Saturday, June 22, 2013

Difficult week... Amazing Day... and a Single Ray of Light

I'll admit this past week was rough for me. A part of it was that I wasn't counting on the fact that (almost) every mom around me at the girls' swimming lessons has a baby in their arms. And one of the babies looks a lot like Link - about the same age, cute chubby cheeks. She sits by me and kisses his cheeks talks to him and nurses him.  I told some friends I feel like a STARVED woman sitting in a room full of people eating to their hearts' content. I know they don't know my heartache. I have nothing against them or their adorable babies. It's just HARD. Period. It makes me realize, though, how many times in the past I may have "flaunted" my baby and been the cause of someone else's pain. Definitely opens your eyes.
Another difficulty is that I was working on Ireland's birthday book ALL week. Butt glued to my computer chair for hours on end - furiously digitally scrapbooking away so that I could get it done, ordered,  and hopefully here by (or close to) her birthday. Again, I wasn't anticipating how hard it would be to go through all the pictures from the past year. To see my belly grow. To see the pictures of Ireland meeting her baby brother. To see all the precious moments they shared. And then to have to go through the funeral pictures again. I kept a box of tissues by my computer and used quite a few just trying to get that book done.

But today... today was a beautiful day. It was just what I needed after a week  of tears and hunger and longing and misery. Today, a beautiful miracle happened. I got to go with my husband's family to the St. George Temple to support Jason's mom for her first time through the temple. What an amazing, precious day it was! From the moment that she told me she was going through the temple and she had set a date, I told Jason I KNEW Link was a part of this miracle and I KNEW he was going to be there. I can't express how much joy & anticipation that brought me.

And today finally arrived. It was a nice (yes - and warm!) day in St. George. I am so thankful that we have older nieces that watched our little girls while we spent some precious time in the Lord's House. The tears fell freely there as I watched Jason's wonderful family come together to support DeeAnn. I have never had such a strong testimony of the importance of eternal families as I have since my son died - and today my heart just swelled with that sweet knowledge & I just felt SO blessed to witness it. DeeAnn was sealed to her parents  (in a sealing room that has some sacred significance to Jason and I) and I almost sobbed as I felt that "Link" in the family chain come together. I know Link was there. I know he had a hand in it.  I LOVE HIM! And I'm so proud of the work he is doing on the other side. And I know HE is so proud of his sweet grandma.

Here are a few pictures. After I took them and was going through them all on the camera, I began noticing that the vertical full temple pictures all have a single beam of light shining down from the upper left side. It's not just in one picture. It's in ALL of them. Even the 2nd set that I took about 15 minutes after the first set.  Now... I have to tell you there have been a few times where there has been a spot of light that we can't figure out the source. One time we were eating & there was a spot of light right above where Ireland was sitting. I looked all over to see where it was coming from & never could. I haven't seen it since. I don't know if the beam of light today was a love note from our son (and many rejoicing loved ones) or not - but I choose to believe it was.

Congratulations DeeAnn. Love you.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Grief University

On March 26, 2013, I was enrolled in a system of higher education. 
It was neither voluntary nor temporary.

I've taken day or weekend classes here at Grief University before - failed relationships, two heartbreaking miscarriages, the death of an uncle, grandparents, a great friend, a precious aunt. But after losing my child, it's permanent. I am here for the long haul. 

I am new to this kind of learning. I'm definitely a freshman here. There are so many things I don't know. I have so much to study. Books to read.  A whole language that I'm just learning. Everyone enrolled here learns something.  However, because we each have different kinds of loss, different personal histories & experiences,  it's not always the same thing. So - here's some of the things I have learned in the almost 3 months since I've been permanently enrolled: 

- Timeline myth. No one puts a limit on the amount of JOY you have when your child is born. How can you put a limit on the amount of GRIEF you have when your child dies? Every time I am reminded of the missing joy in our lives, I feel a deep sting of that grief. Every time I see a baby boy Link's age, doing the things Link would be doing,  I feel it.  You look at my grandmother, who lost her 7-year-old son almost FIFTY years ago, and still cries when she talks about him -  you talk to her and then you tell me that grief has an end in this life. Here is a quote shared from a couple of friends who have lost children:

Grief is not linear. People kept telling me that once this happened or that passed, everything would be better. Some people gave me one year to grieve. They saw grief as a straight line, with a beginning, middle, and end. But it is not linear. It is disjointed. One day you are acting almost like a normal person. You may even manage to take a shower. Your clothes match. You think the autumn leaves look pretty, or enjoy the sound of snow crunching under your feet.Then a song, a glimpse of something, or maybe even nothing sends you back into the hole of grief. It is not one step forward, two steps back. It is a jumble. It is hours that are all right, and weeks that aren't. Or it is good days and bad days. Or it is the weight of sadness making you look different to others and nothing helps. Not haircuts or manicures or the Atkins Diet....Grief doesn't have a plot. It isn't smooth. There is no beginning and middle and end. -Ann Hood

Another quote I love & identify with (from Mitchell's journey):

There are many well-meaning people, as if to throw an emotional lifeline, who try to remind us life is but a “speck” in the eternal scheme of things. Or that they’re sorry for our “temporary loss” as if the wave of a hand and a simple utterance will assuage our sorrow. And while I understand the eternal nature of the soul – being mortal, life is the longest thing I know. The years ahead seem to stretch out into infinity and seem so very long without my son. I miss him terribly.

-Guilt and Grief are no respecters of time. People tell me to let go of the "what ifs" - and I do strive for that, but it is harder than you could ever image. The feelings of guilt attack me at any time of the day or night. I could be sweeping the floor or trying to get the girls to bed & the thoughts will come "what if I would have not swaddled his arms? He would not have rolled and he'd still be here!" "what if I would have checked on him 5, 10, 15 minutes earlier? He would probably still be alive!" - and on and on.  I know that these thoughts do not accomplish anything. I know they aren't really healthy. But I will also tell you that they are HARD to control. Grief is the same way. Washing Dishes. Sitting at church. Getting the girls out to the car to go someplace. Driving. It doesn't matter where - sometimes my mind goes back to that day and the same all-consuming shock, despair, incomprehension and sickness overtake me. And I am left helpless & dysfunctional. I do not understand why it happened any more today than I did on that day. 

-Outward way to show inner grieving. Some days I wish we lived in a culture where for a period of time we had some sort of outward display to show that someone very precious to us had died. A black shawl over the face. A special pin. I don't know.  It was - and still is - hard to be around people that don't know that I've lost a child. The light-hearted laughter. The joking and talking of trivial things. Especially in the first days, it was almost oppressive. It would also be nice to have that outward display, just so people could have an understanding of why you might be short with them - or not be able to remember something - or cry at seemingly anything - or be unreasonably angry at something small. And it might help them refrain from judging when you walk around town without makeup with three little girls who don't have their hair brushed. Also, as I have met more and more angel moms, I realize how many people around me on any given day may be going through deep grieving and I may have been insensitive to them and what they are going through.  

-Mourning BrainThe inability to process or remember things. It is at least TEN times more severe than pregnancy or new-mom brain. It's worse in the first days and weeks, but I still struggle with it. This was definitely something new that I've learned since I've been enrolled here. I had no idea how all-encompassing grief was - not only to your body, but to your brain. It was (and sometimes is) just SO difficult to make any sort of decisions through this thick fog of grief. To remember things. That's why it's seriously amazing to me how many decisions the bereaved are expected to make in such a short period of time. Choosing a casket? Picking out a plot? Putting together a slideshow or program? It was ALL I could do to push through that fog and make a decision about anything. There were many times I just couldn't do it & waved my hand & said "whatever you think is best." 

-Different Person.  I love the quote The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” How very true. And it is the same way for losing a child. Just as I changed and became a new person the minute my first child was born, I changed and became a new person the minute my last child died. I am not the same person that I was on March 25th. I am now a bereaved mother. I live in a different world. In this world, your children can and DO die. In this world, anxiety and fear about losing another child can take over your thoughts and actions. In this world, your innocence is gone. You don't laugh at the same jokes. You don't listen to the same song in the same way - everything has a different context. In this world, things that might have brought you joy, now bring you pain.

-NEED to talk about him & hear his name! Probably the most surprising thing I've learned since I've been enrolled is the absolute NEED to talk about Link and hear his name! I have had friends that have lost children and I always assumed that bringing up the person that died would bring them more pain and heartache, so I would avoid it, but OH - how wrong I was! And I am so sorry to every person I know that has lost someone dear to them & I didn't talk about them! I don't think it's the same for everyone, but for ME, it's the NOT talking about Link that brings me pain. I LOVE to talk about him! I want to tell you about his bright blue eyes. I want to tell you about his hospital journey. I want to tell you how he laughed and smiled and brought more joy into this family than I thought was possible. If you come to my home, I want to show you his book, show you our "Link wall" and share some favorite memories. I even need to tell you about how Link died. I know - so strange that I should want to talk about it - but I do! It's all been a part of his journey. And his name.  I said this on Facebook, but I'll add it again here: "When we keep the names of our children silent they die a second death." -Mitch CarmodyI have so much gratitude to all of you who continue to use Link's name! When I hear my son's name, it's like sweet, precious food to this starving mother's soul. Hearing his name. Talking about him. It validates his existence here on the earth and brings joy to me. 

