A very good friend of mine sent me this video 6 months ago. I watch it every day to help give me strength and comfort. I hope these words will reach deep down into your soul and give you the help that you might need in your life.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
On September 22nd Sage’s Aunt RaLee turned 16. As hard as all of us tried to make the day a happy one there was still this cloud hanging over us. We had just passed the 6 month anniversary of Sage’s death. We have had to learn how to celebrate the good and be happy while our hearts are breaking on the inside. RaLee loved her little nephew as she loves all of her nieces and nephews. She has always been very present in their lives.
This is RaLee with Crystal when she was in labor with Sage. She has had the privilege of witnessing 5 of her nieces and nephews births. I think this experience has helped her form a special bond with them.
The morning Sage passed RaLee was there. She was there when he entered this world and when he left it to return to the Father. This experience has impacted her greatly and she has been determined to turn this experience into a positive one. She strives hard everyday to live her life to the fullest with a smile on her face. She has written about the experience and shared it at school. She has talked to students who think everyday teenage “Stuff” is more than they can bare and reassures them that all will be well. She is committed to babysitting weekly, free of charge and giving up Friday night activities, so Crystal and Spencer can have time together. She grieves and misses her nephew daily.
Enter our miracle…well a miracle to us…some may say it’s a coincidence. If you remember we released over a hundred balloons on July 17th, to celebrate Sages first birthday. We attached Sage’s story to each of the balloons and asked that the finder would reply as to where, how and when the balloon was found. We received one email on his birthday and nothing since. The morning of RaLee’s birthday I received the following email.
Hi my name is Meg. I have four children 29, 24, 17, and 12.
I don't know the pain of loosing one. We have not had it easy and had many obstacles as I am divorced and ......
but nothing like you have experienced. I love that you have such love in your family God has blessed you.
I didn't feel like working today ( I am self employed) I felt I needed to be home and just well be home.
I went out to the garden to clean up and spray off ( I am a Interior Designer ) so I love just creating a good feeling every where. I love home !!!! Sages story was upside down I picked it up and began to read. I just lightly cried and thought of where he landed.
I sobbed washing it off with the scraps of green ribbon and balloon attached. I will keep him in the house at all times I will frame the note and remaining ribbon and balloon. He will also watch over us .
I live in a home that an older couple owned and now it is their children's I rent from them they told me their Mother loved her garden , I love honoring for her.
So now I have two Angels in my garden.
The blog is beautiful. I saw the sunflowers and had just purchased some yesterday they are on my dining table
Thank-you for touching me and reminding me what is important in our lives.
All my love,
I cried as I read her email. I was so happy and amazed that one of Sage’s birthday balloons would be found on Aunt RaLee’s birthday. Miracle or coincidence?
I noticed Meg didn’t tell us where she lived so I emailed back and asked her if she wouldn’t mind telling what city she lived in. Then Crystal, Jessica and I went to RaLee’s school to surprise her with some birthday stuff. We made her a sucker bouquet, hat, sash and wand the day before. Crystal felt like something was missing so she stopped and bought a balloon and some flowers. When I got in her van I noticed the flowers she said, “I know our theme was bright colors and maybe I should have gotten some of those florescent daisies but for some reason I decided to buy Sunflowers.” I told her they were perfect and then shared the email with her. We both were crying when we pulled into the High School Parking lot.
Meg mentioned she had visited Sage’s blog and noticed the sunflowers placed at his grave on his first birthday. She had just purchased sunflowers the day before for her dining room table. Crystal decided to buy flowers at the last minute and felt compelled to buy sunflowers…again…miracle/birthday wish from beyond or just a coincidence?
We returned from the school and Meg had replied to our question of her location.
I thought of the same thing after I sent the email I am in Scottsdale off Shea .
When I looked at the blog I didn't even look where Sage was from I was so emotional I had to email right away, I will go back and watch the blog. Let me know where it was released from.
All my best,
I responded with another email telling her that the balloon was released from the cemetery in Mesa and I shared with her how Crystal had bought sunflowers for RaLee. This is Meg’s response
How beautiful is that and what a wonderful present for your daughter, to me that is Sage telling her he is OK!
I think I will plant some sunflowers in the spot I found it I will send you a photo of the space and then when the flowers bloom.
I do not want to forget this day.
I’m so thankful Sage’s balloon made it’s way to Meg. That she listened to that inner prompting and stayed home that day. That she took the time to respond. Had she delayed even a day RaLee would not have received this wonderful birthday gift. We are honored to know that his story has touched her and that what is left of his birthday balloon along with his story will hang in her living room. We agree with Meg. It was a wonderful birthday present for RaLee and that it was Sage’s way of telling her he his is okay and “Happy birthday”. It’s a lot of coincidences if you think about it. What are the odds of his birthday balloon being found on RaLee’s birthday and landing in a memorial garden and then there are the sunflowers.
As for us we choose to believe it was a miracle. That Sage along with Heavenly Father was letting us know all is well. We haven’t been forgotten. We are all sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. That miracles still exist and all things come together for the good. We are not alone!
Thank you Meg!
Friday, September 18, 2009
I have been blessed by so many great women through out my life. I have always looked up to these women with such a deep respect and have a deep love for them. I want to be just like them in so many ways and live up the legacy that they have left for me to follow behind. Bishop Bourgeous said that one day I will stand in Heaven with all the Women that went before me and I will find myself worthy to stand among them.
First and foremost I love my Mother. She has worked so hard and dedicated her life to raising a good family. My Mom has always been there whether I was making good or bad choices. She always gives me unconditional love and companionship. My Mom has been my rock and has taught me to never give up on the Lord and to endure to the end. Mom I could not do this without you. I love you Mom! My Mother has taught me to walk and hold onto the Iron rod. My Mom has been married to my Dad for 30+ years trust me when I say that has not been an easy road to walk down!
Brenda J. Eldredge, is my dear sweet mother in law. I love this woman dearly. She is a wonderful and caring mother to 10 children. She has dealt with a hearing disability most of her life that has caused her many years of hardship. She goes to church every Sunday, but never hears the lessons being taught. October of 1998 her son Kenny was killed in a terrible automobile accident. Brenda has stayed true and faithful to our loving Heavenly Father and her testimony has never wavered from his great plan of happiness for us. I never hear this woman say a bad thing about any one and she is always striving to help others. Thank you Brenda!
Sharron Huish is another women whom I am striving to be like. I have known Sharron since I was a little girl and she has watched me grow into the Woman I am today. Sharron has many qualities that I love and admire. When Sharron, was in her child bearing years she had a total of Nine pregnancy’s, she has 6 angel babies and 3 surviving children. The day Sage passed away she told me to cleave unto Spencer and just hold each other. This advice has gotten us through some really hard times. Sharron helped my Mom sew Sages burial clothing this is something that I will always hold dear to my heart. She also sewed the satin blanket that wraps my baby's body until I see him again. Sharron has instilled in me a great desire to gather my food storage and be prepared! Thank you Sharron for being an example to this little girl!
Ione R. Rogers is my Grandma Reidhead’s mother. Even though I did not meet her in this life time she has left her journals behind for her posterity to read in our times of sorrow or joy, to lift us up and give us strength to face life. Remembering, as she did that there is a true and living God who listens to our needs, and gives answers to our prayers. Grandma had 11 children. When Dean was about 15 months old he contracted polio, after 10 days he was paralyzed and on August 26th, 1923 he passed away. Her husband Lowell always said to her about raising all of their children, “We’ve got a big job ahead of us for the next 20 years”! Grandpa Lowell fell out of the back of a truck on his way to work one morning and hit his head, he passed away on October 28th, 1937. They had only been married 19 years. Grandma would say that “The Lord knew best he must go on”. Grandma Ione raised her 10 children for 22 years alone before she remarried. She taught school in Linden and took over the ranch/farm after her husbands death. Grandma said it is really easy to feel sorry for your self. She said every time you have a negative thought you need to turn that thought into a positive one right away! I am thankful for her journal and the faithful life she led.
