October 15, 2012

A word about Acceptance

the leaves begin to turn. the wind blows colder. the temperature begins to drop. drifting smells of fires lit in the fireplace. waves of pumpkin spice and talks of smoked turkey. black friday ads begin to fill my inbox. holiday yule tides and santa lists begin to appear. talks of christmas parties start to spread throughout. thanksgiving day arrangements and menu plans have started to become parts of conversation. ghosts, and ghouls, zombies and pumpkins. candies and treats and costumes! it's my favorite time of year. it always has been. a time to rejoice in all blessings that have been bestowed upon you. a time to hug your friends and tell them how thankful you are. a time to encompass the family that you are so proudly a part of. all things i'm happy to say are my favorites.


at the same time.

it is my most hated time of year.

this time of year also brings back a plague of a moment in our lives when that happiness, those blessings, that thankfulness was stripped from our very being. the one spark that represented all those things left this earth.

as i walk outside i am greeted by the fall air. as i breathe in deeply and feel the wind caress my face, i am reminded of a time. a dark time. a day almost 2 years ago that i never thought i would breathe again. a time when my favorite time of year became the most dreadful.

i am haunted by this time of year, i will admit. it didn't really don on me last year. but this year, it seems to be heading full force like a bull stampeding towards the red cape. i am the red cape. i have no control, i'm endlessly flapping around awaiting my destiny. in less then a month it will be a complete 2 years without our Savanna. in less then a month it will be an entire 730 days without feeling the steady rise and fall of her chest with every inhale and exhale.

it's unimaginable.

it always happens like this ya know?

i reach a point where i think maybe, just maybe i'm learning to accept it. accept that she's gone. accept that she's never coming back. and yet here i am, almost 2 years later and i still hope that when i open my eyes the next morning it will have all been a terrible terrible nightmare. and yet each morning as i rise from my pillow and my feet touch the ground i am bolted back to the reality that she's gone.

seems silly doesn't it?

in all the literature you read there are steps. i am actually studying the grieving process in school right now. there's steps, you reach one then the other sometimes you go back, sometimes you stay stuck, but the ultimate goal is acceptance right? well what if there never is acceptance.

i seem to always brink on the edges of acceptance but never fully engulfing it as my own. i'm beginning to wonder if i ever will.

i'm beginning to wonder if i ever want to.

to accept her death is to accept her only as a memory. i don't want that. i want to keep her alive. as alive as i can. it may only be in my mind. it may piggyback to my heart. but i never want to accept that this is what my life has succombed itself to be.

today i lit 2 candles in honor of Savanna and all others who have lost a precious child. as is it here typing the candlelight is dancing across the white background of the built-in book case. the shadows of the light are casting across my Savanna's face. my heart is hurting. quite literally. not metaphorically. it literally hurts. there is pain. and although i hate the pain. i hate the sharpness. i hate the feeling of tears welling up beneath my eyelids.

i can't bear to let it go either.

to have pain and to feel this hurt, also means that i feel love. i love her so much it hurts. i miss her so much it burns. if i accept that this is our path. if i accept that this our life. if i accept that she is dead.

i have nothing left.

peace? calm? comfort?


without Savanna, without her sweet little body clinging to my leg. without her smile or tired little eyes gazing up at me early in the morn. without her fingers wrapped around mine. without her beating heart next to mine, i will never feel a full a complete peace. my world will never be calm.

i love the fall. i really do. i love what it represents. the changing of the season. the time to pull out the cute winter pea coats. a time for boots! but as i read the words that i typed across this screen... i realize something.. these things that bring me 'joy'

are all so materialistic.

my husband brings me peace, calm and comfort. he is an amazing man and i could not have been more blessed. he is an amazing father. i only hope he knows that while i feel incredibly broken at most times anymore, he somehow makes me feel whole. missing pieces and all.

so, i guess, for now. i will accept that this is my life now. i will accept that this is the journey we must falter. this is the me that has arose from the ashes of losing my daughter.

i love the fall.

i hate the fall.

all at the same time.

August 13, 2012


I think I've said this several times before.. grief -- it evolves. it changes. you change.

there's a constant learning curve and findings. always new realizations. sometimes there's backtracking and still waters.. but each day it brings something new. that something new is not always welcome, but sometimes it is.

in my journey of loss and grief i have become this new person. this new being. i have learned so many great and not so great things about myself. my eyes have been opened, my heart has grown, and my ears have listened and heard more in these last 21 months then i think in my entire life.

why do i bring this up?

this place.. this space has always and solely been for Savanna. it's been my keepsake, my personal diary into this world of loss. my dealings and journeys through muddy waters and high tides. but now, my grief has shaped way into something more.

that's not to say that i don't still think of her. grieve her. miss her. yearn for her. but i have found that it comes to me without great effort. does that make sense? in the beginning, all i thought about was her. all i breathed and talked about was her. i would feel extreme guilt and emptiness when there were moments of realization that i didn't have thoughts of her.

but as days grew on, and time surpassed us, i realized it was a naturally occurring circumstance. i will admit she is not always the first thing i think about when i wake up, although she is always the last thing i think about.

i no longer force myself to remember her. i know her life, her very being is and always will be locked away into the pieces of my mind and heart. i will always carry her with me.

i think that's why maybe i don't write quite as frequently. what can i say that i haven't already said? what life-defining moment can i scrutinize and pick apart this time that i haven't already?

i've had to make choices that no parent, no mother should ever have to make. i've had to witness scenes that should never become a parents reality. i've had to watch the lasting whispers of life escape my sweet girls body. i've had to say goodbye.

at the end of the day, the piece that always has remained is that i miss her. and i love her. so completely and selflessly.

i still find my mind wandering into the distance of a dream--of a life still filled with her smiles and laughter.

this last week we went to visit some friends and their middle daughter asked me how old Savanna would be. I had to really think about it.. i knew she would be over 2 years old obviously.. but i didn't know what exactly the 'months' she would have been... 28 months though.. a 28 month old walks and says words. eats real people food and understands your words. and it just made me sad in that moment. imagining her running around with our dear friends girls.. what a troop they would be!

but i also realized in that same moment that it was OK that i didn't know the 'exact' month. for as long as i can remember i have consistently set an expectation on myself.. and in my grief it was no different. i expected myself to just pick up and move on.. and something happens that will always knock me back into reality.

i guess what i'm getting at is that while i have found this great joy in writing, it's purpose has changed. i have changed. this space is changing. so many choices i make anymore has it's roots set into my grief or into her memory. anything i do in any given day is somehow always linked back to her. what is it they call that? 6 degrees of separation? she is always with me in some way shape or form..

i don't know if i'm saying i am going to continue writing in this space or not. i want to. i really do. but half the time i stare at the screen and don't know what to type without seeming repetitive.

is this part of my ever evolving grief also? my chosen ways to cope and deal are evolving? perhaps.

so just bare with me as i try to figure it out. as i attempt to figure out how these pieces fit together.

i've never been good with change.. it makes me uncomfortable.. but i know it's all for good reason. there's always a light, always a silver lining.. even in the darkest moments. and i am a witness to that.

July 12, 2012

good things do happen to good people.. sometimes

After losing Savanna, I have learned a tremendous amount of life lessons.

I've learned that I can do hard things.
I have learned to let things go.
i have learned that with hard work and faith you can do anything you set your mind to.
i have learned that it is not time that heals all wounds, it is what you do in that time to heal.
i have learned when to ask for help.
asking for help is not a sign of weakness, not asking for help when it is needed is.
i have learned to be slower to judge and eager to listen.
listen to all the words and the unspoken words.
i have learned to love with everything and more.
i have learned to take a picture and capture a snapshot of a memory.
i have learned a hidden love of writing i never knew existed.
i have found that communication is a key to any successful marriage.
i have learned to let myself cry.
i have learned it is ok to cry.
it is ok to be angry.
it is ok to feel guilty

i have learned that grief evolves. never goes away. but is always changing.

mostly i have learned, that good things can happen to good people.

i still sometimes feel as if i am being punished, that i must have done something terrible and awful to have lived through the death of my daughter. but i have realized that in that there was something positive to be pulled from that daunting tragedy. maybe that statement seems weird to you. but in her death, everything that surrounds it is completely and utterly negative. it is dark and dreary. to not find anything of positivity of light in it is to say her life meant nothing. at least that's what i have come to believe. i was always a glass half full kinda girl until the day Savanna took her last breath.

my whole outlook on life completely changed and turned around. i became overwhelmingly negative. hateful at times. and then one day.. it all clicked. and that's when i began to learn from it. it being her death. i began to try to find my inner strength. and at that point i started to feel like i could breathe again.

i'm not really sure where i'm going with this post. that seems to be my common denominator as of late. my posts i guess reflect my life right now as it stands. a little crazy and a little all over the place.

i guess i just wanted to document that while everyday is always a struggle, i have made progress. my ground no longer quakes, but i am found crossing over the occasional quiver.

i no longer stare at the dates waiting for the 12th or the 28th to approach. most months they pass without a thought. funny though as i type this and peer over at my phone.. today is the 12th.

1 year and 8 months since she's been gone
20 months
80 weeks
560 days

it's still hard to believe

i still continue to have days of surrealness. i have days of sadness and weakness. days of dark and shadows. but i seem to have more days of happiness. more days of smiles. more days of lightness.

yes, i am different person. perhaps our relationship has suffered the consequence of this change. perhaps our relationship has bloomed because of this transformation. but grief does that to you. it completely and utterly molds you into an entirely different being. it takes what was once there and rips it apart leaving a illion broken pieces. eventually you start to get glued back together, but pieces are missing and shards are misplaced. i am different now.

 so with all of this. all of the realizations i have had within myself i have also realized it is ok to continue living. it doesn't mean i've forgotten and it certainly doesn't mean i've moved on. it just means that i have chosen to live a life again. the life of a mommy with an angel in her heart. with memories to recall upon and pictures to remember her by.

with that being said, i am overjoyed and ecstatic to announce that i have been accepted into the RN program at my school. it has been a 6 years in the making. another milestone that i never thought i would reach. and while i know have a strenuous and tough 2 years ahead of me, i am realizing more about myself each day. my confidence has slowly begun to sprout.

i have to believe that at least some of my strength, my confidence, my need to succeed (sorry for the cliche) dwells from the death of Savanna.. from SURVIVING the death of Savanna. In the beginning I didn't think I would ever get past that first awful night without her heart beating in this world. And yet here I am sitting here, writing, telling the world of an accomplishment. I only wish in 2 years when I walk that stage and receive my diploma I would be grazing my eyes across the audience to see my 4 year old girl bouncing on her daddy's lap.

i feel accomplished
i feel sad
life is going in a great direction
i just wish i could say it was complete.

July 3, 2012

Honesty Out Loud

I finally said it out loud today.

I finally told J something I had been pondering.

Something I had only really spoken about with Dr. D

At this stage in my grief.

