Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Grief Support

Yesterday I called CMH to RSVP for the memorial service and got to speak with one of the chaplains that was with us the day we were there with Abrielle. We visited for a little while and she informed me that they would be stopping their grief support group after December due to low numbers. Marc and I have not gone as often as we should or as we need to, but I think for us it's the drive. We have to drive two hours, knowing what our trip is for. We sit there thinking that we are about to face this head on, tears and all, and it's hard to have conversations to take your mind off of the process ahead. So the drive there is long to say the least. The drive home is not much better either. We are usually exhausted and mentally drained. I'm sure after a routine of doing this the process becomes easier and we would no longer be quite as spent as what we are now. It was 8 months after Abby's heavenly birthday when we first attended the group. We wanted to prepare ourselves for the holidays ahead and that was the subject they were discussing. That first trip back to CMH had such an overwhelming affect on me that I was not prepared for. As soon as we passed through a familiar part of the hospital, the tears started. They didn't stop the whole time I was there. I was a blubbering mess! But it was what I needed. We were surrounded by a chaplain and a nurse that were there with us that day along with other families that had lost their child too. We were the newbies and everyone wanted to help any way they could. You could feel the love and concern. It was very comforting. We felt free to talk about things that we were so afraid to before. Things we thought would have sent us to the nut house. We discovered we were not alone, not crazy. Unfortunately, the emotional toll made me ill before we left and Marc had to stop several times on the way home. But in all, we felt like we fit with this group. We exchanged emails and phone numbers with others there to stay in contact and have a "been there" friend to talk to. With this group disbanding for the time being, our chaplain gave me phone numbers for a support group in St Joe to call. I called them to get more info and they told me there was a loss of a child support group in Maryville. She gave me numbers, but I guess this group too is no longer in existence. I sometimes get the feeling that we are expected to just deal with this on our own. Anyone out there reading this, Maryville needs a group! We have been to just a grief support group, but it seemed more for the loss of a spouse than a child. Everyone wanted to help, but the loss of a child is different (not that I've lost a spouse). To lose your little girl that you took care of every day, tucked into bed every night, the little princess that looked to you for protection, has to be different than losing the love of your life, your companion. So, after December, I guess we will be making trips to St Joe for support.

Today is also Aunt Becci's birthday. I am sure Abby will be sending pennies and smiles to her Aunt Becci.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Catching up ~ MDA Donation

Last fall Maryville Dance Academy (where Mady dances) asked for donations for Abby's Hugs. As you can see from the picture, the kids were great and brought in lots of stuffed animals along with ziploc bags. We thought it was wonderful that the kids wanted to show their love to Mady this way.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Beautiful People

I found a quote about beautiful people that got me to thinking. Here it is...

"The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen." - Elisabeth Kubler-Rosss

Maybe it's because I have not found my way out of the depths yet (I'm still climbing), but I have a different take on beautiful people. Beautiful people do not have to have suffered a loss. Beautiful people are those that are there pushing and pulling you out of the depths of grief. They are the ones that sit and cry with you on the couch when that's all you want to do. They are the ones that try so hard to take your pain away so you can have a smile again. They are the ones that camp out at your doorstep because they know you are too strong-willed to ask for help. They are the ones that send encouraging notes and cards to lift your spirits because they can see through the masks. Beautiful people are there even after the struggle is over. Beautiful people make you such a better person. I love my beautiful people!


Thursday, September 25, 2008


Sunday I took the girls down to the garden at the farmhouse to pick out their pumpkins for Halloween. Yeah, I know, I hope they survive the heat, but the bugs were really starting to eat them. Mady picked out hers and I put Elly into the wagon to chose one also. They each got a white funky looking gourd too. We decided that we needed a third pumpkin for Abby so Mady chose one to be hers. I said ok, let's go, but Mady wasn't ready. She had found a little tiny orange pumpkin to take to the cemetery. She was pretty excited about it too. We decided we would wait until the weather cooled down a bit before we took it to her though. We didn't want a squishy pumpkin up there. Hopefully we will be able to take it to her on Sunday.

