Friday, June 7, 2013

Signed, me.


Full Disclosure:  It was pouring rain where I live today.  All day.  

In other news, I'm miserable... so you've been warned.

Dear You,

Have you written me an email - especially an email asking a question you're still waiting for an answer to?  Have you cooked us a meal and are wondering if we are grateful or if we liked it?  Have you sent us a gift and are waiting for us to acknowledge it?  If your answer is yes to one - or maybe ALL - it is my fault.  It has been 54 days... that's one month and twenty four days... since Gavin died.  Seven weeks and five days.  Or 1, 296 hours.

In a way, it seems like this happened just yesterday.  But if that were true, then why do the last 1, 296 hours seem like they have lasted 1, 296 years?  There are days when I wake up and say, "Today's the day - you're going to crank out thank you notes when Brian's in school."  And then... I come home from dropping him off, stare at the pile... and freeze.  There are other days when I wake up and say, "Today I'm going to return our neighbor's casserole dish."  I'll let you guess how long it has sat in the same spot in my dining room - in a bag with a thank you note.  I'm a mess.

I do have intentions of getting to everyone - and I'm embarrassed about how long it's taking me - but please hang on a little while longer.  I'm feeling pulled in so many directions - it seems so many people want a piece of me right now and it's so distracting and confusing and leaves me feeling... well... frozen.

And, just so all of you know... I read every single comment.  On my blog... on my facebook page... every email.  I continue to be touched and moved that anyone would want to reach out to me (as a stranger) at all.  I continue to be honored that you would trust me with your personal stories, tragedies and triumphs.  And I continue to be moved by your encouraging words, prayers and love towards our little family.  I wish I could respond to every single one of you - but if I did, I'd be in front of my computer all day and night... truly.  So please know that I see you - and I'm grateful.

Signed,
Me.
The Frazzled Lady.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Gavin,

I am trying really hard to be a great Mom to your little brother... to keep him entertained and play with him so I don't have to hear him say, "I'm lonely, Mama.  I need you to play with me."  It is so hard sometimes.  Today I resorted to handing him an umbrella and letting him run around on the driveway in the rain.  
I backed my car out of the garage so he could ride his bike in there.

And I sat... in my pajamas at 11am... and just watched.  (p.s. - see that big antique mirror?  It's very pretty.  If you're local, it's also free if you want to come pick it up.  I'll say 500 thank you's if you take it.)

I continued the water theme thinking of you all the while and let him take an extra long bath.  

Just like you, he's getting daring and putting his mouth in the water to try to blow bubbles.


I close the clear curtain and seal off the sides so he can splash as much as he wants while I sit on the toilet lid and watch.

I'm trying, Gavin.  In moments when all I want to do is curse the Heavens and cry all day - I remember that you would want me to think of your little brother.  I miss you so much.


Love, 
Mommy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Body,

Seriously, you need to calm down.  Yesterday you and I were on good terms.  I didn't ask that much of you - playing with Brian outside for a while and doing a little bit of weeding here and there.  Today you are really overreacting about that.  I mean really - we didn't run a freaking marathon.  The aches and pains in my joints and muscle pain that I haven't felt since the Jane Fonda workout (which was obviously not recent) is just rude.  And it makes it even harder to get places that I'm summoned to all day by my little boy - like up and down off the floor or up and down the stairs or... up at all.  Please... if we're going to live together and get along, you need to chill out.

Love,
The Tin Woman.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Ed,

I'll be the first to admit - I haven't been the greatest wife lately.  Do you even remember me?  Oh, and you know those incredible meals we've been getting every day for the last 54 days from friends... and friends that are neighbors?  They are ending next week.  So... I'm sorry in advance.  Let's just make it a blanket summer apology to cover me for a while.  Let's plan a date.  How's tomorrow night?

Love,
Me.  You know... Kate.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Me,

If I had to guess, I bet you care about all of the above crap way more than anyone else.  I know you are a people pleaser and I know it's important to you to make sure everyone knows how much you appreciate everything - but try to breathe more and worry less.  And remember to keep your focus on the little people... like the one calling you right now saying "Watch this, Mama!"

Love,
You.






