Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkins In Pictures

Seth & his scary pumpkin.

Riley & his ninja vampire pumpkin.

The pumpkin we carved for Grey. It's an owl. Ry picked it out.
He said he thought Grey would like it. I love owls!

The boys' pumpkins.

Luke says he too old to carve a pumpkin.
However, he did grace us with his presence in this picture.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Worse For The Wear

I know that my posts are becoming less frequent, but it remains important to me to be positive while posting, and at times, especially lately, I'm just not there.

Sometimes the frustration of being stuck in Grey's loss overwhelms me. Grey's memory seems to be consuming me lately. It's hard to even describe how he's so present in my mind, and the memories that come to me, come to me at the least expected times. Like today, I decided to run out for lunch. I walked outside into the school parking lot, but I was immediately transported to the parking lot at Grey's memorial. I guess it was the smell of the cool weather, along with the cloudy day. School ended and I again headed for the door, bracing myself. As I opened the door and walked out, a person behind me commented disgustedly on the humidity and warmth that had moved in. And although the air was thick, I was able to breath a little easier. I worry that cloudy, cool days will always take me back to that day.

I think of Grey every time I make pumpkin pie, every time I smell a Glade vanilla plug-in, every time I see jungle animals. I think of him at every bath time, every dinner time, every bedtime. I think of him every time someone mentions snow, as we were lucky enough to take him out in it one midnight just two days before he died. I think of him when I smell syrup and oatmeal.

I could go on and on. I just hope that after December 12th, I won't compare everything that is today with everything that was a year ago. I read a quote that an incredible sister affected by her brother's loss to Krabbe posted. It said, 'There are moments that mark your life, moments when you realize nothing will ever be the same. And it is divided into two parts, before this and after this." The fact that my life, my family's life, has been marked by such an event saddens me.

At times, I wish I could fold up the aftermath of Grey's loss and stick it in my back pocket. Maybe then I could forget about it for awhile, maybe wash it. But inevitably, I would find it in the dryer, worse for the wear.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I guess it's all perspective . . .

There are so many miserable people in this world. Maybe there are no more than usual. Maybe I just notice them more. I notice them in their nice cars, yelling at the speaker at McDonald's. I notice them, pulling their hair out as their children act like children in Target. I notice them in meetings, focusing on things that will soon pass.

Grief is a crazy thing. It has changed my perspective drastically. We all have choices to make, no matter the situation we're in. We can choose to be miserable, or we can choose to not. At times, I wonder where in the world I get the strength to not be miserable. I know I appreciate life more, love more, and my family and friends more. I know that if I were miserable, it would make everyone around me miserable too.

When I found out that Grey was terminal, I swore that I would not be "that mother who lost her baby". And if you know me, personally know me, you know that I fight that title every day. Because no matter how hard I try, I will always be that mother to somebody. Every day, I have to prove to that I am not bitter, destroyed, miserable.

Don't get me wrong, there are days that I am all those things at one time. But unless you really know me, unless you're one of those few people who really know where to look, you'd never see it.

I think of the gifts that Grey has given me often. So badly, I want to scream that they are just not enough. But I have to remember that there is always someone out there worse off than me. Somewhere, there is a mom who didn't get to say goodbye to her child before he died. Somewhere, there is a mom who doesn't know where her child is. Somewhere, there is a mom who watches her child suffer with a disease just like Grey's every day, begging God to ease his pain and take him Home. Somewhere, there is woman never even given the chance to be a mom. And somewhere, there is a mom about to lose her child and she will always wonder if she showed him enough love.

So I have to choose, every day, that I won't be miserable. I have to remember that if I had it all to do over again, I would do it exactly the same way just to spend 11 months with Grey. I'd do it all over, just so I could say that he was my son.

Grey was the best gift of all.

It's all perspective . . .

My perspective.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Time Of The Season

Do you hear that? It's almost 1 o'clock in the afternoon and it's quiet. Luke , Seth, Ry and I just helped my mom with some yard work. It's a beautiful day today, sunny and 67. So beautiful that Seth and Riley decided to stay at Nana's and "help" some more. Luke is locked in his room, again, but this time working on a project for school. I think it may just be the perfect time to take a few minutes for me and evaluate where I am in this whole messy process of Grey's loss.