I don't really care to visit Savanna's spot.

seems apalling doesn't it? seems awful. seems hateful almost. seems angry. maybe you're mouth is hanging open wondering how i could feel or think such an awful thing. or maybe..

just maybe..

you kinda get it. you kinda see it. you can understand it.

let me explain.

in the beginning, i wanted to go everyday, heck i NEEDED to go everyday. it's where i felt closest to her. her body is there, her final resting place.

without realizing it though, i always had an underlying unrealistic expectation. i think i've mentioned it before in past posts.

as i drove up the hill and around the bend, i wanted to see her sitting there, i wanted to see her crawling through the grass. sitting atop the stone legs swinging hair blowing in the breeze.

each time we would clean the stone, remove the clunky clay rocks, wipe the dirt from the angels, replace the old flowers with the new. each time, we would parent the only way we knew how. we took care of our girl the only earthly way we were allowed. we tended her spot, we brought her decor for the seasons.

but then something changed.

something happened within me.

it was christmas.

i was angry.

i was realizing i would never see what i wanted to see.

each time j would ask if i was ready to go, i would stall.. hoping, wishing, waiting, willing myself to see her physical body there. never will that happen. and i hated it.

in those moments, the moments of what is supposed to be the holidays of cheer and joy. i was angry hell i was PISSED! this was not OK, and what was the point of standing there?

nothing would come of it.

i didn't feel peace anymore, i didn't feel calmed. most of the time i didn't much feel her presence there anymore.

we didn't go back until March, her 2nd birthday. we brought her a beautiful and bright arrangement of flowers.

again, we cleaned and scrubbed, polished and tidied up her spot. only this time, there was a numbing empty that i felt.

in the past i felt some kind of fulfillment from carrying out these activities. i was honoring her, mothering her the only way i knew how to.

it wouldn't be until just this past june that i had an opportunity to visit her again. when the conversation first started my immediate thought was... i don't really want to.. i really don't care to.

followed by extreme guilt and sadness. how is it that i can think such a thing? how is it that i can NOT want to visit the spot where my daughter lies.

i talked to dr.d about this finally.. through my shame and through  my guilt i told her how i didn't care if she had fresh flowers. it was irrelevant if she had working whirly-gigs or pretty decoration.. at the end of the day, i would never get from that spot what i truly and really want.

so why do it. why put myself in a position to continuously wish for the impossible?

that was the first time i said it out loud... the second time was today. to J. we're going out of town this weekend and will be merely a 45 minute drive from her rather then a 3 hour. we talked about going, i told him i didn't care to. i was so scared so afraid that he would think less of me.

he understood.

maybe you do, maybe you don't. but at that moment of realization last month, i could understand why the little girl buried diagonal from Savanna who died 10 years ago, never has fresh flowers on her grave. only once have we seen new ones.. on the date of her birth 10 years ago.

so many times had i cursed those parents and looked down upon them. so many times i was hateful to these strangers.. but here i am now.. understanding and more compassionate.

i'll never see her in this life, the way that i want to. i have realized i don't have to go to a grave to feel close to my girl. forever since her funeral i have called it her spot because calling it her grave or the cemetery made it too real. made it too gruesome and traumatic. but that is the fact. and that is what it is. it is where we laid her body to rest.. but her memory of her life, her smiles, her spirit.. they're buried in my heart a part of MY soul and spirit forever, they're locked in the layers of my mind.

and that's something i can visit any day of the week.

so maybe now you understand. and maybe still you don't. but i have always promised to be real and true.. and as afraid as i am to hit the publish button.. this part of grief can be so incredibly ostrasizing. please know if you have these feelings you're not alone. you're not a monster.

Sweet Savanna,
I love you sweet girl.
Love, Momma

June 21, 2012

Coincidence?? I think not

I used to be a huge believer in coincidences. When i say 'used to be' i am referring to life before the death of Savanna. a life where everything was butterflies and sunshine. OK well, maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but for the most part that holds true. i would run into an old friend somewhere out of the blue.. 'o what a coincidence.' my view on those changed drastically after Savanna died. (along with so many other things)

first we realized a few things.. the day before she died was Veteran's Day, so J had the day off. he got to spend the entire day with her alone by himself. as a matter of fact he has the last picture taken of her alive. the Friday before she passed, she was getting over a terrible ear infection and upper respiratory infection, so i stayed home with her. we each got 'our day' coincidence? nope.

so suddenly after her death we would spot ladybugs and white feathers in the most unusual of places. whether the lady's were real or of a materialistic nature we would find them.. or they would find us. on her first birthday we released balloons.. we hadn't seen a ladybug in quite some time. as J and i went outside to get some air, we found ladybugs everywhere. there was a day i was in a store shopping, alone. out of the corner of my eye i see something red, a ladybug key chain dangling on the hook of a counter top display, and then i hear a momma calling for her daughter, Savanna. coincidence? negative

these are just the base of the experiences we have walked through that show me there is no definition to coincidence. because nothing is just that, in all actuality, it's God's way of showing us how he has completely molded the world into what it is. i am able to not look at something like that and see only a coincidence, but something so much greater, so much more meaningful, a hidden blessing if you will.

but this story of the non-coincidence keeps going.

for quite some time j and i have been wanting to know of the men that worked on Savanna that day. no they couldn't save her, but i know and believe that they did everything within their powers to do so. but i just always felt some kind of a heart tug to shake their hands, heck give them a hug and thanking them for providing the care and the attention that was needed above and beyond in that moment in time.

well j has decided to pursue a career after the military as a firefighter/paramedic. he has completed his EMT course and is now venturing into the clinical aspect of it. this past weekend was his first adventure. he was so incredibly excited, getting his uniform ready and prepped. he even did his hair in the morning :) (something of which i often fight him to do for me! )

so Saturday he was working 8am-8pm. he got teamed up with his 'mentor' and went on about his day. of course, those normal conversation starters started. married? kids? etc.. you know the drill. its the basic how to get to know someone 101. and of course j proceeded to tell him about Savanna. he told him we wanted to know who had worked on her, that we wanted to thank them. his mentor made a couple calls, and whatya know... one of the guys B was working that day that shift at the same time.

