Category: childhood cancer

lifes a beach

Jennifer was a water baby from the very beginning. She always loved the beach and just being in and near the water. I always feel closer to her again being near the ocean. .. We got back today from a few days at a rented beach house with my sisters family and my mom. Tony was able to come for one night but had to leave for work… I know I am so lucky to have him!   We had a great time.. even better than I was expecting. Our kids were truly so very well behaved and played together and with cousins the whole time. I forgot my camera but had my cell phone so snapped pics as often as I could. .. I want them to remember this trip because I think it was a really special time for them to be with their big cousins and to[…]

we’re coming

When we get close to home I have a silly tradition that we will call out to whoever is waiting for us that we are on our way. Today it was just me and Charlotte and I started the call.. I called them one by one.. Daddddyyy and she would echo me..then  Bubbassss ..and  Brotherrr .. then I stopped. . I guess I must usually have at least 2 of the kids in the car because today it made me choke and gag. I gripped the steering wheel as tears bypassed the stinging stage and immediately began to fall. One missing. I whispered.. Jennifer.. over and over again. Charlotte already knowing the routine had continued on with it. “We’re cominggg” she was so damned happily yelling from behind me. I pounded the steering wheel. And then I said louder.. Sisssyyy .. Charlotte giggled and kicked, swinging her legs out.. Calling[…]

me time

“Me time”. I cannot believe how much that saying has changed. For me now my me time truly consists of grieving my daughter, often in front of a computer screen. Funeral, wedding and hospital visits.. and a few great Unravel meetings have left little “me” time.. though. Last week I ended up in L&D with contractions 2-3 minutes apart. I avoided it all day.. hoping I could somehow gain control and stop them from getting closer and closer, but by 9pm it was very apparent I couldn’t. I packed a bag and called Tony home from work and we headed out. We got there unsure if they would stop labor at 34+ weeks. I told the nurses they had to since we didn’t even have a carseat yet for the baby, we really thought Charlotte was going to be our last. (Some AMAZING friends have since gotten us one!). It[…]

quicksand

  “At rest, quicksand thickens with time, but it remains very sensitive to small variations in stress. At higher stresses, quicksand liquefies very quickly, and the higher the stress the more fluid it becomes. This causes a trapped body to sink..” national geographic Quicksand .. an analogy I googled mid post and realized was so perfect I cried at the understanding it seemed to convey to me. When you are in quicksand you have move slowly. Deliberately. Constantly. It’s something you have to get out of on your own. But what about when its your kids that are stuck in it? We are pausing continuing to work on her room. We are concentrating on touching them. We are taking just a moment to listen before reacting. Because that’s what they need from us. Last night Jonathan just started crying with Tony. That he missed him this weekend.. that he “loves him[…]

traveling with my daughter

Everything is so different in our lives now. From the little things to the big things. Obvious changes to one I never would have predicted. Like right now I am sitting in a hotel room all by myself… 8 months pregnant with baby #5, (who happens to be giving me raging heartburn) because I am a working mom. All 3 of these things I would have never imagined. We were done with Charlotte a perfectly complete little family.. completed with book end daughters. I never wanted to travel alone. .. family vacations or romantic getaways with Tony was the biggest and most I ever wanted. And working mom. When Tony and I were dating we talked about our visions for the future. Mine was quite clear to me. A home full of kids with a man I loved and me getting the privilege to take of them all as my[…]

balancing emotions

I started cleaning out her room. I think just getting out my fears and my emotions in the last blog readied me to do it. I had thought of it all.. balanced mine and Tonys dueling emotions. I haven’t cried like this is a long time. Day after day of intense crying. I think now I am just emptied.. drained. I can’t believe how hard it can be 16 months out. I know logically its nothing in a lifetime without her.. I know how unnatural it is to lose a child so I shouldn’t expect the grief to be anything remotely like what I have know before.. But still it surprises me how voracious.. how violent the grief can be. Broken blood vessels .. my shirt soaked down the front. And this time something new. My body so opposed to what it was taking in I threw up.. again and[…]

our bed.

Her bed. Well it was really our bed. Me and her. We shared some horribly beautiful nights in that bed. At first we borrowed a futon. But a death bed for your six year old isn’t the kind of thing you borrow. We needed a new one. Comfortable enough for her to die in.. big enough for us both to sleep in. How do you pick something like that out? Luckily some friends of our did it for us. They bought it and dropped it off for us. No questions.. just something  they could do to help.. to lessen a burden. I rarely lay in it. It’s so hauntingly empty. But I sit on it. I look at it every morning and every night. Never changed in those hours.. How often I reminded her to make her bed.. Oh how I long to see it messy with her arms and[…]

SacTownMNO

I was apart from my kids pretty much the whole weekend. But they are my why and this is my how. I said it in our Unravel video, but I truly don’t do this just for Jennifer. I love to talk about her and share her name, but I don’t need a non-profit to do that. I am a pretty loud mouthed lady! I do however need the non-profit to do my very best to protect my living children. .. See its too late for my Jennifer. But I know .. and I am scared every single day it could happen to us again. Or to one of their best friends.. or one of their children. I know the threat and I have to do something about it. MNO truly is a great way to do that. And this MNO was a blast. Let me tell you SacTown is no[…]

jennifer lynn kranz

I am so grateful for pictures. I feel like without them I am losing her. Like she becomes a figment of my imagination. A almost mythical creature that I make up who she is. But then I get lost in pictures and I remember. .. Her. Jennifer. My daughter. I have worried since the day she died I wouldn’t ever remember her healthy. I still struggle with that .. a lot. But now I worry I will forget her. The real her. That she will become just a memory to me.. A twisted incorrect version of who she really was. That’s horrible. Its something I never want to admit to myself let alone out loud. But its the truth. It is a fear of mine that makes me feel like a terrible mom to her.. Which is strange because in so many ways her memory right now consumes me.. Even[…]

just a glimpse

Today I was driving, just a few minutes without the kids in the car and my mind escapes me. I drove past the cemetery and as I always do I turn my head.. to try to take a peek at my daughter. But today it hit me.. how incredibly wrong that is. That this isn’t the glimpse of Jennifer I should be trying to get. I should drive past her school or her camp to steal a look at her. I remember doing it those few weeks she was at a real school… driving past or parking early before school gets out. Just trying to see her without me there. How foreign I thought that was, to have her be apart from me for so many hours in a day. To not know if kids were being nice to her.. if she was hungry or sad.. What I wouldn’t give for[…]