Category: childhood cancer

i heard

I often talk about the good parts of me that Jennifer missed out on. The ways I have changed to be a better parent that she so deserved. . I have talked how my surviving kids have a different mommy. One that cries.. not everyday anymore.. but at times when a mommy isn’t supposed to be crying. Holidays. Birthdays. Celebrations. And little moments.. too. Walking into Costco and seeing a costume I think she would have loved.. well at 6 she would have loved. I have no idea what a nearly 8 year old girl would have picked out. .. I am busy now.. work from home.. Stopping playing to take a phone call. Away overnight to get to share our story.. I knew all of that. But somethings I didn’t know. Nicholas wants to watch a lot of Jennifer videos lately. And the other day I heard it. My[…]

full circle

  My head is swimming. I feel like I am in a room without a vacuum. Like I am trapped behind glass and I can’t get back to the real world. Because today I was terrified I was going to come full circle. Jonathan. He just started kinder and just turned 6. Jennifer. She started kinder and then her eyes started to change. One started turning inward. Subtle at first I though she was doing it on purpose. His eyes are changing now too. He just turned 6. He just started kindergarten. I tried to avoid noticing. Tried to pretend it wasn’t happening. But it is. Tony and I never talked about it. Other than me telling him not to get mad at him for it. Not to scold him since I knew for sure it was out of Jonathan’s control. But last night in the middle of the night[…]

welcome home

Well hello there.. It feels like forever since I have written… Like a lifetime ago.. Which happily I guess it was. Our dandelion wish arrived. A baby girl we named Bridgette Avari Kranz. Her middle name means gift from the heavens.. and we know she is simply just that. We didn’t know gender or when the baby would come.. but we knew the baby would be blonde.. She wasn’t brown hair just like Jennifers and the same long fingers. .. Like her older siblings she will always carry a piece of her biggest sister with her.  Then we had Nicholas’ 4th birthday and just yesterday we had Jonathan’s, his 6th birthday. Six. Unbelievable. We measured him on the wall we have marked with all their heights. He is the same height Jennifer was. I have found myself touching his head a lot today. Trying to remember what it felt like[…]

a bench

Two days in the books of school for my “not supposed to be the oldest”.. It still doesn’t seem real. Like a fog that he is in kindergarten. Because Jennifer is in kindergarten .. so he can’t possibly be. .. Because if he is.. well then where is she? I know. I know the answer but apparently the mind and heart can do incredible things to protect themselves.. because some parts of me still seem to be content in denial. Like if I close my eyes and just breathe I can go back. I can pretend its not real. Every morning I face it again. Every morning I re-remember. .. one is missing.  I thought it was just then.. that fleeting first moment of opening my eyes. .. But I was wrong. It seems it is bigger and integrated into more areas of me than I even knew. Jonathan seems[…]

nesting in a new world

Nesting combined with child loss seems to equal a lot of tears. .. Its seems my urge to clean and prepare the whole house for a new baby means having to take on memories head on. Today it was her food. Jennifer had celiacs disease.. I wasted so much time worrying about how that would be for her as she grew up.. How it would be at school for her, always trying to be prepared for parents bring in unannounced treats and how she would deal with that. Reading about a possible connection between celiac and infertility,  imagining how we would find a good gluten free baker for her wedding day. Days and moments that would never come to fruition. And the ones I feel guilty for. Frustration over having to read every single label. .. Trying to be sure that the BBQ sauce is gluten free and how hard[…]

18 months gone

18 months. I simply can’t believe it. officially a year and half since I have touched you.. since i have felt your warm breath in my face. 18 months since i have seen a new goofy pose for the camera.. I am still in shock over how badly it hurts. Over how much I notice the hole. I think I somehow thought by now I would be more adjusted to this new normal. But I am not. I get asked all the time at the end of this pregnancy if I am hoping for another girl.. if I am ready for a 4th. I smile and say its our 5th we have another daughter. Rarely do people follow up with another question. Yesterday a woman did.. Handing out a sample to my kids at Costco she asked where the other girl was. I told her she was in heaven. She didn’t[…]

is versus was

Early on when I started this blog I had a lot of people wanting to know about the story of Jennifer coming to make us a family. I never really answered because it was the most insignificant part of our story.. I missed out on an additional 9 months with my Jennifer. I have always missed that time.. . But also known how much it just doesn’t matter. Biology doesn’t make a family. Tony is my family. My rock. My husband. The first of the 6 true loves of my life. And we are most certainly not related by blood. I do not love Jonathan or Nicholas or Charlotte because I was lucky enough to be pregnant with them.. or because we are tied by genetics.. It’s our love that binds us… because when they draw on the wall with sharpie its not a genetic thing that saves them.. its[…]

did sissy die there?

I try to prepare.. especially for things I think will be hard for the kids. Not sure why.. I am pretty much always wrong. Jonathan had a kinder prep day today. I was worried about how hard it would be for him.. and me.. But he was nervous in the more typical jittery way. Being at Jennifer’s school didn’t seems to knock him the way I thought it might. He was bummed at first when he found out he wouldn’t be in her room.. But that was really all. No kids in uniforms.. lining up in a different spot and I guess just knowing it wasn’t a school day made it easier for me than I prepared for. ..until I got in the car. Nicholas. “Mom did sissy die there?” Like being slapped in the face. A sudden and harsh burn. So we talked. He asked who was there when[…]

i really truly do

Sometimes the feelings that rise up surprise me.. The ones that make me feel like everything about me is all wrong. The ones that make me remember nothing will ever be right again. I love this new baby already. I really truly do.. But its not supposed to be coming. .. We were supposed to be done. I should be lamenting packing up the last of our baby things as Charlotte is now growing into a official big girl. The time we waited for. Kids big enough to be a little self sufficient and each others friends. My house should be bustling full.. and so perfect looking. Bookend daughters. But its not. We are preparing to start all over again. Older than we ever imagined we would be with a newborn. .. And with a sharp jagged edge to us. I love this new baby already. I really truly do..[…]

s’more…s’mores

Jennifer loved camping. I am so glad we went when we did. We really thought about canceling. Because it was the month before I was due with our 4th.. and well after all we could always do it later. As it turned out no we couldn’t since she would be diagnosed and killed by cancer 10 months after that trip. I will forever be grateful we took that trip. This past weekend we went again. We also went last year. But I was numb still I think. The finality of her death simply had not sunk in yet. This year though. .. it was very real. I kept wanting to think of ways to cancel the trip. Because I just simply didn’t want to go without her. Nicholas asked if we could take a rock to sissy before we went. So while Tony and Jonathan packed the car we went[…]