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


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This sucks" sums it up perfectly but I think I would have put it as THIS REALLY, REALLY SUCKS!!!!!!

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Lois Petska said...

That last comment was not meant to be "Anonymous". I want everyone to know that Grandma Lois also shares that sentiment and if I wasn't a "Grandma" I may even have used other words; but Owen might read this someday :) so I will have to leave it at that!

7:57 AM  
Blogger LoPeZ FaMiLy said... sweet! Owen is such a Isaac has the same "hungry caterpillar."

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Karin Kolman said...

I just created a photo story of Carter using Miley Cyrus' just so fits for these amazing heart kids! Maybe I will try to send it to you.

I am also returning back to teaching after leaving March 13th. My world has been turned upside down since I left...but we are so lucky to have been blessed with our little man and we cherish every moment we get with him. He is such a little fighter. We think of you often and continue to send you happy thoughts...

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steph and Rich - I ache for you guys and just can't imagine the strength it takes to make it through each day. Please know that we continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers. It was good to see you at the event -- Brian and I commented on the drive home what strength the two of you have to stand before the crowd and address everyone as you did. I wish I had some wise words to say that would take your pain away...I guess you take it day by day and don't deny your feelings.

Owen is a beauty -- glad we were able to meet him!

Bridget O'Meara

12:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I do not know the reasons, I do believe that all things in life happen for a reason. Like the day Kim and I came out to get B and bring him to Lutheran General. He truly almost died that day while we were in route and thank God we were got there in time and both with a lot of "cardiac" experience and went with our gut feeling that he was a "heart". I got to meet B and both of you which I am forever grateful for. Because of that he was able to go on to Children's Milwalkee to start the three surgery process which put you in contact with the surgeon who forver changed his little heart and your lives. He touched so many people already and will continue to do so... all of us have learned from him.
The Climb is what it is all about! You are an inspiration to me Steph, hang in there friend! While I cry every time I read your entry, I love them.
xo, cindy beran

8:41 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

I am again lost for words that will help comfort you. My hearts aches for you and cries out as I read your thoughts and feelings. I am grateful that Owen fills some of the void, in your hearts and lives, with joy. He is absolutely ADORABLE. Always keeping you in the light and my thoughts and prayers. Take care xoxoxo

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the playroom for hope that the Wallaces are spearheading. We already said we are going to be part of the 10,000 that will make this room happen. Steph..I can only imagine this walk you are on now.....and my tears join yours as I read your words and pray that your are given all that you need to carry on. ((HUGS)))

Tammy Tomomitsu

4:10 PM  
Anonymous McGees said...

May God continue to bless you both. Stef, your entries are so moving I continue to come back. I pray that you continue to get through each day. You long for the two boys talking in the back seat. You wait, Owen will be riding in the car soon and he will be gabbing in the back and it won't be to you. Little "B" will be pointing out those landmarks once again for Owen and he will be gabbing with his big brother!!! I send you warm wishes and hope that these little bursts of support continue to keep you both strong. It's okay to break down, it's okay to miss him each and everyday. He will always be a part of you both, yesterday, today, tomorrow, and always.

The McGees

6:57 PM  

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