Just wanted to share a few pictures of our princess. These were taken by Aunt Becci at PaPa's retirement party. You can see the mischief in her eyes!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Organ Recipient Letters

It has taken me a LONG time to reply to the letters we received in December from our organ recipients, but I have finally gotten them done. I sent letters out almost immediately after the accident because I wanted the recipients and their families to know where the organs came from. I wanted them to be able to say they came from Abrielle and she was almost 4 years old and loved preschool, playing outside and was going to be a big sister. I wanted them to know how much we loved our little girl. When we received the letters from the recipients, it was like a Christmas gift to us that Abby was living on and improving some one's life, but at the same time we were struggling to get through the holidays that I couldn't sit down and write letters. After that it just seemed as though the trial was keeping me from replying or I was using it as an excuse. The letters are somewhat difficult to write. There are rules we have to follow to keep everything anonymous that sometimes I'm not sure what to say so my letter won't be censored. We can only us first names, no last names, states, but no cities, cannot mention God or religion, the list goes on. I know this is to protect those who wish to remain anonymous, but we don't want to. We want to meet these special people, wrap our arms around them and tell them how happy we are that our little girl's death brought them life. We want to see the miracles. We want to show them pictures of Abrielle and see their family photos. We want to begin a lifelong friendship through this special bond. It's tough to convey these feeling in a letter to someone you aren't allowed to know yet without coming across as some sort of stalker that wants to invade their privacy or is trying to replace what has been taken from our life. Obviously that's not us, but what if they have no desire to meet us. What if they just want to thank us and go on about their lives. I think I would be so disappointed to find that out that I have not made an attempt to tell them we want them in our lives for fear of making them run for the hills. I did request the forms from Midwest Transplant, so maybe we will get there. I just hope they give us some sort of indication before we fill them out if the recipients feel the same as we do.

We have shared their letters with some of you and I would like to share a little bit of them here.

From the kidney recipient.....
".....It isn't often that the receiver of the kidney gets to tell the donating family thank you. From the bottom of our hearts and soul thank you. .... At times like this I would like to embrace you and your family with the brotherly love and hugs that can only begin to express the understanding of your loss and the most precious gift of life that followed."

We do not know her name, but hope to soon and would love to share that embrace someday.

From the liver recipient.....
"....Zane was born with biliary artesia and had his first surgery when he was 10 weeks old. ... Though his surgery went okay, his liver wouldn't allow him to gain weight through normal eating, so he was put on a feeding tube during the night. He was put on the liver transplant list in the summer of 2005 . He was only 8 months old at the time. He didn't learn to crawl until he was almost a year old and wasn't able to walk until he was 17 months old because he simply wasn't strong enough. Now his energy level and quality of life is 200% better. He is doing everything that an almost 3 year old should do and also things that he shouldn't be doing. .... He is so independent; wants to do everything by himself. .... Although we know that 'Thanks' will never be enough; we want you and your family to know that we will be forever grateful for such an unselfish gift. We truly believe that a part of your daughter lives in our son."

This letter brought us to tears when we received it. It was not just missing Abby tears, but also tears of happiness for this little boy. Our little girl gave this boy life. Her energy was passed on to little Zane and he can now be a normal little boy. The power of donation. Abby's Gift.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Need a Hair Cut?

