ok again

I had a ok day today…

..then I got on FB and we turned on the TV.

Totally stupid on my part. The reason I stay home all the time is I am comfortable…and in control. Yet I let this outside source impact me tonight.

 

DSC_0198A year ago Jennifer and Tony walked to the park for opening ceremonies for her first year of little league. I was the kind of mom that never missed anything for my kids. But I let Tony go alone with her so they could have the memory to share together…and

because I knew I could take her this year.

Our town is amazing. They honored her this year. I planned to walk over and listen…but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I wish I had though. I went to our back yard and could hear people in the park…I wonder what they said about her. I am learning staying away doesn’t equate to keeping the pain away.

And they made a donation to her fund. We are honored.

But I should have been there..with her. We should have been listening to the speech about something else entirely. I should have been holding her hand walking down the street DSC_0183together…

Tonight writing this I feel myself sinking back into the asking “why”. Why isn’t she here? Why am I still living?

Why has this made me a worse mother…while so many others say they are better? I am so changed as their mother…not for the better…That sucks.

Commercials for the movie Gravity are on a lot now. I heard that so much her last 24 hrs on Pandora….the part a character talks about being scared of dying. I haven’t heard it again on Pandora…but it was constant then. I tried to talk a little louder to her when it came on. Its one of only 2 negative feelings I have from that time…

.. . that’s kinda amazing though isn’t it? That during those hours waiting for her to take her last breathe I only have 2 negative feelings.

And then theres that new disgusting show coming out…I won’t even dignify it with mentioning the name..But the premise is that people that have died come back…the same age..The first one. A child. Still 8, returning 32 yrs later. yea..we won’t be watching that.

And the show we were watching was Greys Anatomy. A girl with cancer was the patient focus. I knew the accuracies and the holes in the story line. I don’t want to know that information. I want to carelessly watch..

Facebook too. I think I might have to stop going on.

Today was more father daughter dances. Something my husband and daughter were robbed of. Something they both would have loved and I can’t do a damn thing about it.

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Then I saw sisters together…in matching outfits… enjoying that unique bond, smiling and just breathing the same air.  Instead my Charlotte kisses hers goodnight on a giant piece of cardboard.

I have been able to at least piece something together to fix most of our problems..things have eventually always worked out for us…this never…

never ever will.

I am bitterly jealous.

.

.wait..didn’t this post start off with me saying I had a ok day? perhaps it was more I kept moving…talking..because the moment i sit and slow down I am more full of angst than I have been for awhile.

damned if I do…damned if I don’t.

If I am slow during the day. Then I cry and I hurt all day..then I feel guilty for not being a good appreciative mom. But if I do the opposite. If I go and talk and move and don’t feel…then at night my fingers seem to explode in a much intenser demonstation  of emotion. I become more fearful of what’s to come in my sleep.

I cannot seem to stop myself now. I need to purge..to get it out. Im not thinking people shouldn’t share their happy times…Im just jealous that I can’t. I want my girls to paint each others nails .. I want to be a little league mom..

I feel like I got demoted. Like my mom license has been suspended for 2 yrs..till my new oldest catches up to where I should be.

I want to sell girl scout cookies with her. I want father daughter dances. I want their big sister.IMG_0255

I WANT MY DAUGHTER BACK.

I feel like I can’t explain how all consuming that feeling is. How it takes over all of me. How nobody understands.

..but thats not true. The untruth in that is why I started off saying my day was ok.

A fellow bereaved mom came over for a few hours. We talked. She understood. I understood. I shared..she doesn’t know it..but things I have shared with almost no one. My almost debilitating regret about a crappy parenting choice. The one I am trying so hard to believe she forgives me for. It just sucks to be stuck in it.

We all make mistakes…especially as parents. But thats ok…your supposed to have a lifetime to make it right again..I don’t. Not with her anyways. I can’t get it out of my head. I can’t escape the crush of my regret.

