Baby Braden Petska

Monday, April 26, 2010

This and That

Hello all,
So many ask how we're doing and's so hard to put into words. I'm not even sure I can put into words how we're doing. Each day poses new challenges and obstacles with the grief, and I've learned to continue to take each day as it comes. I think so many are under the perception that after a year, it gets better....I won't lie, the pain isn't as intense as it was, but it's still there. The void, the heartache, the never goes away. You learn to live with it and manage it, so you can "carry on" with your life as best you can. It doesn't get better, it gets different - again, a feeling I can't put into words. I seemed to have more valleys lately...anything can really spark it. As quickly as I can fall into a valley, I seem to get out just as quickly. With this, I feel a bit "manic" at times, clearly aware of my "happy moments" and not really knowing if this is the "new" me or someone pretending for the moment that their life is completely in tact. As I punch the keys on this computer, I know this post is so different than other posts I've created. It's the awareness of my emotions that have seemed to get the best of me (or so I've been told). I'm so aware and analytical of my own emotions, I seem to be much harder on myself than I need to be. I'm trying so hard to honor B as best I can, but I feel so lost at times. I can picture myself in a future moment sitting on his bench-style head stone and speaking to him, telling him about Owen, his friends, what's new in our lives, explaining to him how much we miss him.....but I can't. It doesn't seem natural, not yet, with this, I struggle on how I can communicate with him. Can he, in spirit, read what's on my mind and heart without me speaking it? Is he beside me as I weep or even write to him on here? I have so many questions, and I pray that one day my answers outweigh the questions (especially the ones that can consume me at times). It's just so put into describe what it feels like to be eating lunch with a friend and looking out the window to a Borders Bookstore. At that moment, when I'm in mid-laugh, I'm brought back to a time when I brought B to Borders - the first and sadly the last time. In mid-laugh, mind you, I felt this incredibly sharp painful moment that never again will I have the chance to bring him into Borders to buy, look at, or even touch another book. I know he's not sad, but I most certainly am. It can happen, just like that......the sudden dip in the day, the sudden slope at a moments notice, or in this case a glance out the window.

Before I go, I would like to share a few feel good moments. A few weeks ago, we were able to speak to a Kiwanis group in Burlington. It was in support of CHW and the Joey O'Brien Memorial Open the Kiwanis help support. We met Joey's parents who were incredibly kind and compassionate about helping others. Joey was only 16 when he passed away from Leukemia, and their golf outing helps with Leukemia research. We were able to share B's story and how passionate we are of CHW and the tremendous care we received - from the moment we arrived until the day we sadly said good-bye to B. Moments like that are so incredible as it's a chance for us to share B's story and to keep his memory so many ways.

I also want to share a moment I had at the cemetery just yesterday. B is buried near a tree and in a location that is set apart from the main section. Buried right next to him is a police officer whose life was also cut short. So many times, when I visit B's site, I will look over at this man's stone and wonder about him, his wife, his kids, and how they're doing. Anyway, I took my neighbor friend Erin to B's site on Sunday to show her his stone. A few minutes after we arrived, a truck pulls up and out hops the wife of the police officer. We introduced ourselves, hugged, and even cried together. It was a moment I thought a lot about - what would I say to this wife who is grieving her husband, who leaves flowers so often right next to B? It was a very special moment as our hearts knew exactly what to say and do. I explained how I thought her husband was keeping watch over B when she thought the opposite. Since her husband loved kids, ever since B has been buried there, she thought her husband was the one who gained a very special angel. Again, a moment I can't put into words.

Today marks the one year "anniversary" for B's special angel friend Nevaeh. Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers as they relive so many of the painful moments they lived through last year. We know all too well their pain.

I will leave you with a song I've been listening to lately - A LOT - it reminds me so much of B and what I'd love to tell him.

Steven Curtis Chapman - Just Have to Wait
Well, I can't wait to see your smile again,
The one when your eyes disappear along with all my troubles
And I can't wait to hear you sing a song
Maybe Jesus Loves Me or a song you learned up there

But I, oh I'll just have to wait
'Cause I know that day is coming
So I, oh I'll just have to wait

I can't wait to hear your mama laugh
The way that only you can make her laugh when you get silly
And I can't wait to see you in her arms
I know the wound so deep inside her heart is healed for good

But I, oh I'll just have to wait
'Cause I know that day is coming
So I, oh I'll just have to wait

And I can't wait to dance with you again
Knowing that this time we dance, we'll never have to end

But I, oh I'll just have to wait
'Cause I know that day is coming
So I, oh I'll just have to wait

And I can't wait to see your sisters play
The way they do when all of you are playing all together
I can't wait to watch your brother's face
When he can finally see with his own eyes
Everything's okay

And I just have to wait
'Cause I know that day is coming
And I just have to wait

I will end on a good note - Owen is approaching 11 months - so hard to believe he will be a year next month. He is such a happy baby and is discovering that life is much better when you're mobile. Although he's not walking, he's the world's fastest crawler. He babbles and does a sweet little "goo" when he sees babies, and he is fascinated with other kids. He just can't help but stare - it brings a smile yet ache to my heart as I can't help but wonder how B and him would interact. He loves to dance, jump in his crib, and is discovering that it's fun to feed the dog his food. I just can't help but stare at his beautiful little face. I'm usually not one to gush about my kids, but I think I've earned the right to do it from time to time!

B's Video Link (copy and paste):

Mark your calendars - Heart of Gold Charity Golf Outing will be on August 14th. We'll have more details later regarding when registration starts!

Until then,
Live simply. Love generously.
Speak kindly. Care deeply.
Leave the rest to God.


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Dear B,
Happy Easter my little man. I'm sure your Easter basket was full of little bunnies and daffodils as you helped to spread the sunshine today. We left you Handy Manny bubbles and imagined you with us so many times. Today was Owen's first Easter, and he enjoyed all of his Easter treasures, especially his new books. He got a lady bug kite in his basket - we'll be sure to fly it nice and high so you can see us when we fly it. He's crawling all over and loves to walk when you hold him by his fingertips. He's eating so much now and has 6 teeth. I can almost hear the laughter the two of you would create. Oh how we miss you...we miss your big smile and how you'd squint your eyes and say "cheese," the way you'd rub and itch your nose (all the time), how you'd sing your silly songs, your laughter and how you'd stomp your feet when you got really excited, and how you'd show us what good manners are at the age of 2...."Excuse me, I burped" or "That was a really big tooter."

Tonight we sang "Old McDonald" to Owen for the first time. We miss you to pieces pal....

Holding you closer than ever to our hearts,
Your Mama, Dadda, and Owen