Baby Braden Petska

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Learning to "live" again......

It's amazing how much the weather can define your mood or even better, be a symbol of it. Lately, it feels as if the weather can't make up its mind - will it rain or shine? When it rains, it rains, and when the sun shines, the heat radiates and reminds us that summer is really here. My mood, well, it seems to be the same. I feel that with summer here, I've been trying so hard to embrace the sunshine and yet, at any moment I feel like my mood can quickly change as tears sting my eyes with the most subtle reminders of B's absence. Once again, with me being my own worst critic, I try so hard to analyze where I am in my grief, where I "should" be, and where I'm going. My current answer is, "I don't know." What I do know is that I can definitely see a significant difference at how far I've come from the bottom. Just the fact that I'm wanting to plant flowers, tend to a garden, and take walks in the sunshine is a vast difference from where I was last summer. I can definitely smile at this change, yet I question it all the same. When you lose a child, you lose a part of yourself - it is the worst pain anyone could ever endure, and yet here I am living proof that you can survive such heart ache, such devastating loss to one's life and soul. I stand here still devastated, but I'm more devastated as to how I am able to stand. I can't help but whisper guilt from the inside as it seems virtually impossible that one can survive this. As my counselor reminds me that this journey is so incredibly complicated and confusing at times, I try to just take it all in stride, sometimes being numb to own feelings and trying hard not to analyze my every step forward. She is so right with the confusion - I've often stated that every day brings new challenges and it still does. I see children who were once younger than Braden, now passing him in age....I wonder how I will feel when Owen reaches that age when he is "older" than "B". I see neighbors having sleepovers and wonder if B would be tagging along. It's so hard to imagine him being the 3.5 almost 4 year old.....oh the endless what if's and what would be's....sigh. Owen's growth and development is amazing to see as he's learning to walk, talk, and take charge of his surroundings. As we cheer Owen on and encourage his milestones, I can't help but place Braden here with us, helping his little brother and squealing with excitement as he watches Owen grow and learn in front of his very eyes. Watching Owen grow and change reminds me again of how I've grown over this year as much I've changed and how much the grief has changed. I feel more on top than on the bottom which is a good thing, but again, like I previously mentioned, I can't help but question "why?" I've concluded (within myself) that I've gotten used to living with this loss, so I've adapted my life to live with it.....

The one thing I have missed is going to church. My pastor left our church just after Owen's baptism last July. It was a loss I wasn't prepared to deal with after losing B. I stopped going....I missed many of the people who had welcomed me into the parish, yet I felt so indifferent without having Pastor Cliff and his sermons I looked forward to each week. I went last week and again this week, and it feels good to be "back." I feel like I've lost touch with keeping God front and center, and I hope I get back to a place where I once was with my faith.

Owen turned a year two weeks ago, and it's unbelievable that he's already a year old. How did this first year pass before us so quickly? He is busy, busy, on the move, but managing to listen (somewhat) as he's beginning to learn his boundaries with a simple "no." This does entail staring you down when you say "no" as he holds his hand close enough to that boundary without really touching it....then a smile and a little can you be stern and serious with that adorable expression? Owen has truly been our saving grace. He allows us to awake with joy for what the day will bring as we try and embrace each day as best we can. Although Owen is his own little person, he does carry some of the same traits as B - simply amazing.

Heart of Gold Charity Golf Outing is set for August 14th, 2010. We have room for 144 golfers and additional dinner guests (you don't have to be a golfer to attend the dinner and silent auction :). You can find more information on our website: If you are interested in sponsoring a hole, making a donation, or contributing to our silent auction, you can contact us at our charity e-mail: We are proud and honored to announce the following seniors that we awarded $1,000 medical scholarships to this spring:
Badger High School - Abigail Owens
Harvard High School - Jenny Kazy-Garey
Johnsburg High School - Jordan Hauck
Munising (MI) High School - Emily Hulse
Richmond-Burton High School - Eleanor Meisner
Wilmot High School - Jeremy Betz
In addition to our scholarship awards, we will be delivering 20 more gift bags to new heart families at CHW next week. This will make 60 this year and a total of 245 since Heart of Gold has been established - it's very humbling to know that there are still so many new heart patients admitted to CHW. We will also be delivering pop tabs to Ronald McDonald House and making our annual donation to RMH and to the Herma Heart Center as well.

That about sums up our latest "news" here. Below are some photos of Owen marking his one year in style. Grandpa Greg and Auntie Marci designed the cakes. You will notice a little addition to O - this is a helmet to help restructure his noggin. It was a little flat on the back, right side of his head. He is a trooper and has welcomed this new addition, even with the heat :) Aside from the 3 hour round trip drive every other week for a 15 minute appt, we can't complain...or I should say, we've been through worse.

Again, I will end with B's Video Link (copy and paste): I can't help but watch, always wanting more as the video clips end...sigh...I just miss him so much.

Thanks for reading,