"Because life is fragile and death inevitable, we must make the most of each day."
President Thomas S. Monson

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

M.I.S.S. Conference Video!

I made this video out of pictures from the M.I.S.S. Conference...honestly it is my 1st video ever...but I think it turned out ok...I hope you enjoy it.

If there are any pictures you would like for yourself feel free to e-mail and describe the picture...I will try my best to get it to you.

As always...you want to pause the music at the bottom of the blog in order to hear the music on the video...and not go crazy.


Monday, September 29, 2008

I need a few moments...

I apologize that I have not yet posted about the M.I.S.S. Conference. I can say that it was amazing! I loved the experience! As with any experience there was both good and bad, but mostly good. I feel like I need to collect my thoughts and decided what exactly to write. I met so many friends that will now go down this long road with me. I was blessed by their souls, their experience, and their precious babies; all of which are gone much too soon.

I added two amazing songs to the bottom of my playlist. If you cannot see them use the white bar on the side to scroll down. The songs are called Precious Child, and Beauty From Pain. I have to add them as some of the most significant songs in explaining my grief and pain. Please listen to them...and please absorb their words knowing they are bringing me to tears and expressing my innermost grief. If you cannot understand, I am happy, because you don't have to bear this same burden...but if you can...I am happy to be able to share these songs with you as an expression of both our pain.

Love always,

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

2 Days to Conference Time!

First of all...I am soooo excited for Thursday...I feel different emotions. I am wondering if the relief of getting some sort of help will make me cry the whole time. I feel like I am going to walk into the conference and start crying. I picture myself sobbing through the registration...how embarrassing am I. Second of all, I just can't wait to hear what people say... and to relate to others that have experienced a loss like this... and to work with specialists that are trained to help people through the loss of a child. I am contemplating bringing Riesse...I am not sure I can stay the better part of 3 days without her...I hope it works...but things like this have a way of doing that.

Thank you to everyone that keeps asking about the car wash... fortunately our tax refund came just in time to pay the fee. I think someone bigger is watching out for me...heck I'll just say it...Thank You, God for taking care of this for me.

I can't wait to show pictures and explain how it changes me or helps me. I know there are many people that can't attend this year...maybe the pictures will give them the strength and will to do it next year.

Monday, September 22, 2008

18 Months

The day came and went and it wasn't too bad. I went out with some friends at night...and overall the day was so busy I couldn't dwell...this is a good thing. I wish more people would call and tell me they are thinking about me...or her. I hope they do for the two year...I am not going to ask them directly though...because then it is not sincere. I know I am high maintenence in regards to this...I just really need to feel the love of others...it helps me get by...it makes me feel like there is a reason to keep trying. I hope this is understandable...because I understand people are uncomfortable with talking about it...but saying you care is a whole different thing. Am I right/wrong here?

My newest blessing is screaming for attention...I'll chat more later.

Love Beth

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tomorrow...She would be 18 months old...=(

Kyle pointed out to me on Saturday that Amberlee would be 18 months old now. Well he was slightly wrong, because that date is actually tomorrow. I was kind of frustrated that he said this. I probably would have flown by it and realized it the next day or so...once I was past the date and no longer would be as affected. Now I am sitting here...and have spent the weekend thinking about it. About her. About how much I have forgotten, and long to remember.

I looked at a picture of her, that was a different angle and realized that it caught a different glimpse of her in it. A minor detail...that means slightly more now. Its just the little details that my memory has robbed me of. They seem so precious once you have lost a child though. I guess in a way it is a blessing, because dwelling on those details is part of what stops me in life. I try to remind myself that I have forgotten some of the same details for my children that are still with me...but somehow that doesn't comfort me as much as it should. I contemplate whether I am a good mother, if I am forgetting what little time I had. Maybe this is part of the veil...that exists to allow us to focus on the things that are more important right now.

I have felt much better lately. I guess the month long sadness...last month... was something I needed. I am getting by much better now. I can only assume that today will be sad though. 18 months is one of my favorite ages. The babies start talking at that age, and they are so cute and innocent still. They can walk around, and sometimes even show affection by saying I love you. I wish Amberlee was 18 months old! I would love to see her hair longer, her cute smiles, and hear what her voice would sound like. I would love to see her comically wobble through our house, barely able to hold a toy, but still managing. I know she will be 18 months old for me one day...when I pass on and see her in my next life. Again though...this is less comforting than it sounds.

I really wish I had more pictures, or even a video. We went to Disneyland at the beginning of the month that Amberlee died in. We took her with us...so she did get to go to Disneyland & Knotts Berry Farm. I think that is such a fun fact. We have no pictures though. Some people robbed us right after her death...and they took our video camera (and all our videos) as well as our cameras which probably contained the memory card with Disneyland on it. I can remember sitting on a bench and feeding her in several locations...and people always told me she was so beautiful. Sometimes I wonder...if they knew what happened...how they would think or feel.

I still haven't stopped missing a child. Everywhere we go I count...and when I get to 5 I always begin to panic because I don't see the 6th...but then I remember...she isn't here. It is simple reminder...as if we needed one. I just wish it wasn't so often.

