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

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday afternoon

...this is how we spent our Friday afternoon~

My mom, Ashleigh and I headed to the cemetery to decorate for Easter. We managed, but it wasn't easy. The wind was HORRIBLE! So in case you're wondering why you see some blur in this picture, it's all the fault, of a very windy day here in Michigan; and the fact that I used my cell phone..which actually does have a good camera on it! Oh well.. it looks better in person. All the little whirly gigs are spinning around lickity split! But we finished without any of us getting blown across the cemetery!

As I sit here and look at this picture, I do see a couple of things that I am going to have to go back and fix. Just not looking right to me. For one-the Easter garland around the headstone. I'm gonna go change that. I'm thinking I'll wrap it around one of the two shepherds hooks. I'm thinking it looks a bit tacky on that stone.

Friday afternoon, shouldn't be spent visiting your daughter at the cemetery.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Purple flowers...

***EDITED*** not sure what is up with blogger and Picasa, but they aren't jiving anymore. Well, at least they aren't working for me. So...I've re-added the pic that was suppose to have been on this post when I hit "publish post" this morning.. Hopefully this one shows up.

the second word that Carly ever said was, "Purple" as she pointed to the flowers on my Hosta plants.

Last year, Paul rototilled my daisy garden...which had pretty much been taken over by violets. I was so sick of the violets! No matter what you do, you can not get rid of them! We would pull some out, but they just multiplied. Which would have been fine, had they been growing elsewhere. But, I made the BIG mistake of planting a couple of clumps that my mom gave me, in my garden which was FULL of daisies. Learned my lesson the hard way. The violets over took my entire daisy garden.

Yesterday, as Paul came walking in from work, he hollered for me to come look at something. I found him standing in the spot that he rototilled last fall. The spot that is nothing more than yucky, bare, dirt.

And this is what we found..

Purple flowers.

Purple flowers that we did not plant. I promise you...I did NOT plant anything in the old daisy garden. The entire thing was rototilled about 3 times in the fall. It was nothing more than over turned dirt, once winter hit. But somehow, these flowers popped up this Spring. Could this be Carly, shining through once again? Click here and see the last signs that could only have been our girl shining through. At least, that's what we think. If you click on the above link, take notice of the purple flower in that collage of pictures. That morning glory plant was given to me by my mom..yes, she gives me lots of plants! Mom's morning glory plants were all pink. As you can see for yourselves, my morning glory-which was part of hers, bloomed PURPLE! Strange? Coincidence? Or Carly?

As I said above, Carly's second word that she ever said was PURPLE! The first color of a flower that she identified verbally. One of her two most favorite colors..the other being red!

Six days before our nightmare began. Before we lost the sweetest little girl ever. Carly had wanted new shoes. So, we headed to the mall. We first stopped for dinner at The Outback, where Carly ate all of Paul's shrimp. The girl loved her some shrimp! Then we hit the mall. Once we got to the mall, we asked her what color of shoes she wanted. Guess what she said??? Yep, she said, "Purple"! We looked high and low for purple shoes that night. We found nothing. Carly was not so happy. BUT, she eventually spotted a pair of white tennis shoes that had pink and grey stripes on them and those were the one's she picked. Those barely worn shoes, were buried with her.

A few weeks after we lost Carly, Ashleigh took me with her, to one of our Outlet Malls. She needed some running shoes and she didn't want to go alone..or she figured I needed to get out and about. You might know, I found a pair of purple Nike tennis shoes in Carly's size that day. I almost bought them. And so many times since, I wish I would have, so that I could have given my girl, the purple shoes that she wanted so badly.


** yesterdays post was kind of upsetting to me. For some reason my pic's wouldn't stay put. They were there one minute and then some disappeared later.. I hope this picture comes through okay**

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


***edited*** I can see all these pictures, but you all can see only a few of them..some see red x's or little boxes...just as I posted the first post, networked blogs had some sort of a glitch and wouldn't post. Let's see if the 2nd time around is the charm!

I always wished I would have had a sister. Except for the times that I witnessed "sisterly cat fights" between my girlfriends and their sisters! But still, I always wanted a sister. Especially during the past year. However, I do have 2 sister in-laws, who are just as good as sisters to me and I'm okay with that.

I did however give birth to two girls and one boy. Girls. Sisters, what I had always longed for. I was so happy to be able to give my first born daughter a little sister. Took a while, but Carly eventually arrived. And filled our hearts with a love that I can't even begin to explain and I doubt most of you would even understand the love we have for our precious little Carly.

Now as I sit and watch my daughter Ashleigh, suffer the loss of her little sister, it tears my heart up. Nothing worse than losing your child, other than seeing your other children grieving their little sister too.

The love my two girls had for each other was something I envied. Something I had never seen before. I wasn't jealous of their love between each other, but I envied it, in a way that only a sister of two big brothers would understand.