j was able to talk to him, to shake his hand, to thank him. all the things i know he felt he needed to do. and to add warmness to this story he remembered her. he remembered the call. he remembered our girl.

the story doesn't stop there.

the next day j was talking to the dispatcher, asked her how long she had worked there etc.. 3 years she said. he then simply stated.. 'you probably got the call for our daughter.' it seems they had all talked about it, and she had been the one to pull the records from that November 12th day. and she told him she remembered it too. she remembers all the little ones. she told him that she remembered the guys talking about how they had jumped medians and curbs to try to get to her faster.

as he told me these stories, these stories that pertained to our life story.. it was more bits and pieces of Savanna's story really. it was like i was getting another piece of her in a way. i was getting maybe some closure to a part of her death that i didn't have before. i was hearing with my own ears and through J's words how her life has still impacted complete strangers. it was sad, it was happy, it was everything and anything in between. i wasn't sure if i should be proud or saddened. but i know that tears were streaming down my face.

again, the story continues on..

on Sunday, they had not received many calls.. it was a 'slow' day of some sorts. it was late, j was going to be done within the next hour or so when a call was heard over the loudspeaker. it a peds call (pediatric) one paramedic told j that in his 30 years of service, he had only received 12 peds calls. so the chances of it happening on J's second day on the 'job' seems coincidence I'm sure.. but read on more to find that it was such a God thing that happened.. something that completely re-affirms my belief that all things are happening for a reason.. whether we will see that reason, understand that reason, or accept that reason is unknown, but it is truly what i believe to be true.

they asked J if he wanted to go, if he was sure. he said yes. he knew this was the one type of call he would not know how he would react to, how he would cope or deal with it. but he knew he had to, it was part of the job. so he went.. they got there and B, the man that worked so diligently to save our girl asked him if he was ready, if he was OK, and if he was sure he wanted to do this. yes, he said. and so they did. and together, J and B worked on this 2 year old little boy. J and B worked together to save this little 2 year old boy. together they were able to bring back a boy for his family.

Such a special moment. Such a blessing. Such a true testament of faith and fate alone. After that incident, it has completely and totally justified itself in my mind, that there are no such things as coincidences. just a healing blessing sent to my husband, daddy to Savanna. a wink from God to let him know that we will be OK. and to let us know that because of Savanna, her daddy is going to do great things.

So if you ask me if I believe in coincidences my answer is no.. I do, however believe in God's whispers.

May 14, 2012

Letter to my girl

Dearest Savanna,

it's 1030 at night. i should be putting dinner away. i should be packing my lunch for work tomorrow. heck, i should be in bed. but as i sat outside feeling the night breeze and gazing up into the Heavens, i had an overwhelming urge to write you a letter. maybe because Mother's Day has come and gone. maybe because i just wanted to write you. perhaps it's because my longing for you to be in my arms has been so incredibly strong.. almost numbingly painful. i just felt like i needed to talk to you. to tell you all the ways that i love you. to confess all the guilt, the sadness, the anger, even some of the joys i've felt.

i still find myself staring at your pictures, pinching myself into reality that you were real. somedays i can't grasp it. some days it's hard to believe that i was picked to be your mommy. i ask myself, i ask God why. why was i picked? why was your daddy picked? some days, i don't think i can handle it. some days i don't think i will make it. did we seem 'strong?' did we seem that we would be able to conquer this world and road of grief? i'm not sure. i never knew i could feel such a love. such a longing. such a heart ache. i never knew this world of motherhood could ever exist.

i often wonder what you're doing above us.. hopping from cloud to cloud. giggling with other angels. do you yearn for us as we yearn for you? is time the same in Heaven as it is on Earth? do you miss us? i ask myself so many of these questions. the more i ask. the more confused. the more hurt. the more sad i become. as tears trickle down my cheeks i wish for you.

your daddy and i tried so long to have you. we wished you into existance.. all the while your little spirit was patiently waiting.. and then you came. and then as quickly as you sparkled your way into our lives, your life dissipated before me. i have found myself going back to that horrendous day. i find myself re-living the moments of your last day here on Earth. how i wish so intensely i could go back. how much i wish i could hold you one last time. how so willingly i have tried to wish your life back into existence. i miss you my girl.

daddy and i, we have decided to try and make another little brother or sister for you. with much failure i must admit. it's very daunting this task of trying to create another life. i feel guilt and sadness. the year it took us to conceive you into existence felt entirely worth it the moment you were placed on my chest and i heard that first yelp explode from your lungs. every moment of negative tests and false alarms all became null and void the moment you looked up at me and i knew that you knew who i was to you. but then you left. and now, i'm left with memories, and thoughts, wishes and dreams. what if we can't have that again. what if you were our one shot. what if i screwed it all up. i feel guilty in so many ways of wanting another child. another sparkle to hold in my arms. i only know of a sweet small taste of that innocence and i so badly want it back.

do you feel like we're trying to replace you? do you feel like we're moving on? we're not. that's a promise. yes it's true.. i want to give our next little sunshine all the things we were never able to give to you. does that mean i love you a little less? there's a permaneant pocket in my heart and that remains to be your home. i'm not really sure where i'm going with this letter. i just really want you to know that i love you so very much. i want you to know that should your daddy and i be once again blessed with the joy of another child, you will never be forgotten. i want you to know that your pocket in my heart will always be yours. the file in my mind will always belong to you. a piece of me will always be with you.

