Baby Braden Petska

Monday, May 04, 2009

Good Afternoon B,
I pray that the sun is shining in heaven today and that you're enjoying all the fun ways the earth wakes up when spring arrives. I can't help but see the blooming flowers and know how much you'd love to smell them or remind me that the mourning doves sound like owls and how you'd want to go outside to ride your bus or motorcyle (tricylce). All of these moments can amazingly bring smiles even through the tears we continue to shed for your absence. Lately I've been able to dangle a toe outside of the denial and into the reality that you really aren't coming back. Although I have my sad days wishing so incredibly bad you were here, I've been able to think about so many of the memories you helped create in our hearts and minds. I want to replay those memories like a movie so many times in my head for fear one day I might forget a moment or how you said a particular word. Thank you for the precious mornings when daddy would wake you up and carry you to the kitchen. You'd stop by the bathroom so I could kiss you and we would exchange our "good mornings" to each other. You'd still have your eyes scrunched closed as the bathroom light was just too bright for you that early in the morning. Daddy would make what you requested whether it be eggs n' toast, waffles, or Auntie Marci's cereal. Whatever it was he would make would never compare to the donuts HE ate for breakfast. You would give daddy that impeccable grin, shrug your shoulders all cute and ask daddy with your high pitched voice, "Can I have a choc-o-late (said with the long "o" sound) donut?" You and daddy would watch WGN as you would wait for the fire engines and police cars - Chicago always had a morning accinent (how you would say it) for you to see. After you took your medicine so well, it was time for your vitamin. Because you would call it a dimamin, we had a chant to help you say it correctly. We'd pump our fists in the air and say, "vi-vi-vit-a-min" would get so excited, want more, and even request one at bed time. I would take you in your room to change you for the day and you'd request a firetruck or dino shirt and made sure I put your socks on before your pants - you'd even remind me about the socks if I put your pants on first. You sure were funny about your feet. At this point in the morning, we were running short on time. I had to quickly brush your teeth, get your coat on (you had to zip) and make sure your mittens stayed on. I had to "scoop" you up, get you down the stairs and in the car, because our mission each morning was to beat the bus. Some mornings we'd be late and get behind the bus and you'd yell, "Hurry up kids," so we could get to Grandma Lois's. We had our landmarks along the way.....the little airport, Uncle Nick's house, the crane in the field, and the cows at Deno's. The days the cows were full of snow you would tell me that Uncle Nick was going to brush the snow off of them. The days we couldn't see them, you would tell me they were hiding in the fog even when it wasn't foggy. You'd be so excited to see Grandma as she waited for you at the door. You would wish Grandma good morning and tell her you were fine when she'd ask how you were. Some days you would even tattle on the dog if he did something naughty at home. She knew you had waffles on the mornings you ate them as the syrup smell would never come off of your cheeks, hands, and sometimes your hair no matter how hard we scrubbed. You would go find your toys, books, or the latest craze....your Monster DVD's. You'd hop in the chair and wait patiently for grandma to put the DVD in. I made sure to give you kisses and a big monster hug before I left for work. There were days I'd leave so sad as I wished I could've stayed home with you to play or go to story hour with you on Thursdays. It'd break my heart when you'd ask if you were taking me to story hour with you. When I'd reply, "I can't pal." You'd tilt your head sideways and say with your sweet little voice, "Oh, you can't." Sigh....Those were our mornings and thanks B for giving me the strength today to share them. Until tonight when I whisper good-night, have fun playing "upstairs."

Keeping you closer than ever to our hearts,
Mommy and daddy

Dear faithful blog followers,
Today is a better day. Lately I've been dabbling more and more into "reality." Those are the excrutiatingly difficult parts of dealing with our new friend "grief." Even though they are the hardest moments, I find myself able to think more and more of the wonderful moments Braden gave us as parents. It's amazing how much love and new life a child's existence can bring into your own life. I know this new child we're bringing into our lives (in just weeks) will create a new form of love and new life Rich and I are ready to embrace. We know the emptiness that is still so fresh and sits so heavily within will still live there, but it's comforting to know that fresh hope and a new joy is right around the corner and will soon be in our arms.

Thank you for your prayers and reaching out to us in various ways - it means so much to have an amazing support system who cares so much about us.



Anonymous Ceida said...

Dear Mrs. Petska,

I don't think I've ever met anyone who carries the ability to change a person through words of love and wisdom. My heart aches every time I read your blogs, and I can't but help shed some tears.. I have never witnessed so much love for another person,like the way you and Mr. Petska speak about your Baby Braden.

Please know that your family will always be in my thoughts and prayers; I could never forget about such a beautiful family like yours.

Much Love;

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVED this letter to "B", as you so affectionately and endearingly called him. I smiled the whole time as I read it, I couldn't get enough and read it so fast I had to read it over. It is the first post I've read from you that I didn't cry, I think it's showing in your writing that you are taking the grief head on and conquering it. I know you will always hurt but you are handling this so amazingly, you are just such an inspiration to everyone around you. What a beautiful 2+ years Braden gave you and how lucky this upcoming baby is to have the legacy that Braden has left behind for him/her! I am honored to have the opportunity to read your thoughts and experiences and hear about your memories and have the chance to know what it was like to know Braden as only a parent gets to know and love a child, I can't imagine how much your son or daughter is going to cherish and appreciate these letters. Hang in there, cherish and embrace the memories and keep giving your new friend "grief" a kick in the pants. We love you and we're still praying every day. Love, Amy Vosters and the fam

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW!! I don't even know what else to say, except that YOU are such an inspiration to not only me but so many others. Your love that you have is beyond, simply beyond!!
Thank you for sharing yet another beautiful and heartfelt blog. I love you steph..

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Stephanie and Rich,

May you continue to take one step at a time and cherish the memories that will forever be embedded in your minds and hearts. He will always be smiling proudly telling everyone up there...Hey look, that's my Mom and Dad.

Be proud of the life you gave him here. Nobody, and I do mean nobody, could have done better!


Debbie S.

5:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am always thinking of you and praying that you are given another "good day" to help you cope with "life". Thinking of you this weeknend and hugging you close. Your a great Mom and always will be....

friends always...


5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steph and Rich,
Your letters to Braden are so beautiful and filled with the love that only parents can give. Braden's joy, tenacity, awe at his surroundings and gift for simple pleasures like chocolate donuts will never be replaced. Your new little one will be blessed with the love and wisdom that Braden's life brought to the two of you.
You both continue to be in my heart and prayers.
Katherine Frontier

9:36 PM  
Blogger The Watson Family said...

Your love & strength are amazing. Braden will hold a special place in not only your hearts, but the hearts of so many others, including mine. Thank you for sharing.

Continuing to think of you all so often!

Love & hugs,
Nicole Watson

1:17 PM  
Blogger Jer, Kari, Alayna-Maria said...

Hi Steph,
So glad I checked in today... my heart is comforted to see moments of memories starting to pierce through the sharp grief. We are all still here, praying and thinking of you and hoping your memories continue to bring your comfort in your darkest moments.
With love,

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day Steph!
I will be thinking of you often today and hopes that you find comfort in knowing what an amazing mother you are and continue to be. I know you will feel the love shining down from above.

Erika S.

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you today and I hope you saw some signe of B smiling down on you today.

8:24 PM  

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