Monday, March 30, 2009


When I am lost and the tears don't stop,
I find myself waiting, watching, listening, hoping...for what?
I am broken.  Mind, heart and spirit.
One minute, one sentence, one hidden truth changed everything.
I am consumed by this giant hole I keep walking around.
Silence brings thoughts, sometimes thoughts I am not ready for.
Distractions bring momentary shields from the pain.
It is not over.
It will never be over.
I don't want it to be over, I just wish it had never begun.
I surround myself with love,
Yet I feel so deprived.
I am constantly smiling, but it is only so I do not break.
There is no stopping the tears once they start,
And the world is not my therapy session.  
"How are you today?"  What else is there to say besides, "Fine."?
We are so not fine.  
We will never be fine.
We will move forward, we will continue to love and be loved,
But it will never be fine.  
No matter how many days I live, 
No matter how many children I have,
Losing Webb will never be right.
I am not the same person,
But I am not a different person.
I am changed,
But I can't change anything.
I have three children,
But I can only hold two.
I keep moving forward,
But I feel like I'm spinning backwards.
How can I see so much loss and so much gain at once?
How can I be sobbing at a cemetery one minute and laughing at a playground the next?
I am broken, but I am whole.
I am quiet, but I am screaming.
I am thinking clearly, but going crazy.
What a strange place to be....

Friday, March 27, 2009


Three months.  Is that even possible?  I sit and try to think about how much has happened in these three months and my mind cannot even comprehend it.  My baby is gone.  That is a reality that has not yet registered in my mind.  Although I am walking, talking, functioning....I am still so confused, so lost without him.  What happened?  Did I really have a child die of a brain tumor?  How am I still living?  Did I really spend three days in the PICU?  Did I really hold my child as he slipped out of this world into the next?  Who was that woman?  Who am I?  My birthday is next week.  I will be 31.  I feel 101.  I have learned more, seen more, endured more than any mother, any 31 year old ever should.  My worst nightmare came true - I lost a child.  What other nightmares are in store?  I think about my relationships with everyone in my life and how each have changed.  Some for better, some for really cannot go on this journey without seeing people in a different way.  So strange how life's challenges either bring out the best or bring out the worst in others.  Do I expect too much out of others?  I am not the same....but I do not want to be treated differently.  That is a tough standard.  Of course very few understand what has happened.  I am sure few people don't even want to try and understand it.  Being close to me makes it too real...knowing someone who lost a child means it can happen to them too.  And then there are those people who have embraced this journey I am on and accepted it with open arms.  These are the people who have carried me through the last three months without question, without hesitation.  My own personal angels on Earth.  

I look at pictures of Webb, and I have the irresistible urge to just hold him.  To reach through the picture and grab his chubby legs.  To scoop him up and smother him with kisses.  Where is he?  Can we really go on without him?  Wasn't he just laughing?  Wasn't he just sitting under the Christmas tree with a ball?  Didn't he just learn how to say "Mama"?  How can this be happening?           

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Making New Memories....

On Wednesday night, we had to out our sweet cat Zoey to sleep.  She was 12 years old, but it was very sudden and sad.  Luckily, we had a BIG trip planned for Thursday to put us in better moods.  After all the sadness of the past three months, it was time for a little magic.  Zac's 31st birthday was March 19, and we celebrated in style.....Disneyworld, a trip to Ponte Vedra, and a new puppy...a bichon frise/poodle mix named Bella. :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009