Guys & Dolls will be celebrating their anniversary at the end of October and will be donating funds to the Foundation. The special day will be held on a Sunday (either 10/26 or 11/2) and part of the money from hair cuts that day will be given to Abrielle Neff Foundation! We will be there in our pink shirts sweeping the floors and helping out however we can. Maybe this would be a good day for Elly to get her first haircut. I'm not sure if I'm ready to cut it yet, but I guess I have a month to think about it. We'll see. I will pass along the specifics when I know more.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I know it's to be expected, but I did not realize the emotional trauma I have experienced would have me reliving everything at such odd instances. Friday there was an accident on 148 in which a man crossed the center line and was killed. The other couple were both life flighted. The couple in the truck were on their way to pick up horse feed from us at COOP. As I went to pick up Elly at daycare, they were bringing the vehicles into the lot right next door, so I saw the van and the pickup. I didn't think that bothered me at the time. It wasn't until I drove past the spot of the accident on 148 on my way home that the flashbacks started. I'm not sure what exactly caused it. Maybe the skid marks or maybe the broken glass, I don't really know. It was just as if someone started playing that tape in my mind and I kept hearing the horrific noises of the crash. I tried to stop the images but they just flooded back. I broke down and cried all the way home. To make it worse, Mississippi Girl came on the radio. (I was glad Mady had soccer practice.) At home I let Elly play outside and I just sat there and cried. I just thought that it was so strange to be affected by someone else's accident like that. I know I will never be able to shake the images from my head, but I just hope that someday the replay button quits working.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Soccer Game

Saturdays are soccer games and our second one for Mady. The rain last Saturday was nice. I didn't have to endure another game when I didn't feel like I was ready to see those other little soccer players. After my last post about missing my little soccer player, Bel was sweet enough to remind me that my Abby is there. Today it was evident. There were butterflies everywhere. What a wonderful sight. Grandma Virginia even had on a butterfly shirt and Elly said butterfly for the first time. Cute! And thanks Bel for pulling me out of that grief pit so I could see them.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Special Gift

We received donations from the Steiner's today in remembrance of their little girl. We feel the best way to honor these is with stuffed animals and a special memorial card, so we plan on purchasing something special with the money, maybe angel bears. Their little girl's memory will be able to live on in the arms of other children, one hug at a time (just like our Abby).

Friday Update

For those of you that were planning to help with the Outdoor Classroom at EFE on Saturday morning, we have had to postpone the work day for now. Mr Lynn will not be able to be there and since he is heading the project, we kind of need him there. We will let you know when we reschedule.
Also, those of you planning ahead, we are probably looking at the 11th or 18th of October for the next bagging.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

How Close is Heaven?

Foggy mornings always make Mady talk about Heaven. She associates Heaven with the clouds. On these mornings she says, Abby's here. She thinks the low fog clouds mean Heaven is touching Earth. Maybe it is. I have never doubted anything she says, never corrected anything to my beliefs. It seems the innocence of childhood allows her and Elly to see and understand things that my mind has learned are impossible. Mady talks to Abby and says Abby talks to her when the wind blows. She has said this since day one and continues to believe it today. My only response when she asks if I can hear her is, Maybe when Mommy's not so sad she can hear her too. I would love to hear my little girl's voice again and would love to believe this is somehow possible before getting to Heaven myself. Elly says Abby and knows her picture, but I was caught off guard last Friday on our way home. I was mentally preparing myself to attend visitation for Elliott Reed and was telling Mady that we would be taking them to Aunt Tammy's when Elly started talking. I asked Mady if there was a puppy outside because that's what it sounded like at first. No, no puppy. Elly was looking up and kept saying the word softly over and over. I asked, What's she saying? She's saying Abby, is what Mady said. Abby? Why is she saying Abby? There's no picture back there for her to see. None of us had on our Foundation shirts. Abby must be in the clouds, Mady said as she too joined Elly in looking up to the sky. The tone in Mady's voice was not of excitement like she hadn't seen or heard from her sister. Instead it was just like it was a normal occurrence. This has not been our first cloud experience, but the first for Elly. Mady has seen pictures in the sky, shapes in the clouds, that have looked like Abby's artwork and her letter A and has shown them to me. I must admit that even I (doubting Thomas) could see them. So I guess I would love to have a child's mind sometimes so that I too could see. I am just wondering, how close is Heaven?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Abby's COOP Kitty

