Sunday, October 23, 2016

Dancing Pumpkins

The day that Gracie passed away I made brownies.  That memory is still so clearly imprinted in my mind. It’s one I will never forget.  Such an odd thing to do, in my grief stricken fog, I just made brownies.  I had no more feedings, no more pumping, no more diapers to change, no more checking on Grace every couple of minutes to make sure she was comfortable, no more doctor’s visits, and no more listening to her sweet coos.  I had nothing else to do that day, so I made brownies, six years ago today. Each year that passes, some memories seem to fade, and yet others become even more vivid.  

Fast-forward to yesterday, I had an urge to make cookies.  This time was different as there were plenty of other things I should have been doing.  Instead I baked cookies with Courtney.  I thought about how much Gracie would have loved helping us bake and how she was never able to dress up for Halloween.  I remembered this picture I took of her, probably only maybe a week before she passed.  I have such a love/hate relationship with Halloween and all of the emotions that are stirred up this time of year.   Seeing all of the decorations and excitement of the children just reminds me even more that this hole in my heart will never be completely filled.  It also reminds me to be thankful for every day and appreciate each day I have with my loved ones. 

Today, Brien and I went to visit Gracie and brought her a silly little dancing pumpkin.  You know, one of those little solar ones that shake in the sunlight.  It was an impulse buy when I was doing the grocery shopping today.  When I told a friend about it she replied that it sounded like something that would make a six-year-old giggle for days!  Who doesn’t love a dancing pumpkin?!  I’m sure Grace loved it and I sure hope she is dancing for days above the clouds.  Let Grace always remind us to be thankful for those dancing pumpkins.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

5 Years Later

It's hard to believe it's been 5 years since Grace passed away. It seems so long ago yet the sense of loss is still so raw. It's like this empty feeling deep down inside that never seems to go away. After a while it just becomes who you are and you live with the pain.

As much as we live with the loss of Grace we also embrace the impact she had on our lives. She taught us to appreciate your loved ones and never take your time here for granted. She made me more compassionate and selfless. As my tattoo says, "Living with Grace in my heart."

We have also been blessed to meet Art and Sadie through Grace and their daughter Eva. We share a common bond that few couples can. When we met last year at Disney World it was like meeting family for the first time. They are wonderful people who we cherish and love.

As for the genetics testing her DNA is currently being studied at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. Most recently her DNA was being studied in France and Iceland. For someone who never left Sacramento her DNA has gone all around the world. Even though more families have been added to the study there has been no link between any of us. I've come to believe her disorder was idiopathic with no known cause. Which is probably the hardest thing to live with, not being able to say this is why it happened.

As our families and lives grow we do so with Grace's presence always nearby. Sometimes we watch the Long Island Medium and wonder what Grace would say if she could communicate with us. Perhaps she'd tell us what Heaven is like and who she's met. But we also know she would say not to be sad and that one day we'll all be together again.

We love you and miss you Gracie.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Missing Our Little Angel

4 years ago today we lost our precious daughter Grace. Not a day has gone by we haven’t thought about her or missed her presence. Our lives’ still has this empty feeling without her. I don’t know if that will ever go away.

As I sit in front of her hope chest every item brings back a particular memory. Her knit caps and stuffed animals bring back memories of the hospital. Certain onesies bring back memories of when she wore them. Small items like her hairbrush or blankets have so many memories associated with them. I remember watching our first 49ers game together while she was dressed in this one.

It was a week later, on the morning of October 23rd she passed away as Holly and I knelt by her crib. I’ll never forget that rainy day and the pain we felt.

The road since has been hard. We struggled with our loss and trying to understand why for a long time. We would spend hours talking about the what-ifs only to find ourselves back where we started. At this point any answers to be found lie in the hands of the researchers studying her DNA. Maybe one day we’ll have an answer, but in the meantime it’s about remembering Grace during the 102 days she was with us.

So on Grace’s Angel Day, we remember the sweet baby who was taken from us far too soon in life. A daily reminder of how fragile and special life is.