Twenty Weeks

This past week has been been extremely hard on me. Realizing we are hitting twenty weeks has brought forth an awful Motherly longing for Zachary. You see, our doctor had us wait till we were twenty weeks to have our ultrasound to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. That is such an exciting time in pregnancy and now, this twenty weeks makes me hurt to the pit of my soul.

Jonathan and I were young when we got pregnant with the boy.  We were both 22.  The spring/summer before we got pregnant, I had developed a large cyst on an ovary that we were able to get to go away on medicine therapy from the doctor. My Mom also had the measles when she was pregnant with me which could have cause infertility. For this reason, the doctor was worried we would have trouble conceiving and suggested we start trying in case we had any problems.  Well there were no problems and we got pregnant the very first month. We were excited but scared as we didn’t expect it to happen so fast.

I went to the doctor for a pregnancy test and it came back negative. We went and rode rollercoasters. I took motion sickness medicine, etc. The next week I just knew I was pregnant so we went back in and did a blood test and sure enough, we were pregnant.  My pregnancy with Zachary was uneventful and fine with no major problems.

For our  20 week ultrasound, when they said we were having a boy, I remember looking up and seeing a tear in Jonathan’s eye. I wanted to have a boy first as I have older brothers and a sister.  Jonathan wanted a healthy baby although, I think every man wants to have a boy first to carry on their name.

My husband said it best the other day when he said Mothers’s have that extra special bond with our children because we carry them. When we have them, their DNA is left in our body. 

If I had known back then that Zachary would pass away when he was 18, it wouldn’t have changed anything.  I wouldn’t trade the world for the wonderful 18 years we were blessed to be his parents.  I would go back and do it all again just to have more time with him.  The heartache will never go away.  The jealousy I feel when I see a brother and sister together knowing Sarah no longer has her brother is hard to handle.  The anger I feel when I see someone being mean to their kids breaks my heart because they don’t realize it could all be gone tomorrow.  I’m done as I’m trying to hold the tears back and failing miserably.  

I can say that when Zachary passed away, there are zero doubts that he knew he was loved and supported 100% by us and our family and friends.  He knew he was special to us all and was so happy with where he was in life. 

Miss you “the boy” Zachary, Forever 18.  

#suddencardiacarrest #cardiacarrhythmia #suddendeath #grief #grieving #mourn #mourning #childloss #lossofchild #mamabear #compassionatefriends #imwithyoumommy

A Day in the Life of a 4 Month in Grieving MomĀ 

It’s funny there’s no word for parents who have a child pass away. If you are married and lose a spouse you are a widow/widower.  If you are a child and lose your parents you are an orphan. There is no word for us parents who are left to live every single day without one of our children. I don’t remember who worded that out originally. 

I thought today I would just type throughout the day and share a day. I woke up from sleeping with Zachary’s favorite shirt. It’s become my woobie. It lost his smell a little bit so I put it in his hamper of dirty clothes from his dorm which I cannot bring myself to wash to get his smell back.  I didn’t wake up to the alarm. It’s hard on most days to make yourself wake up to the alarm as all I want to do is stay in bed and ignore the passing days. 

After getting Jonathan off to work, I drank a cup of coffee and Facebooked to waste time. I made the mistake of doing one of those stupid quiz things that made a video of your life.  All it did was make me sad as we will never have four people on vacation again. One of us will always be stuck with a stranger on roller coasters.  We weren’t made to be an odd numbered family. We had “The Boy” and “The Girl” who were both born healthy and we were done.  The hives started reappearing after being gone for a month so I took a Valium and let my tears out in the shower. It always feels like a safe space to ugly sob as the shower washes it away.  I mean the ugly loud from the belly sobbing. By the time I got out, the medication is kicking in to help curb some of the panicky heartache. There is no shame in taking medication to help get through the panick induced crying. I still have a 13yr old girl I have to get through the day with. I listen to one of Zachary’s favorite bands, Tally Hall,  when I get ready as it makes me feel closer to him. 

We are supposed to be doing lunch with Jonathan and his Dad today. Currently I have a girl upstairs stomping her feet because she can’t get one contact in. It has been an hour. I cannot help her and she will not wear her glasses. She’s not dressed yet either. Instead of getting frustrated with her, I just have to let it go because I have to remember that she is missing her brother just as much as we are. It’s funny the little things that used to seem like big things really aren’t that important. I have to put on my happy mask to make the day go well for her. It breaks my heart to see parents wish the years away or complain about their kids.  They don’t realize what they are wishing away. I would give everything to even have just five more minutes with Zachary. 