I guess "messy" isn't quite the right word anymore. It's rare that I find myself a blubbering mess. More often I find myself just sad, lost in Grey's memories. My biggest challenge has been the time of the year. I can't help but think, that if I can just get myself through this first season, Halloween through Christmas, I'll no longer compare everything to last year.

As a family, we've been focusing on change, making sure that the things we do this year to celebrate the season, are completely different than the things that we did last year with Grey. I imagine that change is starting with Bill's schedule.

For the last 13 years, Bill has worked nights and weekends so that he could be home with the babies during the day. Thirteen years is a long time to not have your daddy home on the weekends. It's even longer for the mom who has had to take care of 4 boys all by herself (thankfully with the help of Nana). Never once have Bill or I ever complained about our schedules, because it was best for the kids. But now, with Grey gone, it just doesn't make much sense anymore. So, starting next weekend, Bill will no longer work Sundays. It's not the whole weekend, but it's a start. He's also going to some day shifts, being home some more nights. It'll be an adjustment, but I'm sure it's one we'll all get use to pretty quickly.

Halloween is the next event that was looming over me. I imagine October 31st is a day I will never forget, sitting in the hospital being told that my son could be terminal, and then our reaction of discharging him to make sure that he could Trick-Or-Treat just once in his life. Grey was so oblivious, dressed in his giraffe costume having the time of his life. Me, pushing him in his stroller, with my nieces and nephew running around us, trying to hide my tears. This Halloween will be different. One of my good friends, knowing what the day could bring, invited me, Bill, the boys, and Mom over to her uncle and aunt's for a Halloween party, followed by Trick-Or-Treating. Bill has already gotten off and we're really looking forward to it. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I have the best friends. I don't know what I'd do without them.

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. Thanksgiving was the day that we found out Grey was actually terminal. I think no matter what we do, the day itself will be hard to handle. I think our best approach is to spend it as a family, with maybe a close friend or two. After Thanksgiving dinner, I imagine we'll put up our tree, as we always do. I'm sure I'll be full of tears, but I have no doubt that together we'll make it through.

We're still looking for a way to celebrate Grey's life on December 12th, the day he died. We were going to plan a big walk, but the thoughts of it just exhausted me. Again, I'm sure we'll figure out something. I thought about a Spurs game, because I know Grey would want to see us happy, but they're out of town. Any ideas out there? I'm sure we'll release some balloons. Any of you that would like to join us are welcomed.

It's funny that our crazy red cardinal is still getting my attention. We went out to eat last night at Cracker Barrel (sorry Ceci) and their country store was full of cardinal stuff for Christmas. I bought a plate to put up on our mantle next to Grey's urn at Christmastime. It has a cardinal on it and it says "Hearts come home for Christmas". Again, I hate birds, but there is just something about that cardinal. I'm sure Grey is amused that I will probably have a house full of cardinals before the season is over.

I still have the issue of Grey's room. I've always said that I would have to move before I could take it down, because it just wouldn't feel like home without a place for Grey and his things. Riley has gone back and forth about moving into it and having his own room, but only with a bribe of it getting painted in camo. And when it really comes down to it, I don't think I'll be able to do it. I love Grey's room. And even though I know he no longer needs it, I think I do. It's the only place left that I can walk into and still smell him. Crazy, I know. But if you've lost a child you know what I'm talking about. Sometimes just knowing that there are things in there that he touched is enough.

So, I continue to take every day for all it is. This weekend hasn't been as hard as some in the past. The coolness of Fall continues to make the days beautiful. The smells of apple cider and pumpkin continue to warm my heart. The picture in my head of Grey dressed as a giraffe make me thankful that I was even lucky enough to have that picture at all.

And, I continue to trudge through this season, with the help of many, knowing that the sounds of Winter will be next.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cool Breeze

This weekend was surely marked by Fall weather. We're all surprised that it has lasted three whole days.

But with the cool breeze and the smell of burning cedar came memories of Grey, memories that I wasn't expecting.

The weather took me back to the day of his memorial. We were there, all of you, dressed in your suits and dresses, in the middle of Doepenschmidt's parking lot writing notes to Grey on blue and yellow balloons.

At times this weekend I have smiled at the thoughts of that day, all of you there for me and my family, showing us how much you loved Grey. At times this weekend I have cried, wishing, no matter how good you all looked, that I had never seen any of you in your best attire.

