Welcome Mothers, Fathers, Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Friends and anyone else who needs an ear...Please come with an open heart.

This is a place for anyone who has felt the loss of a child. Treat this as a communication haven regardless of how or when you felt your loss. My definition of loss: miscarriage at any stage, still birth regardless of week gestation, infant death at any month, and loss of a child even if your child was all grown up. For me they all hold the same root of devestation. None are more profound or more "easily" dealt with than another.

Please cry if you need to.
Please connect with others who are in your same space.
Please email me if you feel led to
Please comment so we know what you need
Please tell your story

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Post Where I Question This Combination of Words: MAN - POWER TOOL - SELF-CONTROL

"Honey, I'm going to go trim a little off that tree near the road."

Uh- yeah...

Oh Man, I hear the motor reving again!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Show and Tell: Spay, But Don't Pay

As you may recall...many show and tell's ago, I spoke fondly of our cat, Sally, and her quiet labor bringing five new kittens into the world.

That was twelve weeks ago. They are BIG now. They are ACTIVE now. They are HUNGRY now.

One - found a good home... four have not.

Eight weeks ago, visions of me as the 'old cat lady' were amusing. Today - not so much.

Oh, forgive me - formal introductions:

You remember Butterscotch

Frisky, cuddly, relatively calm, and quick to purr - very - loudly!

This is Fluffy:
She's moody and not one to love human touch. Eager to eat...all.the.time! (Let it be said that I voted for "Peanut Butter and Fluff" as their names, but was vetoed)

Meet, Thing One

And, Thing Two

Formerly known as 'the twins' until their markings came in. Then, tentatively named after Dr. Seuss characters for reference purposes only, as we intended them to find homes and be re-named when they did. They are sweet, small, and quiet compared to their siblings.

So, this weekend I'm reading the paper. The words low cost spay / neuter clinic catch my eye, for a variety of obvious reasons.

I call. "You have two options" I'm told.

OPTION 1: $35 / boy and $40/ girl. We have 3 boys and 2 girls. I didn't do the math. It scared me a little.

OPTION 2: The "Spay the Mom" program. "It's free" she said. Um...tell me more

Apparantly, a good nascar driving samaritan with a love for all things feline made a grant to the humane society. If a cat has kittens that are unwanted or 'too much for one family to handle' they can bring in everyone. They spay, neuter, de-worm, give shots and a bunch of other things I didn't understand - FOR F.R.E.E!

That 's the upside. The down? Mom comes home with you. Kittens stay. O.K - I can deal...maybe

But we really wanted to keep Butterscotch. Both because he has bonded with us in cuddly ways and because he pulls my 10-year-old heartstring memories - we reallllllly - wanted to keep him.

So, I asked with my father's lifetime mantras playing through my head (no question is a stupid question - the worse they can do is say no) And, they said - ok!

Bottom line - for that is what it always boils down to, right - On Tuesday morning I will walk into the humane society with five cats and leave with two.

The kids don't know yet. *sigh* How do you explain such monetary based decisions to littles who make all their choices with emotion?

I guess I know why they couldn't be peanut butter and fluff. You can't really have one without the other...

Friday, May 29, 2009

The shape of life

Yesterday, I attended a play. My nieces were in it. They were the stars of the show.

Comedian and I arrived early, as I so often do for events and were ushered upstairs to wait with their mother and another friend. Their mother (D.), also featured in the piece linked above, is extraordinary. And, for all that we have lived together (as in been in the same room at the same time and saw the same things...) we have apparantely not seen the same things, or, at the very least, not remembered the same things about the event.

I have just come to realize that. It began at the memory walk...

I could hear her voice in the background, a beautiful sound carrying me as I buzzed with intention from one tent to the next, responding and directing each part of the event. But she remained, in one space, calm and focused, one-with-herself, talking...about me. "What a blessing" I heard, "She allowed me to be part of this", and "I feel so lucky to have been on her journey."

Stunned, I stopped moving, listening now with intention. What I heard threw me even more. She spoke of events that I wasn't sure I recalled, but -wait - yes, I do remember, just not quite like that. She spoke of the 'before the next baby' era, a time still foggy for me, requiring focus and energy to recall details. She smiled as she shared our beginning with others. But the most astounding part of her words were the uspoken ones. Were you to have laid eyes on her in that moment you could have seen it, she was truly thankful, enternally grateful, that I welcomed her into my intense grief.

Can you imagine? All these years I have said, then said again, then re-itteraited my thanks for her as she shared her kids with me without abandon, opened her world to me without question. I nearly bowed at her feet thinking that what she did must have been a sacrifice, but still felt that nothing would ever measure the gift she gave me.

And yet, it turns out, that she felt similarly gifted by my presence.

Astounding. Heart-Healing.

Just being around her calms me. Our connection allows her privilidge that others are not allowed. Like yesterday, in that waiting room, when introductions ensued.

It sounded like this:

D: "Friend, this is one of my nearest and dearest friends, Cara, and this is Comedian, her second, third daughter."

ME: "Nice to meet you."

Friend: "How old are your others?"

ME: "Bear is 6 and Emma would be 8 and half."

D: "Yes. Cara lost her first and that is how we met. Actually, I think it has become a blessing for she has grown into a beautiful, strong woman as a result."

The conversation evolved from there and quite nicely. There was no drama. There were no shocked expressions or quick 'i've go to be goings' as there often are when Emma is introduced. And as I look back on it two things strike me:

1. She introduced Emma, not me. That is rare.
2. Phrases that are allowed only to me when I'm in the right emotional space like, 'second -third child' and 'it has become a blessing', roll off her tongue with ease and feel right to my ears as I hear them.

She respects my daughter. She acknowledges her place in our family. She recognizes the emotional growth that has occurred.

I have been known to say that she "saved my life". From now on I will say, she "shaped my life" and apparently, I - hers.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I Believe


yes...I need some some silence

So I sit - and I breath - and the sensation takes me over, opens me up.

Eyes closed - heart open, anything is possible - everything is doable

Images begin to form inside closed lids...

imagination, inspiration, achievement, a sense of total calm......

Eyes open, breath catches - she looks down upon me Yes... she seems to say, You will meet every goal you set. Trust in yourself. Trust in me. Together, we cannot fail...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The End Is In Sight...

Or is it?

Oh...wait. That's not the end.

That is just a tiny clump of fireflies burning the midnight oil with you - yet again - as you delude yourself that the end is around the next corner, then over the next hill.

The Memory Walk was two and a half weeks ago. It is STILL.NOT.OVER!

There is the public access tv quality video (HA!) that I, yes yours-truly, has attempted to make interesting enough that were you to be sitting quietly in the comfort of your own home on a random weeknight and it began playing on your tv, you might acually choose to watch it through. (It's only 20 minutes...with random special effects...well - the best that win.dows allows)

And, apparantly the universe heard my loud and desperate cries for PICTURES...for as I type 750 - (um..that's seven hundred and fifty) are uploading to my desktop. Any guesses how long it will take me to make the final cuts? Let's just say...I don't do well with lots of choices.

I'm drowning in a virual media soup, without the technological paddles I require!!!

(SERIOUSLY - HELP! IF YOU...know how to splice audio from its visual counterpart, and then place it with a different sequence of video...oh - OR ...if you know how to solve this issue: the audio from one camera is MUCH louder than the audio intake from the other...)

So, let this little paniced post serve as a lesson to you all. If you are going to bite off more than you can chew - invite friends!

**Your local programming of Cara reading and commenting on your posts will recommence after she has emerged from the media swamp!***

But, because I know I cannot continue to just TALK about this event...I picked three random numbers and pulled those pics. (Hey - come on...3 number out of 750 isn't easy to pick, remember...not so great with choices)

Much...much....much....more to come!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Show and Tell - Chicken Tractor

Lest you have been thinking we are cruel and unusual round these parts where chickens are concerned...lay your eyes on this!


This two story abode-on-wheels allows for the best grazing. It is fully equip with an easy-access food dispenser,

A peek-a-boo window for roosing and egg collection,

And, flying to the upper level is optional with this well-constructed staircase

The 'king' likes it!

And, since their move we have seen our first two eggs - count them, 2 eggs!! It seems they like their new home. But why, you may ask, did they have to leave the comfort of their existing home with ample space, roosting options, and a recent screened in porch?

Because...we needed space for twenty new babes! cute - for now! Be sure to see what everyone else is showing and telling.

Friday, May 22, 2009

It's Official

I had heard rumor that my OBGYN was closing his doors and moving on to the next phase of his life. Today I received a letter confirming it.

In that letter was this sentence,

"I am grateful for the many years that I have had the privilege to work with you all through pregnancies, childbirth, disease, health and will miss you greatly."

I see the invisible hole where lies a missing word, for although he wasn't my delivering doctor for Emma's pregnancy I know he has lived loss with countless women in the community.

I don't begrudge, truly - I don't, for I recognize that coersing that word into the sentence would have been a two part challenge:

First, choosing the word would be a daunting task. Which synonym best fits: childloss, infant death, miscarriage, or just plain - loss?

Then, placing it. Does it go between 'pregnancies' and 'childbirth' or fit less like a broken puzzle piece between 'childbirth' and 'disease'? Perhaps its optimal location on the end, without a forced bookend to contain its meaning.

Just me. What's your take??

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Who Am I?

This is a question I have long grappled with.

Over the course of my lifetime I have been easily swayed by popular vote, by current trends, by the words and actions of another.

Until my early 20’s I was like a big, walking, talking blob of molding clay. Other’s qualities would attach, then sculpt a piece of me, much like a cookie cutter to dough. Without intention I found myself talking like someone after spending a great deal of time with them or noticed that my handwriting suddenly looked more like theirs. It must have been excruciating to watch me flail, or worse yet, to live with.

I cannot recall exactly when it happened, but I remember with detail the intense shock I experienced one day as I looked at myself. I mean really looked and saw the montage I had become. Which pieces are me? Which belong to others? What fits? What doesn’t?

