Sam is an angel that was brought into my life. Here is our journey back home...

Sam is an angel that was brought into my life. Here is our journey back home...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

100 Steps...on Vacation. (Illuminate Week 3)

This week our assignment fell while I was on vacation. This vacation was a much needed getaway from the reality of life at home without Sam. My family and I drove down to Destin, Florida from McHenry, IL; about a 16 hour drive. We spent the week in paradise. While the vacation was well deserved it felt so wrong. You see, we were not planning on taking a vacation for a very long time. Having a newborn and a three year old really adds to the daily expenses. So, we thought once Sam was a bit older and a little easier to travel with we would take a family vacation. As you all know that was not the case. Our Destin vacation felt wring because we were only in a beautiful place because Sam was not with us. There were times that I actually felt guilty being there as a result of his departure. I found myself imagining what vacation would have been like with an infant in my arms; and there were plenty around to remind me of what I didn't have. Although this was a bitter sweet vacation, I did try to incorporate Sam into our vacation as much as possible. We even took a family picture. I will have to post that in a separate post.
However, as the assignment goes...I was able to do the 100 steps from our hotel room door, highway road to a secluded beach, and simply from one point on the beach to another.

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Sign from Sam

July 24, 2011
            I got my sign from Sam today! At least I am pretty sure that it was Sam that was trying to tell me something.
            I wanted to be sure that I made it to Sam’s park before we left for our Florida trip. So, after packing all day today I went to the park around six-ish. I lost it again today with Sam. I have been really missing my baby boy lately. It has been more of an aching than an emotion. I take that back it is an overwhelming emotion. Little things have been setting me off again. I will just start crying because I miss him so much. All I want is to hold him again.
            Anyways, I was sitting with Sam and talking with him about coming with us on his first family vacation and asking him to ride with us in the car tonight. I read him his book like always and took my time visiting with him-crying uncontrollably. When I felt it was time to go, I grabbed my chair and his book, turned around and wham! A yellow Monarch butterfly practically hits me in the face. It flew around Sam’s area for a bit then flew up the stairs and turned left out of the mausoleum. The minute I realized what had almost hit me square in the face I began to sob. I took at seat on the bench and watched the butterfly fly around and all I could say over and over again was “thank you”. I strongly believe that was Sam telling me, “I’m here mommy, I can hear you.”
            You see the yellow Monarch butterfly is important to me because the only other two times that I saw it, it made me think of Sam. I don’t know why it made me think of him but it did. So much so, that I put a yellow butterfly in his vase with his flowers. My baby boy knew that his sign had to be obvious, I just never thought it would be a butterfly in my face.

As a baby loss mother looking for signs that our baby still watches over us and is with us are moments that we cling to. These moments become our new memories of our babies that never got the chance to make memories with us. I think it is their way of bringing smiles to our face. Sign or not, that is a moment that was given to me that has Sam written all over it.

Thank you, Sam. Mommy loves you.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Illuminate: Week 2 assignment

Here is what I posted on my private class blog (which I will probably, eventually, switch to).

           I understand that this weeks assignment was to journal about how we feel; either in light or darkness. I feel my emotions are in constant battle with both throughout the day. There are moments that I feel I am soaked with light and then, out of nowhere; the darkness fills me with sorrow and hurt. Then the light comes peeking back in when I am reminded that I was chosen to give birth to an angel and the angel is my son. Since I have a young daughter that is filled with radiating light, she ensures that I get my fair dosage of happiness.
            The way I understand it is, the light reminds me of the darkness and the darkness reminds me of the light. When I am experiencing them, they are only there as a result of the other. Before Sam, I looked at my life mostly in the light, it wasn’t bright but it was shining. I thought that there couldn’t be any other way that I would like for life to take me; it was going good. The problem with that is, my life had no meaningful purpose-it just was. I was just another contributing member of society. Now that Sam has been brought into my life and physically taken all in the same moment, my life has meaning and purpose. I have forcefully joined a society that has been in the shade for years, slowly filling with brave mothers coming into the light and sharing their stories. I am one of those women. I don’t foresee the darkness always following my footsteps, but I see me stepping into the light and taking a stand for all of those angels that never got to live in their temporary home. Although, darkness is always lurking around every corner of my days, there is one shadow that will always follow, Sam’s legacy.

