without a definition

Last night I went to see a very popular tv medium.. popular and from the looks of it insanely wealthy. I went with my sister and her friends and my bereaved mommy friend. We were up in the nose bleeds of a large amphitheater ($70.00)..so she came nowhere near us. But of course I couldn’t help but hope…If its true.. if this gift of hers is a reality then I am insanely jealous.. what I wouldn’t give to be able to communicate with my daughter again..

we talked about losing our kids.. about our families and how its changed everything … and about our daughters.

Oh how I miss that girl of mine… and hers too. I think I get what people say to me now.. that they miss this girl nicknamed JLK that they never met. ..because I miss this girl that I never knew.. A blonde haired mini mommy, much like the one I lost. And I am so sad for her parents.. but so horrifically and selfishly grateful I can get to know my daughters new friend through their unending DSC_0086sorrow. I can imagine them walking holding hands

..it helps shut down the image I fear.. of her reaching for mine still, the way I mindlessly reach for hers ..

The boys had art therapy here this morning. It feels good to be doing something for them.. this change we have experienced is so much more than just a dead sister for them and they need..we need .. help figuring out how to survive this.

Nicholas and Charlotte napped at the same time which gave me one on one time with Jonathan. We decided to play some board games. I let him pick it out. I was very surprised when he carried over the Fancy Nancy board game. We had played it once before.. with her. . I remember it. I remember how much anxiety and stress was happening at that time. Though nothing in that moment. Nothing that should have outweighed the gift of playing with them.. I remember not OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAenjoying the time with my kids playing that game. ..

I wish I could go back.. and just be with her.. simple times.. DSC_0013

Today I absorbed the time with him. I took pictures and we played a few rounds.. then he got a new game. Another one from that same afternoon.. We talked about it.. we talked about playing with her.. Inside I longed for her.. Worried a little about how she might feel about us playing without her. ..but then really tried to be there and present with him. Shockingly hard to do. We put them away in the game closet and then we saw a sign of her.. from her. He was the one that noticed it.. (I hope.. I am trying so hard to just accept it)

I was feeling pretty good. I took the kids to my friends house so they could play while I went to cross fit. I go in the car, still feeling pretty good. Then a song came on. I chose you. I started to crumble. Luckily Gilroy is a small town and I was quickly at the gym …undone..                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ..bent over.. shielded from other cars and eyes…

Its a song from her video slideshow. A song that played over and over again in her bedroom those 36 hours she laid dying.. one breath closer to her final one.

I pulled it together.. went in for a workout. That is the reality of this grief. You can be overcome completely one minute and talking and smiling the next. I have to. This is the definition of my new normal.

Afterwards I went back to get my kids. I found out Nicholas had been misbehaving.. a lot. He did the minute I walked in the door.. taking a drink of his water and blowing it out. Followed by one defiant act after another. I disciplined him.. I struggled with not knowing what the right thing to do was. I do not want to raise a child that bites.. or is disrespectful.. I don’t want to raise a child thats hurting and I am not helping him..

such a fine line.

Parenting is always hard.. I have always wondered if I was doing it right.. but the stakes were never so high…well except for a few months. . unbelievable high that time..and as it turns out..

unsurmountable.

How can I tell the difference in my 2, almost 3 yr old, just testing the limits from struggling with the complete upheaval  in his life? Its like a switch in him was turned ..

.. again in my writing it comes to me..

a switch. a trigger. just like me in the car with the song. I don’t know what it was.. but maybe he had a moment like mine.. that ripped him raw.. exposed his wound.. in a split second like the song did for me.. A 2yr old without words to explain.. without knowledge to understand the emotions wanting to come out. .

Did I miss it? Did I go the wrong way?

This part of child loss is something I was unprepared for.. not only helping my children cope, but also figuring out what is normal and what is grief manifesting itself..

***looking to find the right pictures for this blog (always after I write) I came across these from our Make A Wish trip.. the trip that was the beginning of the end for her.. she was always there for Nicholas.. I think I forget.. only 2.. but his only big sister.. She took such good care of him. Could turn around the biggest tantrums.. Without being asked.. she stepped out of the stroller she needed… to help get through to her littlest brother.. when mommy and daddy couldn’t.

What a gift she would have been to this world..

I need to go hug my son while he sleeps.. whisper to him how much I love him. How much she loves him.. Damn it. damn it. ***

DSC_0661 DSC_0662 DSC_0663 DSC_0664

Oh and PS She is totally sporting princess jammies and boots in Universal Studios.. That’s our Jennifer!

One day I want to read these entries with my kids.. after they have grown.. when we can look back together and try to figure out what advice we could give to families in our shoes.. shoes that are so new now.. so new and unfamiliar.. ones we will be forced to walk in for the rest of lives.  I want to write that by then maybe they will be a little beat up.. a little worn in.. a bit more comfortable.. But I don’t think so. I think forever they will feel like wearing the left shoe on the right foot. They can work .. we will manage in them.. but we will never be used to them. .

