The Knot.

The Knot.

**kleenex warning**

Conversations are swirling in my head, making about as much sense as they did during those 3 long days 9 years ago. A lot of words were said. Hope was tossed around. Hope was taken right back, like that “gimme five,up high, down low, too slow” game.

The thoughts in my head, they’re getting knotted up and confusing.

The knot formed by all the swirling thoughts gets tighter in my stomach as I’m remembering.


That’s a funny thing. I want so desperately to remember. But I want so desperately to forget.

The things I want to remember are the simple, tangible, normal moments.

The moments where we walked the track in Byron at Relay for Life, with me wearing a baby and only letting people touch his little toes. The moments where Jason grabbed the camera and snapped pictures of us while I blushed because I hate having my picture taken.

I want to remember bringing him home from the hospital on Memorial Day after he had to stay because he was jaundiced. I want to remember my friends coming to visit and oohing and aahing over him.

The moments I want to remember are the ones that are slipping away. The sounds of him sleeping, the smell of his fresh-bathed skin, the feel of his fuzzy hair. I long for those details to stay with me. But they are the ones that are slowly drifting away.

I want to forget the words that were said in the hospital, sentences that will forever be engraved in my memory. They’re the memories that tie my stomach into a double knot and force my heart into my throat because I start thinking of the enormity of it all.

I want to forget the memory of sitting with the funeral director choosing a tiny casket on the day he was supposed to be born. That day also happened to be Father’s Day.

I want to forget the sight of my strong and brave husband standing at the pulpit of the church giving a eulogy for his first-born son. I never want to forget what he said, though.

Really, I don’t want to forget those moments so much as I want for it to never have happened.

I want to trade the knot in my stomach that holds all my pain for just a little more time with my Charlie.

But I can’t.

It wasn’t and isn’t in my cards. 

Image via Flickr, Creative Commons

Surprised By The Anger

Surprised By The Anger

Yesterday started with the alarm on my iPhone going off. I hit snooze, rolled over and snuggled up with Henry. Jason’s out of town so he stays in my bed when we’re home alone. I figure I can save him faster if something happens.

The morning routine went really well, especially considering lately it’s been a yell-fest in the mornings. It was a morning full of “yes ma’ams” and “okays.”

Maybe the promise of field day and birthday cake helped. I don’t know!

Charlie’s birthday cake was pulled out. The candle was lit. We sang “Happy Birthday” in our off-key morning voices and cut two big pieces of cake for breakfast.

We celebrated a 9 year old who will forever be 24 days old. Our son, Henry’s brother. Our Charlie.

And it was everything we hoped it would be!

I shuffled the kiddo off to school and sat down, taking time with my Starbucks chai and taking in all the love pouring in from FB, twitter and the comments on yesterday’s post.

You know how I’ve talked a lot about grief being like a rock in your shoe? Well, that rock in your shoe can come in any of the stages of grief. Today I was saddled with Anger.

It crept in slowly, invading my thoughts more and more each minute.

I’m angry.

Mr. Angry

I’m angry because it’s just completely unfair that ANY parent should have to live the rest of their lives without their children.

I’m angry because WHY was my family the one in a bazillion whose child will die from late onset Group B Strep?

I’m angry that I didn’t have the foresight or someone to tell me that I needed to take pictures of us as a family in those last hours.

I’m angry because as much as I’ve tried to rid myself of any guilt over “possibly” being the cause of his death, it sneaks in and makes me doubt myself. I don’t like feeling guilty for something that can never be known. Yet I do.

I’m angry because I have friends who, because of Charlie, are scared that THEIR child is going to die. While he’s helped so many, he’s also made people realize their children aren’t promised for a lifetime either.

I’m angry because I have to wait (hopefully) a long time to see him again.

I’m angry that Henry will never know him.

I’m angry that he’ll never go to prom, get married, have a job, have children, HAVE FUN.

I’m angry because I want new friends to know him.

I’m angry because I don’t want a guardian angel with a name. I WANT MY BABY BACK.

I’m mostly angry that I’m angry.

Nine years later, I’m still angry. How will I feel in 50 more years? Will it still cut me to the core like it did yesterday?

Most days I feel like I’m okay. I mean, I AM okay.

But yesterday? I was angry and it caught me off guard.


Today is a new day. One that will bring a much-needed shower, healthier food, my husband back from backpacking and answers to a question that’s been looming for a few months. And the best part is, I woke up not feeling angry.

I’m sure it’ll be a good day.


Nine. 9. IX. Nueve.

Nine. 9. IX. Nueve.

9 years.

3288 days.

78,912 hours

284,083,200 seconds.

That’s how long it’s been since you entered this world.

After hours and hours of labor, you came screeching into our lives.

Pink and skinny. A few weeks early.

Hungry and squirmy. Glad to have room to move.

The light of our lives. The answer to our prayers.

Our hopes and dreams were handed to us in a pink and blue striped blanket, swaddled as tight as a burrito.

At 9:19pm on May 21, 2003, we became a family of three.

Complete. Whole.


Happy Birthday, Charlie!

May Heaven be extra sparkly and the source of endless chocolate cake today.

Don’t forget to share with your friends! 

We’ll be celebrating with chocolate cake and pizza and wishing you were here to enjoy it.


I am honored and flattered and strangely speechless about being the first feature in my friend Erin’s new series, Show Me YOUR Roots.

The prompt is to write about what brought you to the place you are in now — personally, professionally, in regards to your blogging/writing.

I hope you’ll click over and read. Erin is a brilliant writer and I’m sure you’ll want to add her site to your reader as well.



Previously on Jana’s Thinking Place…

Did you read the title like the beginning of LOST? All dramatic and mysterious?

If not, go back and try again. I’ll wait. I’ve got nothing better to do.

So today finds me sick and grumpy.

I KNOW, right?  I’m never grumpy. But I am today for some reason. The kiddo is being good(ish) and is playing and watching TV and generally being lazy because it’s too hot to do anything else. School starts in 10 days and both of us are oh-so-ready.

We’re just jamming to Phineas and Ferb sing about how much they love and miss Perry the Platypus. Eating biscuits with butter and blueberry preserves. Trying to stay cool and sane. Watching the Chipmunks (Who thinks that Chipmunks going to school is normal? They just carry on like it’s no big deal that furry rodent things are roaming their schools in monogrammed sweaters) and doing budgets.

The exciting news today is that I’m syndicated on BlogHer!

Syndicated on

It’s my maiden voyage over there and I couldn’t be more thrilled! See my cute new button over on the sidebar? That’s my badge of awesomeness.

Some of you will recognize part of the post but it IS different.

Without further ado…

Playing the Hand I Was Dealt on BlogHer!

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