my life has become one large battle. a battle of emotions and anguish. a battle of feeling ok to feel good. a battle of being ok with moving forward. there is no such thing as moving on.. moving on means to forget and leave what you have in the past. i could never do that. i could never forget you. i could never leave you behind. it is i who have been left behind.

as the world continues to fall through the seasons, as the days continue to turn, as the clock continues to tick on minute by minute, i am reminded that everything keeps growing, everything keeps moving, while i am here. each day a new arrival of a new bundle of joy cries its way into the world. each day a new mommy to be announces with such great joy of their future to come. i am saddened each time. of course there is a joy, a happiness i feel for them. but there is a sadness in my heart. i once was that person. and now when these events transpire i am reminded that while the world continues on and the days continue to click by and the years continue to surpass us.. i am still without you and i am stuck.

i hope you know how much i love you. how much you mean to me and my world. and while sometimes it feels like my own world continues to pass by, there are still bits of me waiting in the turnstiles. waiting for the day that this reality was a nasty nightmare. surrealness is slowly wearing off. and reality is painstakingly becoming clear. i'm not sure if i'll ever be able to accept your death, your absence. but i know i will keep going.

perhaps you have met your one day to be baby brother or sister. if you have please tell them to hurry. give them a nudge. in having another little ball of love i will also have a piece of you back in my arms again. not in the way i want, but in a way that i will learn to accept. that, that's something i can learn to be ok with. i will never have you again not in this life at least, but if anything, at least i can have a piece, a part of you. and i can live with that.

i love you. i love you. i love you. if i could i would fill the Heavens with my words. i would fill the world with your spirit. you're my angel. you're my heart. stay close. don't linger too far. each breath i take i know i am closer to you. each beat of my heart i am nearer to holding you in my arms once again.

So much love, so much greatfulness, so much adornment,
your mommy

May 13, 2012

Mothers Day

Well here it is another 'holiday' without her. This second string of holidays without Savanna has been so drastically different then the first. This has been a conversation I have had with Dr. D several times. The second Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthday and now Mother's Day. All so seemingly much harder then the first. It didn't quite make sense to me. 'Logically' thinking, the first would be the worse right?

Looking into it further i made several realizations. The 'firsts' were hard. (and hard seems to downplay the true emotions..) but it was a different kind of hard. Her death was still so fresh, so new. That although we were grieving being without her, we were still freshly grieving her death. We were still learning to manage our day to day routine without her. We were still figuring out what normal meant again. we were still trying to make sense of what had just happened merely months before. last mother's day, we didn't do anything. j didn't get me anything.. i didn't want anything. i didn't even want to acknowledge the day. yes it was a holiday. but it was still a day without her. no different then any other day. so why make a big stink. why make it out to more then what it was? it just didn't make sense. she was gone and that's all there was to it.

but this year has proved to be dramatically different. all day yesterday and today i have felt close to tears. i have longed for her more then i had in quite some time. i missed all things about her. her fingers, toes her smile her eyes. i missed the just the simple 'being' of Savanna, her body, her breaths. i wanted it so badly this week it hurt. she would be 2 years old. old enough to run into the room and jump on the bed. old enough to 'help' daddy cook me breakfast in bed. old enough to hand me a hand painted artwork. old enough to give me a gift a hug a kiss. old enough to walk up to me and wrap her sweet arms around my neck and give me a sweet kiss. and yet here we are.

i have nothing. i think j knew it was hard. he got me some goodies.

Sticker for my car

we then went to lunch and just lounged. watched movies and hung out.

as i discussed these feelings with dr. d she helped me to figure out where the overcoming of emotions stemmed from. the second year withouts are in all actuality the firsts. think about it. the first year.. we're just trying to survive, trying to cope, trying to merely take another breath. but for us, by the second time, we've somehow managed. we have somehow survived the first year. the first withouts. and through the passing of days we found a new routine a new 'normal.' our heads and minds in a different place. the pieces aren't as broken and the hurt doesn't sting. although the pain is still ever present we have become more accustomed to it. we have learned to survive on a daily basis. and so with that.. the second withouts become the first. and to me it made so much sense.

i wish so badly and with my whole heart that i could be celebrating this day with her. my heart feels torn back into pieces, and the pain resonates throughout my entire body. my stomach pangs and my legs feel weak. my heart seems to skip a beat as people wish me a happy mothers day. it warms my heart that others know that i am still a mother. no, not in the way that is conventional by any means. rather then decorating a room, or setting up play dates, i decorate a grave. instead of giving her baths and play time outside, i clean her memorial stone. i bring flowers to make her spot look pretty instead of putting them in her hair. i will never get to experience a morning of breakfast in bed with my Savanna's bright blue eyes staring back at me. i will never feel her sweet little arms wrapped around my waist. i will never get to hear her heartbeat or feel her breaths on my skin as she smothers me in mommy kisses. and today that reality has completely crashed its tidal wave into my face. and my heart hurts. i miss her. so bad. and i want her back.

i want life to be how i want it to be. i want her here bouncing on my lap. i want her getting into things she's not supposed to. i want to put her timeout, push her down the slide. i want to watch her be curious about all the things in this world. i want her to ask me why over and over and over until i finally say because i said so. i want her. and only her.

i don't like the new realization. i don't like it one bit. i want to go back and be in the surreality. at least then it somehow felt like the feelings were real. but now, now that's ever so slowly evolving into my reality i want it to go away. reality hurts too badly. surrealness brings a false reality, which i realize.. but that false reality didn't sting as badly it didn't create quite as many tears.. it didn't bring forth the what-ifs. i miss her. i want her back.
I want to wish a Happy Mother's Day to all of you beautiful and loving mother's out there. Whether you hold your babies in your arms or carry them in your heart. If there is one thing I know as my reality, no one, NO ONE, can take away the gift of being a mother. Grab onto it, hold it close, and cherish the moments. whether you are able to carry out the motherly acts in the way you wish or the way you don't.. you are special. you are a mother. xoxo
I wanted to share some photos we had done when she was 8 weeks old. Our very first family photos.. and unfortunately the only ones we were able to do. Thank you to Olivia Womack Photography for capturing the some of the best moments.