Just the other day, Ashleigh walked in from work and said, "well, today is officially 1 year since I've seen Carly alive." I'm telling you, Ashleigh's heart is broken and I dare say, nearly as much as her mother's heart is. Anyway, I was sitting in the living room and about fell out of my chair when Ashleigh announced her 1 year ago....

I remember that weekend, one year ago, just as vividly as if it were yesterday. It was Easter weekend. Ashleigh had finally came home to visit. She hadn't been home in 6 long weeks. Carly was utterly pissed off at Ashleigh for about an hour or so. Pissed, no doubt, because she hadn't seen her "sissy" in 6 weeks. Eventually, that sisterly bond was shining through once again. Carly was great NOT to hold a grudge very long!

On Saturday, Paul and I headed to get groceries. We left the kids (all 3 of them) at home. Carly was in her glory by then! She had her sissy's full on attention. As we pulled out of the driveway, our two girls were playing outside. "Bat ball" aka- baseball-was Carly's first choice.

Paul and I came home about 3 hours later. As we walked into the house, we could hear that Ashleigh had Carly in the bathtub. Only to find out later that Ashleigh washed her little sisters hair with DOG SHAMPOO!!! I about passed out when I discovered that big oops! Ashleigh said that Carly told her, "no, no, no", but big sissy didn't listen and went on to use the dogs shampoo! UGH...

We talked about what the girls had done while outside playing. They played, bat ball, in the sand box, on the swing set and headed to the neighbors house. Which was unoccupied at the time-it was up for sale. The neighbors house has a nice big front porch and a HUGE back deck. Miss Carly loved the porch and the deck. She knew she wasn't allowed over there. BUT, sissy didn't know that! ! Although, sissy did know better! But, Carly being Carly was begging to go to the neighbors. Ashleigh said that she kept telling her no. At one point, Ashleigh even told Carly "there are monsters over there Carly" the problem with that was, Carly LOVED monsters! No kidding. She LOVED monsters! I guess Ashleigh forgot all about that. So, up Carly jumps and runs to the neighbors, looking for monsters, telling Ashleigh, "shh" while they quietly crept around looking for the monsters. Thankfully, they didn't find any!

The next day was Easter Sunday. Just two weeks before we lost the littlest love of our lives.


Sorry that this post is chock full of sister pictures. Guess I wanted to get a point across. The love between these two sisters is and was so precious. I think you'll see the love shining through in each and every one.

I decided not to put captions on the pictures. I only hope you see the love between the two of them. Here they are, in no particular order. Some are tiny..due to a cell phone camera, but they are just as precious as all the other pictures!

Can you see it? Can you see the love these two girls of mine shared? I miss seeing this. Pictures are great and I'm so happy to have them, but I much prefer having both my girls in my life. To watch them both grow and learn and live life.

Make sure you take note of the special bonds that your children have with each other. It really is a treasure.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April 5

9 years ago today, at 5:30am, our family headed to Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor. Carly would be heading into her first open heart surgery at 7:30am.

I recall that day as if it were yesterday.

Once we arrived, vitals were checked. The dreaded "talk" with anesthesiology took place, for what seemed like forever. Those of you who have had your child put to sleep several times, knows full well just how that "talk" goes. The talk when they tell you your child could die during this surgery. They tell you all the bad things that can go terribly wrong. Mom's cry. Grandma's cry. Dad's cry. But the staff is comforting and caring.

We were surround by our family that morning. As we sat in the waiting room. Waiting to hand our tiny little 8 1/2lb 3month old, over to the surgeon. The surgeon who only gave Carly less than a 10% chance to survive the surgery itself.

Our name was finally called. My entire family headed down the longest corridor that I've personally ever walked down, in my entire life. I held my tiny baby girl while tears streamed down my face. While walking, we met Dr Ohye, (Carly's cardiac surgeon) in the hallway, and he stopped to chat with us for just a bit. Told us to "hold on" and that he'd take very good care of our baby.

We were then placed into a room, which was right outside of the operating room. We were all kissing Carly and telling her how much we loved her. And we were praying, that we'd see her again. Soon. Alive. But none of us knew for sure if that would be the case.

As I handed my tiny little girl over to the anesthesiologist and his nurse, my knees buckled. Paul and my mom each had hold of my arms, thankfully, because I'm sure I would have hit that floor hard!

Our family was then escorted to the family waiting room. Which is located just outside the PICU. We were told that there would be a couple of updates. The first update came, telling us things were underway; surgery had started. Another update came about couple hours later, telling us things were looking good. Shortly after, we received a horrible update. The surgeons nurse told us, "Dr. Ohye isn't sure he has enough of Carly's tissue to work with and he may have to take down the surgery." We were devastated. We knew what "take down the surgery" meant. It meant, he'd undo what he had done up to that point and close her up. Death would soon follow. As we sat, waiting for yet another update..we were all on edge. We were numb. Scared to death. And there were many tears and lots of prayers. When out of the the corner of my eye, I see Dr. Ohye literally bouncing down the hallway and grinning from ear to ear. I knew at that very moment, he had done it. He had fixed that tiny heart. That tiny heart that so many of Mott's cardiac team didn't think possible. I jumped from my chair as these words came out of his mouth, "I had enough tissue and her valve is working beautify" I grabbed him and hugged him so tight. - I was told later, that I was the only parent to ever hug him before - and it made his day :)

We were also told that Carly was not out of the woods. She had a long hard road ahead of her and she needed to get through the next 48 hours without any issues.

