Sunday, July 28, 2013

Should I Dare Say This?

I hope somebody out there understands me.  I am not trying to be picky or mean, really.  I feel really horrible about even bringing this up except that it bothers me.  I have be going over this in my mind and can't come to terms with my problem yet.  I feel so selfish for even having this bother me in the first place. 
You see, two weeks ago my brother's 49 year old son died suddenly from an aneurysm.  I cried when my brother told me because I knew the pain he was feeling ad would be feeling forever.  I just hurt so much for him and his wife and other children.  He lives several hours away from me, so I got up with two of my sisters to ride with to go right away to be with our brother.  We met our other sister there.
Throughout the time we were together, the conversation of course turned to our brother and his wife coping with this loss.  My sisters appeared to have all of the answers or suggested answers as to how things would be.  I suddenly felt very uncomfortable being around them.  I felt like one of them might say, "Well Gale, I'm sure you have some idea what it might be like for them since you lost your son too."  It never entered their minds.  To them, my loss was so insignificant compared to losing a child you had for 49 years.  I know they meant no harm to me.  Also, know two deaths are exactly alike.  However, I DO know what its like to lose a child!  I suddenly, just went very quiet.  I went into a funk.  I couldn't have spoken if someone was going to give me a million bucks to do so.  Later that , night as my twin and I were changing for bed, I said something to her about it.  I told her my feelings had been hurt.  She gave me a look as to say, "Please, not your babies again!"  I moved onto another subject because I knew I was being misunderstood. 
So here is a touchy subject.  What I wouldn't have given to have had James Collins or Reita Gale for 49 years before I had to face grief!  Look at all the wonderful memories and pictures and videos they have of their son?  The church was packed with people standing outside!  What a tribute!  His sister got up and had such wonderful words to share about the wonderful times she had with her brother.  Now I know they are all suffering for their loss.  You and I both know about that.  They might learn to live with this in time, but they will never get over it.  They can find comfort in their memories and speaking with friends who were close to their son.  Friends who miss him also.  They will be allowed to speak freely about their son.  So I ask without expecting any response, if given the choice, would you want your child born dead or have 49 years with your child before death?
I wasn't given the choice nor were they, so I guess an answer isn't important. 
I would like an honest opinion.  Should I have kept this buried inside or blogged about it?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Keeping To Myself Lately

I've been keeping to myself.  I have been enjoying the peacefulness of early morning kayak trips.  Being alone with nature out on the water is very soothing to my soul.  I can think clear thoughts as my vessel glides through the blue water by my own power.  Often I will stop by the island I love to kayak around when I reach the sandy beach I like to claim as my own.  This week I just started writing all the names of our sons and daughters who have gone from us too soon.  As soon as I would finish one name I would start right on another name.  It had just turned to low tide, so I knew the names would be there for several more hours.  I even made one heart out of sand.  I molded and sculpt a perfect heart.  It took some time and energy!  I was pleased with it. When I stood up and looked around me names were everywhere!  Oh, how I wish I had brought my camera with me!  I have been searching the sky for a heart cloud.  Since I haven't found one yet, my sand heart made me happy!  On the way home, I cut through the island on my kayak gliding around sea grass and a narrow path of water deep enough to let me through.  Dragon flies and egrets were plentiful, but no butterflies.  That's okay.  The summer isn't over yet.  I think of you my baby loss friends on many of my trips.  I hope that you are having a kind and productive day.  Some of you are in the evening time, while others aren't even up yet.  I hope you know that despite the pain of losing our children, we are going to be okay.  We are special women you and I.  We have a sisterhood that helps us get by.  Each of us has her own journey to travel.  Some have been blessed with rainbow babies, while others had babies before loss to care for.  Some haven't conceived a living child yet or has a child in the NICU.  Some will decide not to try again for medical reasons or emotional reasons.  I truly feel for those of you that won't have a rainbow baby no matter the reason.  My heart goes out to you.  I am glad we aren't alone, but have each other.  Others try to understand.  They really do.  To me, no one can ever understand us unless they have walked the walk, but I thank them for trying.  We need these people who try to understand us.  How else can we branch out into the world?  We are going to be hurt by well-meaning people.  That is a fact we all know, but don't always understand why.  It happened to me last week.  No one meant for it to happened.  I immediately with drew into my shell much like a turtle protecting itself.  I think that is why I like to escape to the kayak in early morning so I can feel safe.  No one can reach me to cloud up my mind and thoughts.  It is during this time that I feel free to speak my mind out loud towards the sky.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Elusive Butterfly

Summer is always full of butterflies around here.  I waited all winter to see them fluttering around again this summer, but I haven't seen any this year.  I have looked and waited, but they aren't around me.  It is so disappointing especially after such a winter of awareness and discovery with all of you, my baby loss friends.  Maybe it is all of the rain we have had this summer.  One minute the skies are dark and rain comes.  The next it is sunny, but the clouds of rain are still in the sky despite the sun. Sounds like grief doesn't it?  My heart has been experiencing more sun in it than clouds recently.  There is more understanding of why I had no support system.  There has been forgiveness and relief.
I'd love to see some butterflies reflect my feelings.

