Baby Braden Petska

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Random Thoughts.....

Dear B,
Here I am....drawn again to this place I wish did not have to bring so much heartache when I "speak" to you. I don't know what exactly to write today other than I miss you more than you'll ever know. This week I was finding my strength through the wonderful moments spent with Owen and his gift of hope he has given to your daddy and me. It felt good to feel some true happiness again and not bear so much emptiness that feels so heavy when it's present. Today, however, when thinking of this weekend, our first "holiday" without you, I'm feeling the grief rear its ugly head as it's harder than ever to imagine spending another day without you. It feels like forever since we've seen you last......

Owen's room is almost complete. We just need to put the crib up, but that means taking down your bed...the last of the nursery/room "transformation." I cry just thinking about having to take it apart. It sits there so empty except when Snickers takes his afternoon naps on it. I remember how he'd always try to sneak into your room and hide under the bed when we were putting you to bed. You'd say, "Mama, the kitty is under my bed...." Daddy or I would have to shake some of his treats in order for him to come out. Tucking you into that bed was always one of my favorite things to do. You'd ask me to put on your tunes. Then you'd request all your blankets on as you'd rest your head on your Diego pillow. Your two litle blankies with the fringe had to be up on your shoulder/neck area. You would take the fringe of your favorite blanky and put it in your ear - that's how I knew you were tired. You would make sure that I had your doggy & babies (Dora, Diego, and other Diego) nestled in beside you. I'd give you lots of kisses and tell you I loved you and that I'd see you in the mornin'. I might even tell you what you were doing the next day if it was a special day like story hour (we would've practiced your songs for Ms. Penny and Ms. Cindy earlier that night if story hour was the next day). As I'd shut your door, you'd squint your eyes shut and have a big smile on your face. I always made sure I told you once more how much I loved you....sigh....what I wouldn't give to have just one more night...

As you are watching the fireworks from above, we will be down below thinking of you and missing you as always......

Holding you closer than ever to our hearts,
Your mama and dadda

We will be packing to go to the U.P. (or UPS as Braden called it) for the first time since my dad's birthday. We came home from there on the Monday that Braden passed away. It is difficult to think that we won't be packing all the "usual" things to go with us - B's medicine, syringes, spoons/forks, sippies, his favorite DVD's, Diego pillow, and all his favorite toys to play with at Grandma Patsy's house. It's all these "firsts" that become such a hurdle to get "over".....

Owen was a month old already Monday - time sure does fly. Braden's 1st month felt like an eternity - amazing how the perception of time changes with where you are "at" in life. He's growing like a weed and started smiling a bit. Night time feeds are still pretty frequent, but we're managing with having the summer off :)

Owen - 1 month old (we were at Kim's house and she just couldn't resist taking some pics of this cute little guy). Check out the old man "do"

Other charity news: I forgot to mention this in my last post. We were also able to give $1,000 scholarships this year to SIX very deserving seniors pursuing a career in medicine. Our golf outing this year is on August 15th. If you can't make it for golf or dinner and would still like to contribute, we're always looking for hole sponsors and donations for our silent auction. Please contact us if you're insterested in sponsoring a hole or donating to the silent auction: All other information regarding the charity and outing can be found on our website:

Thank you again for all of your support through prayers, e-mails, blog notes, cards, calls, etc. We might not always return a call or e-mail right away, but please know we appreciate you reaching out in the various ways you have.

Love, Steph & Rich


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steph and Rich - I continue to think of you often. I am happy to hear that Owen is growing and beginning to smile. I continue to pray for your strength.

Bridget O'Meara

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Lori Ray said...

Dear Steph and Rich,
I have never posted but I go to your blog often to see how you are doing. My daughter was in story hour with Braden and while the kids enjoyed each other's company in the kitchen after story time, I enjoyed speaking with your mom. How she loves Braden and having him those days was so precious to her. You are in my thoughts often and I am so happy for you with the arrival of Owen. We returned to Story time this past week and we think of Braden's smiling face each time! I am so sorry for your loss, pray for your family's strength and hope that you feel his love surround you every day!
Lori Ray

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How I wish you didn't have to come to this place to talk to Braden and long for you to talk to him while he's sitting in your lap...
As always, thanks for letting us in on your journey and you grieve and heal and wrap your mind and heart around a new "normal". I'm thankful you're able to express yourself, though, and be able to get some of what you're feeling out. I read this post right after you entered it but it even takes me a few days to come up with words to say that don't seem contrite or ignorant (not that I'm promising I succeeded at that). Not a day goes by that I don't think about all of you wondering and worrying and hoping that somehow someway you will be able to hurt a little less. Love you, Amy Vosters & family

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steph and Rich- On June 6th, Aunt Cheryl and I lost a true friend as Susy died from complications from her open heart surgery in St Louis at the age of 65. Her husband Jim has had a very difficult time grieving the loss of his soulmate.
Last week after talking to Jim on the phone and detecting depression in his voice, God answered prayer as I copied and transmitted several of your letters to "B" with hopes that he would also send messages to his mailgroup friends explaining how the loss of Susy has affected his life forever.
Jim then responded positively as his first message was awesome and I think that he made a big first step in his recovery of grieving the loss of his wife of 40 plus years.
I just feel that with your continued dialog regarding your grieving of Braden and with God's ultimate plan it has certainly touched a grandpa named Jim in Salem, Illinois and Uncle Dale in Kingsford, Michigan.
Keep up the great work, enjoy your summer vacation, cherish Owen and Braden daily and remember God certainly does work miracles even when you least expect him too.
God bless!!
Uncle Dale

8:08 AM  
Blogger Jer, Kari, Alayna-Maria said...

When I think of your work and how you touch so many lives with your charity, I ache that your own Braden is out of physical reach now. I hope that you know how much it means to so many families.
We think of you EVERY day.
Owen is beautiful.
I am glad you are past your first trip to the UP, I trust you made it past this hurdle, as you have all the others, step by step.
Be kind to yourself,

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thinking of you...always....
love ya!

9:41 PM  

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