Sunday, September 27, 2009

I can say "Balls to the Wall" if I want to!

Really. And I’m not even being crass! It’s not what you think.

In my old job, we had days that were considered ‘balls to the wall’. (For the benefit of my more delicate readers, I’m going to refer to it in the future as BttW!) If you are unfamiliar with the term, it refers to a pace that is full speed ahead; no holding back. And as I said, I had days that would fit that description. Other days were less urgent, and many others were busy, but not so intense.

My new job, on the other hand, is absolutely BttW every single day. From the moment that I set foot in the office until I leave for the day…which is often later than I had planned…it is crazy- nuts, beyond busy. There are deadlines and demands and disasters. No matter what your list looks like for the day, it always turns in to a marathon.

I arrive around 9AM, and the first time that I get to catch a breath is about 11. Before I know it, it is 1:00 or 2:00, and I need to take a moment to eat. It seems that I’m barely back from lunch and it’s the end of the day. There is not a moment of quiet.

I absolutely LOVE it.

It is exciting work, and I really feel like I’m accomplishing something. We interact with nearly every other department in the company, and have a pivotal role in most projects. It’s a lot of stress, but if you don’t mind that part, the payoff is incredible.

There are moments, to be sure. More than once, I’ve asked myself if this is really what I want to do. But a few minutes later, the issue has resolved itself and I am back to thinking, “Wow. This is COOL!” It’s a great feeling. Although the days are long, I love what I am doing, who I am working with, and the feeling of satisfaction that I get when we have completed a difficult task.

There is no other way to describe it than 24/7, all day, every day, BttW.

My first week there was amazingly crazy, as one of the key players in our office was off on surgical leave. It was a very busy time for the department, and my boss had just finished a monumental project for the company that had taken him away from his usual duties. On top of all of that, they had remodeled the office to accommodate the addition of my desk, and a work space for outside sales reps. Everyone had changed areas, and everything was in disarray.

Other employees would ask me how I was doing, and if I liked it. I would always respond, “This week is nuts, but I think that once it calms down…” at which point, said employee would burst into laughter.

Six weeks in, I can tell you why. It never – NEVER – calms down. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m reluctant to say that, however, as it sounds so…icky! I’ve always thought that it was a rather nasty way to say it. I would tell only my dearest friends that it was (in whispers) “BttW!”

I’ve known the term for years, but never quite understood how it had originated. I couldn’t imagine any situation in which balls would be against the wall and it would make sense, much less indicate a stressful, full-on press.

Thank heavens for the internet. I decided to look it up, just for my own curiosity. There are actually a couple of explanations as to where it came from…and I am pleased to announce that NEITHER of them have anything to do with testicles! (You thought that, too, didn’t you???!)

Urban Dictionary offers two explanations, in varying degrees of detail. The first is that it is a term used by fighter pilots, whose controls are topped by a ball. When they are going full-throttle, the balls are all of the way up against the front wall of the airplane, hence the term “balls to the wall”. The second is from the days of steam engines. Just as the fighter jets, their instruments contained balls, which, when the engine was going full throttle, were pushed up against the wall.

I can’t say if either or both of them are true, but I was quite relieved to find out that a) it made sense, and b) it didn’t refer to private bodily part. I was so thrilled, in fact, that I shared my newfound knowledge with my entire office and my family. When I mentioned that I intended to write about it here, my mother nearly died. She was mortified to think that I would say it on my blog! Even after I explained it’s origins, there was a furrow in her brow. I don’t think that she found it very ladylike to share such a term.

Old habits die hard. I’ll probably still whisper it when I tell the story, but at least now I know!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I get a lot done because I'm lazy!

SH. It’s a secret. Sometimes not so well kept, but a secret nonetheless.

I come from a family that is industrious and overachieving. If you are not carrying your own weight and half of everyone else’s…you’re lazy. It’s not something that is valued in that side of the family.

We’re nice enough about it. We don’t point fingers or anything. We don’t have a list of lazy offenders. It’s just …I don’t know…KNOWN.

My grandpa paid me the greatest compliment when I was about 20. I was worried that I would raise lazy kids, which seemed to be the norm at the time.

“Don’t worry,” he said. “If your kids are half as ambitious as you are, they’ll be just fine.” Coming from him, that was the best thing that he could have ever said to me. I relive that moment often, when I am feeling like I haven’t done anything of note lately.