Mildred Jordan is my Papa Pats Mother. She was a strong woman from Southern Mississippi. I do not know much about her. I have heard lots of stories about how terrible my grandpa and his brothers were to their Momma. They burned her house to the ground! Grandma Jordan used to nail railroad spikes into her rafters and hung those naughty boys up in gunny sacks while she waxed her hard wood floors! All five of her boys grew up and served our country in time of war. They served in the Korean and Vietnam wars. Grandma Jordan buried her first child, a boy, Fred Jordan Jr. She fell asleep nursing him and when she woke up her son had died in her arms. She always wondered if her breast had smothered him or if he simply passed in his sleep . Then she had 3 boys - Ted, Charlie and my grandpa Pat, then she had twin sons that died shortly after their births. She had John and then lost another child. Then she had Barbara and Mildred and then lost another baby. They performed a partial hysterectomy after that and she thought her child bearing years were over when she was blessed with one more baby a son she named Howard or Buddy. I can honestly say that I have heard the voice of a woman with a deep southern accent talking to me and helping me during those first couple weeks after, Sage had moved on. How could she continue on after burying 5 babies? She had to have a very strong faith to continue on and endure to the end. My grandpa said that his mother was happiest when she was pregnant or nursing and that his mother loved being a mom. Thank you Grandma Jordan for all that you have done for me.
Shirley Davis is a woman in my Mother-In-Laws ward. She wrote us a very heartfelt letter a month after Sage passed away.
Dear Brenda and Larry,
I wanted to let you know how much I relate to your Heart Break over your tiny grandson's passing. On 16 Jan 1956 at 6:30 A.m. I went to get tiny Baby Billy out of his carriage so Bill could play with him a few min. He was dead, a cruel sight I'am of Crib death. We were alone, 7 miles down in canyon at Horse Mesa Dam. that makes Apache lake. we had to bring him to Mesa on the back seat of our car. Our 12th ward stepped in and we could never have made it without them. There are no words that can rid of the pain. My grandmother who lost a 18mo old girl said it is only time that helps. I have gained a few tidbits of knowledge in the past 52 yrs. Billy was loaned to us for a short time, I think I knew I'd never keep him when he was born. He could sit up a 2 months and could reach for things and had said Da. I know now, all he needed was his body. His mission was on the other side. His short life here was only to fulfill the letter of the law.
How thankful I am to this perfect stranger Shirley Davis. I know that even 52 years from now my heart is still going to hurt but, that I can do this for the next 52 years. She has a wonderful testimony of the Millennium and Eternities, where there will be no such thing as crib death or war.
Emma Smith is the wife of our past dear Prophet Joseph Smith. Emma and Joseph buried 6 children most of them while in infancy. Even though I have never met Emma how grateful I am for her and her life. She had remarkable compassion, courage and dignity. Emma had an unwavering testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ. I heard a song written about Emma and these words ring in my mind and thoughts “She buried her husband and children with a Queen’s grace”. I pray that I can live up to her example and carry on in faith and righteousness. I pray that I will be able to have the grace and courage that she had to have to face such hard trials.
Shirell Allan is in my ward, she buried her little boy Brandon five months before we buried Sage. This woman has taught me so much. She is beautiful and always has her head held high. She did something for me that I will never forget. Something that I will hold very close to my heart for eternity something so special that I will not share it as I hold it sacred. I want to thank her for going to church each Sunday and bearing her testimony of Gods love for each and every one of us. I need to know that God loves me and is not punishing me. I am heartbroken that Shirell and her family know this heartache that we are facing but, I am thankful for my friend. She is a beautiful woman and I love her.
Debra Polamo is another woman whom I love and admire. Three years ago on Fathers day an airplane crashed near Payson Arizona. On that plane her husband passed away - 4 women became widows - 2 people lost both their husband AND their child - 16 kids lost their fathers... and all of it was to the same plane crash. Debra is raising her 2 little boys on her own and she is doing a wonderful job! She is always at church and is always happy and willing to help others! Debra has an unshakable testimony of Eternal families.
Kathy Bourgeous is my Bishops wife. Kathy is the loving Mother to 11 children and she always makes sure that I get a hug at church. Kathy is a fun person to be around and is always making me want to be a better person. She has some built in radar that lets her know when I have storm clouds in my eyes! I am thankful for her and her sweet spirit that she has. I am thankful for her and her ability to light a room! She is a good wife and mother! I feel blessed to be her friend.
