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

Monday, June 29, 2009

Potentially Perfect Moment Monday -- The Swinging Door


Comedian and I went back to the attic today. I was ready. The dead bird was gone and the space had a few days to 'air out' as my husband so delicately put it.

Apparantely, so had I.

Visually, I see my first visit as one with many different colored doors representing the past. They surrounded me creating a perimiter I could not cross without stepping through one of them. Each mutually exclusive from the other, forcing me to immerse momentarily then reemerge temporarily teetering from the stark constrast of that girl versus me.

Today I ascended the stairs confident, mentally prepared -- knowing I would continue to find vivid, blatent reminders of the many lives I used to lead, even looking forward to certain doors reappearing. To be clear, I realize that life is constant, a multi-layered series of events creating your experience and leading you to the present moment. But, back then, before I reached any space of self-acualization, life truly felt segregated to me.

When I was a student, I was all student. Anal to the point of devestation at an A-, doing and redoing my work, then finalizing it two days before the deadline 'just in case' there was something I had to change...

When I was a teacher, I was all teacher. My focus was exclusively teaching, creating lesson plans, developing curriculum, connecting with families, attending student's sporting events...

When I was in a relationship my whole world revolved around it, or - more specifically, him.
I found evidence of all these things today.

And yet, those individualized doors didn't appear. Instead, I saw one large swinging door. It was in constant motion inviting me to peek, but not delve. Encouraging me to see each part of my personal evolution as another layer, not another burst bubble left behind never to be revisited.

  • I sifted through cases and cases of class notes from high school, college and grad school.
  • I found letters from old boyfriends.
  • I found college application essays and their corresponding acceptance letters.
  • I found evidence of my 'well roundedness', (read: extreme nerdiness) -- although I now believe the two phrases are interchangable.
  • My extra-curriculars screamed overachiever with entries such as: HOBY (Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Foundation), Close-Up, Goveners Institute for the Arts, National Honor Society Award for something...
  • I found my baby book, letters to Santa, my first tooth that ever fell out, and other small pieces of my childhood signed and dated by my parents as they put them away.

Nothing threw me, until I found this,

An innocuous, albeit buldging, envelope with faded pencil letters spelling: Emma. I'm fine. I knew there was more. Just open it.

I put my hand inside, eyes averted, like someone picking the winning giveaway number, I will pick out what I am supposed to. My hand landed on something thick. I pulled.

As I stared at the missing journal tears came without control. I had looked for this tirlessly last summer as I began the manuscript. Finally, giving up the search, I grieved how it must have been lost in one of our many moves. But here it was, in my hand, and I wasn't sure I could open it.
It held the beginning. The real, raw, I sometimes just wrote profanities across the page beginning. I need to go there, but not with Comedian next to me. Those are my layers, your layers, but not hers.

And so, here is where I will explore that journal, that portal back to dark days when nothing made sense, or mattered, or caused me to care.

Each post that is journal related will be marked Back To The Beginning - Part X, and so -- another series is born.

My hope for this series is dual:

1: that I am able to revisit those days with perspective filled eyes
2: that you, where ever you are in your grief process will be benefit from seeing where I started, putting where I am in just a bit more perspective.

Just like at our SHARE meetings, there are no rules. You can read and be silent or take over the comment section with your 'beginning' story. I sincerely look forward to sharing this journey with you.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Coming Home

I pulled into the driveway, placed the car in park and turned off the engine. The kids immediately escaped the confines of their five hour moving-jail, bolting for the house door screaming "Daaaaadddddyyyy".

I sat. The quiet grew as I allowed a slow scan of my surroundings. The grass was greener, the chickens bigger, the yard tidier and the view -- more beautiful than I remembered it being for years. Nothing had really changed, but everything had. Gratitude for the life that I live, have lived, for the last nine years seemed nearly tangible without the myriad of 'responsibilites' vying for position, diminishing the value of our walls, our roof, our land, our little brook running through the back field, our garden, and -of course - our focus on family.

This vacation was so many things. I'm sure the physical details will show themselves both here and at the Bear / Comedian site, supported - no doubt - by adorable pictures and well spun tales. But the true result of this unplugged vacation* was a new grasp on perspective, and - if I'm being honest, a not-so-sudden realization of the not-so-mild addiction my computer represented in my life.

