Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thanks Is Never Enough

I can never thank everyone enough for helping me get through that terrible day I struggle with each year.  The prayers, support, and words of encouragement mean more than you can imagine.  Thank you to those that sent flowers, those that called and texted, those that gave hugs, those that emailed, those that came over and cried with me.  I needed every bit of it to make it through.   

Monday, March 28, 2011

Four Years Ago....

Four years ago, I woke up two girls from their beds.  Today, I did the same.
Four years ago, I took two girls to school.  Today, I did the same.
Four years ago, I walked a little girl to preschool.  Today, I did the same.
Four years ago, I tucked two girls into bed.  Tonight, I did the same.

How I wish I could change all those numbers to three for the todays.  My heart aches today for my missing little girl and I know the heartache that tomorrow will bring.  In fact I have been physically ill all day knowing the date on the calendar.

Four years ago, Abrielle dressed in a new pink short sleeved shirt with silver and white bunnies on it and a new pair of jean capri pants, held up with a pink and white belt for preschool.  She was so excited to have a belt of her own.  I don't remember what she had for lunch that day, but whatever it was, it came home on her shirt.  

Four years ago, I stood outside pushing Abby on her swing until I finally had to start supper cooking.  She was not very happy to have to go inside, but helped me make the garlic bread for the spaghetti.  When Marc got home, she pulled on her little cowgirl boots and ran out to help him set landscaping blocks around the fence post at the edge of the yard.  

Four years ago, Abby woke up crying in the night, saying she was scared.  I tucked her back into bed after finding her walking around in the living room disoriented.  I hugged her tight as I told her that there was nothing to be scared of and that Mommy and Daddy would keep her safe.  

Four years ago...   

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hard Days Ahead

It seems the days have started getting difficult lately.  Saturday was one of those where I just wanted to stay curled up under the covers and not face the day.  I think the disruption of our house by painters and construction is what caused the breakdown for me.  It was having to pull things of the walls, move things that haven't been taken down or moved in all this time.  Strange I know but having my sanctuary in disarray is mentally taxing at this time of the year.  I was glad when friends came out and provided a much needed distraction.  Unfortunately the hardest days are yet to come this week.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Saturday Meetings

Thank you to all who able to come help bag animals and get things ready for hospital donations!  We really could not do this without all of your help. 

We had our support group meeting this weekend in KC and it was great to see friends that understand during this hard month.  We were given journals to write in this time and several helpful handouts.  One was on recommended books by age levels to help with the grief.  We plan on looking into some of these further for both girls.  Another was the Top Ten What Not To Say. Here is the list~
10.  I know just how you feel.
9.  "Time heals all wounds," and other such trite remarks.
8.  Your loss isn't as bad as mine (or others I have heard about).
7.  It was God's will.
6.  She's in a better place now.  At least she's not suffering any longer.
5.  Well, he was an adult, that's not so bad.  Well, she was a baby, that's not so bad.
4.  You should have another baby soon.
3.  It is a good thing you have your other children.
2.  How did he die? Drinking, drugs, etc.?  We thought it might happen someday.
1.  Aren't you over it yet? or  How long are you going to grieve?

Another article we were given was titled "Dispelling 5 Common Myths About Grief".  I found it to be quite interesting and filled with what society as a whole believes.
Myth 1~ Grief and mourning are the same experience
Myth 2 ~ There is a predictable and orderly stage-like progression to the experience of mourning.
Myth 3 ~ It is best to move away from grief instead of toward it.
Myth 4 ~ Following the death of someone significant to you, the goal is to "get over" your grief.
Myth 5 ~ Tears expressing grief are only a sign of weakness.

The girls both had their sessions and enjoyed them.  Mady was excited to show me the scrapbook they worked on, but really didn't elaborate much more on her session, which is okay with me since I can tell it is helping.  I am sure her feeling of loss are different from mine since hers is the loss of her sister.  Elly's class was filled with play therapy that included music and art.  This time they made flower pots and memory stones among other things. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Double Talk Day

Today I spoke at the Maryville Treatment Center again, but this was my first time speaking twice in one day, which made things a bit harder.  I was really pleased with how well I did in both classes, but did feel a little on autopilot for the second session.  The men thanked me like usual for having the courage to tell our story and it seemed to move many of them.  I did have a couple of firsts this time.  During one class as I spoke a young man just kept smirking at me the whole time.  By the end of class I was ready to speak some not very kind words to him, but instead asked the instructors if they saw the man's reaction.  They did and have he returned to the room after the break one sat down to ask him what he thought of the presentation.  It turns out that this must be his coping mechanism because he was touched by my speech.  In the next class a man was so touched that he wanted more specific information, but I did not provide that.  Of course there was a lot of interest in doing something to help the Foundation either while still incarcerated or upon release.    

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Finally Getting To It

This has lived in my dining room for almost 4 years now. 


A file box full of folders we started with good intentions of putting everything from the accident in, but never really happened.  Instead, all the bills, correspondence from the Prosecuting Attorney, our attorney, the Highway Patrol, the Corrections System, insurance companies, all ended up just tossed in.  When that box became full, we filled up the picnic basket.  The big box, well it's filled with newspapers and what else I'm not sure after all this time.  I have tried on more than one occasion to start the process, but always ended up in a pile of kleenex and tears.  I decided that it was time to try again and was actually able to make some progress this time.  I sorted out everything in the black file box and put them in the folders like should have been done in the beginning.  Then I started on the picnic basket.  I kept the same process up, not really looking at anything beyond enough to know which folder it should go in.  Then I hit some roadblocks.  There were drawings folded in half with "To: Abby From: Mady (or Sissy)".  Then I found a Memory Book Mady had made in first grade.  It was filled with heartbreaking drawings, notes, and memories.  Then there was the drawings of our family which included this one   

In every drawing Abby has wings and a halo.  These were all from the end of First Grade too.  I had been at this process for over two hours when I found these things.  Needless to say the tears began to fall heavily and I was once again surrounded by kleenex.  I stopped where I was, leaving the rest of the picnic basket and the big box to sort.  

Despite the tears and painful memories that this chore brought up, I did feel better at the end of the day knowing that I was over halfway done with a task I had been needing to do for almost four years. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Organ Donation Speech Follow-up

Just wanted to share a photo of us at the Rose Ceremony at CMH last month with the yellow roses from the float.  

And to give a link to the other speaker Scott Seetin's blog that tells of his journey with his kidney transplant.

Donation Thanks

Thank you to Aubrey Jones for sharing her birthday with the Foundation!  She requested items for us instead of gifts for herself.  Thanks so much!

Thanks to all the EFE preschoolers that brought in donations during the month of February!  It really touches me that the classes continue to do this each year.

We also received a thank you note and donation from a family that received an Abby's Hugs at St Francis ER.  Here is a bit of it.  "What a great program you are running.  What a super way to honor the life of a beautiful angel!  Our son who is a year old received one of your bears in the ER last week and it made our stay a whole lot nicer.  We left the house without his 'night-night' and he took to that little bear!  What a nice surprise it was when they came in with it!  The little bear also traveled to Childrens Mercy with us later that night!  So thank you dearly!!"

Sunday, March 6, 2011


We are planning the next bagging and a board meeting for Saturday, March 19th at 7 pm.  Hope you can join us to work on plans for the Celebration and catch up on all the stuffed animals that need bagged.