In the weeks since I lost Webb, I have experienced nearly every possible human emotion.  The kind of emotions no one ever thinks they could live through.  The kind of feelings every mother fears.  Most of those have been expressed on this blog: sadness, pain, emptiness, fear, despair, dread, hope, anxiousness, insomnia, just to name a few.  Lately, I am tired.  I guess it should come as no surprise considering the roller coaster my mind, body and soul have been constantly riding.  I have laid awake for 12 weeks, replaying every doctor's appointment, every move we made in the hospital and every "last moment" I spent with all three of my boys.  My days are still comprised mostly with these thoughts, so this tiredness stage is really the first one I am welcoming with open arms.  I so badly want to sleep, sleep and sleep.  I desperately want to fall into a peaceful slumber and wake up one day, recharged and reconstructed and clear headed.  I know that will not happen for a while, but sleeping at 3am sure beats agonizing at 3 am.  I feel the strange need and urge to reach out to every mother who is going through this nightmare.  I want to look at them and see if they have the same unbelieving expression in their eyes.  I want to ask them, "How did our children get cancer?" and share every horrific thought I am feeling.  I feel like we are members of a secret, special club that no one wants to belong to.  No one else truly understands what we feel.  I still look in the mirror every morning and say, "Did this really just happen to us?  Did we actually have a child that died from a brain tumor?"  How in the world did this happen??   What do we do next?  I am a planner.  I like having every step mapped out, and now my future has been rocked in a way I never thought possible.  I was supposed to be adding to our family this year...we were supposed to be going from three to four children, not three to two.  How is it even possible Webb is gone?  I see his hair, his face, his laugh and his eyes every time I look at Whit.  But it is not the same.  He was his own little person with his own unique personality.  Thoughtful and serious and silly all at the same time.  Oh how I miss that little laugh of his.  What I wouldn't give to see him peering at me out of the corner of his eyes and the look of pure joy that came over his face when I would come in his room in the morning to get him out of bed.  I can still see it in my mind, but it's not enough.  It will never be enough.  My mother and I were saying the other day how Webb was the perfect child.  He really was.  I don't think I ever told him "no" once in his 18 months.  He cried like every other child, but he never whined, he didn't complain, he never hit us or bit us or any of the other things toddlers do.  He may have been just about to start the terrible twos, we'll never know.  But when Webb's life ended, he was still perfect.  And now that's how he will always be to us.  Our perfect little red haired baby.  Our "Bear."  We miss you sweetheart.   

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This Woman's Work

The song that kept running through my mind while Webb was in the hospital:

This Woman's Work
Kate Bush
Pray to God you can cope
I stand outside this woman's work,
This woman's world,
Oh, it's hard on the man, 
Now his part is over,
Now starts the craft of the father....

I know you have a little life in you left.
I know you have a lot of strength yet.
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.

I should be crying but I just can't let it show.
I should be hoping but I can't stop thinking.

Of all the things I should have said that I never said,
All the things we should've done that we never did.
All the things I should've given but I didn't.
Oh, darling, make it go away.

Give me these moments back.
Give them back to me.
Give me that little kiss.
Give me your hand.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Growing Up

