Monday, May 23, 2016

Just a teddy bear........


 
At first glance someone would look at Brother Bear and wonder why Vashon and our family love him so dearly. He's a well loved bear is what we call it, but just like "bless her heart" means something different in the south, "well loved" pretty much = a dirty old thing.





What most people don't realize is that Vashon's connection to Brother Bear is bigger than a child and his security item. Of course Brother Bear makes Vashon feel safe and comfortable, but he is now a part of our family.




Brother Bear was given to us from Kelly of Sufficient Grace Ministries for Women (and Families) Inc. he was included in a Dreams of You package that I received in the mail a few days before going into labor. From the website:

Comfort Bear: These beautiful, cream-colored, soft fleece Comfort Bears were created by Kathy Rutter in 2005 for grieving mothers to have something to hold to ease the ache of empty arms. Kathy created each one with a grandmother’s love and prayers. After a valiant battle with cancer, Kathy went home to heaven in October of 2006. Today her legacy continues as the Helping Hands Ministry gathers to sew the bears, sending a grandmother’s love and prayers along with each one.
Brand new Comfort Bear aka Brother Bear

I remember the first night in the hospital, I spread the Noodle and Boo lotion we used on Vayden over the bear and clinched him so tightly, soaking him with my tears.  

For a few weeks the Comfort Bear was mine, each night I would spread lotion over him and press the bear closely to my face, I became a bit protective over him, but little did I know that Vashon would challenge my protection, and force me to let go in many forms.

The cream colored bear was already starting to lose it's glow, I covered him with lotion daily the soft texture was fading fast. Occasionally Vashon would touch him, and I would stand close with a damp towel to wipe off any traces of dirt. One day Vashon came down stairs holding the Comfort Bear by the leg, I'm pretty sure I freaked out; but Vashon lost something too and Vashon was anti stuffed animals. At a recent doctors appointment I was questioned why Vashon didn't love on dolls or bears, baby them, feed them or tote them around. I simply replied "we don't have dolls in our house". So seeing Vashon with a stuffed animal was kind of a big deal. That occasional play with the Comfort Bear turned into a frequent thing, I was jealous, happy and heartbroken, "could my two year old know the severity of what we loss?". Vashon began to tote the bear around with him often, they'd watch TV together, play with toys, and sleep together. One day Van pointed out that Vashon was playing with his brother and then we name the bear, Cuddle Brother which later changed to Brother Bear. At that point I knew he was no longer just mine, and I would have to share him.

Brother Bear 5/21/16
Brother Bear became Vashon's best friend, at first I micromanaged their time together as any mother with a new born and an older child would do, lol. I'll never forget the day Vashon accidently pulled his button eye off. I cried, I balled my eyes out, pulled myself together, sewed his eye back out and used the situation as a 'be kind to our loved ones' teaching moment. But giving Brother Bear to Vashon taught me that I can't control things, just like being given Vayden and losing him. It was never up to me, and it was a great lesson and constant battle I have being a worry-wart. :)

Brother Bear has had three eye surgeries, two neck surgeries, a hundred washes, lots of stains, a minor hip surgery to reattach a weak leg, and he sometimes smells. But he has also been to so many places, seen so many faces, is loved beyond words and considered a part of our family. So no he's just not a teddy bear, he's our tangible memory of our sweet baby Vayden and one of Vashon's best friends.

Happy 7th Birthday to you Vayden and to you also Brother Bear, you will always be a part of me. Mommy misses you so much.


*Above you will see some of the many pics we have with the greatly loved Brother Bear.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Color of Love

I saw this quote that said "At times I fit into lyrics, more than I fit into life".......music therapy is what I call it. I have been using that a lot more these days. Have you ever heard a song and it was almost like it was written for you? I've been feeling like that for quite some time lately.

