28 January, 2010


It is utterly impossible for me to believe
that it was only a month ago tomorrow that
Gavin was admitted to the hospital.

That was the last time I really HELD him in my arms
and felt his sweet, warm skin against my cheek.

Truth be told,
I thought they were just going to give him some fluids. . .
and send him home.


I see pictures of us from Christmas.

I see them, and I think,
oh that poor ignorant girl.

That poor sorry little soul.

She has no idea she's about to get hit by a bus. . .

and then a baseball bat. . .

and then a shovel. . .

and on
and on
and on

I see her and I want to jump into the photograph,
shake her and scream,


Cuddle him closer.

Kiss him more tenderly.

Say his name with more reverence and awe.

Count his fingers and toes one more time,
just for good measure.

He's leaving you. . .

and there's nothing you can do to stop him."


and yet,

"all men have a sweetness in their life,
that's what helps them go on."
-Albert Camus

and if I shake myself awake,
in the real here and now,
I can see that even yet,
there IS sweetness all around.


Gina Laramee said...

All I can keep saying is that your posts really warm my heart. If only we could go back and do things differently. Grip them tighter, tell them you love them that one more time, and kiss their foreheads.

For now, when we have bad days, I guess we can only look at those pictures and remember those good times. The ones where you are enjoying life, as it is. As it is meant to be. That is why we have them. :)
When I've lost people I do tell myself, it is better to have lost and feel hurt and empty than to not have known them at all.
Sending more prayers and some hugs...

Alison said...

Hi Nat,
I was initially drawn to your blog via dps. Your openess to help beginner photographers like me blew me away. There was no pretention, no "knowledge is power" position, just a really lovely spirit that drew me to you as you obviously enjoy helping others and want them to share in your passion.
Since following Gavin's story, I have spent weeks trying to find the right words. My little boy is only a few weeks older than Gavin, and having previously had a miscarriage, I am well aware how precious little ones truly are. The feelings I had that terrible day we lost our baby are vivid, but the terrific happiness I felt for those precious days knowing I was pregnant are even more vivid, which is what your post reminded me of today. That happiness helped me go on to have our gorgeus little boy.
To be honest, I still don't have those "perfect words" to say to you. I do hope that the vividness of your last cuddle with Gavin always stays with you, and the "what ifs" will fade and the "sweetness" is all that remains.
You have a strong spirit that has resonated with me and obviously with many people around the world. Gavin is truly lucky to have a you as a mother that will keep his spirit alive. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Tiffany said...

Hi, me again. This post brought me to tears. It made me remember times when I have been told to not forget to tell some one you love them, because you never know. He knows and knew that you loved him with all of your heart, soul and being. You were not ignorant, don't believe that for a second. You were a mom living the moments of life and loving your sweet baby boy. You were expressing love without limits.
Sending prayers for you.

Ginna said...

you are just so sweet.

quilterpolly said...

your words are amazing. Your strength wowza is all I can say.

Sarah said...

So proud to call you my friend my dear. Love you. I have a picture of your brother on a cd when you took our Christmas card pics long before pics&kicks. I have been in touch with your mom, and will be getting her a copy :)

Sara said...

You don't know me. I found your blog through a friend of a friend of a friend. I am inspired by you daily. Everytime I read your thoughts, I am reminded that life is short and that we need to make the best of our time here and about how thankful I am for my knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. I now work harder at being a better mother, a more patient mother. Thank you for sharing your world with me, a stranger!

shelly said...

How did you know my very own thoughts? Only better.

Summer's World said...

You say it all so well. I guess I don't have much to say. Not much that I can write anyway or maybe even put into words at all. So I guess I'm just dropping a note to let you know that I've been checking on you and praying. Thank you so much for the beautiful open updates. Hang in there, lovely!

Martha/Marti said...

Crying....for you, for your loss, for your family. And also for me....I do not treasure what I have every day. I do not hold my children as if it will be the last time. Shame. on. me. I will do better. I promise.

Ryan.Kendra.Makenzie.Tracker said...

Ms. Natalie, I do love you. I say these words over and over in my head. I feel this same way. Why didnt I wake up before? How did I live that life? So... unaware?! Ignorant?! I dont know the word- could we imagine our life the way it is right now? I have been reading your whole blog. I havent made it through it all yet- I feel so connected to you. I lost my sister years back, now I lost my daughter. So strange how we have these horrible things in common. I wrote you an email, Im sure you have many coming in but I just wanted to let you know. Thank you for your post. I agree with every single comment that was written- How do you do it, when your down- in the same place as me- yet you stand up and help anotehr mother- me! Your amazing. I love you.
my email is kendogg1987@hotmail.com.

