Baby Braden Petska

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Who You'd Be Today...

Dear B,
It's been awhile....too long actually. Today was a tough day for us. Today you would've spent your first day in kindergarten; I would've packed your bag; you would've ridden the bus; you would've made me a worry wart just like any other parent on this very day; you would've charmed your teacher with your smile, sweet voice, and laughter; you would've, you should've, you could've.....oh how these are the hardest words to speak. I try so hard to imagine you as five, and it seems quite surreal; would you be as tall as this kid or into star wars like that kid? We tried hard to embrace the "back to school" moments as Owen and I went shopping for school supplies. We donated them to your school in honor of you and in memory of the sweetest little boy I know/knew.

You would be so proud of your brother. He is a dancing machine. I picture you laughing at him as he breaks into dance for every song and jingle. He's talking and making facial expressions that remind me so much of you. These are sweet moments as I get to enjoy new Owen-isms and remember you at the same time. I could go on and on, but I know you know all of this. I know you are here and enjoying these moments right along with us. It's not being able to see you, hug you, play with you, read to you, and see who you would be at five that gets tough and confusing all the same. I don't know if I grieve the five year old B or the 2 1/2 year old B the most? Soon Owen will pass you in age, and I know that will be tough. You will always be older, but Owen will now get to experience moments here on earth before you ever did - it just doesn't seem real or even possible, but this is what it is without you here.

We miss you, we honor you, we love you each and every day.
Loving you & missing you more with each passing day,
Your Mama


Dear Bloggers,
I didn't realize how difficult this day and this blog would be. I've come to have days of peace and then there are moments right now where I can barely catch my breath because reality has sunk in. I miss my son, and there's nothing I can do to ever get him back. I know he is with us in spirit, but darn-it that's tough to come to grips with everyday. Knowing I will see him again someday is what helps to get me through these moments, but sometimes that's just not enough.

On the upswing of this post, we had another very successful Heart of Gold Golf Outing. With a little over 200 attendees, we made (almost to the penny) $20,000. WOW! We couldn't have done this without the amazing support of our family, friends, co-workers, and Heart of Gold Fans. Our attendance was lower than previous years, but we had supporters who made generous contributions that helped make this another successful fundraiser. We have now reached the $100,000+ mark with our 5 years in operation. Rich and I are still in awe at how far this charity has come and how the legacy and life of our B has inspired so many. His life was and still is a gift and a blessing - each day this is revealed in different ways, ways that make me so proud to be his Mama.

I made a montage for the outing, but sadly it didn't want to work that night :( I was, however, able to download it to Youtube, so if you would like to watch it here is the link:

We are also walking/running again in the Briggs and Al for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. This year it's back to the September date, so we will be walking and running on September 17th. It's not too late to join us! Please contact us if you'd like to join us on this special day. I have a tough time asking for more money because of the generosity we see every August with our outing, but if you would like to pledge to our team (all money goes back to CHW), please visit:

Thanks for reading, stopping in, and continuing to support us,

Here are a few photos from the outing


Blogger Jenny V said...

Such a bittersweet post, Steph. You're in my thoughts mama. Xoxo

4:25 PM  
Blogger Nickie Doyle said...

Thinking of you Steph! You have a way of expressing yourself so beautifully, and your words always bring tears to my eyes. Congratulations on the amazing accomplishments of the Heart of Gold Charity...and for the impact that Braden continues to have on all of us.
Love, Nickie

10:51 AM  
Blogger ESolgos said...

Hugs, Steph. Thank you for sharing your heart through another beautiful, bittersweet post.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

You all continue to amaze me and leave me speechless. Keeping you in my thoughts, prayers and continually holding you in the light. I was brought to tears by the orb. B continues to give signs that he is with us. :)

12:48 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Thinking of you. Sweet Braden's memory lives on . . .

2:46 PM  
Blogger Kari said...

Sweet Steph, I am sorry this post is so delayed, I just realized I had not commented on your recent entry.
What you said, simply, "I miss my son"... that says it all doesn't it? And the moments that surprise you, like the start of this school year, those hurt so much I am sure. Because you are not prepared for the pain, the way you are with birthdays and holidays. It must be like being punched from behind.
My thoughts are never far from you buddy.

8:31 AM  

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