We go meet Jonathan and his Dad for lunch. It’s always nice to see Papa Airplane when he is in town. We discuss the bench placement at Rogers State University and our upcoming meeting to talk about a scholarship in Zachary’s name. Seeing Jonathan’s employees who are also our friends is always a boost to morale. I’ve tried to talk myself into being strong enough to go to the LGBT+ Pride March for Protection but I can’t do it. I want a night at home with Jonathan, Sarah and Cedrick, Zachary’s boyfriend. 

Sarah and I go run a couple of errands and then go pick up Cedrick. We hadn’t seen him in almost a month so we are all looking forward to spending some time with him. I hope he always chooses to be a part of our family. When we get home, we go and sit in the gazebo for a couple of hours and talk and laugh and Sarah is being unusually hyper for her. I think she needed some time with someone who reminds her of Zachary. Cedrick would always talk to Sarah when he and Zachary were here so its good for her to spend time with him. We played the Wii, ate dinner, watched a movie and played the Wii some more. 

During some of the play time, Zachary’s cat was in her hiding hole. I went over and she actually let me pet her for five minutes. She’s a very keep to herself cat so this is unusual. This slow down time was just enough to allow the tears to start to flow again so I had to excuse  myself to downstairs to collect myself.  See, that’s why people try to keep busy. It’s when you stop and sit that the memories come flooding back and the tears start. Sometimes you are in a place or time where you can’t let the tears go. Sometimes, you are in the middle of the night and have no choice but quiet so the tears flow in bed at 2:00 am. I’m fortunate to have a husband who can sense it in his sleep and he always reaches over to touch me during these times.  It’s called “sneaky grief” because it inches up behind your eyes and escapes in tears. 

Melissa came to get Cedrick and brought me the cutest flowers. They are white with green tips since green was Zachary’s favorite flower. She looks worn down like I was a couple of weeks ago so I hope she feels better soon.  We are so thankful to have them in our lives. Melissa is one of my go to people when I need to Facebook chat at weird times. 

I get some funny snap chats from my Sister-in-Law Kayla of the kids playing video games. They make me smile. My sister also makes sure to text or call throughout the day too as well as several friends. I’m one of the lucky ones who hasn’t been abandoned by their friends and my friends still talk about Zachary.  A lot of parents in our situation lose friends as people don’t know what to say or how to act or what to do.  To those friends reading this, I thank you so much and love you.  One of the biggest gift you can give parents who have had a child pass away is to say their child’s name. That way we know they are not forgotten. 

One thing that is hard is we still have people trying to find some source of blame for Zachary’s death when there is no blame. This has happened the past few weeks and was brought up again today. Zachary’s heart condition was so extremely rare in teenagers that no one would have even known to look for it. It is usually only found in old heavy set people at necropsy. Zachary was none of those things.  It’s hard enough to get to a place as a parent where you aren’t blaming anyone, especially yourself. I don’t even know if it would be better if we could blame someone. Zachary’s heart condition was a fluke that messed up the electrical system in his heart. When you are shocked over 6 times by an AED, there is no recovering and it is no ones fault. I just wish other people would get to that acceptance place. I know everyone will in their time. It just isn’t easier on us to be asked questions about blame. 

Anyway, Sarah’s sleeping on the couch for Spring Break and she’s already asleep. Jonathan and I are still up watching a movie.  When we go to bed, I will have a hard time sleeping, I will curl into the fetal position and the tears will come again but they will be quiet tears so I don’t wake the whole house.  Jonathan will sense it and he will hold my hand. Then, when we wake up, the worst Groundhog Day ever will start again. Some days are a little better and some days are still bad. Eventually I know the better days will be more than the bad but there will never be a day that Zachary is not the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thing I think of when I go to sleep. I love you a Zachary.  


This is a pic of us just hanging at home. Zachary age 11. Sarah age 6. 

#suddencardiacarrest #cardiacarrhythmia #suddendeath #grief #grieving #mourn #mourning #childloss #lossofchild #mamabear #compassionatefriends #imwithyoumommy

Before I Fall

Spoilers for the movie ahead but it relates to my life:
So today has been a wonderful.  Sarah and I got some much needed girl time while Jonathan is fishing with my Dad.  We ate at the mall and did some shopping. Sometimes when a girl is feeling down, you just have to take her to get some bath stuff at Lush.  We also got her fitted for contacts, went for dinner, made a trip to Rue21 and Target and we finished the night off with a movie.  She had been quiet and down all week so it was wonderful to see her be back to her bubbly personality today and be an excited teenager for a bit.  We had really good conversation at dinner which was probably my favorite part.  We kept our cell phones put away for most of the day and just spent time together which is normally hard to do at home as we always have the neighbor boys coming over (who I love and adore and am so thankful for them) and there’s always something that needs to be done at home so the whole day was spent out.

