{Charlie} Live Your Best Dreams

Many years ago Charlie gave me a Pendleton coffee cup for my birthday. I loved the cup. I made sure it made the move from the suburbs to uptown. It was the cup I had on my desk at the office. This was my cup and no one could drink out of it, like ever. After Charlie died I brought it home from the office as I wanted it safe in my kitchen. I drank out of it almost every morning as I stared off into the distance muttering “what the fuck,” with the muppet like dog at my side. Until one morning it slipped through my hands and landed on the floor in pieces. With tears welling in my eyes, I swept it’s broken remnants into the trash. I tried to find a replacement cup but it eluded me.

That is until Jay accidentally broke the Pendleton Coffee cup that I got for him in the gift shop at Custards Last Stand in Montana. He was heart broken as it had become his favorite cup. I told him “don’t worry, I can find you a new one.” As I scrolled through the tableware section of the Pendleton website my heart stopped. The cup I had been searching for was there on the screen and in stock. So of course I clicked add to bag and then added the replacement cup for Jay.

In that moment, I realized that Jay was meant to break his cup that night. It was Charlie’s way of giving me a reason to log onto the Pendleton website to find the cup I had broken long ago. He sent a sign at Christmas time from heaven above to let me know that he’s still with me. And knowing me he’s probably like “girl order a couple of them, because you drop things a lot.

This cup isn’t the same as it wasn’t given to me by Charlie. However it makes me smile. Smile because it helps me remember the man who healed my heart and opened the door for Jay. Without Charlie’s leaving there would be no Jay. In my heart I know he’s smiling down on us and yelling “live your best dreams!” ❤️

{Lucia & Baby E} Christmas #7 without you

This time of year makes me both happy and sad. Happy because I get to spend time with family and friends. Plus hello I love Christmas lights and all things to do with Christmas including Movies and cookies. Now that I have a niece and nephew Christmas is even more fun because I get to experience it through the eyes of children.

Jack is two and he is adorable. He tells me “Auntie I miss you so much” and holds on tight and then asks for another Christmas cookie. On Thanks giving day I took him shopping for Christmas gifts. I watched him as we carefully walked through Walmart looking for the perfect gift for mama and nana. He thought both of them would like Thomas the train because well he is obsessed with Thomas. We settled on something that wasn’t train related and he very happily dropped them into the cart. In that moment he was having fun and didn’t realize that I was teaching him the lesson of giving. It’s better to give than receive.

Sophia is five. She lets me know she is actually 5 and 3/4 as her birthday is in January. She artfully and patiently decorated Christmas cookies while we tell her not to lick them or her hands. Because no one wants to eat grubby cookies. She twirls in the kitchen while reading off her Christmas list. Which by the way is very short. Making sure that Auntie knows what emojis are. These are moments we’ll never get back and I will cherish them for a a million years plus one day.

In these moments my heart yearns for Lucia and Baby E. Lucia would be 7 and Baby E would be almost two this year. Both of them would have eyes filled with wonder and hearts filled with love as they anticipated Santa’s arrival. I can’t help but wonder what Lucia would have on his Christmas list. Would it be filled out with requests for Ninja turtles, dinosaurs, trucks or trains? Or maybe he’d be like his dad and ask for Star Wars, video games, and Superman. Only God knows what’s on Lucia’s list and his earthly mother will always wonder what he would like. Baby E would be easy, I’d just load him or her up with fisher price little people toys, a trike or even a ride on dinosaur. Baby E’s likes and dislikes are only known to God and that is alright with me.

Lucia has been gone for seven years, will 7.5 years to be exact. Seven years does not heal the heart, it just grows to make more room for love. Baby E was never meant to be ours, our little one has been gone for 2.5 years and he/she is proof that a woman can walk this earth with a twice broken heart. I miss my children every single day and especially at Christmas. Yet I am comforted by the fact that they get to spend each Christmas with each other and our Heavenly Father. I have to believe that Christmas in heaven is incredible for children.

Because God needed my children more than I did I will never get to decorate the tree with them. A stocking with their name on it will never grace our mantel. I will never get to load them in the car to go look at Christmas lights on the way to visit the mall Santa. But mostly I will never get to wrap a present for Lucia or Baby E. My children have given me a gift that cannot be wrapped. They taught me the meaning of love, strength and faith. It takes a lot to walk this earth with two piece of your heart in heaven. I am still a mother and my babies they will always be.

Sophia and Jack are too little to know that Auntie has babies in heaven. They just know that I am Auntie and that Auntie loves them without question. Christmas is magical. I like to believe that on Christmas Eve the veil is lifted and our babies and loved ones get to spend it with us. So leave an empty seat at your table, a special ornament on the tree and mostly talk about your loved ones as they will always be apart of your lives. Your loved ones they will always be.

To my fellow STILL and pregnancy loss mamas: “I see you. You are loved. You are strong and you my dear are fucking brave. You’ve got this. Your baby(s) matter and as long as you say their name they will never truly be gone.”

{Christmas} With Angels 

Christmas has and will always be my favorite time of year. There is magic in the air and in your heart you know anything is possible. People are kinder to one another and for a little while all is right. 

