Thursday, July 26, 2012

So many things

There are so many things I'll never get to do with my son. Sometimes I don't think I even quite understand how much I am missing and will miss out on. I miss Marcellus every day, every second of every day. Most days it is just a general longing for him though. But some days, something hits me.

The other night we were watching a TV show. The show ended with the mom getting out a box of her teenage daughter's old art projects. Things she had saved over the years. They started looking through it together and my heart sank. I will never have that with Marcellus.

I will never get to do crafts with him. Making the dining table into our own little art studio. Hanging his creations on the refrigerator.

He will never come home from school with an art project he made just for his momma. Or one he didn't make just for me, but I would love all the same.

I will never have that drawer or box of Marcellus's artwork.

Would he be a perfectionist like me needing everything to be just right before he finished? Or a little more care free?

And even if he never turned out to be an aspiring artist, I would have treasured all those little scribbles, messes, and goofy creations with all my heart.

And while grief is a part of my daily life, the other night I grieved specifically for that. For the loss of getting to create and receive artwork from my boy. That realization was in a way like losing a piece of him all over again.

Marcellus, what would you have made for your momma? I wonder what my favorite thing would have been? A scribbling mess? A picture of stick figures labeled "Mommy", "Daddy", "Marcellus", and "Perkie" (would you have included Kirby the turtle too?)? Macaroni glued to construction paper? I would have treasured every single thing you made my sweet boy. Missing you so much little squirmy wormy! Love you! xoxox

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

For better or for worse

Mike and I said those words to each other two years ago today. Two years ago we took the vows "to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part

Who really understands what "for worse" can really mean? For worse, what did I think that was 2 years ago? No one believes they will experience their for worse within a year and 3 1/2 months from their vows. No one knows what for worse really means until you've lived through it. And no one can truly understand the strength of those vows until they've been tested to the max. Losing your child will do that. When the worse does happen, those vows have such a deep meaning.

And in sickness and in health...what about "in grief"? Grief can definitely strain a marriage, but it can strengthen a marriage as well. I can honestly say I love and cherish Mike a great deal more than I did on our wedding day two years ago. Some people have said/commented on how losing Marcellus will bring us closer and strengthen our marriage. And while it has, I think we were just fine before thank you very much.

And while I know the "until death do us part" is in reference to being together while we live, what about when death has taken a part of your family? A very important part. How does that work? A part of each of us died with Marcellus. Our old selves died the day he did. How does that fit into "until death do us part?" And no, death will not part us. We will always be together as a family. Even if that's across worlds.

We've been are going through our worse. But we're doing it together. I couldn't imagine being on this journey without Mike. I wouldn't survive, I'm sure of it. Most days I don't know how I'm surviving even with all his love (for me and our son) and support.

And of course without him I wouldn't have Marcellus. Now, I definitely cannot imagine that. My family.

Sometimes I think back to our wedding day and feel that's when Marcellus truly started. When Mike and I became a family. Although we didn't get pregnant with Marcellus right away, that's were he started. With those vows and the commitment Mike and I made to each other that day.

I love my husband more than I can describe. He's so much more than just my husband. He's the father of my precious baby boy, my best friend, my support, my companion in this grief, my love. We really are meant to be together. And nothing will change that. If Marcellus's death didn't change that, nothing will shake our bond as husband and wife. I do feel we have a pretty damn strong marriage. I know I am blessed to have Mike as my husband.

I don't remember much from the early weeks after losing Marcellus. But I do remember a comment a friend left me after attending Marcellus's memorial service in NC. She said, "Thanks again for sharing memories of Marcellus with us. The love and support you and Mike have for each other during this tough time is so inspiring. I hope that I have a marriage half as strong as yours is. I will keep you guys in my prayers every day!" I appreciated that comment at the time and still very much do. That people see our love for each other, our support for each other. What at one time felt like all we had. I pray that she and her husband (newlyweds!) never ever ever have to test the boundaries of their vows the way Mike and I have. I pray no other couples will. But the truth is, those vows will continue to best tested in this same way.