Worse still.. its not like I have really learned. I make dumb mistakes with my boys …  I more than most should know better…

I don’t. I take them for granted. 3 weeks she has been gone…I should be basking in appreciation for the opportunity  to parent these perfect little beings. But I still look forward to bed time…

…oh what I wouldn’t give to tuck her in again. To have her stall for just a little longer snuggle. To hear her call “wait mommy” I have it with them though. Jonathan stalled tonight…quite a few times. I should cherish it. I don’t. I am patient enough I think…well I hope…Now though I am constantly fearful that anything the boys do thats “wrong” is a cry for helpo. ..that they are hurting and unable to express it. .

I know how quickly it can be taken away…

Just because one died..doesn’t mean another never will.

So is this the trade off for my first ok day?? A horrible night.

Like all the emotions that lately have been spread out through out the day tackle me now. Its like a wave of emotion towering over me and forcing me down..so fast and furiously its hard to breathe.

I WANT MY DAUGHTER BACK

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48 Responses to “ok again”

  1. There is no right way to grieve and there is no right way to parent. Sometimes you just have to surrender into the emotion and moments as they come. They know you love them, I knew after my sister passed away my parents still loved me even as they crumbled. They know you two are doing the best you guys can. Right now even if you’re mind is a million miles away during each hug they are still being hugged. That’s all they know and that’s what they need.

  2. The more tired and emotionally drained I am, the more I wait for bedtime. We parents do. You are still a normal person, beyond exhausted, so of course you do. Your brain has so much to process and so much to recuperate from.

    More importantly, that is your alone time with her, to miss and remember, to be with her the only way you now can. Of course you wait for bedtime.

  3. I can’t even sit here and pretend that I know how you feel. I can only imagine…that it is so very difficult. Just thinking about it and reading your posts, make me feel awful for you. Imagining the pain you must be feeling is extremely excruciating to me. I sob as I read your posts. The thought of losing a child is unbearable. My heart aches for your loss. I am sure you were a great mom to Jennifer. Don’t blame yourself for anything. Your stories…your blogs…your pictures…your memories…say it all. The smile on her face in every single picture show what a truly happy child she was. God bless you and your beautiful family! I am praying for you constantly…I’m in Atlanta so if I can help with any sort of fundraising or awareness, or anything else for pediatric cancer-please let me know. I would love to help!

  4. I read your blog and every time I hope that I will think of something useful to say and all I ever come up with is I’m sorry. I don’t know if the knowledge that random people in the world have learned to love your daughter and see her amazing spirit through your writing provides even the slightest bit of comfort, but please know that you, Jennifer, and your family have touched so many hearts. I hope you’ll try to forgive yourself for the fraction of moments you may have missed because those beautiful brown eyes shine with so much love in every picture you’ve posted and you’re the ones that made that happen. Praying for strength and peace for your family.

  5. Be kind to Jennifer, Jonathan, Nicholas and Charlotte’s Mom Libby! I know it doesn’t seem like something you can do right now…you are an awesome Mom. I will believe it for you, even if you never feel you can again! You are doing everything right and nothing wrong…you are living. You are processing and have not given up! Every day you take the next right step, the next right thing to do…for you and your family. We will be here with you, we will, most of us strangers, lift you up, pray and be here silently with and for you! No answers, just love and prayers.

  6. Libby I’ve erased so many thoughts tonight. There is not anything that can be written or said by me that is going to make your hurt any less. My heart aches for you tonight but your heart is broken in a million pieces.
    I’m so sorry Libby. I hope the friends you have made through your blog help you, and remind you, that you are cared for very much.

  7. I am so deeply sorry, but please don’t blame yourself or think you are not a good Mom bc that is so not true. I can see it through the pictures you post and the smiles on everyone’s faces . I can not even imagine what u are going through but I know with being a mom myself it it’s be terrible pain. I just pray daily that god helps u and gives u strength . Xoxo Libby

  8. I saw a commercial for that show, too, and was also disgusted at the premise. We won’t be watching, either.

    I’m so glad you have a support system. You have people who “get it.” I’m sorry they have to, and you have to “get it,” but at least it is someone to share with who truly understands.

    I continue to cry for you and with you. You were all robbed. The kids of their big sister, you and Tony of your daughter. But, while you feel guilty and angry, know that so many are telling you that you continue to be a good mother. Don’t be afraid of the “ok” days or even the “good” ones that will eventually come. She is there with you.

