Today is the day, the day we should be wishing Jay, my brother-in-law, a happy 40th birthday. Instead, we remember. *tears* For most of you following my blog, you already know the tragic story. If not, it’s all here. Normally on this day every year, we talk a lot about Jay . . . not this year. We filled our day by going to the circus with Kasen, then I went shopping for Kasen’s birthday presents with Holden, Brad worked with his Dad in the garage and on the yard, and then we spent a whirlwind evening getting the kids to bed. I haven’t really wanted to slow down and think, because honestly, it’s just too hard. I’m always the talker, bringing things up, whether good or bad, but not today. Instead, I reflected on the pain, the sadness of Jay being gone, and the disappointment of him not getting to be a fantastic uncle to our kids, by myself. But it’s not just today, it’s all the time. So many little things remind me of Jay and it still hurts. I miss his smile, his joyful attitude, and I miss him being a part of our family every day. Today, we are mostly silent about Jay, but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t forgotten. We will never forget, it will always hurt, I will never understand, and I will miss him silently, but as always, remember him in my heart. Miss you Jay.
Archive for the ‘Memorials’ Category
It’s always tradition to get a picture of Kasen with Halle’s ornament every year. I guess it’s a way to include in her in all the festivities. A little story behind the ornament – if you’ve read Halle’s story (here, here & here), you might know that only one other person held her besides Brad and myself, and it was our wonderful friend, Susanne. She actually introduced Brad and I, so it was pretty fitting that since she was there for our happiest time, that she would be there for our darkest time as well. Susanne called me every single day after we lost Halle, checking on me, listening to me vent, and lending a shoulder for me to cry on. I’m sure we met several times after Halle died, but I really remember meeting her in December for lunch. That December was the hardest December of my life – watching people shop for their little ones, seeing children sit on Santa’s lap, longing for that excitement in our home, yet it was just quiet – desolate, empty, void of the happy anticipation that I just knew I was going to feel this Christmas – our first Christmas with a little one . . . and not just any little one, one that we fought HARD for, for years, enduring painful tests and treatments just to achieve our goal, a child of our very own.
Yet, I found myself in New York wandering the streets alone, trying desperately to choke back the tears when I saw sweet little girls bundled up in precious winter coats peering through the department store windows, pointing at all the toys and declaring, “Mommy, I want this,” and “Mommy, I want that.” Brad and I had traveled to New York for Brad’s work thinking it might be our only opportunity to see New York in December. I had always wanted to – still do, just when I’m in a better frame of mind. Brad would head off to work from our tiny hotel room every morning and me, still snuggled under the covers of our bed, forced myself up and out every day to experience what I couldn’t at home. What I really wanted to do was bury my head and turn back time, but I trudged on, and even now, I am quite proud of myself for getting out and exploring on my own. I ate at a famous pizza shop for lunch, though I can’t remember the name right now, I stood in line for tickets to a Broadway play (Beauty and the Beast – my favorite), I marveled at all the gorgeous window displays, perused the department stores, I bought tickets for the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular and I watched the New York Rangers Hockey Team skate at Rockefeller Center for their annual Christmas party.
New York in December was amazing, but everything was viewed through blurry, stinging eyes that still couldn’t believe how our lives took a new path, one that we didn’t want to venture down, not ever. How did we get here? How did our lives change so incredibly much in one moment of time? It was unfathomable. And here we were in New York, this was the year of 9/11 – we even found ourselves at Ground Zero by pure accident. I stood there in disbelief, but I had never seen the Towers before, so the impact wasn’t the same as it would be for someone else. My heart hurt so much already that mostly, I just remained standing there in shock. I actually have a hard time remembering much about it at all, yet I was gravely aware that more than just myself was hurting that year.
Well, that was a long story that I had not intended to write, and I never even got to the part about the ornament. Okay, back to the point! Susanne and I met for lunch in December of 2001 and as we were talking and crying, she handed me a package. I opened up the package and it was a Christmas ornament that said “Halle Oct. 21, 2001″ – yes, I burst into tears, just having something tangible with her name on it . . . the very special name that we chose, it meant so much to me to see it in writing, on such a special pink ornament with a little teddy bear on top, a teddy bear that is holding a pink heart. We cried together, we remembered together and we talked about all of her features, how tiny she was, how much she was missed and the most important part . . . we just talked about HER – no one making me feel bad for bringing up her name, no one that I had to comfort because I was making THEM feel uncomfortable, remembering her, remembering that she made an impact in this world and that she will ALWAYS be remembered.
Sooo, this special ornament has a special place on our tree every year and every time I place it on that tree, I remember.
