if God's just going to take them away?" were my exact thoughts. When I was able to snap out of my first wave of depression, your daddy and I knew that our family just felt incomplete and empty (it even did when you were still here.....but even more so now that you're gone.) Well, here I am 2 1/2 months along in my pregnancy with a sibling I'm sure you picked out yourself. It is a sweet miracle.....honestly not the miracle I was looking for at the time, but I'm happy, God knew He needed to send me another child soon...not that it will in any way take your place....in fact that's one of the things I'm afraid of. I have so many mixed emotions...people ask me if I'm excited and I feel bad thinking "no, not really....not like I was with you and Faith." I feel guilty for feeling that way then I think of things like "what if I don't love it as much as you and Faith", "what if I love it more than you", "what if i always compare it to you", and all sorts of other questions that I'm sure others would think is just absurd, but deep down inside it's how I honestly feel. I'm sure things will change once the baby is born, at least I hope it does, because this is just added guilt on top of the guilt I already have. I also have mixed emotions on whether I want a boy or girl (not like it matters what I want...it will be whatever it will be) I think to myself...if it's a girl I think it will feel more like it's replacing you, but then again I love my little girls! If it's a boy it would feel less like it's replacing you but....I don't know how to raise a boy...kind of a scary thought :) i'm so used to girls. I know that whatever it is, it will be for the best. God knows what we need.

Another wave on the roller coaster was added when we found out my Aunt died a couple days ago...very sudden, out of nowhere....just like you. What is going on up there? :) It's just crazy how you can be talking with someone one day and the next they're gone. It all happens all too fast. Life happens way too fast....which under recent circumstances, I'm grateful for, I just need to make sure to use my time more wisely. We're going to the funeral tomorrow. I'm not sure how I'm going to react, hopefully better than how I was last night.
Last night I hysterically cried myself asleep; tonight I laughed myself silly til my stomach hurt. Your dad thinks I'm delirious. Is it possible I'm going insane? I was doing fine til your daddy took Faith out trick-or-treating last night, and for some reason that made the volcano of tears erupt. Maybe I've been holding it in the past little while, it's been a few weeks since I last cried....and boy did I ever cry last night. Thoughts of last year came to me when they went out, you were home with me to keep me company...this year I was all alone. I've been alone several times before, I don't know why this time was any different. I'm surprised the baby is surviving all this stress and trauma...that to me is a miracle.

So, like I say, life is interesting, always keeps us going. Despite all my mixed emotions, I sure am looking forward to meeting your other sibling. Any hint to what the gender may be? ;) We'll be finding out soon anyways. To think that they are with you right now and will come straight to us right after just gives me chills. When I look at your little cousin Kelsey, who was born just 2 days after you left, I think "this baby was just with my baby girl!" How amazing. How lucky these people are to be with you that are up there now. I envy them. I can't wait to see your precious little face again. Until then....would you please let me feel you near? It sure would help ease my pain, to feel your precious spirit with me.

Now I feel like I'm just rambling. I love you so much Mikkie. I'm sorry I struggle so much, I'm trying, trust me, I am.

Love always,

Momma
Sunday, October 24, 2010

Roots

Dear Mikkie,

It's been next to impossible to have time to sit, think and write lately. It's also been impossible to not think about you. Especially being places where we have memories with you. We're here in CT with your Grandpa and Grandma H. I can't help but think the last time we were here, you were with us. Your first plane ride (which you did very good by the way), your first time to a beach, your first time being to Rita's (best stuff in the world-put in a recommendation for those in heaven for me please, if it's not already there :)... everytime I think of Rita's, I think of you on the table, crawling over to my cup and taking a big chomp off the top with your mouth. It was the funniest thing. In fact we got a picture of it.
In the room we're staying in, I can still picture in my mind your playpen against the wall, you in it looking disgruntled because someone just disturbed your slumber, baby powder all over your head and sprinkled all over your crib along with tampons strewn all over. It was quite the sight. Faith had quite a fun time doing it. Sadly, we didn't get a picture of that.
It was little things like that, that joggled my memory and my heart sinks the same time I smile.