Last year on our first anniversary I remember commenting on how it would be our only anniversary without a baby in the house. But here we are, our second anniversary, and our baby is in Heaven instead of in our house. It just doesn't make sense. And celebrating our anniversary will be bittersweet this year and the years to come. Last year we were so full of pure joy as my pregnant belly was starting to pop and I was feeling Marcellus's movements for the first time. We will celebrate though. We will celebrate not only being husband and wife, but being Marcellus's Mommy and Daddy too. Not without an ache in our hearts though. Longing for our baby boy to be here to celebrate with us.

Mike and I at the altar July 24th, 2010. Full of hope and excitement for our future.

Day after the wedding pictures at Mike's grandma's farm. We have this one hanging on our wall.
Marcellus, you have the best daddy ever and Mommy is so lucky to be married to him. I hope you know the love Mommy and Daddy have for each other and for you. I hope you felt it while I carried you, while you were here on earth, especially the day you died, and that you can still feel it even now. Two years ago Mommy and Daddy stood in my hometown church and said our vows. We had no idea that "for worse" meant one year 3 1/2 months later we'd be back in that church for your funeral. We wouldn't change having you though baby. We'd do it all again if it meant 12 days with you. We miss you so much sweet boy. We wish more than anything our squirmy wormy was here to celebrate our anniversary with us! Loving you always! xoxox

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Attending a wedding with a major gift

The last time I wrote was about how anxious I was and the difficulties of attending the wedding of two good friends of ours. Mike was the best man and so I was especially nervous about sitting without him.

And there were difficult, some very difficult, points during the celebrations. I was quite uncomfortable during the rehearsal dinner. I'm finding I am still trying to figure out how to act around people who haven't lost a baby. Still trying to figure out how I fit in. We were with people that care about us though, and that does help. Some of whom had come to see Marcellus at the funeral home and wanted to know all about him.

Someone I hadn't seen since undergrad came up and talked to me about my blog. I really appreciate knowing people read my blog. Especially people that haven't lost a baby. I obviously know why people who have lost a baby read it, because they can relate, because they are searching for the words they themselves can not formulate. But those who haven't that read it, I feel are reading it to support us, try to get just a sliver of understanding and it really means a lot.

This same person just had a baby in April (and since I know you read this, please do not take offense to what I'm about to say. It's nothing personal.). Sometimes I find it hard to talk to people that have babies in general. Just to know what they have to go home to tugs at my heart. But she didn't bring up her son much, it wasn't until someone else at the table started asking about her baby. And that was hard to listen to. I do fine around babies of other babyloss moms and my nephew, but still struggle with other people's babies. I don't know for how long that will continue, all I know is for now it's still difficult. During this conversation a baby appeared out of nowhere. The mother of the groom was holding a little baby behind me. It was just too much at the moment, so we left. Rehearsal dinner was essentially over though and people were just mingling. Everyone seemed to understand that we just needed some time to ourselves.

I am glad we retreated earlier though and didn't push ourselves too much Friday night. We were able to recoup and feel pretty good Saturday. We were both excited for the wedding itself. I knew there would still be difficult moments, but overall I was thankful to be able to take part in our friends' special day. I rode to the wedding with another friend. Signed the guestbook, including Marcellus's name. When I made a comment to the friend I rode with about wondering if people think it's weird that I sign his name, she simply responded, "he is a part of your family." And yes, he is. He always will be. I wonder how long I will include his name in cards and such.

We sat down waiting for the ceremony to begin with beautiful fan programs (outdoor wedding). I started flipping through it and as I got to the last page I started tearing up.
My baby boy being remembered and thought of not only by his mommy and daddy that day, but by the bride and groom as well. I can't even begin to describe how it made me feel that they included him on their wedding program. All I can say is what a gift. What a gift to see his name on something someone else did. What a gift for them to tell all their wedding guests, that my son is important to them. What a gift for him to be included that day, even though he is not here on earth. Marcellus Lennon celebrating in Heaven. We had no idea they were going to have Marcellus's name in the program, it was a very welcome surprise. I pointed it out to the friend I walked in with and she said something along the lines of how Marcellus has touched a lot of lives. And it makes my momma heart swell with pride to know that. My squirmy wormy, touching so many. And here's proof. Proof of him and proof of how amazing his little life is.

We happen to have a private moment with the bride and groom after ceremony. We told them how much having Marcellus in the program means to us. I know they understand that it means a lot, but they will never be able to fully understand just how much it really does mean to us. Just how amazing and just how much of a gift it is to have other people acknowledge, remember, and miss our sweet boy with us. Thank you so so much for that!