The songs we used for Vayden's memorial slide show hold so much importance. Color of Love by Boyz II Men. That song tells such a warming story of living and learning to love. Vayden taught me so much about love, true, real and honest love. I go back every year the week before his birthday, I read my blog and relive what I went through, this is how I continue to heal each year. I had so much love, and passion for Vayden from the moment I found out something was wrong. Fight or Flight, and I was all fight. I educated myself on anything and everything to do with his condition, I tortured myself with things that would break any person with a heart and soul. I overly prepared myself, and when I found out there was just no more for me to do, I didn't quit (despite what some may think) I LOVED. I loved enough to know that to much damage had been done, that healing would come in the loss and that the pain, stress, & agony was no longer what either of us needed. Vayden fought, and I fought too, but at some point we were fighting two different battles, until we got on the same page. In a past post, I said....."I just want time, anytime, just time" and he gave that to me, because he loved me, and I let him go because I loved him.

So from in the lyrics of the song

So how I want to thank you,
I can't thank you enough,
For showing me the meaning,
The meaning of true love,
 When I was lost and so in need you opened up your heart
 When I needed you to comfort me you opened up you arms
 I couldn't face another day you said don't be afraid
You showed my heart the, showed me the way


 
Vayden never left me, because the things he taught me stay with me in my heart, he taught me true love and it feels absolutely amazing.

Happy 6th Heavenly Birthday Vayden, I always miss, I will always love you, and thank you for showing me what true really is.

Love Always,
    Mommy

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Milestone Type of Year..... Happy 5th Heavenly Birthday


I should be gearing up for the last of day preK for Vayden. He would be a sweet 5 year old, with bundles of knowledge and that cute little kid voice. You know, the one that has that sweet innocent tone, but you can understand everything they say. 5 year olds remember words to songs, and read simple 2-3 letter sight words. It’s an awesome age if you think about it, while they crave for independence, they also still need you. You are the coolest mom or dad in the whole world and everything they do changes day by day.

I could go on and on about the type of 5 year old Vayden would be, but instead I will just write a quick update about how I’m doing and how the family is doing 5 years later…….

A popular question for me is how am I doing? I have my days, my “why me” days, the “it’s not fair” days, and my most recent day was “did that really happen to me? Did I really lose a child?” Then I get this boost, this amazing energy from within and it all stems from the love and support from those around me. I mean I have the BEST support network. I have met some wonderful people, and have done some wonderful things because of Vayden. That is amazing; to know that people, even strangers love him and admire the things I’ve done in memory of him. So to answer the question, I’m doing well, I’m human, but I have way more good days than bad now that we’re 5 years post loss.
 
Today was wonderful as the loved poured in from all over. Simple reminders that all of you love my family and most of all Vayden. You are the ones who keep his memory alive. I am forever grateful to all of you.  

Happy 5th Heavenly Birthday Vayden, I know you’re perfect in Heaven; I miss you so very much.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

4th Bithday......Already

It's hard to believe that it has been 4 yrs since Vayden was born.I miss him so much, have been so busy and he has brought so many wonderful things to my life and my ability to support other infant loss families. What was once an online support has grown into a paid position with a wonderful non profit organization, I get to help families who suffer a loss as a job, and while some people may say "I don't know how you find that exciting" I say, "I get to show another woman, that even though she feels like she's going to die, even though right now she wants to die, she will not die. She will not die because I didn't die, and that's what makes this the best job ever"  I get to show people how to walk the journey, and the best part of it is when they ask "how do you know?" I can reply "because I did it already".

This job is so special because my story is my training, my heart makes me the ideal candidate for the job and my boss and the rest of the staff I work with love me, believe in my and most of all love Vayden.

4 years seems like a long time, so much has changed since 2009. We've added a member to our family, lost some loved ones, and our biggest change was our most recent move from Moore, OK to California. Man am I glad that I fought to have Vayden cremated. I would have been so broken hearted leaving him behind in OKC. I seriously never thought we would leave Oklahoma, but that is the life of the USAF.

While you all wish Vayden a 4th Heavenly Birthday, please remember and keep in your thoughts and prayers the city of Moore, OK. That tornado was seriously heartbreaking and Moore was our home for many years.

Happy 4th Vayden, I know the color of love and it lives inside of you.