We talked about Job today in church, your Grandpa taught the lesson and did a great job. I thought it was very applicable. It's good to be reminded. I wish I could redo some things and be as faithful as Job was. He mentioned something about trees and their roots and asked indirectly how deep our roots are. Is our faith rooted so deep that nothing will make us waver, or do we do just enough to get by, just rooted enough that we drift away in the slightest amount of adversity? Can we hold on when the waves of adversity hit us from every angle? Not alone we can't, but with God all things are possible. I know that I've been able to make it each day because of Him....I would not have survived otherwise. I pray that my faith will never falter me and will continue to grow stronger. It has already been tested and tried more than I ever imagined but grown immensely as well.
My faith is deeply rooted in my Savior, Jesus Christ, I could never deny Him or all He has done for me. He is and has always been there for me.
Mikkie, you are gone but I know you live just as surely as He lives.

I kind of feel like I've been neglecting you by neglecting this blog. I just need to make the time to think and be still. I love you so much and think of you everyday. I sure wish you were here with us. Vacation just isn't the same anymore.... well, life isn't.

I promise I'll be back sooner.

love always,

your momma
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'll Think of You

Sweet Mikkie,

Life seems to be going in fast forward lately. Which can be good and bad. Life still feels like a dream, and I can't wait to wake up from it. I've been surprisingly calm lately (emotionally), it's not just a picture that brings tears, it's music. Music has always had a great impact on me and how I feel.
Remember the poem I wrote for you and read at your funeral? I had a few people saying I should make it into a song, but it wasn't until your uncle Dale said something that I really began to take it seriously. He is incredibly gifted with music and I had no doubt at all that he could come up with something beautiful. It didn't take him long at all and the first time he played the melody for me, I couldn't contain myself...tears just kept streaming down.
We had to change my poem a little to make it fit the music, and I had to come up with the chorus. It took me a while til I found the words that felt right.
We had the music done then talked of recording it. It was missing something. Singing. Someone has to sing the words, that's what the song is about. I immediately thought of a gal in our ward who has an amazing voice, Stephanie Hill. She has some cd's she's recorded and I remember hearing her voice before. She was so kind and willing enough to do this for me.
Well, last Friday we did it. We recorded it and I have my very own cd of your song. I've always thought it would be cool to put words to music, but cannot compose to save my life. I'm very grateful to Dale and Stephanie who have helped make this a reality, and prefect at that. The song could not be more perfect. I never have a dry eye when listening to it.
I hope you love it just as much, Mikkie. It brings me close to you. I put together a little slideshow that goes along with the lyrics. I know it's not professional, but I tried my best, just know it comes from my heart.

I am going to do a tree in memory of you for the Festival of Trees this year. I'm very excited. I'm going to sell this song for $1 and all of the proceeds will go to help with it....which will in turn go to Primary Children's Hospital....the place that tried so very hard to revive you. Most of all I'm hoping this song will touch others' hearts, as it comes from the heart of a mother who lost a most precious, angelic baby girl whom she loves more than life itself.

I love you and I'll think of you.....Mikayla, always.

With love,

Momma

**If you would like to purchase this song, you can click the Donate button below or on the top right hand side of this blog. You can purchase it for $1, and any donations will greatly be appreciated. All proceeds will ultimately be given to Primary Children's Hospital. The song will be emailed to you within 24 hours of payment.
Thank You.**


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Awake

My dear Mikkie,

It's crazy how well I can be doing one day and thinking to myself 'ok, I can do this' to feeling like even the simplest task is unbearable the next day. Your daddy is very good to me, Mikkie. I've been very blessed by him and the power of the priesthood he holds. He has never, not once, given up on me. He has been there with me through my darkest hours. Besides my Savior, he truly is my best friend. He's there when I need him the most.

I got this handout back in Seminary days and have loved it ever since. Remembering this each morning reminds me of the decisions and actions I need to do... Richard G. Scott said in his recent talk from Conference, "strong character results from consistent correct choices." I want to be consistent in having good thoughts and making good decisions, so I live my life in such a way that when I wake up each morning satan will say "Oh no, she's awake!"

Another quote that I found that goes along with this, that I like also is, "It's not enough to just say you believe in God, Satan BELIEVES in God.. we need to believe in God in such a way that every day has us striving to LIVE for God."

There is a war going on around us. There is increased wickedness in the physical world, yes, but there is a spiritual war going on all around us. The forces are strong on both sides, but in the end God always wins, light overcomes darkness, good triumphs evil.

Mikkie, there is so much I'm learning right now, I've been so blind to so many things. I think I've been content with the knowledge I've had before and being the way I am....which isn't nearly enough. I can learn and do so much more! I feel I've been spiritually stagnant and I'm just sad it's taken something like this to wake me up. All this has woken me up to many things.
It's not just physically awake that the quote is talking about....to me it also means being spiritually awake. You can never let your guard down....I'm seeing more and more the minute you think things are going ok and let your guard down the tiniest bit, you get attacked.
I pray for the strength to always keep my guard up.

How's that for another totally unorganized, random thought? :) It's taken me a while to write to you because one it's been a busy week, two I had a very hard weekend and three I've felt I was unable to accurately articulate these thoughts and feelings running through me...but I finally figured something is better than nothing. If I wait too long I'll have so many thoughts I won't even know where to start and most likely won't write anything. I don't want to stop writing, it brings me comfort....you're not here to talk to, so this makes me feel like we're having a conversation, even though I can't hear you.

I keep finding myself calling other people by your name....today I called Kuzco, Mikkie. :) Your uncle called Faith, Mikkie Monster yesterday....Faithy monster just doesn't flow the same. I like to say and hear your name though....it's hard enough having you gone, it's even harder not hearing about you or at least your name. I miss telling people the latest cute and funny thing you've been doing, you always made me smile.

Alright, I'm done now. I love you more than you'll ever know sweet girl.

Love,

momma
Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy

Sweet Mikkie,

These past few days I've been happy. It's the first time since, that I've felt genuinely happy. I've actually been smiling without force and laughing without guilt. I haven't cried for two days. I feel grateful for the great comfort I've felt.
Daddy and I went to see a grief counselor the other night and we feel like this is a good thing for us. She said some interesting things. One thing was that we need to let go, of the guilt,the what if's, the nightmares that haunt me when I think of that excruciatingly painful day and all the details that go with it...let to. Letting go doesn't mean we will lose you, but it will help to heal us.
Then she said a few times about having patience with ourselves, allow ourselves to grieve. Allow and accept it.
That reminds me of this quote I got from your aunt:

"Grief is not linear. People kept telling me that once this happened or that passed, everything would be better. Some people gave me one year to grieve. They saw grief as a straight line, with a beginning, middle, and end. But it is not linear. It is disjointed. One day you are acting almost like a normal person. You may even manage to take a shower. Your clothes match. You think the autumn leaves look pretty, or enjoy the sound of snow crunching under your feet.

Then a song, a glimpse of something, or maybe even nothing sends you back into the hole of grief. It is not one step forward, two steps back. It is a jumble. It is hours that are all right, and weeks that aren't. Or it is good days and bad days. Or it is the weight of sadness making you look different to others and nothing helps. Not haircuts or manicures or the Atkins Diet.

...Grief doesn't have a plot. It isn't smooth. There is no beginning and middle and end. There is no end."

-Ann Hood (from her book "Comfort: A Journey Through Grief")

I need to be patient with myself when I'm happy and then all the sudden bawl all day long. I've already noticed it going like that.....I guess it's not just me that needs to be patient, it's everyone else. Hopefully they're patient with me because this will be a lifelong process, I will never get over it, but will continue learning and making progress. It's not just crying or sadness that I go back and forth with, but anger. I still find myself getting angry easier or just over nothing.

In a packet about grief that our counselor gave us, the first few paragraphs completely hit home with me.

"Parental grief is boundless. It touches every aspect of a parent's being....when a baby dies, parents grieve for the rest of their lives. Their grief becomes part of them...as time passes, parents come to appreciate that grief is their link to their child, their grief keeps them connected to the child." -Arnold and Gemma, in Corr Et Al. 1996, 50-51

I've found that I cling to my grief, even the pain, because you seem more real to me; I feel that pain and it's a reminder that you were ripped from my life, my arms and how terribly I miss you.

"The parents are faced with a situation in which they must deal both with the grief caused by their child's death and with their inherent need to continue to live their own lives as fully as possible. Thus, bereaved parents must deal with the contradictory burden of wanting to be free of this overwhelming pain and yet needing it as a reminder of the child who died."

That's exactly how I feel. I couldn't have said it better. I feel I am forgetting you when I'm not feeling that pain. I'm scared of forgetting you. I don't want to forget what it was like to have you around. It seems the only way I can 'feel' you is to feel the pain, otherwise I cannot feel you around and that pains me even more than the pain itself.

The only way to get through this is taking it one day at a time, sometimes hour by hour. I cannot rush myself past this grief, it's necessary and important to feel.

