Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Our big girl!

Our big girl!
Growing so fast!

Kylie 1 day old

Kylie 1 day old
Curling up

Bryleigh Addison

Bryleigh Addison
Our youngest miracle


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Friday, March 29, 2013


Wow. When you think of Spring Break, you think of rest, relaxation, no work, quiet time, enjoyment, etc. Not this Spring Break. Not for me. Not for our little family. On Monday, I had to have a ganglion cyst removed from my right wrist, along with a clean-up of some tendonitis that was really affecting my movement and usage of my hand. Recovery has been proving more difficult than I first thought; I have been pretty sore and limited in my mobility. I was pretty much out of it on Monday and Tuesday.Yesterday, we had court at 9:00, and due to the recommendation of the guardian ad litem, the case is now CLOSED. Jaycee is in our full physical and legal custody, no more monitoring with lawyers or judges. Life can resume as normal. Praise God for that news!

Yesterday afternoon, I took Jaycee and Bryleigh to the dentist. The dentist checked out Bry's teeth, and there is no plaque, no build up, no problems, no issues. Perfect! Though, Bryleigh did NOT appreciate the dentist looking in her mouth. Jaycee, however, has some issues we have to handle in the next few months. She has some partial nerve removals we have to do because she was never allowed to see a dentist until we got her under our insurance in September. This summer will be interesting for her, bless her heart :(. And right now, she doesn't have any signs of loose teeth, but he thinks that will happen soon. She's so ready for teeth to come out! But there were no new issues at the appointment yesterday, and he said that was a REALLY good sign.

In the midst of all that, I took the girls to lunch and then we went shoe shopping. Jaycee needed cleats, and each girl needed sandals for Easter. Luckily, I hit the jackpot; $25 on 2 pair of sandals and a pair of cleats, TOTAL! =)

This morning was by far the most difficult thing. We had to be at the Surgery Center at 6:00 this morning for Bryleigh to have her tubes put in her ears. Now, don't get me wrong. I am thankful we finally got her tubes, because it has been a long, miserable 8 months of little sleep, lots of crying, antibiotics, weekend doctor visits, and more. Sweet baby has gone through a lot of pain and misery to get here. However, I was NOT happy about trusting someone else with my baby girl for any period of time, and apparently, when Bryleigh realized where she was, she wasn't happy about it either.

The doctor, anesthesiologist, and nurses were all so comforting and reassuring for us, and they explained everything in as much detail as possible. When the nurses "swooped" her away, she cried all the way down the hall, and I could still hear her through the double doors, and it just ripped my heart right out of my chest! We went down to the waiting area, where I quickly sent a text to my family and a few others who were waiting to hear about her procedure, then I went to the restroom, and then came back to find that Jaycee was waiting to talk to me on the phone. That child is always my saving grace. I didn't have time to panic or think about panicking because she was on the phone, being sweet and precious as always. She always, ALWAYS returns me to a place of thoughtfulness and to forget what I was so worried about. God definitely gave me a gift in her, and I am still in awe that He has granted our wishes by giving her to our family; she is OURS. And so, by the time I hung up with this amazingly sweet 5-year-old, a nurse was telling us that Bryleigh was in recovery and the doctor would speak with us in a minute. He came in, and answered all questions, described what happened, and said she did amazing and didn't really cry back there. What a blessing! Of course, minutes later, they bring her to me, and she sees me and starts crying (she knows how to tug on Momma's heart strings), but she was happy with her cup, and then of course, her thumb.

Since we've been home, she's been asleep, but I have been reflecting on this week and just thankful for a job that gives me a week at home so that things like this can happen without taking sick leave, etc. The amazing thing is that I wouldn't have done anything different this break. I needed the surgery and needed the relief. Bryleigh needed surgery so she can have relief. Our family needed the reassurance of the court case being closed (still cannot thank God enough for this gift!). It is also a stark reminder that we are blessed in all things, big and small, even if we see them as burdens. We serve a great and mighty God who knows what we need and knows what we can handle. He loves us, and for that, I am eternally grateful. What a beautiful reminder this Easter weekend of the love and sacrifice of God with the death of his one and only son, who died for US. He died for me, for you, for everyone. What a humbling feeling. After this week, He is still God. He will always be God, and no matter what trials or triumphs we go through, I will praise Him and give honor and glory to HIM. This has been a beautiful week, because I am a child of God, and He has been with me each step of the way. =)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Stressing out, as always.

This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the March of Dimes, and by the grace of God, we have been chosen as the 2013 Huntsville March for Babies Ambassador Family. Those two things in one year are just HUGE. I've been hard at work over the past month preparing information, getting our story out there, recording PSAs, working on billboard information, working on March of Dimes event invites, fundraisers, etc.

On top of all of this, we are closing on our new house this Wednesday, so we are packing and moving. We are still trying to run the online parent support group, Jaycee has dance on Tuesdays, Awana's on Wednesdays, and now Taekwondo on Mondays and Thursdays. I am super excited that she is so involved, but right now our schedule looks like a train wreck! We'll be moving through the three day weekend, and then Tuesday, our fundraisers begin...

Tuesday, Jan. 22- Mi Casa night in Harvest, Alabama from 6-8:30 (Publix shopping center on Hwy 53)
Friday, Jan. 25- Thirty One fundraiser at Kids Care Daycare in Toney.
February 9- Whimsical Art painting fundraiser at 6:00 P.M. at the Toney Volunteer Fire Dept. Station 1.

We have Family Fun day hopefully the first week of April. We are hoping to do our annual cut-a-thon. We have to get collection bins out in a week or two. We have flyers to make and pass out.

I'm so worried that people won't participate this year like they have been, even though I've been trying so hard to get people to join the team, make their own teams, etc. I have tried to do a variety of fundraisers so that it isn't the same ole' same ole, but I really want them to be successful. I put so much time and effort into them because I want people to get a great experience from it, yanno? I stress about everything, I guess, but it works me into an anxiety attack!

Praying for peace and for the ability to keep on working hard on it... pray that I keep the anxiety down and just let it go as it will. =)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Growing in many ways...

Over the past several years, my life has changed drastically. In just the past year, I have changed more than I thought possible in that time period.

In a year's time, I've re-dedicated myself to God, been baptized, took on a role as Mommy of 2 very busy earthly angels and continued my journey as a parent to a heavenly angel, made decisions to finally buy a home again, worked so hard to have an awesome start, took on a role of responsibility at work beyond just teaching in the classroom, and so many other things.

In a year's time, I've lost my precious, most amazing Granddaddy. I've watched my best friend go through grieving for her mom and grandfather. I've hurt for my own child, and for others. I've met new friends because of infant/pregnancy loss. I've experienced hurt.

I've seen joy and happiness in watching my beautiful girls grow; I've watched Bryleigh complete many milestones, from rolling over, to sitting, to pulling up, to crawling. I've watched Jaycee start school. We were blessed beyond measure with the awarding of custody to us, the desire of our heart for the past nearly 5 years. We were granted a peace and a hope that our sweet girl does belong with us.

I've learned about my strengths and weaknesses. I've pulled away from some of my former passions to put time and energy into new ones. I've devoted myself to helping others, and I have learned that I still have a lot to learn.

This morning, I had a huge lesson. Last night, a person I have known (only on the computer) for over 13 years made statement that greatly offended me and hurt me, as it was a tasteless joke about abortion. I made a comment about it, and then someone said something not so nice, and the "friend" of mine tried to say it was all in fun. I private messaged this person to explain that at some point in life, you have to have some kind of regard for the people you care about and know when things are tacky and tasteless and when things are okay. Abortion isn't really something to "joke" about- it's fine if you don't want kids, or don't like kids, but with the "freedom of speech" thing comes a responsibility (that last part I thought of after I sent the message). But I told him that he would never really know what I went through, how it affects me, and so on.

The message I received back should have horrified me, shocked me, or tore me to pieces- well, the old me, anyway. Instead, I realized something. The minute I read things such as "You can't expect people to identify with you anymore." and made comments about how I always expected people to be sad with me forever, but he didn't care about Kylie, because he didn't know her, he just hurt for me for a little while... well, I don't expect anyone to be sad with me. There was so much more to the letter, but just those things... I read them, and I made a decision. I wasn't mad. I wasn't crying. I wasn't hurting. I just decided instantly that God did not intend for that person to stay in my life. The people who truly care about me, who truly know me, who truly want to be a part of my life will always know that Kylie is a part of who I am, and though I don't expect anyone to be sad or know every detail about her and remember it, those who are personally close to me will not ever forget it anyway.