And yes, that last sentence is intentionally in the past tense, not because I think that I can just snap my fingers and erradicate the fact that my blog leads me more than I lead it; but because I am consciously choosing to reverse that fact.

I missed you more than I can say, but I also embraced the unpluggedness of my time. I experienced a familiar rush as I logged on to my google reader, but vow to manage my time better. By that I do not mean that I will do less. I will still participate in Show and Tell, Perfect Moment Mondays, update the Weekly Children's Wisdom Quote, maintain the Share Southern Vermont website, update the Angel Wall twice monthly, and post as the mood and inspiration strikes about my sweet angel daughter, but like the well trained teacher that I am, I will plan for these events allowing myself more time here, in my physical world, tuning-in to my children and being the most attentive parent I can be.

The shift was imminent, not only because it is summer and school is out, but because these are the formative years for my girls. The self-motivated and self-regulated tools they learn now will serve them for the rest of their life, or not.

Case in point...

Comedian (in a serious moment): "Momma, I can't wait to be a grown up."
Me: "Hmmm...what do you see when you look at grown ups?"
Comedian: "Big people who do lots of homework** and say 'wait a minute' a lot"

Vacation: (n) A break from the routines of normal daily life complete with a lack of expectation that allows only good and fun things to happen resulting in a return to perpective of what is important.

Summer: (n) see above definition

* turns out it was tough love not forced celebacy!
** she calls working on the computer 'homework'

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Real Life Won Again

Still here...briefly.

Vacation delayed by one day -- will jet tomorrow at 9am!

Can't wait, even if we ARE headed for a week of wet weather that might have us doing a plethera of indoor activites! Will be jonesin' something BAD for the internet I'm sure. I'm not taking the laptop...or maybe I will...for writing of course -- just for writing, certainly not for popping into the local library or wifi cafe!

Back on the 25th.

See you then!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Show and Tell - Rerouting

I could share many things tonight - without pictoral evidence to back them up.

For instance, I could share about the genuine tater tots I consumed at the hand of a lunch lady serving me -- and the hundred other middle schoolers behind me at 11:20pm.

Or, I could share about the cool yard sign proclaiming the work of the "Travelling Hoe" on the surrounding property.

Or, I could share about the newfound perspective and genuine desire I have to play barbies, chase, and hide-and-seek for hours on end with my littles, simply because they are still little and still want to spend time with me!

(Also a derivitive of my day surrounded by big/little people who clearly think they are giagantic and would not envision an evening of freshly popped popcorn and a lively game of skip-bo with mom and dad an evening well spent)

But, my Show and Tell at Share Southern Vermont's Site probably constitues 3 Shows-and-Tells in one! Please click over. Please watch it. It is a PSA of the most intimate kind meant for both the broken-hearted and those we hope will never live our hell on earth. SHARE has existed for over 3o years, but people don't know about us because (and I quote our National Executive Director) "they don't want to..." They choose not to hear of our sad mission, and who can blame them, but how empowering would it be if then next sad victim of babyloss knew enough to turn to their nurse and manage, "I need SHARE".

Consider it my "final exam". The end of the school year is upon us, after all. Oh - and Ms. Teacher, I put alot of effort into it. So, fellow classmates, what are you showing??

Monday, June 15, 2009

Real Life Wins

Have you ever been so focused on what you have to do (CLEAN HOUSE, CLEAN LAUNDRY, PACK...) in the next (2) days so that you can do something else (VACATION!) after those days are over --that it seemed those days (which, of course had yet to even happen) had already evaporated?

Well, that is me. And, yes, I the way I am typing is an accurate reflection of my current scattered state!

I want to read all those posts from the last few days (and the futurisitic days) that I'm just not going to get to.

I want to participate in Show and Tell on Wednesday night. Perhaps...who knows.

I want to update the Angel Wall before I leave.

I want to picnic with Comedian at Emma's grave.

I want to find that net.fl.ix movie that I know is around here somewhere and return it before I leave, even though I also know there are no late fees.

I want to pack just enough, but not too much, and remember absolutely everything I should.

*sigh* - we'll just see how much of that comes to be. But, since I clearly won't have time to return comments via email let's have a pro-active VACATION Q and A:

Q: Cara, where are you going?
A: Cape Cod

Q: How long will you be gone?
A: 1 week, I think -- or maybe not (weather report isn't looking so hot...literally)

Q: Why now?
A: The house is free and available now - We go now.

