Monday, August 27, 2012

Family Photo Shoot

Our family received a wonderful gift one year ago today. A friend and neighbor of mine knew of a local photographer that was looking to photograph a family with unique circumstances. My friend wrote the photographer about us, and we were chosen to receive the photo shoot for free. We were overwhelmed with gratitude.

Keri Dummerth came to our home and spent about three hours taking photos of the three of us. She told us just to do what we normally do, and she would click away. She made it fun and so easy, and she took the most beautiful photos. Our family will treasure them forever. Click here to see the post on Keri's blog about our photo shoot.

Check out more of Keri's photos on some of my earlier posts. And here are some more of my favorites (you'll notice we removed Cole's feeding tube so we could see his whole, beautiful face):




Thank you so, so much again Keri!




Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Really Good Day

Yesterday was a really good day. I wanted so much to write about it yesterday, but good things kept happening and I didn't have time to sit down at the computer. After weeks and weeks of extreme heat, St. Louis is finally getting a break in the weather. It has been beautiful this week, in fact, it feels like fall! I decided to start getting up earlier as often as I can to start the day with a walk in my lovely neighborhood, which is surrounded by hills and trees. Anyone who knows me well will agree that this is a big deal as I am not a morning person. I have not been exercising as often as I should, and unfortunately I am still carrying a lot of the weight I gained when I was pregnant with Cole. I am turning 40 next week (gulp!), and I want more energy. I need a whole lot more energy. Let me tell you that on the two days where I had walked in the morning, I felt absolutely energized. It was incredible! Yesterday was one of those days.

I headed out to run some errands, which included Target and Trader Joe's. Shopping at either of those places is always a good thing in my book. On my way I decided to take a detour and go to the cemetery. The day before, the 16th, marked 11 months since Cole's death, and the heat had kept me away from the cemetery for at least a month, maybe even two. I was overdue for a visit. I have mentioned the pinwheel we have on Cole's spot before. Whenever I see it spin, I picture Cole waving to me from Heaven.  As I drove up yesterday, I could see it just spinning away, and it was like Cole was waving and saying "Hi Mom! Where've you been?". I got out and crouched down to pull some weeds and long grass that had grown along the edges of the headstone. The pinwheel was still. Out loud I said, "I really miss you Cole", and that thing started spinning again! I laughed and kept talking, telling Cole about all the people that miss him. The pinwheel would move ever so slightly here and there. I never quite know what to make of that pinwheel, but it makes me really happy. Yesterday it was like Cole was right there with me listening and responding. I loved it. The weather was similar to what it was like the day of his funeral. The sky was bright blue, the temperature was pleasant, and there was a nice breeze. It was perfect. Needless to say, this visit with Cole energized me even more. The tone had been set for a really good day.

I went to Target and ended up being there longer than I had planned (as usual). It was lunch time, so I grabbed a sandwich and headed to a nearby park so that I could sit outside and eat. I didn't see another person there, and that was fine. I sat under a pavilion with my sandwich and my snazzy new smart phone (an early birthday present from Eric), and pulled up some music to listen to. A couple of the songs I heard as I ate reminded me of God's love. I needed that. I left for Trader Joe's and stocked up. I even bought some sunflowers which suited my mood. If you are reading this and don't know what TJ's is, you should google it. Then you should go to their website and suggest they build a TJ's near you. I'm serious.

I went home and still felt all that energy. I visited with a friend in my neighborhood up at her house, then popped in on my mother-in-law, who lives just across the street from that friend. Yes, my in-laws live in my neighborhood and it is the best. I couldn't have asked for better in-laws. Anyway, I headed back home an hour and a half later. Eric was home from work. We had our usual Friday night pizza, then to take advantage of the weather, we decided to go play putt-putt. He beat me by one point. Whatever. :) It was so much fun, and a good end to a really good day.

Thank you Lord for yesterday and for every day. Thank you for all of your blessings and for giving me reminders that you love me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I've been invited to take part in a retreat in October for moms who have lost children. Sometimes it is just surreal that I am in that category, in that group of moms that I used to feel so sad for. I still feel sad for them. And now I'm one of them.

Right now I feel like I can go on the retreat without any problem. It still seems pretty far off, but I know that as it gets closer and closer, I'll start to feel nervous about it. I've opted not to go to any support groups since Cole died. I haven't felt like I've needed it. Eric and I have had such strong support from our family and friends, plus I've had the opportunity to talk with a few people one on one, whether in person or online, who have lost a child, and that has been incredibly helpful. Sharing my feelings in a group setting will be very different, and I hope I'll be ready.

I began filling out the lengthy retreat application today. Only 25 women get to participate, hence the application. I couldn't fill it out in one sitting. I finished the first two pages or so which included describing my relationship with Cole and the story about his death. That was enough for me for today. I had to fight back tears as I wrote about the last moments of his life. One of these days, I will write that story here. The tricky thing about my blog is that it is a mix of past and present, where I think most blogs focus on the present. I'm probably over-thinking it (like I often do with most things), but I'm still figuring out how to balance the story of Cole's life with what is currently happening in my life. I want to share so much, and I want to do it right.

To all of you who have read newsighted, thank you so, so much! Please be patient with me as I figure out how and when to share the details of Cole's story. If you have read my blog and only know what you've read here, I feel like I've left you hanging. Thanks for hanging, though. I hope you'll continue to come back .

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cole's Gift

Last week, I reconnected with my friend Beth (thanks Facebook!). We have not seen each other or even talked for probably 4 -5 years. We wrote back and forth to catch up on each other's lives. She knew nothing about Cole, of course, so I filled her in and referred her to my blog. Beth started and runs a wonderful non-profit organization in Champaign, IL called Orphans Treasure Box Books. They sell donated, used books on-line through Amazon, and 100% of the net profit goes to orphan care and adoption assistance. In the midst of our online conversations this week, Beth decided that she wants Orphans Treasure Box to give a $2000 grant to a family who is adopting a child with a life - threatening illness. She wants to do this once every year that Orphans Treasure Box exists. She wants to call that grant "Cole's Gift". I read her message and was immediately overcome with emotion. Eric and I are both incredibly touched that Beth wants to honor Cole in this wonderful way. I asked her if she would be able to give us information on any of the families that receive the grant, and she told me she would actually like for Eric and I to be involved in the process of choosing the family. She even asked if I would research and find out which adoption agencies serve children who have life-threatening illnesses. Without question I'm going to do this. I have the time, and it will be good for me to have a project. I am so excited about what has transpired this week. It is such a God thing! Beth and I both can see God's hand in getting the two of us reconnected. He has plans, and those plans are big!

When I called my parents to tell them about Cole's Gift, my dad said something like, "Cole is still making things happen here". We told Eric's parents about it tonight, and my mother-in-law said, "Isn't God amazing?". Yes He is.

To "like" Orphans Treasure Box Books on Facebook, please click here.