Monday, August 25, 2014

Our Desire to Solve

I was listening to a TED TALK (podcast) on my run the other day. If you haven't caught on by now, I LOVE my podcasts. Please, please, please enrich your life by getting a podcast app on your phone and subscribing to the following:

-The Moth
-Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me
-Ted Talks
-This I Believe

Anywho, the talk was called, "Two Nerdy Obsessions Meet--and It's Magic". The presenter, David Kwong, works for the New York Times putting together their crossword puzzles. He has a fascinating mind and gift.

He talked about how, as human beings, we are wired to create order out of chaos. He did some magic tricks, of sorts, and had some really cool visuals. But the thing that I couldn't get out of my head was what he said about how absolutely primal and instinctive it is for us to SOLVE. We want to solve problems. To make sense out of things...out of life. To have order.

Why did this stick out to me? Because after Lucy died, I was mentally tortured. I wanted to SOLVE and FIX the problem, but I COULD. NOT. And it literally changed my brain. Time and time again, when people ask me about losing my daughter, I tell them that while it effected me in many ways, the greatest toll and damage was MENTAL.

While listening to this Ted Talk, I couldn't stop thinking about all those torturous hours I sat in bed spinning over the events of May 18th. I have long subscribed to the philosophy that "when there is a will, there is a way." I feel like this has served me well in life and there is very little that I don't think I am capable of doing. But when Lucy died, there was no willing her back to life. And it physically HURT.

But then I had this thought: If we are biologically wired to SOLVE, and we are created in the image of God, then isn't He wired to solve, too? And if nothing we are doing, or can do, will solve our problems, then He must be able to. It's faith, really. It's so simple. But I had never thought of it in this way before.

We are solvers. But when we can't solve or fix, God can. How exactly that works, what exactly our part in that is...I don't know. Sometimes it just takes...time. And while He can't fix Lucy's death in the way that I would like, by bringing her back, he can fix "what is." He can fix my broken brain and my broken heart. This has happened mostly through the process of life. Just the way He created earth life to happen. By living one day at a time. There have been greater graces and miracles, mostly via friends and loved ones, but somehow this whole giant system--this crossword puzzle--will be complete. And I will be complete.

Once again, I don't really know where I'm going with this post. I just really enjoyed David Kwong's presentation and was grateful that my madness was validated.

As I go through day to day stresses and struggles, I hope I will remember that while I might be wired to solve and fix and create order, I'm not always the best at it, and I need help from a higher power.

So, carry on my fellow solvers.  I hope you have great success. I suck at crossword puzzles, but hopefully I'll figure out this real-life puzzle someday.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Outlast the Darkness

I don't know what this blog post is. But it is born from a feeling of... exhaustion. And sadness.

I'm tired. I've been in the habit of going to bed quite late then napping in the afternoons. I got to bed later than usual last night and couldn't turn off my brain. Combine that with an early rise to take a friend somewhere, Zoë skipping her nap today and Peter having some extreme moments of ultimate little shitness (love him to absolute pieces), and you've got yourself a recipe for a tired, overwhelmed, sad me.

The news, the world, the stress of raising children. It's a lot to process and deal with. There are times that the absolute madness of young children puts me in a state of emotional paralysis. I look around at the insane messes made within SECONDS, I hear the cacophony of noises coming from bodies and toys and electronics, the constant pulling on me and the whining. It's Am I a human being? Because I feel like some sort of limp, smelly rag. Some people can handle and embrace the chaos...I am constantly analyzing it and questioning why it has to be this way. (By and large, our days are good. But it's still insanity.)

I miss Justin. Losing one of your very closest, dearest friends leaves a unique hole in your life. I don't even know what to say about it.

Vic gave me a book for Mother's Day last year, called Lincoln's Battle with God. (You bet I got snarky and said, "Lincoln's Battle with God? For Mother's Day? More like...Husband's Battle with Wife"). Well, I sit here eating my humble pie because I finally started reading it and its wonderful. The opening chapter is all about his mother and the great love he had for her. It is beautiful and moving. A very sweet and thoughtful gift after all. (Ahem... I'll send you a link, honey, for the piece of jewelry I want next year.)

You probably know that Abraham Lincoln struggled greatly with depression. And its no secret that I have as well. Since starting Zoloft after Zoë was born, my life has taken a dramatic sharp turn for the better. But the sadness still sits with me. Sadness took up residence in my heart long ago. But it makes me think more deeply (I hope), empathize, and forever try to make peace with this human experience.

