Sunday, October 26, 2014

I am not the weepy mom on the first day of school. I don't caption pictures of my kids with "How can they be so big?" I do not wish to keep them little. I know what it is to have time stop for a child. This is my "10-year-old."

Ten years ago, I fully expected to be that tearful mom, marveling at her child entering school after wondering if he'd ever leave the hospital. But that is not our story. I may have tears today, this week, or any random day when a memory comes flooding back unexpectedly. But being Will's mom means that watching my children grow does not make me sad. That is his gift to me, birthday and every day.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

As we face yet another snowy evening and anticipate six more inches tomorrow, it's hard to believe that in 10 short weeks we'll be strolling through the streets of Iowa City in our fifth March for Babies. Once again we'd like to invite our friends and family to join Team Kenyon in Iowa City on Saturday, April 17, or to find out when your own town is having its walk and lace up your shoes.
We're proud to walk each year in memory of Will and in honor of Edward, Daniel and all the healthy babies in our lives. We and the March of Dimes appreciate whatever support you can offer, whether physical (by walking with us or in your own hometown), financial (by making an online pledge toward our fundraising goal) or moral (by encouraging us to get up and get moving in preparation for the six mile walk.)

Clicking on the Team Kenyon link above will take you to my fundraising page where, if you scroll to the bottom, you'll find links to donate and/or to register to walk with us or in your local event. Each walker has to have his or her own page so John has a separate fundraising page.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Will, it's hard to believe it has been five years since we lost you. There isn't a day that goes by that we don't think about you, miss you and wonder about what might have been.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

We lit our Will tree tonight, the one that we put up on Will's birthday and take down the day he died. We put ornaments on it each year with the intention of giving them away to people who visit us during the holidays, with the goal of keeping Will's spirit and memory alive through these friends. Will's brothers, Edward and Daniel, helped to put the ornaments on the tree. Then, Edward took our small Will photo album off of the shelf and asked to look through the photos.

As we flipped through, he asked some questions, and told me some things that he knew from previous perusals. When we got to the pages with photos of me holding Will, I realized that it was five years ago to the day, close to the hour, when I held Will for the first time. It was the day after my birthday, and it was the best birthday present I had ever had (or, I would expect, will ever have). It's hard to believe that five years have passed. What a five years it has been. Most important among the changes is that we have Will's beautiful brothers with us. No matter how much has changed, however, one thing remains constant: Our undying love for Will and our resolve to keep him alive in our hearts.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Questions, questions, questions, but never enough answers.

Tonight Edward helped set Will's tree out, and we all sat together to turn the pages in the small photo album. Daniel learned to answer, "Will!" when we asked who was in the pictures and to call him "brother." I imagine this lesson will bear repeating, but there is something very striking about hearing him call his brother by name.

Edward gave us a bit more to deal with. So many questions we can hardly answer for ourselves, much less to satisfy the constructs of his "black and white" world.

"Why is Will in Heaven?"

Well, because he died honey.

"Why did he die?"

He was very sick.

"Why did he get sick?"

He was so tiny.

"Why was he tiny?"

Beacause he was born before he was ready

"Why was he not ready?"

It wasn't the right time for him to be born. Babies need to stay in mommies' bellies longer.

"Why did he die?"

He was sick and he just couldn't get better.

"What are those tubes?"

Will needed some machines to help him breathe because he was too tiny.

"Did the tubes make him better?"

Well, they helped him for a little while, but he just got too sick.

"Why is Will in Heaven?"

Will is with Jesus in Heaven.

"When will he come back here?"

Well, he doesn't come back. When you go to Heaven you stay there.

"Can I go to Heaven and see him."

No, it doesn't work that way.

"But what if I went and just came back."

Well, you'd be the first (in a long time, we did not add...)

"But I want Will here!" <throws toys at wall in frustration>

So do we, buddy. So do we.
(And sometimes we wish we could vent in just the same way.)

"Why do you have tears, Mommy?"

I'm sad without Will here. And I would be sad if you were not here.

"I'm sad without Will too."

Five years. We cherish your memory but wish you were here. Happy Birthday, Will. Mom, Dad, Edward and Daniel love you and miss you every day.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tonight we went to the final Lenten Fish Fry at the Catholic high school. Edward was enjoying his kids meal of cheese pizza and mac&cheese and taking in the new surroundings of the high school cafeteria. "What's that," he asked, pointing high up on the wall. It was a statue of Jesus with his arms outstretched as if blessing all who eat there.

"That's Jesus," I replied.

"Does he live far away in Heaven?" Edward asked

"Yes, buddy. Jesus lives in Heaven with Will."

"Does he get to play with Will?"

"Yes, I think Jesus does play with Will."

"Do they have a dining room?"

This last bit might be a puzzler unless you know that, lacking any dining room furniture, we use our dining room as a play room. It's filled with the kids' toys and that's where we spend most of our play time together.

"Yes," we managed to respond. "I bet there is a dining room in heaven for Will to play in."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

As I sit here tonight about an hour later than I should be, I have to laugh. You see, I've spent the last 45 minutes off and on trying to get Edward to pee. He's gotten better, and most of the time it's not a matter of his potty training falling through as much as it is being distracted or, more often, ornery. This usually frustrates me considerably -- it has happened enough that whenever I let out a deep sigh in such situations, Edward turns to me and says, "frustrated?" -- but tonight I was very patient and tolerant.

The difference? Last night, in anticipation of today, I read through this blog to see what I wrote during Will's final days and hours with us. As frequent followers may recall, he wouldn't pee either, but the consequences were much more dire. His problem was tied in with a whole host of other problems, including poor kidney function, low blood pressure, chylothorax and fluid retention that left him puffy, in pain and with a general lack of energy because he was fighting a vicious virus. When he did pee, we were elated, for we felt it was a turning point, a sign that his unbelievable strength was pushing him through the illness. These feats in the last couple of days never lasted long, and his trips up the rollercoaster were much, much shorter than those on the downward side of the slope.

Early after Will died, I wrote here about his short life giving me perspective. I was more tolerant and forgiving. I wish I could say that was a permanent effect. There are many times I think of Will, particularly when doing something boring or painful or challenging, and think, if my little guy could go through what he did, then I can go through whatever this is with no complaint and my head held high. While Will is never far from my thoughts, too often I need to remind myself of that lesson.

So it was tonight. While Edward sat on the potty doing everything but pee, I thought instead of Will and his every precious drop. I had promised him I would follow him around with a mop and a bucket the rest of his life if he would just pee. Little did I know his brother would make good on his behalf while potty training, leaving me and Mary to follow behind to sop up the occasional mess. Tonight, I know Edward will pee eventually, and reminded myself that it's no big deal. I gave him an extra long hug, did the same for Daniel, and now sit here waiting for him to call me to finally admit that he has to go. I wish I had three boys up there in bed. Instead I have two boys in bed and one in my heart, helping me to do my best with his brothers.