Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Time to say good bye

Five years ago you made me a mom sweet Zach... in all honesty this birthday is hard since five year olds are not babies anymore, they are BOYS. During this time I have learned that the rainbow comes in many forms... in random elevens, a trip to Italy, pursuing a master, loving your daddy even more and a legacy of care packages, flowers and thoughtful friends and family that still to this day remember you. You make me proud, and there are no words to describe how much I miss you. There is not a day in which I, at some point don't think of you. Happy birthday in heaven son.

As I revise grief, it comes and goes but this birthday has hit me really hard. Maybe is the realization that in all likelihood there will be no more children, maybe the fact that five year old's are big boys now, maybe the ever shrinking likelihood of you meeting typical milestones or how each year becomes more and more impossible even if you had lived longer... there are good days and bad, and rainbows that have come in many forms. 

There is also exhaustion if I am completely honest... as parenting an angel is not an easy task. This blog helped me tremendously, it was my way to cope and as read the first posts now five years ago is like a total stranger wrote them... but I am now well acquainted with grief as it became a part of me as much as your life is, maybe is my only bond to you now. 

This year I will be facing new challenges... as I take on new projects and dreams I also have to let go of others. This blog is one of them. I did say "goodbye" kind of sort of after not writing for so long, because there is just so much I can write about how much I miss you, even though that doesn't change, grief does. I didn't have the courage to write that this would be my late post... but now is time. 

I hope that if anyone ever stumbles upon this (also unlikely), they realize that even though the loss of a child is one of the MOST painful things that can happen to anyone, life can still be good... even thought the first two or three years of grief suck and are a big thick fog... 
is time to move on, time to let go of the guilt of not posting, not going to the cemetery... not having done more... is time to say goodbye. to this blog. Officially

Until I see you again. 


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Time for another birthday: 3 years and counting...

After a writer's block that has lasted a whole year, here we are...a year later and I still don't even know where to begin.

I guess I have been busy. By busy I mean binge watching shows on Netflix, working, healing, growing, traveling, learning, trusting life again and taking chances. All this does take a lot of time and effort, so much that following up with the blog has been in the back burner to be completely honest.

This post is mainly to celebrate. Another year, another milestone of how far we've come. It is learning to digest that life goes on whether if we like it or not. It has been about traveling to Italy, Colombia, Dallas, Corpus... phew! praying, counseling, working and connecting with David many times over and over again. Grief is hard work but here we are each one grieving in our own way but still going, still strong. Happy even. Who would've thought?

It has been 3 years of learning to be happy without guilt. 3 years of thinking about you Zach. Every. Single. Day. Without being consumed in absolute despair that's what healing is all about I suppose, remembering that I will see you again no matter what. Today marks 3 years of what IS and learning to be OK with that. That is what I am celebrating.

A couple of friends told me the other day that I looked happy, one even used the word "glowing". I supposed that they were right. I actually am. All this grief over time made me tired, weary, hopeless. Until I had enough.  Like breaking out of a cage after being starved for years, or like coming out of a really thick fog... I feel awake... and hungry. Oh! so very hungry! for life without guilt, without what if's. Still fully changed, I want to live life to the fullest with more intensity, more appreciation and more intention.

I have tears in my eyes as I write this, but they are almost happy tears, like bittersweet tears. I am looking forward to the future, to what God has in store for David and I, and for the first time in a long time I'm not afraid. If anything you made us stronger Zach.
You are still the best gift that life could give to us, and for that I am truly happy and grateful. From within.

Thank you for having come into our world beautiful Zach.

It is after all, a very happy birthday.

Another milestone that we reach together Zach.
Where does the time go?

I see you in all places big and small.
Here, in a random street in Rome,
we were lost and we found you.
I know that it makes you smile
when me and your dad are happy.

Remember all your family in Colombia?
How much they loved you and
how much they prayed for you?
You are still in their hearts too.

You taught me to appreciate every moment when you can.
Trust me I've been doing so. I have the pouch to prove it! 

Me and your Dad in a small town in Colombia.
It sure was nice. 