I hope that he never finds out my secret. That deep down inside, I’m lazy. I’d rather take the short cut and leave things half done. There’s this dark side of me that considers it every time I am working on a task. That ugly little voice that tries to tell me that no one will know, that I can leave it undone – or half done – and it will be all right.

“No, it won’t!” argues that saner side of me. “YOU will know! You will know that you were LAZY!”

It’s a chance that I’m usually not willing to take. I buck up and do it the way that I should. So that I can live with myself, knowing that I didn’t take the easy way out.

There are days that I wish that I could just lay around and do nothing. (although, when I was on bed rest for days and couldn’t do anything, I hated it. I guess that we are never happy!) Nearly every day, I think about doing nothing…or as little as I can…but I can’t do it. I just can’t accept that lazy side of me, and so I keep running.

I try to do as much as I can in every day. It’s not always work; I also try to fit in some leisure activities. Everything, however, is written on that mental list, so that I can check it off. Instead of counting sheep at night, I can count the tasks that I have accomplished and I sleep like a baby. It makes me feel good to know that if my Grandpa were here, he would be happy with what I had done that day.

My grandparents were busy, busy people. Even at 80 years old, my grandpa ran all day long. He was involved in everything. If anyone needed anything, he was there to help them. He had a better social life than I did, in my 20’s! He left some mighty big shoes to fill…shoes that my father put on with ease. Shoes that I need to fit into.

So don’t tell anyone, but I’m lazy at heart. The great thing is that because of this inner lazy child, I am able to talk myself into accomplishing more in a day than I think is possible. Just by doing it a little bit better than I want to, a little bit more efficiently. That laziness keeps me from being mediocre in my attempts to better myself. It keeps me running faster, to avoid that natural tendency.

I am pleased with the things that I get done. My boss is thrilled with the things that I get done. And it’s all becoming second nature to strive so hard. I hardly hear that little voice anymore. I think that my Grandpa would be proud, too!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Diamonds in the Dark

“You know, Rob Thomas has either suffered from depression, or knows someone who has,” Hubby mused.

“hmmm” I agree, loading the dishwasher.

I think of the song “Unwell”, that I can identify with, but that makes me laugh. That song bothers Hubby and makes him feel down. I’ve listened to the voices that it talks about, and I’ve wondered a thousand times if I’ve lost my mind. In the wee hours of the morning, I’ve even typed it in at Am I crazy? The answer was not definitive.

“3 AM” is another one that I cling to, knowing what it feels like to only sleep when it’s raining. I’ve screamed, and my voice is strained. I can’t help but be scared of it all sometimes.

“Have you heard that new Rob Thomas?” He asks another day. “Her Diamonds?”

“Only on the radio…” I answered.

“Oh. It’s a good song.” He leaves it at that.

And on yet another day, “I put the new Rob Thomas on your hard drive.”

I was looking forward to listening to it, but being back at work full time has taken a lot of my time and most of my energy. At night, I try to spend as much time with Todd as I can, and then do my fair share of housework. I’m not really doing a very good job at that; I feel like Hubby is doing most of it right now.

“Here.” He puts his new MP3 player in my hands and stuffs the earphones in my ears. “It’s got great sound for a little tiny thing.” He starts Rob Thomas playing and wanders off to take the dog outside.

I’m unloading the dryer and I catch a bit of the lyrics, understanding what Hubby meant about Rob’s familiarity with depression.

“And I don't know what I'm supposed to do
But if she feels bad then I do, too
So I let her be”

He passes by the doorway. “Hey,” I yell after him. “I see what you mean.”

He nods.

The song is nearing the end, and I am just getting the feel for it. I start it over again and sit down to really listen:

Oh what the hell she said
I just can't win for losing
And she lays back down
Man there's so many times
I don't know what I'm doing
Like I don't know now

By the light of the moon
She rubs her eyes
Says it's funny how the night
Can make you blind
I can just imagine
And I don't know what I'm supposed to do
But if she feels bad then i do too
So I let her be

And she says oh
I can't take no more
Her tears like diamonds on the floor
And her diamonds bring me down
Cause I can't help her now
She's down in it
She tried her best but now she can't win it
Hard to see them on the ground
Her diamonds falling down

She sits down and stares into the distance
And it takes all night
And i know i could break her concentration
But it don't feel right

By the light of the moon
She rubs her eyes
Sits down on the bed and starts to cry
And there's something less about her
And I don't know what I'm supposed to do
So I sit down and I cry too
And don't let her see