    Continued prayers for you all. Be kind to yourself.

  9. Libby- I’ve been finding quotes on grief lately on Pinterest. They just seem to pop up and make me think of you. Here is one I found not too long ago “For a Time of Sorrow I share with you the agony of your grief. The anguish of your heart finds echo in my own. I know I cannot enter all you feel Nor bear with you the burden of your pain; I can but offer what my love does give: The strength of caring, The warmth of one who seeks to understand The silent storm-swept barrenness of so great a loss. This I do in quiet ways, That on your lonely path You many not walk alone.”- Howard Thurman

  10. Each family event weighs on my heart, with gratitude. My heart aches & I wish there was a way to make it better, to bring her back. I’m sorry doesn’t help, doesn’t make it better. I just wish there was a way to keep it from getting worse.

  11. I have another tab open to your post from yesterday. A partial reply written but not finished. There aren’t really words . . . because nothing is going to make this better or easier. Time will make it more tolerable (again, lack for a good work) but you all are always going to miss your daughter. That’s just a given. Eventually there will be more of a balance of tears and smiles, then later your memories (albeit a short 6 years of them) will take over and turn into smiles. It just takes time. And time sucks right now.

    Everyone wishes they could make this easier on you – family, friends, and all of us cyber folk. We can’t. Only God can truly provide that comfort, and you probably feel like he forgets you sometimes, too.

    Even outside of the issue of control, it’s hard to get out of our own home and comfort zone when your world has been torn apart. Once you do that, you see that the world is still turning and people are still living their lives as if nothing happened to you. You wonder WTF people could be doing other than missing Jennifer and experiencing that grief every moment of every day. How dare they, right?

    You mentioned yesterday that your kids are no longer together. They aren’t together here, but I will tell you that I feel Jennifer is with them – with all of you. I know my brother is still with me, even though the pain of missing him still occupies a certain part of my heart that I can feel with each and every breath.

    Keep feeling those feelings as they rise. The good ones, the bad ones, the ugly ones, the desperate ones. You HAVE to feel them because you’ll explode if you don’t. Having experience from multiple miscarriages, failed cycles, failed matches, etc. gives you the light version of grief, so you’ve practiced this before. That’s the only reason you put on the brave face when you step out of your zone. Jennifer would be upset if someone were being unkind to her Mommy – even if that person being unkind is you to yourself. So give yourself a break and remember that.

    SEEEE??? The reason that tab from yesterday is still open is because I’m so damn long-winded. Well, I hope you at least got a bit of a nap while reading this reply. 😉 You and your family are loved, Jennifer is remembered, and you are all prayed for every single day.

  12. Dear Libby,

    You amaze and inspire me. Why? Because you are brave enough to write about how you REALLY feel, not some cleaned up version. Grief is ugly, messy and lonely. Last night I read another blog, “Mitchell’s Journey.” It’s written by a dad who lost his son to muscular dystrophy. He wrote, “When all is said and done, grief is a journey traveled by one.” I’m certain you understand this all too well. Sending hugs and grace your way.

  13. you know what? you make the best decisions you can with the information you have at the time. If you told Jennifer about your regret, I think she might just roll her eyes and say, “Yeah, right mom”

    Kids forgive their parents of all kinds of stuff…most of the time if we told them our regret they don’t know what we are talking about! It’s hard not to have time to go back and have a do-over. whether or not kids forgive us we need to forgive ourselves Libby. Thats the hard part.

  14. I am in deep prayer for you Libby. I know the feeling of being swallowed by grief. I don’t know you but my heart is full of love for you.

    1. Libby, I read all the comments tonight and this one stood out. I believe in you too. I believe in you because you are real, honest and true. You’re not messy. Messy is ignoring life and feelings and ‘pretending’. Your tenacity is going to help you to go forward, your journey will tell you when to take the turn. Woman, your strength is profound. I believe in you, during the good times and bad.

  15. Libby,

    I am one of Heidi’s cousins. I have been following your blog and know your story, how badly you wanted Jennifer. It’s unimaginable, this thing. I am so sorry. I am posting a poem below for you by Rainer Maria Rilke.

