I can't believe it's been well over a month since I've written. I come here often... write a few lines. Save what I've written. But it never seems good enough. I never feel like I'm able to express my feelings well enough. It's hard to come on this blog and write something negative, because I honestly don't have a thing in my life that I can complain about. Except for the fact that I miss my baby. I miss him more these past few weeks than I ever thought I could. I don't know if it's the "moving forward" and trying to pull my life together that's making it harder, but I miss playing with him. I miss kissing him. I miss rocking him and holding him close. I miss him being so bossy and and wanting us to switch his toys 100 times in an hour. I just miss every little thing about him being here with me. I have times of complete and overwhelming sadness that I can't control. And when that sadness takes over, which lately... has been more frequent, it's getting a little more difficult to hide. Sometimes I feel ashamed to still be talking about how sad I am. I think about other moms and dads who have lost their children. I pray and hope that they have the support that I do. I feel blessed beyond words that I can write on this blog, and I have an amazing support system (mostly fully of kind and compassionate people who have never even met me) who send comforting words and offer up prayers for me. And I also think about my family- who do so much to show me they care. I know that everyone who has lost a child does not have that. Not everyone who has been through such a traumatic loss has the support system that I have. And it makes my heart heavy to think that someone out there is going through what I'm going through without support. I can't imagine how much harder that would be. And that is why I thank you. All of you who are still there, still commenting on each post, still offering prayers and support. It means so much. Because YOU all are helping me get through this very very difficult time, so that one day, I can heal myself and help others who have been through this same thing in the best possible way.
I want to thank all of you, also, for your very sweet comments on my previous post. You guys really know how to make a girl feel special. Stephen and I are SO grateful for your prayers, support and well-wishes as we begin this next new chapter of our lives. We are actually excited to say that we will be building a house soon. We plan to begin in the next few weeks. Some people might think that planning a wedding and building a house at the same time is crazy... but I can assure you that after what Stephen and I have been through together, that this will be a walk in the park. We are just grateful for the great things and amazing people in our lives. I don't think that there is anything he and I can't handle. We are the BEST team.
Along with our engagement, house plans, and wedding plans... there are also many other positive things going on in my life.
I really want to focus on some more of the good that God is doing and how His GRACE has been more than sufficient in my life.
I am still seeing my counselor once a week.
She's one of the biggest blessings that God has placed in my life.
I love her.
She is walking me through the most difficult time of my life, simply by listening... not placing judgement... not telling me what is right and what is wrong. She's just there. At first, she was just a stranger who I would cry to. The moment I walked in the door, I would just cry. I would usually save up all my tears from the week just for her. I figured, if anything... I can certainly just use a good cry once a week, even if she doesn't help me. And now, even after about 6-7 months of therapy, I still cry at every session...but I truly feel better every time I leave her. I think of Lindsey as a friend. I can tell her anything. Things that I'm feeling that I can't just tell anyone else.
She listens, she doesn't sugar coat, she doesn't pass judgment and she makes me feel comfortable.
If I miss our weekly session... I am not someone you want to be around.
And I miss this week's session due to the hurricane... (and I'm sure my parents and Stephen can vouch for my crappy attitude).
Thank you, God, for Lindsey.
I have also been seeing a personal trainer, who has become a great friend as well.
I started with personal training lessons, but now I've been attending her TRX classes 3 times a week, for about 4 weeks now.
This could quite possibly be saving my sanity...
Whether I'm taking my frustrations out, or it's just releasing endorphins... I don't know.
But I love it.
I love Jenn. I love her spunk and her energy.
She's extremely inspirational.
I met her a while back when Tripp was still here with me. She came to visit with my dear friend Amy, who introduced us. She talked to me about some exercises and nutrition that day, but had wanted me to start coming to her class. It wasn't until about a month ago that I decided to take her up on it. And I'm SO glad that I did. I've met so many great girls at the gym and it really has done wonders for my mind and body! You can visit Jenn's website HERE. And if you want any tips or inspiration on getting your body back after having a baby, check out her book Mommy Movement.
Jenn is someone I look up to her in so many ways. She really CARES about her clients and works so hard to help us feel good physically and mentally!
Thank you, God, for great friends that lead to more great friends.
And oh yeah...
My sister is pregnant!
