It has been nearly 8 months since Ruthie Lou's "year", since we have completed her caringbridge website and began our life with her little brother Reid. "Grief is a process, not an event", these words still hang on our fridge today. We have chosen to LIVE through our grief, to LIVE because of the love that we will forever have for the girl that made us a family, who enriched our hearts, changed our lives and made us better people. THANK YOU SO MUCH for being our lifeline of support when we needed it most, we are eternally grateful for the love and support you have selflessly given to us.
So much has changed in the past eight months yet so much remains the same as life has moved forward and we have began this new path. We are so in love with Reid and are really enjoying our life with him. He has re-opened a place in our hearts that we thought could never return. We are so grateful. While joy is ever so present when we look at the face of our boy, grief is a process that remains today as we live a life without his sister.
As time has moved forward, we continue to be blessed with so much love and support from family, friends and the staff at the George Mark Children's House. Just about every other week, we pack up the car with baby Reid in tow and visit "sister's house" for counseling. We look forward to this trip every single time. Even though our life with Ruthie Lou in our arms has passed, the support from her house continues to be present. Our fondest memories with Ruthie Lou are at GMCH and we are so appreciative to continue to be part of the family there. While money could never "repay" them for the time we had as a family that was priceless, the only way we can give back for their generosity is to pay it forward to other families that need the services of the gift that is George Mark.
So, once again our family (and any friends interested) will be participating in Sonoma County's Human Race on Saturday, May 11th, a 10k/3k walk/run, to help raise money for the George Mark Children's House. We ask that if you are so inclined, please support us in this event and donate to a cause that will forever be so dear to our hearts. Every dollar donated makes a difference no matter the amount. Last year we were able to surpass our goal of $500 and raised nearly $2,000 for the George Mark Children's House and we hope to surpass our goal once again this year!
Please visit http://www.humanracenow.org/goto/ruthieloucrew and consider making a tax deductible donation to the George Mark Children's House in honor of Ruthie Lou, or any other child you have loved that has left us far too soon. Your contribution will allow other families the opportunity and gift of time that our family was so graciously granted in the most desperate, heart wrenching yet beautiful time in our life, our life with Ruthie Lou.
Thank you again and again and again.
One of the hardest things to hear soon after Ruthie Lou left us was the words, "moving on". It brought up such anger that anyone could think that some day I would "move on" from my daughter, would you ever "move on" from your living children? Then why would I move on from my child who has left me....?
I have found that I am in a place of "moving forward", it feels so much different than moving on. Moving on feels devastating, like we will forget her, we are leaving her, we are moving to another place without her and that will never be the case. Moving forward feels like life is continuing forward with her by our side and in our hearts, where she will always reside whether spoken aloud or not.
Life gets busy. Real life beckons my return. Work, bills, being a mama, wife, friend and a functioning member of society demand my presence and that is a hard to pill to swallow on some days. But on other days, the sunshine pours in our bedroom window and I am woken by the sweet smiles and laughter of a little boy, our rainbow baby, the rainbow after the storm. Somehow, it has gotten easier. Somehow, life has moved forward and I am a part of this life that I had no choice in other than the choice to keep living. I am so grateful that real life beckons me back because THAT is what my daughter would have wanted. She would have wanted us to move forward, loving life and living the best life possible.
So many gifts she left behind, so many lessons. I miss my sweet girl each day and I am so grateful she taught me the true value of this life. I am forever changed. I am better because of her.
I have written my first children's book...!
I do my best thinking in the shower, don't you? As the hot water warms me and steam fills the bathroom, the house becomes quiet or at least in my mind it does. It is (usually) the only ten minutes of the day that I get to myself, no demands, no crying, no phone; texts, ringing, FB, or emails. It is the perfect time to think. My day start best clean, clean body, clean mind and a clean start to the day.
The other morning as I was in the shower rushing to get out the door for work, the baby slept in so I was alone in the bathroom and the water got me thinking...and writing in my head. Many times I am not able to write down my thoughts as they come to me (because I'm in the shower!) so I "write" then in my head hoping that they someday make it to my journal...and sometimes they actually do. But this morning as I was thinking, my mind started writing my book, not Ruthie Lou's book, as it has so many times before but my children's book which is also on my wish list of life. Now, Ruthie Lou's book is such a task to tackle because while I could (and have) written hundreds of pages for her, to her and about her; her actual book is a challenge I am not yet prepared to face...YET. It is still too soon to write her book for my heart.
So instead, my mind went to the small attainable goal of writing a book for children. And since I am surrounded by kids 24/7, the thoughts came as if placed from above...and I'm sure they were! I wrote my first children's book...in my head...while in the shower...along with an entire set of volumes to accompany it but this ONE, the first one, has actually made it to paper. With some tweaks here and there and a proof read from my (super sister) illustrator, this dream is beginning to come to fruition.
I am mama of three beautiful babes; two sons whom I have the privilege of raising and my daughter who lived for 33 sacred days.