Baby Braden Petska

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Precious Moments

Dear B,
Sigh....I don't even know where to're the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last vision I have just before I close my eyes. I guess selfishly I really want you to somehow reach out to us or come back like none of this has all happened. I long and yearn for your physical last hug, one last kiss, one last snuggle, one last time I could read your favorite book or tuck you into bed. Two weeks is just too long and yet I'm scared as to how I will feel days and even weeks from now as I can't imagine you being away from us any longer than you already have been. You existed in every part of this house, so I can only imagine you playing, laughing, running, dancing.... You were the center of our world, our sunshine, the core of our laughter, and our desire to awake each day. I know you are being well taken care of from above, but I'm really sad that someone else has taken over for us. Are you playing trucks; are you singing Johny Cash or your dinosaur song; are you watching your MONSTER DVD's; are you playing with Diego and Dora; are you snuggling with blanky and doggy? These are all questions I wish could be answered as my heart hurts to know you are so far away. I try to rock in your rocking chair, read to you, and hold the clothes you once wore just to feel apart of you again. Daddy and I will eventually be okay, but know we will never be the same after loving you, caring for you, knowing you, and sadly losing you. Please know our arms are open if you ever want to stop by for a hug.

Loving you and holding you closer than ever to our hearts,

Below is a link to our dear friend and photographer's (Kim Youra) blog. She posted a slideshow - "Braden's Life in Pictures". You will need to copy and paste the link to view it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful letter to your precious Braden. I wish for all of these things for you and Rich again and I wish I could make them happen. As time goes on and the pain of losing him isn't as severe and in your face, I think you will see and feel Braden in your everyday life. Right now the hurt is just too much to realize that he is there, just in a different way. Thank you for sharing with us your healing and suffering, not only to remind us to pray for you but to help us understand how to help you heal. It takes a very strong person to be able to do that. Keep reaching out as you need to, we'll all be here to lend our support and love. Know that he is surely doing all the things you talked about in your letter in heaven and that he is well taken care of, God will see to that. Thinking of you...
Amy Vosters
PS Did anyone tell you they had a "Heart camp" on ER last week? They also featured a little girl with HLHS who was 6. I found the timing amazing...maybe God's way of educating people about special kids like Braden? I thought about you guys the whole time and shed tons of tears!

3:58 PM  
Blogger Jer, Kari, Alayna-Maria said...

I agree with Amy... thank you for sharing your suffering and your healing, because it does help us to know how to be here for you the only way we all know how. I wish I had a way to ease your pain. I know that someday, when your suffering is not so suffocating, you will feel his presence without feeling such a crushing grief. But not today. And you can only take this by days or even hours now Steph.
We love you, we think of you every day and cry for your baby boy out of reach.
Hugs from a distance,
Kari and Jer

5:44 PM  
Blogger Dori and Addisyn said...

Your letter to Braden has brought tears to my eyes. The pain in my heart I felt reading it does not even compare to yours, I know. I am so sorry for your pain and suffering. Your precious Braden has left you with memories to cherish forever. I wish I had the magic words to make the pain go away. I wish you never had to travel down this road that no parent should ever have to travel. I continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Hugs from another CHD family,
Dori Scott

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think of Braden and both of you everyday! I really appreciate your blog entries and the wonderful pictures you posted of that beautiful baby boy! What a true blessing he was. Thank you for the link to the slide show, how beautiful. I couldn't wipe away the tears fast enough. My constant thoughts and prayers are with you all. Sending lots of love and hugs, Julia Steffens (friend of the Slagers)

12:06 AM  
Blogger Pat said...


Thank you for sharing your inner most thoughts. As I read them, my heart aches for you all. Your ability to reach deep within, grasp those feelings and communicate, so beautifully, is such a blessing. In doing so, it will help your and others grieving process.. What a lucky, little boy, BRADEN, is to have parents like you and Rich. Let the memories be your comfort and joy. Your loss and injury is so fresh and crushing, it is difficult to take a deep breath. When you are ready, listen as BRADEN talks with you. Thinking of you often with loving thought and prayers. Take care, my friend. Love, Pat

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have such a way with words. You always have and now Braden has empowered them with so much depth so much emotion, so much love.
I hope that you will continue to post such letters and perhaps keep them in a journal. Baby Petska to be will enjoy feeling the experiences his/her big bro relived through your poetic verse. I would love to get together in the next few days. I will call and see what works. love always, Cara

10:57 AM  
Blogger BREE said...

