Friday, May 10, 2013

Three Balloons...

Today has been an exceptionally difficult day for me.  I imagined it would be tough - but I didn't think it would hit me this hard.

I hate to admit that I had little patience with Brian today who seemed to have 8 million more questions than normal.  He didn't know I had little patience... except for the one moment that I said, "Brian, I really need you to be quiet for a little bit. Please."  And he started to cry.  Mommy fail.

A friend came over with her little boy who is just a little older than Brian.  It created a nice diversion and gave me a break from being needed for an hour.  Although I can't help but wonder if my mood colored the entire visit a dark shade of grey.

Ed came home early and said he'd take Brian out to the toy store to pick out a "birthday present" while I went alone to another store to get the cake and three balloons.  Ed said, "Could you get a blue one, too?"  Suddenly, I couldn't breathe.  It hit me that this is the first "Darcy Day" without Gavin.  And sending a blue balloon up to Heaven from Gavin wouldn't make sense... he's already there!!  I cried all the way to the store.  It didn't help when the girl in the bakery wrote Happy Birthday Darcy in yellow instead of pink and you can barely see it.  I just didn't care at that point.

Brian was very excited about the yellow cake.
Which I dropped on the floor immediately after this photo was taken.

Of course I did.

  Luckily, I keep a very clean house.  The beauty of writing (and not answering the door) is that I can totally lie about how clean my house is and you'll never know.  I patched up the cake and moved on.  Basically a metaphor for my life.

Three years ago today - minutes before Mother's Day in 2010 - I delivered Darcy.  Then, I thought it was the single most devastating thing I would ever experience.  I was right... until now.  Every year I write a post about her.  And this year I realized that it's getting harder and harder to think of anything new.  I wasn't able to make any memories with her outside of pregnancy.  The things I think about her are projections of what I believe it would have been like to have her here.  My daughter.  And that makes me realize that soon I'll run out of original material for Gavin.  I do not look forward to that day.  And neither should others around me.

So today we sat in the backyard... our family of three on Earth with our two children in Heaven... 
...and we sent our pink balloons to Darcy.  
Our love letters to Heaven.

Brian chased them to the front of the house... 
...and we watched as they quickly and silently disappeared.  As we stood there, a yellow butterfly crossed right in front of us.  We tried to follow it, but it was nowhere to be found.
We came inside to enjoy the yellow "floor cake" and Brian sang "Happy Birthday to You"

And Mommy cried.

Happy Birthday, Darcy Claire...


  1. Your floor looks very clean. <3

  2. I don't think you will run out of material for either of them, though you feel like it right now because ... how else could you possibly feel with the grief for Gavin so suffocatingly close? What I'm trying to say is that I think as time passes, your grief will shift. I don't mean that it will go away. Not that at all. But that shifting of grief... just as it is drastically different this year because of your recent loss, so too will each successive year change the way your grief affects you. And that is what will be new each year. That is the thing that will bubble up from your soul needing to be written.

  3. Sending you love right now from Texas... Bless you and your precious family both on earth and in heaven!

  4. Sending you love from Michigan. I wish I could have been there to help you clean up the cake off the floor...wish I could have been there to distract Brian for you too...but of course, I don't "know" you, but that doesn't make my heart ache any less or my prayers any less fervent for you. God bless your family, Kate-those on Earth and in Heaven.

  5. A friend of mine delivered a premature daughter who died 3 days after birth. On the morning of the funeral, I sat outside on a bench in the family's backyard, feeling very sad and wishing I saw something that gave me hope. A yellow butterfly fluttered by right then. That was in the 1990s, and I remember the moment like it was yesterday. I wish you peace.

  6. Happy birthday Darcy and happy Mother's Day to you Kate... surround yourself with love this weekend!

  7. This post is heart breaking! I cant even imagine the pain you are feeling, but reading this made me so sad that I cried. I'm so sorry for your losses. :( Happy Birthday Darcy. I love that you have birthday celebrations for the children you have lost. Have you ever thought about getting tattoos (maybe small one on your ankles) for gavin and darcy (maybe infinity symbols with their names through it)?

  8. I always read your posts, always. Sometimes I just don't have the words for a comment because the words I have seem so shallow and hollow. today is one of those days. Hugs.

  9. I don't have any words--there are none--but I want you to know that my heart breaks with you and I am holding space. Your name has been on my hand, and it will stay there. You and Brian and Ed and Gavin and Darcy and little Project Hope will be stay on my hand and in my heart.

  10. It was a lovely visit today... So nice to see the boys playing together and running around, having fun!

  11. Gavin is there telling Darcy just how much all of you love her every day and he is comforted knowing that you feel that same and honor him now as well.

  12. I'm not sure if you believe in butterflies, buy I definitely believe that yellow butterfly was Gavin..."Butterflies are the Heaven sent kisses from an angel"

  13. Your in my thoughts and prayers. I have been sending out handkerchiefs to woman for almost 4 years now. When butterflies come and visit me in our yard I always know they are babies from Heaven. ((HUGS))

  14. On this day 35 years ago, the baby I miscarried at 12 weeks was due to be born. I always send up a little kiss to him/her on May 10th, so it's nice to know that he/she shares a birthday with Darcy Claire. I too believe that the butterfly was Gavin who wanted to be there with you all on this special day.
    Sending you love and strength xxx

  15. Of course it was an exceptionally difficult day - so much that you love was obviously missing from earth. Do whatever you can to ease yourself through the weekend - and don't feel bad if that includes a long break from Brian. Even in the best of circumstances multiple questions can drive a Mom crazy. Thinking of you with hope and love.

  16. I just love you guys... and I love that you even think of the state of your floor...

    Despite your obvious 'saint like' qualities Kate, you're just human like the rest of us... so don't feel bad about being short with Brian... who among us can say we never had a cross word at a child and made them cry unintentionally??? (then beat ourselves up over it later)

    Don't feel bad about dropping the cake... I've even thrown a cake on the floor in frustration before (ok, not my best moment but stuff happens)!

    And please NEVER feel bad about running out of original content to write about your children. Remembering the same things over again is just fine.

    So, enjoy the day, the memories (good and bad) and know that anything you are feeling, thinking and saying is ok because this is YOUR time to feel, think, say and do what you need to.

    Thousands of us read every post you write and wonder if we could possibly cope as well as you have if in the same situation. Not one of us is judging you, doubting you or keeping score!

    We are all here, all (or certainly most of us) complete strangers to you, all feeling your heartbreak and sending you what ever it is we think you could use - prayers, strength, positive vibes, warm thoughts and loads and loads of love.

    (((hugs to you & Ed & Brian)))

  17. Thinking of you and your wonderful family....

  18. Your heart is broken wide open. I am sure Gavin and Darcy know it in heaven. We are trying to fill your heart with our little bits of love. We all know that it can't ever fill your broken heart , but we hope it fills it a little bit. Thinking of you with determined hope.

    When it comes to Brian, give yourself a break. And Ed a break. You can be amazing parents and still take space to grieve. There was absolutely no Mom fail anywhere in this post.

  19. Praying for you and for family every day, but saying an extra special prayer for you on such a difficult day. Wish I could say/do more, even though I don't even know you beyond your blog. And don't feel like you had a mommy fail...I snap at my little one some days and have no reason other than being haven't failed at all! You are doing an amazing job being present for him as best you can, he knows how much you love him.

  20. I would totally drop the cake. I have read your posts each day and my heart breaks for you- and still there's that part that wonders- when did Brian get so tall? I think you are handling everything that has been handed to you with remarkable grace- enviable, really. My son was born three weeks premature ten years before your darling Gavin. I am fortunate that he is still with us, but I know the uncertainty of wondering what will become of our little family- what if the apnea monitor fails? Thank you for sharing this most difficult of times with us- my prayers are with you and your family always.

    Julie H.

  21. No mommy fail, just you facing the reality of your loss openly and honestly. Mother's Day weekend is bittersweet for me as well. After the passing of my daughter in 2010 to SIDS I anxiously wanted to be pregnant again, but something I never planned with my previous five children. I was successful in getting pregnant and that child's due date was the anniversary of my late daughters death. I was sure that was my sign. But then 9 weeks and 6 days into the pregnancy, on Mother's Day weekend, I lost that baby. I now have that memory burned into this weekend year after year. I have since had another child and she, as well as many "yellow butterfly" moments, are our reminders that our Genny is always here with us. There are no coincidences, that yellow butterfly was your Darcy reminding you that she is with you always.

  22. Thank you for speaking real. My life also hasn't gone as excepted. I'm a planner. Believe in work hard for good outcomes. Live by the theory that good things happen to good peole and I work really hard at being "good." But sometimes it just doesn't happen the way we'd dreams. And there is a lot of grief in the process of letting those dreams go. My oldest son was born with only 10% of his small intestine working and no functioning colon. TPN dependent, ostomy, g-tube, central line, you know all - the works. And my best friend, after we got married, got involved in drugs and became abusive. Now have a very medically ill 6 year old, 3 year old and 18 mo old twins. Lived in a womans shelter in the fall. I'm really struggling - as a single mom WITH 4 demanding kids, with the court system, financially, no family support, kids who just don't understand and are acting out. The irony and to add insult to injury, I'm a child psychologist - someone suppose to be able to avoid these types of situations some how. My life has been a disaster the last several years on so many levels. I feel like I live on a different plane down here in "mom of medically ill child" land where some how life didn't follow our careful plans. The land of different standards, a focus on quality of life and trying to make things the very best for our special kids. I'm so sad to read about Gavin. I also smile at how you and he are changing so many lives. You have the ability through your writing to bring all those people who work with us down to where we are - to see our lives through our eyes. Why can'd people use the words "good advocate" instead of enmeshed and overinvolved? Why can't they put the energy into loving our kids like we do? I see all those other people living their relatively normal life. I walk beside them at Walmart and the supermarket, but I'm not one of them. It can be a lonely place. Yes I'm also a helocopter mom. My expectations for my son "too high." My request from the people who live above me in the other plane - simply don't judge me, my motivations and intentions until you've walked with me down here. I read your blog and I know I'm walking on the same plane. Makes the loneliness and sadness more tolerable. Thank you.

  23. Words are just never adequate. I wish I could give you all a little piece of my heart to fill the holes. I wish I could put my love in an envelope and mail it to you so that when you opened it, your heart would be filled with peace. But since that just isn't possible, I am sending an extra prayer up to heaven tonight for your heavenly and earthly family.

  24. You sound angry... no having him right there to kiss, to smell, to touch is a big reason to be pissed off!! But love suit you better. Love is what keeps you strong. Your family is a subject in my prayers. and I wish you that God hold all of you with love specially when your hearts are suffocated by pain.
    Love and hugs from Switzerland.
    Sol E.

  25. Happy Birthday, Darcy! I'm sure she's having a grand birthday party up in heaven! With Gavin belting out the birthday song the loudest because he can!

    You're a great mom, Kate! Hugs! And HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! xx

  26. Hugs Kate Hugs to you and your family
    Happy Birthday Darcy! I am sure you had fun with your big brother.
    This may seem off topic but Brian was absolutely adorable in the video. More Hugs

  27. Jim Valvano's Speech.....

    To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special.[15]

  28. While there is nothing I can say that will make you and your family feel better, I just wanted to drop in and say hello and send ((((BIG HUGS)))) and prayers your way.


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