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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Alexandra

Tomorrow is my second Christmas without my daughter. All the presents are piled under the tree (except for what Santa is bringing, of course!), and on top of it all sits Alexandra's stocking, with the pictures that Dayne drew her last year, and the gift we bought her for the cemetery this year. Alexandra will never get anything other than a teddy bear or other stuffed animal. We will never be struggling to get a toy out of a box for her to play with on Christmas morning, never curse the toy company that packaged the new tea set so it was almost impossible to unwrap. I'll never be annoyed with Steve because I had to put together the doll house.
I think about all the things we are missing, all of the things we got with Dayne that we will never get with Alexandra. It's holidays and birthdays that pass that I find especially hard. Alexandra may be sharing in those things from somewhere else. She may be watching over us, and she may be happy with everything that she sees, but it's not the same, she is not here with us. I will never see her face light up when she opens her presents, or see her smile when Dayne teaches her the Christmas songs he learns in school.
This year Alexandra gets a teddy bear with a pink Calgary Flames hoodie on. We will leave it there for her tomorrow, and I will wonder if she sees us there, including her in Christmas, missing her and wishing she was with us. She would be able to open her gifts with less help this year and would be able to get more involved in all the festivities. I picture how it would be if she was here with me and it breaks me heart.
I am missing out on so much stuff with my daughter.
We try to include Alexandra in everything in our lives in a positive way. I do try not to dwell on how it could be and focus on how it is. Alexandra is not here with us, but she is around us and her memory is making a difference in this world. But, at times like this, it's hard not to think about what should have been...

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Ross

This blog has really become more than just Alexandra's blog, it has become a way for me to express myself, help others, a place for me to grieve safely, and a place for me to remember. It's been a rough few years for my family and this blog has really reflected those times.
On Friday Steve and I dropped Dayne off at school and decided to take the time alone to do some Christmas shopping. We started with a few errands at the pet store, headed to another store and then off to a craft store. As I walked around the craft store looking for something, my mom called. I had called her, so I thought she was returning my call, all the while, she thought I was returning her calls. I chatted to her about where I could find something I was looking for and everything seemed normal. At a pause in the conversation my mom started asking about where Steve was, if he was working, if he was with me, was he right there with me. The line of questioning seemed very strange to me, it was excessive.
 After a minute of this, my mom said "The reason I was calling you was to let you know that Ross passed away."
And the world stopped moving, everything stood still. My voice froze in my throat and my mouth fell open.
Ross, my Ross, was my grandma's husband. They got married when I was in grade 7, and Ross became a huge part of my life. They got married in my Grandma's back yard, I remember it like yesterday.
As I grew Ross played one of the most important roles in my life. As a troubled teen Ross was always there for me, he always made me feel loved, like he accepted me no matter what. During that time I formed a bond with Ross that would remain unbreakable over the years.
I would sit with him and wrap my arm around his back and rest my head on his shoulder, and he would always make a sarcastic joke about whatever was going on at the time. Before I left him, every time, I would say, "You behave Ross!" and he would say "You too!" and most recently he would tell me that he had no choice but to behave. We would chat about all sorts of things, Ross and I, sometimes ghosts, sometimes Steve's work, current events, I loved to talk with Ross.
The news devastated me, and the rest of my day went on, as if I was in a fog, like we should be doing something, but there was nothing for us to do. On Friday night we went to my Grandma's house. When we walked in she commented, "You can sit in his chair." But nobody did. The recliner where Ross always sat, was empty, his laptop set to the side, his walker tucked away in the corner. His sweater was resting over the arm of his chair and I just wanted to go curl up in his chair, with his sweater, and cry...not just cry, I wanted to sob. I didn't though, I sat in my usual spot, on the end of couch, glancing over at his chair often, wishing that I was alone there so I could have a moment to sit in his chair, just last Christmas I posed for a picture in that chair with him.
I had to stay strong and not cry for my Grandma, she was working so hard to hold it together for everyone, I could tell that if I started crying, she would too, and then we'd all be a disaster of tears and running noses. If we started would any of be able to stop?
These last days have been difficult for me. I miss him and I regret not spending more time with him than I did. My heart is broken.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Through the snow, creeps hope

Today hasn't been the best day. I've been feeling down. Christmas is coming, another Christmas without Alexandra. It's sad to think about, especially when I see other kids Alexandra's age, all dressed up for the holidays.
Compounding my sadness is the fact that I am still not pregnant. I desperately want to have another child, but it just isn't happening, and that breaks my heart every single day.
So, while I went about my day, thinking about how much this holiday season sucks, I took the dog out to play in the snow. I take him out several times a day, the same way every day. This time though, as I walked, looking at the ground to avoid ice, as usual, I saw something odd. It was green, leafy, and kind of round, and at first I thought it was sitting on top of the snow. I also thought it was some kind of fake plant that had blown to the side of our steps. I bent down to pick it up and I realized that it hadn't blown there, and it wasn't fake. It was a real little plant of some kind, growing up through the snow. It wasn't there this morning, or I have somehow missed it all this time, but the snow is deep and somehow this little plant made it's way out of it.
I dug it out a bit, to see what the bottom looked like, it is not doing very well, but there it hope, creeping up through the snow, stealing the light.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Caring Beyond

Last night was our local pregnancy and infant loss candle light service. It happens every year in December and is a wonderful way to remember our children around the holidays. They have a tree for families to place an ornament on and everyone gets to light a candle for their babies. The battery in my camera was dead, so unfortunately, I did not get a picture of Alexandra's ornament, but I will say that it was a dark pink and purple and VERY sparkly! Dayne chose it after much consideration between many, many other sparkly ornaments. Dayne feels that Alexandra sparkles, so she needs things that sparkle too. I don't know where this boy comes up with this stuff, but it amazes me every time something like that comes out of his mouth.
It was just a lovely service, and I'm so glad that I went, I had the chance to reconnect with some other loss mommies that I've met along the way, and share in a night that was just for our children.
I plan to go back every year, and I hope to get more involved next year. I was thinking about all of the wonderful women that I have met through my blog and through the online loss community last night, and I am wishing you all a very peaceful holiday season.
On the way out of the hospital it was bright enough to take a picture with my phone, so I took a picture of a cow that I thought Dayne would like. When I showed him this morning he said, "Do you think Alexandra thinks that cow is cool too?" So, I didn't get a picture of her ornament, but I guess we have Dayne and Alexandra's Christmas Cow to remember that night.