Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Grandma "Moo"

When I was a little girl my Grandma and Grandpa "Moo" (on my dad's side) lived on a big, beautiful farm. Hence, the reason for "Moo". This is how a differentiated between both sets of Grandparents. They have always been Grandma and Grandpa Moo to our family. A funny little endearment only we and close friends understand.

My Grandpa Moo passed away in July of 2002.

My Grandma Moo currently lives in a nursing home and is nearing the end of her beautiful life.

I went to see her this past weekend and hardly recognized her. My sweet, kind-hearted, gentle Grandma Moo, slowly slipping away. It was tough. The nurses had her sitting up, trying to eat lunch, but she wasn't awake. She's tired, so, so tired. Her hands are clenched and she struggles to communicate. She knew I was there. She knew that I whispered "I love you" in her ear. She groaned when I mentioned certain people's names. She's frustrated. She wants to go.... I have benn praying ever since that she goes peacefully. I want her to fall into a peaceful, wonderous sleep and just not wake up. I want her to be at peace. I want it to gentle.

I want her to be reunited with my Grandpa again.

I want her to meet Nicholas...

The doctor's say that it is only a matter of days... my heart aches.

Sweet dreams my beautiful Grandma Moo. You will always have such a special place in my heart.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Your Papa

Hey Buddy,

As you know, one of your Papa's very dear friend's passed away a few days ago. He fought a long and difficult battle with cancer. His death is tragic and it has hit your Papa pretty hard. It's so heartbreaking to watch someone you love in so much emotional pain.

Nicholas, you and Papa have a strong connection. He shared so much beautiful time with you and he loves you. He needs you, buddy. He needs your guidance... your presence... your serenity.

Please watch over him. Love him. Let him know you are near.

Thank you, sweetie.

Mommy's Sorry

Dear Nicholas,

I have been thinking so much about you the last few days. I mean, you are always on my mind, but this has been something more. You are such an inspiration to me and I feel like I have been letting you down lately. The holidays were super busy and hockey with your brothers seems to have consumed us. I often joke these days that if you can't find me at home, check your local arena! It is fantastic though. I really enjoy being a "hockey mom" and I am so proud of your brothers and how far they have come.

Your daddy lit your candle the other night and I cried. You are never far from his thoughts either, sweet boy. I hadn't lit your candle for a few nights, either because we weren't home or because I got too caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life. I had just been thinking that we had been neglecting you.....

I'm sorry. We used to light your candle religiously... all of the time. A simple reminder that you are always with us.... always shining your little spark of hope. Your 'spot' in our home is as special and as sacred as the place you hold in our hearts and when it's lit up, well, it's magic.

I have gotten behind on the Angel Wings too. I get so many requests, which is heartbreaking in itself. It's been difficult to keep up. The Angel Wings Project is my dedication to you. It's your legacy... and I have been slacking. I'm sorry for that too, baby. I am getting back on track and can see the light again. The boutique will stay strong in your honour.

I think these are some of the reasons my heart has been a little heavy. In general I dream about you and talk about you with joy and pride. It's sometimes a challenge to remember all of the good that you are without being dragged down with the horrifying memories and moments of the weeks leading to your debut. Sometimes I wonder how we are still standing after going through such heartbreaking events.... but then I remember holding you and kissing you and loving you beyond words, so worth it.

So, when I close my eyes tonight, I hope for peace in my heart.

Love you, Nicholas.

Mommy xoxo

Monday, January 3, 2011

Elixr of Hope

..."transforming the pain of grief into the elixir of hope"...

I saw this quote, written by Simon Stephens, founder of The Compassionate Friends, and it made me think. It sparked some thoughts, some emotions, which may have not been put into words otherwise.

As far back as I can remember I have wanted to work in a job with some meaning. A job where I could help others, lend out my heart and be a comfort to those who needed support.

I remember a particular conversation with my parents way back when about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was looking into universities and majors and I remember distinctly talking about social work. I was set on doing something "worthy". Something that may make a difference in other people's lives.

My parents gently steered me away from social work. I know why they did it. I understand why they did it and I even agree. It would be a terribly, emotionally taxing occupation. One in which my heart would be broken daily.

I actually decided to study Industrial Relations/Human Resources in University. The sort of 'business' side of working with and helping others. For many years I have enjoyed it and although my husband and I have chosen that I stay at home with the kids for a few years, I plan on getting back into the work force someday. I often wish I didn't have to work to "make a living". Volunteering would be my dream job.

Who would have known my life would take the kind of path it has. Not only did losing Nicholas catapult me into the depths of despair for many months, it also made me realize that I could take my grief and make it mean something more than just pain and heartache.

I don't even remember how the Angel Wings Memorial Boutique came to be exactly. I just remember thinking that I needed to channel my grief somewhere. I needed to do something tangible to honour my son. I needed to have something to hang on to. A project to love and emerse myself in. A project that would offer love, comfort and support to others experiencing such a horrific loss.

The rest is history. The Angel Wings Memorial Boutique has exploded into a worldwide service. And as sad as it is to see a new name, a new precious baby pop up in my inbox, the fact that I may be able to help honour these children and comfort their parents along the way soothes my soul.

I got my wish. I have been able to create a "job" for myself that helps others. I am satisfying my lifelong desire to offer guidance and understanding. It goes without saying that I truly wish I didn't understand this type of pain, but I am honoured to be able to reach out and lend support.

Here's to "transforming the pain of grief into the elixir of hope"...

Here's to a "hopeful" New Year.