I was forced to ask myself these questions. And, amazingly, just by asking them the process of self-discovery began. Once triggered, it was intense and quick. Of course, I wish I had started it long before that, but for a girl who consistently defined herself by other people’s expectations for the majority of her conscious life, twenty-one seemed a fair place to start.

Two years later Emma died and a far deeper, darker, more intimate internal makeover ensued. The result? In the past ten years I have discovered, and then ,re-invented myself.

Who was I? I rarely stop to think about that other girl. But when I do it leads me to hope and pray and hope some more that my current strong sense of identity is enough to save my girls from the dramatic rollercoaster that was, my childhood. In fact, I’m not sure I ever intended to go back there. I didn’t like that girl much. Oh, she was nice enough to everyone else: compassionate and giving, trusting and gullible. She was the ‘save the world or bust trying’ type. She was not, however, very nice to herself.

Two things happened this week that forced me back there.

1) This sentence from a parenting book I’m reading: “The times that problems arise are when children grow up feeling responsible for everyone and everything, squelching their own desires, in a constant hopeless search for approval.”


2) A bedtime request from the Comedian, “Mama, will you read me this book tonight?” She was holding my 8th grade diary.

You know how we often say that we should wear a sign around our necks identifying our status? I am an only child. Or I am a vegetarian. Becky Bailey has my early years sandwich-board written on page eleven of her book. I feel responsible for everyone and everything; therefore I squelch my own desires in a constant, hopeless search for approval.

Last night I read the diary, start to finish. It is a snapshot of 47 days in the life of a completely unassured 8th grader. As I turned each page, I felt mildly sick to my stomach with tears threatening on more than one occasion. I felt sad for that girl because written between the thick, sappy, attachment issue lines was approval from her friends, from her parents, from her teachers and support staff. She just couldn’t see it. How different her experience may have been, if only…

She did know one true thing. That fact could not be denied.

-Aug 19th, 1989
My name is Cara. I am 13 years old, going into 8th grade and infatuated with kids. The family I babysit for most are the G’s. They have four kids, ages 7, 5, 3, and 1.”

- April 7th, 1990
“…anyway at 2pm I went over to the G’s house and baby-sat until 10pm. While I was over there we did a lot of things. I played Barbie’s and loved it. I guess you just have to have the right state of mind…”

- April 16th, 1990
“I’m actually writing from our vacation house. There’s not much going on here but I heard that J and J, the kids I baby sat for last summer, are here too. So, maybe I’ll go see them tomorrow.”

- April 17th, 1990
I saw J and J today. At 11:30 I went to their house and we played marble madness or something like that. When I had to go J. wouldn’t let me and I had to pry her off of me. But, I took some pictures of all of us together so I’ll send her one.”

Clearly, I needed the kids just as much as they thought they needed me. But, tabling underlying issues, my love of children ran deep. Mothering was something I never had to work at, or work toward, or earn the right to do.

Parenting? Well, that is another matter all together, hence the reading of the book! But mothering, the simple act of loving another and meeting their every need; that comes easily.

And so, it seems almost fitting, albeit bittersweet, that my first child taught me the lesson I could never learn. Through the pain of losing Emma I learned who I truly am and who I strive to be. A lifetime won’t be enough to perfect the qualities I cherish in myself, but I thank my daughter for for clearing away the rubble and allowing me to see, my true self, and hopefully become the parent I always wanted to be.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday - Of The Greek Tragedy Variety (UPDATED SO LAST IMAGE WORKS!)


Yesterday, at 1:30 pm, heads were a rolling...literally.

The Prequil - New Years Eve, 2008

For a month, he added water, turned them daily, made sure the heat was just right. Tonight, he awoke every two hours to the sound of yet another breaking shell. Ten new lives entered this world...

Who were they? Rooster or Hen? How long could they survive their fate? Questions only answered by time.

Five months later...
The Tragedy - May 17th, 2009

The familiar blue truck pulled in. Grampa hopped out muttering words we knew were coming, but were still unready to hear. "Guess we better take care of them roosters." It wasn't a question.

The odds, it seemed, were against them from the start, for of the ten hatched eggs, seven - yes SEVEN, grew into large, feathered, LOUD roosters who seemed not to understand that crowing was typically reserved for when the sun acually appears on the horizon. Seven roosters and three hens *sigh* we know what that meant.

"I really only need one rooster" Jer said, "It's eggs we want."

"Yup" I responded, "I get that but I don't want to be here for it. I don't want to see it. I don't want to hear it?"

Best laid plans and all...for that Grandpa covered the ground from truck to ax to chicken coop in about 10 seconds flat. (note: even with supermommy skills I couldn't get the girls in the car that fast)

And worse: their small-person curiosity had been peaked! And then - it was over. And, even though I didn't look I found myself deeply cringing at my children's reactions. It was like watching a movie through the window...

We left - then came back 2 1/2 hours later.

The Comedy - Same day...just later

Bear's In-The-Moment Reaction: A stoic face clearly processing what she had just seen. Silence. More processing. A bit of face contortion as they did what chickens do after they lose their heads. More silence. More processing. A quiet ride in the car to the school play we planned to be at while the drama ensued!

