Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Healing Waters...

I had a plan for Gavin's 7th birthday.  It was clear to me - and simple, really.  I was going to send Brian off to school, stay in my pajamas all day and mope.  And cry.  Cheesecake eating was optional - but likely.

But one day, while watching Hope thoroughly enjoying her bath... splashing and laughing and smiling...
...I was reminded of another little water baby of mine.  I knew what I had to do - and I knew my original plan wasn't going to cut it.
One of the last fun trips we took with Gavin was to the Adventure Aquarium in New Jersey.  He shocked us on that day.  It was crowded and chaotic, but he insisted on walking.  As Ed pushed the empty stroller, Gavin held my hands and walked almost the entire way through the aquarium.  It was incredible - and we'll never forget that day.

On Sunday, I told Brian that he wouldn't be going to school the next day... that I was taking him to the Aquarium with Hope so we could celebrate Gavin's special day.  He was so excited!
It accomplished a few things.  It got me out of the house and out of my head.  It celebrated Gavin around water, which was one of his favorite things.  And Brian and I had fun reminiscing about Gavin as we walked around.  I found myself smiling...even laughing.  A much better plan, indeed.

Here are some fun pictures of our special day...
"Mommy!  Get a picture of me showing Hope the penguins.  They are so adorable!!"
I convinced Brian to come out of his shell.  *wink*
I'm not going to lie, the day was not without some hippo sized healing tears as we remembered sweet Gavin...
...but at the end of the day, Brian declared that it was the "Best Gavin Day Ever!"
It was fitting that a birthday without Gavin was followed by a day celebrating Hope.

Our little girl is ten months today!
Ten months in and I still have - "wait, what?  I have a daughter?" moments.  She truly is the joy of our lives.  Hope is sweet, easygoing, sleeps well, eats well and is such a happy little girl.  Even better?  Brian adores her more than we ever could have predicted.  He's protective of her, loves to play with her and gets excited when she does something new.

Gavin, Brian and now Hope all have collections of Angel Dear lovies.  Brian slept with a bunch of them in his crib at all times...and he still has the same ones in his bed.  Hope is attached to hers, as well.  One of her favorite things to do in her room is to reach her arm into her crib and pull them out.
"I GOT IT!!!"
I'm still using the massage technique before introducing her to foods.  I've added Orzo Pasta, soft crackers with peanut butter, mandarin oranges, cantaloupe and today she had lentils for the first time.  They were a hit!
The last several days have been a roller coaster, emotionally.  Wanting to turn my back on everything and retreat into my own grief.  Forcing myself to leave the house and finding myself having...fun.  And then spending today staring at our beautiful little girl who, just ten months ago, was dropped from Heaven.
I love getting to know this beautifully mysterious child.  She proved to us ten months ago that grief can lead you to hope even when you don't think it's possible.

If you're wondering what is going on with this blog - am I quitting, am I not? - I made a decision.  I really struggled with this, but in the end - I couldn't quit writing entirely.  It's too important to me, personally.  And I love keeping this record of my children's lives so they can look back at it one day - perhaps with their own little ones.  But, it will definitely be different.  I'm not going to pressure myself to write because I "should" or "have to" - ever.  I may write every day for a week - and then I may not write for two weeks!  Thank you for dealing with my ambivalence... and, as always, for caring about our family.


  1. I am SO pleased that you are going to continue to write your blog as the spirit instructs you to! You most certainly have a gift, and your children will SO appreciate it some day. Yours is one of my very favorite blogs...sure would miss you if you quit writing.

    What a beautiful way to celebrate Gavin's birthday!

  2. Hurray!!! You are still going to blog!i would have missed those adorable faces!! What a great way to celebrate Gavin's birthday! I'm sure he would approve!

  3. Such a beautiful day. I too, am glad you're not going to stop blogging. Take a break when you need to. We will be here. ♡♡♡

  4. I'm so glad you're going to keep blogging! I don't care if it's every day, every week, every month or every other
    month. I'm just happy we'll be able to watch your beautiful children grow and explore.

  5. Thank you so much for the beautiful pics. They made my heart smile. I'm so pleased you will still be sharing your beautiful family with us from time to time. Blessings

  6. What a perfect day! Im glad you celebrated with Brian and Hope. It seemed quite fitting.

    Im so glad you will continue writing, but on your terms. I love what you share with us. You are a beautiful writer...Take care and Happy Birthday Gavin!

  7. This looks like a great and fitting celebration! I especially love the pic of Brian hugging Hope!

    I think that was a great decision you made about your blog. I was going to mention that it doesn't matter how often you write because a lot of people will follow on a blog reader app or be subscribed so we can automatically see if there's something new. Anyway, I wanted you to make your own decision, so I'm glad you did.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. I'm so glad that you have made the right decision for you, as it should be. I'd hate to think you were writing because you felt forced to do so. The reason I love your blog, from caregiving to this one, is your writing is so natural, from one friend to another, you share it all, the good, the bad. I remember way back willing Gavin to drink those ounces, all the way to now. Your talent for writing has made people all over the world love your little family, as if you are part of our own families, we celebrate the good and mourn with you. Thank you Kate, for sharing your wonderful little family, it is a gift I know that I shall forever cherish ����

  9. Your decision? PERFECT!!! I did not comment before, because I wanted YOU to decide what YOU wanted and needed...and I am thankful to say it was just what I had hoped for! :)

  10. Such a fitting way to celebrate Gavin. All your children are so beautiful and are so blessed to have you as their mommy. So glad you're going to keep writing- always only when you feel like it sounds perfect to me.

  11. What a way to celebrate Gavin day. As far as the writing, I think you will find the balance. Writing when you need to and living more. Cause celebrating is more important that documenting.


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