And because of that decision, I deleted the Facebook friendship. And I feel good. I forgive him for his comments, and forgiving does not mean I have to continue to keep something going that wasn't really a friendship for a long time anyway. This small moment happened for a reason, but it taught me something valuable. Yes, I get sensitive and take things personally, but unlike what he said, I didn't become that way because of losing Kylie. I was that way before. Sometimes, life experiences change us and put us in a place we never anticipated being, but that's okay. God has a plan for me, and God will continue leading me down the path he wishes for me to take.

Tonight, I celebrate the ability to be strong. I celebrate growth and constant learning. I celebrate the opportunities to test my faith and strength. I embrace who I am, and I'm not looking back on anything with regrets. I am who I am, and I am proud that I can admit that now.

May God bless each of you as He has blessed me!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Supporting those who grieve

In the initial days, weeks, and months after a loss of any kind, the grieiving ones find themselves surrounded with love, support, kind words, hugs, and sympathy from all over. As a year approaches, we often find that people again are sympathetic for that day or two, and then, it is dropped. After the one year mark, you are expected to be okay. You are expected to move on, to forget about the loss, to not talk about it anymore. That is of course, all of these things happen if your loss was "noticeable" to others. People are more likely to be okay with extended grieving if it's a spouse, a parent, a child that lived on this earth. People are NOT as likely to be okay with extended grieving for a pregnancy loss, or loss of a baby who did not have a chance to live on earth or who did not live a long time on this earth. Why? Because we don't want to acknowledge that people lose babies. Every day I offer myself as a source of support for grieving families and parents, and I see so many things that infuriate me and break my heart when it comes to how OTHER people handle the grieving person.

I have noticed that the longer time goes on since I lost Kylie, the less people want to talk about her, the less people want to support us in our grief, the less people want me to share her story. I have found that people have a hard time being sympathetic now that we are three years into this journey. At her one year angelversary, so many people commented on our Facebook walls, expressing their concern, sorrow, sympathy, and hurt for us. Three years? Not near so many. Three years for Chris? Almost no one acknowledged his pain as a father for the child he so dearly loves but could not protect and save. 

It made me think about things and grief and the unfair time frames we put on ourselves and on others. We have all been told in grief support groups that true heavy grieving can last on average 1-2 years, but in reality, grief lasts a life time. We will always miss our children, our loved ones. We will always have a difficult time at the holidays knowing there is a missing seat at the table. We will know in our family pictures that someone isn't there that should be. We will recognize the emptiness on family vacations, on dinners out. We will always know what other people do not see, and that is the pain of living each day without the precious child that was supposed to be there. 

I'm not saying people should dote on baby loss moms more than anyone else. But what I have come to notice is that as time goes by, we forget that moms are hurting and that families are hurting, and then we think, because we have moved on and are no longer affected by the pain that these families have, or because they don't talk about it as much anymore, that they have moved on too. And that isn't the case. We expect them to "magically" be okay in a certain amount of time, and then we down them for what we will never understand. 

My best friend lost her mother in September of this year. A month later, she lost her grandfather. In two months, she had two significant losses. As she was dealing with her mom's funeral, she had to take care of her grandfather's health and get him to a hospital, and she handled most of his health decisions and care for the next month until he passed. As I stood by her, trying to be any kind of support I could be, I noticed that for her mother's passing- people poured out love and support for the loss of her mom in those initial days and weeks. But even now, three short months later, the support and thought of her mom isn't there. We talk a lot about things I used to say (and still do) since losing Kylie, and how she understands them so much more now because it's true. It's like, everyone else moves on, and you are stuck standing still in this horrible bubble that is reality. And the hardest part for  me to watch was how few people came to support her in the loss of her grandfather compared to her mother. Not that it is a competition, but it just shows to me how people handle dealing with loss and how people view it. 

