Friday, June 21, 2013

Perry's second birthday

I guess what has surprised me most about this second year was that I expected it to be easier in many ways. Sometimes it is, but in many ways it all still comes crashing down. I have this desperate need to get away again after Perry's birthday, but am still here. The second year is sort of more of the first with the exception that you know what to expect and more of your triggers, so you can avoid them or know how to handle things a bit better. You don't expect as much out of yourself, although perhaps others do.

So this year after Perry's birthday passed again, I was thinking about birthday gifts for him. We went to target for something else and ran across this again:

This time I bought it. Many Moms will buy gifts for other babies in memory of their little one.(I decided it was fine to be less noble and buy it for my own son since I'd already spent a lot of effort donating sleep sacks again this year- its ok to do things just for my family as well. I wanted to see it used in our house). It occurred to me that if Perry were here he and Emily would have loved this one by now. I decided I could buy it for Paiden's Christmas, but as I write Emily is desperately bartering to get me to let her play with it... "I would really like it- to have one of those...". So we'll see what happens. But I still wish Perry were here to play with it.

One new trigger we've found is that Paiden is beginning to roll over. Chris hates and fears it- I try to remember that as much as we'd like him to skip this milestone it is just that- a milestone that all babies have to go through to progress. The bad thing for me is that he knocks off his blinky (snuza motion detector), and so my crutch is not working at night.

Last night he rolled over for the first time in the crib. Chris put him on his back and I heard him pleading with Paiden to stay put. But he continued rolling over and knocking off his snuza at least 6 times until it was finally taken off of him. Then I stayed awake listening for every breath until Chris and Paiden woke up.

During the day it is so so now. I put it on for a trip to the YMCA nursery and it went off before we left the house. I knew he was ok as he was giving me a big gummy grin- but I suspect he has figured out how to make it go off by holding his breath. He seemed especially pleased. I've heard of babies learning to pull sensors off the corded ones, so perhaps this is not as far fetched as it sounds.

I've ordered an angelcare under the mattress sensor for night, hoping it comes in soon. We'll see if he figures this one out as well, but I'm hoping it will work for his bedtime anyway.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Preparing for Perry's Birthday, the power of a name

I once wrote that the horrible thing about Perry's autopsy papers was that it was one of the last official places where his name would be written. And I hated that one of the last times I would see his name would be that way. While it may seem like a small thing, a written name is part of the huge loss you experience when you lose a child. It is taboo to mention them, and even rarer for another person to actually type it as if it will summon death to them to.

But to a woman who has lost their child that name means mornings watching sunbeams, hands tangling in hair, the milky smell of a newborn held to their chest for the first time. It is love and innocence. Eyes that captured a smiling soul.

I placed a request on my facebook page. I was not original, I stold it from other Moms. I wanted pictures of Perry's name. It gives back new pictures that are his alone, and coaxes warm memories from a clouded mind.

And it is wonderful.

Here are just a few:

Photo: For Perry
This one I did. Every little boy goes through a firefighter stage, and if he were here he would have climbed on this ladder truck by now, wearing a small red plastic kid's fire helmet. We would have taken pictures with me holding them, with that pride in my eye that for one moment in his life I was what every parent wants to be- a hero in their child's eyes.

This one is from Aunt Elaine. She often buys ornaments for the new babies. I cry because Christmas is one of the days when I miss him the most- the memories that should be. I'd already bought him a few Christmas gifts, a monster hat and mittens that he may pass down to Paiden. He was such an easygoing personality, I don't think he would mind a bit. This is (I suspect) from her Christmas tree.

This one is from Zotti. Fenway. If you have read my blog you would know that Perry Bryce was named after his Grandpa Bryce. Grandpa loved baseball. Mom and I watched an old film of him running bases while I held Perry. We both hoped that he might like the game too and carry something forward from Grandpa.
Photo: For Katherine Williams...I happened to be sitting on the beach when you posted :-)
Photo: Cozumel. December 2012.
Some from Beaches- How often I write his name when I am off by myself in the sand on vacation, just to see it again.
Photo: The girls insisted on being in the picture, so we all stuck our toes in. :)

Photo: For Perry
Photo: Happy birthday Perry!
In toys and chalk. He would scrawl his own name one day. Others do it for him. In toys that little boys love. As much as I hate stepping on small pieces, I wish I would more often, because he should be at the age of toddler legos and cars.

There are many more (I wish I had the space!!!), and hopefully some I haven't seen yet as we still have a couple days. Thank you gentle friends for giving me back my son's name. You are adding back a little of the sparkle to his birthday.  I am blessed.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Grabbing Joy in the Moment

I guess one of the biggest lessons I have learned is that sometimes you have to grab joy in the moment. What I mean by that is sometimes you simply have to live right now- not in the sense as many take it overindulging in their favorite vice, but simply breathing and enjoying what is right in front of you.

So today as I held Paiden I kissed his checks, soft and rough at the same time. I inhaled his milky scent and felt the fine baby hair tickle my nose. And I was happy.

I was happy when I held Emily. I was blessed to hold Perry. And now I hold Paiden and try to let contentment wash over me like a gentle wave. I will be happy in this moment and I will not let darkness drift over it. I will not let sadness place a black stain over my entire life. It may impossible to always hold it at bay, but I chose to stand my ground right now.

I have come to the realization that if I place this moment in the basket with the rest of my life, it will always be lacking. My life will always lack Perry. Sometimes the only way that I can find happiness is to take the present out and hold it up to the light by itself. I study the details sparkling in the sunbeam and enjoy each color that plays in the facets.

If I connect it to the past I have only tears, and if I connect it to the future I have only worry because I know nothing is guaranteed in this lifespan. While many do not live with as dark a past or perhaps do not have worry clouding their future, some of us do. And we have to relearn to live in the now as a child, or quite frankly, there's no joy left to us anymore.

I know I am blessed. The other day Emily, Mom, and I all found four leaf clovers (after telling Emily that the only person who regularly find them them is Lt. Hood). Mine was the only one with a mangled leaf, but it didn't change what it was. It felt oddly appropriate to me- maybe not perfect, but I got to and still do hold something that many other people may never find or overlook in a rush.

Here are a few verses I took ownership of shortly after Perry's death when the world became a terrifying place for me:

    Matthew 6:27-29
    Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.
    Matthew 6:34  Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 11:28-30  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Luke 12:25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his  span of life?

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.