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,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stephanie, Rich & Owen,
You are not many of us think of you so often and cannot imagine how you survive each day. Yet, your loss has given so many new life in that we have learned to love a little deeper and feel a little stronger and not let the crazy moments in life consume us! Braden is such a special angel in all of our lives. Owen needs his Mommy & Daddy to see & enjoy the wonderment in his eyes and the joy in his life and the peace that Braden has instilled in him. I cannot know how difficult this holiday season will be for you but I do know that we are crying with you, praying for you and holding you forever in our hearts.
Lori Ray

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Petska Family,
There are so many peopole who think of you and pray for you more often than you'll ever know. Count me as one of them. Braden caught me by surprise twice this week! I was at our first basketball game of the season and didn't have anyone to help me eat my popcorn. Also this week a student walked down the hall and swatted at all the locks on the lockers--I didn't ask him to stop, I just grinned. I sure miss my little basketball buddy. Both of these memories brought a smile through my do your blog entries. I can't imagine how difficult these firsts without B are to balance with Owen's firsts. Know you are not alone. There are so many who pray for you and hold you in their hearts. May you be closer each day to finding peace.
Love & Blessings,

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steph and Rich -

I will pray for you and your families more so than usual in the coming weeks. I think of Braden almost every day and admire your strength to endure with such grace and honesty. Know that you are not alone. I do hope that Owen is able to give you glimmers of happiness. Stay strong.

Love -
Bridget O'Meara

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steph, Rich, and Owen,

Braden's picture is on our fridge, and every time I walk into the kitchen and see it there, I say a prayer for your family. Although I never met Braden, he has left an imprint on my heart that will never be forgotten. As a mom, my heart continues to ache for you Steph... especially during this Holiday season. I will continue to pray for you...

Love, Nickie Doyle

12:23 AM  
Blogger Jer, Kari, Alayna-Maria said...

"Oh Snail, Climb Mount Fugi.. but slowly, slowly."
Allow yourself your anger if you can are faced with a great unfairness that can never be made right.
Oh Sweet Petska's, how can you ever feel right about moving through these first holidays? It is a task that seems impossible and so wrong. I cannot imagine the weight on your hearts.
We will pray, harder and more dillegently than ever before.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are never ever far from my thoughts...and you are always in my prayers. Love to you all as you wade through this grief and take each first, one step at a time. xo Jenny

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Ceida said...

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Petska,

I'm sorry its taken me so long to leave you a note on here, I just find it so difficult to find the right words to say, knowing that I can't exactly make the difference. But Stephanie- I want you to know that there are so many people out there who read your blogs religiously,(I being one of them), whose lives you've touched tremendously. It blows my mind how everything you write brings me to tears. I've never, EVER met anyone who has touched my heart so tenderly with words. Just so you know, I think about your family everyday, more often that you know. And I have grown to love your family just by reading the stories of your lives. I will always keep Braden in my thoughts as the one who brought joy and love to everyone's life. I know it must be hard this holiday season, but my prayers are with you and your family. I love you guys.

Much Much Love,

Ceida Elizarraraz

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rich, Steph and Owen
It was SO wonderful to see you and your smiles at the ball! Along with everyone else,we want you to know that you may feel alone but know that you are not. As friends of ours that lost their 11 yr old in a car accident 12 yrs ago said at his wake " I just don't want people to forget" believe me we never will. Like Christopher, Braden is thought of always! Keep Smiling!
Owen is an adorable little guy !
Hugs, Prayers, and Much Love Now and Always,
Roger, Kathy & Emily Nolen

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steph, Rich & Owen,
I know it has been awhile since we spoke, but know that you are never far from my thoughts. I wish I knew the "right" words to say. I miss how we were once in the same place going through many of the same triumphs and challenges together as we stumbled through understanding what it means to be a "heart" mom/family. I think of you all through the recent Mended Little Hearts meetings I have been attending and all that I am learning and experiencing. My heart aches for Owen, when I get caught up in a moment watching our boys interact. It is just not fair that Owen will not know the physical presence of his kind, sweet brother.
I saw the truck Kevin mentioned before for "Braden's plumbing" and had a good chuckle in morning traffic last week...
I hope we can see you all soon, maybe if you are around after Christmas and if you are up to it.
Praying and thinking of you all,
Love, Erika S.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steph & Family-
Like many others have mentioned, I wish I had the right words. I actually wish I had a magic potion to make this all go away and bring Braden back here on earth to you. I can't imagine how every day life feels and the emptiness involved. I wish there was something to fill that void and the frustrating, angering reality is that nothing could ever fill the void that the loss of Braden has left behind. Ugh, so frustrated and saddened for you and feeling so helpless! All I can say is that we love you, with think about you daily, we all still pray for you all as a family every single night and Braden's picture is also on our fridge. I look at it many, many times a day and not a person comes to our house who doesn't ask about the cute little boy hanging on it who obviously isn't a Vosters. :) His legacy continues to reach many and will for years to come, I'm sure. I can't imagine how this time of year is exceptionally difficult with the holiday season upon us. Extra prayers, love and hugs to all of you as you enjoy yet begrudge this time of year. All our love, Matt, Amy, Landon, Ashlyn, Eve and Baby V #4.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Steph, Rich & Owen, My heart still aches for you all. Know that you are always held in my thoughts and prayers and I continue to hold you in the healing light in hopes that your pain will ease and you will find some sort of peace to carry you through life. You all are such special people that you will never be forgotten. You will create holiday traditions for Owen and that will help you as you walk through those most difficult days. Take care. xoxooxxo <3

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our toughts and prayers are with you always...Love The La Combe's Pete and Irma

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Suzanne Myers said...

Dear Stephanie & Rich,
May God's peace be with you this Christmas season as you celebrate with your precious angel. I'm sure that Braden is watching very proudly and with love.

5:49 PM  

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