The following quote from the book, by Stephen Mansfield, was profoundly beautiful to me:

"Nevertheless, Lincoln's story is, in part, that of a man who beat back the spirits that came for him in the night. He might well have been crushed by his woes, by the death of his first son and then the second, by the madness of his wife, or the hatred of his foes--even by the devils in his thoughts. He did not yield, though, not ultimately. As important, he mined the valleys of depression for what riches he could find. He emerged to see life differently from other men, to understand and feel as though he were looking in from outside of human existence. For that is what depression is--a way of seeing and feeling life as though from another, tormented world. This ability to outlast the darkness was one more gift from his mother, and it, too, would shape the brand of faith he eventually made his own. "

So many things to love about this. "...he mined the valleys of depression for what riches he could find." "..the brand of faith he made his own." "...a man who beat back the spirits that came for him in the night."

I guess these are things I'm sorting through as I write this. I'm chasing away the spirits of despair over the gruesome deaths of women and children in Gaza. I'm trying to find and identify my own brand of faith and acceptance of my life, my beliefs. I'm trying to dig deep in my emotional mine to find rich memories of my Justin and my Lucy. I'm searching for strength to face another day with my children--with the hope that I am leading them right.  Happy to see them growing and learning, but never wanting them to grow up. They are so precious.

I'm headed back to my book now (Vic is on a date at the movies with his sister). With a good night's sleep under my belt, I'm hoping tomorrow will be a bit brighter. I will not yield to the devil in my thoughts!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

From the desk of Zoë June

Hi guys, 

My family and I have been so busy having fun this summer that my mommy hasn't blogged much lately. You see that photo of me laying on my mommy's lap? That was me after a long day of swimming and hiking. My mommy loves me so much and thinks I'm the most beautiful little girl. She's constantly trying to kiss me and sometimes squeezes me so tightly I think I'm going to burst!

I wanted to give her a break from blogging so I decided to write this one for her. She wanted to let you know that DAVID JOYNER is the winner of the Sutton Foster giveaway. I guess this means I will be with a babysitter that night. I'm sure we will have lots of fun. After all, I am the cutest. 

Here I am with my daddy. We are sharing a delicious pear. I'm so lucky to have yummy fruit to eat and a daddy who loves me and works hard for our family. We have so much fun together! He throws me way up high in the pool and tickles me and plays with me. I love running to him when he gets home from work and squealing, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!" 

My mommy starts rehearsals today for her new show, "Catch Me If You Can." She walks around the house all day singing songs from the show at the top of her lungs. "And I'm take Doctors orders!" My brother has started singing along. He even changes some of the lyrics and it makes us all giggle. I think he gets that from my Mommy. 

Mommy is excited about the show because she will get to do so much dancing! It's so fun when my Mommy does a show because I get to meet so many new and fun people. I love going to the theatre to visit and I get lots of extra time in the evenings with my daddy. If you want to see my Mommy in the show, go to the Hale Centre Theatre on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday night (or Saturday matinee at 12:30). 

There is so much more to tell you about our summer adventures and all that I'm learning. But I want to go watch my favorite morning cartoon "Strawberry Cake". Thank you for reading my Mommy's blog and being so kind to my family. We love you!

Kisses and Hugs, 

Zoë June

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sutton Foster--Giveaway!

Ok, I know not everyone who reads my blog is as big of a musical theatre nerd as I'm guessing not all of you know who Sutton Foster is. All I have to say about that is a big fat SHAME ON YOU.

I know what kind of musical theatre consumer you are. You love Wicked. You know who Idina Menzel is. You think Phantom of the Opera is one of the greatest musicals of all time. And of course you've seen Les Mis. So you think you're pretty cool stuff. Wrong, I say!

Have you seen Throughouly Modern Millie? Have you heard the soundtrack to "Little Women" (yes, the Broadway musical)? Do you know that Sutton Foster has won 2 Tony Awards? She's phenomenal.   She is absolutely adorable. AND SHE'S COMING TO BYU Sept. 5th and 6th. It is going to be an absolute DELIGHT.  (And I could tell you some things about her. A few of my friends have been in Broadway shows with her. She hates wearing makeup and dressing up. Or I could tell you about the time my (then-single) friend, Kyler Kronmiller, asked her out on a date after her show. The details are fuzzy, but I remember it involved some awkwardness).