April 7, 2012

Spring For SIDS

Only a few days left folks!

I just wanted to give a quick update real quick..

I have ordered the bands.. this year we are doing silicone wristbands. Standard size.

Debossed print.
Saying "remembering tiny angels"
With the SFS logo next to it.
With a blue/pink ribbon tied around it.

A donation of $5 will get you one of these and because we were able to get them so cheap 100% of the profit will benefit the SIDS institute! I am soo excited to get them in. I ordered them the day before yesterday. I will post pics once they come in.

I had someone ask if we were able to put their individual child's name on the bands.. and while I really wish this was something we could do, we are not able to do that at this time. I tried to keep the saying as generic as possible, trying to honor not just my girl but all others who have lost. Whether it be SIDS, stillbirth, miscarriage etc...

I am so grateful to the many of you who have contributed thus far. Any amount of any kind is always helpful. And maybe that $1 will be the extra dollar that's needed to help save a life, or inform another family who is uneducated on SIDS.

If you would like to make a contribution in honor of Savanna, you may do so here..


Once payment is received we will ship out the band via USPS.

Please email me t.bogue [at] live [dot] com with your mailing address.

Thanks again everyone!!! :)

March 27, 2012

A letter to my girl

Dearest Savanna,

My heart hurts. My stomach turns. My emotions are on hyperdrive. Your birthday is tomorrow.. your second birthday. And I am overwhelmed with the feelings and the pains in the pit of my stomach. 2 years old. That's how old you would be. That's what we would be celebrating. Instead I am left here with all of nothing but memories and some pictures. My dreams and thoughts on what this day would look like. I am so sad. And so mad. All at the same time. Today in my therapy session, Dr D asked me what I want to tell God right now. "I want my kid back.." that's all I could think to say.. I just want you in your most perfect form cuddled close under my arms. I want to feel your breath blow against my skin. I want to twirl your hair between my fingers. I want to kiss that sweet little face and nibble on those sweet little toes. I want your precious little hands to be curled into mine. I want to see the slow and steady rise and fall of your chest as you take breath after breath. I want to hear your heart. I want to see your beautiful smile and glowing eyes. I miss you. I miss every part of you. And this time around, this birthday.. seems so much harder. So much more pain. And so when she asked me that question, that's all i could think to say.

I often wonder what you would look like or what your voice would sound like. My mind swims with thoughts of how our lives would be if you were still walking this earth alongside us. How drastically our life has flipped since you left and i just can't seem to wrap my brain around it all. One day i went to the store and left my phone at home. i felt 'naked' all day long. and as i thought about that feeling, as small and inadaquate as this metaphor may be, it brought me to you. i feel so naked without you here. but the only difference.. i went home and my phone was sitting there patiently waiting. you never will be. i will never get to be greeted at the door by a bouncing over zealous toddler. i will never get to to take you to the bus stop or embarass you in front of your very first boyfriend. i will never get to watch you make mistakes and learn. most of all i'll never get to watch you grow.

your birthday haunts me more then the angelversary does. dr. d asked me why that was. to me.. everyday your dead. the day you died is only a reminder of the same reality we live each and every day. but you're birthday? that signifies your life. that proves to me that you were real. it shows me that you breathed your perfection into my existance, and knowing that i will never get that from you again hurts more then anything i could even explain in words. your life that we gave you, the love we poured over you... thats what tomorrow signifies, the celebration that you lived and you're alive.. only youre not. you're not anywhere near that.

i have been guilty of being angry with you sweetheart. and i am so sorry for that. i just so selfishly and lovingly want you back and cant possibly understand why you didnt fight harder to be with us. i didn't want another angel, i wanted my baby girl. dont worry im not too mad.. just heartbroken is all. im sure you understand. i hope you understand. my anger comes from a place of love and loss. a place of the deepest darkest sorrow. each day i try to remember. each day i remind myself of you.

i love you baby girl. your daddy loves you. we want you back. we know we cant have you but it doesn't take away from the given reality of our feelings. today my heart is heavy with thoughts of you. i hope youre birthday in Heaven is as magnificent and you deserve.

you are my light in my dark.. help me find my light my bug. my hope is dwindling into hopeless and im searching for you in the pit of despair.

come to me.. in some way.. any way.. i love you... momma

March 14, 2012

A few updates

I have a few things to update you on.. bare with me.. I have been battling a migraine all day... thanks anesthesia! :-/

1. The pathology results came back from my lumpectomy/biopsy.....

NO CANCER!!!! Yup, that's right.. no stinkin blinkin cancer... ahhhhh.. I can breathe again. Tumor was benign (adenoma) it was exactly what they thought it was from the scans. It was definitely an incredibly scary, denial stricken and nerve racking time. And I have to thank SO many of YOU for all your prayers and thoughts. I go Tuesday to get these stupid stitches out... I'll be asking a few questions... will this re-occur, does this increase my cancer chances, do I have to do more frequent scans?? You know... all the important stuff. I'll let you guys know what I find out.

Today was my first 'full' day back at work since the surgery. It was a little rough. a little tiring. and battling this headache since the moment i got up has NOT helped whatsoever.. on top of it, i'm still a wee bit dizzy and lightheaded. I get a little winded when I exert any kind of energy.. which if you know where i work you know thats pretty much what i do.. exert energy haha. But I'm hoping with a cancer free sleep I'll feel better in the morning.. I have to work a 16 hour shift tomorrow and Friday..so i'm praying i can make it through..

