Tuesday, September 24, 2013


{I have gone back and forth about creating a separate blog for my grief. Most of it I work through in my personal journal, but in the end I decided to keep these posts a part of this blog. I totally understand if those who have read my blog in the past decide to skip these posts or stop reading my blog all together. But this is a part of my journey. And as painful as it is, it is something I don't want to forget. So... I know it's sometimes hard to read and you may not know what to say. And that is all okay. In the end, this will be mostly for myself and my children anyway. But I appreciate your continued thoughts, prayers, comments, e-mails, and notes. They truly mean so much to me. Thank you.}


I was sad when I found this Willow Tree. I don't know which of my daughters broke it. I didn't have the emotional energy to find out who it was or discipline them. I was just sad. But as I looked at it, I realized that it reminded me of someone. 


I was having a hard day today. I kept having to fight the pain. The tears came, but I had to suck the grief back in. The visiting teachers were coming. The grief broke through afterward, but - no time - I needed to go pick up Kezia from preschool and get some groceries. The day went on like that till at the end, I had no energy to fight it anymore. I let the grief take over. I let the sobs and tears envelop me. The pain. My husband found me and said "Do you want to talk about it? Is it just that you are sad?" 
Sad is when it rains when you were going to go to the park. Sad is when you lost a keepsake that was precious to you. Sad is when your team loses the game. 
Me? I'm not sad. 

I'm broken. 

Not just heart-broken. Everything-broken. My soul is broken.

So much of the time, I feel like I am here, but NOT. I feel like my body is walking through life and my spirit is dormant. Curled up in the fetal position. Not wanting to accept that life is happening. It's going on RIGHT NOW. Without my son. And I can't even put into words how much that hurts... aches

I feel like a broken mother. A broken wife. A broken sister, daughter, friend. A broken woman. A broken human being. I just don't work anymore. I mean, I can go through the motions. I can clean the house, make meals, drive carpool, talk to you, smile, but most of the time, I just can't make my soul wake up & really LIVE. 

I miss him like crazy. Oh... how I miss that smile. How I miss that laugh. How I miss holding him up to my mirror & saying "who is that handsome baby boy?" How I miss cuddling with him in bed in the mornings as he would coo at me and look at me with those beautiful blue, serious eyes. How I miss putting my finger in his palm and having him grip it tightly. How I miss picking out adorable baby boy clothes for him in the morning. And those cheeks. It's not possible to express how much I ache to kiss them. 

If I knew the reason why he had to go, would it make it a lot easier on me? I wonder about that. I'm not sure I will ever know, though the question will forever linger in my mind. 

I'm hopeful that I will not remain forever broken. I know there is only One that is a healer of souls. I know I need to seek Him to find healing. I believe I will get there through His help. But I also know that it isn't something that can be fixed overnight. Even a broken bone needs time to heal. My guess is broken souls need much longer. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

August Newsletter & Slideshow

I'm sorry this has taken so long to get posted. It just has REALLY frustrated me because I could NOT find the place where I had written down most of what the girls said or did this past month. Sigh... well, this is what I've got!

August was another busy, fun month. Enjoying the last days of summer & the girls starting school. August started out with the Potts family converging on our Cedar City home for the annual Potts Family Retreat. We loved having the family here – eating, talking, playing games, exploring, and just having fun! We went to see Love’s Labor Lost at the Shakespeare Festival (thanks mom & dad!), some of us went to see Mary Poppins at the Tuacahn (loved it!), we hiked to Cascade Falls, went to the aquatic center, the Lake at the Hills, and the movies! In between all that was great meals and great fun. It was so wonderful to see everyone and feel their love. We were sad to see them go. On the 8th, daddy and the girls went to Beauty and the Beast at Cedar City High School. The girls all wore their princess dresses and daddy even dressed up in his best suit. They had a great time and supported one of Jason’s priests, Reese Brown, who played Beast. On the 9th, we got to go up to the Bealer cabin! It was a wonderful time with wonderful friends enjoying the outdoors. We had fun eating yummy food, roasting marshmallows, and the kids all had fun playing together. On the way home, we stopped at Duck Creek for a bit of fishing. McKinley and Ireland started back to school on the 14th. They are attending North Elementary this year & we are carpooling with the Vogt’s. So far it has gone really good & the girls are loving their new teachers and making new friends. On the 23rd, Kezia mentioned to mom that there was as spider on the window. Mom casually looked up & saw a TARANTULA on our front window – just sitting there! The girls got home from school shortly thereafter & we were all distracted for the afternoon –  a bit creeped out, but fascinated - watching him crawl along. He was pretty big – about the size of mom’s hand! It was neat to watch him move along. He hung out for a while by our garage, but after that, we didn’t see him again. On the 24th, we headed over to the family fair. We had a great time until it rained! The girls got their faces painted, got balloons, jumped on the bounce houses, and saw their friend, Mahina. And it was all free!  Kezia started preschool at South Elementary on the 26th and is loving it! Other than those activities, it has been really rainy here in Cedar this past month. Most afternoons it starts to cloud up and sometimes we get a little, sometimes a LOT of rain. Sydney has been mostly an inside dog since Tundra died a few months ago. She was pretty good those first couple months, but lately, she’s been naughty. TWICE she has jumped up on the table or bar and gotten a block of cheese and eaten it. One time, she got a whole stick of butter. And another time she ate 2 homemade corn dogs that were meant for daddy. She’s also been running off more when we let her outside to go potty. We’ve had to put her on the deck more or in the backyard! 

