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giving tuesday

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Our country has been in such turmoil since the recent elections. Emotions are running high and strong. . Marching in the street to protest or to celebrate. Liberal or Conservative, Clinton or Trump.. The overarching thing I see is that people care. People are invested and they are hopeful. People are scared, they are worried for themselves and their communities.. I get it. In a different kind of way. I get it. I think thats kinda my life all the time now too.. I have moments of great hope. When I see success when I see change is coming and happening. I have moments of great fear. Worried for childhood cancer to take up residence in my home again.. Fear that all this effort will never make a difference. Heartbroken over the everyday loss of life. 100 – 140. That’s how many parents have kissed their child for the last time[…]

a mothers love..

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Thanksgiving. A day meant to be full of gratitude and food and family.. But see its that last part  that really ruins all the rest of it.. Because my family is incomplete. There is a empty seat at the table..   I guess I imagined by year 3 I would be grown a thicker skin against it.. An emotional callus. But I haven’t. And somehow this year I feel so much lonelier with it. Like its not supposed to be this way and I am doing something wrong. Like I am not allowed to or supposed to miss Jennifer so much. But I do. No more. But also no less than I did the very first year. .. The thing that’s changed is the intensity of it. Because year one I was accustomed to the daily onslaught of the pain of her absence. Now. Now I get respite from it.[…]

hiding

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This time of year when I will constantly make.. and then break plans. Where I will commit over and over again to being a better mom, to take them out more and do more… Commit to being a better friend.. And then I won’t be. I will find any reason and excuse to cancel plans. And I feel terribly about it. But I can’t seem to stop. Every night I tell myself I won’t do it. I won’t cancel. .. And sometimes I don’t.. but more often than not I do. . I hate it and I wish I could change it.. Because I get scared. .. that at some point it will be enough is enough.. That the “my daughter died” excuse of life will just become old and tired..  That my children and my husband will be impacted because of the way I cope with my grief .. especially[…]

forget

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I look at her picture. And I want to grab her out of it. To feel her warmth again..I just want to grab her by the shoulders.. and shoulders. .. her shoulders .. remember oh God.. please don’t let me forget.. her shoulders .. my hands could perfectly cup them. If I moved my thumbs inward I could feel that bony bump right there.. They curved in slightly.. I think . ..I think she hunched just a tiny bit. Oh my God. Is that her? Or is it Jonathan? please .. oh please. jennifer. no. no. no. its like i am losing you again. Piece by piece she was stolen. And now it happens again. As I struggle against my own brain to remember her. Its like a grainy cell phone picture.. We have tally marks on the wall for the kids heights. I walk past and will touch where[…]

mom struggles

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I am trying. Trying to be a better mom. Trying to concentrate on them.. Trying to remember the mom I used to be and bring that back to life.. at least a little bit. Jennifer got some of the best of me .. and I am scared she took it with her.. It started on Halloween.. Jonathan was sick so he stayed home with Tony and I took the others trick or treating (almost all of us got sick after that so big sorry to anybody we shared germs with!) It was the first holiday or should be hard day that wasn’t hard. Because it wasn’t just one missing .. it was two. And my mind. My heart were easily convinced that they were both at home.. Waiting and playing with their Daddy.   And the carefree I felt. The absence of that heavy grief.. it was nice. It was empowering.. And[…]

i will stand

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I am a walking contradiction. I wake up exhausted. .. yet I struggle to find sleep. I am somehow simultaneously full beyond capacity and horribly empty. and.. and the cruelest contradiction .. I am mom to 5. but only 4 that I can touch. I just want to know her still. Who she would be. See her outgrow clothes.. Know what her talents would be. .. What her current favorite popsicle flavor would be. I am forever her mom.. but she is forever 6 … and its just not the same. It just doesn’t add up or work. And right now that contradiction is just overwhelming. I am beyond broken right now..  I feel so destroyed. I just hurt.  The sheer power and force of these emotions in surprising. I cannot believe how hard this still is .. Not always.. That’s improved. But when it hits, and holy hell is it[…]

..3 years ago..

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I feel weaker… more run down than I have the last 2 anniversaries of this … this date, this message stolen from FB.. “After a bit of a whirlwind Jennifer was diagnosed with a brain tumor. We are home now. On Monday we will go in after the team has discussed her case and come up with a game plan.  I will set up some sort of a caring bridges or something site. For now though my older sister Ann and Renee are my “word spreaders” But please know if you want to call or text feel free. If I cant or dont want to answer I won’t.  Tony Kranz would prefer a little more silence on his end. Our number one concern is all of our kids. So if you see them please just be normal and smiley with them. And remember even though JLK is the one with the medical diagnosis all of our kids are[…]

Should

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Should .. She should be here. . she should be alive.. That word carries a lot of weight with me right now. They cover me.. and they snuff out the light.. The should’s are dark and consuming. The should nots are heavy and constricting, they are what I don’t want to admit. . She should be growing and changing.. I should already have a wall filled with her school pictures. .. Instead we are tying to figure out what to do with Jonathan’s. . I should be posting his picture.. so proud of the handsome boy he is.. and how much he has changed and grown in the past 12 months. .. I should be happy for my friends and their school pictures.. Especially the kinder ones. . I should be. I’m not. I look at them with a mix of longing, jealousy and anger. . I long for it. For[…]

October is my train.

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October.. Waiting for that crash.. Standing beside the train tracks.. wind blowing hard and fast against me.. and nothing I can do to stop it.. I feel it though. My whole body trembles as I feel the sheer power and force of the train barreling towards my little family. October.. This month is that train.. Her birthday also the day she was diagnosed with cancer, its the start of it all.. For all the holidays that hurt so much without her.. The ones that now symbolize her short but fierce battle. .. so its not just the stark reminder that one is missing.. its also the memories of our last holidays with her.. When we knew she would die.. i didnt know.. sissy i didnt know you were already dying..  I see a video.. and I watch it.. willing me to just find her in the frame. Its all I see[…]

our orchestra

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Sissy. This presence.. this person my girls don’t really know. She is everywhere. She is nowhere. Driving down the road Nicholas got excited and pointed exclaiming  “look its SISSY”. with such conviction I had to turn and look. We were driving past the cemetery. I looked in the rear view mirror as Charlottes head turned back forward. She did not have the same look of disappointment I felt.. just acknowledgment.. Because that is the sissy she knows. Its hard to balance it. For Charlotte she wants to know her. To have a connection to be able to share stories. .. So she reaches for them. She listens intently to her brothers when they talk about her. . She takes a lot of ownership in Unravel. When she sees a brochure floating around in the diaper bag she snags it to be able to hand out to whomever she deems fit.[…]

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