-Mommy

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happy 3rd Heavenly Birthday Vayden

Happy 3rd Heavenly Birthday Vayden. Gosh 3 years it's been, seems like so long. I'm sure i'll be really saying Gosh when May 23rd comes around in 15 yrs. My sweet son, you are missed everyday, but mourning I don't do often. I'm more at a place of remembering, our time together was so precious and while short will be in my memory for a lifetime.

I've been asked why I don't blog often, or anymore for that matter. Well, here is the truth. Honestly I have little to say. Suprisingly while pregnant with Vayden, you couldn't shut me up, but like I said above, blogging was my way to navigate through my grief and my mourning period is up. I do and always will still hurt from the loss of my son, but I am at a great peace.

Vayden on your 3rd birthday I want you to know I love you, and I thank you. You are the reason I have such great peace, you are my heart, you are my hero, and you are my sunshine.


Happy Birthday son .

Love Mommy

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Does Time Heal All Wounds?

So it's been 2 yrs 1 month since my sweet Vayden passed away and every day I find myself adjusting and understanding what is now normal in my life. It's normal for me to tell people that ask that I have 3 children. It's normal for them to question the 3 when they only see 2 and are told that Vashon is my 1st and Varen in my last. Telling Vayden's story to strangers is like telling them my name. I don't blink, hang my head or get teary eyed anymore. It's also normal for me to try to include Vayden in our daily lives, but it's also getting hard.
Does time heal all wounds?
I think it does. I still have the scars from my loss, those will never go away. I see them everyday, I'm reminded everyday that one of my kids is no longer with me. But sometimes I forget the pain I went through while carrying Vayden, and sometimes I forget the pain I went through in the early months after the loss. I sometimes read over my posts from the past, the rawness of the words I wrote, the feelings I had. Even I am brought to tears, I understand why people say they can't read my blog or when they do all they do is cry. The honesty of those emotions even bring me to tears. I can't even believe I felt those things, I can't even believe I went through that. Then I glance over at Vayden's photo on my shelf and all I can do is hang my head a little low and miss my baby.
It's a catch 22 because I know in my heart that if Vayden were here, Varen would not be here. So I don't know, am I blessed because I've had the pleasure of carrying and giving birth to 3 wonderful beautiful boys ? or Would I have been blessed with just Vashon and Vayden and never having to experience such a great loss? I guess I would say I'm blessed to have been able to have all 3 of my boys even if Vayden was only for a short time.
So when will my broken heart mend? Probably the day I see Vayden again.
25 months without you my sweet love.

Monday, May 23, 2011

In 2 yrs you've touched so many lives

Happy 2nd Heavenly Birthday Vayden. This experience has taught me so much, it has built me into such a different person. Many people tell me how strong I am. How if faced with the same situation they would not be able to get through it like I have. I suppose I would have said the same thing before it happened to me, but I thank them for their kind words. I had no idea what to write about on your 2nd angel day, there is a certain calm I have now that 2 yrs have past. I miss you like crazy, wish you were here, but I know you had a bigger and better purpose. Today I googled your name and was pleasantly surprised to find the entire first page full of links to this blog or My Very Own Angel stuff. I also came across the links of all the media we've done for you. I was shocked at how many times we've done a new segment or article. You will surely never be forgotten, with such a unique name and beautiful face, you were truly too perfect for earth. I gathered all the links to every media article we've done over the last two years and placed them in each of the 7 photos on this post. (click each photo it will take you to the links of each story)










Although I've slowed down the activity of My Very Own Angel, I still have teddy bear donations scheduled for this year and plan to regain activity once my busy life slows down a little and my living children are a bit older. In 2 yrs we've donated over 345 teddy bears to local Oklahoma City Hospitals, sent out over 20 carrying to term comfort packages. There are so many women wearing "I Have My Very Own Angel " t-shirts and the website full of wonderful useful information on carrying to term is a will still be active.




















Vayden James Stewart was born May 23,2009 @ Midnight and lived for 3 hrs and 45 min

















Vayden has an older brother Vashon Jordan, and now a younger brother Varen Jacob.