...And in the air, the fireflies, our only light in paradise. We'll show the world that they were wrong, and teach them all to sing along; singing Amen I, I'm alive. Amen I, I'm alive...

- Nickelback, If Everyone Cared

For All The Right Reasons Album

And I'm singing Aaa-ayyy-men, I'm alive!

William Leonidas November 12th, 2009
My only regret is that I cried so many tears while I waited for you.

"...I'll try ~ but it's so hard to believe. I'll try ~ but I can't see what you see. I'll try and try to understand the distance between the love I feel ~ the thing I fear ~ and every single dream. I can finally see it. Now I have to believe all those precious stories. All the world is made of faith ~ and trust ~ and pixie dust. So I'll try ~ because I finally believe. I'll try ~ because I can see what you see. I'll try, I'll try ~ to fly..."

Jonatha Brooke "I'll try"

Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you..." Jeremiah 1:4-5

For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to Thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. Psalms 139:13-14

Monday March 5th, 2010

So Why Stinkerie?

It's simple, really. It's the first thing I whispered against my newborn little Dumpling's temple as I held him alone for that very first time. "There's my Little Stinkerie." And all was right with the world as I brushed my lips across his delicate dewy soft newborn-pink skin and sniffed at his sparse smattering of downy soft hair. Corny and sappy, huh? I can't help it when describing my new Little Puppy. But don't get used to it - I have been told I am "irreverent."

Anyway, it just came out and he's been Stinkerie ever since. As well as Stink Pie, Stink Pot, Stinkey Pete, Little Stinks, Stinks, Puppy, Ducky, Baby, Baby Head, Baby Head Jenkins, Jack, Jack-Jack, Jackie Boy, Jax, Snork, Snorkis, Snorkle, Billy Boy, Billy Bob, Bobby Sue, Billy-Joe-Jim-Bob, Will, Willie, Willister, and the name given by my mentor turned friend Beth - Snake. When I write to her I call him either The Snakester or Slither! And of course, Dumpling, because he is my Little Dumpling - warm and soft and comforting. It's alright to combine comfort food with baby names, right? Have you ever watched the movie Where the Heart Is? If you have, you'll know why I mention this in my defense!

Long story short, you're likely to encounter any one or more of these names in a single post. Because I can. It's my blog!

Something to Consider

Bad decisions make good stories.

Something to Think About

With any pregnancy, there are concerns. With any child, there are worries. When you have a diagnosis of Down syndrome, you know what to worry about. You know what to look for. You have a plan of action. With your typical child, there is no limit to the things that can 'go wrong' or 'happen.' There's no place to focus your worry and concerns. 'IT' will always be out there, waiting. You'll always be on guard. Even when the child is 55 and has grandchildren. With Down syndrome we have a battle plan. With Down syndrome, there is a finite number of things that can go awry. With a typical child, there's isn't. It's a crap shoot. I'm sticking with the Ds and taking the other two back to the hospital for a refund.

Head Above Water

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Friday, July 16, 2010

It Was Supposed to be a Car...

Long, long before The Littles were sparkles in our eyes or in the case the The Girlie, screaming with colic in the night. All night. Every night. For months on end...there was this ring I'd lusted after for years. Years people! Years and years. And one day while I was wandering the mall with a girlfriend, there was The Ring in the window at Kevin Jewelers. It was 70% off. Seventy percent! It was within reach! And reach it, I did. I went into the shop where my good friend Craig worked. Craig sold us the very first ring The Beloved ever purchased for me. And Craig has been both a professional and personal friend ever since. We just hit it off. Craig recognized the feverish pulse, the rapid breathing, the crazed look in my eye...and took his sweet time getting it out of the case so I could try it on. And it was all over once I had it on my finger. I had to have it.

This was back in the days before everyone had cell phones. In those days, the dark ages of technology, everyone had pagers. So after Craig convinced me that I could not wear it home, that he'd keep it safe for me, I went home to frantically page The Beloved and sit on top of the phone until he called me back. And when he called back, I explained very excitedly just exactly what I wanted to spend my new car fund on and precisely why I should and that this opportunity would not come around again.

And he balked. The ring was over 5K. We had no where near that amount in our new car fund. But it's 70% off! That left just roughly over $1,650.00, which was also no where near what we had in our new car fund. Ah...but the clincher. Craig knew how badly I wanted that ring. He had it in his pocket as we were speaking so no one could buy it. And for us, he'd give up his commission so I could have it. And then the kiss of death. The Beloved says to me, "Well, you really do need a different car. It's taken us how long to save this money? I don't know. You decide. It's your call." Great. I hate it when he pulls out the Responsibility Card. Dang.

And then he called back an hour later and said it was okay with him if I bought the ring instead of a car. Oh Yeah! He said it!

Like most pieces of cherished family jewelery, there's a story with this one. I'll try to do it justice. I called Craig and raced out of the house to head back to the mall. He said there was a woman this morning looking at the same ring. He hoped I'd get there before her. When I arrived, there was a short older woman with a heavy accent, badly dyed hair and jagged orange lip stick frantically yelling at a jeweler. "It was right here! One hour ago! It was here! Now it is not!" Tapping on the glass with an acrylic nail, then banging on it with a fist. "You tell me it has not been sold! Where is it? It is my ring! I want that ring! It is mine! I picked it out. One hour ago! I come back with my husband to buy the ring! It is gone! Where is my ring!" Craig eyeballed me over to a corner, pulled the price tag off the ring and slipped it onto my index finger. "Cover that up!"

The paperwork was finally done and the frantic lady had left. I kid you not, just as I was slipping it off my finger to have it sized, she came back! She had an entourage with her this time. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grown children. There were at least eight more people. And as she spotted the ring, she actually grabbed my wrist and made a grab for the ring. Craig beat her to it, slipping the ring off my finger so fast that I wasn't sure he had it until he winked at me and disappeared. "Where did it go? Where is my ring? Where is it?" The lady is still gripping my wrist (she was strong!) and bending over looking every where in jerking movements to see if the ring had fallen on the floor and nearly pulling me over the display counter when she lunged over it to see if the ring had flown behind it when she'd made her mad grab.

Finally Craig came back and joined the manager and another sales person in trying to calm the lady who is still yelling and is now looking daggers at me. Oh dear. She was yelling in broken English, yelling at her husband and her entourage in her native tongue, insisting, "It was here just one hour ago! One hour! How you sell it away from me?" Craig finally spoke up and said that the ring had been in his pocket for almost three hours. It hadn't been in the case one hour ago. He'd sold it after she left without putting a down payment on it almost four hours ago. He was sorry, but the ring was gone. Could he interest her in anything else? The lady clamped her mouth shut, stabbed one more dagger in the region close to my heart and stomped off. Looking back, I think I would have been much less gracious than she'd been in that situation. Poor lady. I hope she found something more wonderful instead.

And years later, my diamond and sapphire ring has become my Mother's Ring. Not only because my own Mother was born in September and I still miss her every day that I breath, but The Girlie was born in April, the month I lost my Mother ten years prior, and her birth stone is diamonds. My Middle Little was born in September and his birth stone is sapphires. A very special and dear ring to me, for two very special and precious children, and one healing wound in my heart. The Girlie. The Middle Little. My Mother.

And there is another ring very dear to me as well. For two other very special and precious children. When I was able to think again without my heart breaking, I ventured out to my favorite jeweler to buy something small to remember Hannah. Craig wasn't there that day and I had to deal with a sales person who just wouldn't leave me to my privacy! Hannah was due on December 6th. But I didn't like December's birth stone and we'd known all along that she would be taken at least two weeks early in November. I'd hoped that she would be born on my Youngest Oldest Brother's birthday, who is now resting beside my Mother and also died in April. But I didn't like November's birth stone either. Borrowing from a niece who also doesn't like November's yellow topaz, I chose a light blue topaz. And I found a perfect little diamond and blue topaz ring. Diamonds for the sparkle she no doubt would have been, blue topaz for what should have been her birth month.

It fit perfectly. I wouldn't have to leave it there for sizing. The sales person just couldn't leave me alone about why it had to be blue topaz and diamonds and why I had to take it with me. Why I needed to take it with me and not leave it there. While we were finalizing the transaction, he said, "Come on, you have to tell me why this special ring is so important to you but doesn't put a smile on your face..." A single tear was followed by many when I finally said, "It's to remember our baby girl that we lost." He finally shut up!

I hadn't worn that ring or any other in all the bloated months that I was pregnant with Jack. I was lucky to be able to squeeze into panties! But I'd thought about Hannah's ring all those months, just praying that Jack would stay inside until November could come and he could be safely born. There are such parallels. Both Jack and Hannah's due dates were December 6th. The Middle Little missed my Mother's birth date by eleven days. Jack missed my Brother's birth date by eleven days. The Two Olders birthdays are exactly 101 days before and after Christmas. I'll have to figure out if Jack is 101 days from any event. Another time perhaps.

The Jack and Hannah ring is back on my finger now. Another special Mother's Ring and birth stone ring for two very special babies, and yet another healing wound in my heart. Hannah. Jack. My Brother.

I hope in years to come that these two pieces will become family heirlooms. They already are in my heart. I hope that both of these pieces get handed down from generation to generation and their stories and significance with them. That they will also hold legacies of such immense love for the bearer of each piece.

Maybe I should have tittled this post The Heart of the Ocean!

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