Leave a comment telling me why you need a night out to hear this diva. She will melt your heart and make you laugh all in one breath. I prom dress! Don't believe me? Look her up on Youtube.

*Tickets are for Friday, Sept 5th and you'll be seated next to me and Victor Schmictor. Winner will be announced one week from today. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Today I'm Thinking of The Congo

I took my beautiful Sudanese friend, Adhieu Awan, to register for ESL (English as a second language) classes at Salt Lake Community College this morning. The beautiful and talented Katey Hebert Schmidt watched my kids so I could go. (That's beside the point...but I wanted to do a shout out). After we finished with registration, etc. I drove her the rest of the way to work. We talked about how far she has little step at a time. She told me how much she loves her work and thanked me for getting her such a great job. (She sorts clothes at the LDS Humanitarian Center to be sent overseas to countries just like the one she came from). You should have seen the smile on her face a few weeks ago when she got her first ever paycheck.

On our route to work, she pointed out another woman she works with waiting at the bus stop. I wanted to pull over and offer her a ride, but hesitated because it was a tricky traffic situation to get to her. Adhieu suggested I turn right then flip a "U" --the timing was perfect with traffic and the lights and her coworker jumped in the car with a big smile on her face. She introduced herself as Florence. "Oh. I just love that name!"  As we drove we chatted about where she was from. "The Congo", she said. "In America 8 month."

"Wow. Are you a refugee?"

With a somewhat glazed look in her eyes she replied simply, "Yes".

"How do you like America? Utah?"

"Very nice. People don't kill each other. People don't tell you to kill. A lot of Christians."

I asked if she lived alone. "No", she said. "I live with my husband and 2 kid."

She and her husband both work. They take turns watching the kids. She has 2 boys, ages 5 and 3. I asked if she needed any clothes for her boys and she warmly and comfortably replied immediately, "Yes. If you have any."

Do I have any? I have boxes and drawers full of random who knows what. I have piles of laundry and so much food to eat it goes bad. I have never been shot at or raped or forced from my home or asked to kill someone else. Yes, I have some! And I have shoes and books and blankets and food and diapers and soap. And I have a listening ear that wants to hear everything you've been through. Please remind me that the fact that I ate way too many saltine cracker toffee pieces last night doesn't matter as much as I think it does. Please ask me again and again "if I have any"... because Utah is a tiny blip in a great big world full of color and struggle and love and diversity.

I'm so glad Adhieu made me stop when I almost drove by because the traffic was too inconvenient to get to her. It's a good thing to mix up our driving patterns once in a while. We miss out on so many experiences otherwise.

If you want to help Florence and her family, or darling Adheiu, please email me (my email can be found at the top of my blog on the 'contact' button). Perhaps I sound ignorant, bitter, or even jealous, but I sometimes hate that a fashion blogger has 22 thousand "followers" and a refugee woman from the Congo needs clothes and food for her kids. (I'm guilty as charged for wanting "all the things".)

This started out as my Facebook status post a few minutes ago and has turned into a quickly written blog/rant/pondering. Thanks for listening.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Joey and Zoë

Blogging? Who blogs? Why blog? Do people still read blogs? Huh.

We went to Bear Lake this past weekend with several families from Park City. These are families whom we love love love. These are people who have been with us for the long haul since Lucy died. They were part of our lives before she died too...and will always be a part of our lives.

Two of the couples on the trip picked out Lucy's (and mine and Vic's) burial spot. (We were unable to pick it out ourselves due to some timing issues. She died over Memorial Day weekend and we were on a tight schedule to make the cut off time in order for her to be buried the day after Memorial Day. We didn't want to leave her side for a moment and our dear friends set out to perform the difficult task of finding just the right spot for our princess).

missing from the photo: John and Debbie Flint and their son, A.J. Also, Peter. And Mike and Stacey Rasmuson and daughter, Hallie. Added to the photo but wasn't on the trip with us: Rachael Charles. Ha. (We met up at the park the day after we came home to visit and relive the trip). 

In other words, these people are like family to us. We packed up our camping gear Thursday morning and headed out. We didn't sleep much...if at all. It was horrible as far as sleep was concerned. I don't even want to relive the epic tantrum that Zoë had at 1:30 a.m. our first night there.

But I DO want to relive some of the great moments we had. The boating, the wake boarding, the food, the laughs, the kids playing with each other, the biking, the running, the swimming. It was marvelous.

But my very favorite thing was seeing my Zoë with a very special boy named Joey. If you've read the entire story of the day Lucy choked , then you know that Joey's lips are the last that Lucy ever kissed. Lucy loved Joey and his entire family.  Joey was an honorary Pall Bearer at Lucy's funeral. He was far too little to carry the casket.

Since Lucy's death, Joey and his family moved to Boise, Idaho--so we only see them on occasion. Joey and his sister, Kalena, met Zoë when she was just 4 weeks old. They were shocked at how big she and Peter both have gotten.

It takes a long time for Zoë to warm up to someone. No matter how friendly or bright or fun you are, she usually wants nothing to do with you unless you have had some significant bonding time. Usually involving popcorn or treats or puppies. So we were surprised at the way she immediately took to Joey. And not just a little bit.

He was so sweet with her, so protective and brotherly with her. I am entirely letting myself believe that their special and immediate bond was because of Lucy. 

Have you ever seen such a thing? The KOA campground in Bear Lake was quite the place! But I won't be camping again with these little ones for another couple of years. 

I really wish I knew how much goes on on the other side. My kids seem to know and understand and accept so much when it comes to Lucy. Just today, Peter was going on about an amazing idea he had that when Jesus comes back, and Lucy comes back, that we can all be together and that I will be forbidden to give her an apple again...and then we can all live together. "Ok, Mom?"

And yes, Kalena and I (Joey's 15 yr. old sister) stood there while they jumped on the pillow and planned their wedding. Joey and Zoë. Joey's parent's are 12 years apart, which is less than he and Zoë--it could work. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

High on A Mountain Top

Have you  noticed the moon this week? It's huge and bright and beautiful. An absolutely spectacular site.

We went on a wonderful family hike a few weeks ago in Park City. We did our old stand by trail that we call "the loop". It is at the top of our neighborhood (neighborhoods in PC have "tops" and "bottoms") and we have hiked it and run it a million times...with all 3 of our kids.

I was reminded of a very difficult and sacred experience I had once at the very spot pictured in the above photos. I had Vic snap these of me for the specific reason of writing this post. A few weeks after Lucy died, exactly this time of year--July--when the moon was just as ripe and big and full and bright as it is now, I went on a walk to this lookout point. I planned on going alone, but a friend joined me at the last minute.

Utterly exhausted and trembling with grief, I silently made my way to the trail head and began to climb. Once at the top, I sat down on the bench and looked out over my beloved city. My friend could sense I needed some time alone and wandered up the trail a bit while I sat thinking and praying, questioning, talking, trying to make sense of the unsensible.

That's when I began weeping. I don't remember where Vic was this particular night. He may have been at some sort of church meeting, or even just home in bed. It was at a time when we didn't know how to grieve with each other. We were not able to comfort each other. There was no give and take. No taking turns being the strong one. We were both incredibly broken.

As I sat there weeping, it turned to sobs. I tried to stifle my wailing noises, my mucus and tears and loud, fast breaths. I was gasping for more than just air. I needed peace and comfort as desperately as a drowning person needs to break through to the surface of the water. But I was sinking fast.

My friend approached the bench, sat down, and lifted me into their lap and held me. As my friend stroked my hair and wiped the tears from my face, we didn't say a word to each other. Just then, the heavenly summer moon rose over the crest of the mountain. The power of its beauty and majesty was palpable. Again, we said nothing. I continued to cry and mumble "why did I give her the apple?" "I can't believe this happened". "It's too painful. It's too painful"!

As the moon continued to rise, a calm came over us. I began breathing more slowly. I stared at the moon as if it were a peep hole into the heavens...where my daughter's new life was just beginning. The timing of the moon rise seemed musical. Like it was a prop, arriving on stage right on cue. It cast a gorgeous glow on everything in sight. I think that was the moment I decided I wasn't going to be mad at God for this. His works are too mysterious, beautiful, and unknown for me to comprehend.

Sitting on that mountain top, surrounded by the wildflowers, rocks, trees, and the city lights of my home, I felt the possibility of healing. It lasted for just a moment, but I recognized it amidst the extreme heartache.

Again, we walked back to my friend's home in silence. I was still reeling. Still wiping tears. Still torn and upset and confused and utterly, completely, entirely lost. But to this day, every time I see a full moon, especially in July, I think of that night. I will never forget the tenderness my friend showed me.  The calmness and sacredness in which my friend handled the situation was one of the purest acts of love and friendship I've experienced. I see the summer moon and it reminds me of that heartache. It always makes me feel melancholy and grateful at the same time.

I've come a long way--and the moon always reminds me of this. But it reminds me I haven't done it on my own. We all need each other. Sometimes we are the ones who offer our lap and unspoken support, and sometimes we are the one needing a hand to hold and someone to wipe our tears.

I don't have a clever or profound ending to this post. It's just something I have wanted to record for a long time. Last night's moon told me that now was the time.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bursting my Bubble

Most of you know about our good friend, Abraham, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan (again, please google "lost boys of sudan" if you don't know what that means), and his wife, Adhieu. In fact, several of you made donations when Adhieu first arrived in America 7 months ago, helping them get established as a couple with essential things like sheets and bedding, silverware, and plates.

Adheiu (pronounced A DOO, like saying "goodbye" in French) has desperately wanted a job. She has never been paid for her labor in her life. She tells me that women in her country are not allowed to work. Her mother is a widow (she lost her husband and all 4 of her sons in their country's civil war) living in Kenya to avoid the continued violence in Sudan, and is able to provide very little for her youngest daughter, Adheiu's 12 year old sister. She rents a mud hut from a man. Two weeks ago when she told me her sister was unable to attend school because her mom didn't have the money to pay the school fees, I drove immediately to Wal-Mart to wire some money to Africa. These are things many of us cannot even fathom.

Adheiu is bright and positive and beautiful. And she is a hard worker. But no one wants to hire her because she has no high school diploma, no resume, no work background, and speaks broken Enlgish. (Though, somehow, she and I communicate absolutely fine. Everyone at her current job--which I'll get to in a minute--thinks I am her translator).

Luckily, I was told about the amazing program at the LDS Humanitarian Center that trains immigrants and PAYS them while they are gaining job skills, learning English, and learning to drive. It is an incredible program. I had never been the Humanitarian Center before and cried like a baby when the sister missionaries took us on a tour of the facility and explained what services they offer other countries. Water, clothing, newborn resuscitation training, shoes, blankets, first aid...Absolutely amazing. One of my very favorite things about the Mormon Church.

We finally got her enrolled and set up in the program, (which was quite the process...) but our final hurdle has been figuring out how to get her there via public transportation. After two weeks of driving her to and from work, we decided we'd give Salt Lake City's Public Transportation system a shot. We had the bus route all mapped out and ready to go. I drove to her apartment then slowly followed her in my car as she walked to the first bus stop. She lives in a low-income area and I hate to say it, but there were a lot of shady and interesting characters waiting for the bus and just passing through the neighborhood. There was a man smoking a cigarette right next to us, with earphones in, and he gave us a nod. "I have no idea what he is thinking but avoiding eye contact with him is probably a good idea", I thought.

When the bus arrived, I handed the driver a 20 dollar bill (after he helped an overweight, paralyzed woman in a wheelchair and her daughter on) and he just laughed at me. "Exact change is required." I tried to explain to him that Adheiu would be getting a discounted bus pass later that day through her job and that I was helping her figure out the system and would be following behind the bus in my van. I thought the driver would be more helpful, but he just kept giving me this smile that said, "You idiot".

Just then, the smoker headphone guy reaches his arm around us and hands the driver 3 dollars. I heard him say something about me having a 20 and I thought he was paying for Adheiu's bus fare in exchange for my 20 dollar bill. I offered it to him but he waved me off. "Don't worry about." He smiled and got on the bus after Adheiu. That was awfully kind.

Long story short, her connecting bus at the Midvale Center Station never came. It just didn't show up. I ended up driving her to work...again, but grabbed a few Trax maps and figured out a better way to get her there.

So this morning, we tried for a second time. And we had success! I followed along from stop to stop, asking a young guy from Congo if we were on the green line, and asking the Hispanic kid at the Center Pointe station if the train we were catching was heading West or East. Even the old toothless meth man was anxious to inform us exactly where Adheiu's train was heading.

