The Eve

On this night... the Eve of our child's last breath on this earth, I don't really know what to do with myself. Sleeping is hard enough while I'm pregnant and with this kind of anxiety, near impossible.

I have been reading some of the posts written in the last few days of Zoe's life and am struck with so much emotion. 

"We have been struggling with the decision of when to take our baby off of life support.  How do you make that decision?  How about never?  Although comfortable and not feeling pain, it is selfish to keep her hanging on any longer.  Her poor body has done all that it can.  We want to give her peace and rest.  I have been fighting with the question of when... when will I be ready?  But that is not my decision.  It is Zoe's.  

Andrew's mom composes a beautiful piano piece for each grandchild and last night we crawled into bed and listened to Zoe's song.  It starts out so sweet and fragile, just like Zoe.  It then works up to a deep and strong middle... which reminded me of the struggle and pain that Zoe has suffered.  The song then finishes with a beautiful and almost heavenly ending.  We both shed many tears from beginning to end, followed by peace in knowing that she is ready.  She is ready now."

I remember this feeling so vividly. I can see myself sitting in our PICU room typing late at night... sorting through the chaos of feelings leading up to the most important decision we will ever make as parents.  Quoted above was the most powerful experience I have ever been blessed with. The assurance of peace was heartbreaking and freeing at the same time. I felt so defeated with the great loss before us. But I knew Zoe was ready. It was her time. 

I was tearing up tonight with Andrew because he has to work tomorrow and I dread being alone on such a difficult day. I dread facing Londyn's meltdowns over missing her sister without my husband to soothe both of us. It's days like this that make the expression "I can do hard things" an understatement. But is there any other option? Of course. I could completely lose it and give up. But will that help me to grow closer to my Father in Heaven? Absolutely not. It is these challenges that we are faced with in order to stretch ourselves and reach our full potential as God's children. It isn't always pretty but its life. There is always a choice. 

Lately when Londyn is pouting over a typical 5 year old end-of-the-world issue, I ask the question, "Are you going to choose to be happy or sad?" The keyword to this question is "choose." There is always a choice. 

Easier said than done. 

Some days... I choose to stay in bed for a much needed "Mental Health Day" and others I make the choice to fight through the grief and move forward with Zoe in my head and heart. 

Tonight Andrew said, "maybe it will be easier by her 10 year." At first I thought, it has to be! But the reality is that it will probably never be easier... more predictable but not easier. And that's just going to have to be okay.


2 Year Angelversary

It's that time again... we wear red, release balloons, look at pictures, reminisce of bittersweet memories, visit the cemetery and try not to lose it completely. It's been 2 years since our family was complete... without a hole in our family photos and in our hearts. 

Two years ago, we were spending our last few precious days with Zoe in the hospital. We had made the dreadful decision to set her free from life support, tubes, pricks and pokes. We knew that the only way for her to find peace was to return to our Father in Heaven. 

August 24, 2012

August 25, 2012

August 26, 2012

August 27, 2012

August 28, 2012

2 Years Ago Today - August 29, 2012

Life over the past two years has been excruciating at times. At others, I feel more joy than I ever knew possible. The lessons that our daughter Zoe continues to teach not only us, but many... begin
with what's really important in this life and in the eyes of God. Family and Faith are continuously leading us back to her. 

July 4, 2012

A lifetime apart is a long time, but eternity together is worth the wait. 

I watched our Zoe video yesterday which opened the floodgates of grief. It's like turning back the clock and I'm right back in that raw, heavy hearted state. Andrew and Lulu joined me halfway through and we just held each other. Lulu started crying hysterically towards the end. She has been asking for Zoe more than usual lately. I don't know if she senses the anniversary approaching or if she's having Zoe Days but the poor thing was a mess. It is so unbelievably painful to watch your young one grieve her sibling and what could have, would have been. 

The Life of Zoe Grace

She says "I wish Zoe could have stayed with us. I think this baby will stay." Ever since last night, Lulu has been very sensitive. It breaks our hearts to see her sort through the pain.

It's intriguing to imagine what Zoe is doing in Heaven, preparing our little one to come to our family and sharing her wisdom with others. 

I know our daughter served her purpose here on earth. In this life, I don't know or understand why her time had to be so short. But I can foresee an eternal understanding once this life leads into the next. 

Today has been a family day. We went to the park where Lulu was running happily and accidentally sunk her foot in a a bunch of mud. Andrew found her shoe eventually. 

After getting cleaned up and a quick change, we went and sat in our Zoe booth at Red Robin, one of the few public places we shared with our angel. Booth #21 means a lot to us and has become a tradition for each anniversary and birthday. 

Following lunch we headed to the cemetery to clean Zoe's headstone, place new flowers and release balloons. We each wrote a message on the balloons to be sent to Zoe. 

2 Years

We love and miss you so much Zoe Grace.  Not a day goes by that you don't fill our thoughts and hearts.  Until we meet again...