Less than a month ago, I lost my granddaddy, a man who has been a hero in my life since day one. He is a man I have always put on a pedestal, a man I have always been so fond of. From the day I was born, he was my number 1 fan, and I spent so much time with him while growing up. Every Saturday, he came to see me. When I was younger and went to the babysitter's, he would pick me up early almost every day. As I got older and could drive, I would go eat lunch with them on school holidays and during the summer, or just go visit on Saturdays. When Jaycee, Nick, Kylie, and Bryleigh all came into our lives, we spent time visiting with the kids. Granddaddy and Granny went to the NICU multiple times of Kylie's sweet little life to visit her and spend time with her. My Granddaddy was a special, special man, and every single day, I have cried. I have hurt, I have missed him, and I have wished so much that things were different. He died on my 29th birthday. For 29 years, I was blessed with the best grandfather anyone could ever have. He truly, truly, truly loved his family, and he would do anything for any of us. He was so proud of us, and he loved his grandchildren and great-grandchildren more than any words could ever express. And I did have some support, and words of kindness and sorrow, but not nearly as much as I would have thought, and barely anyone checks to see how I am feeling, how my sister is feeling, how my mom and dad are feeling, or my uncles, aunts, or cousin is feeling. Each day, Jaycee tells me she misses her Granddaddy, and my heart breaks because no one is checking on HER and her pain... 

When people die at an old age, it is easy to think that people just deal with it easily and get over it more quickly, so we just don't offer much support for them because they have to go back to work so soon, have to get back into the routine of things, have to care for their children, have to do this, that, and the other. I had to go back to work just a few days after Granddaddy's passing. It's like going back to work makes it official, and people expect that you're ready to live life and move on and go on to being "normal." However, it's not that simple. Life doesn't just go back to normal. You have to find a new normal. And just because someone gets back into the daily routine because they have to pay their bills and provide for their families doesn't mean that they aren't still hurting, suffering, and sad. 

When people die suddenly, unexpectedly, young, middle-aged, or old, it is a bit easier for people to offer more support- they are shocked, too. But soon, the routines of life go back to being normal for them, and it is so easy to forget the pain and suffering that someone is going through internally. 

Do you ever wonder why people stop talking about their own grief? It's because they've been told they should stop talking about it, or they've been made to feel that talking about it isn't  healthy, or they've been told that it's time to move on. It is so easy to make a grieving person feel uncomfortable, and so many people do a good job of hurting the grievers more than helping them. By telling someone "it's time to move on," or "no one wants to hear about it anymore," "are you ever going to get over it?" "don't you have anything else to talk about?" "your mom wouldn't want you to be sad all the time" ... the list just goes on... by telling someone those things, you are hurting them. A huge way to get through dark grief is to talk about it, to talk about the person you miss, etc. 

Another problem I see comes with miscarriage. People have a hard time accepting that mothers can be and should be emotionally attached to a child they have not yet held in their arms. From the time conception occurs, a new life has formed. A true mother loves her children no matter what, and loves them from even before she conceives; seeing your baby on ultrasound, hearing a heart beat, seeing a little butter bean, they are all parts of the wonder and joy of motherhood. Knowing that you are carrying such a tiny, perfect life within your womb, a little life that you are responsible for, well, that is just such an overwhelming since of pride, responsibility, and excitement. For mothers who miscarry, guilt is overwhelming. Questions of "what did I do wrong?" "Why couldn't I carry this child?" "What happened?" "How could I have done this differently.." "What if..." "If only.." - those thoughts haunt a mother's mind who would do anything NOT to lose this baby. I have found that those who have had miscarriages get the most hurtful statements, the least understanding comments, and even fewer supporters than any other situation. Why? Because no one else could see/hear/feel what the mother (and father) felt. It is hard to understand what we do not know/see/etc. However, that doesn't meant that they do not hurt, and it doesn't mean that they will ever forget this pain. They need support, and they need to have their losses acknowledged as well. 

Something I haven't told a lot of people, is that when pregnant with Kylie, it seems that we had two babies, TWINS, which caused problems in the beginning of the pregnancy, which is why things started off rocky. It seems, from an ultrasound at my fertility doctor's office after my OB/GYN refused to do an earlier ultrasound (we were concerned about the possibility of twin pregnancy with one being in the uterus and one being in the tube from my symptoms), it seems that there was a baby behind Kylie, and was already not making it- which is called vanishing twin syndrome. The twin was basically absorbed, and though I was so sad because twins would have been amazing, I realize now that that sweet baby was giving Kylie a chance at life. Though my situation isn't the same as others, I essentially lost 2 babies, not just one, and it wouldn't matter now anyway, but the thought of a miscarriage terrified me, and is always in my mind when considering another baby and was when I was pregnant with Bryleigh. 

