Baby Braden Petska

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thoughts at Thanksgiving

"If I could go back and live life over again, I would find you sooner, so I could love you longer." Today is Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for, yet I can't help that my heart is so extremely heavy. Days like today magnifies the loss and sometimes even clouds the moments we should be thankful for.

Aside from today, I feel like I'm at the side of the mountain, climbing....inching my way to the top...although I'm not sure what that means when we reach the top of the largest mountain. I know that I'm not at the bottom, in a pit of sorrow, swallowed up by grief and that is a good, a great thing. I've sought a little help for this in the pharmaceutical department. Whether you believe in such a thing or not, I've learned not to judge those doing the same. I've tried like heck to avoid this...for fear of being co-dependent on something foreign to help me through the tough moments. For a year and a half I've been counseled, I've exercised, eaten healthy, taken vitamins, etc. I came to a point where the grief was grabbing ahold of me more than I was able to grab ahold of it. The little day to day tasks of "life" are no longer overwhelming like they once were. I feel as if I have my motivation back. I can now pay the bills and do laundry without having a meltdown. I now have the desire to cook and even clean. Another thing that has helped a bit with this is the fact that I've signed up to be a Mary Kay Consultant. Many people have either looked at me funny as if I've gone mad trying to fit one more thing on my plate or they have believed in me more than I've believed in myself. It has been a great distraction and a has played a very positive role in my life as of lately. I can make this as much or as little as I want, and I have met some wonderful people along the way. Mary Kay's philosophy has been God first, family second, and career third. Along this journey, I've met some people with strong faith and many like me who are not "sellers" by nature but have leaned on this business to try and search for more in their life. Although I'm very new at this, I look forward to the moments I am able to be present these wonderful women. I've been trying to find ways to have God actively present in my life again....I'm hoping this will give me that extra push to get back into the regular routine of attending church and leaning on God again.

I look back to where I was exactly a year ago (thankful that I blogged about that time), and I can remember not wanting to move forward for fear that holidays lived without B would wash away the ones we lived with him. Although the "firsts" have been lived and lived through, it still doesn't quite make the "seconds" any easier....just different. I look at Braden's moments on film, and they seem to get farther and farther away. Time can be a good thing, yet I dislike time for this very reason. It's natural for parents to "forget" or not actively remember all of the actions their children made from years ago. But, when this is all we have, it makes me so sad to think that those memories might become foggier as time moves on.

All of the latest happenings with us and the Charity:
We once again walked/ran in the Briggs and Al run/walk. Our team raised close to $4,000 and we had a team of 47 members...our biggest team yet. We were also asked to be one of three charities highlighted and a recipient of funds raised at a Hearts of Hope movie premiere. Hearts of Hope was a documentary about CHD families who have fought the fight with their children. The hospital that the documentary was filmed was at Hope Hospital in Oak Lawn. It was very well done, and the young gal who filmed this was there as well. It was very moving to see the journeys, just like ours, captured on film. It was also very special to be among so many heart families that evening. Before we attended the event, we dropped off 20 more gift bags the hospital - this makes 100 this year.

Writing has been so therapeutic for me. I know this because after writing what I just wrote above, that cloud of grief has been slightly lifted to allow me to reflect on all of the wonderful blessings in our life. We are so thankful for all of you...who continue to support us, pray for us, and love us. I know that God has played an active role in healing through the wonderful actions of others. I recently received a diary journal with a Heart of Gold figurine on the front.....maybe just maybe I will really, truly contemplate creating a book of some sort. I feel as if I have a stack of books to be read that deals with grief in all sorts of ways....maybe mine will capture yet another view....hmmmm, just thinking outloud :)

Owen is at the forefront of today's feast....although we could just gobble him up, what I mean by this is that he is at the forefront of our blessings. He has been the key role in our healing and allowing us to move one foot forward everyday. He is now starting to play with some of the toys B so very much loved. It is so neat to see him play so differently, yet so very much the same as his brother did. He is becoming such a little boy who is full of smiles, laughter, and life. He is such a good boy, and we have seen the rough and tumble yet gentle sides of him. We share Braden's pictures and video memories with him. I can't wait to share so much more when he is old enough to understand.

Whether your heart is beating with love or broken with sadness, let it be open to give thanks to the beautiful blessing we have before us.

With love and gratitude this Thanksgiving and everyday.....

Some fall photos of Owen...he was a hobo for Halloween: