Baby Braden Petska

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bittersweet Days...

"Undo it, take it back, make every day the previous one until I am returned to the day before the one that made you gone. Or set me on an airplane traveling west, crossing the date line again and again, losing this day, then that, until the day of loss still lies ahead, and you are here instead of sorrow." -Nessa Rapoport

Although I am not the one who wrote or even found these words, I feel they are appropriate for what has been on my heart lately. With each passing day, and with another holiday here and gone, I'm once again in disbelief that this really is our life. Are we really designed to "go on" without our loved ones allowing time to let us get used to it all??? Really? How is this even possible? I've been trying so hard to mark first holidays for Owen and allow ourselves to "celebrate" them....for him....for our son. There is a reason when we say "bittersweet" that the "bitter" part comes first. It's something one cannot help when it just seems incredibly impossible that we marked this first Thanksgiving without our Braden. And yet, it's something we have to get used to? I will say this again like I've said a million times, "It's just not fair." Yesterday I felt like Fred Flinstone, trying to use my heels to stop the car as we approached Rich's aunt and uncle's house for dinner. It was like subconsciously my heart & soul just didn't want to reach the destination - it would mean indeed that we are moving on and that still doesn't feel right.

I can't help but look at these next 4 weeks and grumble as Holiday Hell begins to consume everyone. When I say Holiday Hell, I mean the hustle and bustle, the stress and everything commercialized that comes with Christmas these days. Last year, we looked at the holidays through Braden's eyes - with added excitement, new traditions, and an appreciation for the miracle of life that stood before us. I find myself kicking and screaming, throwing a tantrum, not wanting this Christmas to come and go without my "B." Yet, that is what we're conditioned to do right? Just carry on?

Oh bloggers, my candle of hope has not been extinguished....just a bit dimmed lately. Please pray for us....please don't forget us....we're still here....we might not call or write....but we're still here....hanging on....please, please pray for us.

Thanks for checking in,

Monday, November 16, 2009

Stuck in the Mud!

B's Last Day On Earth....

Dear B,
I come to this picture so often and am reminded of that last day we spent with you - you loved going to the park and you had so much fun with "the kids" as you would call your little pals. I vividly remember telling you we had to go home, and I was waiting for you to come down the slide. You didn't want to slide down, so you sat at the top, pumped your fist in the air and shouted, "Rock and Roll" over and over again. Where you came up with some of your funny phrases, I will never know. You sure knew how to keep a constant smile on our faces. It was exactly 8 months ago today that our lives were perfectly intact. If I would've known that God awaited your presence just hours later, I would've rocked you all night and never let go....I would've slept beside you in your bed.....I would've sung to you and said "I loved you" until I could no longer speak.....I would've tried everything in my power to bottle your scent.....only..if only...we would've known. I can relive this night over and over and yet it still doesn't seem possible that you're not here. Lately, so many of those sweet memories of you have been filling up my day. I look at your winter boots and remember you stomping around the house in them saying, "March, march, march and march and march!" When I drive to school, I can hear your sweet voice telling me to play "My tunes Mama, my tunes" on the Ipod. I see Christmas lights now and I know you would be tickled to see them on display. I remember letting you sit at the computer while I made dinner, so you could see the YouTube Christmas lights set to music. Your favorite book this time of year was the toy catalog - you would study it for what seemed like hours, asking about and wanting all the trucks and fun toys that were advertised. Oh my little buddy, I don't know how we will ever survive these first holidays without you.

Your little brother is THE happiest little baby - I know you are so proud of Owen as you watch over him. Sometimes I think you are here as Owen will start laughing at something we cannot see. We dressed him in a "Scary, Scary Skeleton" (gary, gary geleton as you would say) outfit in honor of you for Halloween. Everytime I visit Walgreens I'm reminded of your fascination with the skeletons they had on display. Owen is starting to grunt and babble and he sounds just like you - absolutely amazing.

We miss you and love you so much B - keep showing your beautiful presence - I'm thinking that seeing 7 hawks on our way home yesterday was no coincidence :)

Holding you closer than ever to our hearts,
Your Mama

Dear Bloggers,
I feel like I'm walking in thick mud, trying like heck to speed up but am reminded of the constant presence of the mud (my friend grief) weighing me down. It's exhausting just to try and maintain balance as I dredge through this mud, making sure I don't fall over. All I can focus on is what lies immediately ahead while everything else is so far out of reach....I'm just trying to survive. In life, we have certain control over what we can obtain whether it's tangible or not. If it's too expensive, we can wait it out, ask for it for Christmas or save our pennies to purchase it later. We even get sad when the season of summer is over, but don't worry it'll be back. When we have a destination in mind whether it be a vacation hot spot or a career goal, it's something we aim for, and it might someday be in reach. The "thing" I long for everday is not in reach and will never be obtained again in this lifetime. That right there is something that can take the air right out of my lungs (try it - exhale until you no longer have a breath of air in your lungs - that heavy feeling that you feel in your lungs when you need to take in another breath - that's how it feels - everyday). Everyday I long for B's presence...a hug...a warm embrace. ::sigh:: Hug and embrace your child or grandchild....a little tighter...a little longer.....every chance you get.

As tomorrow approaches, I ask myself, "How on earth have we survived this?" I'm not sure. I know that our Owen is truly our super hero who has helped heal the battered heart within. God has big plans for our little "healer".....

Thanks for checking in and for continuing to hold us in prayer,
Love Steph

Here are some great Halloween photos of Owen: