Saturday, December 18, 2010

Little Red Wagon

To whoever left this little red wagon ornament on our front porch- thank you so much! It was exactly what I was thinking of and it looks perfect on our tree. :'-)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Toys 2010

Can you spot your toy??
The cardboard box Evienne is holding is the portable dvd player we ordered with the cash donated.

We printed these labels to stick on all the toys.

Sarah helped us bring the toys in...she was Gavin's nurse a couple of times and remembered us. 

Thank you so much for all your donations! It was really special for our family to be able to give them to the Children's Hospital. They will help the babies and kids there SO much!

Gavin's 3rd Birthday

 Our Cub Scouts planting Gavin's tree! 
They did such a good job...they even dug the hole all by themselves!

 Yummy cookies...

...and milk!

Halfway to hitting our goal of signing up 15 people to be  registered organ donors.

Everyone who signed up got a green awareness ribbon for Organ Donation.

We hit our goal!!!
All of our Cub Scouts earned their Donor Awareness Patch! :)

All the toys donated!

Gavin's tree with yellow ribbons of remembrance tied on by our family & friends. It is a Flowering Pear and should be covered in white flowers in the Spring.

Thank you to everyone who came to Gavin's Party. It means so much to us. We only have one day a year now to celebrate our little man's life. Sometimes it feels like he was only here for such a short time that no one will remember him. So this is our way of saying he was here, he lived, he mattered and we love him and miss him still.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Donating Toys on Monday!

The portable dvd player we ordered online (from the cash donations) came in the mail we'll take it and all the toys donated at Gavin's Party to the Children's Hospital on Monday. (thank goodness, because I'm tired of policing them from Olivia!)

If you didn't get a chance before, you can still drop off a toy donation this weekend! Just stop by whenever!

Even just one little baby rattle can make a WORLD of difference to a little child and their family that is stuck in the hospital for a long period of time. We used to anxiously await the Child Life Specialist's visit to Gavin's room so we could pick out a new toy for him to play with.

Its especially hard for babies and toddlers because they are stuck in their crib all day and all night. (you don't exactly want them playing on the FLOOR! ugh!) If they have anything contagious, they aren't even allowed to go to the playroom. And worst of all, most of the time you can't even go outside, either because its too hot, there isn't a child play area, or you don't have permission from the doctors.

We spent a whole week stuck in a tiny hospital room with Gavin one was really hard. All he could do was watch dvds or play in his crib. (That's why wagon rides were the BEST- he could actually leave the room!!!) But unfortunately, most of the babies at the hospital don't have parents with them all day and night, so they are just alone in a scary, new place. The nurses can't be with them all the time, so they have to just leave them in their rooms crying. We would hear little ones crying all day and all night and calling for their Mommy and Daddy, and it just broke my heart.

So if you're able, we'd love to take your toy donation to the hospital when we go! :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2nd Annual Gifts From Gavin Toy Drive

It would be Gavin's 3rd Birthday on October 6th, and we're doing another toy drive for Banner Desert Children's Hospital to honor him! We're also going to plant a beautiful tree in our front yard in his memory. We'd love to have you celebrate his life with us!

Stop by for a few minutes, drop off a {new} toy for the hospital, tie a ribbon of remembrance on his tree, and eat birthday cookies & milk! We'd love to see you...even if you only 'know' us through our blog, or through a friend of a friend of a friend! Being able to help others is the ONE thing that makes his loss a little easier for us to bear, so we hope we'll be able to donate LOTS of toys to the kids at the hospital where we spent so much time with our little man!

 Wish List for Children's Hospital:
  (new in packages & unwrapped, please!)
  • toys for ages infant-5 years
  • board books
  • white noise machines
  • crib mobiles & music players
  • bouncy seats
  • portable dvd players
  • preschool age computer games
  • a cash jar will be available, too (to be used towards a portable dvd player(s)!)

We've had some Out-of-State friends ask how to participate, you can order a toy online and have it shipped directly to our home (our new address is on the invite above!), or donate cash through paypal using Andre or Bethany's personal e-mail! (funds will be used to buy a portable dvd player(s) for the hospital!)

Another neat thing we are doing is having our neighborhood cub scouts participate in the event. I happen to be a Den Mom to the Wolf & Bear Cub Scouts (including my son, Joenick!) and I thought it would be special for him and his buddies to help out. So they are going to try to earn their Donor Awareness Patch by having a booth for people to sign-up to be registered donors. Each boy needs to sign one person up, so if you've never gotten around to it, they'd appreciate it if you could help them earn their patch! This is what it looks like...pretty cool, huh?

We've only ever had a couple people sign up when we've had register forms out in the past, and we have 11 cub scouts (!) so I hope we have enough people sign up for each boy! If you only have the sticker on your driver's license, but have never formally registered through the Donate Life Network for your state, you'll still count! (Out-of-State people can help, too...just register through the website above & let me know so I can add you to our tally!) Thank you!

Here's some more information:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

2 years

2 years gone.

If Gavin had only gone on a church mission, he'd be coming home today.

I'd be holding him today.

I'm immensely jealous of all those who've had that reunion with their children. I don't get letters, e-mails, phone calls, or pictures. And he's not coming home. Ever. There won't be a homecoming for least not in this life. And so it may as well be never.

In all honesty, today hasn't been so bad (comparatively). Just one more year in a long, long life of years to come. One more notch in my stick. One more blink of an eye. One more long sigh. One more day of tears and longing.

It won't be the last, so there's no sense in giving it all I've got. There are plenty of years ahead of me to perfect my sorrow.

I miss you, baby.

"I Miss You" by Avril Lavigne

I miss you
Miss you so bad
I don't forget you
Oh it's so sad

I hope you can hear me
I remember it clearly

The day you slipped away
Was the day I found
It won't be the same

I didn't get around to kiss you
Goodbye on the hand
I wish that I could see you again
I know that I can't
I hope you can hear me
Cause I remember it clearly

The day you slipped away
Was the day I found
It won't be the same

I've had my wake up
Won't you wake up
I keep asking why
And I can't take it
It wasn't fake, it
It happened you passed by

Now you're gone
Now you're gone
There you go
There you go
Somewhere I can't bring you back
Now you're gone
Now you're gone
There you go
There you go
Somewhere you're not coming back

The day you slipped away
Was the day I found
It won't be the same

The day you slipped away
Was the day I found
It won't be the same

I miss you

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


September sucks.

I didn't think this year would be so hard. The last few months have been so good. I've been happy.


I never would've believed I could feel that way. So I thought, its getting easier, its going to be fine from here on out. How soon you forget about the tidal waves...

I didn't even realize how close the anniversary of his death was until a few weeks ago. I kept thinking 'its been a year and a half" and then all of sudden it was just a month away. Since then, the storm clouds have been rolling in. I feel anxious and weighted down. Its nauseating. No matter how I try to ignore it, I can feel the pressure increasing. Its like even if I don't realize it, my soul does.

That part of my life feels like a dream now. Everything is fuzzy around the edges. I try to hold on to it, but its sand through my fingers. Sometimes this makes it easier to bear...sometimes its just really depressing. I want all of him to remain crystal clear, but with that comes the sharp, glass edge of pain.

"Wake Me Up When September Ends"

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
wake me up when September ends

like my fathers come to pass
seven years has gone so fast
wake me up when September ends

here comes the rain again
falling from the stars
drenched in my pain again
becoming who we are

as my memory rests
but never forgets what I lost
wake me up when September ends

summer has come and passed
the innocent can never last
wake me up when September ends

ring out the bells again
like we did when spring began
wake me up when September ends

here comes the rain again
falling from the stars
drenched in my pain again
becoming who we are

as my memory rests
but never forgets what I lost
wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
wake me up when September ends

like my fathers come to pass
twenty years has gone so fast
wake me up when September ends
wake me up when September ends
wake me up when September ends

Thursday, September 2, 2010

acquainted with grief

Isaiah 53:3-5

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Get on with it

One of my new friends linked to this article on her blog. She lost her son last month and reading her thoughts has been painful, yet therapeutic. I remember that anguish...that pain so searingly fresh. Being unable to do anything, think anything, be anything other than PAIN. Not believing that you will ever be able to breathe normally again, or walk through the world without feeling like a alien race, or being able to feel peace or hope or happiness again. Ugh...its just so hard. Its like being burned all over your can't do anything for them. Just existing hurts. Even healing hurts them. Every little touch, gesture, hug hurts, even if you don't mean for it to.

Reading this article brought back so much, too...and shocked me. What's shocking to me is that he gets did he realize all that without going through the process himself?! When he said grief was resonated within me. YES. That was exactly what plagued me for so long...knowing that this process was important, even the dark, crazy, scary moments...but not knowing exactly why. Most people only want to deal with the comforting, easy-to-swallow, peaceful moments. Some didn't understand when I said I couldn't shouldn't and wouldn't do that. I *had* to feel all of it. It was SO HARD, but I look back and treasure those moments, in a way. Its hard to explain...but he does it in this article.

When you lose a child, grieving is a lifelong experience
written by: Steven Kalas

"When our first child is born, a loud voice says, "Runners, take your marks!" We hear the starting gun and the race begins. It's a race we must win at all cost. We have to win. The competition is called "I'll race you to the grave." I'm currently racing three sons. I really want to win.

Not everyone wins.

I'm here at the national meeting of Compassionate Friends, an organization offering support and resources for parents who lose the race. I'm wandering the halls during the "break-out" sessions. In this room are parents whose children died in car accidents. Over there is a room full of parents of murdered children. Parents of cancer victims are at the end of the hall. Miscarriages and stillbirths are grouped together, as are parents who have survived a child's suicide. And so it goes.

In a few minutes, I'm going to address Compassionate Friends. This is the toughest audience of my life. I mix with the gathering crowd, and a woman from Delaware glances at my name tag. Her name tag has a photo of her deceased son. My name tag is absent photos.

"So ... you haven't ... lost anyone," she says cautiously.

"My three sons are yet alive, if that's what you're asking me," I say gently.

She tries to nod politely, but I can see that I've lost credibility in her eyes. She's wondering who invited this speaker, and what on earth he could ever have to say to her.

My address is titled "The Myth of Getting Over It." It's my attempt to answer the driving questions of grieving parents: When will I get over this? How do I get over this?

You don't get over it. Getting over it is an inappropriate goal. An unreasonable hope. The loss of a child changes you. It changes your marriage. It changes the way birds sing. It changes the way the sun rises and sets. You are forever different.

You don't want to get over it. Don't act surprised. As awful a burden as grief is, you know intuitively that it matters, that it is profoundly important to be grieving. Your grief plays a crucial part in staying connected to your child's life. To give up your grief would mean losing your child yet again. If I had the power to take your grief away, you'd fight me to keep it. Your grief is awful, but it is also holy. And somewhere inside you, you know that.

The goal is not to get over it. The goal is to get on with it.

Profound grief is like being in a stage play wherein suddenly the stagehands push a huge grand piano into the middle of the set. The piano paralyzes the play. It dominates the stage. No matter where you move, it impedes your sight lines, your blocking, your ability to interact with the other players. You keep banging into it, surprised each time that it's still there. It takes all your concentration to work around it, this at a time when you have little ability or desire to concentrate on anything.

The piano changes everything. The entire play must be rewritten around it.

But over time the piano is pushed to stage left. Then to upper stage left. You are the playwright, and slowly, surely, you begin to find the impetus and wherewithal to stop reacting to the intrusive piano. Instead, you engage it. Instead of writing every scene around the piano, you begin to write the piano into each scene, into the story of your life.

You learn to play that piano. You're surprised to find that you want to play, that it's meaningful, even peaceful to play it. At first your songs are filled with pain, bitterness, even despair. But later you find your songs contain beauty, peace, a greater capacity for love and compassion. You and grief -- together -- begin to compose hope. Who'da thought?

Your grief becomes an intimate treasure, though the spaces between the grief lengthen. You no longer need to play the piano every day, or even every month. But later, when you're 84, staring out your kitchen window on a random Tuesday morning, you welcome the sigh, the tears, the wistful pain that moves through your heart and reminds you that your child's life mattered.

You wipe the dust off the piano and sit down to play."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


My cousin planted tulip bulbs last year for Gavin's birthday...they recently bloomed and she sent me some pictures! It made my day...I love that others are still remembering my little guy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


The other day I was sorting and organizing family pictures on our computer when I ran across a file of home videos. There were a bunch in there of Gavin. I decided to watch one. It was the first time I've watched one since he died. It was like watching a stranger. How could that be my Gavin? My little boy?

I was really shocked at how sick he looked. I never really understood why others always thought he was on the brink of death, but now I do. He never seemed that yellow to me. His tummy never seemed that big (at least not when we were at home...our hospital trips were a different story). I was surprised by other things, much I had forgotten about much didn't trigger any memories for me. It felt like none of it was real, like it never really happened.

I am starting to forget things about him. How he sounded, how he moved, how he laughed, how he looked at me. Its happens to all of us, even when our children are still here. Can you recall exactly what it was like when your child was a newborn? A 1 year old? etc...

I hate that he is slipping away from me. That he is slipping away from all of us. The other day Evienne asked how to spell his name. It made me sad...had it really been that long since she's seen his name or had to write it down? His name was so held so much promise, so much life. We spent so much time and energy trying to find the perfect one...and now its just a memory. It makes me sad that he only got to use it for such a short time.

It hurts so much that our family isn't complete anymore...I want all my children to be lined up together. I want to name them off one by one. But instead there is just a space where he used to be.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The loss is real, even for Mormons.

 A friend linked me to this article Grief is OK- even for Mormons, and it was so comforting to read.  

"Unlike the Savior, we do not have the ability to raise our deceased friends and family from the grave, but we do have the full range of human emotion -- a gift, I'm certain, God intended for us to experience -- and grief is part of that. ... In the meantime, they will grieve, cry, mourn and confront their testimonies head on. And I think that's OK.""

Sometimes it seems like because we believe in eternal families and life after death, that it gives us a free pass to not grieve, or worse, to expect others not to grieve. Mormons pride themselves on having "happy" funerals. The reason being, we 'know' we will see them again someday, so why mourn? We should celebrate their joyous reunion with their loved ones who have gone on before, and look forward to our own reunions with anticipation. Yes, we will miss them, but having our gospel knowledge is comfort enough.

So at a Mormon funeral you'll notice its not customary for everyone to wear black, its a colorful affair. You'll notice more "happy" tears than sad ones. Its not uncommon for funerals to feel more like family reunions, and you're more likely to hear laughing and reminiscing about the past than silence in respect for the dead.

When I was a younger, I remember feeling a sort of pride that we could treat funerals this way. It was almost like we were more enlightened, we didn't need to debase ourselves with weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. We didn't need to drape ourselves in black and keep our heads lowered. We knew the truth!

When someone dies of natural causes at the end of a very long fulfilling life, this reaction isn't so troublesome. In fact, I think most people would want their loved ones to celebrate their life, than to mourn their loss. But sometimes, I think we take it too far. True, it does make attending funerals much more pleasant. No need to burden oneself with the uncomfortable feelings of grief and loss. But who is the funeral really for? What is the real purpose? I think the desire to comfort has led some people to forget that they are there to mourn with those who mourn, not to make them smile and forget. The funeral is for the ones who were very close to the person who died, and need to express those feelings of loss and grief.

At my father's funeral when I was 18, I remember being "strong" and "brave". I greeted people, I shed "happy" tears, I reminisced. I thought that was what I was "supposed" to do. But the moment that meant the most to me was when a long time friend walked straight up to me and wrapped me in her arms and cried. Finally all the pent up emotion was released. I cried and cried, and felt more comfort in that moment than in a million "brave smiles" and "happy stories".

And then seven years later, I was standing in front of Gavin's casket before they closed the lid. I wanted to throw myself over his body and hold him and weep. But I kept thinking, 'We don't do those kind of things at funerals. Its not proper." So I didn't. I remained "strong" and "brave" and played my part well. But I was wrong. I should have cried. I should have held my baby one last time. I should have showed my true feelings.

I felt so upset the day after Gavin's funeral, and didn't really understand why at first. I felt like I was supposed to be "okay", and that Mormons shouldn't grieve (at least not publicly). That my next part to play should be to get up at Fast & Testimony meeting and testify that everything was okay because I 'knew' the truth. But the truth was...the truth didn't matter. It didn't make me feel any better at all! I wanted to weep and wail and gnash my teeth. I wanted to drape myself in the blackness that I felt all around me. I was feeling the loss, and nothing was going to make that "okay".

I realize now that those feelings are not just okay, they are sacred. There is nothing more sacred than the love a mother has for her child. And the expression of those feelings, of that incredible loss, is pure and real. Those who shut themselves off from those feelings, from expressing them, and also from helping others to bear them, are missing a fundamental part of humanity. Feeling the Loss explains it so well:  

"Even though Jesus knew that Lazarus would rise, He did not arrive at the tomb with smiles and assurances that all would be well. The loss was real. It is because He wept at the grave of His friend that I feel I can reach to Him with my own losses."

Jesus could have simply strolled in and rose Lazarus from the dead immediately. But He didn't. He wept with them. He felt the loss. He bore their grief, and grieved himself. Why? I believe He did it to show us that grief is a sacred and necessary part of life and death.

Its okay to feel sad. Its okay to cry. Its okay to mourn and grieve. The loss is real. Even for Mormons.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I miss...

...little boy flip flops. And little boy clothes. And little boy toys. Every time I go to the store I try not to look at the clothes, but I can't seem to help myself. Sometimes I just stop and stare at an outfit that would have looked so cute on him. It takes all my will power not put it in my cart. What would I do with it?! I don't know...put it in a box in the top of a closet, I guess. I just want to HAVE it. I want to buy it and hold it and look at it and cherish it. But I know its too cruel.

Sometimes I see him in Olivia. If I look at her out of the corner of my eye, I can almost pretend it IS him. Just for a few seconds... Sometimes I hold her and close my eyes and try to remember. I run my fingers through her hair and wish they had those same little curls.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

2 weeks

Today Olivia is the same age as Gavin when he died. Two weeks exactly before her 1st birthday. By this time he had already died. We had left the hospital and I was in our hotel room begging God to either let me sleep or let me die. He didn't grant me either one. The next morning his doctor came to our room, sat on my bed and held me in her arms while I wept. She told me I had to live for the baby that would be coming soon...our little girl, our little Olivia. She reminded me that all the parts that made Gavin special would also be in her. That she shared the same parents, the same DNA...a part of him would live on through her. 

I keep looking at her hands and feet, trying to remember what his looked like. I hold her and try to remember what it was like holding him. I think about how happy she is and how much she's growing and learning, and how playful and stubborn and curious and cute and alive she is...and it makes me so, so, so sad that Gavin doesn't get to wake up tomorrow morning. That he didn't get to live. Tomorrow I will have had her longer than him. It still doesn't feel real. How can my brain still refuse to accept it?


Friday, February 26, 2010


I liked this post I read on a blog I frequent. It is so honest.

"Give me a Break"

And I LOVE this comment that followed by "broken":

"And like you mentioned so aptly, there is beauty to be found in the shards of broken lives and even dreams. The Lord is picking up our scattered pieces every day, placing each one delicately into a brilliant stained glass version of ourselves, perfectly suited to the warm touch of a smiling sun.

Stained glass is stunning, even though the glass itself may never come to that realization. But those of us looking on thank you for the beauty we see through you.

We are all windows, transmitting ever more brightly the passing light. And as our broken pieces are lifted up into a better frame, the glass becomes a more beautiful mirror of our perfect selves, waiting for us just on the horizon.

So broken is a miracle in progress."

So beautiful and poignant. I would like to put a stained glass window in my house somewhere to remind me of it. Maybe there's my miracle??? Its me. The fact that I am broken, but still alive and breathing and sometimes happy. That is indeed a miracle.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


A few months ago I finally got my "zinger" comment, and it decreased my desire to share my feelings here like I used to. It stirred up thought patterns and feelings I had long ago worked through, and it took months to get anywhere near the progress I had previously made. Its still shocking to me how one, single, judgmental comment can utterly destroy you when you are grieving. I still tried to write often, but didn't end up publishing a lot. I would be so stressed out and frustrated, trying to make it censored and unoffensive, and "okay".  And finally I'd just forget it because I was too afraid of being judged, misunderstood, or criticized.

It added a layer of difficulty to my writing was, and still is, a source of healing for me. Being able to write down the feelings that plague me, somehow helps to free me from them. I've also gained some great friends and confidants through my writing. It helps to not feel so alone. And one of the tiny, tiny positives of this experience is being able to express the things that others cannot, and helping them to heal, too. However, I finally realized I had been writing for all the wrong reasons, or should I say to all the wrong people?

At first, I started writing to try to help my friends and family understand what I was going through. I thought that if I could somehow make all my senseless thoughts and feelings make sense to everyone else, then it would be easier to accept them myself. If I detailed the grief process and quoted books and proved that this was all normal, then everything would be okay. I would be okay. So whenever it seemed like other people "got it", I felt validated. (If they get it, then I must be normal, I must be "okay"...right???) But then I'd get one of those judgmental "zingers", and I felt like a failure. Like all the things I feared, and everything I thought everyone else thought about me, must be true. (If I can't make them see it, then I must be the problem, there must be something wrong with me...) And all my progress would come crashing down.

This week I discovered how my writing truly helps me, and strangely it wasn't through writing, it was through reading. I was on a friend's online journal reading about the night her daughter died, and some parts of it were so similar to the night Gavin died. It was like stabs of pain into my heart to relive it through her words. But somehow, even through the hurt, I felt an overwhelming gratefulness that she had shared it. I was about to comment, "Thank you for sharing your story..." when I stopped and thought "Why am I thankful when it brought up painful reminders for me?" I eventually realized that through sharing those details, she was allowing me to share her most sacred experience. She was allowing me to connect with share our pain, our loss, our grief. I felt love for her...this woman I've never met, never spoken to face to face. For a moment, I didn't feel quite so alone, and with that came a small amount of peace...and for that I was truly grateful.