Today we picked up our COOP kitty Oliver from the vet after getting fixed and declawed, so I thought I would share the story about the other kitties we found. It seems that COOP must be a good spot to "lose" your kittens and cats because we find several running around. I had the girls with me at work one Saturday and told them we had a litter of kittens down by the shop. Of course we had to go see them. I should have known better, but I took Mady and Abby just to play with them. Obviously I am too easy because playing with them turned into two being brought home. I was OK with it since we only had JackJack and thought two more males would be no big deal. Mady named her yellow tabby Stripers and Abby was just too cute. She took one look at him and said "He name Spike". We tried to change her mind and pick a better name for a kitty but nothing doing. Spike it was. It didn't take Spike long to learn what love was and to enjoy swinging and sliding. Unfortunately, like most tom cats, Spike wandered off when he got older but Abby still had JackJack to love and Mady had Stripers (who ended up having kittens...pretty good for a male).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Poem to Share

Many a lonely moment
Often a silent tear
But always a beautiful memory
Of one we hold so dear

Your memory is our keepsake
From which we shall never part
God has you in his keeping
We have you in our hearts

Some may think we have forgotten
When at times they see us smile
Little do they know the heartache
Our smiles hide all the while

We mourn you in silence
Where no one sees us weep
Many a tear is shed
While others are asleep

God gave us the courage to carry on
And the strength to bear the blow
But what it meant to lose you
No one will ever know


Monday, September 15, 2008

Willow Springs School

My Mom & Dad, along with Beth, Ryan, & Tyler, traveled to West Plains over the weekend for the annual Pendergrass family reunion. While there they were able to represent the Foundation at Willow Springs School (in Willow Springs) where my cousin Melanie Pitts teaches. They did a stuffed animal/coloring book drive for the Foundation. For those of you that don't know, Willow Springs is a small community in Southern Missouri with a population just over 2,000 people. We really appreciate their school supporting our Foundation, especially since they more than likely won't receive benefits from the Abby's Hugs program (unless we are able to grow that big, and wouldn't that be exciting!) A big THANK YOU to Melanie for organizing this for us!


Friday, September 12, 2008

Our Love In Ink

With the passing of Elli Reed, my emotions have just been raw again. I feel their pain. I remember the last words I said to Abrielle while she was still conscious at St Francis were "Stay strong. The doctors will make you better. Mommy loves you and I will be there as soon as I can." as they loaded her up to transport her to CMH. I have been spending my nights reliving the goodbye we shared with Abby. That is the hardest, most unselfish thing any parent has to do...tell their child it's ok to stop fighting and go to Heaven. If I had my way, no other parent would ever have to go through this nightmare, this torture of having to live without your child in your arms. No parent would have join this elite club that teaches you to pull a mask over the face of pain, turning it into a happy one. I have learned how to hide those tears, the pain, so that not everyone will see and wish it upon no one. It has been 533 since Abby's "Heavenly Birthday" and I am sure that some people think maybe I should have moved on, gotten over it, be passed it, whichever word you want to use, but I don't think a parent is able to. I think maybe this is something you are able to do as a child, not grasping the full concept, at the loss of a grandparent, something along those lines, but as a Mom, I will never "get over" the loss of my Abby. Instead I just have to find different ways to show her my love now. Whether it's sending balloons to Heaven with Mady, going to the cemetery every Sunday, or the ink we have permanently placed on our feet, I am sure she feels the love.

Becci and I went on Abby's 4th birthday to get the tattoos done together. Later I went with Carrie and then with Steph as they too permanently professed their love and beliefs. There are 2 others with butterflies and Abrielle's name on their feet also but they weren't there for the picture. The fact that others have been so touched by our little Abby that they are willing to show it for the rest of their lives brings both tears and strength, the strength from the bonds of a treasured friendship. (Of course I love my friends without tattoos too!)