And she says oh
I can't take no more
Her tears like diamonds on the floor
And her diamonds bring me down
Cause I can't help her now
She's down in it
She tried her best but now she can't win it
Hard to see them on the ground
Her diamonds falling down

She shuts out the night
Tries to close her eyes
If she can find daylight
She'll be alright
She'll be alright
Just not tonight

And she says oh
I can't take no more
Her tears like diamonds on the floor
And her diamonds bring me down
Cause I can't help her now
She's down in it
She tried her best but now she can't win it
Hard to see them on the ground
Her diamonds falling down

I start to cry. I remember what it’s like to be in that dark place. You have no idea how dark and lonely it is, if you have never been there yourself. You forget, even if you have been there. You tell yourself that it wasn’t as bad as you remember. You convince yourself that it can’t possibly be that dark, that deep, that terrifying.

This song captures it perfectly. He KNOWS. He cannot possibly write this without having experienced it in some way. Depression is not something that you can describe from the outside.

You stare…you concentrate on staying alive, because it feels like any minute you could shatter. It’s all you can do to just keep breathing, knowing that it might just be easier to succumb to the darkness.

Somewhere, you understand that it can’t be easy for those who love you. You know that you need to pretend, if only for their sake. You just don’t have enough energy to do that, and feeling bad that you are ignoring their needs only pulls you farther into the pain.

By now, I’m sobbing. I’m feeling such grief for the me that lived there. I’m grateful to be in the sunshine again. (at least for now? You always wonder if the darkness will return) I’m feeling vulnerable, as if Rob has been watching. This song could be me.

Hubby walks by again.

“How many times did you listen to it before you didn’t cry?” I ask. I’m still wiping big crocodile tears from my eyes.

“Told you.” He seems relieved. “Now you know what it was like to be me.”

And the song could be Hubby. He tried, he really tried to reach me. I’m just not sure that it’s possible to reach that far. All he could do was watch and hope. My parents, too, stood by and tried to help. I am blessed with a good support system, and yet…the depression was so much stronger.

I notice that the song is not dark, though. It’s upbeat and catchy, which is why I never really paid much attention to the lyrics on the radio. It’s hopeful in a strange sort of way.

And then I cry because the song talks about her tears being diamonds. Diamonds! Beautiful, sparkling diamonds. Not ugly. Not the way that I see them.

Is it possible to love someone when they are depressed? It’s not easy to live with them, to be sure. It’s not easy to watch. It’s not pretty, and yet, Rob said it. Diamonds.

I remember a picture that I took the same morning that I took the dandelion photo for Wish, Wonder, Believe. There was something about the dew on the grass that fascinated me. The light sparkling through this field of droplets…tiny little diamonds surrounding a fallen leaf. A dead leaf.

Could it be that through it all, I could be loved? That I could not only be forgiven for not being perfect, but that someone could see beauty there?

That would have been impossible to believe, back then. There was little to support the theory. Losing my job was nothing compared to learning that the friends that I had cherished had turned their backs on me when I needed them the most. They knew that I was suffering beyond anything that I had ever suffered before…and they purposely stayed away. I could only believe that what I was was so ugly that it was beyond making an effort.

I know better now. They have their flaws, and I have mine. I can almost feel pity for them, listening to this song. My tears are diamonds, and they have lost a friendship that was true and honest, simply because they couldn’t ride out the bumps in the road. They abandoned me, leaving me to believe that I wasn’t worth the time. They didn’t love me enough to see the diamonds.

Hubby takes the MP3 player back. “I knew that you hadn’t really listened to it,” he says. “Because you hadn’t said anything.”

I dry my eyes one last time and remind myself that not all Hubbies would cry with their wives. Not every family hangs in there while you find the daylight. And neither do friends. But some do, and those of you who have been beside me throughout this and previous depressive episodes, I will cherish always. I know that the love that I feel for you is returned.

If you know someone who is depressed, don’t give up on them. They can’t find their way sometimes, but they need you. They need to know that someone will be there when they do step into the sunlight. They need to know that they are worth loving, worth saving.

If you are the one that is depressed, take heart. You aren’t as lost as you think you are. Someone has been there before, along that sinister path, and lived to tell the tale. You will, too. Then turn back and see what you can do to lead others out of the gloom.

Thanks, Rob.

And more than that, thanks, Hubby! You did know what to do after all.

Hear "Her Diamonds" and view the video!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where were YOU?

