"Grieving the loss of a child is a process, it begins the day your child passes and ends the day the parent joins them."

Sunday, May 4, 2014

International Bereaved Mother's Day

Today marks the 4th annual International Bereaved Mother's Day. A day that I never knew even existed until this morning, when it popped up on my Facebook feed. And I surely wish that this day didn't exist for so many of us moms.

After doing a bit of research, I found that this day falls exactly 1 week before Mother's Day each year. My take from the research I've done regarding this day, is that today is a day  marked as a reminder to those who are not bereaved mother's, to remember those of us who are.


A bereaved mother, is still a mother.
She always will be.
A bereaved mother will still face Mother's Day each year. 
Another Mother's Day without their beloved children. 
Another day in which we are reminded of the precious lives that we have lost.

This is a day that should not have to be. In fact, it kind of makes me sick to my stomach. International Bereaved Mother's Day should never have to exist. No mother should ever have to bury her child/children. It just should not be. It's not suppose to be this way. But sadly it is this way for many us.

Over that last 4yrs I have 'met' so many mothers who have had to lay their children to rest. For the most part, I think we all feel the same at some point and time throughout this gut wrenching journey. We have felt and still are feeling the greatest loss of all.  None of us wanted to ever know this feeling. Some can hold tight to their faith. Some grasp for small shards of faith. Others lose their faith completely. All of us struggle daily. We wrestle with the emptiness that consumes us each and every day. We are all familiar with the "mask" which we put on every morning. It's become routine. We do it in order to suit other people. We do it for their comfort. We do not do it for ourselves. We all have that look within our eyes. Some people will fail to see it. Others have to look very deep to see it. And then there are some who can see it from afar. We show our pain through our eyes. It's always there. No matter the mask we wear for the day. Our pain is there, it shows within our eyes. We can even see it ourselves while looking into a mirror. We feel we have aged a thousand years. We are exhausted beyond comprehension to others. We feel as if we have failed at the greatest job a woman can be given.  And we all feel the same apprehension when Mother's Day approaches each year. We are stung with reality again. The reality that our lives no longer celebrate days/holiday's/hallmark days/birthdays with all of our children. The day turns into being bitter sweet. On the sweet side, we ARE mothers. We will ALWAYS be mothers. The bitter side, we can no longer enjoy and celebrate this day with all of our children. We are left with memories that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.

Today, I am thinking of all you moms who walk this journey. We walk it together and we are the only ones who truly understand how deep our pain is daily.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Years Continue On

Dusting off the ole blog this week. I've gone back and forth with the idea of blogging again. I've received some FB messages asking why I no longer post here. I really had no answers for those who inquired. But today, I felt it was time. At least for this post. As I logged in, I found 21 posts sitting in my draft folder! I had forgotten about every single one of them. But there they sat, unfinished and of various topics.

Today is going to be a very difficult day. Harder than most of our days.  4 years ago we were told by a very harsh ER doctor, "she's dead. Your daughter is dead" My head was spinning. It was such a foggy feeling. My mom was climbing over the foot of the gurney, my dad was pulling her back. Paul was doubled over crying so hard. And I, I was standing at Carly's side. Crying while screaming at the doctor and nurses. SCREAMING at them to save her.  I was begging and pleading for the doctor to keep working on her. I kept hearing myself scream, "don't you stop. don't you stop." over and over.  I couldn't make that doctor understand that this little girl is our baby. We love her. We can't lose her. She can not die. Its just not possible. And I kept repeating,  "Fix her. Fix her. Fix her" At some point I was told, "we have given her 10 doses of Epinephrine. She's gone." I continued to argue with this doctor. I didn't back down from her. I was not going to let them give up on Carly.  I got in her face as we stood beside my baby girl, looking eye to eye at this doctor..and I know the look I flashed her and the screaming I was doing straight into her face, convinced her to go ahead and push another dose of the Epinephrine. Looking back at it all now, I know she did it only to 'satisfy' the pleading of a desperate mother. That last dose. Number 11. It just didn't work. They soon called time of death. TIME OF DEATH. Oh my gosh, those are 3 of the very worst words I've ever heard. It meant the end. Finality.

I sat down in a chair behind me. I was in complete shock. A feeling came over me as if I were in a dream. I felt as if I had stepped outside of my body. Some man, (hospital staff in street clothes) was leaning over me from behind saying, "slow deep breaths" and he just kept saying it in a very calm and even tone, over and over and over as I struggled to catch my breath. I felt as if I wasn't in that room but as if I were outside, looking in on everything that was happening inside of that ER. The whole room was spinning out of control. People were blurry to me. I could 'see', but I couldn't.  I remember glancing over to my right. A garbage can sat there. When I looked down, I realized I was looking at Carly's pink pajamas that had been cut from her body.  It was without a doubt the most crazy, surreal feeling. All of a sudden I was looking down at Carly's sweet little face. The nurses had placed her in my lap. I don't recall how long I sat holding her. It was quite some time.

The dreaded time had come to call the family. Oh my gosh. How were Ashleigh and Brad going to handle this horrific news of their little sister? Ash was living and working in Kalamazoo. She was at work that day. Brad had called her to tell her something was wrong with Carly and that she was going by ambulance to the hospital. Ashleigh had been calling and talking to my mom throughout this entire nightmare. She had called several times while we were in the ER, her calls were sent to voice mail. We were sure Carly was going to be ok. Why would we think otherwise?  As we left Brad at home that morning, Carly and Paul in the ambulance and me with my parents in the car. I went back into the house to try and calmly (although I was a completely crazy person at that time) reassure Brad that Carly was stable at that moment (which she was) and we'd call him later. We expected that she was going to be admitted and start extensive testing to see why she collapsed on our living room floor. We sure never imagined what our outcome would be. My dad had to break the horrifying news to Ashleigh over the phone. The poor girl collapsed on the floor at work. My brother from Illinois, who happened to be spending a few days in Michigan, was the one who came over to our house to tell Brad and bring him to the hospital. Later that day, both my brothers and my sister in-law went to Kalamazoo to get Ash and bring her home.

I can remember every single detail of that day. Even tho I felt as if I were in a fog. I remember all of it. When Brad got to the hospital, he walked into the room where we were sitting. I was holding Carly. He walked right over to where I sat holding her and stood over us. He was looking down at Carly and his face showed nothing but disbelief. I don't think he really believed that Carly had died. He just stood there staring down at her. I was crying. We were all crying. I looked up at him and said, "she's gone Brad. We lost her." As I looked at Brad, I saw his eyes turn from bright brown eyes to dark, lost and sad eyes. I've seen that very look in the mirror over the past 4yrs., while looking at my self. Looking back at that day now, I wish he'd never come into that ER room where we were. Carly did not look like anything other than a sleeping little girl, in my arms, where she often was. How confusing for Brad to see his little sister who looked as if she were just resting peacefully in my arms.

April 23, 2010. 4 years ago today, we lost our sweet little Carly. How in the HELL did this all happen? Within 1 1/2 hrs our world blew all to pieces. Life forever changed. No longer would we be the people we were before this day. We would become different people. People we no longer recognized. People we didn't want to know...let alone be.

Many readers already know that we no more than took a breath and we were faced with another horrific nightmare. We lost our son, Brad and our home just shy of 18 months after losing Carly. I wont get into much of the circumstances/details involving Brad's death, because this day is the day that we forever lost our sweet little Carly. And the day our lives took a downward spiral.

Throughout the past 4 years, we've struggled. Mentally. Emotionally. Physically. We have hit rock bottom and thought for sure we could fall no further. Wrong! (Advise: Never think you've hit rock bottom. Trust me, there is always further down you can fall.) Paul was injured at work. He filed a workers comp case and the following day he was fired. His former employer then turned around and fought Paul's unemployment and won. We were left with no income. Nothing. Yet we still had a mortgage, car payment and so on...We were forced to get into our retirement money. Depend on help from my family. And had a few FB friends who wanted to help us and sent enough money to pay our electric bill for a month. Of course we both felt like complete and utter failures yet again in this unbelievable life that just seems to continue to knock us down.

How are we doing today? Paul did find a job. A fairly decent one. We are hopeful that we'll soon be getting back on more stable ground, financially. Emotionally, our days are long and exhausting. We struggle with sleep each night. We are forgetful. (Except for days like today, in which case we can remember every single thing/detail that went on.) We have mood swings. Oh my gosh, do we have mood swings. We can go from one extreme to the next, in no time at all. And we're still pissed off. We feel quite often as if we teeter on the edge of sanity. Grief is ever present. It's a constant battle that never leaves us. Some days worse than others. Some days not as bad as the day before. But it's there. Always there. We still cry everyday. We are very broken and know that we will never be whole again. We are forced to be changed into different people and we try everyday to let this change just be. But it is not easy and out of nowhere, before we know it, BAMM...we turn around and there we are again, staring grief in the face.

Grieving parents hear so many cliches. Oh my gosh we get so tired of hearing them. Its as if those cliches are forced on us. Don't get me wrong, we know most are given by well meaning people, who just have nothing else to offer. Who have no words to really say, other than what they've always heard others say.  But for those who have had to bury their child/children, no matter which cliche you happen to say, makes no sense to a grieving parent. And for us personally, it offers no comfort. We are slowly learning to let these cliches go in one ear and out the other.

 ~The following are a few of the many cliches we've heard over the last 4 years~

 Everything happens for a reason.  God has a plan.  She is in a better place.  She is free from pain.  Things will get better.  Life gets easier.  Life goes on.  She's in the arms of Jesus.  She's dancing with the Angels.  Oh what a glorious place she's in now.  I can't even imagine...and on and on and on.

Well you know what? Everything happens for a reason is a bunch of bull when it comes to the loss of a child. There is no good reason for a child to pass on before a parent.

Gods plan. Ha! It ain't working so well for me...what kind of plan rips children from the arms of a loving family?

A better place. Really?!?! How do YOU know that? Have you been to this place personally?

Free from pain? She wasn't in any pain until that split second just before she dropped over from a heart attack.

Things get better? Hmmm, when would that be? How is anything better after you bury your child/children?

Life gets easier? After 4 years, there has been no easy part of life.

Life goes on? Well no shit!

She's in the arms of Jesus. Let me ask which of your children would you like to send to Jesus today? I'm betting none of you would even consider sending your children ahead of yourselves.

She's dancing with Angels. She danced just fine here at home with her family.

Oh what a glorious place she's in now. Really? Have you been there?  Again, do you want to pick one of your children to go spend the rest of your living days in this glorious place while you're left here? Nope, didn't think so.

I can't imagine....YES YOU CAN IMAGINE. Just sit down and do it. Imagine NEVER hearing your childs voice or laughter again. NEVER hugging your child again.  NEVER seeing your child grow up. Imagine a forever empty place at the dinner table.  Go ahead and imagine it.  Everyone CAN imagine it. People just don't want to. They wouldn't dare,,,out of fear. Fear of the very fact that they too, could become one of "us" one day.  I don't blame anyone for that.  I really don't. We never wanted to become "us" either but here we are.

What we 'hear' when someone says those ever lovin' cliches??? Suck it up. Get over it. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. It's not that bad. People try to compare a stubbed toe, flat tire, bounced check, a mouthy kid or a shitty marriage and a bad day at work to our losses. Umm, really? I'm sorry but there is no comparison. None!  I wish those petty problems, were what we had to deal with daily. I'd give anything! I think the one saying that irks me the very most, and I've heard so many times.... -  Life isn't fair, not just for you. Most of the people who say that or have written/typed those words to me don't even realize how ignorant that is to say to grieving parents.  Life isn't fair when you get a speeding ticket, pay 2 electric bills in one month and the electric company wont give you your money back..or even a mouthy child causing you to have a bad day, pissy doctors and teachers, frustration over health, learning and behavioral issues, and so on and so and so on...those are reasons for someone to believe that "life isn't fair". But never say that to a grieving parent because it's probably the stupidest thing anyone could possibly say! Paul and I work very hard at letting those cliches roll off us now. That doesn't mean they have any less sting to them tho. We realize that  others, well they just don't get it. And that they most likely never will.

No matter how many rotten days we have. How badly we long to hold and hug our sweet little girl. No matter our anger. No matter our tear shed. We will never again know the happiness of life as we knew it before April 23, 2010. Although we do laugh and smile from time to time, behind each laugh and smile is our sad reality of our new and unwanted life. As badly as we'd like to go back to April 22, 2010, the very last day the 5 of us were a happy and whole family, before we were suddenly broken. We know that we cant. So here we stay as the years continue on.

(My Facebook friend made this for me. Thank you Ena!)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Treasure Each Moment

...July 4, 2009 was the last 4th of July we had with both Brad and Carly. We had such a good time that year. With the exception of Brad nearly blowing off his finger while setting off bottle rockets :/  Ashleigh wasn't with us that year, she was with friends, on vacation in California.  But, July 4, 2009 was the first, and sadly the last year that Carly used Sparklers. She was in awe of them. :)

So, as we go about our day today, our hearts will remain heavy. Missing both of those kids more than I could ever attempt to explain to anyone. Wishing more than anything we could do Sparklers with our sweet girl again this year and each year after. Wishing Brad was here, he'd be in his glory this year, now that Fireworks are legal in Michigan.