JASON: Jason had a good time with the family this month and taking time off to be with family. His back was hurting him quite a bit for a while, but seems to have gotten better, thankfully. He continues to enjoy serving in the scouts. Jason & Heidi enjoyed going to the temple this past month and also finishing the book The Message. It was a wonderful book which gave us comfort and motivation to honor their son and serve him as he serves them. Jason was so good to give the girls blessings for school this year. They always look forward to that special time with their daddy.  

 HEIDI: Heidi loved having her family close at the beginning of the month & it had been a while since she’d seen a play, so getting to see 2 in a week was great! She especially loved Mary Poppins – it was fun and entertaining, but held a deeper meaning for her as she thought of Link and how he came into the family and changed everyone.  Heidi continues to attend SHARE meetings and enjoys her friendship with these women who understand her loss. Also – she has met some wonderful people online that have helped ease and share her pain– especially SIDS mothers. Her first day of time alone with all three girls at school was painful for her. She is planning ways on using that time for good, however, and has started swimming and doing things that will be healing and helpful. Heidi also got a new phone this month & has had fun loading new apps & figuring out all the cool things it does!

-McKinley really enjoys her teacher, Mrs. Hardin. The friends she has made so far are Dannin, MJ, and Kaylee. She also sees Ireland a lot at recess and likes to play with her. After a week or so, McKinley turned to mom at dinner and said “I think this school is the one!” That is great to hear – and her homework is certainly more challenging than last year, so we hope it will be a learning, growing experience for her & she makes great friends!
-McKinley seems to have gotten more picky with her clothes – not necessarily WHAT she’s going to wear, but HOW it feels on her. She’s constantly complaining that her shoes are too small or her tag is rubbing her or her seem is bugging her. Mom bought her about 5 pair of new jeans and so far she won’t wear any of them L
-McKinley is SO excited to turn 8 next month!!

-Ireland has loved her teacher and making new friends in first grade. The hard thing for her, though, has been having to be at school all day. On that first day of school, she walked in, plopped down on the floor and said “school is soooo loooong now!” So – it has been an absolute switch between last year and her and McKinley. McKinley usually pops up and gets ready in the morning while Ireland wants to stay in bed and complains that she doesn’t want to go to school because it’s too long. She is getting a little more used to the routine, though & we’re hoping in the next couple months she’ll adjust all the way. Her teacher says she’s doing great. She sent mom an e-mail that said “I have enjoyed having Ireland in class.  She is a cute girl and is very artistic.  She is kind to others and seems to making friends. She tries to help the other children when she can.  Like today we were having an "art party" we have been earning marbles as a class and we had enough for a reward.  Ireland was making hearts at the party and one of the other girls saw her and wanted to know how she did it.  Ireland stopped what she was doing and walked over to the girls desk and kindly explained the proper way to make a perfect heart.” Mom was so proud of her after reading that – and grateful she is doing well in school. She likes to play with Mahina and Drew at recess.
-On the way to school one day, we were looking at the clouds. Kezi said they looked like a puzzle. Ireland said “Yeah… I think Jesus took some sheep that died and used their fluff for clouds.”
-Ireland got a sweet note from a boy in her class named Joshua. Mom found it and asked about it & Ireland said “But it’s not MY Joshua!”

-We had signed up Kezia for a different preschool, but the owner ended up moving it to the north end of town & so at the last minute, we signed her up for the Iron County Preschool @ South Elementary. Her first day was a little rough. She had to sit in the “thinking chair” a couple times. After her first day & she learned the rules, though, she has done really well! She has been a big helper and earned “super kid cards” J Her teacher has mentioned to both mom & dad how very smart she is. We also found out her friend Anna is in the same class! And she also met a new friend – Kalli – who she talks about a lot. We’re excited for her to have fun and learn new things.
-Kezia has had lots of one-on-one time with mommy now that her sisters are in school. One of our favorite things to do after we drop them off is for Kezi to get in the stroller and we go on our “lizard walk.” If we cross the street, there are some empty lots and we get to see LOTS of lizards sunbathing on the sidewalk. We love to watch them and count them. We also love to see birds, dogs, and insects along the way.
-Kezia has been sending so many letters in the mail lately that mom has run out of stamps! She sent one to Daken, one to Joshua, and one to Sister Crandall. Sister Crandall (Kezia’s old Sunbeam teacher) is on a mission in Washington D.C. & send Kezia a letter with a picture of the temple on it. Kezia was so excited and send her a letter back. She put the envelope in the mail and said “And the mail guy doesn’t even know I’m sending a letter to Sister Crandall! He’s gonna be SO surprised!!”
-When Kezia sat down in the chair for her daddy to give her a father’s blessing before school started, she was really reverent. But after he said her name at the beginning, she said “What?” (like, yeah – that’s my name – what do you want?). Anyway, it kind of ruined the spirit after that because we were all giggling too much.
-One day in the car, Kezi randomly said “Mom – I like artificial colors.”
-When mom tells Kezia that something is happening tonight, she will say “today, tonight?”
-Whenever we go down a hill on a road (which happens quite a lot because we live on a hill), Kezia will say “here we go down the slide! Wheeeee!”


At the end of the August, it was 5 months since you left this earth. That means that you have now been gone longer than you were here, and that knowledge hurts so very much. You gave us another beautiful rainbow on that day – and also a gorgeous sunset. Thank you so much. You have sent us butterflies, birds, and even a tarantula to brighten and enliven our days. We were so thankful when we got the copy of your tiny footprints from the hospital. Just seeing them helped us feel closer to you. You continue to inspire us to be better people. We know you watch over us all. Mommy always wanted a boy first so he could watch over & protect his siblings and even though you were not the first to come to our family, you are now doing just that – watching over them all. Especially your sisters while they’re at school. We miss you EVERY moment. EVERYday. We LOVE YOU!