This week’s theme at I Heart Faces is “Balloons” – I thought of this picture right away because it has a very special meaning to me. I know that balloons usually evoke a happy feeling, resulting in joyous expressions from children and adults alike. However; sometimes balloons bring about longing, wishing, wanting for more . . . for more time, to share with loved ones that left this world too soon. On this April day, we began with a bouquet of pink and white balloons, and one by one we watched them float upward. Then we were left with just this one. We were releasing them for an unbelievably special little girl who was celebrating her first birthday, yet not here, in Heaven. *tears* This balloon was for “K” – so loved and so missed, yet never forgotten.
Check out all the other fantastic entries here ~ I Heart Faces.
See ya’ later!!
Seriously, eight years . . . . . how can it be?? Eight years ago today we delivered our sweet firstborn daughter, our precious Halle pumpkin. Our much awaited, much loved child was born into Heaven, breaking our hearts into a million pieces. Our lives have changed so much since that day. We are definitely busier now, our house is cluttered with toys and baby clothes, we’re completely sleep deprived, and yes, we finally have sticky fingerprints on the walls . . and the TV, and the furniture, and the doorknobs. However; they are not Halle’s fingerprints and I will continue to miss those and every one of her milestones as long as I live. *tears*
Today is the day that my brother-in-law entered this world and this is also the day that he left this world – he was tragically killed in a plane crash on his 35th birthday four years ago today.
Every year, August 7th catches me off guard. I think about Jay so much, especially since it’s three days before Kasen’s birthday and two days before his Mom’s birthday. My Mom flew in this week and we have had many conversations already about Jay, about how much we miss him, how we still can’t believe that he died at such a young age and in such a tragic way, just weeks after he married his sweetheart. We talked about how happy he was, how he was incredibly in love, how he was starting a whole new life full of new chapters to fill. The whole family was excited to share in his bliss, and to watch with anticipation just what the world had in store for Jay. Never in a million years did we believe that we wouldn’t be sharing in his life for years to come. *tears*
Tonight, I choose to remember the little things . . the things that I believe Jay left us with – the happiness, the joy, the smiles, the experiences that molded all of us and in turn made us better people just for coming in contact with Jay. For those that didn’t know Jay, he was the most uplifting, happy person, who enjoyed life to the fullest. I used to always tease Brad and tell him Jay got all the happy, easy-going genes, because Brad is SO serious and I would never use the words “easy-going” to describe him. LOL Whenever Jay was around, smiles were abundant, laughter was hearty and Jay always had stories to tell about where he’d been, what he’d been doing, or where he was planning to go. We all listened and chuckled and I always felt just a smidgeon of jealousy that he could enjoy life with such gusto, when so many fears were holding me back from appreciating all of those things.
I will never forget Jay watching Halle’s sonogram with me while we sat on the floor of our living room and shared hot fudge ice cream sundaes. LOL Seriously, how many brother-in-laws would even feign an interest in that?! But he did, and we laughed and talked about the future and he was always reassuring whenever I verbalized any fears I had about becoming a Mom. He was always there to lend an ear, offer a shoulder and he even took great delight in giving me a hard time on several occasions.
Oh how I miss him, how I miss what should have been, how I miss the plans we had made for our futures as one big happy family. I feel cheated, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. But today, I delight in the little things . . . little gifts that Jay gives us along the way. August 7th, 2006, Kasen took her first steps, August 7th, 2009 – I got my first big smile from Holden on film, August 7th – such a special day – a day that changed forever when Jay took his first breath, and a day that changed forever when he took his last. A day I will never forget.
As always Jay, we love you more than we can say. Our hearts couldn’t hold any more love for you and they couldn’t be breaking any more that we can’t see you, hold you, and love you here on earth. One day Jay, one day, it just isn’t soon enough.
Here’s Holden Douglas Isaac Schneider – and for those of you who don’t know this, the name Douglas came from Brad’s father (Douglas Schneider) and it is also a very special dedication to Brad’s brother, Jay Douglas Schneider. Thanks for the smiles Jay.
New week, new contest. At least this week I’m not struggling to get my entry in before the contest closes. I’m a day ahead!! Wooohooo!! And for those of you checking, still no news on the baby. We are eagerly awaiting the call though!!
This week’s photo contest theme for the kids entry is “Let’s Hear It For the Boys!” ~ Must be a photo of a boy or boys. No girls allowed this week!
Don’t forget to check out all the other cool entries at I Heart Faces
This is one of my very favorite boy shots – it’s our cousin’s son. The camo hat, his gorgeous eyes, and that sweet grin just make the picture super special to me!
For my adult entry – the same theme goes – “Let’s Hear It For The Boys” ~Must be a photo of a man/men. No ladies allowed this week!
Don’t forget to check out the other great entries here~ I Heart Faces
This picture was taken at the end of a photo shoot and little “Z” was tuckered out. He’s snuggling his bear and Daddy is snuggling him – too precious. I adore the look on Dad’s face – you can tell that he is totally smitten with his son.
See ya’ later!!
I’ve been gone a while because we’ve been so busy working on the house, getting ready to travel, decorating the baby’s room, and spending a lot of time with Kasen before the new baby arrives and she actually has to share the spot light!