I say all this to say that anyone who has suffered a loss will always miss their loved one and will always hurt. Just because the person had a long life on earth, or never had the chance to be held or breathe the air on this world, does not mean that the grief is any less and that we shouldn't support our loved ones who grieve. I will always hurt for Kylie, and I will always hurt for Granddaddy. This Christmas, I will be missing both of them for the first time, and though they are together, I ache just thinking about how empty I will feel on that day with no Granddaddy to unwrap presents with. 

Remember that the holidays are difficult for anyone who is missing a loved one... and be there even if it's just to offer a hug and say "I'm always here for you." 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Granddaddy

Yesterday, on November 28, my 29th birthday, my wonderful Granddaddy left this world to join our Savior in Heaven. The pain and hurt just is so difficult to sort through right now, and I am lost and hurt and broken. But, I have so many amazing memories of my Granddaddy, and I am so grateful that we were so incredibly close. He means the world to me, and we have always had a special bond because I was the first grand child. For nearly 5 years, I was the only grandchild, so needless to say, we spent a LOT of time together.

My dad reminds me often that he just laughs when he thinks about  Granddaddy finding out he was going to be a grandfather. For one, he said he was "too young" to be a grandparent, and then the second thing he said was, "Well, I'm  not going to be one of those doting grandfathers." And my dad just laughed, because the minute I was born, he became that "doting" grandfather, and we've been inseperable ever since.

When I was a little girl, I didn't go to daycare; I went to a babysitter. Nearly every day (at least a few times a week), Granddaddy would pick me up early so we could do things together. Sometimes, we went to the park, or to the train depot downtown. Other times, he would take me back to "the office" (the construction company), to a job site, or to his and Granny's house. When I was little, Granny was the secretary at the office, and so I would sit on her desk and she would paint my fingernails and toenails. I would play store with the office supplies in the cabinets. More importantly, I would sit in Granddaddy's lap in his big blue leather chair at his desk, and we would draw and write, and color, and talk. He let me help him write checks, and he even, for a few summers, paid me to work at the office- I made copies and licked envelopes and stamps (before the pre-sticky ones), and cleaned up. On the days that I spent the night at their house, we would go to the office on Saturday mornings to clean. My FAVORITE part about the office visits? The ice cream man. He drove by in the afternoon, and we could hear him coming, so Granddaddy and I would RUN outside to flag him down, and we'd get an ice cream together. My favorite? Mickey Mouse ice cream (the chocolate ears and all, you know, the awesome stuff). He would get a popsicle sometimes, but it just depended on the day.

I spent a lot of time at their house on the weekends, during the week, etc. Every Saturday night was steak night. Granddaddy had a grill built in to the stove in the house, and he would grill our steaks (filet mignon only) on the grill inside the house (how freakin' cool is that?!) and bake the potatoes in the oven, and I will always remember him tossing the potatoes with his oven mitts because they were so hot... and he would take us outside to the backyard and swing with us, and play croquet with us, and the best yet; we got to shoot a BB gun at a Mr. Clean bottle (or anything we could find, really). Every Halloween, we went to their house- Granddaddy loved walking us around the neighborhood to all his friends and neighbors, the same ones who had watched my dad and uncles trick-or-treat, and many of them made us special candy bags. He would walk with his hands in his pocket, or holding one of our hands. He was so proud of us.

Granddaddy had tea parties with me, and watched us dress up in Granny's costume jewelry and high heeled shoes. He took us shopping, and nearly every time he or Granny saw us, they pulled out a $20 bill or a $10, or anything at all. He always made sure that there was plenty of stuff for us to do, and he came to every event that they could possibly come to. Kindergarten graduations, my DARE graduation in 5th grade, 8th grade graduation, high school, and both of my college graduations.

As we got older, it became more important to go to lunch with Granny and Granddaddy. We would go to a few places, but Granddaddy's favorite seemed to be Long Horn. Red Lobster wasn't far behind. Over the past several years, I would make sure that every school holiday, every summer, and every chance we could, we went to lunch together and enjoyed a meal and good company. He always said, as we left, "the food was good, but the company was even better." One of my most favorite places to visit with him was Big Spring Cafe. Love, love, LOVE going there, and sitting on the stool at the counter beside him. He always seemed so proud to have any of his grandchildren as a lunch date, a breakfast date, a dinner date, or just hanging around.