Mommy misses you Abby! Love You!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

ID Please

I was reading in the Northwest Missourian paper this morning that former Middlebury University President John McCardell has started a petition to get elected officials to rethink and even lower the current drinking age. This petition already has over 130 signatures from influential people. Let me stop for a second and say this, what are these well educated people thinking! Their argument is that lowering the age would curb excessive drinking habits by enabling the campuses to talk to the students about responsible drinking instead of who can and can't drink. Ok, shouldn't campuses be preaching responsible drinking anyway! I don't know why you would just be addressing underage drinking and not be preaching not to binge, drive, etc. Obviously everyone should now where I stand on drinking and driving! That is a NO GO! Pure stupidity! So, if anyone should see any lawmakers going for this proposal, get me their address and I'll show them what alcohol cost our family.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Abby's Garden Project

This morning we met with Brian Lynn to discuss work on EFE's outdoor classroom. EFE received a grant from the MO Conservation Department for an outdoor shade structure and native plants. The plans are to cover the existing benches with a pergola type structure that will have an enclosed back and a planter box on the back. Hopefully this will help keep the sun off the kids when they are out learning in the classroom. The next step will be working with the science departments in each grade level to establish planting beds for each grade. This should be a fun project that will get the kids involved in what gets planted. After that there are plans for a trail and a butterfly garden.

These are pictures from the spring planting this year. The preschool class (plus Mady and her friend Becky Meyers) worked in the garden that was established as a memorial the previous year. New flowers and plants were added and the garden looked great. Obviously the preschool class already has their planting bed that they are maintaining and the kids love playing in the dirt. The boys were excited to find "fishing worms", bugs and grubs.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Celebration Photos

I have not yet shared any pictures from the Celebration of Children that was held June 8th, so here goes.... We have the Moms & Tammy working up a sweat in the food stand.The ferris wheel had to be one of the most popular attractions at the event. Kids were lined up to ride.
Of course we had a bouncy house for the little kids.Popcorn, cotton candy, & sno cones were a hit. We ran out of cotton candy sticks twice and finally had to call it quits when the mix was gone.
The kids absolutely loved racing through the obstacle course. I think we even had a couple of "big kids" racing too.We even had lasso roping. The kids got to try out their cowboy skills.
Maryville Dance Academy led off the stage entertainment and had quite the crowd watching them. Yep, that's Mady striking a pose.The dunk tank was a huge hit. There's Susan Martin all wet. Don't worry, I captured photos of every participant. The petting zoo with its snakes, alligator, and all the furry critters was a favorite stop for the kids. I avoided the snakes, but did touch the alligator.

Flying Debris was the highlight of the stage entertainment with his juggling, fire eating, and other tricks.

I could keep adding pictures because we had so much going on. If anyone is looking for any to scrapbook, let me know, I may have some with your kid in it.

Mark your calendars for June 7, 2009. We will be having the Celebration again next year with hopefully better weather so that some of the other things we had planned will be there.



Just wanted to let everyone know that we received notice that Ryan Sundermann was transferred to Western Missouri Corrections Center in Cameron this morning.

Monday, September 8, 2008


There is a new angel in Heaven today. Brian & Cassi Reed's baby girl Elliott Arcile Reed lost her battle with CDH this morning. My heart is filled with sadness for them knowing the long journey they have ahead, fighting the battle of grief. I know my little girl is taking a turn holding that sweet baby since she wanted so badly to be a big sister. I am sure little Elliott is being watched over by my "Little Mommy" until her Mom & Dad get to see her again. Abby danced and danced with Brian at their wedding reception and then again at Hornbuckle's, so I'm sure she will be teaching Elliott her dance moves.

Emotional Torture

As everyone knows, I have been dealing with a lot lately between the start of school and now the whole parole issue. Now I have discovered new situations that make me cry (like I needed more). I absolutely love to see Abby's friends. I love that they still know me as Abrielle's Mom, but this Saturday I guess I was not quite prepared for seeing her classmates in soccer uniforms playing their first game. I did so good at Mady's game, hopefully no one could tell the hole in the pit of my stomach was getting bigger and I was doing my best to smile through the growing sadness. I know at baseball games this summer I avoided the little kids t-ball side the best I could, only going over to watch Cole, but the little fields are right next to the bigger one that Mady now plays on. I tried my best to avert my eyes, to just watch Mady, to stay involved in her game and in the conversations around me, but the sight of the new group of kindergartners out there kicking the ball around, running in herds as they played was just too much. Abrielle was our more outgoing and athletic child. She would have been in the middle of all the chaos of the soccer game, loving every minute of it. It seemed like torture to sit and watch, knowing my little soccer player is in Heaven because of the selfishness of Ryan Sundermann. (Oops, a little bit of anger coming out there...sorry) I have debated about even saying anything about this because I don't want to be treated like I have the plague like sometimes happens and I still want to see Abby's friends. Hopefully by the next soccer game I will be more emotionally prepared and the tears will stay away.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mail Call

Some days getting mail is nice, a good thing. We receive thank yous from those the Foundation has touched and it is such a blessing to receive them knowing our work is helping. But some days the mail brings tears. We received notice of the remembrance celebration at CMH in October. Just something that simple can start the tears. We also received a letter from the Department of Corrections to notify us of our rights as a victim of a crime. It included a phone number that we can call any hour day or night to access information on the "offender of our crime". It also requested more information from us - phone numbers, email, etc, so that we could be contacted in a more timely manner as to status changes (parole hearings, scheduled releases, escape, death, return to custody). I made the phone call this morning to our Victim Services Specialist to provide the needed information. He confirmed what we had already heard - the first parole hearing will be in December. He said we should receive notice within 30 days as to the exact date. He stated this early date is simply based upon a 6 year sentence and not the crime itself. Sundermann should not be granted parole this early for taking a life (sigh of relief). The parole board must have a majority vote to release him, but his mandatory release date of June 11, 2012 has been set. Ryan Sundermann will only spend a maximum of 4 years behind bars and the rest will be spent under parole supervision. These are the facts. I don't like them, but unfortunately there is nothing we can do other than attempt to change the system for those who come after us. This is our first experience with any kind of court proceedings, prison systems, and the justice system, so I guess I am still learning and still not liking much of it. It seems the criminals are the ones with the rights throughout this entire process. Yes, it's their lives, but I feel they gave up their rights to have a say when the crime was committed. (I'll get off my soap box for now.)
A later part of my evening was spent in tears too. Elly has started to outgrow her 6-9 month jammies, which is a good thing, and I thought I could just sift through the tubs of clothes from the other girls to find the 12 month ones. Nice thought, but I should have known better. When I tried to pull out summer clothes, I had a meltdown then too. I try to think "They are just clothes", but somehow they aren't. There are too many memories tied to them. There are things I have just refused to put Elly in, especially since she still resembles Abby quite a bit. I guess Elly is just going to get some new jammies that will be all hers.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Have 3 Girls

As most of you know from my statement in court, I have battled with how to answer the question of "How many kids do you have?" I have 3 ... but sometimes the explanation is too tough and 2 would be so much easier to say. When I took Elly for her 15 month checkup in the middle of August, we were not able to see Dr Watson (due to her broken foot) and had to see a nurse practitioner that did not know us. She started by asking if this was my first child to which I answered "No, she's my third." As she was going over things on a list with me, she asked if I had syrup of ipecac at home. I said no and she asked what the ages of my other children were, stating I may need it for them also. I responded by saying, "Mady is 8." She looked at me puzzled and said "I thought you said you had 3." I answered "I do have three. Mady is 8 and Elly is 15 months." The response was "That's 2." I started to well up with tears and finally said "I lost my Abrielle 17 months ago in a car accident." I guess she either recognized the name or felt bad for making me cry and just simply said "I'm sorry."
I have tried for 17 months now to figure out how to answer this question without tearing up, without making the person asking uncomfortable, and without leaving Abby out. I still don't know that I have the answer, but am thinking I may respond by saying I have 3 girls - Madyson is 8, Elly is 15 months, and an angel Abrielle who would be 5. I'm not sure if this will alleviate the issues or not. It will probably just open up more questioning, but I don't want my little girl forgotten and I cannot ignore the fact that we had her here for 9 weeks shy of 4 years. I am the Mom of 3 girls and I always will be.
I don't know how many of you say this back in June, but here a link to an editorial written by Jeff Schmucker at the Forum. It still brings me to tears each time I read it. He expressed one of my biggest fears...people will forget our little girl. This was truly heart-felt from someone who doesn't even know us, but called and volunteered his time to sit in the dunk tank at the Celebration. Thanks Jeff Schmucker, you are a kind person to say the least. http://www.maryvilledailyforum.com/opinions/editorials/x379977203