70 comments:

  1. Stay strong. If it is any conciliation you continue to inspire me dailey, and no thank you is needed!! I just love seeing the smiling pictures of Brian!!

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  2. Kate, you are doing amazing from everyone elses standpoint....Please give yourself a break!! Gavin would want you to!!! Little Brian is soooooo adorable... Cherish the moments... Gavin is with you! Please relax about the thank you notes. IF YOU MUST... up to a year people will still be happy to hear from you... JUST BREATHE... Continuing to pray for your beautiful family!!! Love & Prayers from Orlando!!

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  3. I do understand your desire to acknowledge everyone and everything that was done, but the most important people right now are Brian, Ed and you...and project hope. That's it. Everything else can come when it comes. God bless.

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  4. aw, kate--I am so sorry...like you said--just try to breathe.

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  5. Give yourself permission to let a few things go. Sit down, space off, cry, eat some chocolate, give Brian lots of hugs, and let it go. Do this for at least the next six months. And then get back to the "must do" list. Trust me, everyone understand. Hugs.

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  6. Be kind to.yourself, people who have helped you do so because of love in their hearts...the greatest thank you is for you to take care of yourself and your family...God bless...

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  7. God Bless You, Kate.

    I'm so so sorry. And I'm so proud of you for saying all of this.

    I know it'll pass... You'll get through it.... It's just, you know, the getting through it.

    Big love to you.

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  8. How I wish I could give you a hug, bring you a meal, help you put a dent in those piles of thank you cards, or just let you know that you are always in our prayers. You are an amazing woman with the strength greater than most (even though you feel like you are falling apart). Gavin, Brian, Darcy, and baby hope are so lucky to have such a wonderful person chosen to be their momma. <3

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  9. I would hug you if I was there....and if I wasn't a total stranger that would make you feel uncomfortable!
    I have not commented before, mainly because I assumed you had 3000 comments a day already; but I have followed you for 2 months now. Thank you for doing what you do. You inspire us all to be better moms, better humans. I have learned and gained so much from witnessing your grace and your love for your children. You have forever changed many people. ..you and of course Gavin.
    I'm sorry I can't cook you a meal or do more to help....I'm far away, but I care, thousands of people care. God tests those he loves, even heart breaks are gifts from God. I too have 1 baby in heaven and another with Cerebral Palsy and I feel unworthy of both of these gifts from God, but you help me aspire to do better. Thank you so much for your courageous honesty. What you do is so much more amazing than you realize. You are in my prayers.

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  10. Blanket, generic, e-thank yous are good enough. Go easy on yourself. Repeat that phrase over and over. "I'm going to go easy on myself. I'm doing what I can."

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  11. I am so, so sorry for all that you've been thru and especially for the loss of your precious Gavin. I'll bet not one person who has sent a card or a meal or an email or a gift gives a whit about a thank you card! They just want you to take care of your family and yourself. Take all the time you need. God bless you, Ed, Brian and Project Hope!

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  12. Kate....I owe thank you for so many things. Hopefully saying it at the time is enough b/c I am dealing with just regular life with kids and have not had time to write them.

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  13. As far as the thank you notes, just know that my family is totally in tact, my life is completely normal and I'm, otherwise, a mom just like you - AND I still have thank you notes, written and sitting in envelopes on my craft table, from my daughter's 5th birthday...that occurred in October of last year...one for a neighbor that lives less than half a mile from me. So, yeah, THAT should be the least of your concerns!! LOL - No other person on the face of the planet will EVER fault you - even if you NEVER get them written or the casserole dish returned!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!!

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    1. This. In bold. With underlines. Maybe in red. OMG. We all do this. And we all forgive or, better yet, don't even notice the thank you note is missing. Thank you note, what thank you note?

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  14. Danielle CurlessJune 7, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Thinking of you and your sweet family.

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  15. Keep on keepin' on. There's so many of us strangers wishing only the best for you from afar. You have so many in your cheering section...I hope you can feel us all lifting you up with our collective love!

    Susan

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  16. Most people don't expect anything, even thank-you, when they are just doing something out of the goodness of their heart. Don't beat yourself up! We all "know" what you're going through & can't imagine how difficult everyday must be! Even if you never got around to the "thank you's" now everyone knows the intent was there! Be with your family & the one's who need you, including the little baby growing inside of you! Continue to do what YOU need to grieve for your beautiful little boy! I pray for you everyday & feel blessed to be a positive force in your Hope & strength from God!