Every generation has one – a day in history that was so powerful that they remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when the news broke…whether it be good news or bad, it makes such an indelible impression that the question “Where were YOU?” can bring up vivid memories and incite the same emotions that surfaced at that moment.

For my generation, it was September 11. You don’t even have to say the year, because for us, it was a before and after situation. Before September 11, and after September 11. It was a division of time between the world in which you felt safe and secure, and one in which you knew that evil had a face…and that face may be as benign as the nice young man next door.

I was driving to a job site, leaving behind my two boys until it was time for school. My favorite morning radio show was somber as I tuned in, and Jackie was saying, “A second plane has hit the World Trade Centers.” To say the very least, I was confused. A SECOND plane? I spent the rest of the ten minute drive listening intently to find out why in the world a plane had hit the WTC, much less TWO planes. It must be a mistake!?

I came inside the building and asked if anyone knew what was going on. Not having television at the site, they were as much in the dark as I was. They were hanging on the words of customers that were coming in, giving bits and pieces of the story. We scrounged up a radio and picked up the only station that it would find in our remote area. We would relay the information to other employees in the building.

The world seemed surreal. There was only interest at this time, as it was so completely out of left field that I don’t think that we truly believed it. And then a third plane hit the Pentagon.

My brother being in the Air Force was suddenly my only concern. We had no idea at that time if there were more planes poised to take out American buildings. We had no idea how long it would last, who was attacking us, or how to defend ourselves. I envisioned planes being scrambled and into the air to combat the phantom enemy, of months of war. I needed to speak to him before it became difficult to do so.

I got the answering machine. I left a strange, rambling message that ended in tears. At his end, they didn’t even know that there was a problem. CJ had been watching cartoons, and kids’ channels were the only ones that hadn’t broken in with live coverage. He got out of the shower and heard my message, calling out to Sis…”Turn on the TV! There’s something going on!”

I was talking to him when the first tower crumbled. He was incoherent as he told me that the tower had fallen. Incredulous, I simply could not wrap my mind around it. “How man floors fell?” I asked.

“All of them!” he replied. “All of them. The whole top of the building is gone!” I simply could not believe it.

When it was time to get the boys up for school, I hurried home and turned on the television. This was the first that I had seen of the damage. I arrived just in time to watch the second tower collapse in on itself. I remember thinking that it had to have been a planned job. I could not even imagine that the building could come down. Surely, it had to have been wired to explode.

I dropped off the kids in a trance, not wanting to leave them there…but wanting things to be as normal as possible. Until we knew more, it seemed the wisest thing to keep them in the dark somewhat.

The day became a blur from that point, with snatches of news coming in. I was doing the books, and could barely concentrate. A task that should have taken two hours took me the entire day…and I spent the next week correcting mistakes that I had made.

Addy came out of the school that afternoon proudly carrying a grasshopper impaled on a stick.

Impaled. I freaked.

“Do you have any idea what you have done?!? You have TORTURED and MURDERED that grasshopper!” I was barely contained and probably being looked at sideways by the other parents. I was crying and made him take it back out to the playground and find a nice burial place for it. He returned with tears in his eyes, as he had seen the blood when he took the grasshopper off of the stick. I’ve always taught the boys that killing something for the sake of killing it was wrong, regardless of whether it was a bug or a bird or a person. I think that lesson really hit home that day.

It was that day that tore our world apart, and it’s never been the same since. It will never be the same. It simply can’t, now that we know.

You know how things are supposed to work. We watch movies that chronicle doomsday in any number of ways. I could never have imagined THIS. To think that the President was aboard Air Force One for safety, flying about the country so as to remain a moving target. The Vice President was in a bunker. And I know that they felt isolated and wanted to be where they could be the most help, not hiding away.

As with any disaster, I was glued to the television. What impressed me most was that Rudy Guiliani was on television all day…into the night, as I stayed up until the wee hours…and then when I arose with the sun, he was still on television. To have taken his responsibilities that seriously, to have been available around the clock, showed what a caring and dedicated man he is.

In the days that followed, I was proud of the response of the American people. On September 12, we were ONE. We cared, we reached out to one another. We stood proud and strong and tall. In spite of it all, the thing that I took from that day was the sense of pride in our country.

I felt such overwhelming gratitude to be where I was. I had recently returned from a business trip that took me across the country. Planes that fateful day were set down wherever they were when the FAA decided to shut down the skies. Travelers were left stranded in airports that they had not even intended to go to. That could have been me, left in Cincinnati or Detroit or Hoboken, without hope of reaching my family.