At each stop, as I unbuckled Zoë and walked to the platform to meet Adheiu, I looked around at all the different people and wondered about their stories. I had several thoughts.

First--it is not easy for the poor to get out of their situations. If I were not Adheiu's mentor, I have no idea how she would be getting to work. I don't think she would be working. You can get a job, but how do you get there?

I thought of how I misjudged Mr. Smoker Headphones (not that I'd necessarily be best friends with the guy) and how helpful everyone had been over the past few days as we tried to figure things out.

Second--as I watched some of the very obvious drug junkies, I wondered about their lives. What kind of abuse and neglect have they experienced? Where did they start in life? What kind of support system and examples do they have to lean on? Have they ever been shown another way to live?

Third--I thought how absolutely caught up I become in my Instagram bubble where I truly believe that every stay at home mom is a super model with her own booming business and lives a life out of a magazine. For every one of those moms, I could see 65 people trekking their way to a minimum wage job to feed their families. For every uber rich family I know (and love) in Park City--whose life begins to seem "the norm" when it is all I am surrounded by, there are thousands of individuals scraping by but who have the necessities of life.

So in summary--I guess I'm saying that through this wonderful friendship with people from entirely different backgrounds than mine, I am remembering what it felt like to be a missionary in Illinois, entering people's homes who had little to nothing. Remembering my days in New York City where I would go tracting with the sisters in the projects, and see the sad lives and cycle of poverty. I'm learning so much about Sudan, Kenya, and Africa in general, and even making new friends whom I'm meeting through Abraham and Adheiu. I'm sacrificing my time and money to help someone really build their life. And I cherish it. I love what it is teaching my children as well.

Things I have/can do that Adheiu would absolutely love to have/be able to do:
-Read, Write, and Speak English
-Drive a car
-I have both of my parents and all my siblings
-Beautiful children to raise
-A safe place to live
-Peace of mind that my parents have enough food to eat and are safe from violence
-Job skills

These are things I don't even THINK about day to day. But I do now. And I will try again and again to burst my Instagram, Facebook bubble and taste more of the real world.

*I hope this didn't sound too horn tooting or manifesto-y

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Molly's Mind--Unleashed

Vic reading "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" to me while waking up from surgery. The nurse thought it was the sweetest thing and snapped a photo. 

I've never been a nail person. You know, someone who paints their nails. I try, but it just isn't me. Toenails, yes. But fingernails? Not so much. I can do clear, or maybe a nice French manicure, but that is about it. I love the plain, dark, muddy colors I see women wearing on the fingernails, but I just can't do it. Too much upkeep.

Why am I telling you this? Just for your your information. My mind has been coming back to this little factoid about myself again and again as I scroll through my Facebook feed and see all sorts of nail designs. So there you have it. I'm not a nail person.

I've been crying more lately. I have been feeling a connection to Lucy and my other loved ones who have passed on. I guess by that I mean my close friend, Justin. Greatly do I miss him. (I just wanted to word that sentence as such. Get over it. Greatly do I miss him).

Just yesterday, a friend of ours gave Vic a poem that he'd written right after Lucy died. He held onto it for 6 years, waiting for the right time to give it to us. I read it while we were eating dinner at DP Cheesesteaks--and I didn't care how many people in line could see me cry. It felt so wonderful to FEEL. To remember that blonde beauty of mine. The tears on my cheeks felt so cleansing. I don't know how to explain it.

I was told that you were mine to borrow for just a little while
but I did not expect that time would be so short--
and I suppose that is why
my heart is broken

My fairy princess
so brightly light the night and
sprinkle your little dust of hope
to us who stay below

So many marvelous and wonderful plans for us
that were just not meant to be
but as I watch the butterflies
I will always think of thee

My little darling beautiful girl
with your locks of gold
more precious than the world could buy
which I so long to hold-

Fly away to all the dreams we had for you,
and we hope that maybe someday
we will know
why you had to go

So fly my little one--
fly away to Parents' arms far stronger than my own
and when they hug you-
will you please ask them to hold me too?

Until we meet again
with the angels sing
and remember us as we will always remember you
through the butterfly's wings.

Can you handle it? I had a little girl. Her name was Lucy--and she died. She is gone. She is not here to play with her brother and sister. And I miss her. I miss the part of me that she took with her. The emptiness she left has been filled with something new and wonderful and strange...because I could not go on living as a broken being. And when I read words like this; when I know that someone took the time to put their thoughts and feelings into a poem, it touches that broken part of me. It reminds me of love and miracles and healing and hope and tenderness and hopelessness and the brevity of life.