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  17. Don't worry about everyone else. Take care of yourself. We are all thinking of you and your family and praying for you.

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  18. Oh Kate...you didn't just go through a wedding. You just endured the most awful thing a parent can endure. Thank you notes can wait (or be simply set side for the forseeable future, to be honest). Etiquette rules do not apply here and anyone who expects a thank you might want to put themselves in your shoes for a brief moment and then readjust their expectations.

    You have your priorities straight: Ed, Brian, Project Hope, and yourself (and not necessarily in that order!). Everything else can wait...for a few weeks, for a few months...hell, even for a few years.

    And if your neighbor truly needs the casserole dish back, they'll use it as an excuse to come and check on you and the family and simply take it off your counter and revel in the fact that the meal (and the love under which it was prepared) was appreciated. I'm glad you've had people taking care of you for the past 54 days. I'm praying God will continue to provide those mercies.

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  19. hey sweetie, thinking of you. i just threw in the towel w the thank you note thing. people love you and care-- w/ no thanks expected.

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  20. Dear Kate,
    You expect too much out of yourself. Nobody is expecting those Thank You cards. Nobody is going to cry over a casserole dish you haven't remembered to bring back, and there is no doubt in my mind that Ed, Brian, and Gavin are well aware that you are doing what you can with what you have been handed. You'll make it through this. As far as your body, pregnancy tea & bubble baths. Many hugs, and prayers for you dear.

    Love,
    A Humbled Reader

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  21. Kate,
    You dont know me, but you are constantly in my prayers.
    It's just my opinion, but I think what you just wrote counts as a HUGE thank you. I dont think you should stress over writing individual thank yous. Take care of yourself!!!!

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  22. Take care of yourself and your family! Those who really care about you and your family, who did things for you all from the heart, surely are not sitting at home waiting on a thank you note! I guess I am trying to say what I just looked up and realized christie b said!
    Lots of positive thoughts and healthy energy from Lansdale to you!

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  23. We are our own worse critics. Be kind. Look at what you did well today. Brian had a blast in the rain! You got out of bed! You realized the dish was still on the table. And...you have another human being growing inside of you! Go you!!! You rock!

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  24. oh just F*ck it all!!!! If I were closer I would feed you every day for the rest of your life. But I'm not, so I guess you are gonna have to start cooking. Or at least picking up the phone to order take out. But guess what? YOU CAN DO IT. No worries.

    As for the pregnancy.......well girl........what did you expect? Pregnancy SUCKS in SO MANY WAYS. But enjoy it (as much as you can. And don't feel guilty for NOT enjoying it. Because AGAIN - IT SUCKS.) The rest of us know that Hope will be arriving soon and will bring you so much joy!!!!!!!

    In the mean time, chill out, relax, BREATHE. NO ONE WANTS OR NEEDS THANK YOU NOTES. AGAIN F*CK EM! You don't need to waste your time with that.

    Like she said above, tea, bubble baths, RELAX.

    And keep writing. :)

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    Replies
    1. Oh how it sucks to hear someone say pregnancy sucks.....what sucks is not staying pregnant or making it full term. Praying that every week of pregnancy will be fulfilled with a healthy baby for a very deserving family.

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  25. You are brave and strong and beautiful. Keep going, Mama. Your superhero is super proud of you. I can not speak for all of us followers, but I feel honored and inspired to know your story--Gavin's story--I can not imagine people are out there expecting comments and questions answered, thank yous in their mailbox, or anything else from you. You are waking up and making it through each day--seems beyond plenty to me. I only comment so that you know you are thought of and prayed for--and that Gavin is remembered.

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  26. Dear Sweet Kate:

    Please be easy on yourself and don't worry about those thank you notes. I know they are the proper thing to do but I bet not one of those people who sent you cards, gift, flowers, donations aren't worried about a thank you card. They were just glad to be able to help or comfort you in some way.

    I bet Ed feels the same way. You both have had a lot of tragedy in your lives. He knows you are struggling and he probably is, too. Take some deep breaths and try to carry on to the best of your ability.

    Rest when you need it. Your body needs it and you are growing a new baby, too. Be easy on yourself. I know you want to be normal.

    As I write this, I am continuing my prayers for your comfort and peace and for that baby that is inside of you.

    Blessings,

    Me

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  27. slow, deep breaths. your kind heartedness shines through all you do, which is why you have so much support... its not because everyone is hoping for one of your famous thank you notes! ;-) be gentle with yourself, and I truly hope ppl are being gentle with you! sending love and peace...

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  28. You are amazing. Full of grace and love and so very strong. You really don't need to send thank yous or any of that - people show love and kindness because they want to help and ease the burden just a littel bit - not to receive a thank you. I'm not good at expressing these things, but felt I had to try tonight. Please rejoice in all that is YOU. May God bless you and give you peace and comfort. You are in our prayers!

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  29. Just as several other commenters have said...no one is expecting thank you cards. What you wrote above serves as a proper thank you. Now stick those things in a bag and stuff it in a drawer and "fuhgetta bout it"! It's been 7 very short, very long weeks and I'd advise you to spend the next 6 months doing absolutely nothing but resting and loving on yourself, Ed and Brian. Yourself first. Because you're growing a brand new human and that takes A LOT of mental, physical and emotional strength. Some of the best days with my kids are the ones curled up on the sofa reading books or watching a movie. No one is going to be upset when you say, "I'm sorry, I can't do that right now". Do whatever makes you feel better...cry, sleep, write. We are all here thinking of and loving on your family.

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  30. Don't think of thank you notes, don't apologize. If you think we care about those things...you would be wrong. Please don't bother with manners or etiquette. There is no such thing in these instances. Take care of yourself and your family.

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  31. I think thank you notes after a funeral are completely lame. I don't give flowers or a meal or any other help after a tragedy to be thanked. I do it help someone else out. Sometimes it is done without them even know it was from me. But you know what else is lame, I didn't get a thank you note from my husband's cousin for her shower OR her wedding gift and that still bothers me - totally lame.

    I hope tomorrow is better for you. I hope you find comfort in knowing your son is whole again in Heaven. Hanging out, doing fun stuff, watching your baby grow in you. Hugs to you during your hard times. High five to you for you new sprout.

    With love,
    Total stranger from Ohio

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  32. Dear You, as in. You Kate,
    see the boy on the bike in the garage....he loved it.
    see the boy rocking the umbrella in the rain....he loved it. best fun EVER.
    See the boy in tub....so much fun. Thank you mummy.
    see the casserole dish on the table. yes that one. If she really needed it so bad she'd knock on the door and ask for it back.
    see the husband, the one who hurts from a broken heart also, he gets it. he doesn't know what end is up either. He loves you for you.
    see your body, yeah, that one is a bit hard , so look down, it's working so hard. stress and a baby and a broken heart...cut it some slack.
    see, you really are the only one who notices all that stuff. Be kind to you.
    see, you aren't so frazzled really. But you are doing way more than you should.

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    1. I agree 100% with this. Well said. Please give yourself a break and just take care of you and your family. We don't know you but we love you. No thank you's are necessary.

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    2. This is so sweet, Dawn...

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  33. No one has helped you and expected a thank you note. They will come from you at some point, but they don't need to come now. Put all your focus on that adorable little boy.....everyone understands.
    Fondly,
    A stranger who thinks of you often!

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  34. Hi Kate, Ed, Brian, Superhero Gavin, and Project Hope - we all just got your thank you note. You are welcome. You keep writing. We'll keep reading. Everything is good here.

    With prayers and affection
    from NY

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  35. Kate, After my brother died ( i was 5 he was 2) my mom walked around on pins and needles. One day I did something and she yelled at me and I said " Oh mommy you must be feeling better". Kate you don't have to be everything to everyone! I was in the hospital last week with emergency surgery and a chaplin came in and recited the footprints poem. While I am not sure of G-ds role in my life this poem hit me that with out letting go of control I cannot be kind or patient with myself. You are doing fine! Believe it! Good days and bad are to be expected give your self a chance to breathe.. Brian will understand. Ed will too! Oh and those thank yous.. you thank us every day I am sure no one doubts your gratitude. Try not to add another area to beat yourself up with! We understand! With love and support!

