Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thinking of you...

I just read something that so strongly reminded me of you, tears began to flow instantly. It was an email that I get, and have gotten, since right after I learned I was pregnant with you—from BabyCenter. Their Big Kid Bulletin still comes to me every week and gives me updates of what kinds of skills you should have right now and things that you may have been experiencing. I can’t bear the thought of canceling it, or even switching it to Sammy’s age. I have always just thought of you a year ago and would have what Sammy should be able to do and experience.

Jacob presenting me with a dandelion.
Anyway, this week’s email featured “7 Signs That Your Child Loves You.” Number 5 was the difficult one. It says, “Your preschooler gives you a flower picked from the garden, a finger-painted heart, a sparkly rock, or another gift.” I immediately thought of the day that we were outside playing and you picked a dandelion and brought it to me. I even have photos to remind me of that day, and those very moments. I know you loved me immensely. I love you more than I could ever express. And I miss you so very much.
Sweetheart, I sincerely hope I was the very best Mommy you needed and wanted. I am very glad that I can say that I have very few regrets with you. I wish potty training had not been such a big deal. Did you know that was a skill you really wouldn’t need? I wish I had given you The Wiggles DVD that I bought for you as a potty prize. I also wish, very much so, that I had given you Woody. Rewards and incentives are great, but I wish I had not withheld them from you till you were able to stay clean and dry for so long. You would have loved playing with Woody. Every time Sammy plays with his Buzz Lightyear, I think of you and wish I had given them to both of you the day I bought them. And I remember the one time I got mad in front of you. It wasn’t anything you or Sammy had done. My gallbladder had shut down and I was in pain. Everything seemed amplified. I don’t remember why I got upset, but I remember yelling at you and Sammy for the first—and last—time and the look on your face when I did. You were completely shocked. And you and Sammy both began to cry. I’m sorry, Sweetheart. I shouldn’t have yelled at you.
Hours-old Jacob

I always wanted you and was thrilled when we found out you were coming. I couldn’t believe God had finally blessed me with my very own baby, growing inside my very own body. And now you’re gone and I don’t understand why. You were such a sweet little boy. Such a happy baby. When you got sick, you changed. Not for the worse, or for the better, for that matter. You were just more gentle and more wise. Like you had met Christ and knew Him. Like you had physically seen and touched Him. Maybe you did at some point during your first stay in the PCCU. Forever after that, you were simply different. More in tune with others’ feelings. You were able to handle and tolerate so much pain and discomfort and exhaustion. You were, and are, my own personal hero.
You taught me so much. About love and life and pain. And death. How could someone so little, so young, know so much? I wish you were still here. Every day, every hour, every minute. There are many days, most in fact, that I wake up and wonder if it has just been a very bad dream. Then I feel the dog, Chloe, on the bed and know that she didn’t come until after you were gone. And sadness engulfs me, yet again. I acutely miss the half hour or so that you came and got in bed with me every morning before Sammy woke up. Sometimes, a noise, or a desire so strong wakes me and I open my eyes expecting to see you standing by my bed, tapping me. You’d have your pacifier, Bear, and your pillow with you. I’d lift you up and over me onto the bed and we’d lie there just looking at each other until you were awake enough to talk. Sometimes we’d watch TV. Other times we’d just talk. You usually drank your milk or juice in my bed. When Sammy woke up, you’d go and turn your bedroom light on and say, “Good morning, Sammy!”
Jacob and Sammy: brothers, best friends, constant playmates
Sammy misses you, too. He misses his big brother, his playmate, his best friend. He talks about you and to you all the time. Sometimes I wonder if he can still see you. But then he talks about you being “missing” and “lost” and cries for you. He asks me regularly to take him to Vanderbilt to the 5th floor to get you. That is where you were—on 5th floor in the PICCU. He wanted you to wake up when he’d visit you. I hope you heard him and knew he was there. He misses you and loves you so very much.
I love you, Sweetheart. I miss you so, so, so very much. My entire being aches for you. I cannot wait to be with you again. But I know that Sammy needs me right now. You have Jesus. Sammy has to settle for Mommy. And I have to wait. I don’t want to be here anymore. I want to go home, to heaven, with you. I pray every day for God to make the time short.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Flurries--Snow and Others

It has snowed again in Middle Tennessee. Again. It has snowed so many times this season, I have lost track. Usually it only snows two, maybe three times. I think maybe we’re around snow number ten? We got about five inches yesterday. Surely, we are close to record snow accumulation. And that darn Ground Hog predicted an early spring. Are you kidding me?!?! It won’t even get above freezing today. Sheesh. Early spring, my foot.

Also flurries in my kitchen. Flurries of activity! Sentimental Sweets has over 20 orders to fill between now and the end of next week. And that is awesome! I am absolutely thrilled that I have this much work to do. I love it! I have been busy baking Old-Fashioned Pound Cakes and baking, crumbling, mixing, scooping, rolling, and dipping Cake Pops! (And yes, it IS labor-intensive. But worth every bite!) I haven’t really had time to count, but it is over 30 dozen Cake Pops. Whew! I’ll count when I’m done with this round.
(Shameless plug for Sentimental Sweets)

Cake Pops are a fun, cute, tasty little treat! Cake and frosting mixed together, formed into a super-moist ball, put on a stick, dipped in chocolate, and decorated. This is not an original idea. I saw it several places within a month, and they were around a couple of years before that. I have researched these little treats almost as much as I research for historical fiction writing! Cake Pops are the perfect little bite, and only about 90 calories each! Check out my pictures at www.facebook.com/sentimentalsweets.

Other Flurries… My husband is active duty military and his unit just got back from leave after deployment. He is also taking several online college courses. He is also a Deacon, Awana leader, and serves on a committee or two. He is a busy man these days. He’s getting a taste of what life is like for so many military wives! We may not all have jobs outside of our homes, but many of us volunteers on several fronts. Add that with raising kids and taking care of house and home, and we are sometimes hard-pressed to keep up with our active social lives! Ha! (Sounds weird, but I'm one of those people who NEEDS social interaction.) Gotta go on dates with the hubby and have Couples Game Nights (CGN) and Girls Nights Out (GNO)! A happy and fulfilled Mommy makes for a happy and fulfilled family!

Also have this project I am working on. Taken on more importance because I have given myself a deadline for part of the project. Haven’t talked much about this project to many people. Ya see, I have this problem with rejection, so I don’t usually advertise much of this aspect of my life. But I could use some accountability and the occasional encouraging word. I am a freelance writer. Have never had to submit any queries or proposals. I used to be an editor, so I got my foot in the door with writing through that career. I just get assignments. But I have a few stories in my heart and they are SCREAMING to get out! So the writing of fiction—Christian historical fiction—has commenced. I have no clue what I am doing. But I’m learning. Maybe. We’ll see. There, I said it. Now everyone who reads this—and I know there are MILLIONS of you out there!—knows about my project. Ugh. Now I HAVE to finish ALL of the stories. Nice. No pressure.

Now that I have taken this break to write a few words and look out at this ever-present snow, I must get back to the Baking Flurry. Those Cake Pops don’t make themselves, ya know!