    Love,
    Emily

    ——
    God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
    then walks with us silently out of the night.

    These are the words we dimly hear:

    You, sent out beyond your recall,
    go to the limits of your longing.
    Embody me.

    Flare up like a flame
    and make big shadows I can move in.

    Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
    Just keep going. No feeling is final.
    Don’t let yourself lose me.

    Nearby is the country they call life.
    You will know it by its seriousness.

    Give me your hand.

    Book of Hours, I 59 (Rainer Maria Rilke)

  16. We don’t know each other, but I have been following your blog and praying for you and your family. This is only my second or third post here.

    My truth… I want your daughter back too, for you, for her siblings, your husband and entire family, even the little league team. And, because her time here was way too short.

    I wish an okay day and night for you today.

  17. Please don’t be so hard on yourself. You and Tony are doing the best to take care of your family right now and your children love you for it. Please continue to rely on the people that love and support you. We aren’t going anywhere and will be here for the “ok” days and the hard nights. Love to you and your family.

  18. I can’t imagine what you are going thru. I pray for you and your family. While reading your blog two thoughts came to me.
    You ask why is she not here. My answer is because her mission here was completed, she is an angel that came to this earth with a message and it has been delivered to all of us. Why you are still here? I strongly believe is for you to continue with her message, her legacy, it may not make any sense now, but one day you will have more answers.

  19. My shows were E.R. And Full House. My mom passed away when I was 11 years old of a brain aneurysm and every time those shows were on someone had a brain aneurysm and survived or the Tanner girls were talking about how they missed their mom that passed away but they always had each other ( I am an only child :/) . I think that’s why… Actually I know that’s why I’m 32 and have two daughters. It’s been over 20 years and I think of her everyday but time makes the pain more bearable. I pray for you and your family in every way.

  20. My heart aches for u..I am so deeply sorry for ur loss. Please know people care for u and for what ur goin thru. I know I don’t know u personally but I feel ur pain. I am a mom too. All.my love to u. Prayers always.

  21. Libby you keep punishing yourself for things that are not your fault. Its normal for you to feel what you are feeling. You are no a bad mother nor are you a unappreciative mother. You are a mother that lost a 6 year old daughter to a monster disease without the ability to save her. The day will come when life will be easier and go back to normal. You say never yes your right it will never be normal as you knew it and never easier because you lost Jennifer but it will be because you have another 3 beautiful children that God Blessed you with and knows that you are so thankful for. Right now it seems like the only thing that matters is that you lost one and yes it is a terrible terrible feeling and its so normal to feel this way. She has only been gone for 3 weeks. Melanie Higgins lost Maddie 5 months ago and her posts are still so sad and she still feels so bad and I am sure she is still angry too. So you see feeling the way you do at 3 weeks is not bad, selfish, its normal and someday the hurt will still be there but you will be able to handle it better. Jennifer will be a part of your life and your children’s life for ever and never forgotten by so man people. Dont feel guilty to laugh and to smile and to be happy when the time comes. Jennifer would not want you to be sad or unhappy. She would want her mama to be like she always was. She is a special angel that God sent to you for a brief time and now he needed her back for his kingdom because he needs a special angel in his garden. Use your anger to fight for childhood cancer and to help make people aware of it and to help you spread the awareness. You are a wonderful mother and Tony is a wonderful father and as grim as everything seems you both make a wonderful couple by being there for each other and your children. Never feel you are not a good mother because your a wonderful mother. You are just a mother that is mourning the death of her first born. God Bless you and give you the strength and the comfort you need. YOu and your family are always in my prayers. <3

  22. I want her back too Libby. For you, tony and her siblings. I just cannot imagine what this is like for you. Sending you love.

  23. Every Grieving Mother, no matter how old your child was or what they died of, feels guilty.
    I felt guilty till I felt I was making myself Ill. I realized children do not come with an instruction manual, neither do .
    I was always feeling I missed something if I just would have stayed at the hospital over night it wouldn’t have happened, If I would have seen him sooner it wouldn’t have happened. Then I realized something important, I was trying to back in time and rewrite what happened so thT I would have had some control over what happened. I had nor have any control over my child dying.
    I feel it would be a shame if you stopped Facebook if you feel it’s an outlet for your feelings, or just journal. You are very articulate and I’m sure you know you can’t keep stuff inside. You express yourself very well. God be with you . I hold on to the hope we will be together again someday.

