Friday, June 26, 2009


I read a blog post recently by a woman who had lost a child a few years back. She used two words to describe something, and immediately I knew what she was talking about before she even explained.

shadow children

There are so many shadow children in my life. Children, who when I see them or hear about them, I can't help but imagine Gavin doing the same things. In my mind's eye, these children have the shadow of my little man constantly around them. Every thing they do, he should be doing, too. Seeing them run across the room, reach up to their moms, smile, play, hold hands, laugh, talk...and the sad little shadow that follows...

These children have such a special place in my heart, I really can't even describe it. But even so, it hurts SO much to see them and to hear about them. The only thing I can feel is MY child should be doing those things, too! Gavin should be running and talking and playing and smiling and laughing. Gavin should be reaching up to me when he falls and bumps his knee. Gavin should be going to playgroups and learning how to share. I should be playing with my little boy in the front yard. I should be telling stories of the funny, cute things he did this week. I should be telling everyone what his latest achievements and milestones are.

The place where I belonged in the world no longer exists. I miss being a part of that world. I miss being a part of the play dates and the mindless chatter and the camaraderie. I was the mom of a one year old, and now I'm not. I'm the mom of a shadow.

I really, really miss being the mom of a one year old. I miss being Gavin's mom. Its just not fair. It really, really isn't. And no matter what, it can't change. It is what it is. That part is the hardest.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I didn't even realize the 22nd came and went this month. When I did realize it, I had to count back on my fingers. 8 months. I hate forgetting, but at the same time I am glad that the grief isn't so constant and all-consuming anymore.

I don't want to forget though...I want to do something. Something. I don't know what yet. Something to honor him...something to help others. But whenever I think of something, I realize I've got a someone at home that I can't leave for more than a couple of hours. Right now, thats fine by me... (Do you think mama cats like to smell their kittens as much as I like smelling my little Olivia? Because I can't think of much I'd rather do than sit here all day and night and sniff her hair and her neck and her fingers and toes.) ...but someday soon. I've been inspired so much by the other Angel Child Moms I've met and their various goals and service projects. (I'm going to be adding links to their blogs, too, since sometimes they express thoughts and feelings so much better than I could have. We've realized that it helps those in our lives to see how others are dealing with the grieving process, too.)

They had a memorial service at UCLA on Mother's Day for all the children who died at the hospital in the last year. Obviously we didn't go. First, we didn't get the invitation in the mail until the week before, and second, I don't think we would've wanted to go back there so soon anyway. I do wonder who spoke and what they said. I wonder if his doctors would've been there. I wonder who the other parents were sitting in those awful chairs. I wonder what the programs looked like, and if anyone felt anything when they read Gavin Charles Sprague. I wish I could have been there, without actually being there...Los Angeles... (I just realized how appropriate the name is...City of Angels) doesn't hold so much promise and life for us as it once did. I don't know if I'll ever want to go back.

Mother's Day wasn't all that bad surprisingly enough. In fact, it was pretty nice. We all stayed home from church and Andre made breakfast. He gave me this pendant:

Its an opal...I didn't really get it, until he told me to turn it over...

He bought the stone, designed the setting and had it made for me. Opals are Gavin's birthstone. I love it. Its hard to photograph, but its really shiny and colorful when the light hits it. I just need to figure out what sort of chain to wear it on. I think it needs a super long chain since its so big.