I'm looking forward to continue talking with the counselor and hopefully I can be a better person from it, coming out stronger and more understanding.

Thinking of you always.

Love,

your momma

*everytime I say or write or hear 'momma' I can hear your tiny voice repeating it, not stopping until you got my attention, telling me or showing me something small, but obviously important to you. I'm glad I got to hear you say my name so many times. I won't mind if you say it over and over again, I will gladly listen, I just ache to hear it again.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Misery is optional

My dear Mikkie,

I'm finding myself aching more for Faith now. Lately some of her friends leave her out, run away leaving her behind and say they only want to play with one friend. It really cuts me deep to see her running inside with a confused, saddened look. I think that's one of the things that hurts me the most....and probably hurts me more than it does her. You were a constant friend always ready to play and despite the normal sister quarrels, you two got along great and loved being with each other very much. Friends are great, but family is where it's at. Friends come and go, your family is always there. You are very fortunate if you have at least one true friend, one you can always count on, pick up where you left off and be yourself around. I have a couple of those and I feel very blessed, they're basically like my sisters....but I'd see no point in life without my family.
I think it's good that we got Kuzco. It helps ease the pain a bit and feels a little less lonely, somebody else to play with and boss around. :) Besides wanting another child, one reason we had you when we did is so Faith could have a playmate. I wanted you to be close in age. We couldn't have asked for anyone more perfect than you.
Oh Mikkie, I really hope that she can feel you near, to always have your company. If you could only be with one person, I'd want you to be with your sister. I hope and pray, and hope and pray some more that she will not forget you. But how could you forget your best friend.


In other news, I've been feeling rather miserable lately. This morning, after once again starting off the day with a bad attitude, this quote came to mind, "Adversity is inevitable, misery is optional." You mean to say I choose to be miserable? Why would anyone choose that? I don't know, but I do know that if you don't already have in mind how you'll be/act in certain situations, misery will gladly step in. Like drugs...if you don't already have your mind set to just say no, then you're going to have a harder time when the situation presents itself.
So it is with adversity, if you don't have your mind set to be at least positive (if not happy), then misery and pessimism will step in by default every time.
Also, you can't just pray for something and expect it to happen, you gotta give it your all first. I've been finding myself praying to be filled with compassion and Christlike love and then go on like before expecting something to change. God can't make us do anything, we have free agency. I'm miserable because of the choices I make. Even though I'm in a very undesirable circumstance, I can still choose to be happy. Misery is optional. I also saw something else along with that quote somewhere that said "The enemy will never attack where you are strongest...He will attack where you are weakest. If you do not know your weakest point, be certain, your enemy will." I'm for certain that satan knows my weaknesses better than I do, that's why I've been miserable.....misery likes company and he's about as miserable as they come.

As I read and search the scriptures and the church site, I realize how much there is to learn! I probably haven't even covered 1/4 of it all. I keep coming across some great talks and books and am so grateful for the inspired words as they help me so much.

Thanks for being patient with me as I vent and share some thoughts (no matter how unorganized) that are on my mind. I hope I don't sound too ridiculous and hope that I don't come across as sounding like I've got this all down pat....it's more like I'm sharing things that I realize I need to work harder at, and will need to continue trying each and every day. It's taken me almost a week to write you again....I don't want my thoughts coming out more depressing and jumbled than they probably already are.

I think of you always baby girl. After this morning, it was a pretty good day and I'm feeling more hope and more love. I'm feeling happy. I hope you know how much I love you.

Love,

mama
Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bring it on

Sweet Mikkie,

Mikkie, I miss you terribly. Last night, after an extremely stressful day, I sat in your room by your crib for the first time. I don't know if it helped, but the agonizing pain flooded back and I was longing to hold you in my arms and caress your little body as I soothe you to sleep. I can't describe what I felt in words, it can only be explained through experience. I'm honestly surprised I haven't died from a broken heart by now.
My eyes are weirdin' out again. When I'm under extreme stress, my eyes dilate and I experience a weird phenomenon where everything seems smaller than it is. I've had it happen several times within the past few years. It's so weird.

