Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Miss You Jude

So one would think our lives are getting a bit better but it's not really. We thought we were moving in a forward direction but suddenly this week is extremely difficult. We are angry, irritated, snapping at each other, and it's just overall rather crappy. I think we have reached the point that when someone asks "how are you doing......you doing okay?" that we could angrily respond "My kid died......no!". It's not their fault because they just mean well but let's just say that might not be the best question to throw our direction. I think it may be that it's just a reminder to us and we are trying to be normal. We still are trying to keep ourselves busy because that seems to help the most. We have been working diligently on the Emily's Smile box day that's coming up in September and the Pediatric Stroke 5k. So that helps. The good thing is we have each other and we are thankful for that every single day! 

I think when the house sells and we are able to focus on a move that will also create a big distraction. The good news is that Jude's book is moving forward. We are excited and will have more news on it soon. 

I miss Jude. I miss walking in the house and seeing his little face and kissing his big cheeks. I miss him being a baby and holding him close. I cherish the memories though and that I have them with me everyday. 

Part of grief is getting back to a routine. We have done that but it still takes time to start processing life in a normal fashion. We are getting there. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Losses and Races

I am a member of an online support group for parents that have lost their child. It's hard seeing the stories but you feel a connection because of the loss. One thing I have learned is to again be eternally grateful for my blessings. Most of the children have the same sort of passing. Car wreck, childhood illness, going to sleep and not waking up for no known reason, and it seems #1 is the flu. So maybe my passing that along will help others be aware of situations to watch and to seek help if needed. It also seems like it just started as a mild illness and progressed very quickly like 24 hours quick. 

People are still asking how I am. It's a natural question. I take things day by day. Sometimes I feel like screaming and sometimes I am alright. I have been immersing myself in work and with setting up the big Emily's Smile Box event on 9/24. We are now all set up on Active.com and we have everything ordered for the event. I feel very accomplished that we got everything handled so early. 

We start the day with a 5K race to honor Jude and spread pediatric stroke awarness. Here is the link if you would like to attend in the DFW area. Note you do not have to do the race to attend the Emily's Smile Box making party.  http://www.active.com/southlake-tx/running/distance-running-races/emily-s-smile-box-day-featuring-the-annual-pediatric-stroke-walk-run-2016?int=

If you would like to virtual run for Jude because you are to far away then here is that link. With a full explanation of how to particpate. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Some Days Are Harder Than Others.

Some days it's a little easier to deal with our loss and some days it's not. This morning as I passed the cemetery I said, "Good morning Ju Ju Bean." and my heart just broke. A lump gathered in my throat and the tears started stinging my eyes.  When I got to work the invoice from the cemetery to buy the plot next to Jude for Mike and myself laid on my desk. It's odd writing out so many checks to people all in regards to death. Jude's headstone has been designed and they are now working on the design for the granite bench that will go between his space and ours. Life goes on but for those who just lost someone the invoices and conversations last months and the loss lasts a lifetime. 

Our house has had multiple showings this week so I have no doubt it will sell within the next two weeks. My guess is we will close and move some time in June or July but we will see. I will miss our home but it is hard being there with all the reminders. I guess it's on to a new adventure. 

I am still not up to taking care of anyone else's feelings because my loss feels so great but again as the days pass the emotions get a little easier to handle. I still get irritated when people are having a good time but I never voice it. I know in my heart I want them to enjoy life and Jude would want that too. 

I am not sure what the future holds. I am not even sure where we are going when we sell the house but I know God has a plan. We will wind up exactly where we are suppose to be! Jude's book process has started and I hope to announce release dates within the next month or so. I have no doubt he will touch so many lives. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Grief Garden

After Jude passed a good friend of mine really wanted to help us by doing what she could to make sure the 9/24 event for Emily's Smile Boxes was a success. She told me she reached out to a mom who had lost her son who also held a race in his honor. My friend explained she was excited and really just wanted to make a difference and it was the mom she reached out to that pulled the reigns. She told her that she couldn't step in my grief garden right now and she needed to wait until she was invited in. That statement stuck with me but I just haven't had the opportunity to blog on it in the way I wanted to. I thought her statement was very profound. That mom knew my friend only wanted to help but she knew from a grieving parents side that you have to learn to breathe again first. 

I thought that the idea of a grief garden (even though not literal) was amazng and a great way to explain the situation in a sense that others could understand. Basically when Jude first passed I was in a dark sad stormy garden without much light. As the days passed and the storm let up I began to start tending to some wildflowers. Slowly I began to work with the green grass, some honeysuckle filled with memories, and I was able to plant some roses. The roses will take the longest as they are just beginning to grow but eventually their petals will bloom with a sweet fragrance and be filled with Jude's smiles. A little at a time I can invite people in to look at how beautiful the garden has grown but it takes months and years to make the perfect rose garden. It will happen though and it will be perfect.  

