Friday, August 27, 2010

Memories And More Memories...

We thought of you with love today.
But that is nothing new.
We thought of you yesterday
And days before that too.
We think of you in silence.
...We often speak your name.
Now all we have is memories
And your picture in a frame.
Your memory is our keepsake
With which we'll never part.
God has you in His keeping
We have you in our hearts...

There is not a day or hour that goes by that I still don't think about Heather. I am not sure just how long this will last. Someday..I don't know when..I will realize that I went a few hours and didn't think of her. I am sure it will be a sad moment when I realize that she is slipping from my every thought. I know that day will come. I just don't know when.

Earlier this week I got a new computer for my upcoming birthday. I had been using Heather's Gateway computer. The power cord must have a short as it keeps charging and unchanging every few seconds..very annoying. I took all the files from my old computer and then Heather's computer and put them on my new one. I went through all the files and photos to make sure I didn't have duplicates of them. I began looking at all the photos...Heather with friends, Heather with family, Heather being goofy, Heather with Goofy and Minnie and all the memories of the good fun times she had. Then there were the photos of cancer, hospital, ICU and her funeral. Those are part of her as well but very sad and difficult to look at. So Monday and Tuesday was computer work, looking at all the photos and files and bringing up lots of memories.

Last week I began cutting Heather's clothes to make quilt squares. The first dress I cut was the pink and black dress from our wedding. It was very, very hard to cut the dress. We are taught as children not to cut or destroy our clothes and here I am breaking every rule. To make the basic quilt I need 60-8 inch squares and 80-4 inch squares..four 4-inch squares will make an 8-inch square. This allows me more items to use for the quilt. I am taking photos of all the clothes prior to cutting them so we can look and remember what they were. I used a couple of her outfits as a baby.  It was difficult to cut up clothing that I have saved all these years in hopes of passing them down to her babies. I know that Heather does not need the clothes anymore...but it seems so final to cut her clothes and throw the remained of the cut clothes away.

To find more of Heather's clothes for the quilt required that I go through all of her boxes. I have spent the last 2 days going through all the boxes that hold her things. I found all kinds of wonderful clothes to make our memory quilts with. They are going to be amazing when I am finished. I also have decided to do a t-shirt quilt for me. Heather had so many t-shirts that it seems right to make another one out of her t-shirts. Going through the boxes was bittersweet. Seeing all her things was good but then very sad at the same time. I did manage to get rid of 4 total boxes. A good thing I guess. I have been finding some good homes for some special things that belonged to Heather. I know that Heather would want her friends to have things. It makes me feel good to know that when these people see or use the items they will think of Heather. Another way to keep her memory alive.

Are U Pink? Inc is coming along good. I am officially all finished with the Incorporation part. The articles were printed in the paper for 3 days and I am completely a non-profit corporation. I have my business cards and my corporate seal now as well. Still working on the 501(C) (3) tax exempt portion. We have partnered with United Blood Services and Heather's 1st Annual Birthday Blood Drive is at the Arizona Mills Mall on December 11. The entire blood drive is in honor of Heather. Fliers and posters will have Heather's picture on it. More than I ever hoped for. It will be a huge celebration for Heather's life this year.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sew Now What...

Life moves on..
As it should..
M'Lynn~Steel Magnolias

Each and everyday Heather gets further in my past. Life is moving on. I don't want it to move on without her but I can't make it stand still either. I am caught in the middle so to speak. I expect the major events to get to me such as birthday, Mother's Day, Christmas...but sometimes the little things are the ones that effect me the most.
Baseball Snoopy Shirt, Red, Blue, Green Yellow Truck Shirt and Patriotic M&M Shirt~All camp shirts

For over 12 years I have pulled out my trusty Brothers sewing machine to do whatever I needed it to do. Whether it be sewing patches on uniforms, making shirts, blankets or doing repairs it has always been there ready to go. Sunday night I pulled out the sewing machine to put satin binding on 2 fleece blankets and it is broken. It only stitches straight line stitches backwards. No forward stitching at all. I had just used it the night before and it worked fine. I managed to put the satin binding on my new fleece blanket as the machines final project.
Little Miss Blanket for me, Heather's beloved Mickey Blanket and Pea's Turtle Blanket

This sounds crazy I know, but this is one more thing that I have to replace that was here and used when Heather was here. This machine stitched the satin binding on her 2 beloved fleece blankets. The bunny one and the mickey one. If Heather had her way she would have ended up with the turtle one I made for Pea as well. Heather loved fleece blankets with satin binding. I had made the turtle one and she was begging me for it. If she was still here she would have the turtles and pea would have a different one.
Jenn with Heather Camp 2003~red, blue, green yellow snoopy capris