Me and your dad still in that small town in Colombia.
 Wow! we have been to quite a few places.
Oh! The places we'll go! 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Time for a Milestone: 2 years

PSALM 118:24 "Today is the Day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Sweet boy, as I've learned in our journey there are no rules, just surprises. To be honest, I woke up with a heavy heart today struggling with what to write on my Facebook status. I mean, how do I come up with a post that does justice to your precious life? The good news is that I didn't have to. As usual, when I can't God can and He sent someone to our rescue. Our dear friends Josh and Sharon posted a picture of one of your hats remembering your birthday and asking others to join in the virtual celebration; someone else remembered you too! and from then on birthday wishes, likes and messages of love just kept pouring. It was humbling to see. You shining with your own light! 2 years later.

You know that I'm kind of obsessed with numbers, one in particular... want to guess? Yes 11! to me is the best number in the whole world. Do you know how many messages you had on Facebook when you were born? You guessed again: 11! Jaw dropping 11 comments and 7 likes... Yikes! that was all. (A picture of my burnt Shepherd's Pie had more likes than the birth of my son...)  That may say a lot but not necessarily in a bad way. Please bear with me. In all honesty, your birth pictures were hard to see and to post: You were hooked to a ventilator, fighting hard for every breath... and me? unable to write anything at all. I just managed to write: "Zach is here" and that was that, my brain didn't allow me to do any better. To be honest if a friend of mine had posted the same pictures, the old me would've known what to say, probably I wouldn't have said anything at all. In all fairness people didn't do simple "likes", instead they went above and beyond and sent us letters in the mail, words of encouragement, food to the NICU, baby clothes, prayers, even phone calls! Since they didn't know what to say, our friends and family near and far figured out what to DO.

During this two years you brought a new world filled with fears, unanswered questions, tears and what ifs left and right, but to make sure that we could endure you also paved the way with flowers, prayers, candles, balloons, care packages, pay forward Starbucks, and my two favorites: convenient parking spaces and random acts of kindness from strangers. For that I rejoice and I'm grateful.

Yesterday, I was planning to get you flowers and also a HUGE balloon for your place, but I'm not going to lie, it was a tough day at work and I was tired, so I just got the flowers and said: Heck with it and went home. Well, Stephanie a friend of mine that I haven't met in person (yet) read my mind and bought a Gigantic Balloon with the number 2. She left it in your place at the cemetery today, so when we got there we had a nice surprise, and your place looks even better than what I could have done on my own. 

I'm proud of you son, I'm proud because you shine with your own light. It was after all a happy birthday.

11 Everywhere, you Everywhere, just as it should be.
It's indeed a Happy Birthday, with one of the many
 random acts of kindness that you continue to bring.
I'm proud of you son, and I'm really looking
forward to meet my new friend in person.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Time to Fall Apart

WARNING: This is a less than uplifting post, but I do have to get this out there. To be honest it has been difficult to get into the Christmas spirit... but hey, in some cases misery loves company so, without more ado here it goes:

If you'll excuse me; I need a minute, a day a week rather to fall apart. Nothing to worry about. I'm a big girl and I can clean up after myself. Somehow I will pickup the messy broken pieces, the unanswered questions, the untouched nursery (going on two years almost) and I will find some meaning when you can't make sense of things like I usually do. But not today, not tonight. Today I NEED. I MUST rather, Fall apart.

Today, I refuse to be inspirational and to do angel talk. Tonight I won't cling to my bruised faith. Tonight is a matter of grace. I'm taking this time to refuse to get better and move on; because you say so, because you hope so, because you have prayed that I do. I will move on eventually if there's such a thing; but please not today, not tonight. I move on everyday that I manage to get out of bed, when I breathe without pain in my chest, when I knit, when I work, when I go to baby showers and truly rejoice for a new life, when I attempt to cook, to clean, to make love... when I catch myself laughing; guilty of a carefree mood, happy even. I move on when I pray, when I worship, when I write. With black ink. But not today, not tonight.