I'm just spewing out words and thoughts here. I'm trying to make sense of things.

Other than not being a nail person, and missing my Lucy, and crying over poems, I am adjusting to my new nose--and having a hard time with it. But as one of my favorite quotes goes, "What can you do or drag a board?" (I don't even really know what this means. But my friend, Karyn Mann always says it. You start off my saying what can you do..but give no other option besides dragging a board. Get used to it).

As far as all the rigmarole happening in the Mormon Church right now goes--I don't know. I have different thoughts and feelings. It's no secret I am a progressive/liberal Mormon. But when it comes down to it...I really don't know anything. I have no desire to debate or figure out who is right or wrong. I'd rather spend my energy having fun, going on adventures, and enjoying all the parts about people that really matter to me. (In other words, the parts about people I enjoy/that matter to me are not really what they believe...but how I feel around them. What I can learn from their personal experiences. The adventures we can have together. Their talents, etc).

Here comes another subject: TV. I enjoyed binge watching "The Mindy Project" after my surgery. Such a funny show. Can't wait for the next season. I have a total crush on Danny Castellano.

I think I've just cleared a few cobwebs from my mind. (I didn't include EVERYTHING I am thinking about the whole church debacle...That takes some serious one on one conversation. It's difficult to be yourself in a very conservative church when you, yourself, are not a very conservative person).

Have a wonderful weekend my friends. Look for my Lucy on butterfly's wings.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Birthday Letter to my Zoë June

To my Petite Red-Headed Princess,

We flew in from Costa Rica on your 2nd birthday, June 5th.  I was so anxious to see you and wrap my arms around your tiny little body.

When Stacey (our friend who picked us up from the airport) pulled up the the curb with you in the backseat, I could hardly believe how grown up you looked! She had done your hair in two low piggy tails and you were wearing a new pink, fluffy birthday dress. Your hair is getting so long!

I ran to the car and watched as you kicked your feet excitedly in your car seat, your giant Julia Roberts smile beaming across your face. Your big brother unbuckled himself and jumped out to give me and daddy a hug. After loading our luggage in the trunk, I hopped in and sat next to you in the back, marveling at your beauty.

As we drove home, I couldn't stop kissing you and tickling you and squeezing you. You are two! You are beautiful! You are my baby!

We said our thank you's and goodbyes to Stacey and decided to go out for dinner to celebrate. You and your brother were so sweet with each other, and so happy to see us. I was so worried you would be upset that we'd left you for 8 days. It was such a joy to be together again as a family.

It's hard to believe you have surpassed your sister's age. The other day, while you were, yet again, watching Frozen, I started getting so emotional as I heard the red-headed Anna singing a duet with her blonde sister, "Do you Wanna Build a Snowman?" I mourn that my girls cannot be together. I have no doubt you would idolize her. You copy Peter's every move as it is. I can only imagine how you would be with Lucy.

Zoë--you have brought healing to our family. Of course it was wonderful to have Peter in our arms again after Lucy died...but there was something about you, from the second you were born, that cooled the fire of our grief. Of my three children, you are by far the most calm, the most sweet, the most agreeable. I can actually reason with you! If you don't want to get in your car seat, I can explain to you why you need to and you will say, "Ok", and get right in. If you are walking the wrong direction, I can take you by the hand and lead you the right way. Simple as that. I would have spent 30 minutes dealing with a tantrum from hell if you were Peter in that situation. You are my only child to sit still in my lap while I read a book, who will cuddle with me while I rock you to sleep, and who would take a binky. You just amaze me.

You aren't perfectly behaved all the time...of course not. But you make me melt with your utter adorableness. It is more than I can handle sometimes. Thank you for being patient with your mommy as she balances everything in life.

I love you, my Zoë June. Tiny, petite, lively, gorgeous, adorable, darling, loving, sweet, cuddly, gregarious YOU. I love watching you sing and dance. You are amazingly coordinated and your awareness of stage presence and how to hold your body is truly astounding for a 2 year old. I have no idea where you get it. (wink) Watching you learn and grow each day is the source of some of my greatest joy. I love you more than you may ever know.

Hugs and kisses,