Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Essay

The morning Sage passed away his Aunt RaLee was there.  She was there when he entered this world and she was there when he passed away.
RaLee comforting Crystal when she was in labor with Sage

Sharing a moment over Sage's Casket

RaLee was 15 years old and a sophomore in high school when Sage died. This experience has touched her life in many ways. Before her freshman year at college, this fall, she went on a trip to California. Where she visited many of the beaches up and down the California coast. Her love of the ocean, coupled with Sage's memory, influenced her first college essay. I was so touched by her words, that I had to share it.

"I stand on the edge of the midnight blue shore paralyzed by the ocean's beauty. The majestic tune of the oceans breeze fills my ears and sends an enchanting feeling down my body. Forever is in my sight, serenity engulfs every inch of me, and at this moment in time, I am at peace. All of a sudden the oceans substance begins to spiral into a dark suffocating hole. The wind joins in by shouting out its fierce chords that anxiously take me into the abyss of darkness.

My eyes fly open and I see a familiar face shouting words to me that I cannot comprehend. I scan the room and notice that the clock reads 8:32 am and I can hear panicked voice's outside my neon green door. My father drags me out of bed and repeats himself three more times. I pull myself together and fixate on the movements of his mouth. Within five seconds my body sinks back into the black hole of my prior dream.

Cold sweats drench my body, my lips begin to quiver, and my heart is pounding through my chest, as if I had just finished running a marathon. My body is immobilized and I cannot move a single muscle. I stand beside my bed as my dad runs to the closet, grabs my shoes and puts them on my feet. I playback the words he has been shouting at me in my head repeatedly. "Sage is dead, Sage is dead. My grandson is dead." I'm steady staring at the porcelain angel on my bedroom dresser and a rush of adrenaline fills my soul and I take off running for the truck.

With my knees pressed hard against my chest, I try hard to focus on the surroundings that fly past me outside my window. Tears fill my eyes and everything becomes a blur. I reach for my chest to retrieve the knife that was plunged into my heart, soon coming to realize that there was no knife there to begin with. It feels as if i had been driving for a lifetime and suddenly we arrive at my sisters' home. My family runs up the giant staircase and makes a dash for the wooden doors at the end of the hall. The door flies open and sunlight drowns my eyesight out back to where everything was only a blur. I search for my sight and my eyes fixate on the fallen angel sprawled out on the floor.

It took all my will to walk towards the baby boy. With each dreaded step I pushed myself to take, two more knives were thrown into my heart. I make it to the fragile angel and without thinking, I fell to my knees. Chaos arises around me and yet my soul and mind are at a standstill. I reach for his hand and grasp onto it lightly. The words, "I Love you Sage," drift out of my mouth and dance into his ear like the ocean's breeze. And at this moment in time, I know he is at peace.

I close my eyes and suddenly I'm standing on the edge of eternity staring into the depths of forever. The crystal blue water sways its graceful dance with the touch of the sweet chimes of the breeze. A gust of wind fills my soul and wraps around my body like a warm embrace that I have missed dearly. I glance up at the sky and a tear races down my cheek and crashes into the white sand. Gusts of wind circle around me and the words, "I love you Sage," part from my mouth and begin dancing away with the breeze to the Heavens above."

By, Aunt RaLee Jewel Reidhead

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Crystal wrote this and shared it in her support group forum. I thought it was worth sharing with you.
On Doing laundry:

Will, Wayne, Trey, Jayden, Sage , and Ellie...piles of clothes. Only Sages pile is missing. I fold the clothes and look at the line up and my heart hurts because he should have a pile.
 I wonder what Sages favorite shirt would be? How dirty would his socks be? Or would he like flip flops? Would he prefer shorts? He would be potty trained by now so I wonder what under ware would he pick out? I would give anything to wash a pair of muddy jeans because he had played in the water hose with his brothers. This is what I think about while doing laundry.
I miss my son.




Thursday, May 3, 2012

"If I Had One Wish, It Would Be..."

Wayne, Sage's (now 9-year old) brother, took his turn at being Student of the week in his fourth grade class. Each day of the week the teacher would spot-light something special about Wayne. One day he shared his favorite toy, another his favorite foods and hobby, he shared photo's of his family and of himself as a baby, and finally he had to answer the question, "If I had one wish, what would it be?"

When Crystal asked Wayne about what his "one wish" would be, without hesitation, he answered, "I would want my baby brother Sage back again." She gently tried to convince him to pick a different wish, explaining to him that, while wanting his baby brother back is a wonderful wish, it might make others feel uncomfortable. Wayne stood his ground and was firm in his decision. So on Friday, armed with an 8 X 10 picture of his baby brother, Wayne went to school.
Crystal and I anxiously waited for him to come home so he could share how his day went. He said that he stood in front of the class and said, "If I had one wish, I would wish that my baby brother Sage did not die. This is my brother, his name is Sage and he died in his crib. I miss him and I love him and I wish he was alive, if I had one wish I would wish that he didn't die."
Well we could only imagine what his teacher and his class mates were thinking, but for Crystal and I we, were both proud and heart broken for this sensitive little boy, who misses his baby brother. Wayne told us that the kids all asked questions about Sage and that he liked answering all of them. They asked how, where and when he died and Wayne handled all of them like a champ. We asked him what the kids said to him about his brother and he said they were sorry and sad for him. Then he told us something that melted our heart. One of those things that reminds you that despite the sadness and grief of losing a child there are lessons to be learned on this journey. He told us of a boy in his class, that he had never spoken to before. He said that this boy never really talked to anybody and that he kept to himself. During recess this young boy said to Wayne, "I didn't know your brother died. I'm sorry that must be sad. My dad is in the war, he is far away and I worry everyday that he will die." Wayne said, that he told him that was sad and that he felt bad for him and that he would be scared too if his daddy was in the war. Since that day the two have become friends.

It's amazing the blessings that have come to us and to others since Sage's passing. We could have forced Wayne to choose another wish, one that would have made other's more "comfortable", but because we didn't, "Waynes wish" touched the heart of a grieving class mate and helped him deal with his fear of losing his father.

If we were honest with ourselves, I think each of us who have suffered the loss of a loved one, has had the same wish as Wayne. Even if we only wished to have that person back for a few minutes, to hug them, see their smile, hear their voice, and to have the opportunity to tell them that we love them one more time, or even to have the chance to tell them goodbye. Many times I have found myself looking at a picture of Sage or my mother, or even one of my babies and wished that I could step into that photo and love on them one more time. Thankfully, because of the Gospel, we know that by obeying the commandments, and because of Christ's sacrifice, love and grace, that we will have that opportunity to be with our loved ones again. I shudder to think how dark this journey would be without having the hope of eternal life.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Unexpected

On Christmas Eve RaLee was suddenly desperate to leave the house just as our family party was about to begin. She insisted, with much desperation, that she had some last minute shopping that she had to do. So with a promis to be safe and hurry home she went shopping. A short time later there was a knock on the door. Crystal answered and there stood RaLee, with a huge smile on her face, she said, "These are from Sage" as she handed Crystal a boquet of poinsettia's, complete with a "JOY" ornament.
We had a wonderful time Christmas Eve and were so very blessed to have family, home, food, and the spirit of Christ in our home.
Sage's Brothers and Sisters in their "Christmas Eve Pajamas"
Christmas morning as the children were looking in their stockings, Jayden looked back at the wall where Sage's stocking hung empty and asked, "Mom why didn't Santa Claus leave something in Sage's stocking? Is it because he's dead?"
It's moments like these, the sudden and unexpected ones, that tug at your heart strings and make us miss Sage so much. I know we have said it before, but time does not heal your wounds nor does it take away the pain, you just learn to live with the scars.
Miss Ellie opening her stocking

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


When we were trying to decide what to put on Sage's headstone everyone in the family wrote down one word that they would use to describe Sage. After many months of consideration the word that everyone agreed upon was "JOY". Sage was such a beautiful and happy baby, who was quick to smile and had the most infectous giggle, simply put, Sage brought nothing but "JOY" into our lives.

As we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ we are comforted in knowing that because of Christ's gift to us, we can be with our loved ones for all eternity. This knowledge fills our hearts with Joy, Peace, and Hope for the future.

The Christmas after Sage passed away we put up a tree in his honor. Every year we add new "Joy" ornaments to Sage's tree.

 This year as we visited family and friends at the cemetary we decided to bring a message of "Joy" as a reminder that one day the sting of the grave will be replaced with pure Joy when we are reunited with our loved ones.
My Mother, Sage's Great Grandmother, Francine Jewell Jordan
John R. Jordan
Charlie Jordan
Eddie Jordan
Ted Jordan

Baby, Kathy Allison Jordan
Cori and Blades White's, daughter Kyndal, who was born sleeping.
Robbie Penrod

DeLanney Norris, infant daughter of Tommy and Becky Norris
Her parents founded "Laney's Legacy" in their daughters memory.
Sweet Little Brandon Allen

Kenny Eldredge, Spencer's little brother and Sage's Uncle.
Spencer(below) decorating his little brother's grave.
Kenny was such a handsome young man.
And finally, Sage...
Sister, Jayden

Sage's mom- Crystal

Sage's Family, unfortunately Ellie Mae was sick and couldn't be there.
It is hard to believe that so many of our family and friends have passed away. It is difficult to deal with so much loss, especially when so many of them were children and young adults. Instead of falling into the depth's of despair we are choosing to find "Joy" in the knowledge that because of our Savior we can be together forever.
This knowledge brings us peace and fills our hearts with Joy.
We pray that all of you can find the Joy that is there for each of us, a gift from our Heavenly Father. May each of you have a "Joy" filled Holiday Season.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Family Pictures

My Dear Little Man,

Grandma and Aunt Jessy have been gently urging me to share my feelings. I learned rather quickly who I felt I could share my pain and grief with. I understood that my Mother would listen to me and be there for me any time of the day or night. Mom has always been here for me. I love my Mother. Mom cried with me and has allowed me show my sadness and be myself.

My Dad on the other hand was different. I knew before Sage died that crying and grieving was, in his eyes, was for the weak and cry babies. I never once talked to my Dad about Sage or how his death upset me. I tried to be strong around my Dad. I held back the tears and put on my "I don't give a damn" face. A poker face around my Dad. I did good at acting like I was tough because, after all, that is how Dad raised and expected me to be.

Last September...(the very last time my Dad stepped foot in my home) he came in and sat down. We had a casual conversation about the weather and stuff.  Then my Dad looked at me and said. "Aren't you glad that BOY of yours Died! You would be really busy if he was here!" I just looked at my Dad in disbelief that he had even uttered such words to me! I looked right at him and said "Yes Dad I am so glad that BOY of mine DIED now Spencer and I do not have to buy him Christmas presents this year! I am also thankful that I do not have to buy him any diapers! Think about all the money we are saving with him gone!!!!!" Dad looked at me and said "you will hate me for saying this but its true! My Aunts lost babies and they did not cry over those kids! You need to get over it already! You live at the graveyard and that is not right!!!!!"

I sat on my living room floor the rest of the day...wondering if my Dad had really uttered such crap to me!!!! I thought about it over and over!!!! I thought I had been handling this trial so well! I thought I was doing good! I know that over the past 2 years I have been to the GRAVEYARD maybe 5 times at the most!!! I did not feel that I lived there!!! I was shocked that my Dad said all of these things to me!