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  36. Remember, you have to put your oxygen mask on first so you can help your loved ones - if writing thank you notes makes you feel out of oxygen, don't worry about them. Do the things that supply you with oxygen - and then you'll know what must be done for your guys, and what can wait. I'm really pulling for you and your family! - Odetta

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  37. Anyone who is sitting at home stewing over not having gotten a thank you note yet seriously needs to get a grip. I understand that as an inherent people pleader you might feel like you need to get those notes out to scratch your people-pleasing itch. But DO let it go for a while. As long as you need until you no longer freeze at the thought of it. Your priorities need go no further than your sweet family.

    God bless you, Ed, Brian, Project Hope and God bless Gavin who is giving you the biggest hug from Heaven's House.

    All my love,
    Katie from MN

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  38. Anyone who is sitting at home stewing over not having gotten a thank you note yet seriously needs to get a grip. I understand that as an inherent people pleader you might feel like you need to get those notes out to scratch your people-pleasing itch. But DO let it go for a while. As long as you need until you no longer freeze at the thought of it. Your priorities need go no further than your sweet family.

    God bless you, Ed, Brian, Project Hope and God bless Gavin who is giving you the biggest hug from Heaven's House.

    All my love,
    Katie from MN

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  39. Kate, Any one who has read your blog knows that you have so much on your plate and the thank yous that you are worried about are said in everything you write. It is time to take care of yourself and you family. Your strength and courage is so inspiring. Take time for yourself, Ed, Brian and project Hope. Shut the world out if that is what you need to do and take things a day at a time. BreAThe <3

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  40. Kate, the only people who you have to worry about is your family. The rest of us? We can take care of ourselves. And most of us wish we could do more to take care of you and Brian and Ed. You'll get to these things when you're ready...and anyone judging you because your not ready yet is not worth worrying about. Healing takes time. Keep your focus where it belongs--on your family.

    Kerry

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  41. Here's what I think: Faking it Til You Make it is a deep spiritual practice, capable of opening space for miracles- beaming cracks of light in the darkest room. Sometimes I practice what I call "the ministry of just showing up." These are some of the most devout, life-changing habits we can cultivate in ourselves. You showed up to your garage today, Kate. You showed up to your child with your umbrella and your camera and your willingness to sit there and be achy and not give up and go back to bed. God doesn't need more than that from you to act in the biggest ways. You are doing just fine. Hang in there.

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  42. No one needs a thank you note. Everyone understands that you just need to take care of yourself and your family right now. You are nice to even attempt it, but all of your family and friends I'm sure would rather have you let go of that stress. Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way :)

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  43. I understand so completely. I left you a message on FB earlier. Not only am I dealing with my mind numbing grief , I am trying to help my three children who miss their brother. My fifteen year old wants his best friend back. Anyway, remember when you can't take it day by day, work on making it through the next hour. Thank you notes will wait. I understand the overwhelmed feeling. I have not started my thank you notes either. We have received over 500 cards most containing gifts. We have had meals brought, my house cleaned, etc. We found out today his scholarship memorial fund has had 89 donations equaling 13,000. Everything will get done at a pace you can handle. Baby steps.
    Love and prayers,
    Amy

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  44. Brian is adorable and and oozes joy. You are doing great with him but it does make me sad that he keeps saying he is lonely and wants someone to play with. How about signing him up for a day camp, activities or play-dates? Swimming lessons sounded like a great idea. Plus - that will give you some private time which you so need and deserve.

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  45. Aw kate chill woman
    If they want their dishes back they will come fetch them. If anyone wants thanks let fudge to them. You and your family have been through probobly the worst nightmare i can imagine. Its your life you take it as it comes and boo ya to anyone else. Oh and letting brian out in the rain is such fun for him as is bathtime so not such a lazy option as your probobly thinking lol. As for aches and pains go for some reflexology. I could reccomend one practitioner but since we are in separate countries bit awkward lol. Go get some quality me time on a regular basis not just a one off. Love and hugs to you all.
    Julie xxx

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  46. The fact that you even let us share in your grief and joy is Thank You enough.
    God Bless and keep you all :)

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  47. My heart aches for you Kate. I wish I could reach out and hug you and take away your pain. Be easy on yourself. You have been through a lot and you need to concentrate on the needs of yourself and your beautiful family. God Bless.