I made many, many camp shirt for Awana Scholarship Camp for lots of people with it as well. Snoopy, M&M, Veggie Tales and many red, blue, green, yellow and purple shirts had been sewn with my trusty machine.  Even made Heather a pair of capris that were snoopy in red, blue, green, yellow. She was the hit of camp to have such a pair. She wore them proudly.
Jenn, JT and Heather~Camp 2002~Veggie Tales shirts

I made at least 12 shirts with collars and buttons, as well as 7 fleece satin-binded blankets, 5 Christmas Snoopy stocking and many other things. It did the job for many, many years and I am not sure why it bother me so much. Guess because when I made things on the machine it was usually for the girls and they were so happy to have them.
Snoopy Christmas stocking~2005

My biggest regret is that I was making robes for all of us out of fleece material. My snoopy robe and Jenn's Curious George robes both were finished. I had Heather's rubber duck one all cut out but I never finished it. I found all the pieces the other day. I added extra length to it because she told me she wanted it to be longer than normal ones. Heather was so tall. Maybe I will finish this project anyway.
Curious George and Snoopy robes

I have a new Brothers sewing machine that will be here on Thursday. I will be able to finish the 2 fleece blankets I began on Sunday. I also will begin working on the 3 quilts for us girls that will be made out of Heather's clothes. The new machine has special stitches for quilting. Maybe this is why I needed a new machine. It will be a little difficult to sew the quilts. I really had wanted to find someone to make them for me. But for some reason it keeps coming back that I need to make these. The backs of the quilts will be the flat sheets from Heather's twin sheet sets. Another way to have her things with us forever. Keep you posted on how the quilts are coming....

Friday, August 6, 2010

Despite My Broken Heart...

"I find it amusing. Men are supposed to be made out
of steel or something. I just sat there. I just held Shelby's hand.
There was no noise, no tremble, just peace. Oh God, I
realize as a woman how lucky I am. I was there
when that wonderful creature drifted into my life and
I was there when she drifted out. It was the most 
precious moment of my life."
M'Lynn~Steal Magnolias

I very seldom read books..I can read, I just don't care to. I like to listen to book on CD. When I say I am reading a book, it usually means I am listening to it. This time...I am reading a book in my hands called the Grieving Garden. I only read bits and pieces and then come back to it. The book is 22 different parents sharing their stories of grieving the loss of their child. It is the best book on the market I think to really hit the truth of how I feel. Mostly because they have have been where I am right now. I say it over and over but unless you have lost a child you cannot know the ins and outs of this process. I would like to share a portion of the book. I changed the name to Heather. These are not my words but they are my feelings to a T. Bill actually found this part and read them to me the other night and I cried. It was the exact same feelings in my heart put in a book...
Momy with Heather~2nd birthday~1989

Kathleen Weed from The Grieving Garden: "Although I haven't discovered a truth about life or death or grief that can somehow shift the universe back into place, I do know that if I could have selected from every child in all the world just one to be my daughter, I would have picked Heather. Even though she died before me, even though I suffer every day for the loss of her--no matter, I would choose her.  It is a profound truth; we the unluckiest of all parents, would not replace our children for other children who might have outlived us, nor would we choose that they had never lived.
Momy with Heather~Christmas 2004

Despite my broken heart, I believe, I know, it was good fortune that allowed me to love and be loved by this child. She died before me. So living without her is the price. So be it. I grieve for her every day. Some days are harder than others. Still, I would pay any price to have had Heather as my daughter. Remembering this helps me to feel less of a victim. It helps me balance light and dark.
Momy with Heather~Disneyland 2007

And when I acknowledge that I haven't been singled out for pain, I am more willing to embrace the world, just as it is. My grief mingles with the countless afflictions humans endure, and have endured before me. My loss is personal and irrevocable, but choosing to view it in a wider reality heartens me. Authorities on grief often rank death of a child as the greatest loss. But it seems true that pain is a condition of human existence, and loss shapes us all.
Queen Momy with Duchess Heather~Nov 2008

Nothing will ever fill the gap that Heather's death brought into my life. I am not looking for anything to fill it. Some say we are here to learn to love. Heather taught me more about love in her short time on this earth than I could have learned in a hundred lifetimes.Those of us who have lost children experience the ferocity of what it means to love--the ever-present depth of love--the whole of it. We are the parents who can say with certainty, " I would choose this child again. Again and again. Whatever the outcome".