Thursday, January 11, 2018

Book Transcript

I finally did it.  I sent my transcript for my book to several publishers that accept submissions directly from authors.  I am not naive to think this is typically not how a book is published but I feel like God is pleading with me to share this story.  He keeps putting very specific people in my life that are constantly encouraging me to send it on.  I finally did it.  I am sure there are a million things I could change or fix or improve but I had to at least try.  I had to send it out into the world and find out if anyone else thought that story needed to be told.

So it has been documented and we took a picture so that if something ever happens I can say it started with this.  On this day I sent my book to random people to see if maybe, just maybe they would be interested in it.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

One More Time

When your five year old wakes up holding his throat and gasping for air you tend to freak out as a parent.  Add that to the most horrific experience of a lifetime; rushing your 7 day old son to the hospital because he stopped breathing, and you have a recipe for one freaked out momma and dad.

Let me start with the ending.  My sweet boy is taking a nap in his room this afternoon as peacefully as can be and I am laying on the sofa writing a blog post.  All is well.  All is right.

Last night, however, was not what I had envisioned my Friday night to be.  John and I were watching a movie in our bed and all the sudden around 10:30 Johnny came running into our room holding his neck.  He was coughing uncontrollably and couldn't seem to catch his breath.  It was terrifying.   He was gasping for air.  Immediately I went back in time to the morning I rushed Charlie to the hospital.  I went through every single second of that memory and thought I have to take him to the hospital.  I have to make sure I do everything I can to protect him.

We put socks and shoes on, grabbed our coats and hats and then as calmly as I could while swallowing my tears I put Johnny in the car.  As soon as he got in his car seat he started coughing really hard again and he threw up all over his clothes.  I cleaned him up as quickly as I could and grabbed something in case he got sick again.  We pulled out of the garage and started on our way.  I kept asking him questions so that I could hear him talk but he wouldn't say much.  It was hard to drive and make sure he was still breathing.  I watched him through my rearview mirror to make sure he looked like himself.  I was on edge.

I think I could literally drive to Cincinnati Children's with my eye closed but for some reason I was blocking everything related to Charlie out of my mind so that I could get through each moment coming at me like a piece of debris from a tornado.  This, however, was not a good thing when I was driving and felt like all the sudden I had no idea where I was going.  I never made a wrong turn but I felt the anxiety building up. When we got there we parked and went through the closest doors.  They were closed because it was so late.  I had not even thought about looking for the emergency room entrance.  I was so used to using the parking lot and finding entrance D I did it again on autopilot.   At this point our only choice was to walk through the parking lot to the front doors.  It was freezing cold, literally.  What I didn't know was that the cold air Johnny was breathing in as I carried him and ran into the building was what would help him most and actually let him calm down because he would feel like he could breathe again.

As it turned out he had croup.  His coughs always turn into a barking seal so we're used to that but this particular night it was much worse than normal and the gasping for air made me panic.  After several hours when we finally made our way a room the doctor asked several questions.  He asked if he was born prematurely or if he was a multiple.  I said, "Yes to both."  He smiled and explained that could have compromised his lungs at an early age and now he is more likely to get that type of infection along with the cough when he gets sick.  He said more than likely since he is older his airway is big enough that it wouldn't completely close up due to croup.  But he did say that it was wise to bring him in and get him better quickly.  He got a dose of steroids and we were on our way with discharge papers.

When we arrived he was not very happy. 

After triage he started feeling a bit better. 

I have never been so happy to accept those papers and get out of Children's hospital with my boy.  We walked and actually skipped down the hall.  As we were leaving Johnny said, "Mommy, I had a lot of fun spending time with you tonight."  He has my whole heart.  I smiled at him and with such a big smile I told him it was a blessing to hold him and talk with him (once he calmed down) with zero distractions.  I will take it even though it was a hard night it was also a special night for the two of us to sit and talk and play Eye Spy and eat Junior Mints.

We loved walking out of the hospital. 

We found some Junior Mints in my purse and shared a snack.

I will always remember now the time I went to Children's and left with a healthy boy instead of only having one horrible memory from within those walls.  That memory, that experience changed me but I am stronger and braver because of Charlie.  I was able to be there for my other sick boy and hold his hand just like I did for Charlie.              

