We had these photos taken in Fall and I'm just now ordering prints... sheesh! I have so enjoyed looking through them again, and I'm reminded how overwhelmed I was by this picture when I first saw it... The day of our photos, it was sunny all day long, not a cloud in the sky... yay, for our outdoor pics! But then about an hour before Jenny came over, clouds had managed to take over every inch of that bright blue sky. We still managed to get so many great shots, but I wanted some to be taken on the couch in the family room in front of the huge window. We stood in front of the fireplace while we discussed whether or not the light would work on the couch, now that it was cloudy. Jenny started snapping some shots, as she checked the light and we went with it. We moved on to the next room, deciding we'd wait to see if the sun came out again and we'd go back to the couch. Well, it never did, and I was kind of bummed. But then we got the CD of pics from Jenny and when I came to this one, chills came over my body... it all made sense! On the mantle sits our favorite canvas of Ollie, one that my friends had printed to display at his memorial service... and his ashes ❤️ And both are in the picture! Of course we'd get our traditional shot holding one of our Ollie pics, but I hadn't even thought to get any in front of the mantle. The whole family, all 5 of us ❤️ Yet another moment of grace in my post-Ollie life ❤️ There are no coincidences. Love ALWAYS wins ❤️
Finding this little note in Maddie's folder this morning gives me butterflies in my stomach and makes my heart swell ❤️ It FILLS me up! Ollie lives on in his big sis's big heart ❤️
"Life goes on"... I've turned to this simple little quote for strength to keep moving forward so many times over the last 2 years. When I relate it to Maddie, Mark, and all of my loved ones, it's the reason I chose to get out of bed the day after we lost Ollie. Life had to go on for them. But the truth that life goes on can be biting at times too. One of the hardest parts about this stage in my grief journey is that for everyone around me life went on too. And overtime I hear Ollie's name less and less, his birthday gets less acknowledgement, the anniversary of his death a little less recognition than the year before. I have Annie now, I smile more, I cry less, I have fewer days of feeling weighed down and stuck. But I don't miss Ollie any less than the day I said goodbye to him. The pain is just as great as it was when I handed him over to the nurses after holding him for the last time. And don't get me wrong, our sweet Annie has made the weights of grief so much lighter and my world has this sparkle and glow that I've actually never known. But, I never want Ollie's life to fade away or the pain of his death to be made less of. This is what I find myself mentally sifting through lately. My point is this... Yesterday, my Aunt threw together a little party and we made Valentines for the kiddos who are stuck in the hospital and she said we were doing so in memory of Ollie ❤️❤️❤️ It meant SO much to me that I couldn't even find the right words to tell her so. And for some reason it struck me as answer to the painful side of "life goes on". When you all share your heart finds or tell me that you're thinking of or reminded of Ollie, it means SO much to me. When my community comes together to make the I ❤️ Food & Wine event such a big success, it means SO much to me. So, as I've spent the last few months trying to make sense of this new stage of grief, sift through my feelings, and decide how to proceed, I think I've finally found my answer... the Valentine party, the hearts, the support, I need to focus my attention on these things, savor them and soak them up ❤️ I have SO many people still carrying me, rallying for us, saying his name and doing amazing things in his memory. To other angel Moms, how have you dealt with this? What are your thoughts? And, did we have the cutest card makers ever, or what!? ❤️
Today marks day 1 of congenital heart defect awareness week. I may not have my heart baby here on Earth with me any longer, but I will always be a Heart Mom ❤️ My life's mission is to continue Ollie's fight... I've taken on his pain and his battle against CHD. I'll do everything in my power for the rest of my life to fight CHD, to raise funds for research, to spread awareness, and to show as many heart kiddos and their families how LOVED they are!!! Efffff CHD!!!!!! I want to YELL it from the mountain tops!!!! We are 1 in 100 and we fight with all our hearts!!!!
On January 3, 2013, my 1 yr old son, Ollie, passed away. That's where my life "before Ollie" ends and my grief journey begins... My new normal, my path toward healing, my life "after Ollie". I'm a grieving mother who believes in hope. This is my story.