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Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Miracle of Life

I started thinking about how old Jordyn is and it hit me that she is exactly as old as Caleb was when she was born.  (She is 16 1/2 months old for those trying to do the math) We have this picture on our mantle

which was taken the day she was born. It weird to look at it and think that they are the same age. It got me thinking about a lot of things.
These last few weeks have been full of emotion.  Jason and I were incredibly blessed to have 2 people give us money for a getaway.  This time of the year is slow for the business so we decided to take off! It was the first time in over 6 years that we went on a real vacation, and by ourselves no less!!! We headed down south towards Austin and stayed for 3 days at a little Bed and Breakfast in Smithville.  We traveled all over and got to see some fun stuff! (we used The Day Tripper with Chet Garner as our guide) Then we headed west to Fredericksburg for 2 more nights.  It was so nice to go have fun and be kid free! I kept thinking about our Honeymoon (probably the last time we were gone that long and without kids) and laughing because I'm so glad we are not those 2 youngsters, and also because I'm so glad we have grown,as well as know and love each other more than we did back then.

Towards the end of the trip I had an "I Miss Caleb Day" that was pretty rough.  I was missing the girls by this point and thinking how I would get to see them and hug them in a day or two, but not Caleb.  He won't be there when I come home.  Most days it hurts to even look at pictures of him.  He is just so stinking cute!  And that smile, gagh! It just makes my heart ache and the tears flow that all I have are pictures and memories of that precious boy!!

Jason and I talked on the way home about how we felt about coming home, and what we were supposed to "get" from the trip.  We finally settled on the idea that it was a wonderful escape for the "norm" and an opportunity for us just to go have fun.  I hope it won't be another 6 years before we get to go again!

At church that weekend Worship was pretty powerful.  Anytime we sing a song about singing "Hallelujah" I always think of Caleb.  I know that he is singing right along with us, (except he has a front row seat!) and it always makes me cry.  I can't even remember the song exactly, but I remember trying so hard to see Caleb.  See him standing and worshiping.  I never got to see that while he was with me.  One of his teachers in the church nursery did tell me that during praise and worship he would raise his hands, while in Fred, his wheelchair. (we named his chairs, Fred was his normal chair with a tray and his name on it, and Henry was the kid walk, or gait trainer) I wanted so badly to see my little boy praising God in heaven while we were doing the same down here.  But I couldn't see it, so I just decided it was happening and I didn't need to see it for it to be true.  Little did I know a few chairs over Jason was seeing that very thing.  (He has much better "Heavenly Eyes" than I do!) Later that night he mentioned that he saw Caleb.  We talked about it a little and found out it was at the same time. (well, I was trying to see!) He said he didn't really hear much of what was said the rest of the service.  A few days later while talking with my mom I found out my brother had a similar experience the next day when he went to the service.  Pretty amazing.

This week has been pretty busy, getting back into the swing of normal life again.  I was telling Jason that for me the out of the ordinary things are harder for me in regards to Caleb. I think about him more when we are doing something new or special.  Or maybe I just let myself think about him more then. Most of the time during a regular day I'm doing too many things to stop and fall apart.


 I was holding Jordyn today looking at Caleb's pictures on the mantle and she waved at them.  I laughed, and then cried.  For so many reasons.  But as I have been thinking about Jordyn being the same age as Caleb and remember what was going on in our lives, it is so hard to even comprehend what was happening.  By 16 months Caleb had been through a lot! (especially in the 4 months prior).  He threw up more times than any person should have to in a lifetime.  He had been to numerous doctors searching for an answer.  He had eye tests, upper GI tests, multiple blood tests, an ER visit, more doctor visits, been fitted for his AFOs, and was about to have an MRI.  I can't even fathom already having done all that with Jordyn by this point.  I lived that life and it is just so hard to make sense of it all.  I remember it, but like it was a bad dream.  And it makes me cry with thankfulness for my beautiful, spunky, vivacious, healthy little girl. I thank God all the time when I am rocking her or holding her, it was only by His grace that she is even here.  She was a surprise for us (we weren't trying, Caleb was only 8 months old when we found out!) but had it not happened that way, we would not have had another child.  At our first Specialist visit with the Mito doctor after the MRI, one of the first things he told us was to take measures to prevent getting pregnant again.  I'm so glad God has plans that are not our plans!

So as I sit here tonight with an aching heart, I thank God for my full arms.  I have a wonderful husband who is committed to me, 2 wonderful girls that live here, and an amazing teenager that I have watched grow since she was Allison's age, and memories of a few years with the most precious boy any mom could ever hope to have.  I will miss you until I hold you again Bubba.

Love,
Jessica

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Holidays

I can't hardly believe it has been over a month since I last posted.  We have had a pretty busy month and then since the Holidays I just haven't felt much like posting.

In December we took Allison to the Great Wolf Lodge.  It was something she had been wanting to do for a long time and we wanted it to be a special treat/get away.  A time for us to spend with just her.  When Caleb was here she was probably the one who got the least amount of attention.  She was the only one who could walk and was potty trained too! I expected a lot out of her since the other two needed my care constantly.  I've decided to view it as a gift from both Caleb and God that I get to spend more time with my girls.  I get to do things with them that I never could when Caleb was here.   I didn't really have a choice in Caleb staying with us, so I'm trying to take the things I do have control over, like my attitude, and find the good.  So my girls get a better mom, one who can pay attention to them more and let them be kids.
Mommy and Daddy finishing Allison's Pillowcase

A Snowflake for Caleb
She slept on the top bunk!



















She had a blast.  We were so blessed to be able to do this with her.  Even though I kept picturing Jason carrying Caleb around the water park.  I kept thinking about how Caleb would have loved to see all the kids running around.  I kept thinking how weird it was to only have 1 kid to watch.  (big shout out to my Mom who watched Jordyn for us)  I still find myself counting my kids.  When there were 3 of them and we were at a friends house or something that's how I would check on them.  1, 2, 3 ok all good.  And I catch myself still wanting to count 1, 2, oh yea.  And there will never be another number 3.  But it makes me so grateful for the 2 healthy girls that I do have.  So incredibly grateful.


At the Nutcracker, the night before Jason shaved


Jordyn with a friend

Finally riding the train at the mall


Jason had off work for a little over 2 weeks at Christmas and we did all sorts of fun things.  Some of it was for Allison, but I do have to admit I think a lot of it was for me.  We made a gingerbread house, paper chains, did a Jesse Tree, decorated, went and looked at lights, went to the aquarium.  I wanted it to be fun for Allison, but I probably wanted a distraction for me too.

We went to Granbury for 3 days at Christmas to be with Jason's family.  It was good but Christmas day I was pretty much a wreck.  I just wanted Caleb to be there.  We were there 2 years ago for Christmas and I hated that he wasn't there with us again.  My grief changed again and I just cried because I missed him.  Before it would be a memory or a picture, but I didn't have to think of anything specific anymore.  A wave of sorrow would just hit me.

Christmas Day seemed to be the hardest for me.  Once we got back home we had a few days then we went up to Texhoma for New Years.  It was good to get away from the business and relax some.  We got home, had a few play dates and then started work again this week.

This week has been pretty rough.  Like the worst week in a few months.  I have cried, and ached for my boy.  I have thought of his sweet hair, his amazing smile, his limp little body, (for the last couple of months he didn't have much control besides his head and arms). And as Jordyn continues to grow and learn I think of the things Caleb used to say or do that I loved so much.  I realized how smart he was.  I'm not sure if Jordyn is just stubborn or Caleb was ahead for his age, but he was saying so many words and had learned so much by this point. (compared to Jordyn)

I have been trying to find the right word for my wrist, I found it

We were blessed with some amazing gifts over the holidays.  Thank you to each and every one of you who donated money to us or Caleb's UMDF fund.  We are continually blown away by your generosity. Next week Jason and I will be taking a little trip for us.  Trying to re-group and re-center.  Thank you to everyone who is making this possible!
My Caleb tattoo, on the back of my arm