Category Archives: Organ Donation

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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Want to walk with me?

Anyone in the Milwaukee area want to take a walk with me and the boys? I was thinking September 14, downtown Milwaukee!

It’s that time if year again … The Briggs & Al run/walk for Children’s Hospital of WI. This hospital is the same four walls we kissed Owen goodbye for the last time. The nurses and staff were the ones that, not only cared for Owen, but cared for my family and I as we prepared to walk a long road of grief.

So I would LOVE to see you on the streets of Milwaukee with us this year! We’ll bring the OWENGE, if you bring a smile! It’s super kid friendly, so kids can walk with us in strollers or wagons! And I’m hoping I can talk my brother into wearing the OWENGE man costume again this year 🙂

CLICK HERE to register to walk with “Owen’s Little Warriors.” See you on September 14!!

Feel free to email me if you’ve got questions about joining the team!! Melissabissing@gmail.com

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Like Owen’s Little Warriors – Al’s Run Walk for CHW on Facebook to get updates!

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Filed under Little Warriors, Organ Donation, Owen Fundraisers, Owen's Gone

Finn’s Heart

 

There is a video I’d like you to watch.  It’s titled “Finn’s Heart.”  Finn is a little boy in my church who is effected by a Congenital Heart Defect.  He is an amazing little boy and his story will inspire you.

Finn’s story brings me back to the moments I was in the hospital with Owen.  When talking about organ donation, we were told that we had the opportunity to make a direct donation – offer Owen’s organs to someone we knew.  I looked to my family in the room and said, “Can you think of anyone that needs a new heart?  There isn’t anyone in the church congregation is there?”  My brother said that a friend of his, Emma,  had a little brother who would need a heart transplant.  I told him to make the call to see if this was something they needed.  Hindsight, I think how beautiful it would have been to have Owen’s heart with me at church each Sunday morning.  But, I’m thankful that Finn is healthy enough not to need a heart transplant (yet).  As each year passes, technology gets better, medical research finds new answers, and Finn’s family has more time to spend with him.

Please watch the video – pray for Finn and for his family.

Love, Mel

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Owen’s Medal of Honor

When we pulled up to the Governor’s mansion my mom instinct to get all the kids out and across the street kicked in.  I found myself dazed on the driveway – putting on my name badge, posing for a group photo in front of a beautiful fountain.  Then I knew I needed to find a restroom before the ceremony started – the Diet Mountain Dew I had on the car ride was kicking in.  The line was so long that by the time it was my turn it was time to find our seats.  I grabbed a cookie on my way to the back of the tent, where my family was already seated and waiting for me.

It wasn’t until the ceremony started that they announced that Gov. Walker wouldn’t be attending.  I’m not going to lie, I was peeved.  Our time to honor Owen had already been postponed a year and now we weren’t even going to have the medal presented by who was promised?  I’m not sure if those of you who do not live in WI have heard on the news, but there was a mass shooting in a Sikh temple in a Milwaukee suburb (Oak Creek).  We were told that Gov. Walker was “spending time with the families effected by the shooting.”  Now, I’m just going to be brutally honest – I was hurt by that.  The shooting was DEVASTATING, HORRIFIC and TERRIBLE … but the Donor Network ceremony was honoring 209 families who have lost their loved ones.  There were 6 deaths in the Sikh temple shooting.  Didn’t really seem like he chose how he could reach the most people – he rather went to where the news cameras would be.  The terrible and bitter thought of  “just because my son’s death didn’t make national news, means that he’s not worth Gov Walker’s time.”  It was a horrible thought and it felt even more horrible.  I was a little ticked that he was not going to be there.  Let me also end by saying, I am actually a Scott Walker fan and am not looking to start any kind of political debate.  I simply felt like it was just a political move … and I can’t stand politics.

That being said – the ceremony was really something special.  The instrumental music that played while each loved one’s name was announced was perfect.  The weather was beautiful and the view of the water was calming.