Becky and Tommy Norris, members of my parents ward, were blessed to be pregnant with their second child. Shortly thereafter they learned that they were going to be parents to a little girl, but the probability of their daughter living for very long was extremely low. Their daughter was diagnosed with a condition called Dandy-Walker Cyst. The doctors believed that the Norris’ baby would deteriorate and pass away during pregnancy, but much to their surprise DeLanee developed until 28 weeks gestation when she was delivered and lived for three hours. As you can imagine, these 3 hours was precious time that they spent as a family with their daughter taking pictures, bathing, dressing and holding her until she passed away in their arms. Becky has been so sweet to me. Becky is an inspiration to me. Because of her I have seen that life will and can go on with joy and happiness! Becky is making the best out of a bad situation and is striving to help others in their time of need. She makes Memory/grief boxes and donates them to the hospital DeLanee was born at.
These boxes, either blue or pink, are given to mothers who’s babies pass away. She has found a way to remember her daughter and to serve others in their darkest hours. Stop by Becky’s blog and read about the wonderful things she is doing in DeLanee’s honor. http://www.laneeslegacy.blogspot.com/
As you can see this list can go on and on forever. I hope to not offend anyone that I have failed to mention. I know of other women in my ward who have lost children and they keep on moving forward with faith. Many others have severe health problems, divorce and so many other things that make this life so hard. My point is this - I have been blessed with so many strong women around me and that came before me that love and care for me. Heavenly Father does let bad things happen to good people but he has a plan for all of us. Heavenly Father loves us and has provided a way for us to be happy again some day. I pray that one day when I am in heaven that I will be found worthy to stand with all of these faithful Women and know that I belong with them! I don’t want one of my grandchildren to think that their Grandma was unfaithful and disbelieving! Lucy Mac Smith said “ We must cherish one another, watch over one another, comfort one another and gain instruction, that we may all sit down in Heaven together”. I know that the experiences we have while here on earth are for our good and give us experience to strengthen us and increase our faith. I pray that this will not break me but stretch me and mold me into the woman that Heavenly Father needs me to be!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
This is how I have felt, I change the calendar every month. I write 6 months closer to being with Sage again. August is gone and I do not remember much of it at all. I have the hardest time being around large groups of people that all are generally happy and positive. I do everything in my power to not sit and cry. This hurts so bad. Every one thinks I am handling this so "WELL"! I should be paid to be an actress. I can doll myself up and laugh with the best of them. I look forward to the day's when smiling and laughing are not forced and hard to do.
Like walking around in a fog. I remember bits and peaces.
The Lord helps me get the necessary things done. He gives me the strength I need each day to get out of bed. Place foot in front of the other and carry on. Sometimes you think that at any moment your heart will not be able to handle this heartbreak one more minute and that it will simply give up on you. It won't it keeps on beating so I keep on walking through my days and nights hurting so bad. 6 months of the Lord carrying me and helping me along my way. I am thankful the Lord can see the entire picture because to me I feel blank, I see rays of hope when someone reaches out and says hello. One day I am sure I will feel nothing but joy but, as for now I feel blank and missing so much of life. I will not remember Jayden's, Trey's, William's and Wayne's year or my 8th year of marriage. My niece is 5 months old and I do not remember much of her. I forget that Jessy is pregnant. I forget that Royal is happy and doing well. I forget that I have a brother named DJ. I only remember when he calls or stops by. I have locked my keys in the car. I have forgot to pay many bills including the house payment opps. I forget that Trey broke his leg and was in a wheel chair. I forgot that our Mini Van was totaled. I have forgotten what meals we ate prior to Sage moving on what do I cook for dinner? I forget to do the laundry for weeks at a time. I am trying my hardest but, the canvas comes back blank. I am trying so hard. So sometimes it is hard to see that this is for our own good. One day I might just jump up and down and be so happy this is apart of my journey but as for today and this month I feel blank.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
I still can't bring myself to say Sage "died" or "passed away" or "we lost our little boy to SIDS". I have to make some sorta joke out of this to help ease the pain. So I joke around and say Sage "moved on to bigger and better things". Anyways, for months after wards, I could not bring myself to even look at pictures of Sage. It was too painful. I found that I would look at the pictures of his funeral over and over and over again. I think that helped me to accept the fact that my beautiful and happy, little baby boy had indeed moved on to do bigger and better things for our loving Heavenly Father. The Lord needed him to do something bigger and better than what he could do down here. It is so hard to accept sometimes that my baby is no longer with me. I just continue to pray for comfort and peace. The Lord needed him more than we did. I have felt prompted many times that it was just his time to go.