We will be heading to my brother and sister inlaws house (where we were in 2009) today and having fireworks there as well. It's going to be tough, I'm sure, but we will be surrounded by family, who will, I'm sure, be feeling our losses as well. And we'll be missing Ashleigh too. But, our hearts rest easy knowing she is happy with life aboard the USS Eisenhower. They are docked in Palma, Spain for the next several days. Boy, is she one excited Sailor!

Enjoy your July 4th 2012. Be safe. And always remember, Treasure Each Moment, make lots and LOTS of memories...one never knows what tomorrow may bring.

Monday, July 2, 2012

I've been MIA for quite some time in bloggy land. Haven't known what to say. Even tho., I have a lot to be said. But, sometimes it's best just to keep things quiet. At this point, I'm really unsure as to how much I will blog throughout the summer months.

I've been having MUCH anxiety the past several weeks due to health issues, the new house, Ashleigh being deployed, Brad's death investigation, missing Brad, missing Carly. Taking criticism from strangers online who send me private messages and emails telling me how I'm so venomous. Seriously? I reply one time, but they blast me over and over and over. It's pretty sick if you ask me. But, whatever, I've learned that people are nasty, mean and cold hearted and some day, they'll get what's coming to them.

During the days, I'm trying to keep myself busy. Even if it means just jumping in the car and going to the store. Some days, I just have to get out of the house and away from the house. I work out in my garden quite a bit. Work in the house, trying to get it decorated in hopes of making this house feel like our home. Not a ton of success in making it feel like "home" but I'm trying.

Paul and I were talking the other day. I am so incredibly lost in life right now. I've been a stay at home mom for 14yrs. When we lost Carly, so suddenly, I was devastated..however, I did have Ashleigh and Brad home. And because of them being home, I forced myself to push forward. Then, Ashleigh left for the Navy. Brad was still home. I was pretty thankful to have him here. He kept me in check, mom wise that is. Now, I have nothing. No kids at home. And truthfully, I have no idea what I am suppose to do. Could I get a job? Probably. Not sure I could mentally handle the stress of a job right now. But, for 14yrs, my job was, "mom" and in less than 18months...my job, as I knew it, ended.

I think I'd like to get back into counseling. Even tho., I wasn't all that impressed when I was going before, but I'm so lost. And my health issues have me a nervous wreck. I now have a colo rectal doctor and I wont get into those details, but I'd be lying if I said I had no concerns. I also had biopsies done in May, checking for uterine cancer. No cancer, but some kind of growth in my uterus. My GYN is extremely hesitant on doing a hysterectomy. She said, "you need to have one, but..." Yeah, that BUT..is making me crazy. She told me she could go in and remove the growth, patch up my uterus and I could have more children. (expect Paul would need a reversal vasectomy). I'm so torn over this decision. REcently, I've had dreams about having more kids. In fact, one dream I had, I had twin girls..and I was PISSED off in my dream, because I wanted a boy, JUST like Brad and a girl, JUST like Carly.  But, I know that in reality, I am almost 46yrs old, my monthly cycle is HORRIBLE and this growth needs to get out of me. I go in to meet with the GYN the end of July. I do plan to schedule a hysterectomy, but boy it has been on up and down decision process. And I'm still not 100% with doing it.  Ugh..it's never freaking ending.

Paul is, well...he's surviving the best way he knows how. He has some pretty rough days. He worries about me while he's working. And he's been having some pretty bad anxiety issues too. His work has been crazy busy. He's been averaging 75-80hrs a week. Hopefully, that is about to slow down. While he's home, he tries to busy himself around the house..we have a TON to finish up, but it'll get done, some where down the road.

Ashleigh seems to be doing really well. She deployed on the USS Eisenhower on June 20th. The ship is deployed for 9months. Her orders are only for 3months..but we all know that could change at any given time. We are able to email back and forth and we even got a phone call from the ship!! It was a pretty rough connection, but we could at least hear her voice. :) It sure made Paul and I feel so good. And knowing that life on the ship isn't bad (except the bathrooms are nasty - (she's a bathroom clean freak!) and the food "sucks"..except for the cheesecake and cobblers, she's having a good time! They are about to go into Port for a few days. Not sure if I can share that info or not. I think once they get to port, then I can! But, she is looking forward to it and she is VERY excited!

Guess that's about it for today. I'll try to be better at blogging and not be MIA for so long!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

May 24, 1986

...one has no way, to even attempt to imagine, all that can take place within 26yrs.