There were still a couple of parts during the ceremony that were a struggle for me. The one I knew that would be, the vows. As I mentioned in the previous post...those words "for better or for worse." Another part was at the end of the ceremony the pastor was doing a blessing for the bride and groom. The last thing he said was "May God bless you with children." At that moment what ran through my head was that "just because He blesses you with children doesn't mean He let's them stay." Somewhat of an angry thought toward God that I still often have. After the ceremony and talking with Mike about that I learned he had a much better thought. He said he took it as a reminder that yes, God did bless us with Marcellus and Marcellus is still a blessing to our lives and always will be. I agree. My baby boy is the biggest blessing God has given me.

Overall we had a good time during the reception, Mike especially. He had lots of best man duties and it was so good to see him having fun. I was still a little uncomfortable totally letting loose. But I did dance, I did mingle, and I did overall enjoy myself. And we are both so so happy for the bride and groom! Congrats again, guys!

Us with the white roses. I say that short one in the front is Marcellus's. By the way doesn't Mike look super handsome?!

All in all it was a good day. The bride looked absolutely gorgeous. The groom wasn't too bad himself. The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was fun!

Marcellus, although it was very tough to be celebrating at a wedding without you it was so good to see you remembered on the program. We weren't the only ones thinking of you that day, so many others were and it means a lot to Mommy and Daddy to know that. I know you were celebrating from Heaven with us and that you're very happy for the bride and groom too. You are our blessing from God and always will be. You, my squirmy wormy, are a blessing to more people than just your mommy and daddy. We know you've touched a lot of lives and Mommy's so proud of you. You may have only lived for 12 days, but you've touched more lives than most people do in an entire lifetime. You are amazing my sweet boy. I wouldn't trade being your mommy for anything! I love and miss you very much! xoxox

Friday, July 13, 2012


We're out of town again. Back in the Midwest. This time the main reason for the trip is a wedding. The wedding is in WI, and actually not all that close to where Marcellus is in MN but a whole heck of a lot closer than NC! So of course we combined the trip with a visit to my hometown.

Actually, Mike has been out of town since Saturday. He is the best man in this wedding, reciprocating the duties for his best friend that was the best man in our wedding. He came up early to be part of the bachelor party and spend some time with friends he hasn't seen in a long time. It was our first time away from each other since Marcellus died. And that was hard. Hard not to have the comforting arms of my husband, the father of my sweet boy to hold me during those tender moments. He was even gone over the 9th...the 8 month mark of being without Marcellus. Now last month I didn't even realize it when the 9th rolled around. This month I was much more sensitive to it. I'm teaching summer session right now and so very aware of the dates. And with Mike being gone I was even more aware with how lonely I would feel.

But we survived being apart. I flew in to MN late Tuesday night (flight was delayed so it was extra late). I spent Wednesday with family and visiting Marcellus. Mike came to my mom's on Thursday (his birthday). We got to spend some quality time with Marcellus and take care of his spot. His headstone is finally set and grass seed has been planted. Because the dirt is exposed his headstone was very dirty. We got to wash it off ourselves though. We got to do something for our baby boy.

And this morning we had to leave for the wedding in WI. For awhile now I've been saying I don't want to go to this wedding. It's nothing to do with the bride and groom. They are great friends of ours. It's what this wedding should be. It should be Marcellus's first visit to the Midwest. But instead he's been here since November....buried in the ground.

The couple got engaged shortly before we found out we were pregnant with Marcellus. Mike used the upcoming wedding as a way to tell his friend about our pregnancy. He said, "you're going to have to change our invite from two to three." Marcellus would have come with us to this wedding. Mike's parents were invited and I immediately had it all worked out in my head. We would either share a room with them or get rooms next to each other. It would be our first big event and time out since our baby would be here, so I planned on asking Grandma Jean if she would watch him later in the evening. Give Mommy and Daddy a little time to let loose. We were so excited to know when we would be able to show our baby off to all our family and friends in MN/WI.  July...everyone would get to meet our baby in July.

And that didn't change when he was born early. Maybe we would have been a little more low key with him on the trip, but we were still going to make it. At eight months old he would be past the first six months that are the riskiest for preemies. And he'd have an adjusted age of about six months. We didn't really talk much about the wedding when Marcellus was alive. We really had no reason to and we were so focused on our son.

