The Joy of the Lord is My Strength

Discussions on grieving infant death & stillbirth; only the strength of the Lord makes it possible to tell the tale...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Hard Pressed But Not Crushed

Thankful for Heaven

Well, the guys got the outdoor lights up, so it's got a partial appearance of festiveness if nothing else. And the girls have their new holiday arrangements & stakes placed up at their gravestones. I'll get the holiday bears & bitty nativities up to them later in the weekend. Their headstones got a polishing too. Betwixt it all, there were mild thunderstorms of tears and trauma, but we made it through. I guess that's as "thanksgiving" as it's going to get. Lord help me through the next few weeks...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Uncle Already!

Turns out that as bad as life can be, it can always get worse.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Voice of Victory

What a busy day. Several weeks ago an assortment of families were chosen as beta testers for a new trisomy 18 webpage launch. They set us on a task of creating a "legacy page" for our trisomy child. Today we had a conference call with the Trisomy 18 Foundation and the webhosting service that's provided the webpage program. They took note of all our set-up & instructions feedback, and thanked us for helping them. They'll use our pages as a feature to the general public when the Trisomy Foundation unrolls the new feature sometime in March 2007. You can visit Anne's pre-liminary site here:
I'm still in the editing mode since we've been asked to try some new things over the next few weeks while they work on adjusting design issues on their end. We'll conference again before everything's a final fly. It's taking me the better part of two years to find my voice in telling about Anne's life & death. But doing this project has been incredible for putting our testimony together. I know God will do amazing things with all we've been through. My children's lives have been important in spite of longevity; in spite of man's political culture of death. I may never be able to give Abigail's silent cry such a professional outreach for medical reform, but at least I can speak out on behalf of Anne.
I love them both so very very much.

Autumnal Heartsongs

I'm so tired today. Well, I'm chronically fatigued everyday, but today has been especially stressful. I'm behind in so much and have so little energy to keep up. I get through the bare necessities and that's it.

We got the shopping and some laundry done, but I feel like the household is caving in on me. I got some of the mail & bills sorted. I'll get the rest of the month's bills paid over the next day or two. Shopping, scanning, filing, sorting, cleaning...I'm loathe to say that I've become very unorganized through this whole grieving ordeal.

On top of my own self-imposed pressures, we got the next door neighbor's eviction notice by mistake. Yep, it's yet another bureaucratic piece of crap I get to fix, that isn't my fault. I'm still working on the auto insurance/loan mix-up that's costing me money as I speak--that still isn't fixed, and the bank has bounced me around the world & back. I'm so frustrated with no one doing their jobs in this world. All they want are their paychecks and their vacation time. It's to the point where I see someone out in the world who looks like they might have an office type job, say at a bank or leasing company. And I think to myself: "I wonder if they're the one who screwed up my file so that I can never get it straightened out again?" Yes, I'm very cynical lately, so don't get me started...

I'm trying to concetrate on being more thankful--an attitude of gratitude will fix many of my problems. And yet I fear that I'm too entrenched in discouragment to find such an endeavor very easy. But I persist and persevere. I will be thankful for all that God has blessed me with. I will.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Tea For Two--A Birthday Party for Mama & Papa

I made reservations for tea on December 6th--they're having an evening with Ebenezer Scrooge. So we'll celebrate Abigail's third birthday in Heaven with readings from A Christmas Carol.

Gather with us around the blazing hearth with a steaming pot of tea and a three-tiered tray of goodies and hear Ebenezer Scrooge tell his story of transformation; how he learned his lesson, in the nick of time, from three amiable ghosts who led him through the journey of his wasted past, misguided present, and impending future. Local storyteller, Judy Hooks, who enchanted guests here at the St. James Tearoom last December, will once again share her storytelling talents. The evening will appeal to all ages and add the perfect touch to the festivities of your holiday season.

It will be lovely. I will weep. I'll order a flower cake for her grave, and tie a balloon bouquet to her chime stake. She'll get her holiday nativities and a fresh polishing. My heart aches for wanting it to be different. I miss her so very very much.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Silent Birth, Silent Grief, Silent Scream

Silent Loss
Why don’t we tell our daughters?
Our sisters and our friends,
Of the pain inside,
We deeply hide,
This pain that never ends.
Of dreams grown thin,
That implode in,
Of lazy days gone wrong,
Of future cries,
Turned into whys,
And wheres, and whens, and sobs.
A tear of joy
Turned to a frown;
Such unexpected news.
So long had passed
From start to now.
Surely, too long to lose.
Pure joy, excitement,
Comprehension starts to dawn.
A new life, so full of hope and loved,
Will never see the morn.
A heartbeat heard,
Once felt inside
A picture on a screen;
A nose, a face, a hand, an arm,
Now never to be seen.
Or held.
But loved.
And Missed.
The heart just stopped;
The spark went out;
She left so long ago.
It seems unreal,
No reasons for;
How could we not have known?
Then such a wait,
An agony,
Of what the days will hold.
A pill, a pain, a push, a night,
And now our child is gone.
Dark days turn into nighttimes,
Where still sleep does elude.
Yet not from cries,
Or tiny eyes,
Does sleep now leave us for.
No arms reach up,
No cries call out,
No heart beats below mine.
No future scans,
Of futures lost,
Or futures come and gone.
Why don’t we know this future,
All things that can become?
Why keep it such a secret from,
The people it can touch?
A hidden fear?
A kindness to,
The dreams within our hearts?
An ignorance,
A lack of faith,
That medicine imparts?
How could we be so foolish
That this could be unknown?
Every person we now meet,
Has been and said and done;
Walked there before where we now are,
And stepped the steps we take.
As we stride towards the future,
With unforgiving fate.
Why is this loss a secret,
We keep within our hearts?
To never speak, as we lose sleep,
And live a world apart?
Is this to be my secret,
My hidden, silent shame?
I did not bring life to this world,
A loved, loud screaming babe.
Am I at fault?
So do not speak
Of this, my darkest day.
I did not choose,
To step in shoes,
That then did walk this way.
So, why don’t we tell our daughters,
Our sisters and our friends,
Of the pain inside,
We deeply hide,
This pain that never ends?
Karen Gardner© March 2006