Hopefully I will get a chance to visit the Temple tomorrow...or even her gravesite. Both would be amazing...but time is confined betweeen the errands that must be done...and the fact that I always have another little person with me. It is a great blessing to be able to say that...I know I have been given more than I deserve.

When I go to bed tonight and say my prayers...I'll ask for more strength...as I know many of you are doing for me. I'll ask for a comforting presence to help me through. I may even ask to feel Amberlee with me for a moment...maybe for once I will see her smile back at me or even in my dreams, rather than just feel her. These moments are few and far between...I cherish every one.

Good night...till morning.
Please leave well wishes if you feel so inclined. They mean a lot to all of us.

You can always leave a comment by clicking on the pink area at the bottom of every post...where it says "words of encouragement".

Friday, September 19, 2008

Phoenix Children's Hospital, 2007 Memorial, Update

These are my submissions for the Phoenix Children's Hospital Memorial.

I am still not sure if I am going. I am thinking about it. The scrapbook page and picture were due today, and I drove with Kelli to the hospital to submit them. I am glad I did that much, but I am still undecided. Interestingly only a couple hundred children die at that hospital each year. Any loss is sad, but I thought that it would be much more. Obviously more children are saved than are lost and that is a good thing. It seems a little easier to attend if there are less than 200 families there. Please comment if you have an opinion on the matter.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sometimes I just come here...

Sometimes when I feel sad or miss Amberlee...I go to her website just to listen to the music, and look back on pictures or memories. It is like a scrapbook in ways, of all they things she has left me before, during, and after the 3 short months I had her. In no way does it take that away, but I hope that the music and the atmosphere can bring comfort to others.

I just felt like saying this...as today and yesterday have been less than desireable? I am trying to keep busy to stay positive...sorry if you are missing my posts.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Broken Pitcher

Angie Smith suggested on her blog that anyone suffering a loss such as this should break a pitcher and glue it back together as therapy. There is a lot of symbolism in doing this. During the week of the Anniversary of Amberlee's death I bought a pitcher. I went outside, to the exact place in the driveway that she was in when she was hurt, and I took a pitcher in a pillowcase and smashed it. At 1st I didn't hit it very hard, and got little result. The 2nd time I gave it a good smack, and it shattered. It felt awesome breaking it in that place, very rewarding. It was not very fun glueing it together. I came up with many ideas for the symbolism of the pitcher though.

1. One side does not look very bad, but the other side looks horrid. It is similiar to how people see me or how I allow them to see me now. On the surface, and from one side of me I look like I am doing well, but on another side of me...it is difficult to bear this burden.

2. The 1st pieces I put together were really challenging to find matches for. I was not sure what I was doing, or even how to do it. These pieces, once put together did not look or even feel as good as the rest. This is similiar to time since Amberlee died. The beginning was challenging and I was not sure, but I am getting used to it and trying to figure it out.

3. The handle, is broken. It did not stay together as one piece. It is no longer able to support the pitcher on its own. This could mirror my support system. It has changed...and I can no longer rely on one piece of it to keep me up.

4. I put together my pitcher 1st, and then we did another. I was able to help the other family member because of my experience. I think this is pretty self explanatory.

5. The pitcher does not seem as beautiful as it was before, but in a way it is more beautiful. It is now a work of art, and there is character that was not present before it was broken. Again, self explanatory. I am changed as well.

6. When I broke the pitcher I could not see it because it was in a pillowcase as it was shattering. It did not matter though, it shattered anyway. I had to put it back together again. I could not see as my life was shattering either, and regardless, I still have to pick up the pieces.

7. There are pieces missing, and they always will be missing...there is nothing I can do to put them back where they were before.

8. There is no 2nd chance to break the pitcher. 1 try only, and I have to figure it out from here. I will not get a 2nd chance to make this wrong right again.

9. Pieces fell apart all over my house and driveway. In a way, they left a mark, and will always be part of my home. Amberlee did too, and was there as well.

10. I feel that the vase was stronger before I broke it. The glue cannot make it better now, or ever as strong as it was. Liquid will now pour through the vase, without support. I cannot hold back my tears now. I cannot hold them as simply as before. I am weaker in some ways because of the loss I have sustained.

If you ever have to break a vase in honor of a loss in your life...I hope that it can heal you the same as it has for me. It definitely helped me to rethink some things, and to see myself in the way I am after tragedy. I am grateful to Angie for suggesting it, and I hope that she enjoys seeing my vase, as well as my repair.

Pennies From Heaven...

So this morning Camille smiles and comes up to me for a hug...like she does almost every morning. I simply adore cuddles from anyone. Then she floored me...

"Mommy, I found a penny in my Bed from Amberlee, and I put it in my treasure box!"

We explained to our kids that when they find a penny pick it up, it is a penny from heaven that somebody sent them because they were thinking of them. Also, Camille and I made a treasure box as a project because she is alone during the day. So obviously this was a treasure for her.

I asked Camille, so did you dream about her too. She said "Yes! We played kitchen and I made food for Amberlee."

These little moments are precious. I adore every single one.