Then he died. And his first trip to MN was to be buried. Not to a wedding. I don't know when we started talking about this wedding, but I knew both of us were in a way dreading it. Instead of it being the first time most people would see our baby boy, it's the first time we are seeing some people since his death. And seeing people for the first time is hard. You never know how they'll be.

I've also been thinking a lot about what it's going to be like at the wedding ceremony itself. To see two good friends take the vows Mike and I took almost two years ago. To see them starting their life together as a married couple and think back to that moment in our relationship. That moment that is so full of joy and hope for the future. I'm already tearing up thinking about them saying "for better or for worse" or whatever version of vows they may use. We had no idea. No idea what "for worse" could really mean.

Another thing, weddings are happy events. There is nothing sad about a wedding. How am I going to handle being around so much happy? Do I need to act that happy too? Because truth is, I'm not. I mean there are happy things in my life for sure, very happy things, but I'm still very much hurting. Hurting for the baby boy who should be eight months old here with us for this wedding. Hurting that his Grandma Jean didn't need to come to the wedding to watch him because he's being watched by the Angels instead. Hurting because this isn't going to be the first time Mommy and Daddy let loose, instead we will probably retreat to our hotel room early.

And with that the festivities are about to begin with rehearsal dinner. I don't know if the bride or groom reads my blog, but if you do please know we are so very happy for you. We still want to be a part of your special day, but it's hard. Everything is hard. It's hard to not be juggling all of this with an eight month old.

Dear Marcellus, we should be figuring out how to get ready and what to do with you during all these events. Grandma Jean should be here to help us juggle you and the wedding duties. Mommy should be worrying about what I might have to drink for this rare occasion to be out. Instead I'm worrying about if people will ask us if we have any kids. I'm worried about if I start crying during the ceremony. Of course people cry during weddings, but I'm afraid that if I start I won't stop. Because it won't be for the same reason as everyone else. It won't just be those happy tears for the couple (although there will probably be some of those mixed it), it will be sad painful tears that Mommy and Daddy's vows "for worse" have been tested to the max. That you are not here. We're glad we got to visit you so soon to the last time we were in MN. We love and miss you so very much sweet boy! xoxox.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Wow I haven't written in a long time. I think this is the longest I have in between posts. A little ironic since two posts ago I wrote about how I need to blog more. It's not that I don't have anything to write about. I have TONS to write about. Besides the 5 or so drafts I have saved, so many big things have gone by that I want to write about. To name a few, Father's Day, my nephew's first birthday, 4th of July, being away from my husband for the first time, 8 months and some major changes I've made recently. Yes, there is a lot to write about.

Of course there's also Marcellus. I could just write and write and write about him. Write and write and write about how much I love him. Write and write and write about how much I miss him. I do, I miss him so much. 

But I've been busy. Literally, go go go go nonstop.And if I do get a moment to breathe, I've been avoiding the painful breaths. The ones where I go to this place, this place that this blog is for. So I haven't been writing. Yes, I've been very busy. But I can find time to write. I'm finding that time right now, aren't I? But when I have had the time, I don't want to. That's what too much busyness does to me. It's good to an extent, but this is too busy right now. I think it will slow down here in a week or so. Then I'll have time to breath and cry and hurt for my baby boy. Everyday I think of him, I miss him, I love him, I ache for him. But when I'm so busy I feel like I don't have time for grief. And I can tell it's been a little too much lately. Thank goodness for therapy. Part of the reason I can tell I'm too busy is that when I'm in therapy for an hour and everything else has stopped, I'm a wreck. I bawl through the entire thing. My poor therapist, having to deal with me. But we're working on things. I'm making progress.

I just need to get through this busy season of my life and then I will spend some time sorting through the craziness that is my head.

Dear Marcellus, sorry I've been so busy lately. You know that doesn't mean I don't think of you, right? I think of you A LOT. All the time really. You're always there. It's just I haven't had much time to really spend with you and I don't like that. But I'll be visiting you soon in MN. The trip is part of the reason I'm so busy now, I have a lot to get done before then. I will spend some very quiet time with just you baby boy. Mommy and Marcellus. I love you right up to the moon and back my little mister! xoxox