Sunday, June 24, 2007


"I'm sorry for your loss"...what does that mean really?

Instead of being sad, we should be rejoicing in God's trust in us. When someone dies there is a peace that they are in a better place. We are selfish-sad and then we find peace. But when we lose our child, our outlook is so different. Why?

It can't be because we never got to know our child? Any mother can tell you that from the day you knew your were pregnant, you know the mannerisms of your child...troublemaker, gentle, easy going, active, smart, likes music, likes being read to, sleeper. AJ was a smart, gentle, easy going, music lover. He never caused any trouble, but he was a kinda picky eater...loved his fruits and veggies and limeades!!

All creatures of God are beautiful - He made man in His image. Even if we were never blessed to lay eyes on AJ, we knew he was beautiful (the Bible tells us so).

God allowed us to see our fully formed perfect son to show us what perfection is. Perfection that will last our lifetime - he will never get in trouble, he will never hurt our feelings, he will never break our hearts. While we are selfish and human, and would prefer to see all of AJ's firsts and even live through his disappointments in life, he fulfilled his purpose without the daily struggles and pain that we go through in this world.

With the loss of our child, God knows that a part of us is gone too. We cry. We hurt. We are sad. We lost, but look what we angel watching us each day, deeper understanding and appreciation for life, urgency to live life to the fullest, peace that can only come from God and above all God's trust that we will not fail Him to carry out His purpose.

Instead of saying "I'm sorry for your loss" to other families going through the loss of their child, I think I will now say, "Congratulations - I am sad for your loss. However, God has blessed you in a way that is incomprehensible to you or me. Believe in His greatness, surrender and let Him show you the way."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Thank you for your comments and support...please leave your email address with you comment or at least your name so we know who it is from...We are so happy to see that our precious AJ's life is able to help and comfort others through our experience.

We praise God for our blessings!!

My piece of cake...

Today I continue to feel abused and dejected about work. Well, good prevailed today through a random act of kindness.

A chocolate piece of cake appeared from a dear friend across campus. Through all of this, for a time, chocolate couldn't even make me feel better. But today...all of the hurt and pain delivered during my transition back to work was suspended while I sat and ate my cake.

Kindness from someone that I feel like I have known for years and could call for anything, but in reality barely know this person. Tears fell, but my heart was lifted and the chocolate infused. I am pretty sure it was the only smile I had today. Thank you DH for the smile... :)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Eleanor Roosevelt Wisdom

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.


I imagine that when a pilot enters a tailspin the G-force and downward pressure on the body is terrifying and intense. It takes years of training to be able to endure this type of pressure and G-force action. Initially, I'm sure there is an amount of time in which the pilot feels this is the end, how can I recover? That is when the training kicks in and they begin using the tools in which they learned to help them recover and ultimately save the aircraft.

God is our trainer and ever since I was a young child I have been in training. It has been 10 days since I was trapped in a tailspin. It took 3 days for me to start to recover and 7 to land the plane.
The morning of the day I was verbally assaulted, I was so prayerful. A dear family in Arkansas had read our story and gained something out of it. To me, AJ had traveled to Arkansas in just 10 short weeks. I was thankful that God had used our story to help another family hurting. I was praying for peace for that family as they approached the one month anniversary of their child's death. Each time I connect with another family, I feel as though God is bringing us together because our children are playing together in heaven. We are honored to know the families of AJ's friends.

All my glory and praise had been to God that morning. The devil just couldn't stand it anymore, so he crept in and attacked. This wasn't just an attack that grazed the aircraft, it was a mortal attack that sent me into a tailspin. I spiraled down so quickly, I lost sight of the ground and the clouds. In retrospect, I wasn't prepared for an attack assuming I was in friendly territory. I had my guard down assuming I was in a safe place surrounded by friends. I was WRONG!!!

Devastated, hurt and mortally wounded, I didn't know what to do, where to go, or what to say. I was hurt more than when I first heard that AJ was not coming home with us. I was instantly in defense one attacks my child and gets away with it. I had forgotten all of my training and lost my focus.

