10 February, 2010

not the first note of its kind.

we all think it's never going to happen.

"not in our home."

"not to our family."

I believed the same.

until I didn't.

until someone pulled out the rug,
and here I am.

cleaning house.

packing up booties, burp cloths and dreams . . .

_________________________________

Hi Natalie,

This is my first time ever commenting on a stranger's blog, but I want you to know how grateful I am for you. I, too, found your blog through a link shared by a friend. Your story and the way you write is deeply moving. I am not someone who cries often (not at my wedding or when my baby was born), but I found myself bawling as I pictured my 6 month old daughter going through what your Gavin went through.

I told my husband about your story and we discussed how grateful we are for our daughter and how precious our time with her is. Then this week my husband developed an intense cough and because of your story I made him (a man who hasn't been to a doctor in 7 years) go to a doctor. I think you can guess the diagnosis- pertussis.

I have never been so glad that I watched my baby girl get stuck in the leg by the DTaP needle. We are so lucky she was old enough to have been vaccinated before my husband contracted it. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being willing to share your story. I am not sure I could ever be so brave.

Carly

__________________________________

Post Script.
(because it's just so much fancier than PS)

my sweet forever friends came over Friday
and helped me sort through the rubble. . .

that was my life.

It was deeply emotional.
extraordinarily difficult.
and ultimately,

miraculously healing.


thank you girls.
I don't know what I would ever do without you.

28 comments:

richie said...

WOW! Thanks for posting this Nat. I think God works in mysterious ways. It's amazing to me how our baby Gavin's life and death is LITERALLY saving people's lives. Sometimes I think it takes the loss of one to save many. Sad, but beautiful. Can you imagine all the baby's that could have been infected by that cough if that family hadn't read the blog and gone to the doctor?! INCREDIBLE. Love you babe!

nessy said...

I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Thankyou for sharing your world with me, a stranger. I am a better Mum because of you, but I would prefer to be mediocre again for you not to have suffered the loss of your precious son.

Tambi said...

Natalie,
I too am a stranger from across the country who stumbled across your blog in early January. I am so sorry for your loss of your beautiful son Gavin. Faith in our Lord is what has held me together during many struggles and joys in life. Your ability to put your feelings into words is amazing. To follow your story and now the story of baby Bronson.... I can't find the words to explain. I just wanted to say you have profoundly changed my life, and I have been praying more deeply since I "met" you.

Lainey said...

Natalie and Richie,
I can't tell you enough how much your faith continues to inspire me. Your story, your enless faith in Him despite all that you have been through has helped me strengthen my faith and my appreciation for all of my blessings. May God keep you in his embrace and may you continue to feel the love from everyone who has been touched by your story.

sevenalstons said...

I am still so heartbroken for you and your family. I've been soaking in my own children a little more (as much as 7-17 year olds will let their mom :) and hopefully taking a lot more time to appreciate the small moments with them. This is due to your willingness to tell your story and the amazing way you share it with the world. For that I thank you.

Mr. and Mrs. Stoneking said...

very touching story. thank you for sharing

Michelle Jones said...

I am anxious to follow your healing journey. I love every baby step. It makes me feel healed too---even though I already am.
I am a permanent follower of your blog now. It's my fav.

Emily said...

What would we do without wonderful, angelic, therapeutic friends? Thinking of you constantly and sending prayers and hope your way...

Bridget said...

This poem is beautifully told in its simplest form. Pre-crisis bliss, crisis, lessons learned by you, sorting through the aftermath, lessons learned by others and the support of others that somehow makes the heartache bearable. Natalie, you have such a talent for writing. The more familiar I become with it, the more I like it and admire it. So simple. So deep.

Sorting is hard. I didn't do it for many months. For the 4th son, most of the clothing, etc. was actually used by the brothers first. So little was actually his. There were a few treasures though that I keep...wondering if we'll have another little one to wear them. Someone who will walk around and remind me of another precious son.

I found myself re-opening bags that I had ready to donate and pulling out pants/shirts that I didn't like when he was living...so why I wanted them when he's dead is beyond me.

But it is what it is. Good for you for facing it head on.

Tiffany said...

I like your style of writing, like it's a poem. Gently opening the feelings and impacting so many of us through your journey. Thank you for sharing your story with us, everyday.

Ams said...

Friends are such a blessing... always thinking of you....

kimsueellen said...

Love you Natalie.

Lane and Chelsea said...

I have found your link through a friends blog. My husband and I read your blog for hours last night! And then went and kissed our two kids as they were asleep. Ironically its been one of my roughest times as a mother and you gave me a new light! Your truly inspiring and I am so thankful I came across your blog!!

Christensen's said...

Natalie,

Thank you so much for continuing to share your story. You are so inspiring and I look forward to reading all your future post. I am spreading the word to all I know to get their boosters.

Kalia

sarah said...