2. We FINALLY get to go see Savanna's spot. I think Christmas was the last time we got to go. I hate that she's so far away that I can' just get in the car and go. But the last few times it's been hard. I've been so angry and resentful. I guess mostly because the reality of everything is really and finally sinking in. For the first year, i would fully expect to see a beautiful bubbly little girl sitting atop the headstone.. waiting for me to come. Sounds silly maybe, but the mind is a wonderous thing.. and my mind knew it would never happen, but you can't fault a mother's heart. A mother's wishing and wanting heart at that. I guess this last Christmas, our second Christmas without her, it truly hit me that no matter how many times we went, no matter how many different flowers or decorations we brought, she would NEVER be standing there, sitting there legs swinging, hair blowing, eyes glowing, smile beaming. It would always and always will be an image i'll hold in my mind.

It sucks. it really does. there's no other words that seem to even break ground to the way this whole journey feels. and sucky seems to be the best one. crappy is a good one.. or how about shit-hole. that one works too..

on top of the feelings we have just plain been busy. i work, i go to school, j works, j goes to school now. i work every saturday because of my school schedule. and it just hasn't worked out. but this week is spring break and so i was able to take some pto to steal away for the weekend to pay a visit to my sweet girl. the guilt has been overwhelming that i havent been there to spruce up her spot.. but now in less then 3 weeks time, her 2nd birthday will emerge and i will be forced to face yet another milestone... without her. but i did manage to make it to the store to get her some new and updated spring and birthday goodies...

Some new whirly gigs... and a little spring/easter decor

I went for fun flowers rather then just a standard bouquet i usually do

I'm still in disbelief sometimes that this is how we 'get' to celebrate her birthday. J and I were looking at photos of her last night before bed and I found myself constantly reminding my mind that yes she was real and yes she did live. Funny isn't it.. you would think my mind would get it by now.. but the factuality just can't seem to maintain a spot in my mind. The surrealness still seems to overpower the realness of it all.

But anywho, I'm just happy to go visit. And happy to get some new and updated pictures.

3. If you have followed my blogs for awhile you'll know that since Savanna's death, I have felt like there was a purpose. Well that's what I allowed myself to believe. She couldn't have just died for nothing.. there had to be some 'grand plan' right? Well that's what I led myself to think. Right or wrong.. it worked for me. I felt a calling to help other people. I didn't know how.. I started doing SIDS advocacy work, we did Spring for SIDS, I attempted to do a memory box project... all different kinds of things. I would scour blogs upon blogs of BLM's who had found such beautiful and precious ways to mark a spot in the world for the little ones lost. And I was struggling finding mine. I would semi-commit only to let the projects fall to the wayside.. but now, now I think I have found it.


i have always been interested, always wanted to get into it, but always scared. knowing it was never something i could really be 'good' at. after Savanna died, a picture was all I had left. Photographs brought me back to memories I had sometimes forgotten, reminded me of minor details that i missed the most. the sad face.. my favorite face. it had begun to fade from my memory... but that face was captured by the shutter and a snap and i am now forever able to pull that photo up to recall any and every detail. all the way down to the wrinkles in her feet to the rolls in her arms and legs. and leading to the sweet little curls that would so stubbornly peak out from behind her ears.

so for Christmas this year, J bought me a camera.. and i started to dabble a little.. first with J's cousins little babe, then another and another... and now--well now i think i have found that fork in the road to take. i think i have found where i can be to help another. i am able to capture moments, faces, timeless and priceless memories for families. i know all the things i miss of Savanna all the things i wish i did have captured that i don't. and through the eyes of my loss and my grief for my daughter I am able to capture these moments for others. I may not be the best or the most technically skilled... but I know what I miss and I know what a mother loves and I know what my heart feels. and in all this i feel closer to Savanna. She guides me and reminds me why I'm doing it. I am able to help someone, help someone remember the small moments. The special in-between moments. The moment when mom is nursing her sweet new baby and dad gazes so lovingly at his precious gems before him. i can capture this for a family to have forever. and so Because of her Photography has been born. And I am so excited and thrilled, inspired and ready to fulfill this journey and walk this path wherever it may lead.

Here is my facebook page if you would like to take a look :)
And here is my photography blog i have yet to add too much to this one yet.. but i will be working with Franchesca once again over at Small Bird Studios to do a blog and logo design and I CANNOT wait!!!

4. this is the last of the updates.. i promise not to keep you up too much longer.. :) Speaking of Franchesca... she recently posted on her blog about passing on Abiding Hope Collage A project she started in memory of her daughter Jenna. Franchesca has a kind heart and such a sweet and giving soul but realized it was time to pass the torch for this project.. I had fought all that day, prayed if this is something I should take on or not. So finally I emailed her, and what do ya know... :)

so i am incredibly excited and supremely humbled to have officially taken over this wonderful project. This project is a way to help baby loss families remember their sweet babes taken too soon through the use of words they associate with their little ones. It is a collage of these words, put together individually by me. If you would like more information, or would like to put a request in for your very own please visit our blog and/or facebook page for updates.

Abiding Hope Collage Blog
Abiding Hope Collage Facebook Page

I am so excited to see where this project will take me! Thank you Franchesca for your confidance and trust in me to carry on this very dear project!


Well that's it.. well that's enough I should say! Those are the most major of major things going on in my life right now. I feel in a better place for the most part. Not feeling so self absorbed. And I must say... it feels GOOD to blog again :)

Here's that face.. my favorite face.. next to her dazzling smile of course..
the sad face.. i miss it something terrible 

March 12, 2012

A visit

There are certain aspects of my life that I do keep private. When it comes to Savanna though, whether about her life or death, I am very open.