We were third in line to receive Owen’s medal.  I carried Weston, Doug had Logan and Jaden walked proudly between us.

As we paused to wait for our time to walk, I looked up and felt the wind get knocked out of my chest.  I flashed back to the funeral – where the musical was playing, and I was standing at the back of the church looking at a sea people.  I looked down the aisle and just focused on Rebecca Kleefisch (Lt Governor of WI) just as I had focused on the large picture of Owen at the altar.  The only thing I could do was breath and put one foot in front of the other.

 

(love this picture because it shows the craziness of what our family is really like)

 

We received Owen’s medal with honor.  We received a heart felt thanks for Owen’s gift.  Logan and Weston were especially loved.  Then we made our way back to our seats.  I realized just how my grief had been replaced with joy in so many ways.  I had not felt the heart stabbing pain in so long.  Perhaps it’s because I turned it all over to the Lord from the very beginning.  Perhaps it’s because I have two boys who have replaced my pain with smiles.  I am so busy loving Logan, Weston and Jaden.  It does NOT mean that I don’t love Owen.  It just means that I gave myself permission to be happy.  I have allowed myself to love what I still have.

As Logan and Weston grow, I have come to know each of them individually.  They have started to show their personalities and preferences.  This is a part of Owen I never knew – he was too young.  I know he was much calmer than his brothers, but even that is different between Logan and Weston now.  I remember the nights that Logan just WOULD NOT SHUT UP!  And now he is the calmest and cuddliest of the two.  Who knows what Owen would have been like.  I can spend hours hypothesizing and guessing how he would have played into the mix.  But it would have been just that – a guess.  I feel like I’m grieving someone I hardly knew.  A personality I never met or saw.  It’s hard to imagine what my life would be like if he were still here.  There really isn’t a huge gaping hole anymore.  The boys have outgrown all of the clothes I had in sets of three – their drawers are filled with blue and green.

The pain and awkwardness is still there every time I call them triplets to a stranger and they look at me puzzled and ask where the third one is.  Then I think “crap, I’ve got to go there again.”  But the thing is they ARE TRIPLETS!  I don’t know that I’d ever be able to call them anything else.  I just hate having to explain my story over and over when it’s become an intrinsic part of me.  I just want to be able to introduce my children without a sad story that goes along with it.

As I sat in my chair, I noticed the photos some families were carrying up with them.  A few rows up a father carried a photo of (who I assume to be) his daughter – maybe 9 or 10 with beautiful long red hair.  It felt like she was looking right at me.  I could imagine what a joy she must have been to have around.  Her family must still feel her loss in the family.  Her smile and personality had already made an impression on me, surely in ten years she was a huge part of her own family.  I found myself wondering how she died.  Was it illness? Or a sudden accident?  It felt rude to walk up to these strangers and ask them such personal questions.  So instead I said a prayer for her family.  I prayed that they would feel the comfort of my thoughts.  I prayed for their beautiful daughter who was the hero to someone else.  I confessed that I was thankful my child was taken from me so early – only having 6 months to grieve seemed like the long stick when compared to ten years.  I know it’s like comparing apples to oranges, but I find myself thinking this more and more.  I thanked the Lord for giving me Weston and Logan – so that I had something to love in his place.  When I miss Owen, I hug one of the other triplets a little tighter.  I sing Owen’s bed time lullaby to the other boys.  Perhaps that’s why the hole doesn’t seem so empty.  Maybe I just filled it with loving the other boys more – simply because they are here with me.  Not because I love Owen any less.  I think it feels like I don’t miss Owen as much because it’s become natural to use my love for Owen on the other boys.

When we get home from vacation, I’ll find the perfect place to display Owen’s medal.  It was a beautiful ceremony and will be remembered always by myself and my family.

Love, Mel

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Honoring Owen Today

I am in the car on the way to Madison. Technology is pretty amazing that I can sit here and type while flying down I-94. I remember when our donor coordinator telling us about this ceremony. There were times when I never thought I would get through the days to even make it here. Yet here we are. Healthy, almost happy and blessed.

The ceremony takes place in the Governor of Wisconsin’s Madison residence. Mr Walker and his wife open their doors to all the families of organ donors. We will sit in a sea of grieving family members. Some loved ones might be children, parents, aunts or siblings. But each of them has their own story to tell, their own legacy to leave behind.

I feel flooded with emotion. The days leading up to this morning I says filled with excitement and anticipation. I was looking forward to having an “Owen Day.” I could feel the tears building up … Saving up for the right moment. I prayed that I would feel Owen close to me, even for just a brief moment. I know that he is “always with me” but I can’t remember the last time I honestly felt him. The strong surge that makes my heart skip just a little bit and leaves the strong assurance that Owen was in my arms. Perhaps I’ll feel it today on the lack lawn of the residence, or maybe I’ll feel it while standing in line for the restroom or maybe not at all. I know that Owen would be honored and proud to be recognized. He has his father’s blood in him and Doug takes great pride in these sorts of things.

Somethings don’t ever change … I’m consumed with emotion and I grab my iPad to start journaling. I find myself being thankful that I have a way to sort through all the things that I feel or have trouble with.

I hold Owen’s angel sisters close to my heart today. They are just as much of his story as anyone else is or this blog is. Josie and the little unnamed girl will received his liver receive this medal with Owen. I should reach out to the unnamed girl. Maybe she doesn’t care to know us anymore since it isn’t Owens liver she carries anymore. But I guess I just want her to know that she is loved by me and my family. She should know just how many people pray for her.

We just pulled up. Time to celebrate my son.

Love, Mel

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The Beginning of a Great Two Weeks!

So this week starts our annual lake house summer vacation.  For the past few years my parents have rented a lake house in Oconomouc, WI (only about 30 mins from where we live) and all of us kids move out there together.  Company is always coming and going … there is always food to eat and a cold beer to drink.  It’s a whole lot of fun!

I have found myself remembering the summer I was out here pregnant with the triplets.  I remember LOVING to float around in the pool on my stomach on a raft because it was the only way I could lay that way.  There was NO way I could roll over in a bed!  I remembered how freaked out I was of slipping and falling in the shower.  The tile is just really slippery.  But darn it if I didn’t find a way to still shave my legs around my huge belly!  I remember sitting in the anti-gravity chair because it was the only place that took the pressure off of my lower back.  I remembered how HOT it was since the house didn’t have air conditioning that summer.

And I find myself looking around thinking how different life is this year than years past.  I never would have thought things would be the way they are.  We were at the lake house last summer so it’s not like it’s the first time since Owen died.  But I still feel like it’s different. Perhaps it’s because I’m not walking around like a grieving zombie this time.  Perhaps it’s because life is a bit more chaotic with two walkers around a pool.  Whatever the reason, it just feels different.

All four of my boys and I are staying in the large room at the end of the hallway.  It’s got three twin beds and plenty of room for the pack ‘n plays.  Last night, I don’t know how he did it but Jaden found a way to still crawl in bed with me!  I woke up to my little bitty bed being shared with my six-year-old.  I must love him because I was more happy to have some extra cuddle time with him before he woke up than I was irritated that I had kinked my back due to the lack of space.

So our plan for the next two weeks is to wake up, hang out by the pool, nap and eat.  Yep, that’s just about it.

On Friday of this week, we will be taking a trip out the Madison to the governor’s residence for a Donor Network ceremony.  Owen will be receiving a medal of honor for being an organ donor.  I’m oddly looking forward to this … in fact, I start to tear up just about any time I start to talk about it.  If you knew me in person, I’m not usually the crying type.  I don’t cry at sappy movies and I don’t cry when talking about hard topics.  I cry plenty in private, just not something I really do in front of others.  And this isn’t by choice, it’s just the way I am.  But this ceremony has had me in tears a few times as I have been discussing it with friends.  My baby son is being recognized by the Governor of the state of Wisconsin.  That’s some pretty big stuff!  I’m not really sure what to expect out of the day … but I will have my camera close by and will share the experience with my blog family.  Gosh … a medal of honor.  I am one proud mama!

Love, Mel

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Filed under Organ Donation, Owen's Gone, Posted by Melissa

What I didn’t mention about Private Practice …

What I didn’t mention about Private Practice … is how wonderful it is to see a sitcom spread the word on how important organ donation is.  A mother losing her child is devastating.  A child dying is unthinkable. Being an organ donor is amazing!

I firmly believe that Doug and I were able to come to the agreements we did because we discussed our wishes ahead of time.  It might sound morbid but when we were newly married it came up in conversation once.  We talked about our wishes should we leave this world.  We both said we wanted to be organ donors.  Doug felt strongly about being cremated.  I was ok with it, although no one in my family has been cremated.  At one point we even discussed that Doug wanted to be a paul bearer should one of our children die.  He didn’t care if it wasn’t the “norm” no one would carry our son but him.  At the time we had NO idea one of our children were going to die.  It was all hypothetical.

Amelia (from Private Practice) sort of did the same thing.  She thought out what she wanted to do ahead of time.  So in her moment of grief and not wanting to live the moment, she had the plan to fall back on.  It’s the very moment when you think you just can’t handle anymore.  When you want to run away from the hospital, from the pain.  You don’t have to think – you just have to follow your plan.

On May 21, 2011, when approached by Dr Miller in the waiting room at Children’s, he asked if we would be willing to enroll Owen in a medical study.  It only took a look between Doug and I to know that we would say yes.  We called him back no more than 10 minutes later.  I remember how surprised he was to see us agreed and strong in our decision so quickly.  But it’s because we already had a plan should this happen.  We both believe in medicine and in that knowledge is power.  We both believe that medicine can save lives.  That doctors are someone we can trust.  I also believe that it’s also with the power of the Holy Spirit that all of the comes together.

So, not to sound totally creepy or weird but have you thought about what you would want if something happened to you or your child?  It might worth the pain to think it through now … because in the moment there will be so much more pain to sort through.  Don’t leave something like this to the last minute.  If anything, while you watch shows like this week’s Private Practice, think about what you would do.  I hope that you would say you’d like to save the lives of many. I hope you would want to find some kind of ‘unicorn magic’ in the face of evil and death.

I can say, first hand, that it’s worth it.  And I’m not the donor recipient who is saying thank you.  I’m the mother that handed her child over to a transplant team of doctors and let them cut him open while he was still breathing on a ventilator.  I can say with 100% certainty that I would donate Owen’s organs again!  In fact, I wish we could have given more.  My son isn’t really gone … he’s spread across two states.  He lives on in others – literally.  I have the honor to say that my son is a warrior.  He saved lives.  It’s no different from the proud military mom who can say that her son or daughter fights for our country.  Be an organ donor.  Be proud to be an organ donor!

Love, Mel

Register now to be an organ donor here:

 http://donatelife.net/register-now/
(if you register, be sure to leave a comment!)

For more information on organ donation:

http://donatelife.net/

http://www.organdonor.gov/index.html

http://www.thenationalnetworkoforgandonors.org/

Myths about organ donation:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/organ-donation/FL00077

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Private Practice

Someone should have warned me about the Private Practice episode this week … whoa.  If you aren’t a Private Practice watcher … one of the characters, Amelia, is pregnant with her deceased boyfriend’s baby.  She finds out that her son doesn’t have a brain.  He won’t live much more than a few hours after birth.  So she decides that she’s going to carry the baby to full term with the plan of donating her baby’s organs.  What you don’t find out until this episode is that she can’t technically donate them because she son will never be able to be declared brain-dead – he still has brain stem activity.  So she has to convince her doctor friends to harvest the organs.