Need I say more.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Amberlee's 1st Birthday, March 22, 2008

A lot of people have asked about Amberlee's Birthday. We did it before I started this blog, but I thought it was such an amazing event that I wanted to share it despite the fact that it is nearly 6 months later. I hope you enjoy the beauty of the celebration. Basically, we all got together with enough balloons for everyone there. The girls made cards for each balloon, with a little heart on each card. Everyone who wanted to...wrote a message to Amberlee and attached it to the balloon. At the end of the party we released the balloons and sent them to Amberlee in Heaven. It was an amazing sight to see her colors flying together toward her. Of course there was wind on this day, as there always is when we are thinking of her.

We also had a birthday cake, which I couldn't make, it was just too difficult. It was fun to celebrate this day, and it brought even more peace into our lives, to celebrate her life on a day that we could. It was sad not having her there, but friends and family have a way of making up for that.

Enjoy the show...Beth

UPDATE: I just got this message from a friend...and it really made me happy...I thought I would share.

Oh my Gosh!! I was looking at your blogs...great recipes by the way, that I can not wait to try! And realized that we saw Amberlee's balloons. I was preparing to host Easter, and my Father-in-Law was here. We watched them drift off slightly to the North but mostly to the East, I was amazed at how many there were and what beautiful colors that were chosen!!What a great way to celebrate her first Birthday with your friends and family.
A very nice tribute to her!!
Have a great night!

Then another friends said this.

strange how everything is connected
i'm sure thousands of people were amazed by them!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Good & The Bad, sometimes end in tears...

Read This Post 1st, and then the next Post

So today was amazingly difficult and beautiful. I'll explain why...in order...so you can understand why I appreciate it, but feel that I needed to be reminded of why we are here with tears of pain and gratitude at the same time.

I have NEVER been a believer of small prayers. I am actually quite cynical of people who pray over such things as grocery lists, plumbing, what they should wear. The last one is a stretch I know but it only shows my previous cynicism. Today I decided that I will believe in those things when I had an AHA moment that forced me to stop denying their strength.

I have a bike rack attached to my Expedition. I tried to go to Walmart today but as I got out 4 Mexican men began speaking in Spanish to each other (part of which I understood), while they were staring at the bike rack on my vehicle and smiling. I assume they were not looking at my cute tooshie (because it just isn't), and figured out they were discussing stealing my bike rack. I have a good intuition about things so I just left instead of going into Walmart.

I got frustrated being trapped by the bike rack, but I tried to pull it off and I couldn't get it. So I called a friend, Ed, who told me to ask God to help me. I laughed at him thinking he was mocking me and then I explained that I don't believe God answers prayers like that, he has better things to do with his time. He then said, maybe you should pray nobody will steal it then...I said, No thanks, I just don't think that is what prayer is for. Well Ed told me that he would pray for me, because he knew I wasn't going to do it myself.

I hung up the phone, picked up the same tool I was using previously and tried the bike rack again. Within 2 minutes it was off, and quite easily might I add. I texted Ed and asked him if he had prayed, careful not to disclose details because I wanted to hear what he said. He said he asked God to help me get the rack off as quickly and easily as possible. (My jaw dropped open here and hung for about 20 minutes).

I am amazed. I guess I can no longer be cynical. I now believe that even little prayers can be answered, no matter how unimportant they might seem. Thanks Ed, for making me rethink life, and understand the blessings we are able to obtain.

However, as many days are not filled with AHA moments and Joy, something else had to cloud my happiness. I'll share in my next post...but first a scripture.

Moses 5:11 says
"And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient."

Part 2 of the Good and the Bad

I was contemplating my joy while I ate Chik Fil A and let my kids play on the play place. I really am amazed at the truth to small prayer. My whole life I never thought it really worked. Unfortunately the high from this could not last, and I feel I am supposed to be taught a lesson here.

As I left Chik Fil A, the 1st thing I noticed out the door was a Green CRV sitting right there in front of me. I thought about Amberlee, and I was sad, but this wasn't too bad because I see them all the time, they are just simple reminders of how we lost her.

After I loaded the kids another car parked next to me and the lady getting out was very nice, although she looked as though she just had a baby, which I did not see. I questioned in my mind, but passed it off because of the previous car thing. I turned around to get into my car when I noticed Amberlee's exact car seat sitting in the back of their car. Panic struck immediately. 2 traumatic things right next to each other, the car seat and the car. I couldn't help but stare. I am shaking at this point and honestly don't understand why I would be faced with such circumstances, when I notice that the worst is not yet over. I look a little closer and realize that there is a hospital belongings bag in the carseat that is not actually buckled in the back seat. Is this punishment?

I got in the car, tried to catch my breath, and began driving. I couldn't breath right, and I got lost for about 5 minutes. I was crying and I just couldn't think at all. I am guessing this is a full blown panic attack at this point.

Never have I been faced with such aweful reminders especially all together at the same time. I guess that this is just life. We have to feel the pain as well as the pleasure. Our blessings and our losses create who we are, and they make us truly believe in right or wrong. I am definitely going to cling to the good feelings, because lets just face it, they are easier and more fun. It is just interesting to have such dramatic events in one day that are so opposite, I felt I should share them, as well as the scripture that came to mind.

With Love,