There has been a recent...uhh.. situation? that has transpired in our lives. Another slight bump I guess you could say. I have only shared with a small number of people.. but then (as it always seems to) Savanna became intertwined into that situation and I knew I had to share.

Maybe you are, unfortunately, new to this grief journey and maybe my little experience will give you hope. I don't know, but what I do know is that it is worth sharing. May not seem big to some, but to me it was a moment I will never forget.


On Christmas Day I found a lump on my left breast. I had felt that lump about two weeks prior but thought nothing of it. But then, on CD I felt it again and it felt slightly bigger. Had my husband check, he said it was weird. My mom and dad were in town for the holidays and he urged me to have my mom take a look. (my mom's a nurse.. so naturally that qualifies her to know EVERYTHING haha) she felt it and told me I should have it checked out.

Breast cancer runs in my family so it was a bit of urgency behind it. But on a more positive side, my mom said the lump was 'floating' and that's usually an indicator that its NOT cancer. OF course this DIDN'T ease my mind...

Sooo.. it took me about another month to make an appointment.. call it denial, shock, or lack of attention span.. I'm not sure. But it took me awhile. All the while thinking... are you serious??? Could things seriously get any better.. So I threw myself a pity party for a couple weeks.. so sue me! :)

Finally I called the doc.. thinking OK it will be a couple weeks.. wrongo! They scheduled me an appointment that same afternoon. That kind of freaked me out. So I went in, doc examined, doc said most likely a cyst. It's free floating.. MOST of the time NOT cancer. So I said good. He scheduled an ultrasound.

Next week I went for an ultrasound, she took pics, gave us a disk and sent us on our way.

Now as curious and google search savvy j and I are, we of course pulled up a picture of my lump and compared it to other US pics of lumps. (great bonding time i tell ya ha) Well we were able to determine, in our VERY professional opinion, it was not a cyst, nor did it look like a malignant tumor... it looked to us like a fibroidadenoma.. a benign (non-cancerous) tumor. Not dangerous but does grow.. so with our google self diagnosis, i was able to put myself at ease.. for the time being.

Fast forward a couple weeks.. I go to see the specialist. Dr M is one of the top breast docs in our area, so naturally i went to him. Nurse took the scans. Doc came in. Doc felt lump. Doc said... it's a fibroidadenoma. (who knew google COULD be smart sometimes) I would have to have surgery to remove it... although not dangerous will just grow and grow.. so it's kinda like a third boob ha! Surgery got scheduled for March 12.

Fast forward to March 12.. that's today by the way. :)

Went into surgery this morning.. about 630. Last thing I remembered was them asking me to switch from  the regular bed to the operating table. And then here is where warmness filled my inner being.

In a blink of an eye I was waking up.. (how GREAT is general anesthesia!) I caught a glimpse of hubs and bro standing to my left but before I could fully focus and before I could completely come out of my medically induced sleep. Savanna's face filled my mind and I heard her name whispered in my ear.

At that moment I had the overwhelming feeling that she was with me.. maybe she even visited me in my anesthetic state.. although I don't remember.. I know, just KNOW she was there. Call me crazy, call me delusional, hell call me drugged! But I know what I know.. and I know she was there.. carrying me through this.. because although I acted as if I didn't care, although I acted as if this was no big deal.. I was scared as hell and nervous as all get out.. and of course she knew that... the whole way to the hospital and in pre-op I prayed for comfort, calm and peace. And when I woke and saw the image of my sweet girl and her name in my ear... I knew he had answered my prayers.


On another note... I am now on twitter :) @mrsbogue


PS.. the tumor was sent off to pathology and they should have results within a week. I will update you guys once we here something. But so far.. we have a positive outlook. I am recovering well.. just in some pain.. and a little tired from the anesthesia. But other then that.. everything went well... I just hope I don't have a gnarly scar on my boob!!! :)

March 2, 2012

Spring for SIDS 2012


Well it's that time of year again. Only 49 days left until National SIDS awareness day. It is Friday April 20th!

What are we doing this year?
 As much as I would LOVE to do t-shirts again this year.. my schedule just will not permit it. Between nursing classes and crazy work schedules plus aspiring photography busienss, I just don't have the resources this year. So... we have decided to do wristbands this year!

For every $5 donation made to our team you will receive a SIDS awareness silicone band. It looks something like this...

 These are the ones we got last year.. they say 'remember Savanna Dawn' I plan to order more, but will also have spring for sids 2012 and team savanna's smiles on them.

You can make your donation by going to our team page Savanna's Smiles directly on the Spring for SIDS website.

Now, that YOU know how you can contribute.. what are we doing??

we are doing a garage sale.. all proceeds will go towards the foundation.
we may be possibly having a dart tourney in Savanna's honor
money jars around town

Now, one last thing.. we have decided to do a CHALLENGE this year! And the challenge is for you!!! Spread the word... we encourage you to help us raise as much money as possible., so create your own mini team under us! maybe you will do a garage sale..recruit people for wristband sales.. maybe you do your own money jars or silent auction? maybe you'll just accept donations at your job.. whatever it is. whatever your idea email me your ideas and your goal. The mini team with the most donations (made to our SFS webpage) will receive a goody basket!!! the specifics are not nailed down but it may include the following..

ladybug blanket (because you know how awesome ladybugs are to us!)
willow tree statue
silicone wristbands
paracord wristband
gift card
and maybe a few other little goodies :)

So get your mini team ideas a brewing and email me your ideas and your goals!!! We have 49 days!!!!

(email me your ideas at t.bogue {at} live {dot} com )

share this link with all your friends!!!!