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Typical Tearful Tuesday

Too fun. Found this great blogroll (less calories than jellyrolls)! I've been enjoyed branching out within my Internet communities. Heck, I may get my writing material together for that book afterall. Wouldn't that be a hoot...

I studied and did homework in Romans chapter 5. Then I turned my attention to Nehemiah. I'll put together an article for Isaiah Twenty Eight later in the week. The Lord has been avidly collecting a wealth of my tears for His tear bottle, but alas He draws me close...

Psalm 56:8
You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book. NLT

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bob Bob Bobbin' on Heaven's Door

Been working on blog spots a good portion of the day--many sites are not as user friendly as they charge you for. So far, I like this spot the best. But I also set up a 360' blog on Yahoo--it seems to have nice features making it work well with my photo album and other yahoo groups that I rarely have time to visit.

My clipart & name-tag group has been so awesome this weekend--they've been making all sorts of fun new things for the holidays. I've got so much to sort and put in proper folders. Fun computer stuff to decorate blogs and pass on to friends--some very cute name-tags.

Worked on my BSF homework. I need to do an entry over on Isaiah Twenty Eight in reference to some of the incredible things God's been teaching me. Romans is such an amazing study. And even though this is my second time through it, it's like it's all brand new. Every time I read Romans there's something new that comes to light. Grace, grace, God's grace...

Got a new batch of bobbling turtles from a new ebay buddy I found. Some of them are for me and some are for my Anne's headstone--they bobble in the wind so sweetly. They're all so very cute! I had an opportunity to tell her about Anne and how she's my little Turtlebird. Where would I be with out eBay as my friend? I even bid on a china doll this evening--I thought it was too good to be true! It was only $112 with 45 seconds left to go. It was a lovely antique piece--big 27" with cloth body and leather boots. I got outbid, and then she got outbid and the doll finally closed at $160. Rats. Oh well. Half the fun is the hunt.

It's time to get the holiday decorations out of their bins. Abigail & Anne were whispering jingle bell tunes, telling me that it's time for nativities and holly berries. I've got my cards and my little gift inserts, now I just need to get them addressed and mailed--oh and order some wonderful new snowflake stamps! I love the new snowflakes!

I've got a desk that's in bad disarray, summer teddies that need packing away, and a new month of bills to get out of the way. My Butterfly Girl will be three in exactly a month. What a whirlwind of time has zoomed by--like a tornado where the outer layer takes everything and demolishes it. All the while the inner core is as quiet & calm, as if none of it was happening. Yes. My life has been like a tornado these last few years. No longer can I say it's been a "couple." We've moved on to "few" and soon it will turn to "several"-- amazing how fast it moves on while seeming to stand still. Welcome to my Twilight Zone.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Have You Ever...


I'm Fine; No Really, I'm Fine...

Worked on my letters & tags group today--the ladies are making all sorts of new fun things for the holiday season. My clipart folder is in such disarray from all my saves/edits. I'll work on cleaning it up this week so I can get it all uploaded to my photobucket gallery. It's so handy to have them host all my codes & stuff--found lots of new tags for friends too.

Cycle day 3 of a 28-day cycle. The cycle was annovulatory, but at least it was on time. The swelling & edema have been so crippling, I thought for sure that I'd be on another endless cycle. I quit the synthroid last week cuz I felt like I was standing at death's door--very scary shortness of breath & other terrible reactions. My thyroid may need medicating, but the medication has proven NOT to be the answer. Back to the doctor I go. This PCOS health deterioration bites so badly I can't stand it. But I'm working on it; I will not go down without a fight--just wish I didn't have to fight so hard for what other people seem to have handed to them with ease. I suppose it's easy for others to pass on pat-on-the-back platitudes when life's battles aren't so overwhelming. Wish I could trade skin with folks for a few minutes. So few could handle my life.

At least I got to sit with my baby girls in the sunshiney breeze this afternoon. With the time change, it's been a while since we could stop & see them in the day light. All we've had time for are drive-by waves & blown kisses as we're coming home in the dark. The dark makes it nice to be able to see their solar twinkle lights all lit up, but then it's too dark & cold to stop. The breezy chill this afternoon made it hard to stay very long, but Brian trimmed unruly lawn and we enjoyed our time with them. Abigail's chimes sound so pretty in the chilly autumn breeze. I miss her so much. My love for her has grown immeasurably. The love we share is a special salve to my broken heart. Now if it will heal the aging body that groans...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Is There a Biological Cause for SIDS? - Newsweek Health -

Is There a Biological Cause for SIDS? - Newsweek Health -