Saturday, May 14, 2016


I seem to be doing a bit better. Sometimes I feel guilty for that but I guess I am
beginning to feel like I can at least breathe again. The one issue I have had since Jude passed that I can not stand is absolutely debilitating panic attacks. I mean the type where you feel like you're having a heart attack but you know you aren't. Anything can bring them on driving (mostly), stressful situations, talking about Jude, finances, really anythjng. Yet again it's something I have learned that's normal. I am hoping they will ease soon.

My office is getting out back together so I should be back to work next week. Mike is doing pretty well and so is Emily.

My thoughts of Jude and his sweet smile and squishy cheeks  are beginning to bring me smiles versus pure despair. I remind myself that Jude struggled for so long and as selfish as I am and how I want him here I just cannot have that. It wouldn't even be fair of me to ask that from him. He is breathing easy now.

Today I have a full list of items to do from Emily's concert or dress shopping.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Fire and Notes

We are still taking each day a step at a time. I sure miss coming home each day to a busy house full of nurses and family. I miss saying, "Ju Ju Bean!!!" and seeing his sweet smile but I know he is with us. 

Sometimes it's hard to breathe but other minutes you just smile at his memory. 

The other night I received a call at 11:54pm from the fire department by my work. My mind is still overwhelmed by losing Jude so I had to get myself together. I realized they were telling me there was a fire at our location and they couldn't reach the primary owner. Mike and Emily helped me pull myself together and we rushed to the scene. When I pulled in the parking lot there were loads of fire trucks and ambulances from multiple cities. At first I thought about crying at the possible loss of something else but I knew no matter what we would be okay. Soon I learned it was a lightning strike that hit the business next to us and they suffered a devastating loss. We have major smoke damage but it's easily repairable but it will just take time. So right now we are trying to work remotely and are traveling back and forth between the office and home. We are a bit limited but we are making it work. It's always an adventure over here. 

Emily is doing well and I heard from Jude's nurses when we all have time to communicate. I know they are aware we miss them. I drive by Jude's little spot in the cemetery each day and I know we made the perfect decision. I am able to tell him good morning and good night. 

Over the past several days I have received letters that were sent to the funeral home and to the church from my readers. I am so touched people took the time to reach out! People near and far! I am so thankful Jude was able to touch so many lives in such a positive way. I hope he continues to do so. So thank you for taking the time you took to send a note. It meant a lot. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

One Month

Yesterday was mothers day and although it was very difficult there were bright sides to the weekend. Mike and I drove to a friends lake house on Saturday morning. We had lunch and then went to look at some artwork. I like stained glass and I was drawn to a piece in the window at Your Private Collection Art Gallery. I wandered through the shop admiring all the items and ventured to their back room. When Mike and I came through the black curtain we were stunned at all the beautiful angels lining the wall. The scene took our breath away. I began concentrating on a blue angel just to the left of a large gold angel adorning the wall. We both began to cry and we felt we needed to explain to the attendant why we were shedding some tears. She then asked if she could get the artist Stacey Watkins and have her meet us and we agreed. We told the artist our story about Jude and the 777 information. She cried with us and said she would make sure that we were able to afford this piece and she did just that. 

I have had serious issues lately with having a very upset stomach and this hit me again on Saturday night. I told Mike I would rather just go home and be in my own bed. I was also missing Jude and wanted to get up to see him the next morning. So my loving husband drove me and the dogs all the way home at 11pm. On Mothers Day it was bittersweet but Emily did brighten my day by leaving me this message. She's an amazing kid. 

It was still hard and today is even harder today because it's been a month since Jude passed. I hate seeing my husband hurting and sometimes I still feel like I am going crazy. At times I feel more put together and like I am beginning to rise about the sadness a bit but then grief strikes again and I just want to go get Jude. NO work doesn't help so please quit saying that. I am pretty sure my stomach ailment in pancreatitis from all the stress but thankfully I know how to maneuver that at home thanks to Jude. I am on an all veggie juice diet today with lots of water. I am basically going to give my system a rest for the next few days and hope it clears up. If not that's when I will go to the doctor but again luckily I am pretty experienced in this situation. I think sometimes a lot of our health issues can be fixed with diet and extra water.  

So I have realized something. Looking back I was so close to Jude's situation that his illness and needs became a routine. I was so close to the situation that even though I knew he was ill I really didn't understand just how sick he was. Since he couldn't walk and could no longer tolerate the stander this just intensified his poor body breaking down.  Sometimes I think we are so close to our children's situations that we begin to focus on the medical versus the reality. Reality was Jude was a normal kid.......he was. He knew what you were saying, he smiled, he laughed, he wanted to play, and he loved Spongebob but he was sick. Take that in please he was a normal boy that was just sick due to a stroke. Strokes can strike anyone at any time so we just have to be grateful for our health. His little body and his lungs just couldn't go the distance ours could. So I know he is better off not struggling to breathe but our hearts hurt without him. 

So one month down..........one month closer as Mike says.