I think there's only so many tears a human can produce, pain they can experience, trials they can bear....before you just feel like "What is the point?" Me and several people I know have come very close to that threshold. That's when you cling on to what you know to be true and just hope. Hope is all you can do. Hope that some miracle will come along, hope that the ratio will be evened out between the good and bad, the happy and sad. Hope that the future will be better and brighter. During several of my darker days, the quote "When things become more than you can stand, kneel" came to mind. You come to the point where you think, "Ok, I give up. I can't do this anymore, it's your turn, God. I'm completely and utterly helpless and I need Thy help. I cannot and do not want to do this alone."
During the midst of all these trials, that keep hitting one after another, day by day, you get kind of tired of crying, you've hit your threshold and like the talk I mentioned earlier "Come what may" said..you just have to learn to laugh. Yea people will probably think you've gone crazy, but then who really cares what anyone thinks, right? I used to care a great deal, daddy thought I cared too much what people thought of me. Now I know the only opinion that matters now and will ever matter is God's. Maybe He's been trying to help me change my focus....focus on pleasing Him, making Him happy, focus on serving others which really is serving Him. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me." I remember having an FHE lesson one time about that scripture. Your Grandma had all of us draw a picture of someone we don't really like (I won't say what mine was, cuz it doesn't even matter anymore) and we put the picture up on a board and got the dart gun out, blew darts at the picture and all laughed finding it secretly thrilling. Then came the big clincher. My mom took off all the pictures, and the paper from the board. Behind the paper was a picture of Jesus with all these holes in it. We just stared and immediately got the point as she read that scripture. How extremely wretched it is to know that every time we do or say something unkind to another person, we are really offending our Savior. That leads me into a whole other bunch of thoughts on service. But let me get back on track with what I was saying earlier...learn to laugh. I could use a lot more of that. I've turned on some Brian Regan and did that ever help. It feels so good to laugh! If something else hard comes along, I am going to laugh in its face and say, "Bring it on!" Your Grandpa would say "B.o.h.i.c.a...... Bend over here it comes again". :) Everyone has their own little saying, mine is Bring it on. If God thinks I can do it, then I just put my trust in Him and do all I can.

When I need a laugh and something to make me smile, I look back at all the cute, precious movies we have of you that I will treasure always! This one in particular hits my funny bone. I think your mom was a little slap happy that day and I'm sorry we used you as our source of entertainment this way. But you gotta admit, it's a little funny....you were laughing so it had to be funny, right! :)
video

I love you Mikkie baby!

Love, your mom who will learn to laugh during the hard times, saying Bring it on!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tear Soup

Dear Mikkie,

I haven't played the piano much since you've been gone, but I played a lot yesterday. As I opened the book, some crinkled sheet music fell out and I immediately thought of you. I slowly learned my lesson to put the sheets on top of the piano instead of the bench, as you would come along, scrunch them in your tiny hands and take off. If I didn't take them away right then, they'd be history. The same with books, which is right next to the piano. If you were left alone with those books you'd shred them to nothin. All in that whole second I opened the piano book, all those memories flooded my mind. I'm glad they did. Most of them make me smile and laugh. You truly were a shining star in my life and always made me happy.

I just read a short book a friend gave me called, "Tear Soup". It shared some interesting, neat and surprising insight. One thing that surprised me the most was when it said
"Even some of Grandy's friends hurried past her house and pretended not to notice the aroma of tear soup coming through her open door. Grandy found that most people can tolerate only a cup of someone else's tear soup. The giant bowl, where she could repeatedly share her sadness in great detail, was left for a few willing friends."
Daddy and I can see that too. There have been times where I walk away not able to control my tears, and only a few follow to comfort me. Some just can't handle another's sorrow. Why does crying make some people uncomfortable? I just don't get it. Do you? You probably have a much better understanding than I do. I'm not saying everyone has to cry along with me all the time, but a thoughtful ear, a hug or just a knowing look.
"Don't assume because your friend is having a good day that it means they are over their loss." Sometimes I feel I have to show I'm sad to let people know I'm still grieving. I can tell which people really care and which ones just pretend to not know, as if I'm supposed to recover from this already. Even though I find much comfort in the knowledge I have, I will always feel the pain of not having you here with me.
I'm so grateful to have the few people who are still listening, not caring whether I cry, scream or laugh, they know I'm always hurting either way. Even if there was no one here that cared, I know that there's always at least one whom I can count on to be there for me, my Heavenly Father. Even if I'm not saying it out loud, He can hear me. That's the ultimate friend, one who can know what you are thinking without having to say it.

I love you and I'm sorry sometimes you don't hear from me for days. It does not mean at all that I'm not thinking of you; I am always thinking of you.