-Sleeping is not peaceful. In general, I think it's true that most people who have lost a precious person to them - especially a child - do not find sleep peaceful. There might be bad dreams. Or tossing & turning. Or just that the deep, blissful sleep you once knew is gone. But on a more personal level, it has become something terrifying for me. Finding Link dead after he was supposed to be sleeping has been the most traumatic experience of my life. And now, I do not see my sleeping children as a sweet, blissful, thankful time anymore. My heart pounds and I dread going to wake them up after a nap or in the morning. I see them in bed & no longer do I smile and just cherish the moment. Instead, with panic in my heart, I come close and check the color of their face. I feel their cheeks to see if they're still warm. I watch the rise and fall of their chests to make sure that they still have the breath of life. My brother sent me a text the other day of Kezia sleeping. Instead of thinking how sweet it was, it brought fear into my heart. Is she okay? was all I could think of. Because... in my world... your children can go to sleep and never wake up. 

-The Glass.  I know this is going to be a lifetime struggle - and right now I think I'm focusing more on the glass half empty. I'm focusing more on the time I DIDN'T get to have with him rather than being thankful for the time I DID get with him. That fluctuates. But I hope one day, I will consistently see that glass half full and my heart will swell with gratitude just that I got to carry him, deliver him, kiss him, spend precious time with him and even see a few milestones before he left us. I will be grateful that he came to our family and changed us forever and motivated us to be better people. One day, instead of staring at that mom holding that baby boy with longing and ache in my heart, I will focus more on the three beautiful daughters beside me and my heart will be full. 

-GOOD People. Some people here have been enrolled for a LONG time - like my Grandma. I'm sure she has earned her doctorate degree many times over - though I don't think any of us really "graduate" until we die ourselves. Sometimes I feel like this university is on the other side of the world. On March 26th,  I felt like someone plucked me up and set me down in Siberia and said "Okay - now you need to survive." But I did not know anything about that country. I didn't know the language. I didn't know where to find food. I didn't know how to survive. How thankful I am for people who have been here and have held my hand and showed me how to survive in this world. Lena, Robyn, Gayla, Molly, Anna, Andrea, my grandma, the ladies in the SHARE group here - just to name a few. As we have gone to the temple and prayed & fasted, I have thought much about Eve. She was the first woman on the earth to lose a child. A son. And in such a horrible way. There was no one there who had been through it before to hold her hand and teach her how to walk and breathe and survive through this grief. I am forever thankful for the women who have, with sadness and love in their hearts, welcomed me to this dreaded club. I am also so thankful for the people who really try to understand what it's like over here - true sympathy. One of those amazing people is my sister, Cindy. She has not let a day go by without calling or texing & asking "how are you feeling right now?" "how is your heart?" She asks me specific questions about what I'm going through & I truly feel her love and concern for me. 

This is only a tiny part of what I continue to learn. I feel myself growing in ways I had never imagined. It's a little ironic, but I compare this process to natural childbirth. It's stretching. It's so very, very painful. And there comes a point where I scream "I CAN'T DO THIS!" over and over. And - in every fiber of my being - I truly believe that I can't do it. That I've expended every molecule of energy that I have. That I will die if I have to endure one second more. But, just like my midwife, the Lord knows my abilities more than I do myself.  And at the end of the labor process, you hold your baby and you realize that something good came from all that pain. I don't get to hold my baby, but I hope that one day I will hold this precious knowledge, this growth in my heart and I will know that something good did indeed come from all this pain & anguish. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

May Newsletter and Slideshow

FAMILY:  May was spent mostly just getting through that last month of school for the girls and trying to get used to our new “normal” without Link. On the 1st, Heidi went to St. George to meet with the monument company down there about Link’s headstone. Afterwards, we headed to the splash park with Daken, but it was pretty chilly – the wind was blowing & the girls didn’t stay for more than an hour. The 2nd was McKinley’s 1st grade program at school & we all came to see her. She did so great – she was beautiful and smiled so sweet. The songs were cute & she even played a glocenschpel (sp?) – like a xylophone. Afterwards, daddy took her out to eat and to his work. On the 3rd, Heidi took the girls out of school and we headed to Fredonia, where the Barons live. They moved to Missouri shortly after, so it was nice to spend some fun time with them. The drive was beautiful and the girls had a terrific time with Lena’s boys – doing the zipline, playing in the sprinklers on the tramp, eating popsicles, and making a HUGE mud mess in their yard! They had so much fun. We are sad they moved so far away, but thankful for technology. On the 4th, we had Greg Riddle, Adam Bealer, Mark Corry, and Ryan Gregerson come by & help Jason dig trenches for our sprinkler system in the backyard. The Bealer kids played here while the daddys worked & they got a lot done. The 12th was Jason & Heidi’s 13th anniversary. The Corrys were so good to take the girls overnight, so we could go out to dinner at Rusty’s, watch a Redbox movie, read more of our afterlife book, and sleep in! It was a short “staycation,” but really nice. Mother’s Day was on Sunday & mom was spoiled with waffles in bed, a candy bar poster, and cute gifts from the girls and from Jason. We are so thankful for all their help. On the 14th, we headed over to the new Main Street Park. We’ve been a few more times since then – the girls love it! Tons of swings, a merry-go-round, and a GIGANTIC slide make for some great fun. On the 18th, we headed to St. George & the girls hung out at the Hamiltons while mom & dad went to the temple and out to eat at Iceburg afterwards. Ireland’s Kindergarten program was on the 21st and she was really cute. We think she was a bit nervous, though – she kept yawning. It was fun to see her with her friends that day. She did a great job – and dad took her out afterwards, too. The 24th was the last day of school for the girls – they were so excited. We got to pack up and head to Mapleton that day for Memorial Weekend. The girls had a lot of fun with their cousins – hiking, making s’mores, riding horses. We also went and visited the graves of Grandpa Tew, Mary Tew, & Bart Tew. The weather was better than it’s been in years! Unfortunately, Heidi had strep throat and was out of it for most of the time, but she was still glad to see her family and let the girls play. Memorial Day, we got home, unpacked, got cleaned up & headed to Link’s grave and then to the Bealers for a BBQ. We got yummy food & got to watch the kids play t-ball afterwards & then did some sparklers. We had a great time. A lot of May was spent getting the backyard prepped for grass. It ended up being QUITE a bit more time and money than we anticipated, but we’re hoping the girls will be able to play back there by next month. Since school is out, we’ve decided on a flexible schedule for the week: Move-it Monday (exercising – hiking,riding bikes, swimming, running, etc), Try-it Tuesday (we pick something from Pinterest to try out), Wanna Wednesday (we stay at home more & do things we want to do), Think Thursday (work on school goals for the summer – multiplication tables, spelling, etc), & Field Trip Friday (going to new places around Cedar).  MIRACLE: We had an external hard drive that crashed a couple weeks before Link died. We finally got around to trying to get the data out. We even took it to Best Buy & they told us it would be a minimum of $250 – max of $1800. We found a video on youtube & Trisha helped look up some options. In the end, we ordered a control card for $30 that WORKED! There were precious videos of Link on that External Hard drive that would have been lost forever. Such a blessing! Such a miracle!

JASON:  Jason has eased back into work after losing his baby boy. Everyone has been kind to him and that’s helped a lot. He spent most extra “moment” in May in the backyard or basement, trying to get the water system to work and every thing ready in the backyard for getting grass. He’s put a lot of sweat into that backyard. He continues to enjoy scouts.  Greg Riddle took him dirt bike-riding and he really enjoyed that.

 HEIDI: Heidi’s grief journey is still very much day-to-day. There are days where she feels very functional and fine – and there are days that she still seems to drown in her grief. One of those days was May 7th – the day that Link would have been 6 months old. Many tears. She continues to work through her grief with writing, running, and talking about her son. She learned about a SHARE group in Cedar that is a support group for miscarriage and infant loss. It was neat to connect with some amazing ladies and hear their stories and share her story. They do a lot of good in the hospital here & she hopes to get involved there. On the 16th, Heidi went to a “summer activity ideas” relief society activity. It was neat to get some good ideas & visit for a while. On the 18th, Heidi went and ran the Children’s Justice Center Quarter Marathon & got 2nd in her age group. Memorial Weekend was not so fun having strep throat & having to spend 3 hours in Springville to go to the Instacare and get some meds, but she was thankful to be feeling better by the day they left. And she hopes this is her strep throat for the year! She FINALLY finished Mansfield Park and started reading A Town Like Alice. Tender mercies continue to abound: On Link’s 6-month birthday, she got a beautiful necklace in the mail, whom she later found out was from a friend of her sisters. It was so very sweet of her and says LINKIN DALLIN HAMILTON with angel footprints and his birthstone & deathstone. It is beautiful. Also on Link’s 6-month birthday, her friend Lisa Anderson brought her a white rose and watched her kids. It was so sweet. Ruthann Hook also sent a sweet package via her sister – it was a beautiful locket with a picture of the SL temple and “Our Family is Forever,” along with little beads that had our family birthstones on it – she also sent beautiful angel necklaces for the girls. In addition, we got a framed stick-figure stitch of our whole family from our bishop’s wife. And Connie Weaver, a lady that Heidi visit teaches, gave us a beautiful hand-stitched pillow that says “Be Still, and know that I am God and I am with you.” So many beautiful, thoughtful gifts. So much love.