I was touched by the heroism that coursed through the veins of nearly every American. Those who sacrificed to be at Ground Zero helping in any way that they could. Those who gave their lives in doing so. Those who brought down a plane in a field instead of allowing it to be used as a weapon of war.

Make no mistake, this was an act of war. I think that this has been forgotten in the rhetoric of politics. This was an attack on our own soil. The enemy may not wear the uniform of any formal army, but it was an army nonetheless. To expect them to pay the price for this attack is reasonable, even if it means hunting them to the ends of the earth, across borders. I do not delight in war, nor do I condone violence in any situation. But you cannot stand by and watch as evil triumphs. You have to draw the line when it comes to what will be tolerated, and what will not. I think that in many ways, it is our “as long as it doesn’t affect me” attitude is what made us most vulnerable to this attack. We have to say NO once in awhile.

To protect our homes, our families, and our liberty.

The Book of Mormon is very clear on the acceptable reasons for war. It is not entered into lightly, and it is not to gain power or possession. It is allowable and acceptable when it is necessary to protect our homes, our families, and our liberty, that we might continue to worship God.

Regardless of what side of the aisle you fall on, I think that President Bush was a remarkable man in the days following this horrific event. He brought the nation together in an unprecedented way, declaring war on the powers that support acts of terrorism. He said NO. He praised those characteristics and behaviors that we look to in our heroes. He recognized those that were contributing to the healing process.

More importantly, he brought the nation to it’s feet…and encouraged us to our knees. Never before had we needed the guidance and comfort of our Maker as we did at that time. He openly and freely invited worship and prayer. He didn’t tell us how, or whom to pray to. He simply asked that we do it.

The images that will stay with me forever…of course, the firemen raising the American Flag…President Bush on Air Force One, talking on the phone as he gazed into the clouds…John McCain pausing on the steps to pray with the American people…a young couple stranded in an airport, holding their infant close to them as they awaited word on when they might return home…astronauts watching the World Trade Center burn from space…planes lined up at the airport…candlelight vigils.

I woke this morning and turned on the television to share in the remembrances of this day, only to find that the day was all but forgotten. A mention here, a comment there. No one was wearing their red, white, and blue. No one even seemed to notice that this was the day that ripped our lives into BEFORE and AFTER.

A mere eight years after the event, we have politicized, polarized, and then obliterated the heaven that came out of that day. I am saddened that we have so easily set aside our anger towards the terrorists, and turned it on one another. Our country could not be more divided today…when it was but a few short years ago that we couldn’t have been more united.

How did we get to here?

I wore my red, white and blue today. I put on my flag pin and I remembered the day even if no one else cared. I said a prayer for the brave souls that CONTINUE to protect us even though there are so many who criticize them for doing so. I remembered those that we lost that day…in body, or in spirit. The lives that were lost, and the lives that were damaged beyond repair.

My favorite radio morning show was on again, and just as they did 8 years ago, they covered September 11 with the personal, heartfelt style that I have come to know and love. They may be raucous and crazy on any other day, but they helped me to cope with all that we were forced to endure at that time, and today, they honored that memory. Way to go, Kiss FM! It’s good to know that at least one media outlet has set aside their politics for this day.

There’s still tomorrow. Let’s celebrate September 12 as we did eight years ago. Let’s band together as Americans, young and old, republican and democrat, rich and poor. Let’s champion the indomitable spirit of the scrappy American. Let’s just say no to the evil that surrounds us. Let’s love one another the way that we did AFTER. Let’s try to go back to a time when it wasn’t about the individual, but rather about the collective.

Back to the way that it should be. Come on. I dare ya!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

When words are not enough....

There’s a hurt from which I’m not sure that you can recover…I think that it cuts so deep that you will always feel the pain. It might be dull, it might be manageable, but it is always always there. Like the spot on my stomach that is tender to the touch, even 16 years after giving birth to Addy the Musician. I asked my doctor why it hurt so much, and he figures that there are stitches there from where he sewed the fat pad back in place. (the fact that I had a fat pad is almost as disturbing to me as the knowledge that he had it essentially off and then sewed it back on!) To this day, I can tell you where that spot is, because if I touch it just right, the scar is still there.

Of course, I’m talking about losing a child.

I cannot imagine losing a child and getting out of bed the next morning. A friend once pointed out that I would get out of bed because I still have other children, but I disagree. I would want to bring them all into my bed with me and protect them from the world.

