Living Out Loud

There are some very serious moments that I wish I was one of those classy ladies … you know the ones that can pull off heels with any outfit, that always have their nails painted, they have a cute laugh, they know the right thing to say and they can hold their tongue (not literally, but figuratively). But I’m not. I bite my nails … I love my flip flops … I snort when I laugh …

I mean I can try to be more composed – I can put on that “well put together” face, but it only lasts so long. I’m like a kinked hose on full blast. It all builds up behind and when you let go – watch out! It all comes sputtering out. I’m messy. I’m emotional. I say too much. I’m raw and emotional. I have no boundaries when it comes to talking about “stuff.” My life is open … I share lots of things that “normal” people might not.

Here’s a good spot for a story … I’m a spaz. I leave cabinets open all the time. It’s like a tornado just came through the kitchen when I’m done cooking. Drove Doug nuts. He would get so irritated with me … couldn’t understand why I couldn’t remember to just shut a cabinet. I honestly don’t know why – perhaps I’m just doing too much at once or too excited to get on to the next thing that I don’t fully finish what I was in the midst of. I know I’m not perfect and I have idiosyncrasies that drive others nuts. But I want to be loved despite them. I want someone to giggle and shake their head when they see cabinets left open … “Mel was here.” When I lived in the rental, I would sit down for the night and could see right into the kitchen … cabinets were open all of the time. No one got mad. In fact, I often shook my head and said … yep I live here.

There is a deep desire to be comfortable in my own skin and for people to like me. There is a real fear of being judged or looked down on. I live my life out loud. There is no changing that. But, when I live out loud, you always know where you stand with me. I love you. Plain and simple – I love everyone. You’ll always have a friend in me – even if we didn’t end on good terms. If you call, I’ll be there. Second changes are given freely (sometimes too freely). I believe in second chances.

So here I am, with my open cabinets, hoping I can bare my soul without being judged. Praying that one day I will find someone who will love my messy self. Maybe it’s not in the cards for me to find true love. Maybe my work is to learn how to love myself. I’ll continue to pray for love every night. There isn’t enough love in this world … love each other.

Love, Mel

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Lots have happened in the last few months…

So much has changed over the past few months. I’m approaching my 1 year anniversary at my job – which  means I’m starting to feel a little more comfortable in my role, rather than just trying to learn what the heck I’m supposed to be doing. The boys and I moved into a  new home. All kinds of new responsibilities and tools to learn how to use. The kids are getting ready for another school year. Just lots going on. I also feel like I’ve had a little more time to think about what it is I want.

All kinds of things that I want. … house projects I want to accomplish … dreaming of new flooring in the bathrooms, new toilets, paint the deck … I feel like a kid making a list for Santa. A pretty lame Santa list … but a list all the same.

Then, there are the things I want to do with my kids this year – water parks, bike rides, trips to take. I dream of a bedtime that is less than an hour long. I envision and start to plan for a “mommy boot camp” where I get my supermom powers aligned and take mommyhood to the next level. I think about how I can be more involved at Jaden’s school while still being a full-time working mom. I think about how I can figure out time for Jaden to have a friend over. I find myself making imaginary chore lists on the things my kids could do to help around the house.

I look in my **new** craft room and dream about all the projects I bought supplies for but haven’t actually accomplished. Beautiful yarn to crochet into afghans, blank canvases to paint, photos to put into scrapbooks … there just isn’t enough time in the day.

I also find myself thinking about what I want out of my life partner – if I would ever dream of marrying again. I think about the “type” I’d go for …. the rugged cowboy who knows how to fix anything but also cleans up well and likes to go out for dinner and go nice places. Someone who can share what’s on his mind and who cares what’s on my mind. The traditional man who wants to protect his family, but one who would cherish a warm meal and a woman who would be by his side always. (This could probably be another post.)