In the stillness my mind drifts to the land of wonder, the place where what ifs live out there days. My tree is decorated, presents are underneith, and the villagers are content on the mantel. Yet between all the lights and sparkles, an emptiness remains. If you look closely at my tree you will find two ornaments,  “sleep in heavenly peace” for the babies I didn’t get to keep. 

If all were right in this world I would have a six year old son eagerly awaiting Santa’s visit and decorating cookies with his cousins. And an almost one year old baby should be sleeping in my arms. Jay and I would be hanging “baby’s first Christmas on the tree” and Lucia would be hanging up his 2016 ornament. Instead I am doing my best to deter Dexter and Stiffy from destroying our tree and wrapping presents for children who are not mine. Children put the magic into Christmas, their eyes are filled with wonder and hope. Children are the reason for the season. 

I believe in protecting children from death. Sophia has no idea that Lucia came before her. In her little mind she is eagerly awaiting for me to have a baby so she can help. Jack doesn’t know that he should be 6 months older than Baby E, right now he is busy chasing Cully. When motherhood slipped through my fingers I became the best Auntie possible. At Christmas I go over board. Their every whim is answered, presents are piled high and cookies are aboundant. For I want them to enjoy the season that my children  never got to see. 

My children are celebrating with their heavenly host. I’d like to believe that all the children are the reason behind the brightness of the Christmas Star. That somehow the veil gets lifted on Christmas and they are allowed to sit in the empty seats at our tables to be with the ones they love. 

My christmas whish is that one day we will have a “baby’s first Christmas” ornament to put on our tree right next to the “sleep in heavenly peace” ornaments,  and that our home will be filled with child like wonder at Christmas. Until that day comes I will leave an empty seat so that I can spend Christmas with my angel babies. 

{Charlie} Christmas: Three Ships and Charlie Brown

For the first time I found myself able to sit down and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas without bawling. Christmas 2012 was hard, I mas deeply missing my partner in crime and I still harbored a lot of anger towards the drunk driver. Blinded I wasn’t able to see how incredibly blessed I was and I let the magic of Christmas slip through my fingers. Ba humbug perfectly described my mood, I wore a smile to hide the pain I was feeling inside.

I didn’t think my heart would heal and that I would be able to forgive. A healthy heart harbors no hate and a healthy heart is a happy heart. I had no room in my life for hatred or anger, I needed to heal on my own and to find my way. I choose to heal by doing something Charlie loved. I spent my summer walking the shores looking for glass to fill his half empty jar and with each piece my heart began to heal. I was able to love again and soon I felt like my old self. My heart will never be fully healed, the glue with hold it together and one day I will place my broken heart in the hands of another man. He will look beyond the scars and inside he will find a beautifully broken soul.

A soul that has a soft spot for beggars on a cold winters night. One who tries her hardest to find the bright side in every situation and one who never gives up. I am an unsinkable ship crashing against the waves. One who does everything in her power to make the lives of those around her better. One who cries at a song, finds joy in the smallest things, and lives a beautifully designed chaotic life.

The other day I was listening to KOOL108 when “Three Ships” came on and I was over come with sadness. Not the oh my I am so devastated sadness, but the good kind. You see “Three Ships” was Charlie’s favorite Christmas song. He would listen to it over and over on his iPod and would often sing along in his very out of tune voice. He would sing “Three Ships while in the shower in the middle of July, in the car in March, and would wake me up singing “Three Ships” in December. At the time I was annoyed and now I would give anything to hear his out of tune voice singing “Three Ships” from the top of his lungs. Until the song came on I had forgotten how much he loved it, it was the reminder that I needed to find the joy in the simplest things and to keep on singing. To keep on singing my song until I find my way home.

Tonight I found myself singing “Three Ships” while doing dishes and then I remembered that “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was on tonight. A huge part of me didn’t want to tread the waters and flipped the channel, the other part wanted to give it a shot. I sat with the Kleenex on my lap, to my surprise I didn’t need them. Instead of tears, I was filled with joy and found myself repeating some of the lines to the muppet like dog. Charlie loved “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and he would watch it as much as he could during the month of December. One can’t blame the man, his mother after all did name him after the little bald-headed character. Charlie knew the lines by heart and would often burst out with “All I want are 10s and 20s. All I want is what I have coming to me!” To Charlie December was about living through the eyes of a child, about finding the wonder in the every day, and spreading as much kindness as he could.

Even though Charlie is gone, it finally feels like Christmas, like Christmas should. I find myself looking for the spectacular in the every day and spreading as much kindness as I can. I am only one soul on this earth and I am doing my best to take care of my tiny part of the globe. I decided to get my shopping done early this year so that I  could focus on my family and friends. I want to spend my holiday moments with the people I love and not in some checkout line. I want to watch Sophia’s eyes light up as the fireworks race across the cold night sky and to sing “Three Ships” to her as she drifts off to dreamland.

I ask all of you to sing your song and to follow your heart until you find your way home. Enjoy the journey and learn from the lessons. Spend time with your family, hug them tight, whisper more I love yous than you can count, because life will be over in the blink of an eye. The greatest Christmas gift does not come in a box with a fancy tag, it comes from the heart, the greatest gift of all is the gift of love.

I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas Day in the morning.

Pray, wither sailed those ships all three,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
Pray, wither sailed those ships all three,
On Christmas Day in the morning.