She didn't.

13 hours after Carly's surgery, she coded/crashed. Diagnosis - pulmonary hemorrhage. Paul and I stood and watched as doctors and nurses surrounded her tiny body. Working and screaming orders back and forth. We were quickly escorted into a consult room. We were told to contact family and asked if we would like the Hospital Chaplain to be called in. We said yes. The time was around 2am. We sat in that room for a little while. Unsure of how long we actually stayed in that room. Finally, the ICU doc came in. She said, and I quote (there are some things mothers NEVER forget) "we are going to lose Carly very shortly unless we get consent to place her on ECMO" Paul and I had no idea what ECMO was. The doc explained to us the best she could, but trust me, when you are in that critical situation,,,you don't hear a whole lot of what is being said to you. And there really wasn't time to go into detail. We told that doctor that we didn't want Carly to die. We signed the consent and she flew out of that consult room screaming, "mom and dad don't want her to die, get ECMO started".

Our family showed up very, very early that morning. I think they were there by 5am. Honestly can't remember. I just know they were all there. Early. Even Ashleigh and Brad, who were 15 and 12yrs old at the time.

Several hours later, we were able to see Carly. And this is what we saw:

She's laying there, behind all those machines. Trust me, she is there..even if you can't see her little body. Talk about being terrified. I'm not even sure that describes what we felt walking in and seeing this MONSTER machine being used to keep our baby alive.

April 5. Yet another day, that will be etched into my brain for the rest. of. my. life.

Monday, April 4, 2011

What am I suppose to do...

As we approach the 1 year anniversary of Carly's death. FYI: as I typed that sentence, my stomach dropped. I still can't believe it. Don't understand it. Hate it. I MISS her. Long for her scent, her touch, her smile, her giggle. My heart continues to break. Every. Single. Day.

I'm left with this constant question:

What am I suppose to do?

We are all on edge in this house. Any simple, stupid, dumb remark, or action - can set any of us off. We are ticking time bombs. Scary. Not the norm for our family. All due to the fact that we lost the littlest love of our lives. All because God (if he's even in existence) thought he needed our little girl more than we do...well folks, I STRONGLY disagree with HIM. Our family needs her. I need her. WAAYYY more than God could possibly need my little girl! I need her. If anyone thinks, God is where she belongs,,,you obviously haven't buried your child. Lucky you.

What am I suppose to do?

As I look around my house, I see parts of Carly in every single room. Carly's book shelf is in Ashleigh's room (for the time being). Her Fisher Price Doll House sits in it's rightful spot, in our living room. Her toy shelves and bins full of her toys are still in my living room too.

What am I suppose to do?

Do I keep everything forever? If so, is that weird or morbid? How the HELL do I know? I'm not suppose to have to be thinking about things such as, what to do with my little girls toys. She is suppose to be here. She's suppose to be playing with all of her toys and enjoying her life.

Then I glance outside, in the back yard. I see her swing set. The swing set that Carly loved with her whole heart. And my heart breaks. I see her Turtle Sand Box, where she and I spent hours upon hours. I see her Jungle Gym where she climbed and climbed and climbed some more. Like the little monkey she was. Oh how I long to see her climbing all over that thing again. But that is not to be. Ever again. Looking beyond those outside toys, sits her miniature size yard swing, along with her Playhouse, her Cozy Couple, her Little Tikes Cozy Truck, her wagon, her sand toys, her yard chairs. Walk into the garage and you'll find, her basketball hoop, rakes, shovels, buckets, her outside boom box, her tiny little pink bike with training wheels. She is EVERYWHERE in this house, yet she is nowhere to be found. And that's the problem, she isn't here anymore. Just the material things exist now.

What am I suppose to do?

Just what exactly does a mother do with those treasured toys of her 8 year old daughter, who was taken way, way to soon? I have no idea. Do I leave everything as is? Do I give her stuff away...I cringe at that thought. Call me selfish, I could care less! Do I place things in storage? How do I part with any of her toys? Is it healthy for my family to continue to "see" all these treasured Carly possessions? Would we be even more devastated to pack it all up and get everything out of sight? I don't have any idea. Maybe it would be easier for my family not to have all of Carly's things around our home. But I have no idea. I want to hold on to the bitter end. Hold on to every single item of Carly's. Is that fair to my family? I just have no idea.

What am I suppose to do?

I don't think that I'm suppose to know what to do. Mom's aren't suppose to bury their children. That's not the way life is suppose to play out. Our kids are suppose to out live us.

So can you tell me please....

What am I suppose to do?

**WARNING** Picture overload ~