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.
Thursday, September 2, 2010

Life "flaws" by

Dear Mikkie,

This week has been so crazy busy going to and fro, I've hardly had time to sit and think. I've had time to think about you though, always. It's been more of a tough week than I thought. Right now I feel numb. Is that because my emotions are just exhausted and out of whack?

Some things feel harder to deal with because you're not around...I get stressed more easily and when that happens I don't feel like I have the strength to keep going. Not like I was more in control when you were here, but I at least felt like I had more of a hold on things. Life seemed secure.

I saw a fly today, or "flaw" as you would say. I could hear your cute little voice saying it over and over in my mind. I swatted it and expected to hear your little burst of giggles, but turned around to a silent high chair. It's not the same, but I'll keep doing it and laugh to myself because I know you would laugh if you were here.

I pray God will bless me with extra strength and that I will feel you right by my side holding me up. Mommy needs you. Will you do that for me? I miss you like crazy, it hurts.

Love me,

Momma