Q: Will you have internet access when you are gone?
A: Nope. (Good thing - like tough love? Bad thing - like forced celibacy? I don't know...yet)

Q: When are you leaving?
A: Thursday. Back on the 25th. Will miss you all terribly and shudder to think at the exponentially bigger number of blog posts awating when we return.

And, yes - I am typing like it is already Wed night and I only have a one more sleep until we depart. It is, isn't it?

Friday, June 12, 2009

What's In A Number?

And - No, this is not a post-birthday lament...but a HUGE thank you is due to all the lovely ladies who took time out of their day to wish me a nice one. I can tell you, it just got better and better and better!!

Jer and I walked down the isle with a shared common nieve, pollyanna vision of our future. Although polar opposites to look at we tapped right into that whole 'soul mate' thing, as in 'I am already complete by myself but you fit like the right puzzle piece' kind of soul mate.

There was one thing we disagreed on, however. Whenever we were asked, "How many kids do you want?" Our consistently opposing answer was "Me: 4, Him: 2". It seemed on this point, we could not agree.

I am an only child who, as a way of overcompensating, always had dreams of a BIG family. I envisioned myself with a Maria-like air, signing my personal sound of music as I did the dishes (by hand of course) with my flowing skirts just toucing the floor and a non-descript number of kids happily playing at my feet.

Him, one of two, realized the dynamics of siblings and was firm with his 'two is enough' declaration, adding the 'we can divide and conquer' theory to back up his statement.

My response, "Well, if we have three - we have four. I will NOT raise a middle child. I'm sure to muck that up with honors!"

This banter was fun. It was easy to muse about our future when our first was already growing so steadily inside me. No decisions had to be made, time would sort all that out...

And then, Emma died. And our second looked very much like our first. And our third (the on-the bubble-child, if you will) looked very much like our second.

And one day, Jer looked at me. His face slightly contorted like something profound yet only recently made obvious had just struck him. He said, rather sadly, "Well, it looks like we had three, but there's no need to have four."

Too true my love. It seems that babyloss tests the boundries of math equality. Easy equations no longer add up. In my life: 2 = 3.

How many children did you envision? What is your equation? And, how do you present it to the 'real word'?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Little Birthday Ditty

You Know The Tune...

Happy Birthday To Me...

I Am Thirty-Three...

Most Smile And Say, "Oh - You're Still A Baby"

Tell Me - How Can That Be??

Honestly, I do feel young. Well, young-ish.

Then again, I don't get carded anymore. Well, sometimes I get the 'second glance' but that's about it.
And, I am not that girl the young flaggers with their stop/go sign turn to look at anymore...
But I am still young - ish

Most importantly, I feel special. Very special. Look what my sweet husband did for me when I was facilitating our SHARE meeting last night.

I awoke this morning to a four star breakfast (french toast, sausage, bacon, and coffee!), this gorgeous cake (german choc. - my favorite!*), and two totally amazing cards: one from him and one from my Bear.

His said, "To My Wife, My Friend, My Soul Mate"

And all this before 8am. Enough said...a very happy birthday to me indeed.

*We DID NOT eat cake for breakfast. But let it be said: I was tempted!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Um...Did I Mention I Love FREE Stuff?

Oh, yeah... I DID! And then, Ms. Martha from A Sense of Humor Is Essential posted about this. And she KNEW I would salivate. And enter. And post. And I Did! Because what is better than just finding free stuff?? WINNING IT - of course!

Fantoubously Frugal is a great site!!

Seriously, if you want to win a MAJOR prize on over.

In English...we could win:

Decorative envelopes from etsy seller Adnagam
Frango Dark Chocolate Mints
Sunshine Yellow Hair Pins from etsy seller creamrose
Purple Rain Amethyst Earrings from etsy seller Sew*Cool Design
Paperchase 8 Folded Cards with Envelopes
Small change purse from etsy seller Made by Hank
Cucumber Melon Salty Soap Scrub from etsy seller Sissy Soap
Soap Nuts from Laundry Tree
Spring Flower Garden Cupcake Liners from etsy seller Layer Cake Shop
2 Vera Bradley cloth napkins
Musings Recycled Notebook in Blue from etsy seller subu
Fleur de Lis Necklace from etsy seller Bumble Beadz
Marc Jacobs key fob
Stationery and small letter-pressed notebook from etsy seller Sarah Drake
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Protective Recovery Complex
Coriander Ivory Small Cosmetic Bag from etsy seller The Sweet Sugar Beet
Smashbox Lip Gloss
Reusable Sandwich & Snack Bags from etsy seller Green Street
Reversible Coffee Sleeve from etsy seller LilE
Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
OPI Nail Polish
Stick With Me, Kid Shopping Tote from etsy seller Earth Cadets
As well as MANY MORE surprises!

