My grandfather turned 95 years old this year.  Our family and a small group of friends helped to celebrate his birthday with a small party, good food, and lots of stories. 

95 years!  Can you imagine all that has been done, seen, and changed in the last 95 years?  Through it all, my grandfather has remained strong in his beliefs and values.  He has a zest for life, never misses a beat, and always has a story to share.  After 95 years, he also has a lot of advice and wisdom to share.  Not to mention a joke or two.  He has done so much throughout his life and hasn’t been afraid to step out of the box to try something new.  He has been a lawyer, to a World War II gunfighter, to being in the House of Represntatives, to starting his own business that is still running today.

Over the years I have learned a lot from my grandfather and I always look forward to my talks with him.   I have great memories from when I was little when we would have family dinners from Arby’s at their house, we would get to have sleep overs where we would play games into the night, and so many more.

Some of the most important things that I have learned I still carry with me today and try to keep them with me where ever my path leads.  First and foremost family comes first.  Even though I live in Minnesota now, my grandfather still checks in on me.  A smile goes a long ways, even towards a total stranger.  Passing a long a smile can make someone’s day, not to mention show a little bit of who you are.  Be a part of your community. It gives you an opportunity to expand your horizons, while providing a sense of accomplishment and value.

I am nearly 30 now, I can’t begin to imagine what the next 65 years will bring in my life.  What I do know is that…as long as I can carry God, my family, my friends, and things that bring true happiness with me always while holding strong to my values I will be headed in the right direction.  I also need to learn from my mistakes and the curve balls that life throws (sometimes hurls) at me, while also being honest with myself and admitting when I can’t go at it alone. 
What words of adivce are keeping you going?  Share your memories and stories below.  I look forward to hearing your story.

 

This may be the end of “The Story”, but it is also the beginning of what unfolds in the days, weeks, and months ahead.  This will be the last post from my journal entries. 

Needless to say, the following days ahead brough many up, downs, twists, and turns.  The physcial side of everything seemed to slowly fade away, while the mental and emotional, even sometimes social aspects of it all seemed to come through more.  Some days it was only on side of things I had to face, other days it was all.  They could start out just fine, and with the drop of a hat I would hit the wall, run to the bathroom and breakdown.  It could go the other way too.  I could start out with tears in my eyes all the way to work, then be pretty good for the rest of the day.  I don’t know if Iwould just numb myself to get through the day or what.  But the days began to come and go in a way the used to.  I was different, but the basics of the day were the same.  I know that the mental and emotional side will never truly go away.  It will always be there, I will just lern how to deal with things better.  This type of thing never goes away.  It will always be a part of me.  I will never “move on”, as people have told me to do, I will only “move forward”.  Samantha is a part of me, she always will be.  I will still grieve, it will just be less and it will change as time goes by.

Did I have my major melt downs?  Of course I did.  I even had a few blow ups, but I learned from them and oddly enough they helped me to move forward.  I continued to visit Samantha, once the warmer months had arrived and her name was written on the wall.  I learned to live life a little differently.  I knew things would trip me up and I took them as they came.  Deep down, they are making me stronger.  I am not sure how yet, but somewhere down the road things will be connected and make more sense.

My journaling seemed to go from writing every day to get through the days and the weeks, to writing weekly to sum up the week and really take a good look at what happened.  Then it got spaced out considerably by talking about things as they came up from month to month.  All of the good, the not so good, and everywhere in between.

Don’t worry though, take heart, I will still continue to write, but it is time to change things up a little.  I will continue to share my story, but in a different light.  I am “moving forward”.

 

This Summer we have been filled with lots of family time, travels back to our hometown of Waukesha, WI, and many celebrations.  To kick off our first trip back home we headed home to celebrate Raun’s sister’s wedding by going to a shower.  I had the opportunity to spend time with a wonderful group of people and had a lot of good conversation.  While we were home we celebrated Raun’s birthday and the birth of my niece, who now shares the same birthday as him.

The next trip home involved a much longer weekend stay.  A nice five day weekend to celebrate.  From the rehearsal, to the wedding, to tons of family we had a busy, whirlwind weekend.  It was a beautiful ceremony.  It was an interesting experience for Raun and I because the ceremony was at the same church we got married at and the reception was at the same place our was.  A little bit like reliving our wedding day, but yet very different (obviously).  So much time with family has been great.  We have seen so many family members; some for the first time, some it has been a while, and some that we get a chance to see on a regular basis.  It was a much needed weekend.

To end our Summer trips home we headed home to celebrate my grandfather’s birthday.  95 years!  But, more to come on that weekend later.  For now, I am thinking about the other happy times from the first part of the Summer. 

My Summer has been filled with weekend trips home, day trips around Saint Paul, and time with the ones I love the most.  How have you spent your Summer?

Leave a comment below sharing your fun times this Summer.

 

Dragonflies have a very special meaning to me.  They are my symbol to know that things are okay and that our little Samantha is nearby.  For a long time now I have had an interest in dragonflies.  I don’t remember what started it all, but I do remember from the time I was little I enjoyed watching dragonflies.  When I was little the dragonflies I watched were where we went camping every Summer.  I would stand on the dock watching them fly around and briefly rest upon a post or the boat, then fly away as quickly as they had come into view originally. 

Throughout my life, when I spot a dragonfly I stop for a moment, watch, then continue on about my business.  Over the past few years I have been collecting dragonflies for my gardens.  Without my knowledge until recently, this past Spring, when I put all my garden art out did I realize how many dragonflies I have. 