I've stepped out on our front porch several times this weekend, thinking that if I breath in deep enough, I'll smell him. At times I think I do. And I remember how the breeze use to take his breathe away.

Tomorrow marks ten months without Grey. So I promise, that I will continue to stand on my porch, take in everything he loved, and feel him breath life into me with his cool breeze.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hunter's Hope Radiothon Segment

Here is the segment that Bill & I did at the Hunter's Hope Radiothon. The radio station did an excellent job of putting it together. Grey Street plays in the background.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


If you're lucky, maybe once in this life, you'll be blessed with a friend who just lets you . . . be.

I have that in Ceci.

She is the friend that reminds me that all I have to do is be. That if I will just be, I will be able to feel life for all it is. She helps me to realize that it is OK to feel the pain of Grey's loss. But in turn, it is also OK to celebrate the things I loved before I lost Grey.

Believe me, it probably would have been much easier to wait out yesterday's storm in the comfort of my own home. But in "being" with Ceci, I braved the weather and headed out to the Austin City Limits Music Festival to see the Dave Matthews Band.

Decked out in Grey's favorite Halloween shirt, my Crocs, and a $1.29 poncho, I drove an hour and a half in the pouring rain just to get there. After an excellent dinner at my favorite restaurant, we paid $20 bucks to park and trekked 15 minutes to Zilker Park.

To say we were ankle deep in mud would have been an understatement! Lone flip flops were strewn everywhere, as many had just given up on any sort of footwear. But off we trudged, all the way across the park to the Livestrong Stage.

Ceci and I parted for a mere 5 minutes, as I looked for a shirt for my brother. She had something else she wanted to check out. And as I stood, people-watching, a member of DMB walked right past me! I was in shock, so much so that I couldn't even call his name. Years I've waited to meet someone, anyone, from the band. And when the opportunity arose, I completely froze. I couldn't even get to my camera in time, since I was anal enough to pack everything in Ziploc bags so that they wouldn't get ruined.

A minute later Ceci found me.

"The guy! The guy, Ceci, with the beard! I couldn't even remember his name! He walked past me and I waved, and he smiled! The guy who took Roi's place!"

"You saw Jeff Coffin!"

"See. You should have stayed with me. You could have talked, and we'd be backstage by now!"

I guess it just wasn't meant to be. Oh, but I was so close!

Then it started to pour! We put on our ponchos, my glasses fogging, and waited for the show to start.

Was it the best DMB show I have seen yet? No. Did they play Grey Street or Baby Blue as I had hoped like the night before? No. But was it worth it?


Because last night I remembered what it was like to just "be". To just be with my friend like we use to, before I had this loss, with the rain in my face, the mud through my toes, and the joy in my heart.

Here's to next Spring, my friend. Where will the boys take us next? I love you. What you said, about being Grey's Godmother . . . you're amazing! Nothing you ever say from here on out will ever mean more.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Wishes For My Baby Blue

Tomorrow night I go see the Dave Matthews Band at ACL with Ceci, probably in the most rain we've seen in awhile. My mom just realized ACL is outside. Poor Mom. Now she won't rest until I get home.

Tonight, Ceci is in Tulsa watching DMB as I type. She just called me. They played Greys Street into Baby Blue.

See . . . Grey is even in Tulsa.

Here's hoping they play them again tomorrow night for me.

Baby Blue - DMB
Confess, your kiss still knocks me off my legs.
The first time I saw you was like a punch right through my chest.
And I will forever, ‘cause you’ll forever be,
My one true broken heart, pieces inside of me and you forever,
And you forever
My baby be.
You will rest your head, your strength once saving.
And when you wake, you will fly away,
Holding tight to the legs of all your angels.
Goodbye, my love, into your blue, blue eyes.
Your blue, blue world.
You're my baby, blue.
Confess, I'm not quite ready to be left.
Still I know I gave my level best.
You give, you give, to this I can attest,
You made me, you made me,
You and me forever, my baby.
You will rest your head, your strength once saving.
And when you wake, you will fly away,
Holding tight to the legs of all your angels.
Goodbye, my love, into your blue, blue eyes.
In your blue, blue world.
You and me forever.