  24. you are doing everything right, because you are acting as your body tells you to… you are the sole, unique YOU, the mom who Jennifer loved… you have done, and continue to do, everything that comes straight from your good, solid heart.

    It’s so sad to hear you regret a parenting decision. Anything you did (or think you did) was cauterized in the fire of your last moments together. She blessed you and you blessed her. There can’t be anything between you at this point that is less than perfect, whole, total love.

    It feels strange to assert things on your behalf, but I want so much to reassure you, if I can in any way, that that mistake is a blip, a tiny atom of regret in the enormousness of our universe.

  25. My heart goes out to you for I so understand your longing for your baby to come back…I can only say is one day at time one hour one minute…so many of us pray for you daily. I cry with you!

  26. I don’t know what to say. The part about making mistakes as a mother really got me. I do it all the time….one day I may never be able to make it up. i’m just speechless for you. I never..can ever imagine losing one of them. 🙁

  27. Count the okay moments, not the okay days.

    I saw the commercial for that horrible show a few nights ago and I was so angry. I changed the channel and ranted to my husband. I’ve told him all about you and your family and Jennifer and I said, ‘Think of how this show would make the Kranz family feel?? And others going through something similar!? What a terrible premise!” So you aren’t alone in that either.

  28. Libby-
    I feel bad hearing you beat yourself up. I did it too, and still do. It is hard as he’ll to be the perfect mom and person when your heart is broken and you hurt like hell. You are right, sometimes there are no do overs, but the truth is, most times there are. Children are more resilient than we are. You’ve been run over by a truck. There is no comfortable place to be…home or away, here or there, up or down, taking cate of your yourself and your grief or taking care of your kids and their grief. You are in a shitty situation with no right answers. Deep love equals deep grief, which makes you an amazing person and mother. No one knows why you and Tony and the kids, especially Jennifer, got robbed like this. It sure doesn’t make sense. I want to validate you. I’ve also felt so many of the same feelings. I hate the father daughter dance too. I love you, Libby. Hugs to you and Tony and the kids.

  29. I can’t even with that show. It makes me so mad, how manipulative and completely insensitive it is. There is no way I would watch it.

  30. There’s really no words. I’m just so incredibly sorry. Even those words can’t seem to matter. I’m praying for you and I just wish I could hug you

  31. ⭐I look to the sky and wonder which star shines brighter because of Jennifer’s smile? I think all of them!!!

  32. Still reading, still aching for you…Before I even read your blog today, I saw a preview for that icky show and closed the page out…was thinking of your situation and how tasteless the premise of the show is.

    I always try to formulate in my head, what to say here-sometimes for days. I probably am no help or comfort-but I am still here, like many others, reading, grieving with you, and supporting you from a distance. (though I do live very close to you if you ever need anything…I know you probably don’t, from me…but I have to offer.)

    What you said about hoping Jennifer forgave you for your parenting mistake-I am positive she has. Kids are (lucky for us) forgiving in nature. Don’t beat yourself up for what you see as your weaknesses as a mom. We ALL make mistakes…and you are weathering this storm with grace and dignity. We can all see it. Even when you are angry and hurt-you are still a GOOD mom.

    I just wish I could lend a hand (or shoulder to cry on) to you…email me anytime if you need anything. Seriously.

    Jessica (Christian…Sadie’s mom)

  33. Sweet Mother of Four – I wish I had words for you, but as a mom, I know nothing would help but to have her back smiling in your arms. You are doing a perfect job in this mess. “Chop wood, carry water,” was the advice given me when I was in a dark spot. Getting through the day is all you need to do right now – and know you are loved by strangers. You and yours remain in our prayers, and God will answer.
    Blessings and peace and comfort and joy be yours.

  34. We all have regrets! I do every damn day! Why did I say that or do this or shout instead of smile! It’s because we are human!!
    You have to remeber that she is with you. That she hears you. Tell her your sorry, get it out! Then forgive yourself! Grieving has many faces. One is guilt. It will come and go. Sometimes it will be more intense than others. You will just have to ride this crazy wave until it gets you to the shoreline. Be patient with yourself and be kind to yourself.
    Sending my most powerful thoughts your way.