Bear's Delayed Reaction: "Mom, is that what we would do if some cut our heads off?" Definately not. Not funny in the ha-ha sense, but certainly not what I expected her first question to be!

The Comedian's In-The-Moment Reaction: Drawing in one deep excited breath, totally enamoured with the whole process, then yelling out in only the way she can..."HEY! Them can fly without them heads!!!!!" And without missing a beat she fell in step beside her beloved Grandpa, cocking her own head to ask, "You gonna do another one?"

The Comedian's Delayed Reaction: Do you even have to ask? Re-telling the story over and over and over and over with additional details each time as I just nod and sport a slight smile.

The Pre-Prequil

When I was fourteen years old I went over to Jer's house for the first time. I was there as a friend of his brothers, but my reason for being there made no difference as I was invited a 'wrapping day'.

Believe you me, when the men-folk said "see you in a bit" and descended into the depths of a basement I had never seen I was more than a bit puzzled. But, being the dutiful little guest I was, readily ripped paper for who-knew-what...

Us ladies, you see - were upstairs preparing to wrap the hams and steaks that would soon ascend from said basement looking (I was very relieved to see) much like they do in the grocery store.

Even still - for a country girl raised by previously raised city folk, it was an eye opener. Let this little tangent serve only to say that when the beautiful day came that I fell for Jer, I knew what I was getting into.

That said, "I am a farmer's wife" did not translate, for me anyway, into "I will participate in all of the farmer's duties."

Just saying.

The Comedy - Part Duex

But even I, the mentally on-the-fence about all things slaughtered, wife of a generational farmer, could not stop laughing at 6pm yesterday.

"What would you like to watch a little bit of before bed tonight?" I asked my elder.

"We started a movie this morning when you were at church. Let's finish that" she replied.

I pushed the play button on the dvd player, assuming it would remember where it stopped before - and saw this...

Ironic beyond measure. Planned? I doubt it. Appropriate in some warped way? I thought so, or at least, my funny bone did.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Show and Tell....A Few Pics

Literally...a few - meaning three. Thanks to Sandie for sending me these as I eagerly await the rest!

Just a taste....more to come!!! But how cute are these little kiddos???

Oh - and I had a walk-vido post READY to go, but blogger kicked out the upload at the last I guess you will have to wait to hear my vocal rendition of I Hope You Dance! Luckily Lori, at Webbles Wobbles has an AWESOME little song uploaded onto her show and tell for the week!!!


Friday, May 15, 2009

The days fall in a row...

Regarding that next post:

Tomorrow turned into today - which is going to become a couple tomorrows...I fear because

Bear had no school yesterday
I feel like garbanzo beans today...and
Tomorrow, I am at an all day training.

Oh - and still not one picture to grace my inbox or arrive on a cd...I'm starting to wonder if this thing ever happened!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

“Who’s Who”

Do you know that publication? A quick google search reveals multiple cataegories you may fall into: Who's Who in the USA, amoung students, online, professionals? Being sited in one of these books is considered, "one of the most prestigious awards the (fill in the blank) community can bestow".

Long ago, my name appeared in one of the student publications. I cannot find the book. I cannot remember the actual category I fell into. I cannot recall if it was my high school performace or my college accolades that earned me such a "prestigious honor". Equally, I cannot recall feeling honored at all, seeing as my father had to cut a rather large check to the publisher so we could own one of these well-bound books that just so happened to have my name somewhere within its hundreds of pages.

Who would ever see me there? Why would it ever matter? How did this wheat from the chaff approach to academics futher anybody's journey through life? It didn't, not for me anyhow.

And yet, segregation within circles is what communities do. We all have our labels, or defining titles that place us within other’s minds. The teacher, the preacher, the mother, the activist, the rebel, the writer, the peace keeper, the quiet one; and then there’s the famous…

It’s the latter I’ve been thinking of quite a bit lately, for fame exists in each of these categories.

Is ‘Famous’ is a quantifiable word? In the real world it seems to be, measured by income and notoriety, number of fancy cars, and the square footage of your house, but not really by nobility for I can think of many famed personalities that reached their current status by actions considered 'less than noble'.

Fame is relative. A few well timed articles in local newspapers and neighbors joke, “Jeez – you’re famous!” A spot on the Today Show and your level of notoriety launches to the National level. And, lest us forget the coveted spot on Ms. O’s show, which will inspire or incense the world-at-large to your cause.

So, are there famous bloggers? This is the question I have been grappling with for weeks. Well, of course there are famous bloggers, but most were famous before the conception of their blog, and I would be willing bet that they don’t sit awake at 1am updating their blog because their emotional state is in such turmoil they have to purge the words before they sleep. Their blog is an extension of their pre-existing famous-ness.

So, to communitize this a bit more (are you keeping track of just how many new words I can make up in one post?) – Are there famous bloggers in the ALI community?