Bottom line is that life is starting to settle in but my dream list is growing exponentially. I feel like there just won’t be enough time to accomplish everything in life. It’s a constant game of choices – a balancing act of what needs to be done vs. what you’d like to get done. Where to spend your energy when you know you’ll never have enough for it all? I love to sleep, but I really wish I didn’t have to some nights. Just think about how much more we could accomplish or even dream about if we had another 8 hours to our day?

What’s on your dream list? Dreaming of what what you want life to be like is healthy – a sign of growth. There is hope in the future and a promise of a better life. Change is inevitable, pain is unavoidable, but dreaming for the future is something to work for. There was a day when life seemed like it was never going to get better. I was plagued as a single mom forever – life was just going to be hard and I would have to get used to it. I never imagined I’d be dreaming again …

Love, Mel

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I donated blood today

The church I work at held a blood drive today. It’s been years since I last donated blood and I thought it was about time. I never expected it to bring back so many memories. Not memories of the last time I donated, but rather memories of Owen receiving blood while on life support. I had silent tears running down my cheeks from the moment I sat down in the little cubical. The guy probably thought I was a nut job.

He treated me just like any other regular donor. Inside I was wondering if he knew who I was. I mean, come on … I am the mother of an organ donor. Like the biggest of all donors … you don’t get more donor-y than giving your organs! He concentrated on the tablet in front of him, verifying my information. My account should be flagged or something, right? There should be something on his screen that would show him that I was a VIP … a first class donor. Giving my son’s organs makes me a gold card holder, right?

BCW gold card

Shouldn’t I be getting first class treatment? Hot towels? Free glass of champagne? Be escorted into a special waiting lounge? Where were the fancy bags of pretzels? I wanted to ask him if he knew who I was … but he didn’t. I was just a normal donor like anyone else that walked through those doors.

What really made the tears flow, was when he brought over the bag and started scanning all the bar codes. I remember Owen’s nurse, Cindy, bringing in the same kid of bag and hooking it up to Owen’s IV. He received platelets a few times while on life support and did get a blood transfusion towards the very end. And here I was donating to fill the same kind of bag that might help someone else’s little baby boy. I’ll never know who or where my blood is given … but maybe another mom will have the same memories like I do. It sucks to know that another mom might need my blood for her child, but on the other hand, it’s comforting to know that I can help another mom sleep a little easier knowing that the medical care they need is available.

Dear Blood Center of Wisconsin, if you are reading this post – perhaps you’ll consider giving us donor mom’s a gold card for when we donate blood. I know I’m one of thousands … I’m no one special really. There are other mom’s out there who have given their baby’s organs and have never received the recognition that I have. It just doesn’t change the fact that I want the world to know that I have four sons – not three. I have a son that no one can see anymore. He lives on in more than just my heart – he lives in the eyes of his brothers, in the smile of Josie (who has his heart), in the prayers for the little girl in IL who was gifted his liver. He lives on in each of you who wear orange and remember him. I speak his name almost every day.

So why was it so hard to bring up Owen while donating blood today? Instead, I let the tears roll down my cheeks one at a time and gave my blood in silence. I listened to the woman, Trish, who was taking my blood. I made small talk; asking her how her day was and about her family. Turns out her mother-in-law passed away only a week and a half ago. She was her main caregiver and brought her home to die, in her own home. She held her mother-in-law’s hand while she took her last breath. Trish spoke the Lord’s name and said, “All I’ve ever wanted to be was a good servant. Just help wherever I am needed.” What a life moto. Just aim to help where you are needed. 

I’m usually the one who has a crazy life story to share – one of life in the midst of death, hope and healing. I listened this time and God was there. Trish ministered to me.

The flashbacks I had today were unexpected. The tears still flow, three years later and I’m going to guess that they always will in some way. Losing a child isn’t something you ever really get over. But you can heal to a point where another person’s pain feels greater than your own. Trish’s grief was fresh and raw … it still stung with every hour that passed by. Proof that I am healing … day by day … and Trish will too. It all just takes time.