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

20 Questions

These are the questions Macy asked me this evening when I was laying her down for bed.

"Why did Charlie have to die?"
"Where is heaven?"
"What do you think heaven is like?"
"Is heaven by the big park in the middle of town?"
"Does Jesus have wings?"
"Does Charlie have wings?"
"Why would they need wings in heaven?"
"How did Charlie die?"
"Why couldn't Charlie come home before he died?"
"Will I like heaven?"
"Will you be in heaven?"
"How do you get to heaven?"
"Do you have to be old to go to heaven?"
"Will Charlie stay a baby in heaven or will he grow up?"
"I don't want to be wrinkly, do I have to get wrinkles when I get old like grandma?"
"Will I get to see Charlie when I go to heaven?"
"Will we be a family still in heaven?"
"Will you go to heaven with me?"
"Will other people we love be in heaven?"
"How do you know when it is time to go to heaven?"

I lost track after the first twenty questions.  She kept going and asking and breaking my heart all at the same time.  I'm thankful we get to talk about heaven and Jesus so openly in our home and I am so glad it is imprinted on her little heart but I can't help but worry that she is overwhelmed with this grief that she inherited.  I guess that is how grief is for everyone, kind of inherited.  At least it isn't something we choose.

So as I walk through these questions with her say a prayer for me that I have the knowledge and wisdom to encourage her to ask the questions when she needs to but also to help her understand that God provides and he is a good Father that always takes care of us.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


John and I crawled in bed last night (technically our last night of Christmas break) and decided to find a movie.  We normally do not have the same taste in movies unless it is a suspense film so we always start there when we start searching.  We browsed and we looked and when we had almost given up John found a movie called Lion.  I realize as I type this we are a year (or maybe two) late to the game with not having seen this yet but I can officially say we have seen it and we loved it.  Every single second of it.  And I know this is extreme but it is officially my absolute favorite movie.  I cannot say enough great things about the movie.  But I think I'll try to say just a few because you need to know.

1. The entire first half of the movie ripped my heart out of my chest and stomped on it.  I literally couldn't watch and couldn't stop watching at the exact same time.  The poor sweet little boy was lost and then almost taken and then stuck in a place that was trying to help him but just couldn't do it well.  It made my heart hurt for kids everywhere that do not have their mom and dad tucking them in each night.

2. The family that adopted him stole my heart in the best kind of way.  Towards the end of the movie their son said something about being sorry they couldn't have their own kids and his mom's response was so sincere and so amazing.  She explained that they could have their own kids but they chose not to.  They chose to have two little boys that needed them.  They chose them and everything about them.   She said they were their children.  

3. I wish I could explain the amount of tears that fell from my eyes.  My pillow was wet.  I can't even explain how amazing and also how sad the story was.  It was beautiful and eye opening and I think you should go watch it.  

4.  The reunion with his mom and then the voicemail he left for his mom and dad in Australia was all so overwhelming.  It was incredible seeing him hug his mom and hold her close.  It was the thing we cheered for the entire movie and it finally happened.  He could stop pretending she was encouraging him as he lifted pebbles into a small cup and he could stop having flashbacks with little hope for a reunion.  It happened and he was grateful for the family that raised him but also for the family that loved him and never gave up hope that he may return.  

5. His girlfriend in the movie is the epitome of unconditional love.  She cared for him and encouraged him and pushed him and waited for him.  When it counted she let him have his space and then when he was ready she welcomed him back with open arms and didn't question his need for the space.  They were good together and I think she helped him get to the place he needed to be so that he could find his family.  

6. His brother helped me remember that we all have things that are difficult and hard to control.  Even when it seemed like he could "be better" or act differently it was apparent that some of his emotion and actions were out of his control.  I think it helped me remember how important grace is for others and for ourselves.

7. The main character did an incredible job.  I think if it was up to me I would have awarded him with   an academy award for best actor.  He definitely deserved it after that performance.  It was a hard story to tell and he did it very well with the upmost respect for the people that actually lived it.  I was impressed.     

I could absolutely go on with the things I learned, the thoughts the movie provoked, or the amount of tears that I cried but I'll stop here.  I think if you have not seen it you need to rent it NOW and watch it.  It is well worth the 120 minutes you will spend in tears.  I promise.

Images by Freepik