Growing up, we also had Auburn season football tickets. The WHOLE family- Granddaddy, Granny, Uncle Mark, Aunt Linda, Brad, my parents, me and Sissy... we all sat together for years. Granddaddy would take us to the playground to play when we arrived in Auburn. He would buy us pom-poms at the gift shop. He would cuddle close to us when we were cold, and he would take us to breakfast at the cafeteria... he did everything with us. We loved every minute of being with him.

While many people on the business side, or even older adults in the family, saw the Lanford streak of stubbornness, or the commanding way that he could speak, or the forceful nature he had, that side almost never came out to his grandchildren. He was always gentle, kind, and happy with us. Always.

So many things make me think of Granddaddy. Granddaddy LOVED IBC Cream Soda. He loved Klondike bars. His favorite meal was a steak dinner with baked potato (and again, a filet mignon only). He used to keep strawberry candies AND caramel squares in his office. He preferred water to drink. He always kept Citrus Magic spray in the bathrooms at his house and the office. He loved old westerns and old country music. He loved guitars, and he loved the holiday gatherings with us. He always carried a hanky. Terry's Pizza. Dessert- he had a sweet tooth for sure. Basset hounds. Dress slacks and button up shirts no matter what. Cadillacs with leather seats. Money clips. Auburn football. The list goes on and on...

My heart hurts so bad, but I am so, so grateful that I have 29 years of memories, love, and laughter with one of the most amazing men I've ever met. He demonstrated what a long, happy marriage is about. He held doors open for all women. He called us "doll" and "hun". He loved to play with the kids, and his laugh still echoes in my soul. He would scare the heck out of us with his powerful sneeze, but it always made us giggle.

Three years ago, when my Kylie was born, he and Granny went to visit her many times. And when we lost her, he felt so heart-broken, not only because he lost her, too, but because he couldn't fix my hurt. Even up until last Wednesday, mentioning Kylie put tears in his eyes. He loves her, too, and missed her. My great joy in the midst of all of this hurt is that my Granddaddy is now holding Kylie for the very first time. He is rejoicing in the presence of our Lord, with his great-granddaughter in his arms.

After 5 long, agonizing months, battling with chemo and cancer and sickness, Granddaddy's body is at peace. His soul is resting, and his body is healthy and strong. No more chemo. No more miserable days. No more struggling to get up in the morning. No more "waiting" for something bad to happen. God answered my prayer by healing my Granddaddy's body. I know I will have a lot of spoiling to undo when I finally get to Heaven, but Kylie is going to create memories with her great-granddaddy just like I did with him. Nothing in this world will ever replace either one of them, but knowing them and loving them has changed my heart forever.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

What hurts the most...

For the past few weeks, my Granddaddy's health has deteriorated rapidly. We are now possibly down to days before his passing, and my heart is grieving heavily already. My Granny is in the nursing home and doesn't know what is going on, and my Aunt Vera is in a rehab home for her partial hip replacement from last week.

All of this is enough, but the grief is bringing back those bouts of depression and extreme, severe loneliness. The past few days, barely anyone has commented to me. Barely anyone has "liked" my statuses or posts. Barely anyone has said "I'm so sorry you're going through this, Amber." Even the people I am supposed to be closest to haven't either acknowledged this pain at all, or they have not checked on me and what is going on. I have felt so shut out and shut off, and I know some of it is the grief, but other parts of it is reality.

I really want to know what I have done so wrong that makes people look at me differently. I really want to know why people don't acknowledge me or what I've said, or don't feel the need to check in on me. What have I done that is so wrong that people do not like me anymore? Apparently, a lot of people have decided not to "follow" me or see my updates anymore, because many more people used to see and say things about my posts. I feel so alone and forgotten, and completely and utterly hopeless and overwhelmed.

No one truly understands these feelings, because they aren't me, but many people are probably laughing as they read this "oh, she's such a baby... she's so needy... she needs to grow up and get a life." How would you feel if someone who meant so much to you was dying and no one cared about it?