I am sending such big hugs your way Steph!

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Stephanie and Rich,

We all feel so little and helpless during a time that requires so much extra strength and support. I pass your room at school and wonder what I could do/say to help....and for the millionth time draw a blank. Your loss is unmeasurable.

Please try to find some peace knowing that you gave him a beautiful, warm, and loving family during his special time with you. That he felt more love than some children would ever get a chance to experience.... ever!

He is forever with you and not alone or hurting. So many things in your daily life will remind you of a special moment, or time that will bring a smile to your face as you relive it. Those are the signs that he sends to you to let you know he is OK. He too has precious memories to share and remind you of. Cherish them, hang on to them and never let them go. Talk about them, cry about them, or just enjoy them by yourself.

Remember that your family and friends are here for you 24-7. Please never hesitate to depend on us to help you in any way we can. Comfort, support, love... no matter how big or small... is out there!

Debbie Scott

6:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep writting to him Steph.... Your words are so touching and I bet you will find some healing in doing so. The precious moments pictures you posted were wounderful and made me smile....your letter of course brought a stream of tears, as we too are grieving with you.
I had a feeling we wouldn't see you yesterday at Parent ed day. (I wouldn't have been able to be there either) I missed you and my heart cried as I thought of you and why there were empty chairs around us. Your in our thoughts and prayers that God will comfort you in knowing he has Braden in the palm of his hand. I hope the gentle brezze that blows will remind you of those hugs you long for, and will have again because of the promise we have in Easter.
Take care of yourself as best you can, and that little sibling of Bradens that can't wait to meet such a wounderful family. I know that Gods plan must be to bless you in ways you can't even imagine right now.

heart hugs my friend....


9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I happened by this blog through a friend, and I just wanted to let you know how much your angel has touched my life. I am so very sorry that he was only able to share a short time with you, and I can't imagine the pain you are feeling. I hope that you are able to find some peace in the coming months, and that you are able to feel Braden's presence in your lives. Jennifer

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Ceida said...

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Petska,
Once again, as I read the blogs of Braden's life.. I cannot help but shed a few more tears. I absolutely hate the situation that you two have been put through, and if it were a matter of giving my life so that Braden could live his a bit longer, believe me, I would drop everything in heart beat.

Although I have recently met you Mrs. Petska, I feel closer to you both. It hurts me to see anyone be put through this, especially two beautiful individuals that I have learned to care for, and respect. But now all I can do is be here for you both, and pray for your strength.

Please keep in mind if any of you ever need anything.. I will do my best to help out.

Much Love,

Ceida Elizarraraz

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

I think of you and Braden every day; I see the pictures in the back of our classroom and want to reach out and hug both you and Braden. I cannot imagine the pain that you are going through. Your words are so touching and I sob as I read them. I am constantly thinking of you and how your life has changed and will continue to change in the upcoming months. As a mother, I don't know that I could put my feelings down as eloquently as you do. Braden is looking down upon his mommy, daddy and soon-to-be new sibling and he is smiling at all of you. He's there whenever you need him, just in a different way. I pray that God continues to send peace and understanding to you. I love you.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May the Promise and Hope that Jesus gives us on Easter Morning be in your hearts always.....

May the blessings of Easter surround you both.


Tammy Tomomitsu

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This morning I listened to Reagan's excited voice on the phone telling me about his M&M's, his new bicycle and "isn't the Easter Bunny nice!"
His voice was so happy, it was awesome.

Then, I thought about you guys. I am so sorry Braden won't be right there sharing Easter with you. But I'm convinced he's just as happy and excited as Reagan, for surely they have Easter bunnies, Easter eggs and bicycles in heaven.

I love you guys, and I'm thinking of you. Jan

12:19 PM  

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