She and Mike are having a baby boy, due on December 22 of this year. I know, I know... I've kept this secret from you guys for a little while too, I'm sorry!
This is such a special time for them, and I am so happy for my amazing sister and brother-in-law.
I can't wait for them to get to experience the love of a child. Because there is absolutely no other love like it. They will be excellent parents, for sure.
This, of course, is another bittersweet moment for me in life (just as most things have been) because
I think about Tripp not being able to play with his new baby cousin- or even get to meet him.
But at the same time, I can't wait to tell my new sweet little nephew about his brave and amazing older cousin who lives with Jesus in heaven.
Both our family and Mike's amazing family are super excited to meet this new sweet baby.
I quickly volunteered myself as his godmother, simply for the fact that I, not only will be the best Nanny, but also because I told my sister I would disown her if I wasn't chosen for his godmother;) Sorry, Mike... hope that is okay. I'm usually not that bossy.
So that's just some things that have been going on in my every day life. Seeing my counselor, working out at an amazing new gym, and spending time with family. Now... for the some of the big events that are coming up (Sorry, I figured this would be a long post since it's been a while).
Don't leave yet!! I'm almost done!!
The first upcoming event that I'm involved in is an annual fundraising dinner for The Restoration House here in Hammond, LA. The Restoration House is introducing "The Great Turn-Around!" And I am SO honored to have been asked to be the guest speaker at this event. This is an amazing local non-profit organization with a cause that hits close to home. The Restoration House is dedicated to helping women who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. They offer free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, lay counseling and education classes to these women. Some of these women get to actually SEE their babies through an ultrasound and get to see LIFE. This organization "protects life and restores hope" (their motto). And when I think of Tripp, I think of LIFE. I think of everything that his little short LIFE gave to me. I think about how hard I fought for his LIFE. So I am humbled and honored that they chose me to speak for such an amazing cause. I hope to make them proud and hope to help them to raise the money they need to continuing helping our community.
The event will be held on September 20, 2012 at 6:30pm.
It will be located at Chesterton Square here in Ponchatoula.
It is a FREE event to attend. You just need to reserve your seat in advance. If you would like to contribute, you can become a sponsor. Or there will also be ways of contributing at the end of the event. Here is the link to be able to register for the event. Remember- it is free to register, but you need to reserve your seat if you want to attend. There are approximately 180 seats left.
If you aren't local and won't be able to attend, you can Donate to this amazing cause... click HERE to ready about the Restoration House and what they do, and there is a donation button at the bottom of the page! Just FYI... the people running this organization are some of the most sincere people that I've ever met. They truly love what they do. They inspire me to want to do more in my community.
I don't know if I've mentioned this on my blog yet. A few months after Tripp passed away, I got a call from the executive director of DebRA, Brett Koplean. He asked me if I would accept the DebRA Spirit Award this year. Previously each year, this award is given to a person WITH EB. But he told me that this year, they wanted to give it to me. Talk about an incredible HONOR! Because trust me, I do NOT feel like I deserve to be honored more than someone who actually lives with this disease (they are my heroes). But I knew that I was accepting this honor to be able to speak in Tripp's name. To be able to be HIS voice for this disease just like I've tried to do for the past 3 years. And to also show this disease from a different perspective... being a parent of a child with EB.
SO... I will be speaking at DebRA's 14th Annual Mats Wilander Tennis & Golf Benefit in New York on October 1st. You can read more about the event HERE.
Mom will be taking the trip with me. We are so excited to be able to get to meet so many people that I already feel like I've known for years! I want to thank Brett Koplean and everyone at DebRA for this amazing honor.
Mom and I are hoping and praying that everything works out and that we will possibly get the chance to go on set and watch a taping of the new season of Sesame Street while we are in New York. Elmo (Kevin Clash) and his assistant Kimberly (and pretty much the whole team at Sesame Street) have been so amazing to us. They were supposed to fly Elmo here to meet Tripp the week before he went to be with Jesus. But it was too late. After that, they were so kind and said that they were devastated that it didn't work out and that they wanted to offer us to come to New York and watch a taping of Sesame Street and be able to meet everyone there who had been involved in making the CD's for Tripp. So we are hoping that both of these events will be able to coincide and that the timing will be right. I think that would make my LIFE to be able to actually meet the man whose voice made my baby boy smile the biggest.
Ok... So maybe it took him a little while to warm up.