balance

I am like two people right now.. I feel so totally split in half.

..maybe even more…

Right now I feel so disconnected from my heart and my feelings.. so in business mode working on things for Unravel Pediatric Cancer.. Even that is kinda ironic.. “business mode” for a stay at home mom should be making sandwiches and setting up play dates. .not looking for accountants..

Today was all about the non profit. My parents had the boys for us so we could really concentrate on it. It was a zero emotion day.

I am excited and I am nervous for what the future holds. I want to do good.. I want to be good.. in the fight against pediatric cancer.. but I cannot lose sight of my two most important jobs right now.. wife and mother. To my living children and dead child.. I need to still be actively grieving and I struggle to find the balance..

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but sometimes it finds me.

Its 11:02 right now. Charlotte rarely ever wakes up at this time. She did tonight. She was angry.. just needed to be angry for a few minutes in my arms. Those moments with her reconnect me to the here and now .. . my “what really matters.”

..and I realized how wrong I was about the zero emotion thing.. It was there. So many little moments. But I stayed hardened to them.

I just get so tired.. and once the pain comes I seem to have no control. I haven’t allowed myself to really even look at her picture all day. I think people would guess I want to do the non profit for her.. to connect me to her.. the hard part is it actually disconnects me.. keeps me so busy and so focused I can’t take the time to “be” with her. Sometimes thats a good thing. I think I needed a break from the non stop tears.. I know my kids did.

I think the final straw was yesterday when I was just sitting out front with the kids like we do most afternoons.. the boys get the mail for me and then play on the grass while I read it. I opened one envelope having no idea what was inside.. It was from her preschool teacher (and I am so very grateful for it).. a picture of my Jennifer from summer camp last year.. her placemat she colored from when she went back post-radiation  **just read the blog about her school I linked, hind sight in 20/20 and that is hard **and her name. Her perfectly written little name. It was from January. How is that even possible?.. Her writing so dramatically improved.. but she still was dead just a few weeks later.

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I look back and try to figure it all out.. try to see the signs of the cancer spreading.. and in some areas I can. But things like that. Her name written better than it had been in months.. It should have meant we had more time.

So I cried. Hard. Strong. Shoulder shaking cries. Jonathan begged for me to watch him do cartwheels. . he said he might not be good but he would try. Then he laughed at how not good he was. I think it was then that I decided it was enough. Tony and I went to support group and our dinner afterwards. We came up with a fairly sizable to do list for Unravel. . and we got it all done today..

the emotion was there I was just able to outrun it.

I spent a lot of time with one of the founders (parents) of McKenna Claire foundation. Looking for advice and guidance. .. looking to continue the relationship. All of which I got. The emotion in that phone call was how many other times I feel like there isn’t cohesiveness in the pediatric non profit world.. how many haven’t been open to talking and connecting.. Supporting. And how hard it is for me because all I want to do is help… to make my voice and story heard. That was the negative.. that was my hurried fast business mode..

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***looking through pictures to find the ones I wanted for tonight so many stood out she was waving to me behind the camera..thanks baby girl I needed that***

Now slowing down.. I move on from the ones that haven’t been as open to the ones that have.. Arms Wide Open, Team G, B+, KidsVsCancer. And I am honored to be part of their community.

Pissed about it too..

The price of admission for me was far too high a price to pay.. but nobody asked me.

Then came swim class. . a little scheduling snafu meant it wasn’t just Jonathan and our friends daughter in the pool like was planned. We had scheduled for Jonathan to take lessons with a little girl Jennifer’s age that he has been bonding with. So he had a lot of sitting time. He was so good. But I missed it. I was so disconnected I missed it.

damnit.

At bed tonight we snuggled. He told me he missed Jennifer a lot today. He said he missed her in the pool with his friend. Last year around this time he was taking lessons with his big sister.

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..this year he wore a necklace reminding him how to find her.

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My friend texted that her daughter said Jonathan was sad or nervous so she moved to be next to him.. that he misses Jennifer a lot..so she tries to make him not so sad but she knows he is so sad because he loves Jennifer so much.

lessons learned from a kindergartner.

How do I do this? How do I allow my pain in enough to not miss theirs.. but not so much it overtakes me? How do I start a non profit without it becoming my primary focus?

Can I do this?

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because now.. now the pain is finding me.. a 24 hr respite ending. .. and I don’t like the way I feel. Full of guilt from running away from it all day..and not being in tune with my son.

Its those little regrets.. the lighter ones that keep me up at night. Not snuggling more in bed with her.. not going out to eat at the only restaurant around to have true gluten free food for her..simply because she loved it.. . Pushing her on the swing even when she knew how to pump her legs. . serving dinner family style… The easy things to do ..

and now its the same. It’s those little things from today that I regret.

Tomorrow is Tonys last day of modified time off of work. He goes in Friday and starting Monday he is back full time. So my to do list is family time. Making sure they are my number one priority…

all 5 of them.

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27 Responses to “balance”

  1. No words…just know so many people are here, reading, rooting you on. Words are just so useless, I wish there was more to say. Peace to your broken heart.