26yrs ago today, Paul and I were married. Two EXTREMELY young kids; I, 19 and he, was 20. Wow! But on that day, so many years ago, we never, in our wildest dreams or most horrifying  nightmares, could have known how our journey together would go. Sure, we had happy times. Lots of them in fact. But man...it's been rough for a couple of years now.

Ashleigh was born and then 2yrs and 11months later, Brad was born. We had some rough times...as many young married people do. But, we were doing okay. For a while anyway.

When Brad was 2 1/2, Paul and I separated and eventually divorced. We remained divorced for 7yrs. And only because of our children, we started to heal. We would attend school events together, with the kids. Go to movies and even on vacation. At that point we decided we should give it one more try..the whole marriage thing. We wanted our kids happy. We wanted to be happy.

On December 17, 1999 we remarried. Our kids were THRILLED! Our family was whole again. Gone, were the sad looks from the eyes of our kids, who were torn apart through our divorce. The sparkle came back into their eyes. Life was good.

Paul started coaching Ashleigh's soccer team..until the girls got to "that weird age" as Paul called it. He was uncomfortable coaching middle school girls. At that point, he started coaching Brad's soccer team. I think he coached those boys throughout elementary. Once Brad hit middle school, he switched to football.  Our weeknights were busy with practices. Weekends we were consumed with soccer games. Oh, but it was so fun. And looking back, we are so happy to have been so involved with the kids, their friends, the parents, school etc...

Along comes Carly! What a surprise she was. A complete and total blessing for our little family of 4. Jan., 2, 2002 was such a great day. The day our family was complete. And then we were hit with the news, "were sorry but, we think your baby has Down syndrome." We were shocked. Devastated really. This was not the way it was suppose to be. How could this have happened? What were people going to think? How would we tell people? How would our new baby be treated/accepted by others? It was rough, to say the least. But, we made it. And I'll never forget the words that Brad said to me on the night of Carly's birth. Let me back up a bit first. Ashleigh had gone from the hospital with my parents to buy a new outfit for Carly to come home in. Brad stayed at the hospital with Paul and I. Brad heard the doctor tell us, what we thought at the time, were the worst possible words a doctor could ever say. Brad saw the reaction that Paul and I had..and it kind of freaked the poor kid out. He had just turned 12, less than 2 months before Carly was born. Eventually, Paul and Brad left the hospital that night. I called home to talk to the kids and Paul. When Brad got on the phone, I was trying not to cry. Trying really hard not to be emotional. He asked me, "are you okay mom?" I said, "I just don't know what we are going to do." Brad's response, "we're just gonna take care of her mom." And at that very moment, even though I was so saddened, I knew, that once the shock wore off, we'd be okay.

3 weeks after Carly's birth, we were hit with another blow. We found out that she had a severe heart condition. She would not survive childhood without surgery, but what she needed done, was no easy task. Carly was given less than 20% chance to survive with a successful surgery. At 3months of age, she was taken from my arms, into surgery. She made it! But 13hrs later, we nearly lost her to a pulmonary embolism. She spent 3 1/2 days on ECMO. 31 days after entering UofM hospital for open heart surgery, we brought our baby girl home. Her surgeon was in awe of her. He told us, "I expected your stay in ICU to be 4-6months." She blew the minds of those doctors.

June, 2004 we were back to UofM for a second heart surgery for our sweet girl. She breezed right through it. We were discharged on the 4th morning following her surgery. We were amazed. And thrilled. We were home, happy and healthy.

Sept 2004, leukemia reared it's ugly head with our sweet little girl. We sat at UofM in total disbelief. How many times were we going to get knocked down in this life time? When was enough going to enough? How could this tiny little 2 yr old be put through 26months of chemotherapy?
She had endured so much. We nearly lost her 2 times due to blood infections and once due to a round of really hard chemo that caused dehydration so severe the nurses couldn't find vitals on her. But, she came out swinging. She beat that evil cancer. She won the battle. Our family could finally get back to being a family. 26months is a long time. Lots of hospital stays. Low blood counts, = no company, no going away...being confined pretty much to home. After chemo days, we were resting pretty easily. Carly was thriving. Our family was happy. Things were good.

April 23, 2010 our life came crashing down. Our family of 5 was no more. Our lives and hearts were shattered. How could life be so cruel? How would we go on? What would happen to our family? Could we survive this life, without Carly? We thought this would certainly be the worst day of our lives. How could life get any worse? Our family was suddenly ripped apart and it all took place in 1 1/2 hrs. Our lives were turned upside down. Life as we knew it, had forever changed. We would never be the people that we were before that dreadful day.