  35. Dear Libby, I’ve just spent the last 5 or 6 hours reading your blog from the beginning. Its 3 am and I’m laying next to my sleeping daughter. Crying for you and your daughter. I just want to say how powerful and emotional your words are. Saying I’m sorry just doesn’t seem enough. I certainly don’t have advice or words of wisdom; which are the last things you need. Thank you for sharing your very personal journey with us.

  36. Dear Libby,
    I have never had to experience anything close to what you are going through and I know that my words are easy to say but harder to believe right now but please try and have faith that your daughter does not blame you or feel like you are taking you other bubbas for granted. I did not have the pleasure of knowing her but from everything you have written I truly believe that she must of been wise beyond her years and that she would understand the absolute pain and numbness that you are feeling right now. In time I hope the pain lessens, that the happy memories linger longer and that the new memories in no way take away how much you miss her or wish she could be here to enjoy them too but know that she will always be with all of you. I admire you and your family and am sending love and healing thoughts to you all.

  37. I don’t share this story very often anymore, because there were a lot of things I did for the first year after my brother died that seemed “crazy” to a lot of friends.

    A lot of it was. I make no apologies, because I was forced to find a new normal without an instruction manual, and without a choice. But this happened, and I share it only because I think you are absolutely correct in seeing the signs that are around you.

    My brother had fallen from the roof of an apartment building after a night of partying before school began. Even with the alcohol involved, it was originally treated as a murder investigation because it didn’t make sense.

    So while in San Diego to pack up his apartment the week after his services, my cousin, my best friend, and his best friend all decided to visit the scene of the accident. It wasn’t his apartment, and the friends he was with that night were the ones treated as murder suspects initially–I had to let them know we didn’t hold them responsible, so we went over there (at night), and ended up (at night) on this same deadly rooftop. The police never did give us anything more than an accident.

    As we were trying to figure out what we could, my best friend Hillary tripped and was grabbed (like a parent would grab a child from running into the street) by my brother’s best friend, Todd. Since they had just met, and at the same time realized what had really happened, they looked up instead of making eye contact and saw a shooting star at that exact moment.

    This was August, and during the time of the Perseid meteor showers. But we could have been looking into the sky for 30 minutes without seeing a shooting star, and they saw the same one at the same time.

    The following day, the group went back, while I stayed in bed, not being able to face the world and wanting some private time in his personal space with things that meant something to him and smelled like him.

    But they discovered a brown scuff mark on a rooftop ventilation pipe that ended up matching a scuff mark on the shoes he was wearing that were now in police custody.
    Every part of the story has a natural explanation, but I know otherwise. I was a little upset that his “message” came through his best friend and my best friend. What about me? But who would have believed me if that was my story? I was the “crazy” grieving brother, after all. But that discovery moved the cause of death from “undetermined” to “accidental” long after police investigators had cleared the crime scene and stopped investigating. I would later see it as his way of trying to tell us, “I’m the one you should be mad at, not them!”

    I don’t know you at all, but I hope you keep looking for these (little, sometimes big) indicators, because you probably won’t experience them firsthand, and they don’t last for long. This was almost 15 years ago, and I still hold onto it as proof that he’s “somewhere”.

    My brother died on the verge on all things great, and that ghost is very tough competition for the brother left behind–even years later.

    Nothing I can do or say is going to help the pain, and my journey was mine, and your family has their own pain to work through. The only thing I can offer is that it does become less all-consuming, and those kids are going to pull you back into their lives on their terms, even if they have to pretend to hate you to get your attention.

    When my son was three, he pointed to a picture of my brother at my parents house and wanted to know who it was. I let him know that it was my brother, who died many years ago, and that my son was named after him.

    His only concern was that this somehow, for that moment, made him “more special” than his sister. And our special moment together was lost as he ran off to rub it in her face…

    1. Thank you so much for sharing. I am sorry for your loss. And I love that you named your son after your brother..and your sons priceless reaction.

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