Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It has been three weeks since I last held or saw Owen...
   I will be starting back to work on Monday. I am not sure that I am 100% ready, but I doubt that even if I waited 5 years that I would ever truly feel ready to go back.  However, it will give me purpose during the day, and I will be able to be productive.  I do really enjoy working with the students, so I am sure that once I am back, I will be certain that I made the right choice.
  Today, I had to drop something off at the school, and while I was there, the school bus and some parents were dropping off the children who would have been Owen's classmates for pre-k.  I am not sure why the whole school issue makes me so sad-maybe because I know he would have been so excited to go and learn, and to make friends, and that he will never have the chance to do that now. I had the opportunity to have him spend a few classes at another pre-k in the spring, but never did take him due to therapies, etc. Now I am wondering what would have been more important to Owen. He would have loved going to school. I so wish I would have taken him...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Please know that I do appreciate your emails and phone calls. I am sorry I haven't returned them as of yet. I am still just trying to adjust to life and find my direction again.  I love you all and so appreciate your thoughts and support, even if I don't respond to it.   

Saturday, October 25, 2008

 I am starting a new blog-it is called "What are we having for dinner tonight?" and will hopefully take off!  I am hoping that it will be a place where everyone can post recipes to help us all come up with new ideas for quick, easy, yummy dinners for our families, and hopefully limit our take-out consumption!! (Although I do plan on take out twice a week or so...)

Here is the link-bookmark it and let me know what you think!

  I will continue to blog here, but thought my dinner conversations should have their own place, so I can continue blogging about my little O-frog and the rest of my family on here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Yesterday was two weeks since Owen passed. In so many ways, it seems impossible that two weeks has already passed since I last held my baby, but in others, it seems like a lifetime ago. What is most difficult is knowing that I am not able to hold him again, that I am not able to sit next to him and watch him breath, to sleep next to him and feel the warmth and perfect shape of his body next to me. Sleep is peaceless without him. My dreams have been unpleasant.  And yet, I don't wish to "get over" this. My son is gone. He always will be missing from my life. I am incredibly grateful for the time I had with him, but so wish I could be with him, as my life is incomplete without him with me.  How do I answer the question "How many kids do you have?" in the future? How do I sign cards? I cannot simply pretend he did not exist, that he is not still my child even though he is not physically present.  I cannot deny him, nor would I want to.
  Went to the zoo yesterday. I soo wished Owen had been with us. The Rainforest exhibit had not been open the last time he was able to go, and he would have loved it. Additionally, we were two of about 10 visitors there during the day, so we were able to spend quite a bit of time at the different exhibits, and were able to get right up next to the Apes, and ask questions to the zookeepers about the feeding times and procedures.  (There is one male, 4 females, and he does mate with each of them, but they are on a human form of birth control, so they do not conceive. They are fed 6 times a day, 4 of which are mixed veggies, twice with biscuits which are commercially made. The biscuits are enough to sustain them-they have all of the nutrients, calories, etc that they need, but the gorillas are fed additional items to make meal times more interesting. Who knew??)  
  Owen would have loved all of it.  He enjoyed animals, and learning things about them that he could impress other people with. For instance, Matt's mom and brother went to the Grand Canyon this spring, and his Mom brought back a stuffed condor for Owen and had Matt share the following information with him-#1-the average wingspan of a condor is about 9 feet (which we showed him on the floor) and #2-Condors urinate on their feet to keep cool.  The last bit of info was the one he was most excited to share with people.  He had a subscription to a magazine called "Zootles", which is a Zoobooks for younger kids and loved it!-It is phenomenal-I highly recommend it (and in fact, bought a subscription for my nephews for Christmas...shhhh!) They focused on one animal in each issue, and include letter recognition, numbers, stories, etc.
  Another thing Owen would have loved about the last two days was the snowfall.  Who doesn't love the first snowfall of the year? It is so peaceful and innocent. I am always amazed by it's beautiful silence.  I have a black peacoat on which individual snowflakes can be seen with amazing detail, and we would love to look at the differences in each one as they landed and stuck to my coat. There is such beauty in things we often take for granted. I tried to see that, and to help Owen see that.  Instead of cursing the snow, we would look for the amazing wonder of it-each individual crystal, and how many of those would it take to create that 7 feet of snow?  The splendid colors of the leaves, the first flower bud peeking out in the spring...I believe in miracles, I believe in magic. It happens unnoticed around us each and every day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

If anyone is able to make a gift basket to donate by Friday morning for a benefit for a local little girl who has cancer, it would be tremendously appreciated...Please let me know.
Not much new. I miss him...had to write a thank you for the local papers for the amazing support given by friends and family. It's hard to see his obituary in the paper. He looks so happy and healthy...

