Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Get The Whole Picture Now...

Today is Thursday...any normal Thursday to everyone across the world. Except now I understand what a Thursday and April 30th and Saturday and May 2nd means to someone very special in my life. I remember this event in great detail, but not nearly as much detail as this person does. The person I am speaking of Diane. During this past year she has helped and supported me so much. Diane's daughter Beka went into cardiac arrest early in the morning on Thursday, April 30, 1998 at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. She was placed on a ventilator to keep her alive till her family arrived to say goodbye. Beka died on
Saturday, May 2, 1998.

I remember the call..I was in shock. I instantly went into my "Sherry" battle mode. What needs to be done? can I help? I could not imagine what they were going through. I went over to Diane's to see what I could do, Wes and Diane were already gone. They hopped a plane with nothing. Just had to get to Chicago as fast as possible. Their daughter Jennifer was there and I helped her pack some clothes for her mom. I would later find out that for all my efforts in packing, the clothes we packed were the ones Diane did not wish to take. It would become a small giggle in an unbearable situation.

Time drug on here at home. The entire Awana Board and I were waiting for news. We heard nothing all day Thursday and most of the morning Friday. I remember talking to Betty Birkholtz and we were trying to decide who would call up there. Just didn't want to bother them. We decided that I would call. So I did just that and I ended up talked to Diane. I remember the unbelievable news...Diane told me there was nothing to be done, Beka was going to die. She kept saying I cant do this, I cant do this. we both were crying. I tried my best to tell her everything would be ok...famous last words. I told Diane some news about calling Falconer Funeral Home here in the Valley first thing. Many issues with transport across state line. I ended by telling her I loved her, hung up the phone and cried.

Early in the morning on Saturday, May 2, 1998, I received a call from Diane. Beka had died. I could hear the devastation in her voice. I told her I loved her, hung up the phone and cried. I only knew Beka a very short amount of time. But she was the sweetest, most caring and giving and beautiful child of God. She made an impression on everyone who met her. I could not imagine the loss. I was heartbroken. It was devastating news. I hugged my 3 girls a lot that day and the following week. I could not imagine losing a child. The worst thing there was in the world.

I busied myself with cleaning the house for Wes and Diane, getting meals brought in and trying to do anything I could to help. A small group of us went to meet them at the airport. I remember how much like walking refugees they looked like. They were defeated. They had cried so much they had scabs around their eyes from rubbing tissues across them. The look on their faces said it all. I was looking at the outward face of a pain and hurt I could never begin to comprehend. And honestly I hoped I would never have an understanding of this pain.

As days turned to weeks and weeks to months I tried to be there for Diane, sending cards, gifts and dropping by for no other reason than I could. I listened while she talked about her precious Beka and held her hand or hugged her as she cried. I tried to understand and be supportive in any way possible. I thought in my mind, I get this..I understand. I am as close as I could be to the experience without actually going through the loss myself.

Boy was I wrong. As much as I thought I understood and thought I was there for Diane, I now know my actions fell so far short. I had no clue. I did not have any understanding of how that felt. I sympathized, but I did not comprehend in any way. As much as I tried, I could not begin to understand the emotions of losing a child. This is something you have to go through personally. Kind of like having a baby. You can read and talk and prepare all you want to, but till you go through you, you really have no clue.

This is a horrible elite club to belong to. I honestly hope and pray everyone of you reading this never know what I am talking about. My best friend Sandy described it this way; Sandy and I are standing with a brick fence between us. Neither one of us can walk around it nor can we tunnel under or climb over. We can hear each other talking but we can never be on the same side of the fence together again. I by no means am telling all of you that I don't appreciate all your support and love. I do and I need it and love all of you more than ever. Just trying to explain that no matter who you have lost; parent, sibling or spouse, it can never compare to the loss of a child. Rebekah Stewart
January 26,1979-May 2,1998

This post today is for everyone to know that a beautiful young girl named Rebekah lived, loved and she died way too soon. Her short 19 years here were not enough. She is loved and missed every moment of everyday. Beka was a daughter, sister, aunt, friend and one of God's very special gifts. Most of all...I will not forget her...I love you Diane...and if I had to join this club, I am glad we are together in this...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What Am I Gonna Do With Your Tattoo??.....

Many people asked Heather if she was going to get a tattoo to symbolize her final cancer treatment. She always said "No, NEVER, why would I do that to my body after I spent all this time healing it." But somehow I know that lil Missy would have eventually gotten one. Heather talked about stars, flowers, butterflies and dragonflies. When she was visiting Myrtle Beach one summer she got a henna tattoo of 3 stars. She LOVED it. She sent me a photo and said, "look Momy, I got a tattoo." She had me going for a minute. But then I remembered her extreme phobia of needles.Heather's 3 star henna tattoo-Summer 2007

When I got the butterfly and tiara tattoo last year I said that was it. I was not going to get anymore. During my recent trip to Disneyland I found a pin that was a beautiful outline of Minnie Mouse. I bought it and the idea popped into my head about getting another tattoo. This one would have all the things I couldn't put with the first one. I came home and began to draw out my design. It came together very easily and I knew I had to have it done. I went back to HotRod Tattoos with Jesse who did my first one. He did such an amazing job. It seemed fitting to get this tattoo on April 20th. The 1st one year anniversary of Heather's death. Perfect thing to do on that day.Heather Kissing her Grandpa...notice the small silver barrette