A few weeks ago I started looking at his pictures and was remembering the best times I have ever had on earth. A month before Sage moved on to bigger and better things, I told my Mom that I felt so blessed. That I truly did have Heaven on earth within the walls of my own home. That I was so happy and so thankful for all the Lord had blessed me with. I have decided to start posting pictures of our life with him. So that I will not forget the memories that I have had with my little man. I miss him dearly this hurts so bad.
Last September I took these pictures of Sage. I wanted to remember just how chunky he was! I wanted pictures of his little naked body! I am so thankful that I have these pictures of him. The white blanket is my wedding quilt that my Grandma Leone made for Spencer and I. The blue blanket is the one we took him home in. It said "Thank Heaven for little boys". The blue and white blanket was his blessing afghan that his Grandma Reidhead had made for him. Sage discovered his hands that day and it was so hard to keep him from sticking his hands in his mouth!
These are some of my favorite pictures of Wayne and Sage together. Wayne has a soft spot for babies and Sage was his favorite baby! Wayne sat and pulled faces the entire time at Sage. I miss these moments in time.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Since Sage died our family has embarked on a journey we had never traveled before. So we were new to this type of grief and have learned many things.
As the grandparent you feel like your grief is compounded. Not only have I lost my grandson but my daughter as well. It’s the most heart wrenching thing to watch your child suffer. The pain associated with the loss of a child is not only emotional but physical. Some day’s it hurts to breathe. It’s almost as if my daughter died that day too because she is not the person she was the day before her son died. A part of her died with him that day.
Everyday I go to my Heavenly Father in prayer, sometimes all day, asking that I will be able to help my daughter and son-in-law through this difficult time. In my efforts to find answers for Crystal I have reached out, via the internet, to many mother’s who have also lost a child. Not only have I found myself trying to help my daughter but other mother’s daughters as well. I am shocked and saddened at how many babies die everyday and how hard it is for these mothers to find someone to talk to. They just want someone to listen. Crystal called me this morning and asked me if I would write about this on Sage’s blog.
One of the most recent topic’s of discussion was how people have treated them after their baby died. All have sadly endured very insensitive comments. A few people are just rude and insensitive but I feel the majority of them just don’t know what to say. Therefore their comments come out sounding insensitive. They don’t mean to hurt but hurt it does. That’s what I wanted to write about and hopefully help people understand just what it is Crystal, and other grieving parents, need from their family and friends.
What Not To Say: The following are some comments made to Crystal and others I have talked to who have lost a child.
1. “Aren’t you over this yet?” -NO and I never will be. I have been thrown into this new world. A world of living without my child. I will never get over it. Everyday I’m having to learn how to live in this new world of mine. My grief, as my love, has no end. My tears represent my love. Asking me to stop crying is like asking me to stop loving him/her.
2. “At least you have other children.” -They are not cookies! Well I had 5 cookies on this plate and now one is gone. Thank goodness I have 4 left. Here since I have 4 more do you want one? This is my child you are talking about. While I am thankful for all my children I love and miss this one. I want all of my children with me. I want to see ALL of them on Christmas morning opening their presents, I want to see his name on the kindergarten graduation program or a wedding invitation, instead his name is carved on his head stone.
3. “They are in a better place” - Yes Yes this is true. But even the most religious of us don’t want to be told this. We know where they are and we really don’t need to be reminded of it. The fact remains we want them with us, in our arms to love, hold and kiss. Heavenly Father understands this. It’s okay to miss them it is okay to cry doing so doesn’t mean we lack faith or that we don’t know where they are.