I just want to do right by my kids.

 

I went out to buy dinner for me and Tony. All my energy seems to be spent just surviving the day. I used to pride myself in doing it all..and on a tight budget. I haven’t clipped a coupon since that Friday in late October.. she was still 5.. I remember cutting one for Chuck e Cheese.. before that day when I picked her up from school.. before we ended up in the ER… then in the recovery room learning she had a tumor in her brain.

 

And I overheard a family talking.. a little girl talking with her family .. normal after school talk. The part of parenting I was just about to get to with her. The part I got somewhat while she sick since she grew up so much in that time..I just wanted to be them..

to be me.. us.. again.

I want to be able to share that my daughter had the same outfit and my husband the same shirt when I see them on another family in a picture. I can’t. Nobody wants to see such an eery connection between themselves and the family with the dead kid.

I want to go back to the mom who believed my only real job was to keep my children from dying.. the mom that thought that wasn’t going to be that hard of a job.

I failed.

She died. 13301802454_d9d5045edb_b

So now I am left without a definition .. with no idea what it means to be a mom anymore.

This is my truth.

and I listen to the song again.. connecting to lyrics in a different way..

” We are not perfect, we’ll learn from our mistakes and as long as it takes I will prove my love to you”

ok baby girl. I know. I do.

I will forever be sorry. I will forever try.

Until forever is done..

oh. I can’t wait. DSC_0217

28 Responses to “without a definition”

  1. Libby…..I only have a few words. YOU DID NOT FAIL. You are a wonderful mom. You were there with Jennifer when she needed you most. I know it was extraordinarily awful and painful for you. But….you rose up and did what your beautiful daughter needed. You are doing everything your boys need, and I fully agree that you are doing the right thing by disciplining when they misbehave as all children do. It creates a sense of normalcy for them which they crave. YOU ARE AN AWESOME PERSON AND AN EVEN BETTER MOM. Please remember those words. Sending comfort your way…..

  2. You did not Fail libby, you are the best Mommy you can be, no one is perfect and we don’t come with instructions on hope to be the perfect mommy. You are doing a wonderful job for someone who had lost a hugh part of her life her heart her world. I am so glad you can understand how we feel when we say we miss Jennifer so much and not even knowing her, because we know her through you, you’ve shared a big part of her life with us and I thank you,because now she’s a part of our lives your a part of lives and now a cure for child cancer is, were all one big family in this and.again I thank you for sharing your beautiful Angel. I hope one day i am honored to meet the wonderful mommie of the forever 6 and be in cluded in helping in your fundraisers I donate and buy t shirts and wrist band but I also want to help in any other ways I can. Big hugs and Angel kisses to you and your family.

  3. You didn’t fail. You couldn’t have changed it. You were there for her. You held her. You showed her how much you love her. She knew, knows, and you are continuing to do your best with the other 3. That’s all any of us parents can do for our kids. Don’t ever doubt that you are a good mom. You are inspiring so many of us. Daily I ask myself “will it matter in a month?” I tell myself the chores can wait when my daughter asks me to snuggle with her or play with her, when I used to tell her when I was finished. That is all you. Continued prayers for all 6. My family and I are walking in the Sacramento CureSearch Walk today. We will be doing so in JLK’s name. Forever my new inspiration.

  4. Libby ….. YOU DID NOT FAIL SWEETHEART! It’s very apparent
    what a wonderful mother you are! Your still fighting, Not in the same
    sense, no, but still FOR HER. Fighting for her honor! Look at the pictures you posted of her helping her siblings, and there are so many posts ,and pictures showing how much she loved and helped them, and she would want to help other kids too…. you’ve shown just how nurturing and caring she was. So together, you can change that… Your wOrds are so pOwerful, and I truly mean that, and I whole heartedly believe that the reason they are so pOwerful,and that is cause you are talking for two. Your Angel and you United in this fight, and YOU BOTH WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. PRAYERS FOR COMFORT for you, and I’ll continue to pray that you ate able to soon see just how amazing of a mother you truly are!

  5. It’s forever apparent you didn’t fail! From the very beginning of your blog, i have alway thought, “What an incredible mom.”

    Without knowing you, I instinctively know that you are one of those very special moms……I just wish that everything was in our control. As moms, you begin to believe that life can be controlled when they are young. Parenting is exhausting but setting limits, making dinner, making educational choices….a mom does begin to feel powerful when life falls into place. So it is horrifying to realize that not everything is in our control. I so wish it was!!