My granddaddy is someone I have looked up to my entire life. He is someone I have spent much of my childhood and adult life with. We would go to lunch, to go shopping, to the train depot, or I'd just stay at their house and visit or spend the night. I went many places, even job sites, with Granddaddy, and at almost 29 years old (my birthday is Wednesday, which makes it all the more difficult), I just want to curl up in my Granddaddy's lap and lay my head on his shoulder while he calls me "doll" and reads me a book or watches tv with me. I want someone to make it all stop, to take the pain away. This all-too-familiar grief had left me for a while... the deep, most painful part of grief, anyway, but I forgot how consuming, how badly it pulls you down and brings you down. No one ever comments on my blog anymore either, so I guess I'm safe to put my emotions out here in my blog because no one will read it. I just, I wish I knew more people cared. I don't expect lots of comments and posts on all that I do- just expected that some people who I thought were dear friends would be more concerned and caring.

So my heart is broken because I'm watching my Granddaddy die, and my heart is broken because I don't have much support in the loss of him. I just cannot take much more of the desperately lonely feelings...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pride and Joy

God never ceases to amaze me. Really. His love and blessings and mercy just flow over me daily, and I am so grateful for the grace I have found in the love of Jesus. Today, I am just bursting with pride... so much over the past year has been so positive, and it has given me such a happy perspective on life, regardless of the bad things that have happened.

I know I have said numerous times before that God answered my prayers when Kylie was sick; I asked her to be healed, and He gave her the ultimate healing. And with her healing, came the breaking of my heart, but each day, God helps to mend the wounds that still lay gaping and to fix the scars that are still stretching. Her life gave me something that I don't think I would have had in the same way if we had not lost her. I feel that Kylie was put here on earth to place within me a servant's heart. She taught me how important it is to give back, and so I hope that I am honoring her life by doing just that. We help the March of Dimes. We minister to families in their grief. We run a support group for families no matter where they are in the grief process. We run the October 15 Memorial Ceremony here in Huntsville for families who have lost. We are trying to get Kylie's fund up and going. We are doing so much, like making NICU memory boxes and donating special items in her memory. All of this, because of her. And this morning, I received an email from someone I had never met who came across my blog in a search for an angel picture, and my life was touched that someone I had never met, someone I have never crossed paths with, found me and was touched by our story. So God is using our sweet Kylie to reach out to others, to impact others, and I am so grateful that I am able to be in this position to help others and be there for others.

In a different story, Bryleigh is growing like a weed! She is crawling now (she officially crawled on October 21), has 6 teeth, and will be completely on whole milk only after tomorrow. She is saying bye bye and waving, saying ma-ma, da-da, and bah-bah (bottle i believe). She is even giving kisses. She gets excited and giggles when she sees me, and she is learning to eat with a spoon. She is completely off baby food and is trying to pull up to stand. One minute, she was my tiny baby cuddling in my arms, and the next, she is all grown up and doesn't need me as much!

And finally, Jaycee got her very first school report card today. I am so, so proud to be her Mommy. I am so thankful God chose to keep her in our home and in our lives. Without her, I don't know what I'd do. This kid met or exceeded standards in all but one category that she only meets some standards in, and that is in rhyming sounds. I should have seen it coming when I asked her last night what rhymes with mat, and she is like... cat... POGO STICK! Lol. Last night she also started a conversation that went like this:
J: Mom, I love Miss a-Jessca and Micah and the whole family.
Me: Well, that's good. I do, too.
J: When is Micah going to have a baby sister?
Me: Um... well, I guess he isn't.
J: But I have a baby sister and Micah needs a baby sister. Soon I'm going to have a baby brother.
Me: Says who?!?!
J: Me
Me: Where will the baby come from? Because I am NOT pregnant.
J: It will grow in your belly. There's a brother in there now.
Me: No! There is no brother. And plus, we can't just pick what we want. We get whatever God gives us.
J: I'm going to ask God for a baby brother. Can I talk to God about a baby brother?
Me: You can talk to God as much as you want to. You just ask right away.
J: Well, we need to get another bed and put in Bryleigh's room so our brother will have a place to sleep.
Me: No, because there isn't a brother!
J: Well there will be, and I will take good care of him. I will even let him color. No, I won't, because he will bite. I am ready for a brother.
Me: :/

And so folks, I have three beautiful girls. Three unique girls. Three girls who know how to make my heart swell with pride and my face light up with smiles. Am I a lucky mom or what? These three are definitely MY pride and joy. =)