            So with that said, I went the route of an object and Sam’s mausoleum as my inspiration. I choose Sam’s wall as an inspiration for a lot of my pictures because it makes me feel close to him. The glass globe in most of the pictures is something I put in the courtyard at the mausoleum right in front of Sam’s wall. I also have one in my backyard, so when they are lit up at night it reminds me of Sam. I also played with shadows a bit. There is a picture of me standing in front of his wall with Sam’s name (or Sam, if you will) in my shadow. In addition to shadow pictures, I walked out of the mausoleum and saw my car parked, alone in the shadows of a tree with the sun blaring above the same tree I park under everyday. Then there is a picture of a storm hovering over the mausoleum. This is how I feel sometimes when I am there, defeated with nowhere to hide from the storm that follows me. 

Friday, July 22, 2011


At Sam’s park today I started out doing good, not crying just enjoying the peacefulness his final resting place brings me. Until, I crouched down in front of him, as I always do, I kiss his wall and tell him how much I love him. I lost it again. I was crying so hard I was echoing in the mausoleum. I didn’t care if anyone heard me or saw me-I was blasted with emotions that have been dormant for a couple of days. I don’t know what it is about me crouching down in front of him that gets me every time. I kneel there and picture the exact set up of the inside of his crypt. I know where everything is placed; I almost wished I had taken a picture of it. I will have to do a sketch of it sometime just to keep it fresh in my head.
            On my way home I began to think of things that I never really gave a through look at before. I mean I have thought about it before just never really took the time to figure out why I thought about it. I still don’t know why I have the feelings I do about it. The it I am referring to are the words that I spoke to Sam in the hospital. I don’t regret the words I spoke; I just wished that it were more. I can tell you exactly the three phrases I spoke to his lifeless body: “Mommy loves you”, “I Love You”, and “I’m so sorry”. Those phrases are so burned into my brain the play constantly in my head all day long. Those phrases have become my background music to the life I try to live with out Sam in my arms. I don’t think I wanted to express hopes and dreams to him, but I just wanted to say more. I didn’t want to tell him of my hopes and dreams for him because I somehow do want him to think he has let me down. I still have a hard time expressing those broken dreams and empty hopes. My baby isn’t here and I am still trying to protect him… I don’t exactly know what more is, but those three phrases are all I could think of to express how I feel.
            I also was reminded of things I regret not doing with him in the time that I did have him. I guess I am thinking of these things because now the reality is setting in that I will never have that time with him again. Those hours that I was able to hold my sweet baby boy in my arms were, what felt like seconds. I wish that I snuggled with him more and held him different ways. I don’t know why these things are important to me now. I can only lean on the reason that these would have given me more memories. I am at a stage that I an desperately hanging on to any memory that I can to help me hold him just a tiny bit closer. The only reason that I can think of why I didn’t snuggle him or hold him as if he were alive is because I was afraid of hurting him. I know that sounds ridiculous because he was already an angel, but I was trying to protect him from any further harm. I guess I already felt like I let him down in the worst possible way, I didn’t want to hurt his fragile tiny body.

Only if life had a rewind button… Would I change the way I held him or the things I said to him? Or would I change the circumstance?

            Work is just around the corner. I am a nervous wreck about going back. If I could just quit I would. You know me, anything to avoid the situation. I think it is just the reality of life without my baby that will really be in full swing and nothing to stop it. I don’t want to be doing “better”. Eww, I hate that word; so filled with guilt. I am trying to avoid it, but I know it will be here soon and I will have to go through the motions.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Illuminate's First Photography Assignment...

      As some of you may know, I am taking a photography class for grieving mothers. We had our first assignment this week and that was to create a self-portrait that portrayed our stories. At first I thought, "no big deal, I can do that." Well, went it got down to actually doing it, it was a different story. 
       I knew that I would take the pictures in Sam's room. I did that because I strongly believe he is what defines me as a person now. It is because of Sam I can love more intensely than anyone who has never lost a child. It is because of Sam that I do not fear my own death. It is because of Sam that I live each day knowing I am one day closer to hold him again. 
       Once I entered into his room, I fell apart. I was reminded of his angelic presence. I opened the door and still was expecting to see him sleeping in his crib. I know that may sound ridiculous, but there is always this tiny feeling of hope that this is all just a dream. As I approached his crib, I was reminded of the stinging in my eyes as Lucas and I cried while we sorted through his clothes yet to be put away for his homecoming. It was as if it were just yesterday that we hovered over the crib that Sam was supposed to be laying in to pick out what he was going to where in his casket. No parent should look at newborn onesies and think about what they are going to bury their baby in. 
        I feel these pictures portray what I was really feeling in the moment I was alone in his room. Complete emptiness, deep sorrow, and the rawness of my reality as a mother of baby loss. You can see in one of the pictures, what I believe is Sam, at my back hugging me and telling me, "I'm here mommy." 