And, I suppose the most obvious answer is ‘yes’, as quantified by their following readership, the number of comments receive per post, or the sitemeter silently rotating numbers on their sidebar. And yet, I clearly recall my first impression of the blogging world, six.short.months.ago – as a very user friendly, equal opportunity, bring-any-and-all-emotions-here, community. This is – in fact, one of the founding purposes of the LFCA (Lost Found Connections Abound).

I have written many times, within countless posts, of the base connection I feel to my blogging friends. I have emoted about how I know very little about their real life: cars, houses, bank accounts, etc) but have no doubt that were we to hop a plane and share physical space with each other, the connection would be instant. For I do know, their losses, their struggles, their grief, their triggers, the things that lift them up. In short, I know their heart.

We are all connected. We are all important. All our feelings are valid and matter. And before this post becomes a segway for yet another tangetalized piece of Mel’s weekend,
(Um…btw – Mel, with her given title, “Goddess of Infertility”, and her recent exposé in the metro-times, certainly qualifies as a famous blogger)… I’ll get to the point.

There were three bloggers at my real-life walk this weekend. Because, I consider them famous as mapped out by the above critera and from personal perspective, I will not name or link to them. I will allow them the freedom to blog about their experience if they so choose. But I need to share mine.

Tomorrow's post will be the intensely emotional experience I encountered meeting them in person. My first, second and third meet-and-greet, if you will....

Till then, I leave you with a few questions:

What, in your opinion, is bloggy fame? How do you measure it? And, if you were given the absolute choice to become a famed blogger overnight, would you take it? Why? or Why Not?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday - Expectations

One of my nearest, dearest friends in the whole world once said to me - "Live without expectations and you will always succeed. You will always feel satisfied, never disappointed."

Fundamentally - it makes sense.

If you expect nothing from your job and do it for the love of the mission, every penny of your salary is like a bonus.

If you expect nothing from your children, every tiny thing they accomplish feels like a huge achievement.

If you expect nothing from your spouse, every kind gesture you receive lifts you up.

Realistically - it's a fallacy.

Existing without expectation, I mean truly living without even an out-of-focus image in your head of what you might like to happen, is not the way most of us experience life. If it were, none of us would have ever felt, the blissful ignorace of pregnancy = forty weeks= healthy screaming baby = up all night feedings = a happily ever after.

Conversely, we would also have escaped the resounding crash that landed the world upside down at our feet, crushing our hearts into bite sized pieces and leaving us there to pick them up.

Ah - expectation: too much of it can de-rail you; too little, and motivation can pass you by.

The trick is to find just the right balance of intrisic desire with acceptance of 'what is' and 'will be'. And, it has been my experience that when you find said balance it often happens that the result blows your 'would-be-expectation' out of the perverbial water.

This was my experience with the memory walk.

My (let’s loosely call them) expectations for this event were:
  • for a just a few more people than our members and their families to come
  • to cover our costs, but not focus on fundraising
  • to raise awareness
  • to educate the community
  • to allow a safe space for inspiration and emotion
  • to affirm parents with empty arms
  • and to make it through singing without crying

The bigger-than-I-ever-imagined-it-to-be reality of the day still brings me to tears.

  1. We had 84 people there. Eighty Four for a first event!
  2. We covered our costs and raised an additional $866.00 – damn.

  3. I am already receiving emails from people who want to donate their services, or heard about the event ‘afterwards’ and want to be involved in the future.

  4. Parents who are 15, 20, 30, and 40 years out from their loss responded that ‘they finally feel like that baby’s mother, father, grandparent..etc.’

A series of perfect moments to be sure.

Thank you Emma Grace for making this all possible. For teaching your earthly mother that there is more to tragedy than pain and sorrow. That beauty comes from emotional growth.
I’m dancing sweet girl – just for you.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Life Terminology

Do you Effectively Multi-task OR Neglect Effectively?

Personally, I don't think there is much inherent lingusitic derivation between these two phrases. I mean, I thought I was doing the former with grace, maybe even style - micro-managing the countless focuses of my life: the dropping off to school, creating a column worth reading, the house, the seasonal switch of car tires, the food, the laundry, this blog and, of course, the non-profit that has become my life.

In fact, yesterday during the whirlwhind that was our memory walk (note: I hope the only person that felt whirwindish was me...) when I was being approached with linguistic questions both in person and over that confundeled walkie-talkie thing (why on earth do they say 'roger'? - seriously), my dad heard someone say, "Women can multi task, Men can't."

Of course this statement could be debated for I know a great many men who do numerous things at the same time, but regardless of the gender overextending themselves, my question stands: Effectively multi-tasking or Neglecting effectively?

Twenty-four hours after the most intensive event I have ever planned (with much help!) I am forced to admit I have done the latter, perhaps - with just a little of the afore mentioned 'grace' and, maybe even a smidge of 'style' - maybe.