Friday, October 17, 2008

 Last night when I went to pick Anthony up from Frank's house, I was waiting for him inside and saw the Build a Bear that Frank had that had Owen's voice recorded on it. I was so excited and wanted to hear his voice-it has been awhile since I have heard that sweet voice. So I pressed the paw that said "Talk". Now, you would think that if one of the paws was going to record something, it would be red and say "Record", not something like "Talk", which is what I expected the bear to do. What I instead ended up doing was recording over sweet little voice.  I feel like such a complete jerk. There is no way I can do anything to repair that.  I feel horrible.  Obviously it was not done on purpose, but still-there is no way to re-record that.  Ugh. Another thing added to the list of stupid things Jen has done...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I miss Owen. So many things about him.  I am also sad thinking about the life he will not be able to have now-things he won't be able to do...
  Thank you to everyone who was able to come see us at the visiting hours and at the memorial service and share your condolences with us.  It was good to see everyone, although obviously I wish we could have all seen each other during happier circumstances. 
  A few stories from those two days: First, it was incredibly awesome that the entire jv and varsity football teams and coaching staff showed up in uniform as a team. Seeing that in itself was emotional, then one of the players gave me a jersey and tiger armband with Owen's initials on it-all of the players were wearing one. The team dedicated this year's season to Owen. For those who do not know, Seth plays jv football-it was really such a nice symbol of support.
   One of Owen's friends came in with his parents and gave me a big hug. While I was holding him, he asked where Owen was, and I told him that Owen was in heaven, but that when he fell asleep that Owen would be able to come and play with him. Jake asked, "Can we race?" I said, "Absolutely you guys can race." and then Jake asked, "How fast can angels run?"  It was the absolute sweetest thing, and of course I completely lost it.  It was truly one of those "out of the mouths of babes" moments.
  Releasing the balloons after the service on Monday was nice-Owen would have loved it.
 So much to's really unbelievable to think that I will not be able to hold Owen again, or see him, touch him...all of those things I was so thankful for when he was still here with us. So many regrets I have about things I should have done with him that I will now never have the chance to do. I do have many happy memories to look back upon, I just wish he was here with me to remember them with.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

"My Wish" by Rascal Flatts lyrics

I hope that the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,

But more than anything, more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more than you take.

But more than anything, yeah, and more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

This is my wish
I hope you know somebody loves you
May all your dreams stay big

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Here is a link to Owen's obituary on the funeral home site. I will post when I have a link to the obituary from the Buffalo News.

 Calling hours will be Sunday, October 12 from 1-9 PM at Child's Funeral Home, 10 Eckerson Ave in Akron 14001.
  A memorial service will be held at 10 AM on Monday, October 13 at the Calvary Baptist Church, 12752 Lewis Rd in Akron.
     For those unaware who may have concerns about bringing younger family members to the calling hours, we have had Owen creamated.  His urn, pictures and momentos will be with us at the calling hours and memorial service.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Owen passed early this morning. Sleep now. Be at peace. We love you. Arrangements will be posted when we have finalized them.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I may not be writing for awhile. I don't even know what to say right now. I am not feeling so positive today. I have no inspirational words. I am sad, I am angry, and none of this makes any sense. I have done everything I felt was best for Owen and everyone.
His body is so thin, his skin integrity is absolutely horrible, there is just so much of him that is deteriorating. I am hoping he feels no pain, but how do we truly know? His morphine was increased today. I hope that he is at peace and comfortable.
How do people get through this? People say how strong I am, but my god, I sure don't feel that I am. I don't even know what else I can do to help him be more comfortable...nothing, I suppose, which in itself makes me feel like a failure as a mother. I am supposed to be able to comfort my children, especially when they are not feeling well.
He is still here. I am still able to touch him. Again, what am I going to do when I can't anymore? How does a mother hand her child over to someone, knowing that she will never, ever see him again?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Both yesterday and today, Anthony was taken to a skate park in Buffalo.  He is not super good on skates, but is getting better. About an hour and a half after my father left with him, I got a phone call that they were coming home....Hmmm, I asked why............

  Yup-Anthony broke his right arm-the ulna! It is currently splinted, and he will be going to an orthopedic doctor in the morning.  He is being so brave-he is not complaining at all!