We finished the with night with the movie Before I Fall.  It is pretty much a teenager movie and I didn’t expect to get emotional at the end of it.  On the final 15 min of the film, you realize the girl is living out her last day and knows she is living out her last day.  She gives her parents extra hugs and I love yous, hugs her sister a little longer, tells her friends what they mean to her, etc. Of course, none of them realize that she knows it is her last day.  When she passes away, she talks about how only the million wonderful memories flashed before her eyes and in her mind.

It made me wonder what Zachary would have said had he known it was his last day. I know we all would have gotten extra long hugs as he was a kid who held on a little longer than normal to begin with. He gave the best hugs.  When he hugged you, you knew he meant it. I wondered what he would have said to his little sister.  What little nugget of wisdom he would have said to Sarah or would he have made her laugh so that is what she would have remembered last?  I will never forget listening to them talk and laugh his last weekend st home. They had so much fun together.  I  know I would have gotten an “I love you Mommy” and Jonathan would have gotten an “I love you Daddy.”  What millions of good memories flashed before his eyes or was he even aware to see anything because it happened so fast?  

We will never know but, what I do know and have no doubt about is that he knew he was loved. He knew we supported him no matter what. He knew he always had a home, a safe place to call and we would be there in a heartbeat. Being a teenager or the parent of a teenager is not always easy. It is not always sunshine and roses but my how I miss him. I do know he had a happy childhood and was truly happy where he was with himself. I do know he was having a good day on campus  his final day because I asked him to come home a day early and he wanted to stay.  How I would trade the world to have that one last day again, even if I knew it was the one last day, but you literally never know. 

So I choose now to hug a little longer like the boy did. Say the I love yous to people who matter to me. I make sure to let my friends know I care about them. I make sure my husband and daughter know how much they mean to me. I cuddle closer.  I say thank you and truly mean it. I get up out of bed every single morning when  a lot of times, I just want to cover my head and hide. I keep going because the boy can no longer. I try to sing because the boy sang. I try to dance because we loved to dance and be silly together. I also eat a few more Twizzlers now since they were his favorite. 

Oh how I love you Zachary and oh how I miss you. Love ~ Mommy

Zachary and Sarah ~ Both at the age of 13 
#suddencardiacarrest #cardiacarrhythmia #suddendeath #grief #grieving #mourn #mourning #childloss #lossofchild #mamabear #compassionatefriends #imwithyoumommy

Generic Things I’ve learned

Just thought I would share some things I’ve learned. 

1.  You can literally feel the moment your heart breaks over and over if you allow yourself to slow down and sit with it, which you have to do.  

2.  A lot of people will surprise you with their kindness and sometimes, it’s unexpected people. A lot of people will shock you with their shittiness.  Thankfully for us we have had more of the kindness than anything. 

3.  Sobbing in the grocery store is a common thing with grieving Moms. It comes from no longer having to buy that one extra pizza, or one extra box of fish because the boy ate more than us. 

4.  Sobbing can literally hit at any time. It may be the glance at a toddler with blonde hair, the kindness you see someone do for someone else, the parent being hurtful to their child or ridiculing them when we would give the world to have ours back, a song on the radio, a sunset, a sunrise, a smell, etc that brings it all back. 

5. Signs from loved ones who have passed are real. You can really smell them, receive signs, feel them in your half awake state, pennies in your path, rainbows in unexpected places, songs at just the right time. You just have to be open to seeing them. 

6.  People really don’t know what to say and sometimes say the strangest things in the place of silence. I’d rather have a hug and the silence than an “everything happens for a reason.”  

7.  You can find true soul friends when you have all experienced the absolute worst thing in life.  They are truly the only other people who know what you have been through and can relate fully. 

8.  I’ve learned I’m a lot stronger than I ever thought I was. Some days it literally takes every ounce of energy just to get out of bed.  My sister said one day, “You’ve already made it through the worst day of your life.  You can do this.”  I don’t know if she knew it would stick with me but it has.  Love you Trish. 

9.  There is no shame in taking medications to help deal with the loss.  Sometimes when you can’t take another breath you have to. 

10.  Social anxiety can be acquired at the age of 41 after a traumatic experience. It’s the fear of the question. “How many kids do you have and where do they go to school?”  I’m thankful to have a friend who helped me know how to answer it. 

11.  You can feel so lonely in a crowded space. I was never like that before. I liked people. I talked to strangers, I held other people’s kids so they could check out at the store.  Now, I tend to avoid eye contact for fear of crying. 

I’m sure I’ll make another list sometime soon.  This post is weird and random and blah. 

Zachary age 6 at Six Flags Texas. 
#suddencardiacarrest #cardiacarrhythmia #suddendeath #grief #grieving #mourn #mourning #childloss #lossofchild #mamabear #compassionatefriends #imwithyoumommy