After we lost Samantha dragonflies began to take on a different meaning for me.  It seemed that they were all about.  Even though it was the middle of Winter, they were around.  From having one on a stone on the wall outside my hospital room, to the logo of La Belle Dame where I got my infant loss necklace from, to the tag on some bath salts that I got as a Christmas gift.  They were all around me.  The weekend after we got home from the hospital we received a peace lily plant and in the plant was a little dragonfly on a stick. 

Since then, seeing a dragonfly reminds me of Samantha.  I still watch them fly around with such grace and freedom.  I feel a sense of peace when I see one.  Now, when I see a dragonfly I notice that they too are lingering for a little bit longer.  I have begun to say “Hey Baby Girl” each time I see one, creating that deeper connection and sense of peace. 

The other day (July 29th) I was on my way out the door to head to work.  I turned to lock the door and when I turned back to continue on my way to the car a dragonfly landed right on my hand.  I watched it and it watched me.  It was a beautiful shade of red.  I have never seen a red one before.  While we considered each other I was overcome with emotion.  As the tears flowed, so did another layer of grief.  After what seemed like several minutes to me (most likely only seconds) the dragonfly flew away.  But for a brief moment everything seemed to stand still.  I wish that moment could have lasted forever.  Fortunately, it will last forever in my heart.  “Hey Baby Girl”.

 

 

Lyrics to “Stronger”
Hey, heard you were up all night
Thinking about how your world ain’t right
And you wonder if things will ever get better
And you’re asking why is it always raining on you
When all you want is just a little good news
Instead of standing there stuck out in the weather

Oh, don’t hang your head
It’s gonna end
God’s right there
Even if it’s hard to see Him
I promise you that He still cares

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain’t gonna last forever
And things can only get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger
Gonna make you stronger, stronger, stronger
Believe me, this is gonna make you …

Try and do the best you can
Hold on and let Him hold your hand
And go on and fall into the arms of Jesus
Oh, lift your head it’s gonna end
God’s right there
Even when you just can’t feel Him
I promise you that He still cares

‘Cause if He started this work in your life
He will be faithful to complete it
If only you believe it
He knows how much it hurts
And I’m sure that He’s gonna help you get through this

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain’t gonna last forever
In time it’s gonna get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger

 

February 17-
Today was a tough day. There is no other word to describe it. It was all around tough. This week’s theme at work is life cycles, so there is a lot about babies. Mostly songs and activities that talking about what it was like when you were a baby. Today it was singing rock a bye baby during our music time that did me in. Fortunately the teacher who was with me totally understood what was going on and took over for me. I wonder if the kids can tell what I am feeling by looking at me. During these times I try to avoid direct contact. Usually I find somewhere else in the room to be or some other activity to hopefully help me to ignore what is going on. After this, I decided to go easy on the day and take a nice long break. Which this means Dunn Brothers and some quiet time. Dunn Brothers has been my comfort food over the past week.

I am very nervous about tomorrow. I will be having a teacher in the room that doesn’t want to be there and won’t do anything in the room. I am not sure how I am going to make it through the day having to put forth double energy with no one to fall back on. Tomorrow is just going to be a rough day.

I have realized though, that there are just going to be some natural triggers over the next few months that will cause the tears to shed. Fortunately I have identified some of them, unfortunately it is the day to day ones that I didn’t realize that would just pop up seemingly out of now where and cause a rush of emotions. I am going to have to learn how to deal with these triggers that just show up throughout the day unannounced.

 

July 9

Happy Anniversary! It’s been six years. This last year I would have to say has been one of the hardest, just the latter half. It has been filled with so many up and downs and lots of emotions. There have been lots of changes too. However, some things have been good things. It’s amazing how one thing can change some many things.

But today is a good day. On this beautiful day Raun woke me up pointing at me saying get up and get ready for the day. I did and when I was finished I went downstairs with the smell of biscuits filling the air and carrying me to the kitchen. We ate breakfast and then hit the road. We took the great river road Highway 35 south on the Wisconsin side along the Mississippi River. The main destination was Stockholm, WI. However, along the way there we stopped at historical markers and took in the sights along the river. We arrived in Stockholm, a very cute little city. Where we stopped at the pie place and each had a delicious piece of pie. We sat outside enjoying the weather, chatting with the locals, talking with each other and learning about the city. After our yummy pie (Triple Berry for Raun and Peanut Butter Fudge for me) we explored the quaint downtown. We strolled down the main street and went into a few shops. We made a few purchases that I just couldn’t seem to pass up and picked out my anniversary gift from Raun. I picked a beautiful purple pot to add to my other pottery pieces. I also came across a journal/sketchbook that had dragonflies on it. Coincidently, not long before coming across the journal I was telling Raun that I needed to get a notebook. I also picked up a wood plaque that says to “Cherish Life’s Simplest Treasures”.

After we finished exploring Stockholm we continued on to Maiden Rock Winery/Cidery where we took in the views, as well as tasted various wines, hard ciders, and fruit beers and good conversations. To finish out our day excursion we took in the views from a bluff in Alma, WI and then headed back home along the river on the Minnesota side, stopping in Lake City to walk the beach and in Red Wing to eat a yummy Mexican dinner at Fiesta Mexicana.

© 2017 MyInfantLoss.com Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha
Sharing Buttons by Linksku