And before you start pumping me up with accalaids and emotional cheers - know that this is a plain fact, not a self-degregating statment. The facts are clear:
  • My car is a mess - again - in record time
  • Dishes sit in the sink
  • Piles of laundry seem to pop up around my house: needing to be washed, needing to be hung, needing to be folded, begging to be put in drawers (um..yeah - right)
  • My exercise cd sits, figurative eyebrows raised, where I laid it...5 days ago - or something
  • My husband says things like, "I feel like I haven't seen you in a week"
  • My fridge is pretty bare
  • My kids, *sigh*, I miss them and they are right here
  • My google reader mocks me as I hope you haven't felt neglected too

Even my body is crashing, a not-so-slow deescallation of all the muscles that cranked themselves tighter and tighter all week long. It's acually painful. I didn't expect that.

See, this tightrope I walked for the last week, trying not to mis-step or the food might not all be there or the port-a-potty was missing, or would the generator power the mic without over powering it...has affected every part of my life. And, of course it would.

But the part I really didn't expect was the 'after'. I couldn't sleep last night. Well, I crashed...then at 1am awoke out of a sound sleep and couldn't go back. The thoughts of who I forgot to thank and recognize, the 'what we will do differently next year's, and the haunting image of a woman I never saw but was told - arrived late and left early - did we upset her more than comfort?

Be assured there will be more posts about the highlights of our day. Pictures and videos will come, when I get them. It was a very affirming and successful day and I do feel that the all-encompassion life-debris was all worth it. I just need to acknowledge it. And, so there is a chance I might be able to get some sleep tonight...

Thank you to ALL the volunteers that gave their time and energy, manning tables, babysitting the kids tent, blowing up balloons, taking picutres, capturing video, and breaking down.

Thank you to my amazing, astoundingly gorgeous husband and his 'always there' loyal cousin who single (or double) handedly erected and broke down five tents, six tables, built a performance platform, set up and manned the sound system, and said all those cute, but totally over my head things over the walkie talkies. This event would not have happened without you.

Thank you to every single brave person who came, cried, smiled, laughed, hugged, and shared their story. Your children are well loved and well remembered.

Thank you the beautiful gang of children we had, who even in the midst of tears frolliced in the green grass amidst a sea of yellow dandelions. You were such a welcome sight. We live for you.

And, Thank you to all our angel babies for filling us - eventually - with equal measures of longing and inspiration. Because of your short lives we change the world.

*Phew* - That feels better. Time to do laundry, and dishes, and play with my kids, and kiss my husband, and go food shopping and...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Surreal To The Point of Disbelief

The Walk is over. I felt very much like I was at my wedding all over again - like it was happening all around me, but I couldn't focus, step back and really take it all in.

It was amazing, unreal, more people than I could have imagined for a first event.

And yet, for one of the very first times in my life I was not behind the camera...hence I have no pictures to show, yet.

They will come - along with video - as we had two, yes 2 - videographers.

But for now, I will just say...

  • It went off with a minimal of hitches.
  • Surprise guests took my heart by storm
  • The community knows we exist - even if they were trying not to!
  • I got through singing without crying

But...I cried four times. Uh huh - just four. Yes Michelle - I believe this makes you the winner.

I will post more indepth about my range of emotions, but for tonight - I'm spent... Good Night

Friday, May 8, 2009

Click - Click - Click

That is the sound of my stapler as I colate 75 perfect, pale purple programs for the walk tomorrow. The all James Taylor online radio station plays in the background and - - an idea hits me.

Because - you know, I really needed one more idea to pop into my head less than 24 hours before the event!

So, I'll keep it brief, or try - for there is much to be done.

The sheer emotion of the event is starting to take me over. I'm inviting it because better that I'm a sobbing, bittersweet, I-can't-believe-we-actually-created-this-resource, mess today, than tomorrow.

I'm sure I'll be emotive as I greet each brave person who approaches the registration table...but I'd rather not be blubbering. You know, being the director of the corporation and all.

Oh, my idea? Sorry...a slight tanget got the best of me.

Well, during the memorial we are giving away on of hubby's handmade, hardwood memory boxes. (click over for a visual...see? told you I was keeping it brief!)

And, it occurred to me that just because you can't be there, seeing as most of you live halfway around the globe, you shouldn't be exempt from winning such a special object. I mean, nearly half the names we are reading are your children after all.

But, to be fair to the red-ticket-holding folks standing in front of the podium - I will giveaway a second box to the internet folk. So, what do you have to do??

Comment with your prediction to this question: How many times will Cara succumb to tears between the hours of 9 - 12?

I'll be sure to keep track. Better yet - I'll ask someone else to keep track too. That might me more accurate number. And, to avoid any questioning of what is crying the defining rule is: the tear must leave my eye and meet my cheek.

Delurkers?? This is a great opportunity to introduce yourself AND perhaps win something at the same time!

If there are a number of you spot-on, then it will come to a video, who other than my Knocked-Down Hunk of a sweet man, without whom this event (read: sound, contstruction, tents, performance platform...etc) could not happen.

So - comment - guess - win - and introduce yourself!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

And The World Keeps Spinning...

And spinning, and spinning... as we enter a 48 hours countdown to the walk!!Tomorrow morning I will be printing the program which contains the names / dates of all the babies we will walk in memory of.

Please feel free to click over to the Wall of Angels to read the open invitation.