4. “Your young you can have another one” -While that may be true each child is different. They are individuals and unique. You can not replace one with another!
5. “You still cry?” -Dah…he’s still dead. Guess what he will remain that way until Christ comes so expect the parent to cry up until that moment.
6. “Your going to bury him? Why? He was only 8 months old!” - Well what in the world do you want us to do with his body? Should I throw him in the garbage? Tell me you really didn’t just ask me that?
7. “At least you didn’t know him very long it will be easier to get over him” -There is no timeline on grief. Parent’s will never “Get Over It”. See #9
8. “We have some scrap wood may be we can make him a box” -no matter how old the child is the parent is entitled to the funeral they feel that child deserves. Whether they want to buy the most beautiful casket out there, make them a hand made casket or cremate them it’s their choice. Please don’t trivialize their wants/needs at this time. The funeral is about the parents/family honoring their child in the way they see fit. The funeral and head stone is the last physical act of service they can provide for their child on this earth. It’s important to them so don’t make them feel guilty for wanting a nice casket/funeral.
9. “Your lucky you really didn’t get to know them after all you only had him for ______ weeks/months” - When I looked into the face of my newborn babies I had this unexplainable feeling of “Hay I know you! or Deja Vous” it was as if I had always known them. By the way Deja Vous is French for “again you”. I couldn’t imagine living my life without them or really even remember what life was like before they came along. A mother is connected to their children before they ever give birth to them. All a parent is thinking about when that child dies is all the things their child will miss out on and that they were robbed of getting to experience all their “Firsts” and that the parents were robbed of getting to watch them experience life. They are not thinking, “Oh thank goodness I only had you for 8 months because if I had known you longer it would have been much harder.”
10. “Oh I know how you feel after my ________ (Divorce, dog died, grandma died,) - Please do not trivialize their pain. Listen to them, be there for them and be IN THEIR moment not yours. While divorce or death of any kind is painful it can not be compared to the pain of losing a child. Every death and situationi is different. What Crystal and I have wanted to say back is “Oh really well I had a hang nail once!”
11. One mother received a phone call as she was walking out the door to view her daughter’s body. The caller, her own mother, said, “Aren’t you feeling better YET?” - There is no time limit on a persons grief. Time does not heal. Time does not make the pain go away. But to say this to a mother barely 24 hours after her daughter died is unimaginable.
12. “Your just having a funeral to get sympathy” - “Really? Are you serious?”
13. And the most cruel comment ever “SIDS doesn’t exist you killed your baby” -Yes believe it or not this has been said to many parents of SIDS, SUID, and SUDI babies. It’s just plain cruel and so far from the truth. These parents feel guilty enough. Did my child suffocate? Did they have a heart condition I didn’t know about? Was there something I missed? How could I not know my child was in trouble? Why didn’t I wake up or notice he wasn’t breathing sooner? I should have had a sleep monitor in his room! They are torturing themselves enough.
14. “I could never lose a child. I don’t know how you do it” - This is said a lot. I know there is no harm meant by it but to the grieving parent this is what they are thinking. “I didn’t choose to do this it was chosen for me. I didn’t have a choice in the matter so what choice do I have but to “Do This”.
15. “Now you know what a mom feels like when she sends her son on a mission” -Yes there are many similarities. We know Sage is on a mission but his mother won’t be receiving emails every Wednesday, letters or a phone call on Mother’s Day and Christmas. His mother can not mail him a care package or birthday gift. He will not be returning in two years. His mother does not have the hope of seeing him get married and become a father. Instead the parent who’s child died is thinking, “Oh tear! Your child is on a mission…how sad for you.” They are biting the inside of their cheeks in an effort to not say their thought out loud. After all they wouldn't dream of hurting your feelings.
The things grieving parents want the most - Don’t forget their baby. Don’t be afraid to talk about their child. Just hearing someone say their child’s name comforts them. Their child died they don’t have the plague. We understand that most people don’t know what to say to someone after a death but don’t see them in the grocery store, park, or church and turn around and walk the other way in an effort to avoid an uncomfortable/sad moment. Just love them and be compassionate and patient. Say hello. Just be a friend.