Clearly I will be frequenting this blog... a lot! Oh, and drop my name...or Martha's...and we are all winners!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Stage Fright

I don't have it. Never have. I've been on stage in one capacity or another since I was five years old, my father speaking into the mic, "And this is my daughter Cara. Come on up here Cara...come on."
And yet, I always get a MAJOR case of the butterflies before I interpret. (hence my last post)

And then, I always feel great about my 'performance' if you will. Like I did the meaning of both consumer's words justice in a calm, flowing, way.

I always leave the job with a satisfied smile on my face and an affirmation in my heart: I am good at what I do.

The butterflies will come back. They always do. I suppose they keep me on my toes and feed that inner want-to-do-well drive that seems to be in overdrive.

Thanks for your support. It went well, obviously.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Off I Go Into The Wild Blue Yonder...

of an Episcopal church to interpret for the baptism of a sweet little baby!

Have you ever noticed that the based services say the same thing over and over and over, just with fancier and longer words????


Translation Secret: In ASL I'm just saying the same exact thing over and over and over.

The Deaf must think we are quite boring folk!

See you on the other side!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Show and Tell: F.R.EE - My Favorite Word

FREE - I love this word, no - I'm in love with this word. Everything has value, in some capacity, to someone so when people are giving something away, hence - it's freeness, I always ask myself Cara, could this be of some use to you or will it just become transplanted clutter that you will deem valueless in time?
This next statement should come as no great shock to you. I love yardsales. Oh, how I love them - the signs, locating them, 'window shopping' in the great outdoors, and then there is the bartering. I am not as aggressive a negotiator as I once was, but I can still haggle with the best of 'em, and if I don't like the deal - I walk.

A couple years ago I found this at an off-the-beaten-path yard sale.

It wasn't free. It was five dollars. *ouch* I mean, five bucks at yard sale is excessive for a lifetime nickle and dimer like moi. But I couldn't stop thinking about this breadmaker. I'd always wanted one and what is five bucks, really? A number 3 at Mc.D.'s. A combo sandwich at Dun.kin's. Apparantely for the price of a calorie ridden stack of junk I could get my very own breadmaker.

Even still, I did what I always did. (note: did, not do) I walked away. As I started the car I thought, If it's still there tomorrow it'll mean that it is really supposed to be mine.

But could I let it go? HECK NO! I thought about it. Obsessed on it. Couldn't stop thinking about it. "Slept" on it. Woke up worried that just after I left someone else snatched it up. Tried to focus at work and beelined directly there (an agreevis waste of gas...) at 4pm.

It was there. It was mine. Five Bucks...what a steal! I thought as I paid and took possession of the 'must have' item. Nope, I didn't even try to barter.

It didn't come with a manual. No biggie. A quick google search, a bit of patience as twenty-something pages downloaded, then printed and wha-la I was in the bread making business. A steal indeed. My yardsale breadmaker purchase ranks right up there with the best-five-bucks I ever spent on ebay!

So, last weekend, after celebrating my mother's 38 years of teaching at a small family luncheon (didn't she look happy!) Jer and I spied a sign across the road. FREE it read, in big, bold, beckoning letters. Tables and tables of stuff, just sitting there - FREE!

Um, a kid in a candy store was I! We approached and I saw it.
A rice cooker! It seems I have weakness for small kitchen appliances that are hard and bulky to store. Do you know how much rice I cook with a gluten free girl in this house???

Unable to stop myself, I glanced around while reaching for it, like someone was going to say - Ha! Just kidding! Not FREE for you. But no one was there. And it was. And it now sits in my pantry. And I have no idea how I ever lived without it. It makes the best dang rice I've ever had.