Love always,

mommy
Saturday, September 18, 2010

A little unbearable

Dear Mikkie angel,

I know I say I'm going to be strong, I'm trying, but tonight the pain is a little unbearable. My heart aches. I just watched a beautiful movie (and true story) called "Letters to God" and sobbed uncontrollably. It shared a lot of neat thoughts. One thing that stuck out to me was when a man told the little boy (who's suffering brain cancer) that God hand-picked him, that he was one of His warriors. I thought that was so sweet. I'm not sure how that would relate to this situation....I'm definitely not a warrior, and I still don't feel I'm as strong as God would believe me to be.

We went to Costco today and we put Faith in the cart, and just like last time she asked pointing next to her, "Is this Mikkie's seat?" My heart sank. I nod and gently tell her "Yes, sweetie, this is Mikkie's spot." I always loved the carts at Costco because they were two-seaters, I didn't have to put Faith in with the groceries in back. I miss playing with you in the cart, making funny faces, and hearing you laugh causing others around to turn and adore you. One time a sweet old man asked "Now, what aisle can I get these sweeties on?" pointing to you two. I said, "Sorry sir, they are one-of-a-kind." You are. You are irreplaceable and you will always have a special place in my heart...after all, you did take a piece of it with you when you left. A big piece.

I am going to need extra strength and comfort tonight, sweetheart. Strange enough, I'm already starting to feel better as I'm finishing this. It's amazing what happens when you take time to think and ponder. I'm glad I'm writing these letters to you. I know you're reading them, and they are really helping me sort through my feelings and it just feels good to talk to you and to talk of you.

Until next time baby girl of mine....

Love,
your mommy
Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Focal point

My sweet Mikkie,

Yesterday was hard for your daddy, and I was a little more solemn than I expected. It's been exactly a month ago yesterday since you left us. It's hard to believe. I'm grateful though, that time is being gracious enough to pass by so quickly. Each day that passes is a day closer to being with you.
Your daddy was crying thinking back on that dreadful day. We usually ping pong emotions where one of us is strong while the other is struggling a little more. I think it's good that way so that there's at least one of us to help lift the other. A thought came to me and I told him, "as hard as it is, we can't think of that; instead let's think of when she was living and focus on being reunited with her." I said:
You know when you're in labor and you usually have something to focus on to help get you through.....well, of course not, I'm the one that went through the labor, not you :), but the point is I had a focal point in my mind, something happy to focus on to help keep my mind off things. My focal point each time was imagining holding and hugging my little baby in my arms. That made me happy and motivated me to continue on and work even harder to get them here. We need to do the same thing now....focus on seeing our Mikkie, holding and hugging her in our arms again, which will strengthen and motivate us to work even harder to get back to her. We need to keep that focus.
Your daddy agreed and it seemed to comfort him. It comforted me too. I absolutely cannot lose that focus.
I think all the stress on my body is finally added up and taking its toll on me, I'm extremely worn out. My mind is a little fuddled tonight so I hope this letter makes a little sense. I will go to bed now with this image fresh in my mind.....hugging and holding you tight. I can't wait.

I love you my baby angel!

Love,

your mama, who, even though can't focus on what to write, will focus on our sweet reunion
Monday, September 13, 2010

Never, ever give up!

My dear Mikkie,

All it took was a little attention to the thoughts bombarding my mind, and it invited in the feelings of anger, guilt/blame, jealousy, bitterness, envy and hate. I have been plagued with those the most this past weekend. I was in the depths of despair. The best way I can describe it was I was trapped inside a shell with my own guilt, hate and pity, and the only person who could get me out was myself. But as soon as I tried, some unseen forces would drag me back down. I was trapped, I felt utterly alone and helpless. My spirit knew what I should be doing--which is why I still prayed and read good things.... but my natural man would take what I was doing and twist it into something that would make me angry all over again, it was a vicious cycle.
I hated people who had spiritual experiences, testimony builders, I envied anyone who still has all their children, I blamed myself, your daddy and even God.
Tonight I took my anger down to the punching bag and knocked the living daylights out of it. I literally knocked its bolt right out of the ceiling and it fell to the ground. So did I. Right then I made a decision. All it took was one little change of course in my decisions; and I made a decision to do this God's way. The other way just brings you untold agony, misery and darkness. Then the tears came. I was exhausted in every way possible. I begged God to take this away from me and begged for His forgiveness. Mikkie, I begged for your forgiveness as well, I'm sorry if I caused you any sorrow.
I then had a thought.... God was with me all the way through this, He never left me. God never leaves us, we turn our backs on Him. He was there reaching down to me, all I had to do was reach up to Him. I can't tell you how great (for a lack of a better word) that felt, to know that Heavenly Father loves me that much to never give up on me and to not scold, but welcome me lovingly with open arms when I turn back to Him.