It is time to fall apart because I miss you Zach, because all this sucks, because so many prayed for your healing, because your healing meant the ultimate price:  a lifetime without you. Because no matter how much good I do, how much I knit, how much I work, nothing will bring you back. It sucks because it's final, because you won't get fat or married, you won't get your heart broken, you won't get pimples and you won't rob a bank or become president. There are not do overs or second chances, just hope and faith that one day I'll see you again.

Tonight, I will unapologetically think about you and I will scream your name until the world turns blue in the face: Zachary! Zachary! My Zachary.

When it's all done, I will take a shower, look at my stretch marks and carry on with this whole concept of living for two. This too shall pass and I will clean up, eventually, when I get to it.  Because I clean up after myself. Because I'm a big girl, because I'm a mom, because that's what mom's do.

Some days I just miss you so very much...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Time to say Thank You

Finally November! I was sick of this ungodly Texas heat! and I like to believe that I wasn't  the only one. It's time to sip some coffee, to read a good book, to enjoy this perfect weather while it lasts... the laundry can wait, hubby can make himself a sandwich and the cobwebs are not going to go anywhere if don't clean them today. I pray that you find time too in your busy schedule to be alone and take a long bath uninterrupted, I hope that you even go all out and paint your toe nails, I hope that you find time to be with God and really talk to him, and if all else fails, I pray that you find a window in your crazy schedule to just be... to focus on the important instead of the urgent, I hope that you cancel an appointment or two, I wish you a day of doing nothing, I hope that you get to say NO to something, sometime and I mainly hope that you find a true honest reason to say... Thank you.

In a world where no matter how perfect things can be, I will always find something, someone rather missing; so I had to think long and hard about a reason to be grateful for and I found it:You my friend are what I'm truly and honestly grateful for.

Thank you for being there, for not forgetting
for seeing me and also seeing a part of my son
thank you for whispering and remember his name
thank you for acknowledging when I seem better,
thank you for listening when I don't.

Thank you for inviting me to your baby showers,
for giving me the choice to go or not
and understand it either way
I know this can be awkward at best,
but you still let me share your joy with you,
and that really means a lot.

Thank you for not pretending that my boy didn't happen,
for liking his pictures 1, 5, 10, 20 times
even though is the same bunch of pictures...
in the end is all I have. Thank you for remembering Zach with me

Thank you for the lunches that you brought us to the NICU,
for the fried chicken in my front porch, for the paper plates
that lasted us for months when I was too down and too blue
to do anything.

Thank you for your tears when you were at a loss for words.
What could you possibly say anyway?
thank you for the lady that you sent  to clean our house,
for the beautiful garden that still grows,
and for loving your kiddos even more because as you can tell,
our children do not truly belong to us,
they are "borrowed".

Thank you for coming to our lives, and mostly
thank you for staying and riding along.

Have a wonderful lazy month
and a gluttony filled Thanksgiving
hopefully with a meal that you don't have to cook.


Thank you for making  my life worth living:
A life filled with love and acceptance,
this world is a wonderful place, I hope you
enjoy it as much as I did.
My parents are very grateful.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Time for a $100 Giveaway!

As I mentioned on my previous post, I went on a shopping spree and I did some damage, more than what I should have done. I have a serious issue with shoes, more like an obsession. With all the things going over the last couple of years, this obsession went to a dusty corner in my brain, but now it came back in full force. This shoe issue got so bad that I became a Premier Member of "Designer Shoe Warehouse", so now there's no light at the end of the tunnel. This thing got so out of control that I even got a Boutique Box full of goodies and things that everyone craves or should crave.

A box full of awesomeness!

