Baby Braden Petska

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Climb

Every step I'm taking...every move I make feels..lost with no faith is shaking...but I got to keep trying...going to keep my head held high.

The struggles I'm facing...the chances I'm taking...sometimes they knock me down but I'm not breaking. Just got to keep going...I've got to be strong..just keep pushing on...

There's always going to be another mountain...I'm always going to want to make it move. Always going to be an uphill battle...sometimes I'm going to have to lose... ain't about how fast I get there....ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb............

So, Miley Cyrus may say it best and will sing it better any day, but I've been keeping this song in the back of my head all week as this has definitely marked one of the toughest weeks I've had to endure yet....returning to work. It's not work itself as I've always loved my's "everything else" that surrounds returning to a place I left on March 13th with my life in I return as a changed person, searching for ways to get back what I lost 5 months ago. < sigh > I used to come to work with stories of Braden, comments he'd make on last night's dinner, morning stories, funny moments or new sayings. The emptiness spoke volumes when the traditional "beginning of the school year introductions" were saturated with awkward moments. His pictures adorn my desk, he is always on my mind and wrapped around my heart, but I still haven't found how I can "share" him used to come so easy and's like learning how to "walk" again. This year I was able to introduce Owen to my class with pictures and the joy in my voice and smile in my heart that Braden once held as well. Everything I do now strongly shouts...."Someone is missing." < Sigh > I pick up Owen from Grandma Lois's and it's so quiet. This was a time when Braden would tell me about his day, and he would point to our favorite landmarks driving home. I should be looking in the rearview mirror at two car seats, he should be telling me everything Owen is doing in his car seat, I should be this crazed mom of two kids trying to make dinner and care for them both while Rich is coaching and not home yet from work. I strongly dislike (okay hate) that my life is "easy" now compared to how it should be with a toddler and a newborn. < sigh >

I sit here trying to write and I'm blinded by the tears that are shed....for the boy I so badly miss....for the life I want back...for the new me who I'm still "getting to know"....for Braden who didn't get to fish this summer, or ride his tricycle, or play in his sandbox, or get to go to the beach, park, or zoo, or celebrate his birthday.....for Owen who will only know Braden through our eyes. Damnit, this sucks!!! Sorry, I just can't come up with a better word that can sum it all up.

I know that with every step forward, come those moments that will eventually bring me a step or two back. "Just keep pushing on..." as Miley says it best. Everyday, Owen helps us put that one step forward as he is truly the light of our lives - he has put the joy back in our days and a little less sleep in our nights :) He is cooing, rolling to his side, and Mr. Smiles. He is such a good baby - we can't complain and we never would :) He is 3 months old tomorrow already. Check out the handsome babe....

To end tonight's post, I want to share that our team (Braden's Heart of Gold) will once again be running/walking in the Brigg's & Al Run/walk on Saturday, October 10th. I sent some e-mails recruiting team members, but may have missed you. If you are interested in being apart of our team, please e-mail us at: If you cannot be apart of our team, but would like to contribute in some way, you can make a pledge/donation to our team: Every penny goes to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. We are actually designating our money this year to help the new hospital tower build a playroom for patients and their families to visit while staying at CHW. This playroom will be in memory of Nevaeh Rae Wallace, a beautiful little girl (14 months) who who sadly earned her wings on April 26th of this year. Nevaeh's mom and I (Jamie) have been able to walk this journey together. I don't know where I would be on this "never ending path" without her and her support. Thank you Jamie! For more information on Playroom of Hope, you can visit:

Thanks for checking in,
Love Steph

Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy Birthday B-Man!

Dear B,
I hope you caught the balloons we sent you today. I can only imagine you awoke the angels with excitement to celebrate the day God sent you to us 3 years ago....the day that put an extra bounce in our step, a wider smile on our lips, and an expansion to our heart as we loved you more than words could ever express. Here on earth, our hearts were heavy as we continue to long for your presence each and every hold you, smell you, feel your cheek against ours, hear your voice & laughter, play trucks, read to you, and tuck you in. Today we tried our best to honor you by bringing balloons to your favorite places (the park and the library), eating your favorite foods (Grandma Lois even made mac 'n cheese), eating chocolate Diego cake, and releasing balloons with your special friends (Jack, Sydney & Luke).

Happy Birthday Precious B - we miss you more and more each day but know with each passing day comes one step closer to seeing your beautiful smile again.

Holding you closer than ever to our hearts,
Mama, Dadda, and Little "O"

Dear Faithful Blog Followers, I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who contributed to our golf outing and made it a very special and successful event. To see pictures of the evening portion of the event, you can visit: Go into Kim's website and type in heart2009 into the login box. We had a full house with golfers and roughly a total of 250 people for dinner. Some of our doctors (Ghanayem and Cava) and nurses (Melissa A. and Jenny A.) came to joins us, and we were able to introduce 4 of our 6 scholarship winners who came to dinner. Thank you to those who came from near and far to help celebrate Braden's life and Heart of Gold's mission. Thanks to those who also contributed in very special ways - through donations, hole sponsorship, and prayers -we felt them all day.