Thursday, July 22, 2010

The visit

I had a very vivid dream about Landon and when I woke up I was crying and it left me with a sadness that I could not shake the whole day. In my dream I got a call from the undertaker (you know the person who buries people~creepy I know) and he said "You need to get down here because he just died!". So I rush to the cemetery and I walk up to Landon's plot and there is my little boy in his casket. He had the outfit that he wore in the hospital on complete with the hat. And he had a few blankets covering him and surrounding him. He looked so cozy. So I kneel down and I started sobbing. And I say "Why didn't you call me? I wanted to be here when he passed! I did not want him to have to go with out me....I did not want him to be scared!". Then as I say that I looked at Landon's face and he had a little smirk on his face and I distinctly remember the feeling that came over me. It was love...pure and amazing love. So I grabbed his little hand and I say "Landon, Mommy loves you so much!" and as soon as I spoke those words Landon's feet started to move, then his legs, and then his little hand grabbed my finger. And then he turned his little head and opened his eyes....and looked at me. He smiled and made little cooing noises. And that is when I woke up.....and I looked around and realized that it was a dream.

So all day I was really haunted by that dream. It made me start thinking of all the things that Landon would never get to do. And that I did not even know what color eyes he has, or what it feels like to have him grab onto my finger. And then someone pointed out that maybe it was a way for God to give me and little taste of what I had wished I could have experienced. It was not meant to make me sad but it was meant as a gift. I also think that it was to remind me that NOTHING can weaken a mother's love....not even death. We are forever connected and it does not matter that I never saw him open his eyes I got to see and hold him. And I am learning to be satisfied with the things I got to experience. I have talked to many grieving mothers who never got to see their child. Or some that were treated poorly at the hospitals....and some that cannot seem to climb out of the darkness of grieving. I am quite lucky to have had the chance to hold him and stroke his face, and to see him get baptized. Something in me changed the day I first held my Landon.

Survived the first year!

I had been dreading July 7th....because on that day last year I had to deliver my son...too early for any chance of survival. I tried to come up with all kinds of different ideas on what to do that day. Some of them were elaborate and completely over the top. I had this idea in my head that the bigger the "show" the more it would show that I love Landon. I think that the hardest part for any mother who has had to say goodbye to their child is that we feel like if we are happy again or "move on" we are forgetting them. And when people stop asking how you are doing or do not mention the child's name anymore that hurts us just as much as the day we buried them. We do not want people to forget that they were a matter how small or how long they were with us they still matter. So I really struggled with what I should do. In the end I asked my Pastor to say a few words at his grave site and I had friends and family there. It was was really hot! And actually that is how it was last year too. Twenty or more people stood beside me, behind me, and my mom held me while we listened to the beautiful words that Christopher had to say about Landon. He spoke of how Landon has taught him things and about how he got to hold an angel. I shed a few tears because it really felt so familiar....and then I remember looking at Christopher's face and he smiled at me and then I glanced around at every face that was there and I got an overwhelming sense of peace. I felt loved....and the tears stopped and a smile was put in their place. Then it was time to let the balloons go that I had bought for him. And I even commented on how they would probably get stuck in the electrical wires or in the trees....because that is just my luck. But when I let those balloons go they were swept right up and we watched them until they were almost out of sight.
Since that day I have had a few rough moments but I feel healed. I gave myself a year to really go through the grieving process and now it is time to really start living again. I know they say that you should not put a time frame on your grieving but for me it was important. I made it through the whole year of firsts and now I need to "move on". I will never forget him...he will always be my son and my firstborn but now when I talk about him I do not feel sad because he is not with me I feel happy that I was chosen to bring that sweet face into the world. I do not cry when I talk about him....he is not as constant in my thoughts...don't get me wrong I still think about him but it does not consume me. And instead of thinking negative things about him (as in he is not here, why did this happen to me etc) I think of the positives. And if my mind starts to wander to the negative thoughts I replace it with two positive things (got that hint from Shannon!). It sounds so simple but it really has worked for me.
I had been feeling like I was in a funk this last week so after work one day I took Shannon's three girls...Riley is 7, Lucy is 5 almost 6, and Emry is 2 1/2 (she always adds the half) so that I would be forced to have fun and play outside. We had a great day! We went swimming, then I made them a dinner picnic, then we went to the park, and finally we went and got ice cream. And as we got into the car after ice cream Lucy says "So Aunt Karen who do you think that you are going to marry?". And I reply with the standard I don't know. And Riley says "Weren't you ready to have a baby?" So I retold them about Landon and what had happened and they had some questions about why he was born so early if he was not ready...and they were in awe when I said that Landon gave his life for mine. That I would not be here if he had not done that. And they came up with the best theory I have EVER heard. They said that God took Landon to "fix" (they did not really get the concept that it was me that was sick) him and that when I get married then He will send him back down to me. I had never thought about it like that. Only from the lips of children. I could not have loved those girls more in that moment. I am so fortunate to have them in my life!
I am proud of how well I did on his angelversary and how well I am doing now. I never thought that I would ever climb out of that darkness. It is so hard to believe that a year has gone by since I held him in my arms. He may not have ever taken a breath but he lives in my heart.....forever.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

And then......I remember

I was sitting by the pool today with my family. I was listening to their conversations and chatter. Watching their horseplay and smiling at their laughter but to me someone was missing. Just a year ago on this night I lay in a hospital bed....awaiting my fate and the fate of my child. And now I sit out in the sun among my family....without Landon. I remember last summer when I was pregnant and I would go to my parent's pool I was so excited to think about Landon joining us the next summer. I see my dad with the neighbor's baby and think I could not wait for the day to watch my dad hold my son in his arms, and to see Landon smile at his Grandpa. Or to watch my mom rock him to sleep or get him to quiet down (she has a gift with babies). Then on that morning when they said they had to induce me all of those dreams came crashing down. I would never see my son take a breath let a lone take him to the pool. These are the times that I physically ache to hold hear him cry, to watch him grow, to feel his weight in my arms. I love spending time with my family because they are such an amazing group of people but then I remember.......Landon is missing.