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  48. Dear Kate. I think you are being too hard on yourself about the thank-you notes. You have said thank you on your blog so many times and I think that a blanket thank you like that is better than none at all. After all, you a ONE POPULAR LADY. Your blog exploded in size and it's not like you only have 25-50 thank you notes to write. You probably have THOUSANDS. I KNOW I couldn't do it. I would post ONE on my blog if I were you, and one in the newspaper. And for the ones in your local community that brought food, maybe you could write THOSE out. If it's super-important that you write each and every one though, I suggest getting family members to help you actually write them and you could sign them. You don't want to stress yourself out too much during your pregnancy and after the little one gets here, you will have your hands FULL, as you already know. God bless you and take care of YOU. Surely the people who have helped you will understand. Sending love, hugs, and prayers to you and your family. *Donna*

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  49. I agree with many of the above, give yourself a break. Not only are you grieving but you are preg. plus have a sweet little boy that needs mommy time and is probably confused over all events also. If people are not forgiving over the fact that dishes have not been returned or thank you's given,too bad,so sad. My heart aches for you also. One day at a time,one hour at a time if necess. even less.

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  50. You and your fam are awesome. Stay stong abd relax. The world loves you. From a stranger that lovea you and your fam :-)

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  51. Best advice I ever got: put your arms around yourself, give yourself a little squeeze, and whisper, "You're doing a good job, the best you can at this time".

    Continued prayers for you and yours.

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  52. I think you're getting it just right. You are breathing in and out each minute of the day. You are present for Brian (just look at your pictures)! You are cooking Project Hope and trying to take care of your body as it rebels against keeping up with a small child. I think you are getting it just right. Grieving takes a long time. Those who know understand; those who've been blessed not to suffer such a loss will understand one day.

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  53. kate...people like to help. And you need to let them. They dont need to be thanked for it in times like these. When something so overwhelming happens to someone you know and love (or read and love!) there arent many things we can do. Making meals is one of the few places where we can jump in and offer useful assistance and we do it with happy hearts, knowing we have dome SOMETHING. No one wants a personalized thank you note. Please, let it go. Im sure you have a list somewhere that you feel the need to keep so you can write them and Im telling you...THROW IT OUT. What we WANT is for you to feel peace, love, loved and cared for in your times of difficulty. What we can DO is cook. Accept that we already know you are thankful and move on to something else. Please. It hurts our happy hearts to think you waste even one minute worrying or stressing about notes. You have so many bigger things in front of you right now. Let go and move on. This is not important.

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  54. Dear Kate,

    Please be easy on yourself. Those acknowledgements have no deadline, and those that helped you did so unconditionally...

    And just in case 'Never' isn't acceptable to you, know this: It is never too late to let someone know you appreciate them. I once waited more than two years to send a letter to someone. I later found out that she kept that note on her bedroom dresser for an entire year.

    And, Kate, please keep being kind to yourself; you are so early into this journey, your grief so raw...

    Keep asking for help when you need it and believe there is no shame in doing so...

    These are long and complicated paths you are undertaking... You will heal it your way, Kate... Have faith and believe, whenever you can. And for those times when you're unsure, let others help lift you up...


    Hugs and Healing, Kate...

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  55. Dear Kate,
    You are allowed to do exactly what you feel you need to do and you don't need anyone's permission. Things that need to get done, get done. Sometimes, it just doesn't get done and that's ok. If you don't write a thank you for every meal or gift or anything else, the world will continue to revolve. That's ok too. At the end of the day, it's more important to make a difference than to write a thank you. Give yourself a pass and don't waste the energy beating yourself up. Use that energy to be the best wife and mom and use some to take care of you.
    Signed,
    A Stranger Who Cares

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  56. My mother taught me that the reason one sends food to a household in mourning in a container that should eventually be returned is so that there is an excuse to connect again. She also said that it was designed to give either party an easy reason to get together, however briefly, and can allow the caregiver an opportunity to see if more assistance is needed. I think we've moved away from this in our modern period with disposable items, but my point is that the casserole in your home is not meant to cause grief. Traditionally it is meant as an invitation to contact your neighbor when you feel up to it.