Love, Mel

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When Dreams Come True

Yep – this happened a few weeks ago.

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I think I am still in shock that I would ever have a home I would be proud of. Being a single mom of three boys isn’t easy. Every morning I wake up I wonder if it was all a dream. A happy home. A home where there is enough room for my boys to play. A kitchen with more than 18″ of counter space to make lunches on. Enough bedrooms for each of my kids. A neighborhood where I feel safe. Finally a home that reflects the kind of family I want to be.

There is a sense of sadness in being a home owner on my own … I’m alone. I never dreamed of owning a home by myself. I never wanted to bare the responsibility only on my shoulders. It sort of made me stare at myself in the mirror and be honest with the fact that I am single. Which hurt. It sucks to be honest with the truth that someone who was supposed to love you forever, really didn’t love you at all.

I have received so much help over the past few weeks – it’s hard to know where to start in thanking them. I like to think of myself as a handy girl – and if not handy at least, resourceful. But dang there is so much to learn and I’d be lost without my loved ones, especially my dad. I did successful learn how to lay commercial grade tile in my laundry room and how to re-stain and varnish my window sils. I also learned how quickly a dishwasher can flood my kitchen floor. My dear family friends and family were at my house until almost midnight, every night, for almost a week – painting, cleaning, unpacking and making my house a home. I’d be lost without them … or buried under unpacked boxes.

So yes, I wake up every morning thinking that it couldn’t possibly be true that a dream became a reality. I am reminded of how much I still have to learn every corner I turn. And I am starting to wonder if there will ever be a night without a house project!

I am so blessed. Dreams really do come true and girls really can know how to use power tools!

Love, Mel

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Reflections on Jaden’s 8th Birthday Party

Today is Jaden’s 8th birthday. I became a mother for the first time 8 years and 12 hours ago, photo1   almost exactly. Where on earth did the time go and how on earth do I have FOUR more children already!?!?

We like to celebrate birthdays big in my family … my mother coined the term “birthday week.” So last night, we had a bunch of Jaden’s friends over to my parent’s house for an outdoor movie. The party didn’t start until 7 p.m. which is quite late for a bunch of 7-8 year-olds. I had thought we’d be able to start the movie around 8 and then kids would be picked up by 9:30. Not so much … turns out the sun sets at 8:30 ish and it’s not even really dark enough to show a movie outside until almost 9 p.m. Sure wish I would have known that before 7:30 p.m. on the night of the party. Needless to say, I had a lot of stalling time with 15 kids running wild. Annnnd one might say I didn’t do the best job planning either. That doesn’t change the fact, that I was highly unprepared to entertain my own children, let alone the 15 that were dropped off at the front door.

We played Red Light, Green Light. We played ghost in the graveyard, which apparently is called fox in the cornfield when played in daylight. We played pick up the broken pieces of balloons in the grass. We sang happy birthday and eat Minecraft rice crispy bar cake (because it’s photo2something that I can make Jaden-friendly because of his food allergies). I was running out of stalling activities and the sun was still very clearly still in the sky. I texted my sister, who was upstairs, and asked for HELP!!! ok it was a mayday signal. I was in over my head, and I had no idea how on earth to control the situation. Just because you are a mother, does NOT mean you have the gift of controlling mobs of little people called children. I was in over my head and sinking fast.

My sister and brother came outside and asked me what was next – presents, another game, start the movie? They were there to help. I was a deer in headlights and didn’t know what to do. At first they thought maybe I was just being flighty Mel – the one that can’t really focus enough to make a decision. Then, they saw my face and realized that I really didn’t know what to do … they jumped in to help. It was decided that it was time to open presents, then we would start the movie inside and move outside when it was dark enough. THANK YOU!

The rest of the night turned out great. My sister continued to give me pointers on what to do next. When they had all been picked up, I was feeling both like a failure and that I accomplished a miracle, But most of all, I had such a profound appreciation for teachers. They actually choose to do this on a daily basis and most of them actually like it. Saints I tell ya.