  6. We can all tell you that you didn’t fail, but as mothers we can all probably see how we would feel the same way. Something clicks when we become parents for the first time, and that feeling of wanting to keep our kids safe is so overwhelming that it can be scary. It is so incredibly unfair that you were dealt something that you had absolutely no control over. You did not fail Libby.
    xoxo

  7. You have not failed in any way. I can completely understand that emotion and why you do feel that way, but for what it’s worth I want to say that I think you’re amazing. I also realize that no matter how many people and how many times you hear these words that you will always hold yourself accountable on some level. It’s shitty. As you mentioned I fall into that category of people of who did not ever know JLk but somehow feel inspired and connected to her. It’s weird. I read your blog and I cry. And then I try to be a better mom but I fail consistently. I’m not sure of why this ll happened and I sure as hell don’t understand it all, but I can say I am thankful at I was put in connection with this blog from a friend. Thanks for sharing so many raw and intense emotions.

  8. it is so maddening that we can’t fix things. we are mamas and it comes with the job description. this – this crappy disease monster is just such a bastard and crazy maker. Don’t let it take you away. You have all this feedback you are totally at the top of the mommy scale with your intuition and skills. We are not all crazy. It’s true. so there. Kids are weird and we try our best. Failing is not possible. They come with personalities – you know that. The boys may have triggers but they also have their age which puts them smack dab in the middle of “Testing Town” and “Let me try for a reaction City” They are smart, cute, and yes, bereaved. Disciplining them is important, and sharing with us their normal makes everyone else breathe easier too.

    You are doing what you need to do, Lib. Hang in there and hugs to you mama!

  9. No, no fail. You were handed a shitty, horrific situation that you had absolutely ZERO power to change- and have been handling it with a great amount of courage and grace. You’ve honored Jennifer beautifully, both before and after she left you- like only the best and strongest of mamas could. Jennifer’s illness and passing isn’t a fair way to assess your success or failure. You’re doing the best you can, and from what I (and everyone else!) can see, your best has been nothing short of amazing and truly admirable. Lots of love…

  10. Libby, You are a woman and mother of amazing strength and insight. Jennifer chose you to be her Mom. God Bless.

  11. “I think forever they will feel like wearing the left shoe on the right foot”. What a metaphor. They may feel that way, but I sincerely hope and believe they will still be able to *run*!!!!! Eventually, someday. xxxoo

  12. Libby, you did not fail. You did everything right. You did the best you could. You are an amazing mother. We love you libby ♡♡♡♡♡♡

  13. Hey YOU. With the beautiful children and the heart of gold.
    I think you’re great. <3

    Sending LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE.

  14. She was and still is a great gift to this world. I am honored that I (we) had the opportunity to meet her and you and your family. You did not fail! My heart is always with you.

  15. For what it’s worth…I drive up Niles Canyon every morning to work. I pray on my way up for a safe day. I pray that I will do right by the children I care for. I pray for loved ones and friends in need. I pray for peace and understanding to come to Libby Krantz and her family. I pray that Jennifer will continue to help from heaven. I was having a rough day with the children and I thought of you and your pain without the one you chose. A beautiful white butterfly flew into the yard and landed on a leaf. We all looked at it and we were able to walk closer. The beautiful white butterfly kept flying around us and landing. The children calmed down and smiled and giggled. Without hesitation I told them to say hi to Jennifer. This butterfly took flight and the children said, “Thank you, Jennifer!” With that they said goodbye to “Jennifer” and went on playing and giggling. An unusual calm over me. Always caring and sending hugs…

  16. Libby, i have been following your blog since jennifer passed. Every part of me aches for you and your family. You are a fantastic mother and your kids are soo lucky to have you.Those pictures of Jennifer with Nicholas are just beautiful, what a little mother hen!! I really wish i could change things for you but all i can give you is my prayers. Stay strong.
    Love and hugs all the way from Northern Ireland xxx

  17. Cancer is such an ugly monster that we all fear as it is such an unfair battle. You are an amazing mother. Prayers for your family everyday.

  18. Libby,
    You brought such a precious gift into all of our lives. The stories of Jennifer are so heartfelt and raw I feel as if I know her. Her memory continues to live on in the lives of family, friends and complete strangers. I know you hear this a lot and I’m sure it’s of little comfort but Jennifer has and will continue to change lives. She has made many of us moms want to do better by our children and people from all over the world want to change the course of pediatric cancer. YOU are the driving force behind these changes, with your honestly and bravery. Jennifer is such a special girl and with your help she will show the world just what she has to offer. Thinking of you and your family always. Xoxo

  19. Once again and always, sending you lots of hugs and support. Everyday I think about you and Jennifer and how I can help unravel pediatric cancer. xxoo

  20. you did NOT fail
    you are a strong mama
    as a mama to three, my heart breaks for your beautiful family
    many prayers for you and jennifer

    “I just want to do right by my kids.”
    you are

    be kind to your loving heart
    keep praying and loving and honoring your baby girl

    so many prayers and love to you oooxxx ❤️

  21. You definitely have not failed. I’m sure you feel that way, but it is just not true. And I want you to know I have seen in your pictures Jennifer wearing the same jammies, dresses etc. that my older and now younger daughter wears. It warmed my heart to have that connection….no eerie feeling whatsoever.

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