Mikkie angel, I know you are in good hands. I know you are well. I know that everything will be alright. No matter what happens in this life, I know that if I continue to live worthily, I will be able to be in God's presence again, and be reunited with you, my sweet baby. I just have to keep trying my best, that's all God wants...is for us to keep trying! We can never, ever give up, for He will never, ever give up on us.
I have been filled with a renewed hope and strength than ever before, I can't begin to even express my gratitude to my Father in Heaven.

This has been one of my very favorite pictures of all times, ever since I got it back in Seminary days. :) It hits closer to home right now. I've felt like the frog that's about to be engulfed by it's predator...just strangle it and show it who's boss and it won't get the better of you. :)

With all my heart, I love you Mikkie!

Love,
your mom, who will never, EVER give up!
Thursday, September 9, 2010

Come what may.....

Sweet Mikkie,

Faith saw a helicopter today and ran out as fast as she could shouting "Look, Helicopter! I miss my Mikkie, I miss my Mikkie." Your sister loves you very much. I feel bad I haven't really paid much attention to how she's dealing with this, I just assume she's ok, that she doesn't really know what's going on. I think she knows a lot more than we give her credit for. She's been asking about you more lately.

I see you in her. When I play with her, I see you running next to her. When I bathe her, I see you next to her drinking the bath water which always made me cringe. When I give her a treat, I see you running up behind with your squatty legs, begging for the same thing. When I look in the rearview mirror at her, I see you, sitting next to her playing peek-a-boo and giggling. When I look into her blue eyes, I see your amazing blue eyes radiantly glowing with a brightness that could penetrate the darkest of places. When I put her to bed, I see you, bouncing around in your crib and shaking your bottle upside down getting milk all over the carpet. You are such a silly girl....you take after your mommy. :)

To say this has been hard is an understatement. But I'm comforted when I read inspiring talks such as this one I'm about to share. Even though I still don't have a perfect understanding of things, it helps me to feel a peace. I picked out some lines from the talk that stuck out most to me.

Come what may and love it

by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

"If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness.

You may feel singled out when adversity enters your life. You shake your head and wonder, “Why me?”

But the dial on the wheel of sorrow eventually points to each of us. At one time or another, everyone must experience sorrow. No one is exempt.

“My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;

“And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.”

The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.

One of the blessings of the gospel is the knowledge that when the curtain of death signals the end of our mortal lives, life will continue on the other side of the veil. There we will be given new opportunities. Not even death can take from us the eternal blessings promised by a loving Heavenly Father.

He who descended below all things will come to our aid. He will comfort and uphold us. He will strengthen us in our weakness and fortify us in our distress. He will make weak things become strong.

I know why there must be opposition in all things. Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives. We can learn to love it."


I can't say that I love what's happened, but I'm slowly beginning to see that this can greatly affect me....for the better or worse, make or break me. The way I can handle it correctly is to get the right kind of help and support from the right sources. Our family (both sides), friends, our Bishop, the scriptures, words of the prophets, and of course the Lord, have all been a tremendous strength to me during this time. Even when my anger blinds me from it, the help and answers are there.

I love you Mikkie! I didn't get to give you a goodbye hug, but know that I am sending hugs and kisses to you every second of every day.