If your baby is already on the wall then their name is on the list.

If not, and you wish to send it to me: please use as my contact email for this event.

And please...pretty please....pretty pretty please with a cherry on top - write out both the actual and PHONETIC spelling of your sweet baby's name!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Modern Day Love Story

The Love Story

Falling in love with Jeremiah was swift and effortless, an uncontrollable undertoe challenging me to blindly accept, to live regardless of past or future, to exist in the moment. True love will do that. Love nearly-at-first sight will do that.

Consequently, every Friday night in the infancy of our relationship I packed my overnight bag and loaded it in my red Ford Escort. Leaving Cape Cod I evaporated a four and half hour drive singing love songs at the top of my lungs. Each week I arrived in Ludlow, cursing at traffic to move faster, as my body filled with bubbling anticipation knowing in the next moments, I would see him.

After one particularly infuriating trip concluding with my frustration at being forced to follow an “I go five miles an hour under the speed limit” eighteen wheeler for the last 10 miles, I finally pulled into the driveway of Jeremiah’s apartment. When I saw him, I gasped. It was a warm late summer evening and the sun, perfectly angled, lit him up. He stood, his back to me, in the center of the driveway. He was wearing chaps, a Carr hart shirt and holding a chainsaw upright towards the sky. He gripped it, one handed with such ease it looked like he could have reached out, chopped down a tree and returned the saw to its vertical position without noticing.

My heart all but stopped. I knew, in that moment, he was my future. He was. He is.

The Modern Twist... First Comes Love, Then Comes Baby, Then Comes Limo for The Wedding Party

I was pregnant at the wedding. This, in-and-of-itself did not make the story, not for me anyway. The purity of our connection told me it was inconsequential, nothing more than a double-arrowed reverse symbol in the society based taunting rhyme. This is not to say Society held it's tongue, but it's words were lost on me. It's whispers, stares, and halted conversations could not penetrate the shield forged by blinding love. I was overjoyed. No one had the power to dampen my bliss.

And It All Came Crashing Down...

I would be lying if I said the words never penetrated. They did, occasionally, and yet I felt no motivation to defend our love, our baby to those who judged.

And then - she died. And then - I died. And, I thought there was a real possiblity that the couple who just knew they were mean to be together might die a slow death too.

Today is our anniversary. Nine years ago today we vowed to love each other 'for better or worse'. Worse made a good show. We shared a long smiling glance at the priest's words, 'accept children that God chooses to bless you with', knowing we already had. May 6, 2000 was the happiest day of my life filled with laughter, love, smiles, and a performance on the dance floor I can say with assurance will never be repeated.

We made it. It wasn't easy. I love him more than I ever have, in a deeper, soul-comprehending, connected-by-loss kind of way that (pray God) most couples never have to work for.

And it is work. And it always will be. And it is worth it because the driveway may be longer, the Car harts might be trendier, and the chainsaw might be newer - but when the sun hits him just right at the end of a long day I still see that man. And my heart nearly stops. And I know he is still my future.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Moment of Silence

It's easy to be quiet when you are quiet. Right? It's simple to let our minds flow as we sit on the beach under the gentle sun, someone tidying up our rented room back in the village and prep cooks rotely pounding out the chicken that will become our dinner for the evening - whichever resturant we eventually decide to enter.

Perspective is a welcome visitor in these moments. We pat the patch of sand next to us, encouraging him to take a seat and chat. We listen willingly to his message, nodding, processing, sure that the sound of the waves crashing and ephiphinisitc thoughts will settle into our bodies - stow away, travelling back to our daily lives, when we do.

Yes - it's easy to be quiet when you're quiet. It's hard to be centered within the storm.

Today is Tuesday. Saturday is four days away: 96 hours. The numbers give the appearance of time being on my side, yet my energy - both mental and physical - seem to feel that it is evaporating before my very eyes.

My to-do lists grow. Sub categories expand. Random words 'ICE' pop into my head, reminding my ever-chugging brain of yet another small detail I have forgotten.

I am not in this alone. For that I am eternally grateful. I have competant and qualified people helping to pull this off. Yet, I am the one spun up like a corded top.

I was for most of my life, rigid and anxious and waiting for the next moment - only to get there and be dissatisfied with that moment, then automatically turn my head scanning the horizon for the next, and the next, and the next.

I broke out of that lifestyle. DH was the catalyst that put my slower, spontaneous, flexibile thinking into action. What a freeing time. A whole new world existed. I embraced each day. I really lived each day, enjoying my time. And the most astounding thing happened. When I looked back on those days I could remember every part of them, every emotion of connectedness.

I know this walk is a big endeavor. I realize it takes a great amount of planning and organization. But I can also feel it tugging me back to my old ways and that scares me. Because when I look back, say - on Monday, I want to remember all the prep and smile. I want to know that I lived the day of the event, not just lived through it. I want to feel that warm emotion spread through me each and every time I revisit those hours in my head. But most of all, I don't want to lose a week of my life worrying, obsessing, and what-if'ing something that hasn't even happened yet.