My life has been scarily "normal" lately.  I traveled to New Orleans this past weekend for my best friend's wedding, I have been going to work a little bit and spending as much time as possible outside with the boys.  From the outside, I think I look like I'm doing good.  Maybe at those times, in those moments, I am.  However, my pain on the inside is still so very raw and real.  I think at the beginning, I was so shocked and traumatized I could not even function.  Then, I started the "trance" mode where I could not concentrate or tear my mind away from Webb and the horrific end result for even one minute.  But the past week or so, I have felt a slight shift.  A small part of my mind is coming to terms with the fact that life really does go on.  As much as I've said it on this blog, I think a minuscule part of me finally started to believe it.  I still want time to rewind to December when I had Webb in my arms.  I would give ANYTHING for that.  But time does not rewind, no matter how bad we wish it would.  It is March.  Soon it will be summer, then fall, then Christmas again.  And we still will not have our precious Webb.  So what is my option?  Stop living?  Stay in bed?  That would be too easy.  Instead, I have to keep one foot in front of the other.  I have to live each day as though there will not be another, because we have been hit in the face with that reality a little too soon and a little too harshly.  I have to go on, for Zac, for Bo, for Whit...even for Webb as hard as that seems.  I have to push forward and tell you all about this journey so you know that life does go on in the midst of unthinkable despair.  God has not left my side.  There were times I almost wanted Him to so I could be as angry as I wanted to be.  And I still get so angry, but He does not leave.  I picture Him seeing me as a spoiled child, stomping my feet because He didn't give me what I wanted, much the same way as Bo and Whit do when I tell them they can't have cookies for breakfast.  Why??  I keep asking Him.  "You'll understand when you grow up," He answers, just as I do when Bo and Whit ask me the same questions.  Of course, "growing up" is not easy, and I may never be fully "grown," at least not in this lifetime.  I have to hope when God's plan is revealed, it will make perfect sense why Webb is not with us.  It will not happen in this lifetime, but I have faith it will happen.  Right now, I have to focus on my perfect angel up in heaven, waiting for us, but not impatiently.  I have to live this life with no regrets.  This life of losing a child is painful and real and scary, but it is my life.  I will make the best of it, no matter how hard that is to do.  So when you see me laughing, smiling and enjoying the real world, it is not because I am in denial.  (Oh, how I almost wish for denial.)  It is because at that time, at that moment, I am enjoying life.  Fortunately, there are about a million moments in my days no one except God will ever see....and it is in those moments and those times I feel His love the most.  He wills me to go on when I cannot fathom it.  Every morning, He helps me out of bed and into the world.  Most of you will never see the struggle I go through just to leave the house.  But somehow, some way, I do it and I sometimes even enjoy it.  Then, there are times I do not enjoy it and the simplest things become too much.  Today at work, a situation that usually I would let roll off my back sent me into hysterics.  The pain of losing Webb is still always at the front of my mind, and that is a hard thing to function around.  There is not a moment that goes by that I do not think of him.  But I keep living because of him, for him.  And by the grace of God, I keep pushing on.   

Sunday, March 8, 2009

To My Boys...

I loved every one of you the minute I found out about you.  I can honestly say I did not understand what unconditional love was until I saw Bo for the first time.  I did not think it was possible to love anything that much....until I saw Webb and Whit.  I would sit in the rocking chair in your nurseries and hold you for hours.  Sometimes just one of you at a time, smelling your sweet baby skin, sometimes all three of you at once.  I remember the feeling of overwhelming joy the first time each of you smiled at me.  I remember looking at you, thinking, who was I before these boys were born?  I always heard you would die for your children, and I thought it too, but I never wanted so desperately to be able to die for one of you until I found out Webb had a brain tumor.  If it were possible to trade places with him, I would have done it without hesitation.  Bo and Whit, you are the reason I still get out of bed in the morning even though my heart is broken.  Webb, you are the reason I want to be a better mother and the thing I am most looking forward to about heaven.  Without the three of you, I would be empty and shallow.  Because of you, I believe there is a purpose to this life which has left me a changed person.  I would suffer a million heartbreaks to keep you safe.  If God had told me he would give me three children and take one at 18 months, I would have all three of you and endured the pain all over again just to have known Webb and taken care of him for that short time.  Was it long enough?  No.  Is life ever long enough to be with the people you love this much?  I don't think so.  I thank God for the privilege of being your mother.  It is my most important job and the one I love the most.  There are simply not enough words to explain the depth of my feelings for all of you.  Giving you life has saved my life.                