However, like all things obtained for little or no money at yard sales, it did not come with a manual. And, according to those pretty blue and green buttons it also makes porridge, oatmeal, brown rice, etc. I'd love to know how!!!

To really maximize my SHOW AND TELL, I'm also sending out a SEARCH for my quick trip to google yielded this word: discontinued.
So, if you have a SANYO ECJ - B35M kickin' rice, porridge, oatmeal maker WITH a manual (and access to a copier), then I have postage! My email link is under the header. Thanks.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Just Not Brave Enough to Go Back Through The Door

Well, I went back through ready to tackle any other past lives that popped up.

But I wasn't ready for the BIRD that popped up, then repeatedly slammed into the stained glass window over and over trying to get out.

I was even less prepared for the DEAD HEADLESS BIRD lying at the top of the stairs.

Methinks Ms. Sally snuck up there and had herself a grand old party before heading to the vet today.

Eeewww - Ick - and Rats...I was really on a roll with this attic sorting thing!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Stepping Through The Door - Love Remains

If you have been wondering how our cat drama ended, the story is HERE, because children are pictured. If you can't click over...I understand.


The ad called to me, not just because it will be at the local elementary school or because we happen to have that day free, OR because our attic is so full of crap that has been there since the day we moved in...SEVEN years ago - but for it's byline: WE DO THE ADVERTISING. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS SHOW UP.


And so, Comedian and I opened the the attic...this morning. As I climbed the dusty, dead-bug ridden stairs my mind repeated a controlled mantra: throw away the trash, sell the clutter, keep only what you NEED...

This not easy for me. Perhaps the need to keep all things past is genetically encoded, for my parents attic looked just like this, but worse, before they moved. They had lived over 30 years in the house. Well, to be fair, a good portion of their attic clutter was deposited into MY attic the day we moved here. It hasn't been touched since. *sigh*

I knew it wouldn't be an easy task. I knew Comedian would keep it light hearted with her constant chatter, keeping me from getting lost in old year books, stacks of heart pulling photos, or years and years and years of college class notes, papers, and records of my early teaching days...

What I wasn't prepared for was the pinball machine effect. Every box I opened held a past life. Every time I turned around I was in another place, surrounded by different people: an ASL teacher, a student, a voice actor in a Deaf play, in an airport with friends I barely see headed overseas for the first time...

Crumpled old collages that used to pepper my pale pink walls. Each had a theme, pictorally representing a portion of my life.

Yet another journal. Oh Lordy...that's just what I need.

In my bedroom at 7 years old playing barbies. But check out the CLASSIC carrying case!

In my underoos with my cousins, which was captured for all eternity on the cover of Kidsong's songbook.

Teaching myself to type on my BRAND NEW Commodore 64 with this hot off the presses game: Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing... (oh the money I made typing papers for people!)

Playing 'Emily' in the classic play, Our Town, annually during my high school years.

Walking in on my college roommate having sex, over and over and over.... *eeewwwww*

Obsessing to the point of perfection in every class, for every assignment, excelling..then keeping them all - for ALL THESE YEARS! (There are many - many more of these crates...)

What a trip. A nice ride, a fun ride, controlled by a constant genuine voice gasping for air at every treasure, "Oh Mommy, you found more paper!" It kept me from diving in, unable to come up for reality-based air. I was quite enjoying myself until...

I opened this card,

and I was right back there. It was my first day back to work after Emma died. Everyone tried. They had no idea what to do. Someone tried harder. She was handing me this card. "Time Passes...Love Remains"

"O.K. Sweets", I managed "That's enough for today."

And, thankfully, she agreed, "Yeah. You have too much stuff here and it makes me sneeze."
Time does pass, but love doesn't just remain - it grows.

Monday, June 1, 2009

It's Time To Celebrate...

Not just because Kristin and Christa have unveiled their newest cross-stich design. (Cuppa-Joe Designs ROCK!) Although that IS something to celebrate: their hearts mission, the SHARE National Office's cooperation and the gorgeous designs people have FREE access to show what can happen when we support each other!

SHARE Southern Vermont has a long-time-coming / brief annoucement too. CLICK OVER to cheer with us!

And, while you are at it, take a moment to pat yourself on the back. You know why.

So......what should our first tax free purchase be???

Lost Found Connections Abound! It Works - So Let's Use It!

Submit My News Click here to submit my news to the LFCA



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