I want to pass the joy and the healing along to Special Needs Moms or Angel's moms. It is indeed a nice box that I hope and pray that it lightens someone's day when things seem just dark. This giveaway is for Special Needs, Angel's Moms, Preemie and NICU and PICU moms and it has an approximate retail value of $100, this is the description of the box (per DSW)

1. CK MAJORLY AWESOME MASCARA: Pick lenght or volume with this flake-free, smudge proof CK one mascara. Just twist the cap and customize your look!
2.GET GLOWING BRONZER: Look like you just stepped off a plane from Barbados (not NICU or PICU) with this gorgeous face bronzer from LORAC.
3.AHH-MAZING HAND CREAM: A life-changing hand cream exists. It's by L'occitane en Provence, and you will own it!
4.NEED RIGHT NOW GLOSS: Wanna hear, "Hey hot stuff!" more times than you can count? Put on this ULTA lip gloss. You're welcome.
5.THE COOL GIRL SCARF: What outfit wouldn't you new chic infinity scarf go with? It makes everything and anything so much better!
6. DO NOT DISTURB ME CANDLE: Take off the top, light it up and get your relaxation on. And how about that scent? Paddywax, you are incredible!

Now what do you have to do to win this awesome box?
Simple: If you are a Special Needs Mom, Preemie or Nicu mom or an Angel's mom, follow the blog and live a comment about you and your child, your opinion, anything really!, you can leave a comment on Facebook too, that counts.

I will choose a winner Friday, September 20th and I will contact the winner to arrange the delivery.

Have fun!

Disclosure: I'm not making a dime from advertising the box or the contents or the brands, I have not tried the products either so I'm not endorsing anything. This is just with the intent to pass some joy around. I will pay for the shipping if needed, so everything is %100 free as in ZERO 0 dollars.

Time for Self-image After Baby (When there's no baby)

Sometimes, when I devote myself to the art of doing nothing or "Dolce fare niente", (you have full permission to throw me a tomato if you don't ever have that, I understand.) what starts as a pinning session, inevitably ends up with watching Zachary's pictures and videos over and over and over again with some tears included. It will never get old. I always notice something different. Sometimes I see how much progress he made after his surgery, how cute he looked when he started to gain weight, and how he would  react to David's voice... lately though I started to notice something else: How ancient, depressed, overwhelmed and scared I looked. I supposed that this is somewhat normal, but even a year after his death, I couldn't help but noticing how my demeanor just seemed so gloom and doomed all around. 

I felt ancient, if there was a time where I had low self esteem it was when Zach was born. A part of me felt like a failure because I was unable to "make" a healthy boy. I felt that I betrayed my son and my husband, I felt ugly and with not much right to even try to look better. I lost the pregnancy weight fairly quickly not because I tried, but because of the stress and depression. Your body changes after a baby (duh?). You may not like your body after the baby, the stretchmarks, the love handles that don't go away, that darn crooked c-section scar... but you may stare at your bundle of joy and probably believe that it was all worth it. That's what moms do. They get up an move and even want to be and stay healthy for their children, they get back on track, or they embrace their new package as it comes. But how exactly do you do any of that when there's no baby? or when the care of your child is so complex that sleeping or taking a shower is a luxury?  

I still don't know the answer to that, and yes inside I may have become ancient, but I decided that I don't necessarily have to look the part. I recently changed my haircut and my hair color, also got rid of the last pieces of maternity clothing and nursing bras (yes, I was still wearing that... more times than what I care to admit) I got rid of the gray, black and sad grieving wardrobe  as I continue to elaborate on the fact that the amount of guilt or self inflicted pain is not proportional to the love that I have for my son. 

This is and will be a lifetime work in progress, but that's OK. It's OK to try to look good again. It's OK to take care of me again, or to think at least that even if a day is pretty crappy, my hair looks fab. Who knows I may even go all out and even work out and do something healthy like eating right and cutting down on the Diet Coke. But let's don't get too carried away for now, shall we?

Zach as a one day old. His face was bruised and very swollen,
his skull looked "abnormal", yes we were told that.
His feet were completely clubbed.  
Zach at two months old. The swelling long gone,
he became chunky,
with the cheeks that we fell in love with,
the position of his feet was getting better,
my boy fighting like a champ. 
Me looking like crap. It's almost as if Zach
was encouraging me instead of being the other way around... 
Picture taken at our last trip to Austin. I feel more at peace,
and even with the pain I can feel happiness.

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