    I would definitely recommend finding some summer activities for Brian. He is at an age where he enjoys playmates, and you can't expect to have the energy to be his one and only playmate all summer. I'd say he had a great day today AND you are exhausted. I'm sure there is a way to have a win/win for both of you - where he is happy and you are able to get some time to take care of whatever you need - sleep, cry, write notes, whatever.

    Be easy on yourself - you are tougher on yourself than anyone responding to your posts, that's for sure!

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  57. Bless your sweet heart. I remember those first few months like they were yesterday. And if I'm being completely honest, it's been 3.5 years for me and my heart is still ripped to shreds. I never wrote the first thank you note. I justified it by telling myself "how can I thank people when my son is dead". Not that that is a good reason, but for me, that's how it worked. I did put a blanket thank you note in our local paper and left it at that. People understand that you are broken. If they actually expect a thank you note, than they did whatever they did for the wrong reasons. Maybe you'll eventually get around to writing those notes, but don't beat yourself up if you don't.

    As far as Brian - he understands. He knows Mommy has a broken heart. He knows. Keep loving him the way you have and he will be ok.

    Ed also knows. He loves you Kate and from the way you talk about him, I know that he always will. He doesn't expect anything from you outside what you're already doing. Don't beat yourself up over that one either.

    Praying for you and your family always. <3

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  58. I hope this is a sign you are cutting yourself some slack. OK, a lot of slack. I have been to weddings where thanks yous were 8 months after. You have a lot more on your plate, and honestly, writing the thank yous probably just brings up more than you want to think about as you try to heal, oh, and carry a baby in your belly! PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. Take care of yourself, Project Hope, Brian, and Ed. LOVE FROM KANSAS!

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  59. Reaching into my computer to give you a virtual hug. Wishing you all the best.

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  60. The Love you one is exactly what I would have said. Put all the cards in a nice box and stash them away - remove the guilt. Maybe try to return dishes eventually (grin) but no one expects a thank you card from a grieving mother!!!!!

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  61. Thank God we don't judge, or have such high expections of others, as we do of ourselves. There would be no friendships or connections.

    Give the burdon to God; he will send everyone His thanks.

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  62. I'm sure everyone who sent presents/helped/cooked knows you're grateful and doesn't need a thank you card. You are going through everything right now and need to concentrate on you, your husband, Brian and project Hope. Even though you don't feel like it, keep smiling and stay strong - there's a lot of people here who are sending love to you and yours. One day you'll be smiling and realise you do feel like it and it will become less of a burden. One day at a time, that's all we can ask. xxxx

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  63. Dr. Petit, who lost both his daughters in a tragic home invasion, said, the loss of a child is so, so great, that there is not even a word to describe it. Widows are women who lost their husband. Widowers are men who lost their wives. No one can even begin to describe a name for those who lose their children. I am in awe that you wake up, write such a beautiful blog and take all those incredible pictures so often! To me, that is inspiring and powerful and you should be so proud of all you have accomplished in what must certainly be the most difficult 54 days of your life.

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  64. I recently found your blog and am amazed at your strength and courage. I can't imagine what it it feels like to lose a child and hope that I never do and wonder how you have the strength to go through each second, minute, hour, day, week, month...I applaud you. Jesus has you wrapped in his love and he feels your pain. He has great plans for you my friend.

    Just take this time to love Brian and Ed and that sweet itty bitty baby that is growing inside of you. Take this time for you...everything else can wait!

    You are truly an inspiration to many.

    Linda from Texas

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  65. That post was particularly beautiful and meaningful. And this blog is all the thank-you note anyone ever needs.

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  66. Hi Kate - here is an idea. I am a Mama of 5 and have two children who have very severe autism. When our fifth child was born, I wanted to send thank yous to everyone who made meals, gave gifts, etc., but I just couldn't find the time to get it done. Soooo...we made these sweet photo cards with the baby's picture and a note of thanks. All I had to do was address an envelope and stick the card in. You could even make a list of thank yous to send out, and a friend or relative could help address them. No one is expecting the thank you, but it is important that you do what you feel is best. And what better thank you could there be than one that has a picture of your sweet Gavin on it. We are praying!

    Christy

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