The Minnie Mouse is for Heather's extreme love of Minnie Mouse and our shared love of Disneyland in general. The Scrolls on the both sides are taken from Heather's hair barrettes she wore to the Grand Ball. The three stars on each side are for the three stars that she had done in Myrtle Beach. The six total stars are for our family before April20th including Pea.
My concept design of what I wanted

I love this new tattoo. It was very painful to get. My mind kept thinking of the pain Heather went through with bone marrow biopsies, spinal chemos, PICC lines, Central lines, chest tubes and then hoped and prayed she was so sedated she didn't feel anything the day she died. She endured so much physical pain. Most of it in the last 33 days of her life. As bad as it hurt the pain could never hurt as bad as the hole in my heart, soul and life without her here.
The final tattoo all finished...

The first 365 days without Heather here have been the longest and shortest 365 days I have even had. It seems like it has been a million years since I heard her voice, her laugh, held her hand or been with her. Then at the same time, it has been so clear in my memory as if it was yesterday. The memories will remain clear till the day I die I am sure.
To my Dolly Girl,
Did I ever tell you you're my favorite?
I love you the mostest
Love, Momy

Friday, April 16, 2010

The 'Real" Heather...

Pretty woman walkin' down the street
Pretty woman, the kind I like to meet
Pretty woman, I don't believe you
You're not the truth
No one could look as good as you

The "real" Heather loved designer clothes, makeup and shoes. She loved the fashion magazines and books on makeup tips. She loved Victoria's Secret Pink. She would try any hair style and most of the time she could pull it off. Heather's signature color was pink and she never left the house without her perfume on. She loved to dress up and look very formal only to turn around and bum in her sweats and a tank top. Heather would wear flip flops everywhere including walking all day at Disneyland and in wintertime. She would wear flip flops in the car to a wedding and then put her heels on at the last minute. She was 5.8 and would wear 5 inch heels just because she could.

Heather loved to stay up late and sleep till noon. Late night movies with Stacey and McDonald's drive-thru with her Grandpa for chicken mcnuggets. She loved her cell phone and texting. Driving her car everywhere and picking up friends. She loved flowers especially roses and sunflowers. Butterflies were her favorite. Heather loved music...all music but especially country. She loved CDs, her IPOD and playing her piano.

For all of the "normal" classy and elegant things that Heather loved..she could be very goofy and silly. She loved to laugh and play jokes. She loved poop and bodily function humor. Call her immature but nothing would give her a bigger laugh than some good bodily functions. Nothing gave her bigger laughs than steroid bodily functions. It was quite funny. Trust me...everyone laughs at that kind of humor once in their lifetime. Go ahead..take a moment...if you haven't, you need to be less serious and live a little bit. Life is way to short not to take a moment to laugh at something that is quite funny.

This video was recorded on May12, 2008 in our backyard. Lynn and her mom, Linda, Dennis were visiting from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We had just been to the wig store to get Heather her new hair. She felt so good and "normal" with her new hair. She said it felt wonderful to have long hair again. She was very goofy and silly. This is the "real" Heather. The smiling, laughing one that I miss every moment of everyday.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Whatever That "E" Holiday Is...

Easter 2007 was the last Easter where I cooked one of my famous Easter dinners with all the trimmings. Easter 2007 was the last time that my tradition of making each one of the girl's a special Easter basket and watching them delight in their new treasures. Easter 2007 was the last time that Easter would be the "best" Easter ever and I didn't know it.

Easter 2008 was the last Easter we were all together as a family and whole. Easter 2008 was the first time in 6 weeks that we had seen Wendy. Easter 2008 was the first time we had been together as a family in 6 weeks. Easter 2008 was the last time Easter would be the "best" Easter ever and I didn't know it.

Easter 2009 was the last Easter that I had hope. Easter 2009 was when I truly with all my heart expected a miracle from God. Easter 2009 was spent giving "Heather" bunnies to Jenn and Wendy. Easter 2009 was waiting to do Easter baskets till Heather was able to join in. Easter 2009 was buying the last bunny ever for Heather and she never saw the cute little bunny I got her. Easter 2009 was spent by the bedside of my baby...talking to her and telling her things as I listened and watched machines all day. Easter 2009 would be the "worst" and "best" Easter ever and I didn't know it.

I told all the doctors, nurses and friends that Friday is here, but Easter Sunday is coming. I expected Heather to begin to make huge improvements and get better very quickly after Easter Sunday. The day after Easter...Monday...we were told as a family not to leave the hospital. This was beginning of bad days to come. I feel very disappointed and let down by God that He did not perform the miracle that I had prayed for.

Easter 2010 I did not do Easter baskets. I avoided the Easter displays with all the bunnies, peeps and candy. I did not cook dinner nor did we go to a buffet. Easter 2010 is the beginning of wishing people Happy whatever that "E" holiday is to my friends. Easter 2010 would be the "worst" Easter ever and I do know it and feel it very well.

These videos are of Easter 1991 when we are living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Wendy was 1 yrs old, Heather was 3 yrs old and Jenny was 5 yrs old. I had made all 3 of the girls matching dresses. Jenny and Heather's dresses have 4 yards of material in each one of them. Back in the day of gloves and hats and life was simple and good..Easter 1991 would be the "best" Easter ever and I didn't even know it....