I live by the sea.  The skies are open to me everyday.  It doesn't matter if I am inside washing dishes or outside, the skies are wide open in my sight.  I search for heart clouds.  I have never seen one of those either.  The summer isn't over yet.  There will be clouds to always search just as I will always look for signs from my James Collins and Reita Gale.

I look for you too.  For me, after the loss of my babies, my heart has broken for all of our babies gone too soon.  While my life goes on in its direction, I will always keep you and your babies tucked in my thoughts.

I hope before the summer is over, I will see many butterflies some for me and some for you and perhaps a group playing together.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I Don't Understand Why Women Are Doing This!

Much of me died when James Collins, Jr. was stillborn.  I had no desire to do anything including breathing.  It hurt too much to live. The pain was so physical as well as emotional.  Months dragged by.  One day seemed to last 48 hours instead of the normal 24.  Sleep?  What was that?  I cried so much and I just plain hurt all over.  When would this pain ever stop?  There are no words for how much it hurt.  My baby son was dead and there wasn't anything I could do about it.  I felt so helpless.  I NEEDED a baby to love and care for, so we tried for another baby as soon as the doctor said we could.  This baby would never replace James Collins, but I was ready to have my second child.  Nothing ever happened month after month.  Each disappointment was like James Collins dying all over again.  My body was failing me.  I didn't want to be around pregnant women not because I wasn't happy for them, but because I wanted to be pregnant so badly too.  I had two pregnant sister-in-laws at the time.  Our only other option in 1975 was to adopt.  If that was the route I needed to go to have my baby then alright.  White girls were aborting their babies in the US.  There was a real shortage of these babies for adoption.  On the news every night the talk was about women's right to have abortions.  I tried to get to these women in every way I knew how, because I wanted their baby to raise and give a good home to!  Just don't throw these growing babies away!  Please give me one!  I was so upset that I couldn't get one.  Just one!  Finally, in June of 1976, I did get pregnant, which I didn't know about into July.  My rainbow would be born the next March 22, 1977.  I felt so lucky and blessed when he arrive very safely.

I had friends who had been trying and were not getting pregnant.  They needed these babies to adopt who were being aborted!  I was and still am so against abortion.  However, abortion was popular then.  The "in thing for women's rights."  Well, why everyone was burning their bras, experimenting with drugs, and demonstrating, I didn't.  I was only interested in finishing my education even though James and I married before we graduated from college.  I think the Viet Nam war had a lot to do with this "live and let live movement."  I'm not sure.  But many were not letting the babies live!  With time, it became even more popular!  It was more of a convenience to have an abortion or I don't want mama and daddy to find out.  Just guessing.  The pill was being given out at every college!  Take the pill to prevent pregnancy in the first place so you won't have to have an abortion!  One person's inconvenience is another persons joy!

Today it has become "no big deal" to have a baby out of wedlock.  No one really thinks twice about it.  So this makes me wonder why so many abortions?  Why?  I just don't understand.  I know of one woman who prayed to God to make her son's girlfriend "lose the baby" when the pregnant girlfriend chose not to have an abortion.  Tell me, what kind of person prays to God to take a life?  This grandmother to be, never told a soul she was going to be a grandmother because she kept praying and hoping to the very end that something would be wrong with the baby and it would die or be stillborn  Who does that?  Could a Christian do that?  Was the embarrassment of having a grandchild out of wedlock be so bad that it would be better if the precious baby died or be inflicted with a birth defect?
Better be careful what you pray for.  God has his ways.

No one has the right to make abortion seem like the right thing to do.  Killing a growing baby is never right. Praying asking God to kill what He has created is never right either.  A person with loving feelings never forgets their baby.  If you do or can forget about it and not feel guilty you must believe killing a baby is all right.  There is always another way out, another choice.  Give God a chance to show you.  If you are sorry for having an abortion or encouraging someone to, then just pray for forgiveness and give God a chance to have mercy on your soul and show you His love.  God forgives when we admit our mistakes and sins and sets us free through His son Jesus Christ.  Find His freedom and the glory of His promises to us if we just obey Him!

Monday, July 1, 2013


I am blogging today with photos and a few quotes for my Week 2 of  Project Illuminate.  I've chosen to use clouds to show light, darkness and shades of gray. 

I never thought of using clouds to relate to grief until I received a booklet in the mail from Billy Graham called, CLOUDS.  He sent me this booklet in 1975 after James Collins, Jr. was stillborn.  I still have it by my side.  What a different perspective it gave me on my grieving journey!  Clouds have many different shades, just as our lifelong journey of grief does.

"This thing, this blackness we call grief, menacing as the dark storm cloud
that moves in silent threat, never knowing at what moment it will strike and with what intensity."
Denise O' Andrea

                        "I've never been able to push the clouds away by myself.  Help me, please."
                                                               Rod McKuen

"Be still, sad heart, and cease repining.  Behind the clouds the sun still shining."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"I feel like good things can still happen and that the sun is peeking through the clouds."
Mom to 4 and One Angel
"I can see clearly now the rain is gone...
gone are the dark clouds that had me blind..
It's gonna be a bright bright sun shiny day!"
Sung by Johnny Nash
On my grief journey I often encounter dark clouds, but then the sun breaks through and I am reminded that the Lord is my strength.    Malachi 4:2