Love,

your mama who's trying to handle things correctly

Monday, September 6, 2010

Benefit of the doubt

Dear Mikkie,

Daddy had a hard time tonight. For whatever reason I don't understand he read some comments from the news articles about you. They hurt. The mouth is a slippery slope. Words are like a dagger that pierce your soul. I can't believe the lack of compassion of some people. They have no idea. They're ignorant. Just like in our ignorance of not watching you more carefully, they in their ignorance condemn and judge us unfairly in which they have absolutely no right to. No one has any right to judge anyone. Thank goodness the world is not our judge, or I'd be doomed to hell. God is our judge and He knows our hearts. He knows my heart. He knows I would have never in my wildest dreams let something like this happen on purpose. Even though at times I still blame, He knows how my heart aches and how I pled for Him to take me instead; I begged Him to take everything I have just to get you back, to do that day over again. But I can't.
We're humans, we make mistakes, so many, but you can bet a pretty little penny that I will never make this same mistake again.
Those people are really only hurting themselves. I pray, for their sakes and their own salvation, that they will repent of the damaging words they've thought and said, for they will be judged as they have judged us.
I'm seeing more now, how important it is to give people the benefit of the doubt, no matter how bad it looks. You just never know what is going on in people's lives. I will never judge another driver speeding by.....for all I know, they could be rushing to the hospital in hopes to see their baby one last time.
How nice it will be when this life is over. Yet I still have so much to learn. So for right now I will go to bed, hopefully with you by my side, wake up in the morning and manage to take on another day.
Saturday, September 4, 2010

Helping the bereaved

I found this list via This Blog that someone had shared with me. I absolutely agree with it all. No one really prepares for this kind of thing to happen, and so when it does, most people don't know what to do or say. I understand what DO you say and do? I wouldn't have known how to help someone let alone know how to deal with it myself. So I hope this helps a little for those of you who are and will comfort others through such a difficult time.

WHEN YOU LOVE SOMEONE GRIEVING
"This is a list I will add to as I think of things that you can do for someone you love to be a support and friend through their grief. I know a lot of people just "don't know what to say/do" so they don't do anything. Not doing anything is the wrong answer. Hopefully this list can help you help the ones you love in their journey of Grief."

1. First and foremost TALK about the loved one who's passed. Even if it's uncomfortable at first, it will become easier.

2. If you didn't know the person at all or very well, ask to hear about them and learn of them through stories.

3. Don't ever put a time line on someone's grief.

4. Saying things like, "They are in a better place." Really isn't comforting. It makes the bereaved feel like the place they had with them wasn't good.

5. If you don't know what to say, just say, "I'm So sorry you have to go through this."

6. If the person needs to analyze the circumstances surrounding the death, let them just talk and rehash anything as many times as they need to.

7. Don't assume they are ever "better." It never gets better and will be a part of them for the rest of their lives.

8. Don't underestimate how frazzled, abscent minded & spacey grief can make you.

9. Pamper them if you have means. Retail Therapy worked great for me! So did pedicures and getting my hair done, I felt awful on the inside, at least I could try to feel good about me on the outside.

10. Love notes. Emails. Thinking of You cards. Thinking of the bereaved person cards.

11. Do not, I stress
Do not get offended if your loved one doesn't answer his/her phone or return your calls. Don't assume that they don't appreciate your effort. It's just that someone bereaved doesn't want to put on a "happy voice." and burden everyone with their grief.

12. Most bereaved people will not offer information on how they are doing unless they truly feel like you want to know.

13. Validate.Validate.Validate. Please whatever you do, don't compare your loved ones loss to someone elses' "harder loss". Every loss is hard. Comparing makes the person feel like they shouldn't struggle because it could be worse.

14. The comment "but aren't you grateful you know you'll see them again" isn't comforting. It is not a fix all. It is comforting, but it doesn't take the pain out of not having them now.

15. Just make sure they know you love them. Be a shoulder to cry on.



~~ I have a few myself that I wanted to add along with the others that I found helpful:

1. I know sometimes I haven't felt like talking on the phone much these first few weeks, but have very much appreciated the emails, letters, notes, texts, etc giving me words of comfort or just saying they're thinking of me.

2. It makes me happy and comforted to know that there's people who are not only giving Tim, Faith and I support and love, but to my family and Tim's family as well. I'm grateful for that because I wish I were more in a position to comfort them and be there for them. So it's nice to not only share condolences and love with the immediate family but extended as well.... in my ignorance I sometimes forget there are more people than just me that are grieving over this great loss.

3. Instead of saying "Let me know if there's anything I can do" make a plan and tell them "Let me watch your other kid while you and hubby get out" or "I want to bring you in a meal, when would work best?" or something like that. I think that most people including myself don't actually let someone know if there's something they can do. We're stubborn. :) I know I am...I know there's people that can vouch for that. ;)
You kind of have to take control since those grieving feel like they're losing control and don't even know how to help themselves. Maybe I'm just speaking for myself, but that's my 2 cents on the matter.

Let me just repeat how grateful I am for everyone's love, prayers, support and generosity, I could not have held up without it all. I am tremendously grateful.