Monday, September 16, 2013

And I Will...

You never know when it's going to hit you.  Or, in my case, completely overwhelm you.  For me, it was at 2am this morning.  I woke up in a sweat, images from the moment I knew Gavin was having a seizure in the emergency room flashing through my mind like a movie that I couldn't turn off.  As much as I tried... I couldn't turn it off.  Did I miss something in that moment?  When I looked down and thought he was having a seizure, was he really not breathing and I was wrong?  Was it really a seizure? Did I screw up?  As much as I can see the big picture in Gavin's death, there are still lingering thoughts that creep in every now and then.  By 5am, I left my wet pillow behind and just got up for the day. The shower is a great place to lose your mind... and I did.

You never know when it's going to hit you.  As grateful as I was to go back so we could thank the E.R doctors and nurses and respiratory staff that worked on Gavin that day in April... and as happy as I am to work on Gavin's birthday project for the children's waiting room... it is not easy for me be in that hospital at times.  I replay the day from the second I walked in with Gavin in my arms to the second we peeled out of the parking lot racing a helicopter to DuPont - hoping he wouldn't die in route. But the truth is, I don't have to be in the hospital to have these feelings - recall those moments.  It can happen anywhere... and it does.

You never know when it's going to hit you.  The pressure I sometimes feel to make things perfect.  The waiting room project is one of those things.  At this point, I am confident it won't be done in time for Gavin's September 29th birthday, which is such a bummer.  And there have been a few surprises that have disappointed me late in the game.  But I am hoping, in the end, that the result doesn't disappoint any of you that have donated.  And, more importantly even, I am hoping that the message to Brian will come across - to others and to him one day, when he's old enough to really understand.  That this waiting room re-do was inspired by him. That he mattered that day - and every day.  That we heard him and we did something about it.  And that, because of him, children who are left waiting at a terrible time in their lives will be able to experience some temporary joy in that room.

You never know when it's going to hit you - but I suppose this time I should have been prepared.  This Saturday, September 21st, should have been Darcy Claire's 3rd birthday.  And the following weekend will be Gavin's 6th.  We will have cake... and we'll celebrate... but man, does it suck.  Through the night, if I wasn't seeing images of CPR on my little boy's tiny body - or reliving the moment when we were asked to say our goodbyes - I was wondering how things might have been different.  If Darcy made it... would that have somehow changed the trajectory of our lives?  Of Gavin's life?  I don't know... probably not.

All I know today - on this appropriately rainy and dreary day - is this...

I must grieve Gavin.  Whatever the hell that means.
I must grieve Darcy.  
I must parent Brian.  
I must grow Hope.  
That, and putting one foot in front of the other, is all I can do... and I will.


  1. Hugs to you. When you wake up tomorrow it's a new day. Thinking about you today and HOPE will keep you going : )

  2. Kate - I am sorry that today the sadness overwhelmed you. I am sorry for the loss of Gavin and Darcy -- always. I will pray that tomorrow brings back some balance. That the joy of parenting Brian and growing Hope tips the scales a little bit in the other direction. We know that you will keep putting one foot in front of the other. We also know that it is hard. I am sure that many people have said this already, but don't worry about the perfection of it. Be gentle on yourself. As always, thank you for sharing.

  3. Amen ! GOD will guide you each step of the way... Someday it will hurt less, but it will always have a heart shaped hole in your heart, until you meet them in glory land someday! Peasce to you, Brian has those same heart shaped holes and he needs you,hubby too! Hugs to all of you !

  4. Yes. To all of it. It is all so important. Wishing you comfort and peace...

  5. Some days, one foot in front of the other is all we can do. My grief over losing my daughter hits me unexpectedly as well. She was stillborn on September 9, 2012 at 40 weeks gestation. We honored what would have been her first birthday last week. It wasn't as painful as I expected, but some of the surrounding days were so difficult. Thank you, as always, for your honesty. Gavin is quite often in my thoughts.

  6. My thoughts are you with you and all your beautiful babies. I am glad you are allowing yourself to feel your feelings as they come. I can't wait for Hope to be in your arms, for her to love & hug you through your pain and pull you from your sad, difficult past and into the present moment. Babies are miracle workers that way.
    I think you are amazing and Brian, Gavin & soon Hope are so lucky they drew your straw. That they got to have you as their mom. Good luck keeping on. I can't imagine how difficult it must be.

  7. In one of the books I recently read, a character comments that in her family birthdays don't stop being about the joy of a new life even if that life has now ended. So, they celebrate the birthdays of their deceased every year "at least with a Grandfather cupcake." That very much seems to apply for you guys, and I'm glad you still celebrate those birthdays, and hugs for how much it hurts to know they're gone, too.

  8. I am so sorry... Beautiful words as usual. And that gorgeous belly of yours is so precious! Pregnancy suits you!

  9. We have something in common, Darcy and Gavin's birthday fall on my Grandson Wil's 3rd birthday 21st and my Granddaughter Ella's 5th birthday on the 27th... in honor of your strength and courage and eternal love, there will be an extra candle on each of their cakes in memory of your babies, gone too soon. In the immortal words of Dory... Just keep swimming <3

  10. What a beautiful Hope-filled tummy! Thank you for sharing :-)
    Hugs...from LeslieGrace in Oregon

  11. Lisa....
    Interestingly enough, this Saturday, September 21st also marks three years since I adopted my dog, Rose--a much, much, much happier anniversary--but I will think of you when we bake Rose her treats....

  12. Gosh, hang in there, Kate. There sure is a lot on your plate.

  13. It will be 33 years ago on Dec.23 that I delivered our first son. It was probably about the same period in pregnancy that you delivered Darcy. I had signs of early labor BUT being my first pregnancy, I did not know what exactly I was feeling. By the time we got to the dr. many hours after those signs began, I was completely dilated. Our little guy was stillborn only because I went into premature labor & labor is too difficult to survive for such a little one.
    Love your picture of Hope!

    1. December 23rd is my husband's birthday. He will be 36. I will be holding space for you and your son this year, on that day. <3

  14. Kate - every time I read a post of yours that is so heartbreaking, and yet so strong at the same time, I am amazed and crushed. I'm SO SO sorry you have to endure this, but I am so glad that you are providing a voice to the rest of us who have similar situations. I feel sometimes like I just dont know how to "move" on from past losses, and I truly admire your honesty and vulnerability to share.


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