Being able to control small mobs of children is not easy – it’s a god-given gift, one that I do not have. There are many talents God did give me, just not this one. It’s also evidence that just because you have lots of children, does not mean you are a good with children. I love my kids to the moon and back, but for the most part, I have no clue what I am doing. I relay on books, parenting groups, prayer and advise from other moms on how to mother. It does not come easily for me, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to be. I find that I’ve got the loving and playing with my children down pat, but not the disciple or getting them to do what they are supposed to do thing down.

I continue learn a lot from my sister in that department. She has the god-given talent of being in control of young people. She is able to captivate their attention and get them to quiet down so they can listen. She shows strength and discpline. She is my role model when trying to be a better mother. Ironic because she isn’t a mother herself (yet). But lordy has she taught me lots and shown me how to be a better leader in my own homes. (Side note: my own mom teaches me a heck of a lot in this department as well!) 

Lessons I learned on Jaden’s 8th birthday:

  1. 8 years goes by really super fast
  2. Jaden is my favorite 8 year-old on this planet!
  3. I have little to no experience (or talent) in being in control of 15 people under 4 feet tall
  4. It doesn’t get dark enough outside for a movie until 9 p.m. and the time between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. can seem like an eternity
  5. When having a “build your own trail mix” bar – kids really interpret that as a “fill my bowl with candy and skip the cereal” bar
  6. Having lots of children does not mean you are good at being in charge of lots of them
  7. Mobs of children can be intimidating
  8. My sister is an amazing teacher
  9. My 8 year old, Jaden, is an incredible little man
  10. I would miserably fail at being a teacher

I have now delegated the motherly task of planning my children’s birthday parties to my sister. She will be in charge going forward. It’s for everyone’s best interest … 

Love, Mel

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Not what I wanted to write about …

I sat down tonight to write about something happy and funny – anything happy and funny really. And the only words I hear are “I just want to be loved. I just want someone to love me.” I don’t want to write about this part of me – it sounds pathetic and wrongly focused. I am loved. My family loves me to the moon and back. My children love me. Jesus loves me most of all. He IS the man in my life ;)

But there is still something missing – that partner piece. That person who is as invested in life, children and home as I am. Someone to share with – to navigate life together. I remember a conversation I had with my dad … he travels all around the world. He’s been to so many exotic places. When I told him how cool it must be to have seen more of the world than most people ever have the opportunity to see, he answered quickly and without hesitation, “the places are amazing, but they aren’t anything if you don’t have anyone to share them with. All of you are at home, it’s hard to really appreciate a place when you don’t have your family to share it with.” I suppose that’s sort of how I’m feeling these days.

My parents, sister and brother are my “go-to” peeps these days. They are the ones that I call when I need to vent, or when I have something to celebrate. They are my problem solvers, parenting advisers, toilet plunging backup. They are my better half. But there is this small gap … this is my life, my house, my children. This is my nest that I’m rebuilding and ultimately, these are my choices. They can share their input and they can share in the experiences, but they each have their own lives too. I’m steering this boat all on my own. The responsibility lays solely on my shoulders. What am I going to make of myself?

But this stuff is heavy, messy and not really inspiring. I feel like I’m having a huge wimpy cry fest. It reveals a lot of my “unhealed” parts. I want to be ok. I want to kick these divorce blues in the butt! I want to come out on the other end stronger than ever, but here I am, writing all this sad crap.

I want to hurry up and get to the good parts. I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to get my dessert! It’s about time that my fairy tale dreams come true … but who am I to say when it’s time? I suppose the boss upstairs has more teaching in mind. There is more work for me to do here in the trenches.

I’ll be okay – God is faithful and good all the time. He’s on my side and fighting right along with me. I’m a warrior. I’m a survivor. Divorce is tough, but I am tougher.

Love, Mel

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No Power

Earlier this week my parents took Jaden on an overnight to Iowa. That meant, I had a night where it was just Logan, Weston and I. When I was a stay at home mom, it was just the three of us every day. Since I’ve gone back to work, I’m not sure when the last time I had the triplets all on my own. Monday night was a little treat for everyone :)

I had wonderful plans of cuddling up on the couch with the triplets, some popcorn and watching a movie, cuddling before bed. We weren’t even through dinner before the bad weather knocked the power out. Then the fun really began …

I couldn’t find a candle for the life of me. I had packed them all away since they were merely decorative – I didn’t really need them, right? So here I am, in the basement, with my iPhone flashlight looking at all these boxes … I must have gone through all of them four times until I found the ONE box I didn’t check – the one at the bottom of the stairs. As in, the very first box I would have come across and I just walked right by it. OYE. The good news is I found plenty of candles. Thank you Jesus for iPhone flashlights!

I quickly grabbed a few things out of the fridge just in case (i.e. my wine for when the kids were sleeping … I had great plans of reading a book by candlelight with my wine) … I then instructed the boys not to open the fridge. They didn’t quite get it … they kept forgetting and would try to get a yogurt or more water in his cup. Drove me a little nutty.

Then, the boys decided they were going to have a sword fight … in the dark … not the smartest idea, as you can imagine. It was only a matter of minutes before someone got clipped in the knuckles and was crying. That’s it, we were done with swords. I asked Weston to give me the one he was holding. He looked me right in the eye and flicked his sword up into the air. It came crashing down on the table – just barely missing all the candles. I had a flash of the house burning down. The sword landed in my wine glass instead … my full wine glass of the-only-cold-white-wine-I-was-going-to-have-that-night … it crashed to the floor, glass and liquid heaven flying in all directions. My usually defiant Weston knew right away and for the first time in my life, he went to the time-out chair on his own without having to be walked there. I instructed Logan to sit on the kitchen tile while I attempted to clean up wine and broken glass off the living room floor … IN THE DARK! Not really the start to my cuddly night I had imagined.

We read half a dozen books and then attempted to go to bed. We walked by iPhone flashlight and I tucked them both in their beds. You would have thought that the complete darkness would have been calming. Not for my boys! Pitch black = gymnastics! They were crazy! And by crazy, I mean it took me two HOURS to get them to settle down and go to sleep. Now, let me also say not the entire two hours was horrible. They were pretty darn cute too! At one point, they were cuddling in Logan’s bed together. Cute until Weston bit Logan. At another point, I played the Frozen soundtrack and Logan and Weston sang along with all the words. Eventually they both snuggled in and fell asleep.

By this point, the house was getting hot and I was tired and uncomfortable. My phone was almost was dead so I decided to go out to the car to plug it in for a while. I walked out the back door to find a HUGE animal in my garbage can. The animal scattered and I yelped loud. Not sure who scared the other more! While sitting in the car, watching the little green lightening bolt, I started to really freak myself out. The street was dark … really dark. It’s usually pretty lit up with the street lights, the church parking lot and the huge light up sign outside. But I couldn’t even see across the street. I felt like when I was a little girl and had to run up the basement stairs “just in case” because it felt like someone was chasing me. I braved it until my phone got to 60% and then I ran back inside, quickly locking the door behind me. I tried to not psych myself out … no such luck. I grabbed one candle, my wine, my journal and decided to write in my bed with the covers over my head.

It came time to blow out the candle. I made sure to put the lighter close to bed, just in case. At 3:30 a.m. I opened my eyes groggy, there was something lit up. All I could think was, “Crap! I thought I blew the candle out! I lit the whole house on fire!” After 2.5 seconds I realized the light was coming from the living room – the power was back on! I got out of bed to check on the house and turn off the lights. I crawled back to bed and treated myself to a few games of Candy Crush before going back to sleep.

