2005 Walk for the Angels-Saturday marked the 3rd annual Walk for the Angels Walk-a-Thon. This annual fundraising event is a result of the diligence and efforts of a local couple whose daughter lived her short life in the NICU before becoming an angel. Even though their hearts were breaking over their loss, they decided to reach out to other families who had experienced loss of a child and formed a support group. Their efforts resulted in the proclamation of October 15 to be observed as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day within their community. This same group has taken their conviction and following their hearts to the State Senate Committee in support of the Ohio Grieving Parents Act. An awesome endeavor indeed!
Personally speaking, it is obviously a cause close to my heart in remembrance of our daughters. In the years that have passed there is still not a single day that goes by without me thinking of them in some way. Sometimes I wonder how in the world we ever got through the most difficult time in our lives, not once but twice. Sometimes I feel bitter that they didn't get the same right to live in a loving home with two parents who adored them. This is especially hard for me when I see careless teenagers and the like with their round pregnant bellies just waiting to pop and wondering if that mother will even love that child even a fraction as much as we wanted to love our children. And I can't even get started on the anger I feel when I see women smoking, drinking and abusing drugs during their pregnancy and they get to have a baby. (Remember that I work at court which translates to: everyday occurrence.)
Even with these emotions I remind myself that this is the way that God intended. Not our choice, not our entitlement, but what God in His almighty wisdom knew was best. I find peace knowing that neither of our girls are suffering and neither will ever be compromised a quality of life for our selfishness. I spare myself from letting my mind drift off into the what if's? and questioning why? I already know that there is no advantage to even wandering into the unknown because it just IS what IT IS. And look at us now. Just look at us now! I can still remember a time when every fiber of me ached with hopelessness and absolute heartache that I could feel in my bones. Desperate despair in believing that I would never know happiness again. And not even having any motivation in trying to find happiness. I felt that my life, my happiness and my self-worth were non-existent. And look at us now! For the life of me, I don't know where we would be without Elaina and Lincoln. I try not to think of life without them. They were God's plan for us. They were born for us and meant for us. And this, I will never doubt. Custom Made Miracles, you see. Now is a fine time to share something that I clipped from a magazine and have saved since after Ella was born, it reads: "Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible." - Mary McLeod Bethune
I can't tell you the number of times that I have felt this to be true. There is no disputing the power of God and leaning to Him and trusting in His plan. I have since started my own mantra when times are tough which is, You never get over things, you just get through them. And life must carry on whether you like it or not. I know that Ella and Ava are with us and watch over us every minute from heaven. I believe that they had a hand in selecting the most perfect sister and brother for their parents and family to fall in love with and they are our perfect guardian angels of us all. Despite our grief and loss of our two beautiful angels, our life has gone on. With Elaina and Lincoln I feel like we've been given a second chance at parenthood and happiness. Happiness that I never thought existed until I became a parent of such wonderful, healthy children. Just feeling blessed each and every day knowing that these are the children that God created and placed in our life and in our hearts. Calling them our own. Hugging them and feeling their heartbeat next to mine and inhaling their warm breath of life. My heart practically jumps from my chest and the feeling never gets old. During the walk-a-thon, I began to think how someone would ever be able to identify with what being a parent means to me given our history. Just for a minute, think as if you were blind. One day, you woke and were gifted with sight. Would you just roll back over and go to sleep? How about a paraplegic? If given the opportunity to walk with grace and motion, would you jump out of your chair onto the couch to watch t.v.? And if you were deaf, and regained your hearing wouldn't you run through the town taking in every noise and volume and rejoicing at hearing the voices of your loved ones? This is what being a parent means to me. This is our second chance. This is our breath of life and what living is all about. So, here I have this blog. And with this blog I pour out my heart and soul as a story to my kids. This is my opportunity to recount their childhood and offering reflection of our love for them. That each of them will know that there wasn't even a minute in their lives that they weren't loved. Even within their mother's womb, our hearts were ready and waiting for their lives to become one with ours. If I happen to brag or just by chance get sappy over how much I love and adore our kids, it's because it's true. Elaina and Lincoln are my heart, my happiness and all of my love I've waited a lifetime to give. And they are worth it! During Saturday's walk, my friend Bevin and her daughter joined us as she has for the past 3 years. Although the temperature remained close to 60 all day, we bundled up in layers upon layers and walked, talked and enjoyed being together. The balloon release always pulls emotions straight up from the bottom of my heart and brings tears to my eyes when I see so many pink and blue balloons being sent up to heaven for all of our angels. The power of a group of strangers uniting with the common thread of losing a child and suffering heartache like no other can be overwhelming. This event holds great meaning to me and is a tradition I would like to keep with my family throughout the years. A walk for remembrance of our angels that watch over us from heaven and a walk with our angels we have to hold onto on this earth.