I realized this is why I write...not for those curiously peering in from the other side of the looking glass, but for myself and others who are grieving a loss. That's where my real healing comes from. I write to validate our thoughts and feelings through our shared experiences. To create connections. To make friends. To heal together.

It has lifted such a heavy weight from my shoulders. I don't need to prove to anyone else that I am actually doing quite well in processing my grief and that, yes, its "normal". I don't need to make anyone else "get it". Those who love me, will love me whether they "get it" or not. They don't need to know why, they just love me anyway. And if others are judgmental and unkind, its not because I am failing or because I didn't quote enough sources, or because I haven't made the grief process quite clear enough for them. 'Cause, you know, I'm a bit busy grieving over my son, and that's what books are for!

So, going forward I hope my writing will again be a source of relief for me, without all the added stress. I'm writing for me. I'm writing for my angel baby mommy (and daddy) friends...those I already know and love, and those yet to come. And if it happens to help anyone else, then that's just icing on the cake.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Through the Valley of the Shadow...

I've never heard this perspective from someone who actually did get their miracle. It was so refreshing.

Through the Valley of the Shadow...

more thoughts on it later...

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I've mentioned 'pretty, shiny boxes with bows on top' on my blog a lot, and usually out of frustration. I don't have anything against them, really. I like pretty, shiny boxes with bows on top. I'm one of those people who likes to have all the Christmas wrappings themed and matching. I love to wrap presents in pretty paper with all the edges creased just so, equal-sized pieces of tape, covered with piles of curly ribbon or huge tulle bows. Perfection. I am good at it, and I like to do it. And when I'm done, I have a beautiful, perfected creation in front of me. Its an art!

This is what I have been trying to do with my life. Wrapping it up in pretty, shiny paper, trying to crease the imperfect edges just so, taping it shut with equal sized pieces of tape, and sticking a huge pile of beautiful curly ribbon on top. And after years and years of trying to do this, I have met my match. Something that was TOO BIG to even consider putting in a pretty box. It is SO FRUSTRATING!!! I don't want to accept that I will never get that pretty, shiny box of my own. I don't want to accept that my life is never going to be the life that I always wanted. The life that so many others still get to live. And now logically, I know I HAVE to. There is no choice. Yet here I am, still fighting, twisting, arguing, debating, pushing, kicking, screaming and digging my heels into the dirt just trying to MAKE IT SO. But danggit, it just won't fit.

So now what?

What do you do when your dream is over before its barely begun? What do you do when your dream turns into a nightmare? God willing, I've only lived 1/3 of my life, and yet I am now faced with the harsh reality that I will never have the life I wanted and dreamed of, no matter what I do, and the rest of it will always leave me wanting more. Its hard to face that reality with optimism and hope.

I know I should be grateful for other things that I have, and I do have some great things in my life. And I get really upset at myself when I start feeling bad, because I know there are others who have it "worse" than me (so not only do I feel awful, but then I feel guilty for feeling awful). But its kinda like getting a coat for Christmas, when everyone else on the block is getting bikes. And not a cute coat either...a bulky, ugly, scratchy, 100% wool, 'practical' coat that I can't return, and I am never, ever, ever allowed to take off. Ya, I suppose a coat is useful, and at least I got something, which is more than what some people get...but danggit, I really wanted that bike!!! And then I have to sit on my porch, wearing my stupid coat, while (seemingly) everyone else rides around on their bikes with big 'ole grins on their faces. Its hard not to be a little upset about it. Its really not very fair. And yet the coat is mine. And the bike is not.

So now what?

I'm not the first, nor will be the last, person to face this problem. Sooner or later, everyone gets knocked off their ladder, and then you'll have to clean out your closet, and try to make sense of everything again, and maybe not try to shove it in a pretty, shiny box with a bow on it (enough metaphors for ya?!)...but somehow learn to accept it for what it is and even, learn to love it and enjoy it, even with all its faults, and imperfect creases, and rips and tears, and no pile of curly ribbon. Just banged up, beat up, scarred for And accept that, whether you like it or not, its YOUR life, and you're only getting ONE, and somehow, you've got to figure out a way to make peace with it, despite the fact that its not the life you wanted.

While still accepting, that deep down, its normal to still want the bike, and you shouldn't feel guilty about it.