-Mom asked McKinley one day if she ever talked about Link at school with her friends. She said “Well…no…cuz, you know, there’s all that math stuff that’s in my mind.”
-McKinley’s school program was on June 5th. It was so great to see her up there smiling and doing her best to sing the words. She sat by her “crush” – Joseph – in the program J
-McKinley did wonderful in school this year & Mrs. Robb called me personally to tell me how thankful she was to have McKinley in her class. She brought home some beautiful projects at the end of the year and she brought home a wonderful binder full of great memories from the year. The last week she had fun going on field trips (to the Ladybug Nursery, the library, and Discover Park), having a field day where they played games outside, and having a reading celebration with the school that included getting to watch a movie and seeing her principal kiss a guinea pig.
-We got some grief workbooks for the girls and McKinley has done such a good job with hers. She’s drawn pictures of Link & written about how much she loves him and misses him.
-After some talking & praying, we decided to go ahead & let McKinley sleep in the bed in Link’s room. All the girls have slept MUCH better since that arrangement! And McKinley is good about being quiet and reading books or writing in her diary before she sleeps.
- McKinley and dad have been reading Because of Winn Dixie – they’re almost done!
-McKinley had some fun play dates with Addison, Chloe, and Lindsay Brown. They had fun singing, playing, or doing the Easy Bake Oven that Camri gave McKinley. She actually made some really yummy mini cakes in her Easy Bake Oven.
-McKinley has been a big helper with the backyard. She has come helped us dig and pat down sand and bring us water, etc.
-McKinley says “I am excited for the summer. Cuz then school’s out and we get to play with our cousins sometimes. Cuz I get to be at home more. We’re going to have a lemonade stand!”  

-Ireland still had quite a few angry episodes in May. One of the worst was when she dumped a BUNCH of water out of the bathtub and it leaked into the basement. She also had a HUGE tantrum in Link’s room – including having accidents in there. We are trying to help her work through her anger. Her school counsoler, Jill Bassett, worked with her on a book where she could color & draw out her thoughts & feelings. It was a great book & we learned a lot about how she’s dealing with losing her baby brother.  Her tantrums seem to be getting better & she’s able to deal with her feelings without completely having a meltdown.
-At the beginning of May, for some reason, she decided to rub her nose on the carpet again (she did the same thing last year in our other home) and it left a huge scrape on her nose and scabbed over.
-Ireland’s end-of-school program was so cute and we got to take a picture with some of her favorite friends – Isabella Daniel, Jenna Davies, Shaylee Johnson, and Emi Schoppman.
-Ireland got to be the star of the week in the middle of May. We had fun doing a poster with all the things she likes, sending a favorite book, a favorite toy, treats, and also filling out an “about me” page.
-One day, Ireland wanted to speak in accents. We talked like English people and then she wanted to talk like an Irish person, so we looked it up on youtube & tried to speak in Irish accents. A crow flew by and Irealnd squawked and said “Am I speaking Irish crow talk?”
-We went to playgroup at the park one day & Ireland was having so much fun playing, she didn’t want to leave. Mom said it was time to go & Ireland (sitting at the top of the play structure with her arms folded) looked down at mom & said “I am NOT AVAILABLE.”
-Ireland seems to have really taken to the marble ball game (perplexus) that McKinley got from Christmas. She will sit for quite a while trying to get the little ball all around the maze. She’s good, too! One day she made it to 100!
-Mom & Ireland have been reading Junie B. Jones (Camri let us borrow some of her books). We get some good laughs from all Junie B.’s crazy antics!

