Baby Braden Petska

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Faith isn't the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It's simply taking God at His word and taking the next step.

Sorry for the missed post last night - too tired and sometimes the writing, as much as it "cleanses" the mind, can be exhausting at times. Today's post came to me last week when I was in the office at school. I overheard my principal talking to another teacher about a weight loss competition we're having at school. He simply stated, "It's not a race, it's a marathon." As I walked by, he said, "Right Petska?" I smiled and nodded and realized I could use that analogy in so many other ways in my own life. I thought a lot about this yesterday when I was out training for the 1/2. I had on my rain slicker, running with the wind and rain pelting me in the face and couldn't help but wear a smile on my face. People probably thought I was nuts, but I knew it was something I had to do, to prepare for my run next week. There's only so much you can control in life, the weather is not one of them, and so you have to train for the best and worst of conditions. My mind set was that it was going to be okay, I was running a whopping ten miles, but at some point I would be done and would be able to go back inside my dry, comfy house to stretch, rehydrate and rest. Tackling the hills are kind of the same....there will come a time when I will reach the top and get to feel the wind at my back, but for now I have to focus on how I will beat this hill and not let it beat me....embrace it but not to let one hill define my fight, my battle, and defeat me before I can reach the top. This is so true about how I've dealt with grief. It has robbed me of so much at times, yet I try hard to not let it defeat me and define who I am. Each mile I run is symbolic for each foot I've been able to put forward on this journey. It's not easy, but it's possible. I kept thinking of this little medallion I received from a friend at school. It said "survivor," reminding me that each day, as difficult as it can be, at the end of it, I will have survived. A survivor of what, I'm not quite sure as I'm still learning so much about myself and how B's life and death have changed me. For today, I know I'm a survivor of heartbreak and loss......tomorrow it might be something different as each day poses a new challenge with grief. With the year mark approaching, I can feel the weight on my shoulders as I climb that hill...I'm not sure when I'll reach the top or when I'll get a "break", but I know I have to keep moving, putting one step in front of the other. Owen and Rich, at the forefront of my mind, keep my feet moving and my mind focused on the "reward" at the top of that hill. A year has really only felt like one mile on this life-long marked a year of firsts....a year of peaks and valleys....a year of trials and tribulations....a year of bittersweet moments. So many times I've heard "How do you do it? How do you move forward with this type of loss?" My answer is often times, "I don't know." I've been thinking a lot about this as sometimes I can answer it by getting to the point and other times I feel robotic, just trying to get through the conversation. I guess what helps anyone get through a grueling “marathon” in life is support, whether we can see it in a physical presence or feel it by leaning on faith, it's there. If there's anything I've learned along the way, it's the goodness in people. So many people have reached out in incredible ways....whether they've sent a message, sent cards with kind or encouraging words, sent gifts, went out for a meal, movie, or a walk, called, a hug, a smile, a gift at school to make my day a bit brighter, a visit at B’s gravesite, a wish upon a star, a blog post, a kind thought, a daily prayer....we are so incredibly grateful. I feel as if we don't give enough thanks to those who have graced us with their love and support along the way. I hear stories of those who have followed us on the blog...strangers or acquaintances of other friends and I'm simply amazed.

Recently, we were sent a donation and letter from a company, DDN. Every quarter this company chooses 1-2 charities to sponsor. They recently held a breakfast for their employees and sold tickets - the money they raised went to Heart of Gold. A member of their charity committee had a child born with a heart defect and came across B's story through our gift bags given to new heart families at CHW. This is an example of how B's story continues to touch the lives of others. Like I said in a previous post, it takes a village to heal a broken family....I love and cherish the village who has helped us in our healing process.

This journey will be life long...each day we will continue to find out how it has affected us, changed us, made us stronger, or weakened us in some’s a journey, a marathon…..most certainly not a “race.”

A few pics from Grandpa Greg's 60th party we had a year ago on this weekend - B was acting shy while A. Marci was introducing him to friends, playing with Kelli, and being his silly self :)


Anonymous Ceida said...

Dear Stephanie,
You are one incredible individual, sister, wife, and mother. Your choice of words are ridiculoulsy impeccable because it paints the tragic and realistic picture of your grieving process. I can't begin to explain how much you and your blogs have changed my life. There is a new perspective of life that I suddenly embrace, and I definitely take the time to appreciate the little things that wander around me.

Braden will ALWAYS be remembered & cherished for his vivacious personality. I can assure you Braden's story will continue to touch the lives of every individual who reads about him.
& Of course, none of this would be possible without your words of love, pain, and courage.

Thank you for allowing me into your little neck of the woods.

Hopefully I'll get to support your with exuberant signs at the 1/2!

Much love,
Ceida Elizarraraz

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello girlfriend....
I was doing one of those at this time last year kind of things...and I knew I needed to check in on you. Your post is written with so much emotion and feeling I need to remember to have klennex more handy. There was something especially touching about the way you wrote of this marathon and taking it a day at a time, climbing those hills that I will be relating to soon, as Cal will be deployed to Iraq for a year this coming Nov. I will remember these words to help us get through the long hard days I know are coming. Although it hardy compares to what you are dealing with, please know that your words mean so much to us.

Your in our thoughts and prayers this week, this day, tomorrow,the next day and next year. Always connected with you because we loved him and miss him too.


Tammy Tomomitsu

2:28 PM  
Blogger Jer, Kari, Alayna-Maria said...

I am reminded again of the quote taped to my desk at school..."Oh Snail, Climb Mount Fuji... but Slowly, Slowly!" The climb must feel endless to you... but you are surviving Steph. You are doing it.

Prayers for you every day this week... I can't decide if I want time to slow down or speed up for you... but I am praying.


9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steph -

Thank you for sharing this journey of yours. I pray that you reach the plateau and find some sort of comfort and peace. I can't imagine the loss and pain you feel every minute of every day, but you're a survivor.

Thanks again for your posts. They help me to slow down and appreciate the little things.


9:26 PM  

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