Took me back to 355 days ago … when Doug and I were fighting so hard for Owen to donate his organs.  It was the only good thing that could come out of something so ugly.

Amelia said that she didn’t want to see or hear her baby – just take him away.  I remember my feelings as the time came closer and closer to Owen having the surgery, I wasn’t sure I wanted to hold my dead baby.  I didn’t it to erase all the memories I had of holding him alive.  As a true mother, she changed her mind in the last minute.  She looked at her baby, with no brain, and cried at how beautiful he was.  I still think that Owen was the most beautiful baby even when he was hooked up to all the machines, tubes all over the place.  He was still beautiful with his skin pale and cold.  There came a crucial moment when Amelia needed to decide if she was going to hold him until his last breath or if she would hand him over in hopes that he could still donate his organs.

I remember the entire walk down to the operating room.  I remember the elevator ride.  The way the temperature of the hallways were so much cooler when we got to the operating floor.  I remembering having to force myself to let go – to be ok.  It was now or never.  There was no turning back now.  I remember Doug’s eyes as he reassured me that it would be ok.  It was time.  I can still picture the swinging doors closing as they took Owen to his final place.  We stood with our pastor and watched as he was wheeled down the long hallway into the O.R. at the end of the hall.  I stood there for a long while – unable to move.  Un-wanting to move.  I wasn’t ready to leave his side yet.  But I had to be ok – I had to let go at that very moment.  There was no turning back.  I knew it was what I had to do – but I had all those feelings of not wanting to. Amelia’s moment of truth in this episode – man, I could relate.

It was choosing to let go because the good out weighed the bad.  Saving two lives was far more valuable than holding Owen until his body failed him.  What would have come of his death?  A good blog to read?  It had to be more.

What made me totally lose it was when they showed the organ harvesting.  Of course I know it’s Hollywood surgery but ti’s something that I’ve never pictured before.  The silver bowls and ice that they placed each tiny organ on.  How small each organ really was.  The child’s face on the body cut open.  Innocence being cut wide open.  I focused on the breathing tube.  The one tube that wasn’t able to be removed when I held Owen.  I received texts from our organ transplant coordinator as they harvested each organ.  But I could never really visualize it.  I had a storybook image – but nothing as real as this was.

I wouldn’t say what I was feeling was horrible … it wasn’t good either.  It was just a lot of emotion.  All at once.  Yes I cried – wailed even at some points.  I couldn’t breathe because my chest felt so tight.  But still I wouldn’t say it was horrible.  It was just a lot.  I welcome the pain.  I welcome the emotions.  I know I need to feel them to continue to heal.

I just wasn’t expecting to get all that out of a weeknight sitcom.  How many other donor mom’s out there were watching?  I hope it helped you to feel what you needed to feel.  I’m sorry it’s got to hurt so bad.  It sucks.  It really sucks.  But welcome the pain – embrace it.  It only hurts bad for the first little bit — then it turns into a reminder that you are real.  You are a mom.  You are an organ donor mom.

I just wish someone had told me before I watched it!  It caught me so off guard.  I would have had the tissues a little closer too …

Love, Mel

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Donor Network Memorial Reflections

My brother, sister, Doug and I attended the 2012 Donor Network Memorial tonight.  I decorated myself with my orange scarf, orange bracelets, owl earings and my purse with an orange ribbon on it.

I don’t think the real reason why we were attending really hit me until we walked in the door of the conference center.  My chest tightened.  The first face I saw was Annette, our Donor Network coordinator.  She was the one that held Owen for me after his surgery and until I could get to him.  She held my empty child … I haven’t seen her since one of Owen’s fundraisers.  But her face is forever etched into my heart.  She held Owen … she rocked him when he was empty.  She cared for him even when he was no longer there.  All of those feelings flooded back.  I wanted to talk on and on with her but didn’t really know where to start.  I could talk about what’s been going on with me … but I couldn’t find the words.  So instead she greeted me with a hug and helped me find my name tag.  Then I started to find my way through the room.