No news yet about the baby’s arrival. There is a doctor’s appointment today, so maybe we’ll know something by tomorrow. If we’re lucky, we’ll know something this afternoon. Whatever the case may be, I’ll let you know!!
No post is complete without a picture, so here’s one of Kasen and her new buddy, Scott. He is the son of a VERY dear friend of mine – she actually introduced me to Brad, so I’m forever indebted to her.
See ya’ later!!
You know, this day rolls around so fast every year. It did when I didn’t have any children, then it did after we lost our firstborn, Halle, and it still rolls around fast now that we have precious Kasen in our lives, and hopefully, a little boy soon too. Only time will tell.
As much as my heart filled with joy this evening over my child that just.could.not.wait to give me my Mother’s Day gift, my heart is still heavy for what we have gone through, and what others are going through as well. I remember how much it hurt my heart to not stand up in church and be acknowledged as a Mother . . . . . before I was one, and then not feeling comfortable enough to stand up and claim my title after we lost Halle – I mean, there was no child you could see . . . . . but she was there . . . . she IS there . . . . always . . . . in our hearts, forever and ever. Yes, I do feel happiness on Mother’s Day. I love my Mother immensely, and thank her for everything, not just on Mother’s Day, but all year round. I love Kasen with all my being, she is our light after the storm. I love my Mother-in-Law, who brings happiness to me on a daily basis. Not only am I amazed by all these people, I’m amazed by all my wonderful friends who are the most loving, caring, funny, smart Mommies and I learn from them all the time.
I will wake up to the sound of Kasen’s sweet voice in the morning, and I already know that the biggest smile will cross my face, because I realize what it means to have her in our life, how much she has taught me, and how much my life has been overflowing since she entered my heart. And honestly, I will also grieve, for the loss of Halle . . . I have no idea what it’s like to hear her voice, I have no idea what kind of card she would have picked out for me, or how her snuggles feel in the morning, and I will grieve for all the mothers who lost their children way too soon.
I wrote this poem back in May of 2004 – obviously before Kasen entered our lives. I just wanted to share what I wrote because sometimes you see people and you have no idea what they are going through – maybe an extra hug or smile tomorrow might be just what someone needs.
See ya’ later!!
P.S. I’m quite behind on sneek peaks, client proofing and e-mails. And I’m still having trouble getting things off of my computer so I can work. So, if you’re waiting to hear from me, you will, I promise – I’m getting there . . . . . slowly but surely.
Oh to be three years old and throw all caution to the wind! LOL This is Kasen after an afternoon of swimming. Yes, she had her swimsuit on while she was in the pool. She had just taken everything off and was *supposed* to be on her way inside the house for a bath . . . and then took a detour. LOL It has been quite warm here, but we still had to heat up the pool just a bit. It’s almost time for weekends full of swimming, dinners made on the grill, and eating messy popsicles on the patio. I can hardly wait.
See ya’ later!!
We started out early this morning getting ready for our annual garage sale. Our whole neighborhood participates and I was totally dreading it, but it was actually quite fun. Kasen and I had a walk around the sales and we even bought a little scooter for her for THREE dollars!! Hands down, that was THE best three dollars I have ever spent. She adores that thing. I did take lots of pictures of her riding it this evening, but they’ll have to wait until later. After we packed up the last bit of stuff that didn’t sell, we all headed inside and got ready to go to Connor’s 4th birthday party.
Kasen loves Connor, they used to attend Mother’s Day Out together. The teachers there told us that they were inseparable, but I’m thinking that he has finally outgrown her just a bit. Even though she didn’t get as much attention as she would have liked from Connor, she did have a GREAT time at the party. When asked at dinner tonight, “What was your favorite part of the day?” She replied, “Eating mud cake.” LOL Connor’s mom made this awesome dump truck cake that looked like a pile of dirt, all in the theme of a construction party which was sooo cool. Kasen was very concerned that she was eating dirt, but I had to really convince her that it was pudding and cake mixed together. On the way home, she kept saying that Connor’s Mom was just teasing her that it was dirt, because it was really cake! LOL Then, when asked what her worst moment of the day was, she replied, “When I hit Connor.” Yep, she grabbed her little stick and hauled off and wacked him on the back. He didn’t know what hit him, until he turned around of course and saw the offender. That landed a pretty pouty time-out for the princess. Other than that, she had a fantastic day. Brad and I couldn’t believe that she still didn’t go to bed until almost 9:00 p.m. She was so wired when we arrived home, that we went out front while she rode her new scooter, and then we went out back where she played on her swingset. She’s like the Energizer Bunny – she just keeps going and going and going . . . . .
Here’s a pic of the birthday boy today – love those eyes!!
J&J – wonderful party – I’m always so impressed by your creativity. We had a great time.
See ya’ later!!