His Heart In My Hands

His Heart In My Hands

I’ve been asked to include a Kleenex warning on this post. Consider yourselves warned! 

It’s been a rough week ’round these parts between me and the mini me. There have been heads butting, attitudes showing their ugly faces and voices being raised. It’s ain’t been purty, y’all.

I’ve yelled more than I should and I’m not proud of that. Henry has said “I hate you” more than he should. He hasn’t ridden his bike to school all week as punishment. I may or may not have threatened to make him wash all of his clothes, cook his own food and pay his own rent if he didn’t shape up. Maybe.

Jason has had to be the bad guy, the one I threaten to call to “let him handle it” and the one who GETS to handle it when he gets home. Ugh. I don’t like that I’ve had to stoop to that. I hated it when my mom used to threaten to tell my Daddy when he got home.

Tonight I had to make good on a threat and put Henry to bed early — and without supper! Like 6:30 early. It had to be done. I sat with him and we talked about a magazine and school and how he was going to respect me more. We were both mad and frustrated (and tired).

Then he asked me to stay while he tried to go to sleep. He rolled over and placed my hand over his heart — covered by his own small hand, and pressed as hard as he could. His other hand held on to his beloved Muffins like his life depended on it.

I couldn’t move. I was paralyzed with love. I laid there for 45 minutes with his heart beating in perfect rhythm in my hand. I couldn’t get up and lose the moment. It felt like I could just reach in and grab his heart if I wanted to. I watched him doze off into dreamland, eyes twitching and mouth moving slightly — in awe that he belonged to me.

As I held his heart in my hand and he held my hand in his, I also realized how much like his brother he really is.

Yes, I realize that I’m comparing a 6 pound newborn to a 60 pound first grader.

When he sleeps, they have the same skin and eyes and droop on one side of their mouth. Their heads are shaped the same and their DNA is the same.

It’s very rare that I stop and think, “What would life be like if Charlie and Henry were growing up together?” I think I just don’t allow myself to think about it because it hurts so much to imagine it. But moments like these, where I realize how much they look alike and how I’m sure their personalities would be complimentary to each others, make me breathe a really heavy sigh. One that takes my breath away and my whole body feels it.

It’s moments like this when I really remember that I have two sons and not just Henry and “Charlie, our first son who died when he was 24 days old.” They’re Brothers. BROTHERS!!!

But one is here and one isn’t.

One has a beating heart and one doesn’t.

One lives inside my heart and the other can say words that can break my heart.

I watched my beautiful, innocent, sensitive and sassy son sleep for the longest time. I realized that Jason and I MADE him. And I remembered that before we made him, we made another one almost just like him. We created two miracles. How awesome is that?

And tonight, with his little hand moving my hand to his heart, feeling the life flowing through his body, realizing that he is here and beautiful and OURS… I realized I need to step back and cherish every one of the moments I have.

Because whether they’re good moments or bad moments, once a moment is gone you can’t get it back.

He has my heart!

 

Thirteen

Thirteen

 …for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, ’til death do us part…

September 26, 1998

Thirteen years.

Seems like a lifetime, especially when you figure that I was a fresh-faced 22 year old only 3 weeks out of college when I stood in front of my fiance and said the biggest promises of my life.

With friends and family and even a renegade celebrity (yes, I’m looking at you Fred Couples — at least you could’ve put on a nicer shirt and brought a gift) we promised to love, honor and cherish each other until death does us part.

We’ve made it through better and worse.

We’ve made it through sickness and health.

We’ve made it through good times and bad — possibly the worst. The “bad” that statistics say will break you up for sure.

We’ve made it through these things several times over and still? Here we are!

This year, I hope to make more date nights and spring for babysitters so we can go out and enjoy each other’s company without a small person interrupting every other sentence.

I love you, Jason, and hope the next 13 have the same great moments as the first 13 and that the bad stays away!

*********************************

On that same note, this weekend we got together with 6 of my friends from growing up. Most of us have been friends since we were born, literally. We discussed marriage and realized that together, 7 couples have a combined 69 years of marriage and zero divorces. We talked about how hard marriage is and that it’s a lot of WORK. We’re all very proud of our long marriages (range from 14 years to 5 years) and can’t wait to add them up in a few years!!

The Power of Believing In Something

 

This week I had the honor of sitting with a mom who graciously invited me, a stranger though we have mutual friends, into her home to talk about grieving the daughter she had said a final goodbye to only 11 days earlier. I say this is an honor, as strange as that may sound, because I view it as a gift I have been given — not a gift I love having, but one I will always use for good.

In this conversation, I was struck by how amazingly peaceful she was. She and her family had known since week 16 of her pregnancy that the baby would be born with Trisomy 18 and may only live a few hours, a few days, or if they were truly blessed, a week or more.

They were given 23 days with their perfect daughter to love her, feed her, bathe her, dress her and be a complete family with her. It was more than they ever expected.

We talked about how much peace you can find when you believe that ________ had a hand in it. You can fill in your own blank with God, The Universe, multiple gods, The Messiah, karma, the gnome that looks like Snoopy in your back yard… whatever you believe in.

I don’t discuss religion as a general rule on this site for several reasons. One is that we don’t all believe the same thing and I can have great content without putting off any readers who don’t agree with my personal beliefs. Another is that I consider myself a Quiet Christian. We go to church and Sunday School. We pray. But I don’t think that everyone has to believe MY way or the Christian way so I don’t push.

But I do think that everyone should believe in SOMETHING. Anything.

Believing gives you a sense of comfort, knowing that there is something for you to hold on to in good times and in bad. In good times, you can be thankful for what you’ve been given. And in bad times, it gives you hope that there is a purpose behind what you’re going through. It doesn’t take away the pain and sadness by any means, but it gives you something to hold on to.

On my darkest days, I find comfort knowing that {my} God has promised me Eternal Life and that one day I will be reunited with my son.

This mom and I agreed that knowing that {our} God had a hand in both of our situations was comforting.

He gave her a perfect baby with ten fingers and toes, a beautiful complexion and let her soak up 23 whole days with her when she was guaranteed none of those. As perfect as she appeared, though, she was broken on the inside, but that was in The Plan. No, it’s not fair. Yes, it’s shitty. Yes, I wish this NEVER HAPPENED. But she believes, as I believe, that we are given gifts in this life — some that are good and some that are bad, but all are gifts that can be used.

We agreed that the loss is new and even as much as you prepare for it, a loss is a loss. It’s out of order for a child to die first. It feels like too much sometimes and always feels like a part of your heart is missing. She will more than likely come out of the fog and go through all the normal stages of grief.

But her faith in God and belief that she was given a gift will carry her through it. My gut (which is rarely wrong) tells me that she will touch so many lives — more than baby H already has — with her story and strength.

So today, I’m asking you to take away three things.

  1. Cherish every single second, good and bad, that you have with people you love.
  2. Believe in something. Believe that there is a power bigger than you that is watching and protecting you and providing you with lessons and experiences that you will use in life.
  3. Never underestimate what just “being there” can do for someone else. Reach out. Even if it’s uncomfortable. It means a lot to people.

Where I’m From


Mama’s Losin’ It

I am from jewelry, from peach orchards and droves of Blue Bird buses.

I am from the  South… the hot and humid South.

I am from the red clay and the cotton fields of Small Town Georgia.

I am from Christmas Eve at Grannie’s, from Dennis and Peggy, Mary and Neal, Mollie and Elmer.

I am from Hinky Binky stories and epic Gingerbread Men escapes.

I am from Christianity and private school.

I am from listening to Auburn football on the radio.

I am from airplanes and orange Opel GTs.

I’m from British ancestry, from the relatives of Princess Diana and Pocahontas. (So I’ve been told)

I am from fish sticks and mac & cheese, olive sandwiches and roughin’ it.

I am from love, respect, hard work and Rock & Roll.

I am proud of where I’m from!

 

It’s Fundraising Time for Everybody!

It’s Fundraising Time for Everybody!

Aah, Fall! It’s fundraising time for everybody.

Just last week, in the matter of 5 hours, we got two different fundraisers for Henry to participate in. They do a Boosterthon Fun Run at school that requires pledges per lap. Pretty groovy little event actually.

Then he got the information for popcorn sales for his Cub Scout Den. We spent an hour yesterday at the Ace Hardware here in Dunwoody trying to con unsuspecting customers into buying overpriced (but really good) popcorn to support our adorable little Den. I mean, who WOULDN’T want to buy from these guys?

Little Tiger Cubs!

Today, the Band Back Together Auction is live. We have some amazing items for you to bid on. The proceeds go to helping us finalize our non-profit status and to maintain the site so we can keep it ad-free!

We would love for you to bid, share it, bid some more and get excited about it! Click the button to go straight to the site!

 

Wishing you all a wonderful week and hoping that your kiddos aren’t being as obnoxious as mine is about the crazy prizes he has OMGGOTTOWINORHEWILLDIE!

 

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