Cathi said...

You are an amazing inspirational woman....your son felt your love and still does, I truly believe that! My heart and prayers go out to you and your family..hold each other close. xxoo

Kelli Eudis said...

Thank you for the beautiful words you continue to write.

sepa said...

beautiful. thank you always.

Ams said...

I read your posts and have no words... if only we took this advice EVERYDAY of our lives. EVERYDAY is precious....

Nic's Mum said...

your story of your christmas pictures hit home to me. I have a friend from college that I am friends with on facebook. My friend is Haitian, and moved back there after school. Her profile pic was of a happy time at New Year's...it has since been changed. But in the days following the earthquake I kept checking her page for news, and would look at that pic and think, "If only SHE knew what was coming..."

I can't read your blog without crying. The number of times I've thought "If something happened tomorrow, what would you regret?" and it is those exact things. Not holding my son closer, tighter, longer...I hope I never have to feel those regrets. And I wish you didn't have to have those feelings now.

Maly and Dan said...

wow, amazingly put! Thank you for helping me wake up and be there more for my two babies. I need to remember that life speeds up on you when you least expected. Thank you thank you!
I have to admit I cried reading this.
Sorry for always commenting. I feel I always need to check your blog after checking my email. And I'm always glad I stopped by and visit. You're such a great example to me and to so many.

Laurel said...

I'm one more person you don't "know".

you're helping a lot of us "wake up".

Thank you.

Barb said...

You are waking me up, big time. I will hold my little one closer and say his name more reverently to honor your Gavin. I am grieving with you, and mourning with you, even though we are strangers. But we aren't really, because we are sisters in the gospel and in motherhood, and mothers *get it*, you know?

Bridget said...

I so love your perspective.

Unknown said...

This was powerful. And touching. I will be a better mother today and hopefully tomorrow because of it. Your blog has truly touched me. I'm am so very, very sorry for your pain and your lose. I can't imagine.

Annie Link said...

Oh Natty, I remember us talking about about this once . . . my after-self looking with such tender and breathless compassion on my innocent, unsuspecting before-self. Please, please KNOW, no matter how much my heart yearned for understanding, never once in all my aching prayers for freedom from grief's isolation did I yearn for your understanding, your empathy to be this full,
this excruciating . . .

Again, the double edged sword: My heart lifts in gratitude as I watch your heart open so fully, your soul rise so sweetly in love for He who walks this path with us. I have to admit that I have always prayed for these blessings. . . from the moment I first kissed your beautiful little face. But never did I imagine my prayers would have to be answered in this way. Never.
Would I have tried to spare you? Absolutely.
It's good that God is in charge.

It's dizzying to feel so sorry and so grateful all in the same heartbeat. Please feel both from me. I love you so.

maureen cassidy said...

Blogs are weird, cause you do get to know someone through it who is a stranger. I have been following your blog for awhile.
I think we are the same age(ish)i have only 2 kids, but wanted 4 but HUGE-O pregnancy problems so 2 is 2.

if i ever meet you, im going to hug you and SOB!
bless your heart.
it is open, and much love is in there.
peace sister peace.
i wish i could be there playing with your kids and cooking you food, and rubbing your feet.
i hope you have an awesome network of people.

The McCauley's said...

Oh my... I have kept up with you for the past month. I have a baby boy the same age as Gavin... actually just a few days apart.

My heart aches for you. Please know I lift you and your family up in prayers daily! Your words are so powerful... and your strength is such an encouragement!

Ceeu N Uila said...

Hi, just another follower that u don't know :) I too live on the north shore...(kahuku) I lost my little boy two and a half years ago and I know your pain. I know what it's like to hear your heart whisper why? and then realize that heavenly Father is the only one that loves him more than me, and although I miss him every second of everyday, I am grateful that he was chosen to be with Him again.
Your words are the echoes of what my heart has been crying out these past two and a half years. thank you ...thank you for putting into words what I have been feeling.. THANK YOU

AmyPunky Photography said...

You write so beautifully (I don't know if you can say this in English, sorry I'm French). I love reading your thoughts. You are always so peaceful and faithful. Thank you for remind us where the truth is.

Wilma said...

So many of us forget to be grateful when being grateful is easy because it hasn't been tested.

Your courage to be grateful even in the hardest of circumstances is inspiring.