This is a choice. I choose calm. I choose fulfillment. I better go meditate.

(But PS - Mother Nature, if you are reading this I wouldn't mind just a little sun for Saturday - jsut saying...ok, I'm done )

Monday, May 4, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday - Model Material?? (Child pictured)

I have to admit a few sideways glances in the mirror with pursed lips and a pleated jean skirt in my formative years, but model material I never was.
Today - as opened the large see-through bag of thin, silk-screened fabric, my perfect moment formed. Running my fingers over the letters, I decided to throw caution to the wind and sport a shirt that is a labor of much love.

Ready to walk the runway with us?? (Cue the mic'ed speaker voice)

This year a startling line of clothing have emerged not from trendy seasonal fads, but from deep within our designers. These clothes are created from memory and emotion. We hope that the first in this line resonates with you as much as it has with us.
If you have felt the intense pleasure of creating and growing a life inside you only to find that your baby died, and will never come home with you - but lives on forever in the depths of your heart then this is the shirt for you. It's light purple hues speak both to the longing and inspiration the wearer feels.

Cara wears this shirt with a wide smile (even if you can't see it), knowing others will too.

Comedian shines like the loving little sister she is in her lilac memory shirt. Yes, these shirts come in all sizes as grievers do too. Big, little, short and tall, the impact our angel babies have in our lives is never more pronounced than when a small child speaks of a missing sibling.

And, last - but definately not least - we have Emma's daddy who swore he would not be convinced to wear such a pale colored shirt (read...purple), and yet - here he stands proud as a peacock knowing that our vision is near at hand. Daddies take note: purple is a color you can pull off!
Just wait until we have them personalized!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Show and Tell - Empty Space

I certainly don't have a lot of that in my life. I like empty space - for it feels clean and unintruded on...but as mentally organized as my life is, the spaces in my life are often cluttered.

Take my van...

I LOVE my van. I have from the moment a salesman drove it to my house and sat in my dining room to sign the papers! Buy a car without ever leaving your house: checked that off my list of things to do in this lifetime.

But I live out of my van. Really. Anything I could ever need at any point in the day is in there. Hence, it is a mess. And - a big one...all the time.

But not today! Check it out!

Oh Yeah! I stripped that baby good - even removing the seats that usually hold my sweet girls.


I'm taking a drive this morning to meet Jeff and Michelle, the founders of The Simon Project, and father to Simon who lived in their lives for three short months before SIDS took his life. These special people have opened their hearts and lives to me and we have never offically met. Their foundation is sponsoring Share Southern Vermont's Walk for Hope and Rememberance with a generous monetary donation - And... tents, table, lidded garbage containers, coolers and MORE!

See why I needed a little empty space??

So - a big bloggy and very public THANK YOU to Jeff and Michelle as they give up their Sunday to meet and deliver these things. And, thank you for forcing me to create some clean space in my life.

I kinda like a clean car. Maybe I'll try and keep it that way! What are you show and telling?

(Oh - and did you see that the 5th issue of Exhale came out this weekend?? New format, new timelines, new columnists - Check.It.Out!)

(And...a preemtive apology to all those people that I want to comment on this week and just find myself spinning too fast with walk prep to do it. Sorry - I'll be back. You know that!)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Oh What a Day...Oh - Indeed

On the drive home exhilleration hit every nerve I possess, well - that and mental exhaustion in the form of a vibrant headache. Three hours of intense focus on translating information will do that. I must add 'mental jumping jacks' to my daily workout if this will eventually consume more than three hours of my day.

However, all in all - my initial evaluation of the experience was right on:

Sure this is the right path
Unsure that I am ready"

Except for that last one. I am ready. I really always was. I just have yet to make this choice, that's all.

First - I chose Deaf Education.
Then - I chose parenting.
Now - I choose to combine these skills so both are possible. Kids will still be dropped off to school. Clients will still be served. And yes, money will be earned. (*big sigh of relief*)

But first - there is a little business to attend to. The Deaf community is a really special place. You earn your ticket to the community through committment, trust, and attendance. I used to have a backstage pass. It was my second home.

After Emma died, my main focus became - first self, then Bear, then Comedian. For six years I have been here, at home, focusing on my family as the Deaf community went on. My students grew up, teachers left and new ones came, people divorced and got remarried. I have much to do now if I wish to be welcomed back into that community with smiles and wide signing arms.

I'm in the right place. Now is the right time. Even if its just one step at a time.

Oh - and my week-of-crazy-obsessed prep for the Memory walk starts tomorrow.

Oh - and came home to Emma's daffodills fully bloomed.

Oh - and the cap came off my tooth tonight

But I had a good day - a very good day indeed.
(Sorry Martha - no snazzy pic to prove it, not yet anyway)

A New Day

Off to work today - back to a community that I haven't frequented for a long while on a consistant basis.

Sure this is the right path
Unsure that I am ready

Professional Clothes - check
Make up on - check

Will arrive early
Will do great...I hope

American Sign Language Interepreting is my river for the day.

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Time Is Both My Best Ally and My Worst Enemy: My Meltdown 8 Years Later