Who knew the sound of cartoons would be like sweet music at 6 a.m.? Who knew I would have another surprise?!? I was getting into the shower when I found THIS on the curtain:

photo

I can’t even tell the story without wiggling all around. Gross-gross-gross! It was time to put on my big girl pants one more time. I grabbed the biggest wad of toilet paper I could. I climbed up on the edge of the tub and I let out a ninja scream as I killed that sucker! ew ew ew I shivered as I threw the ball into the toilet and flushed. I jumped into the shower and as I was washing my face, trying to find my happy place again, I looked up to find ANOTHER SPIDER up in the corner – this time too high for me to reach. Sick – I closed my eyes and took the world’s quickest shower.

By this point, I was so over being the adult. Not just the adult, but the only adult in the house. I was exhausted of playing both mom and dad. There was a very vulnerable moment when I just wanted someone to protect me. I was tired of being strong and I just wanted to be weak. I wanted to fall limp into someone’s arms and be taken care of. I allowed myself to feel this for just a while. Any longer, and the feelings would have started to take root. I can’t afford to be shaken at my foundation right now. My children need me to be strong. So strong I am – Supermom/dad, cook, comforter, disciplinary, protector, handyman, bringer home of the bacon – I’m it all. I’m strong not by desire or any power of my own, I’m strong because my kids need me to be and because I ask for God’s help.

Love, Mel

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Lemonade Stands

The house I grew up on was on the top of a hill at the end of a court. When we were kids, my sister and I loved having lemonade lemonade_standstands down at the corner. We would make a large batch of Kool-aide and lemonade, load up the red wagon with cups and a change box and post ourselves at the corner. True entrepreneurs … such fond childhood memories.

Last week, my mom stopped at a neighbor’s lemonade stand. Lemonade for $.75 or bottled water for $1. After ordering, the girls held up a bowl, “would you like a mint?” Top notch … THOSE girls are entrepreneurs! Mom came home to find a similar bottle of water and a mint on the counter – my dad had stopped at the same stand on way home. I just LOVE that my parents are the ones who stop at lemonade stands.

I remember the thrill I got when we actually got a car to stop. The feel of that quarter in my hand. The rush and anticipation of when the next car would stop. My parents are the kind of cars that stop. They make little dreams come true in those simple acts. My mom even tipped the girls a buck.

When I told my parents how cool it was that they both stopped at the stand, my dad kindly looked at my mom and said, “Your mother is the one that taught me it was important to stop.” Golden. My dad is a pretty cool man … a typical, hard working provider. Successful in his job. But he is also kind, loving and supportive of the women in his life, especially my mom. He is a good-lemonade-buying man.

Maybe next time you pass a lemonade stand, you’ll stop too. It’s important to notice children. To stop for the silly little things that make a child’s summer something to remember. The only thing more beautiful than having parents who stop at lemonade stands is having a father who credits your mother for teaching him the importance of doing so.

I hope I can be as cool as my parents are when I grow up…

Love, Mel

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What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for? How many of you would answer something like “as soon as we get through the school year” or “as soon as I get that raise” or “when life slows down”? Why have we convinced ourselves that we need to get through something before we are allowed to live? There is no such thing as a perfect time for anything … ok there maybe there is the perfect time to take the cake out of the oven or to wash the hair dye out … but for the other stuff it just doesn’t exist.

Life doesn’t slow down. Things don’t generally getting easier. If it’s not one thing, it’s the other. That’s why you’ve got to make the best with what you’ve got. Take that leap – the longer you wait, the less time you’ll have on the other side. The more time you spend waiting, the less time you’ll have living what you are dreaming about. Make the best with what you’ve got and jump! It is possible to be all jacked up and make your dreams come true. It’s possible to have your life falling apart and to pursue a dream all at the same time.