I even dread my children leaving home. I know that it must happen, and that I cannot stop the hands of time. I just hope that when that day comes, I will be strong enough to survive. I love having my children in our home, and I think that I would love to have them and their families in a great big compound so that we can be together always.

This deep and abiding love was born the moment that I learned that Tux was going to be coming to our family. I was about 6 weeks along, and not yet feeling any morning sickness or discomfort. I began to feel some discomfort, and freaked out . I cried, I prayed, and I hoped. My doctor told me that it was merely my uterus growing rapidly that caused the discomfort, but I still worried.

I was anxious throughout my entire pregnancy with Addy. I don’t know why, but I had the idea that I was not going to get to keep this baby, and so I was worried to get too attached. Even driving to the hospital, I felt concern that I would not be bringing him home.

My worst fears came true when I found out that I was pregnant with Todd. I began to spot, then bleed, and then outright hemorrhage. I was on bedrest for two weeks as we waited to see if I would miscarry. It turned out that I had placenta previa, and it was the placenta attaching near my cervix that was causing the bleeding, but it was a nerve wracking two weeks.

I would sob every time I saw the bleeding that meant that I might be losing my baby. I begged my Heavenly Father to let me keep him. I had a priesthood blessing that said that this ‘surprise would bring great joy to my family.’ It didn’t promise a baby, but it was encouraging.

Hubby would tell me that it was okay, that I was probably worried about nothing. Well meaning people would tell me that it would be okay. But NO, it would not be okay. It would never be okay if I lost my baby. I talked with a cousin that had endured early pregnancy bleeding, and she, too, felt that no amount of encouragement could lift her spirits. Nothing that anyone said could take away the fear and pain.

This pregnancy was difficult all of the way through. I was on restrictions for most of the pregnancy, on bedrest at the end. Todd was ultimately premature. The fear never ended.

I have someone that I love very much who is struggling with this fear right now. I know that fear, I know that ache. I know that nothing that I can say will make it better, and that is heartbreaking. There is nothing to say, nothing to offer, other than the support that someone who has been through this can offer.

What I do know is that my children were my children from the moment that I learned that they existed. I don’t care how many cells they were, or how perfectly or rudimentally formed they were at the time. I got to see Todd in an ultrasound when he still had an egg sac, and he was still my baby. I could see his tiny heart beat, and he was a person to me. I would have grieved their loss the same whether I was barely pregnant or had raised them. The hurt would be the same.

Another cousin recently lost a baby at 19 weeks gestation. The hospital that she gave birth at was incredibly loving and allowed the parents time with their baby, giving him little clothing and blankets and letting them say goodbye. What compassion they showed to a family that had lost a member, when often, it is considered merely a miscarriage, and not a lost life.

For this reason, I could never choose to terminate a pregnancy for any reason. Nor could I participate in IVF, where multiple eggs are fertilized and frozen. I would have to carry each of them, like Octomom, or allow them to be adopted. I could not destroy even that early stage of life.

When I was carrying the older boys, I wondered when their little spirits entered their body. Tux was insanely active in utero. He bounced off of the walls the entire time. We fought over my ribs, he teased. He rarely slept or rested.

This is exactly Tux’s personality, even now.

Along came Addy, who was more laid back. Once a day, he would slowly roll over in my stomach, barely making a ripple. No fights over vital organs and who should or should not be stepping on them. No stretches that made me want to gasp as my bones were pushed apart with great force. And true to this, Addy is my more laid back child. He sleeps more, is less wild and active, and generally acts exactly as he did before his birth.

Todd is much like Tux, wild and crazy and active. Both in, and out. You cannot convince me that their spirits are not with them right from the beginning.

To anyone who has ever lost a child, whether that child was full grown, or barely bigger than a dot, my heart goes out to you. To even breathe after such a loss is commendable. I wish that there were something that I could say to make the hurt go away, to ease it even slightly. All I can offer is my love and support, and that is not enough, I know.

We always wonder where the lesson is in each life trial. For some, we may never know. We just have to have faith and continue to trust in our Heavenly Father. He will keep us and comfort us, and use each experience for our own good. We can’t let it shake our faith or keep us from loving again.

To my sweet loved one that is suffering, I wish that I could take some of the burden. My arms are around you always. I wish that I had more to offer.

I’ve always believed in the power of words, but at this time, they seem all but powerless.