  Owen is stable, no real changes in the last few days.  He seems more comfortable today than he did yesterday, which is obviously always a good thing.
  Keeping everyone close in our hearts to help us get through the rough patches...keep sending all of those positive thoughts our way.
"We got another one!"

Friday, October 3, 2008

Happy 5th birthday wishes go out to Christian today, and my thoughts are with his family, who has to find a way to celebrate this day-the first birthday without him there with them to celebrate with them...Happy birthday in heaven, little guy!
  Thank you to everyone who has left messages on the site-I really appreciate them. They are kind of like a big hug for me. Just knowing that so many people are thinking about Owen is very heartwarming.

  Again today, nothing new to report on Owen today.   He is resting comfortably, and I continue to take at least one picture and a minute or two of video of him every day-again, one of those things I wish I had done from day 1 (new mommies, and mommies to be-DO THIS! You will not regret it! Everyone else, it's not too late to start!)

  I am thankful that I am still able to sleep next to Owen every night.  To be able to wake up and reassure myself that he is still right next to me, and breathing, and I am able to touch him, hear him, etc.

  Go out and enjoy the crisp, autumn air! Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. I love the colors, the bite in the air, the way the grass looks covered in frost and crunches under my shoes. I love fresh apples and tart apple cider that makes my cheeks hurt, pumpkins, scarecrows, and hayrides, decorating and dressing up for Halloween, Charlie Brown and The Great Pumpkin, and the Great Pumpkin farm in Clarence. I love fall clothing, and secretly having my toenails painted funky colors, hidden underneath socks and boots...Last year, I was introduced to the tastebud pleasure of fresh pressed concord and especially white grape juice from somewhere out in or near Rochester that Matt's brother, Mike, brought out- I'm hoping to get some of that this year! YUM!

  We bought Owen a white and an orange pumpkin from a neighbor around our circle. I brought them in for him to touch and see the night we watched the new movie Scooby Doo and the Goblin King. Owen loved watching Scooby Doo, and even though he wasn't able to actually watch it, I'd like to think that he could hear it, and enjoyed it with us.
"We got another one!"

Thursday, October 2, 2008

 Hi, all.
   Again, nothing new to report. Owen seems comfortable, and there have been no changes that we have noticed since I last wrote.
  I received the digital scrapbook of Owen's Make a Wish trip from Creative Memories today! I like it, although, of course, looking through it there are things I would like to change about it. It is really nice, though.  I also got a book from Snapfish that I made of a variety of pictures from the past year, which is also nice-but is only pictures and captions-there is MUCH less that you are able to do with that.  Anthony will be taking it to school with him tomorrow.  
  I have to imagine that it is so hard for the teachers to know what to say to the kids in his class. It's hard for us to explain things and to know what to say. The school has been really remarkable in dealing with the boys and the extraordinary situation they are in. I can honestly say that I view them as an extension of our family.  While many people have fallen away because of not knowing what to say or how to deal with this, so many others have really come forth and shown how incredible people can be, and for all of them, I am so grateful.
  As I look out the window while I type, I see the sun shining on the trees, and the sky dark behind them.  I am constantly reminded that no matter how gloomy things are, that the sun will still shine. No matter how bad things may seem, you will get through them, and you will laugh again, and be happy, even though it seems impossible sometimes.  I hope to carry that lesson with me for the rest of my life, and that I can encourage others to see life from that point of view.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

  There are signs that Owen is taking other steps toward the final stages. However, he opened his eyes for about two minutes last night, after being completely unresponsive for the past two days, again showing that he will refuse to follow protocol!  Things have not changed in that they may occur immently, or may not occur for a few days or a week or more.  Again, we are just reminded to take every second we have left with him and cherish it.
  We kept the boys home yesterday to give them the day with their brother. I don't want them to miss a ton of school now, but I do understand that it is important for them to spend time with him now. It's a hard balance-trying to allow them to keep their lives as normal as possible, and not focusing on what is going on here all of the time, and giving them the time that they need/want here with Owen while he is still here.  It is difficult for all of us to know exactly what the right choices are right now, but we are making the choices that we feel are the right ones for all of us.
 Owen is sleeping peacefully. He is not in any pain at all. He looks very comfortable, and we are making sure that he stays that way.
  Also-if you have not read Owen's diagnosis story and would like to, it was posted on Friday.  It gives the story of what led us to where we are today...
  Sending hugs and love to everyone--keep us all in your positive thoughts please, as I imagine the difficult will get much worse as things progress and during the aftermath...