Circumstances are … well just that – circumstances. They doesn’t define you nor do they tell you what you deserve. They have an impact on your situation, I’ll give you that … but life is too short to focus on circumstances. Don’t let the “what I’m waiting for” hold you back. Act now – all messy and unprepared – make the leap. Let those who are willing to stand beside you help. Give them permission to enter into your unprepared world made up for dirty dishes, unmade beds and unfolded laundry. That way, you might not be ready, but heck you aren’t alone!

There might not ever be the perfect time to make your dreams come true, but we certainly don’t have to do it alone. Love each other. Encourage each other to keep moving forward even when all you want to do is stop for a water break. Keep pedaling – keep moving forward. The greatest memories are made when we make things up as we go. Sort of like an impromptu road trip – where you don’t really know where you are going or how you are going to get there – all you know is that you are driving and you’ll figure it out along the way. You make random stops for junk food at gas stations and you read the road map one city at a time. It’s about the journey – not about how perfectly or quickly you got there.

Next time someone asks you what you’re waiting for – be the one that says “I’m not waiting – I’m going after my dreams, just the way I am!”

Love, Mel

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My Heroes

It’s May … memories of Owen begin to flood my thoughts, preparing myself for the end of the month. Three years ago, tomorrow, is the last time I saw Owen awake. Three years ago, I called 911 and the village of Sussex fire and police departments flooded my home and worked tirelessly to save my baby boy.

The past two yeas, I’ve brought the fire department a meal on the anniversary of the day as a way of saying thank you. The first year, it was on the actual day … 365 days after my 911 call. My family and I decided that this year would be the same. It’s cool that the boys remember being there last year and were totally psyched to go again this year.

The Village of Sussex fire department is home to a few of my heroes. Losing Owen was a huge loss – one that will never quite be filled. However, the hope that this team gave me is irreplaceable. I have found such healing and comfort in knowing that Owen saved someone’s life. That the little baby I grew, continues to grow and give life. This simple fact, helps me get up each morning. Without their expert care, Owen’s body would have been without oxygen for much longer and he might not have been an organ donor.

I was able to share a short video from Josie and her parents – introducing the team to the life that they saved on the night of May 21, 2011. Whether they will admit to it or not, these big, burly fire fighters all had tears in their eyes :) I mean who wouldn’t, Josie is stinkin’ adorable! It was important that they have a face to the life they saved.

At one point, I went into the garage to see what the boys were up to. They were trying to talk Logan into trying on a helmet. He was shy and really didn’t want to do it. I asked him if I put it on, would take a picture with me. This is the best picture we got:

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What this picture doesn’t show is how much my heart is melting and I’m slightly freaking out on the inside. As the fireman handed me his helmet, I saw Owen’s hand print in the top. There is this space in between the helmet and the part that sits on your head and Owen’s prayer card, from his funeral, was tucked inside. It was torn and tattered … and there – held secretly in a heroes’ armor. Saving lives is his job – he does this every week, day in and day out. It’s been three years – how many calls has he been on since then? And he is still carrying this little owenge hand print of my baby boy in his hat. Are there even words for something like that?

I think, as a mother, I was most sad that people would never have the chance to meet my Owen. I would always have a part of my heart that I could never show to others. Since he has been gone for far longer than he was on earth, I grieved (still grieving in many ways) the truth that he would be forgotten one day. I would be known as a mother of three and not four. It would one day be easier to call Logan and Weston twins, rather than explaining why they are triplets. Owen would be a memory … and no longer a part of my present. These men and women remember my baby. They think about my baby. They saved my baby from being forgotten. They took care of him so that he would be able to be a hero to someone else. These men and women give so much of their time, efforts and heart into their job. They saved my life too that day. I have found peace in my truth because of these blessings. There will never be enough meals to bring to these heroes. There will never be enough I could do to express even a fraction of my gratitude for their gift.

God sends you angels in time of tragedy. These are just a few of the angels that I encountered. I am honored to know these men and women.

On a lighter note, and for some added cuteness – here are a few more pictures of my boys playing in the fire trucks.

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Love, Mel

 

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Filed under Posted by Melissa