Life was pretty difficult for us in the days and weeks and months that passed after losing Carly. We never felt so alone in all of our lives. Not just Paul and I, but Ashleigh and Brad too. People didn't know what to say, so they said nothing. Which is much harder on grieving families. We cried many tears. Felt very lost, empty, angry. Surely we had been through enough. How could this have happened? Would we, could we survive this? Carly was the core of our family. Loved beyond loved. And she was gone. Plucked, right out of the family core.

I often times worried about Paul and I. The statistics/divorce rates are out of this world, high, after the loss of a child. Would we be okay? I worried about Ashleigh and Brad too. How would they cope with the loss of their baby sister? Would they be okay? Then I'd get pissed. Dammit, Ashleigh and Brad had been through enough. Paul and I had been through enough. And now they lose their sister...we lose our daughter...total bullsh!t! Yep, that pretty much sums up my thoughts in the days, weeks and months after losing Carly. Total bullsh!t!

Some how, we were all making it through that horrific time. Making it through the best we could. The kids were doing okay. Paul and I were doing the best that we could. And I thought, just for a split second. We are going to make it through this.

BAMM!!! October 8, 2011. Paul and I left our home at 5:15pm to run to the auto parts store and grab some dinner. At 6pm, I called Brad (he was home) and asked his what he wanted us to bring him for dinner, because I wasn't going to cook. He placed his order - steak, cooked medium..baked potato and fries. At 7:30ish, Paul and I were on our way back home. My phone rang. I noticed it was my friend calling, she rarely calls my cell. I answered and she asked where I was at. And then she told me, "Joany, your house is on fire." I hung up on her and frantically started calling Brad's cell phone. I called it over and over and over and over. He never answered. I called my brother and told him he needed to get to my house. Paul and I were 20 miles away. I called one of my girl friends, who lives 3 miles from me and told her to get to my house, it was on fire. I continued calling Brad. NON STOP..he never answered. How in the HELL could this be happening? I just knew we would pull up to our home and he'd be outside with the firemen. He wasn't. Nothing but chaos once we arrived on the scene. I was in shock. We were all in shock. There is absolutely no way that this could be happening. It was like a nightmare. As I sat watching, everything seemed to be going in slow motion. Paul flipped out and ran through the police crime scene tape that was placed around our yard. He was heading to the house. He was tackled by 2 State Troopers and placed in hand cuffs. We were kept separated for a couple of hours. I just couldn't believe this was happening. Eventually, the cops let us be together. And then the devastating news, "we have found a body in the home." came crashing down upon us. My knees buckled. I could not believe what we were being told. He was gone. Brad was gone.

As I sit here today, typing this, I see that I may have veered off track of what I intended to post, but when you've lived and lost, what I've lived and lost in 26yrs, sometimes, you find yourself rambling. Memories flood your mind. Your heart. Your entire soul. Tears flood your eyes and you try desperately to remember every detail of your life.

This has been one Hell of a 26yr journey for our family. As we said our "I do's" standing in that church, we didn't have a clue of what we would face. How life would play out. The joy we would share. The heartache. The pain. The suffering. The loss. One never knows, for that matter. But I can promise you this, we never in a million years thought we'd be grieving over 2 children. That was something that never, ever entered our minds. It's just not suppose to happen that way. Parents aren't suppose to bury their children. As hard as each passing day is for Paul and me. We continue to put one foot in front of the other,,,even when we feel we just can't do it another day, but it's the hardest thing we've ever done.

I would like nothing more, than to turn back the hands of time. Rewind our lives to happier days. Good times, when we were a family of 5. But, I know that will never be. I can't begin to imagine having to go through this horrific time without Paul. I wish we didn't have to go through any of this, but we do.

We did nothing fancy for today. We never do. Likely because we don't know which anniversary to celebrate. This one, or the second one, or both?! I made fish, corn on the cob and baked potatoes for dinner. We ate, did the dishes and Paul was in bed by 8:15 (he works about 70+hrs a week).

Tomorrow, after Paul gets home from work, we will head to the cemetery. I bought some flowers for Memorial Day to place on each of the kids graves. We'll talk about the past 26yrs..the past 25 months. We'll talk about Brad and of our memories about him. We'll talk about Carly and all the memories we have of her. We'll stand at the foot of their graves and we'll shake our heads and we'll cry.