  2. We are all here, rooting for you, praying for you, and supporting you. I’m sorry you have to start the non profit, but am so glad you are. I know that your momma bear instincts and voice will help make a difference in this fight.

  3. I’m not afraid to speak…please, please pray for help in dealing with all of this. You will be heard. Jennifer is not letting go…Hugs

  4. Your wOrds are powerful. Again I cry. I can’t catch my breath.

    Ib lIterally feel physical pain daily when I read your blog. I know

    That you can make and are making a difference. You make me

    Wanna be a better person and mother. I strongly believe that you

    have such an amazing ability to write ,and tell your experiences &

    grief in such a powerful way that you have the ability to make a

    HUGE difference…. actually you already are making a huge difference

    Daily. I know I’ve said this many times, but I whole heartedly believe that

    You wOuld find comfort in the book ‘ Heaven is real ‘ – and it actually

    Just came out in theaters a couple months back . There are just so many

    Comforting things in that little boys experience in heaven m things I

    believe would be comforting to you and relate to your questions and

    Comments about God, Prayer and heaven in general .

    raw and meaningful way

  5. Its posts like this that make me wish the whole Glitter Squad could fly to California and be at your beckon call. To be there and support you in whatever ‘To Do’ list item needed to be checked off next. We might be far away, but whatever you need, we are here!

    Love and light to your beauitiful family.

  6. You are making such a difference in so many lives. I know it’s hard for you to see but your priorities in Tony and all 4 babies is so obvious. I think not moms feel like they aren’t giving enough or wish they would have done something different. I know your feelings are completely magnified and all I can do is send prayers of love, hope, and strength your way. You’re amazing. Your babies are amazing. All 4 of them. I would do anything to make life easier for you and your family. So much love Libby!

  7. You’re so strong, Libby! You will do it all. I have no doubts. Enjoy your family time! Love to all 6 of you!

    XO

  8. still here, still reading, and wanted to let you know I think of you and Jennifer often…whenever one of “her” songs come on the radio, whenever I see anything pink or sparkly….or we do something that I know she enjoyed…she is still in our hearts…we won’t forget her.

  9. Again I am in tears how I ache for you all… It’s 2:56 am in Australia and I woke up and I had to see how you are.. I always have to see how you are! Lots of love Libby and so many prayers xx

  10. I admire that you are able to write any of this. I know it helps you as well as so many others. YOU Libby are a true warrior! Amazing by the strictest of standards. We are not there to see your everyday, we just hear bits and pieces of your day. Just know that people say that you do your mom role so well. You’re kids are going to be ok, you and Tony will be on a different level of ok. Do what you feel is best for you, love your kids all of them, and continue to be the best wife you can. Be strong, head up march forward those little ones are counting on you. Also, I know its hard at times but when you feel like your knees are about ready to give out, think of Jennifer think of ALL the wonderful funny times you shared, I promise you it will make you smile. There’s not a one of us that can offer you a reason why this happened to your family, and for that I think we all feel badly for. I would really hate for your little guys to ALWAYS remember you crying and so sad when they are looking back at there childhood, as it sounds like these little guys are doing all they can so mommy won’t be sad. It’s hard I know. and three’s no book out there to tell you how you should do this, but you’re a mom and I know you know. Prayers to you and your family.

  11. Keep going Libby the non profit is such a good thing for your mind. It sounds like it helps take some of the edge off at least for a short while. You are a strong and amazing person probably the strongest person I have ever known.
    You can do it!

  12. I keep staring at the picture of JLK waving. Such a beautiful picture of a beautiful girl. Still here praying, reading, and thinking of the Kranz family daily. Forever 6

  13. You may not feel this Libby, but while I know you are still very much hurting I also see you healing. I see it as I read every one of your blogs. I know you slip back at times, as is normal, but you are beginning the healing process while still experiencing the grieving process. Jennifer is a beautiful child inside and out and I feel like I know both her and you though I have never met either one of you. You are always in my thoughts.

  14. One day at a time, Libby. It’s the only way. No one is perfect, and especially no one who is grieving like you are. Some days you just congratulate yourself for getting through that day. Every day is a new start. Be gentle with yourself. Thinking of you, always.

    Corrie

  15. Jennifer, you don’t know me but you had my kids Riley, Ellie and Courtney at SN. I read your blog every time. I just want to send you my love and support. I am wrapping you with love. You touch so many people with your writing. There are no words that sound r

  16. Oops there are no words that sound right, to give you comfort. We all ache with you and for you. Thank you for letting us in to your soul. We all love you and pray for you, and your beautiful family.

  17. You write, “I want to do good. I want to be good.” You are there already. Vastly there.

    A thousand heartfelt hugs to you for all the hard things you are doing.

  18. There will come a day, maybe not soon, but it will happen. A day when you won’t be “sad mommy” all the time.
    If you applied the “will it matter in a month” philosophy to your everyday, would it change any thing? Would it help prioritize?
    I remember thinking i’d never take another day for granted after Johnnie passed. But I do! I put things aside. I sleep… A lot… I leave my kids to entertain themsves far too much. I hate who I’ve become, yet I have no strength to change it…. You aren’t alone in this sister, just know that. Love ya

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