-Kezia earned enough date points & got to go with mom out for lunch at McDonald’s. They had a great time.
-Kezia still talks about Link all the time. When she sees cute shoes at Walmart, she picks them up and says “we can get these for Link when he comes back!”When we used the restroom at the church, she saw the changing table and said “this is where we’ll change Link’s diaper when he comes back!” She likes to tell friends and strangers about her baby brother that died – and she likes to tell them about his cute cheeks. She ALWAYS wants to hear Link’s bedtime song after hers.
-One day mom found 3 bottles of cake decorating sprinkles in Kezia’s PJ drawer.
-All the girls, but especially, Kezia has been saying a LOT “that’s boring!”
-Kezia’s favorite color USED to be yellow, but now she says she’s changed it to blue. (just like daddy & McKInley)
-One day mom was looking online at some outdoor play things. There were some huge swing sets & Kezia said she wanted one of the most expensive ones. Mom said “They are way too much money.” Kezia replied “But I have lots of too much money.”
-We saw a trampoline one day when we were driving in the car & Kezi said she wanted one. Mom said that we already had a little trampoline in the basement. Kezi said “Yeah… I want it to grow up.”
-Kezia is still obsessed with My Little Pony and Super Mario Galaxy. She says she wants a Super Mario Galaxy cake for her next birthday.
-We were on our way home after playing at the new main street park. It was late & mom told the girls that when they got home, they needed to go right to sleep. Kezia said “But sleep is hard.”
-As the girls were getting dressed one day, mom heard Kezia tell her sister “I’m wearing size MINE!”
-One day Kezi entered the bathroom that mom was using.  She said “Eeeew! It stinks! I’ll go get some deodorant so it won’t make you stink.” And she proceeded to bring mom some deodorant.
-Kezia seems to be our child that LOVES animals. She is an amazing chicken catcher and she just CAN’T stay away from Aunt Cindy’s rats when we visit.
-In Primary every Sunday, the presidency walks around with a jar. They say “I know Heavenly Father loves me because…” and the children each say something. One Sunday in May, Kezia said “I know Heavenly Father loves me because… he gives me macaroni and cheese!” That same Sunday, one of the leaders was doing an object lesson. She had some red “juice” and wanted the kids to taste some. The teachers all told the children to say “NO” – but no matter how Kezia’s teacher told her to say NO – she still wanted to taste that “juice” – so she stuck out her tongue. It ended up being red-colored salt water. Yuck!
-Kezia is growing up so fast right before our eyes – she’s learned how to pump herself on the swing without any help and is now buckling her car sear all by herself!
-One day mom looked back in the van & saw a glimpse of the shirt that was Kezia’s shirt that used to be Ireland’s shirt that used to be McKinley’s shirt. My, how time flies.
-Kezia seems to like to play with older girls – even when there are girls her age. She LOVES playing with Camri Corry and Camri Hamilton and whenever we go to the Bealers, she wants Addison home.
-One day at the playground, Kezia was getting too close to someone swinging & a lady moved her over & said “Watch out baby!” Kezia just sat down and screamed & sobbed. Mom came over & asked what was wrong. Kezi said “She called me BABY!”

We miss your blue eyes, your chubby cheeks and your impossibly adorable smiles & laughs every single day, our baby boy. Mom can be seen often kissing her finger & putting it to your picture. You would have been 6 months on the 7th of this month… and that was a hard day for mom. Adam Bealer dropped by and brought blue balloons. We each wrote a note to you and attached it to the balloons and sent them up to you. Also – we watched your slideshow and we cried… It’s been two full months since you died and we’re getting by, but you are in our thoughts all the time, Link. We talk about you constantly. Wondering what you’d be doing by now. Wondering if you would like eating certain things. Your sisters are taking turns sleeping in your room. I think it helps them to feel closer to you. Mom & dad continue to read the after-life book to try and get an idea of what it’s like where you are. We know you are watching over us – and along with Grandpa Tew (and many others) are working hard as a missionary.
Much of this month was spent trying to finalize your headstone. We hope you will like it and it will have meaning for you – as it does for us. We went to your grave on Memorial Day and it was neat to be there – but we think we will enjoy it more once the headstone is in. Mom & Dad felt your presence in the temple when they went this month. Mom has had a few precious dreams where she actually gets to kiss your adorable cheeks and there is almost nothing sweeter & more comforting for her in the whole world. She’s still working to collect all the pictures, videos, and memories from everyone so that we can have a book for your birthday.
You continue to touch so many hearts, Link. We love you. We miss you.