2 days later....My Mom called me at 11:30 at night in tears. She said your Dad just left me! He said that he wanted out! He did not like his kids and he wanted out of the family! ------Long story short------Dad left my Mom after 32 years of marriage for a 39 year old White trash Hoe! Her name is Jen and let me tell you she is a piece of work to say the least! I think she is super classy! HERE is the CLINCHER JEN has an 8 year old Daughter.....any guesses as to what the little girls name MIGHT BE???? If you guessed SAGE you are right!!!! Yes my Dads girlfriends daughters name is SAGE!! Weird, creepy, BIG red FLAG! You be the judge of that one!

Anyways, my family has been through so much since last October! I am happy to report that we are all doing great! Mom is happy! We are all happy! Doing well! Even though my Dad is lost! Lost is the only word to describe him! I pity him! I pray for him! Like I said Long story short! My Dad has been a TERRIBLE Dad my entire life! He was extremely physically and verbally abusive! Through all of his faults I always loved my Dad and tried to live my life so that one day he could look at me and tell me that he was proud of me! I learned, however, that NO matter how hard I have tried to please him, I will never be enough and neither will my family! I learned that it is okay! I am a good person and I know that my Heavenly Father loves me! I know that he is proud of me and that is all that matters! As for my Dad...well He was right I do hate him for all that he said! I Have learned to let go of the HATE but the damage is done! I am willing to let him go! This past March we took Family Pictures. Family Pictures missing our little Man Sage and Missing my Dad. I know that all will be well. The Atonement will Continue to heal our family and make us stronger than we have ever been! We are still standing and smiling! Endure to end!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dear Sage,

     Hi sweetheart it's Grandma Liz. I wanted you to know that we haven't forgotten about you, in fact quite the opposite is true, we think about you everyday. Your brothers and sister Jayden talk about you often. You are so loved and missed.
     As you know the family has been through some difficult times lately. I know you were aware of us because I have felt your presence in some of my darkest hours. I could feel you gently urging me to "endure to the end" and to have faith. I promised you that I would live my life so I will be found worthy to be with you again and that's what I'm striving for.
    Your baby sister was born and I believe she talks to you. She will look off into the distance and babble away and then break into giggles. Sometimes she keeps your mommy awake for hours but she doesn't seem to mind because she loves watching her chat and coo at the ceiling. It comforts her because she is certain that Ellie's innocent eyes can see what she can
Ellie and I on her blessing day
     Grandma had a hard time sewing Ellie's blessing gown. I kept thinking about how hard it was to sew your burial clothes. There were touches of Sage green in your clothing so I decided to embroidery flowers down the front of Ellie's gown and add some Sage green leaves in your memory.
     I can't believe that your Angel Day will be here in just 1 short week. I have noticed a shift in the family's mood as the 19th of March approaches. We have become more somber and reflective. Each of us have talked about the last time we saw or held you and we can't help but wonder what it would be like if you were still here.
     Your mom and dad are laughing more and your mommy is starting to feel parts of her "old self" returning. I'm so happy to see this and I know it is in part to your baby Sister Ellie. But I also know that the memory of you and the promise of being with you again keeps her moving forward. 
When I look at your baby sister I am reminded of you.  I think the two of you look alike!
     Little man please know that we are all thinking about you. I know that mommy hasn't written in your blog but that doesn't mean she has forgotten. Somebody very close to her said some very harsh words that made her feel that sharing her feelings about missing you was a bad thing. Don't worry I'm sure she will find her way back. It's all just part of this journey she has been on. Learning to live without you has not been an easy thing to do. I think it was James E. Faust that said something like, "The love of a mother is the closest thing that we can come to on this earth that even begins to compare to the love our Savior has for us." and your mommy definitely loves you.
     I will close for now.  I know you will be with us as we celebrate and remember you on your 2nd Angel Day.  May God continue to watch over and keep you until we meet again.

Missing and Always Loving you,
Grandma Liz