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Ok, I'm going to play catch up here and post several pictures I have talked about in earlier posts.

Here's Elly in the tub with all her clothes on :) I will have to see if I can get my scanner to work at home so I can post the picture of Abby in the tub.

This is from the Tractor Cruise dinner and check presentation a couple weeks ago. And the next is of Elly at the cruise trying out the pedal tractor.

The last picture is of the cute little puppies donated in memory of Katherine Steiner. There were 50 of these, but this is one of each style along with a couple of the memory cards and Abby's Hugs cards that went with them when we bagged Friday.

Friday night bagging

We had our monthly bagging last Friday night. I picked a bad night for most people's schedules, but we got everything done. We were able to break in a couple of rookies too. Marsha, Becky, and Angie Meyers came out to help us for the first time along with Amber, Taylor, and Taten Thompson. We love getting new people involved, especially for the card decorating since us old timers seem to get stuck in a rut sometimes a just mass produce the same things. Thanks to all that were able to make it out and help. Hopefully I will pick a better night next time and those of you that missed will be able to make it then. Enjoy a few pictures of some of us hard at work...and Shannon, you owe me a big thank you for not posting one of you with your mouth open again, but no promises on the scrapbook page :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Picture of Blankie

Here is a picture of Abby with her infamous Blankie. He was there for makeup time too.

Blankie Lost

I guess maybe I should start this post with a confession...I am 32 years old and I sleep with a blankie. Yeah, go ahead and laugh. Now let me tell you about this blankie. It's not just any run of the mill blanket, it was Abby's Blankie that she had slept with since the day she was born. Blankie was very special to her to say the least. She would try to take him with her every where she could, but mean Mommy usually made Blankie stay home. Blankie helped calm her fears, gave her comfort, and was one of her friends. Basically he was almost another appendage when she was at home. She would always put him on the couch and give him a kiss before she would leave for school, telling him she would see him later. It was always so cute. After the accident, Aunt Becci went out to our house to get Blankie to take him with us to CMH. We knew she had to have him. In fact Marc had even commented to the nurses there before we arrived that she needed her Blankie. Obviously, something this important to her had to go with her to Heaven, but we couldn't bear to part with it either. Thank goodness for my Aunt Ruth and Aunt Jean! They split Blankie in half so that we could each have part of him. Blankie never left my side for about 2 weeks. Then I had to come back to work and I too was forced to kiss Blankie goodbye in the mornings. I have slept with Blankie every night since we lost Abby and last night I could not find him. I was in a panic. I always lay him on my pillow. Where could he be? Marc had brought Elly in to bed with him to put her to sleep and then moved her to her bed later. She had gotten ahold of him along with her Pink and it was in bed with her. I thought this might have happened, but knew I couldn't go wake Elly up by looking. I couldn't hardly sleep. I tossed and turned and finally gave up and went downstairs to watch tv until after 2 am. All because of a silly blanket! I remember spending many nights hunting for Blankie (and Two Night Night - Mady's), thinking this is silly, you can just sleep without it. I guess now I understand a little better. I felt so much better after I found Blankie in Elly's crib this morning!