There were quilts lining the walls.  They were made of patches people made in memory of their loved ones.  Faces of people, dates of when they entered and left this world.  Parents, spouses, children.  All had a square.  Doug and I took the information on how to make one for Owen.

The program was quick but thoughtful.  Two donor recipients spoke about their experience.  They both expressed how thankful they were to their donor family.  The woman who spoke said she has never heard from her donor family.  I thought how sad that was, and I thought about how blessed I am to have contact with Josie and her family.  Maybe one day I’ll also have contact with the little girl who received Owen’s liver.

They showed a picture of each person while they read their names.  My heart was empty of feeling … swelling with loss.  I stared at each face, looking into their eyes, reading their birth and death dates.  They were someone.  They once had life within them.  Their eyes were alive yet now they are gone.  Gone and never to return.  These are someone’s “somebody”.  These are grandparents, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, children.  So many young adults in the slide show.  Teenagers, infants, toddlers.  With each new face I kept wondering: What happened?  What is their story?  How did they die?  Were they sick?  Was it sudden?  How is the family coping?

I was awaiting Owen’s picture.  I knew it would come, yet it still took me by surprise.  I squeezed my folded hands tight.  Annette read his name with conviction.  It was loud and clear.  Then they were onto the next picture.  I didn’t want them to change the slide.  Stay on my Owen.  Show his face just a little longer – let me look into his larger than life face.  But the slide changed and he was gone again.  I screamed in my head how much things sucked right now.  I screamed how much it hurt.  I felt a few warm tears on my face … but then the feeling passed.   I saw the other faces and I let myself get lost again in my questions on what their story was.

Soon it was time to leave.  The night had come to an end.  I did have some time to catch up with Annette more at the end of the night.  I wonder if she knows just what kind of an impact she has made on my family.  There is another donor network event in the summer.  I hope to bring Jaden with us that time.  I think it would bring him some healing.  Or at least I hope it would.

If you haven’t done so already, consider being an organ donor.  It’s so important to take care of each other.  Maybe just maybe,knowing that you’ll live on in others will give your survivors some kind of hope.  I know Owen’s gifts give me hope.  I continue to lift Josie up in prayer … Lord, the one you love is sick.

Love, Mel

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Donor Network Memorial

Tomorrow we have an Organ Donor Network memorial. It’s an event put on by the network to honor those who have given the gift of an organ or tissue. I haven’t put much thought into what it’s going to be like. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

Doug, myself and my brother and sister will be attending together. I thought it would be a nice way to honor them as Owen’s godparents. I haven’t even thought about what I am going to wear. Something orange of course. I must be wearing orange tomorrow. The only dress clothes I have bought since having the triplets is the dress I wore to Owen’s funeral. I don’t know if I’ll ever wear it again or not.

I go back and forth about it. I don’t want it to lose it’s memories. Or the memory of Owen’s funeral to be covered with other memories of when I also wore the dress. I don’t want the dress that I wore on such an important day to be diminished to an everyday item in my closet. I’d never wear my wedding dress again … It just would not fit in. Obviously I’d stick out like a sore thumb walking around in a huge white dress … Why would it be any different with the dress I wore on June 1st? They both hold the same importance, if not more, in my heart.

But the importance isn’t visible. The dress I wore that day could be mistaken for a dress worn to a wedding reception or maybe on a first date. Perhaps it was a dress worn to an interview. All of these possibilities yet, I wore the dress the day I said a goodbye to my son.

So who knows really what tomorrow will bring. I hope some honor to Owen’s early departure. Maybe a little bit of healing. I hope tomorrow will bring me closer to my brother and sister and my husband. I pray that I will be able to feel the pain tomorrow. I welcome the pain … feeling the pain earns me a little bit more healing.

Love, Mel

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Filed under Grief, Organ Donation, Posted by Melissa