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Some wisdom

I had never looked at a blog until after Webb died, and I see what a huge world I was oblivious to.  One thing I am grateful for is the way this blog has been able for me to communicate with friends, family and acquaintances who knew of our tragedy as it was unfolding.  The newest thing I am grateful for are the people I never knew and never would have known that are also suffering through a great loss.  Thanks to all of you who have passed on websites of those who are going through similar situations.  Thanks to all of you who have shared your own similar situation.  I pray for all of you daily.  If I am able to help just one person relate to this horrible pain, this blog has been worth it.  For those of you who know someone going through a similar situation and are looking for wisdom, I have some thoughts to share.  Although I am still very early in my grieving, I know the things that have, and have not, helped as we have stumbled along this nightmare.  I know you do not know what to say to a person who has had their life ripped out from underneath them.  Many have told me they are afraid of saying the "wrong" thing.  Do not avoid them because you are afraid of this...especially if you were very close to this person before the tragedy.  That will make the grieving person feel very alone.  A simple, "I love you, I am so sorry," will suffice.  "I am thinking of you and praying for you," works too.  If you are a very close friend or family member, just be there.  Call, even if you know the person will not answer.  Send an email, share a story, send a text...just do not pull away.  No one is offended by prayers, love or support, however you present it.  We have been blessed to receive all of that tenfold since Webb died.  Others are not so lucky.  As far as "wrong" things to say go, there are a few.  :)  Don't say, "Because of you, I now know how blessed I am."  That does not bring comfort.  Don't say, "Because of you, I now hold my kids just a little tighter every day."  That is wonderful but does not bring a person who can't hold their loved one any comfort.  And don't say,  "If I were you, I wouldn't be able to ______(get out of bed, go to work, laugh, smile, carry on, go out to eat, go on vacation, live life, etc)"  You have no clue what you would do or how you would react, so don't pretend you would.  Also, it implies that person did not love their child as much as you do because they are going on with life.  Which, believe it or not, is what you have to do.  It is the hardest thing that person has ever done, rest assured.  Smiling is rare, and they do not want to feel guilty for doing so.  Getting out of bed is a big enough struggle and the griever is just doing everything and anything they can to get through the day.  For all of you I have been "introduced" to through blogging, I pray for you daily.  If you are a supporter of someone who is going through this unimaginable pain, just be there to listen, hug and offer support.  Don't ask what you can do, just do it.  That is the greatest gift you can give.  

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow Day

It is pouring snow in Atlanta.  For a city that sees snow maybe once a year, this is a big deal.  It is the first day of March, and the snow is fitting for my mood on this Sunday.  Bo and Whit are PUMPED.  Of course, my mind is thinking how much Webb would have loved this special treat.  It doesn't take away from my joy in watching my other 2 sons enjoy the day, but the son that is missing is, of course, what is on my mind.  When I was a little girl, snow days were a big deal.  The anticipation of getting to miss a day of school, to forget about driving anywhere or doing anything, to just hunker down by a fire and play outside until my cheeks got numb...that was such a wonderful, different kind of "break."  I wish my grieving could take a snow day.  I wish there was one day I could escape every care, every worry and embrace the present.  It was never as easy as it was when I was a child, but now, it is impossible.  I have heard about the stages of grief, which I have said before cannot be neatly defined since you experience all the stages at once and at random every day.  But I have thought about grieving (my experience at least) as the most physically, emotionally exhaustive thing I have ever done.  It is constant.  It is taxing.  It is excruciating.  It is painful.  And there are no "snow days."  I cannot remember things that happened just minutes before, but I cannot forget the things that happened from 4:30 pm on December 23 until 4:30 pm on December 26.  The physical pain inside my chest and deep within my body is, at times, unbearable.  My dreams confuse the past and present, and one minute I am holding Webb again, and the next I am sitting at his funeral in a different location, surrounded by people I have never seen.  My senses are on high alert - I can hear and smell things from miles away.  I feel like a little egg that at any moment could break.  But I also have a strange sense of wanting to continue, of wanting to move forward.  I have a feeling of having to muddle through this dark, senseless time to reach the other side.  I do not feel desperate (right now anyway), but I desperately want to get through this with my memories and my sanity intact.  I never wanted to be in this situation, in fact, it was my worst nightmare.  But it is the situation I am in, it is the card I have been dealt.  How we go forward from here is the most important decision we'll ever make.  I pray for the strength to move forward in a way that makes all 3 of my children proud and maybe, just maybe, come out of this blizzard in my soul as a stronger, better person for having loved and lost.  We will see.