The other part of the assignment is a letter to Sam. I may or may not post that...

Thursday, July 7, 2011


             Today had its ups and downs. This morning I came to the realization that I truly know what love is like. After loosing Sam, I felt the depths of what love truly is. Before Sam was even a glimmer in my eye, I thought that it would be impossible to love another child of mine more than Michalina. Sam has proved me wrong more than I ever thought. Sam has shown me that I am capable of loving my husband and children more than I ever thought possible. My family is what keeps me breathing, without them I would suffocate. The love that I now experience after Sam’s birth is more intense and more than words can explain. To me, love is something that you feel with every fiber of your body, mind and soul. I love my husband and children more than anything in the world.

Side note: As I was at Sam’s wall tonight I found some new friends. I was crouching down in front of Sam’s wall with my forehead pressed against his cold granite sobbing and talking with him. When I regained some control I stood up and turn to look at the steps, in front of me was a mama raccoon and her three babies. They stayed there for a moment and looked at me, I guess trying to figure out what I was doing or going to do. The babies acted as if they had no fear of me, while the mama cautiously moved about planning her next move. I bend down to put something down on my chair; they didn’t run away. My mind began to process; mama raccoon + babies= protection. I thought, “What is she going to do?” My immediate reaction to that thought was to say out loud, “go on, go away.” And they ran off. Damn! I should have gotten a picture of that!
After I had my time with Sam, I walked around the cemetery a bit. During my walk I found another baby that was born and gain her angel wings that same day, her name is Samantha. Samantha was born 21 years ago.
At Sam’s park I had this feeling creep up on me. It is a feeling I’ve had before but never this intense. As I was crouching in front of his wall, I wanted nothing more than the tear that granite off and reach in and hold my baby’s tiny, white coffin. I don’t know why I want this; I guess it would be to have him close to me again. I feel like the granite wall is a barrier that is keeping me from my son. I just want to hold him again. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Breathing hasn't gotten easier...

    Does it ever get easier to breathe? I went to Sam’s park tonight and wept like it was yesterday that Sam was here and gone. I sat there next to his wall and thought of all of the lost hopes and dreams that I had for him, and sobbed. I thought about how I had plans for him on the fourth of July. Which sucked by the way. Fireworks on the fourth of July have lost its magic for me. I sat there on the boat Sunday night and watched the lights change in the sky without a smile on my face and an absence of appreciation in my heart. I used to enjoy seeing the beautiful display that I waited for all year, now I think about broken dreams. Sunday, I just sat there and cried thinking about the plans that I had thought of before I lost my baby. While I was still pregnant I remember thinking and planning, how I was going to watch the fireworks and protect my newborn baby from the boisterous display of freedom. Now I just cry and remember the innocence that was ripped from my life. Fourth of July is hardly a holiday, what are Christmas and Thanksgiving going to be like for me? I can’t bear to think the pain holidays are going to bring me.
            Lately I have been feeling the anger emotions and sadness brewing again. I just don’t understand why this happened to me and my family. The sadness makes me want to take Lucas and Michalina and crawl in a hole and never come out. The sadness is overwhelming; I never knew sadness before losing Sam. I mean I have been sad in my life and felt sorry for myself, but after loosing Sam, sadness takes on a whole new feeling. When sadness is truly felt it is consuming.
I still struggle with categorizing my emotions. I read stories of people who have learned to channel their grieving emotions in ways that are remarkable. Me, I just sit there and allow them to consume me because I don’t want people to think I have “moved on”. I talk to people, who know my story, and they caring on conversations just as it were anybody else. I can’t help but think about Sam. Sometimes in conversations I feel like I am listening to Charlie Brown’s teacher; I hear nothing. On the contrary, I am getting pretty good at making it look like I am right there with the person. Normal conversations bring guilt; guilt that I am forgetting Sam. I know that I am not forgetting, but I don’t want people to think I am “moving on” with my life just because I am not crying. There is no “moving on”.

Forever drowning in emotions.
fear, anger, pain, sadness, helplessness, hopeless, broken, loneliness, surrendering, resentful, betrayal, cautious, anguish, emptiness, guilt, monotonous, lost, disbelief, numb, remorse, anxious, envious, and despair
These are my feelings in the course of a day.
Just breathe.