Natalie, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You and your family are in my prayers. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

Kimmie said...

your words, strength, wisdom, and faith are absolutely breathtaking! may you continue to be carried by He who saves us all. all my love. a complete stranger, kim

Jill said...

I can't even imagine the extreme emotions that you have gone through and will continue to go through. Reading your blog has shown me what true faith in our Creator means.

BTW I tagged you on my blog today: http://jilljarvis.com/?p=825

Pipsylou said...

I don't think, this side of heaven, you'll ever know the impact you and Gavin are having on all of us.

Some days when I am just feeling too sad I come to your blog and get a little "pick me up". Or some days I can come and read and say, "She feels sad, it's OK, Im not the only one." I appreciate your honesty, I guess.


3 steps forward, 2 steps back, right?

None of this is "fair". I know God doesn't deal in fair, but still...sometimes I like to have my little hissy fit, and then He smiles at me and tells me HE knows it will all make sense in the end (which is really the beginning.)

Hugs to you!

Amelia Kate said...

At my daughters most recent doctors visit I made sure that ask that she had been immunized for pertussis.
(I obviously didn't know that the "P" in DTaP meant pertussis). Thank you for making me aware.

Lipscomb Family said...

Thank you for your blog! Praying for you daily.

Betsy, short for Elizabeth, formally known as Esther said...

God truly is mysterious and full of wonder.

Hugs and peace to you.

Robyn said...

Thank you for letting me look into a window of your life. I am in awe of your strength. The strength to get up each day and then on top of it to write about all of it.

It's one day at a time, sometimes it's one hour or one minute, but it is one by one. And then one day you will realize you have gone on many days and it all seems a little easier. It does get easier, I promise. I'm just so glad you have your boys to keep you busy and going, and a hubby too.

From one mother of loss to another,
you are not alone.

Robyn, American Fork, Utah

Tricia said...

Natalie,
After following your blog for a while now, I feel as if I know you... I actually was talking to a friend the other day, and you came up... I just referred to you as "Natalie" and she laughed at the fact that we're on a "first name basis" (A one sided first name basis) lol Just wanted to drop a note and say I'm still thinking and praying for you and your family. I know I've said it before... but I truly am heartbroken about your loss... You have made me a better mommy... Because of you, I cuddle Cora longer, and am more patient when she's crying for no apparent reason, and I try not to take a moment for granted with my daughter OR my husband for that matter. This life is but a breath. I do struggle though with the fears; the "what ifs" in life. I'm praying for a balance, that I would continue to entrust our lives to God, and have faith that He Reigns and rules, despite any and all circumstances, as you have so eloquently displayed. You're right... I always think to myself... no one thinks it will happen to them... and I'm sure many, and you did, pray for their loved ones health and safety. So I know I am not exempt from awful things in this fallen world. I become paralyzed with fear if I allow myself to imagine something of what you are going through happening to me and my family... but I continue opening my hands to God, giving him everything once more, and trusting that He will carry me through, even my worst of fears. I know that He is faithful. Your strength, and faith as always, inspire. Blessings.
Tricia

Brady and Rachel said...

I can imagine what Amazing sweet forever friends you have in Hawaii. I'm so glad you have them, what a blessing they are in your life at this time, and every time. You are SO LOVED by so many. Your words are Beautiful Nat. They help me to understand at least a glimpse of what you are going through. You are brave, beautiful, courageous, wonderful, kind,faithful, and did I mention beautiful? Inside and out. Your honesty is beautiful too. Thank you for sharing all that you do, and for helping so many others to avoid such a scary illness being infected on other sweet babies like mine.

Kristen said...

The clothes. Oh the clothes. The only area where I honestly haven't healed. Two boxes of -his- things that are priceless and haunting at the same time. I don't know what to do with them. He would be almost 8 years now but I have a box of 3-month clothes.

What did you do with them, that was healing?

Natalie. said...

Kristen,

I couldn't tackle the clothes. They're all still hanging neatly in the closet. . . At one point I opened the closet to hang some of his clean laundry and literally had to grab the hanging rod for support. I almost passed out with grief. One moment at a time. . .

Love to you. . .

xo,

N

Natalie. said...

Bridget,

Oy. I wish I'd faced it head on. My friends came in and went for it. I felt like I was having an anxiety attack all day long. I had to keep sitting down because my heart was racing and I thought I was going to throw up. We didn't even touch his clothes. They're all still hanging in the closet. . . They were all new for him. . . I'd gotten rid of everything after boy number 3 because it was all so hashed. We started fresh for Gavin. Everything in there is attached to a memory or some kind of vision I had for him in the future. Don't know if I'll ever be able to put those darn clothes away. . .

Love to you B,

N

JLPierce Ohana said...

for some reason i shopped for your baby shower so different from any other- i usually go for practical 6-9 month clothes, feeding tools. but for yours i saw that outfit 0-3 mos and had to get it. not sure if it was ever used, but i'm glad i didn't just listen to my head for once.