Baby Braden Petska

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It Takes a Village......

Fall of Last Year.....

Good afternoon B,
I have so much to say...where do I begin? Yesterday marked 7 months - it feels like just yesterday we were taking you trick or treating yet at the same time, it feels like forever since we last held you, kissed you, laughed with you, and told you how much we loved you. There are so many days when I feel like I'm in a daze, trying to figure out how to live this life with you still in it. I wear the necklace with your hand print, a bracelet with your name etched on it, and a teddy bear pin to display your heart of gold....yet it's still not enough. I go to your grave site and try to speak to's still not enough. I go to bed holding a piece of your's still not enough. I speak to you as much as I can throughout the day....still, it's not enough. Your memories visit my mind quite often and sometimes it feels like I can reach right out and grab you, they are so vivid....and's just not enough. I looked at your picture the other day and studied it so closely and a wave of anger came across me.....why you B? Why you? You were such a good boy, you loved life and everything about it, your voice....oh your voice....what I wouldn't do to hear it hear the excitement it held with everything you would tell us. To really think about "forever" sometimes seems impossible b/c it is so unnatural for a child to leave this earth. I often wonder what you'd want to be this year for Halloween? I look at your Diego costume from last year and crack up whenever I think of the neighbor asking if you were supposed to be Elvis. Would you want to be Diego again this year or would you be interested in something else? All these questions that lie unanswered....sigh. Yesterday I awoke to daddy watching Wonder Pets with Owen. I know he misses our cartoon Saturday just as much as I do. To hear Winny, Tuck, and Ming-Ming was a bittersweet feeling. Oh how I miss you. These words that I write will never scratch the surface of how I truly feel when I state how much I really miss you. Keep sending little signs of your presence. I see so many hawks and wonder if it's you......

Holding you closer than ever to our hearts,
Your Mama

Dear Bloggers,
I've often believed that it takes a village to raise a child. Now, I firmly believe that it takes a village to heal a family. Lately, we've received many small blessings that in the end are incredibly have no idea. Let me share. First of all, we had an amazing turn out for THE coldest Brigg's and Al Walk/Run. I think it may have reached 44 degree that day, so the morning start was frigid to say the least. We made our goal of $2,000 (2,235 to be exact) as a team and had 28 members walk and run with us - yeah! Below, I've posted our team pic and a news clip that CBS-58 posted of the run/walk. There was a brief shot of our team as we were posing for a team photo (we're cheering as the hospital gal is narrating where the money goes this year). Another blessing was when Ms. Penny from the library dropped off a book for Owen. This book was one of B's favorite books and was actually the book they shared at the only story hour I was able to attend. Inside the book was a Christmas ornament Braden made last year at story hour. This gift was priceless. Another blessing has been the presence of the staff I work with....they have been an amazing support system as I've had to "lean" many times on my colleagues. I am so grateful; they have been there countless times for me this year. Another blessing was a letter we recently received from a stranger. She shared how much she has learned from "B", the life he lived, and how his untimely death has allowed her to appreciate so much more of her own life. Last night, we attended Heart Fest for the Mend a Heart Foundation that the O'Meara's founded. There we met other heart families and were blown away that they too read the blog. The conversation blew my mind as I am so unaware of how many people follow us on here. It has always been a place to share our journey with more than ever it's a place I can share my heart to help with the healing of its brokenness. Thank you to the village of people who are willing to reach out in countless ways. Some of you are so brave to share your stories with us, to post a comment or send an e-mail to keep us going. Thank you for helping us feel that we are not alone, for being on the sidelines helping us get up when we have fallen, allowing us to take yet another step down this path, and for holding the torch when we feel the overwhelming darkness that grief often creates. In so many way we have felt your presence - thank you for continuing to think of us and pray for us.

Love, Stephanie

Braden's Heart of Gold Team

News Link:

All of the money our team raised went towards the Playroom of Hope. Every dollar counts...please visit for more details on you can help another family pay it forward to assist the many children and their families at CHW. Thank you Jamie, Brielle, and Patty for walking with us Saturday in honor of Nevaeh. We would also like to thank the Slager Family & Team Super Sam who honored "B" this year during the walk.

Of course our post wouldn't be complete without new pics of Owen. Here is the happy babe at 4 Months...