Sunday morning service was written just for me I believe. Pastor Bill began his sermon asking the question, - 'how many of you have pictures on your refrigerator? If your house was on fire, what would you do your best to salvage and get out? Your pictures. They remind us of happy times, sad times, good times and bad. They are our memories and sometimes that's all we have. One of the things we find most important when taking a picture is that it is in focus...are you living your life in focus with God?' I sat there and cried, God knows my hurt caused by this person. He knew my focus was lost during my tailspin caused by her words. He knew I was struggling to remember and focus on my training to bring me out. He was talking directly to me...'focus Amber'.

Pastor Bill touched on many things that morning. Wounded, I hung on every word desperately seeking to understand how someone could act this way knowing I was defenseless to her attack. At one point, Bill said, "It's not about me, it's all about Jesus." It was if the clouds had parted and the sun began to shine on me again. Duh...I was focused on the wrong things.

I recounted this story to several people of the next few days, each time gaining new perspective on the situation. All were shocked someone could say something like that to me. All reinforced to me that I am in "survival" mode and I need to do anything and everything to survive. All lifted me up in prayer.

On Thursday (one week from the attack), my final perspective came while talking to another mother from MEND. I trembled as I recounted the events to her fearing that I would mortally wound her just by hearing the words that were said to me. I told her about how God had blessed me through the sermon on Sunday and that I was praying for direction and to regain my focus. As I told her about how the devil had captured my soul for those few days and attempted to bring me down and control me, she stopped me and in essence handed me the final piece to this puzzle. She said, "Amber - God allowed this attack on you for a reason. He needed you to be broken and in the place you were to receive His message on Sunday." My plane was landed at that moment.

For the first 10 weeks following AJ's death, it has been all about me...all about Al...all about our family. God is ready for us to now focus on Him. Remember His training. Mount up on eagles and fly. Go and do the work He has for us. Perhaps He is strengthening me because of the great plans He has for me. Or perhaps this storm has just begun?

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I will not pretend to be brave. I will not pretend to have all the answers. I will not guarantee there will not be another tailspin. But I will be better prepared to deal with it.

Philipians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

God moves mountains - I have seen it in the past. Lord move this mountain or move me. Guard my heart Lord. Hold my tongue. Repair my wounded spirit and bleeding heart.

Once again I am ready to close this post and I find myself on . Today's devotional is Proverbs 19. Wow...He knows - Lord Move!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Picture of Grace

If I was not to know my son,
God would not have given him.
Though short amount of time I had,
it leads me now to grin.

A tiny life so given to me,
to help me through my days.
Days sometimes dark and sunless,
He helps to guide my ways.

Jesus holds him tight I'm sure, as he now would roll the world.
Oh how I long to hold him, instead into life I'm hurled.

Like learning how to breathe, to walk again we're learning.
Each breath, each step, painful and yet, to see Him is a yearning.

You can't get much closer to God, than when He calls your child.
Come home and make a place, my son, in the heavens you run wild.

I imagine him with many friends, life of the cloud on which he sits.
With the sweetest smile of all, and as loving as it gets.

Each day brings me closer, to the promise of His land.
For when I stand before Jesus, I know AJ's in his hand.

He will hand me back my baby, who just might be a man.
For in his prime I will know my son, I will hold his perfect hand.

The process is quite simple, yet painful here on the earth.
Jesus is the purpose, as we each await our birth.

Our new life in heaven, where there is no pain or fears.
Reunited for eternity, void of all sadness and tears.

A picture now I carry, to remind me of his face.
The precious life God gave me, to remind me of His grace.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Sticks and Stones...

I thought it would be impossible to hurt as badly again as I did the weeks after AJ's death. I thought I had felt every emotion, been asked every question, hurt as deeply as I could hurt.

At work yesterday though words were said to me that placed a dagger through my already constantly bleeding heart. I felt like dying the moments following these hateful words. Words that came from someone that I thought had an ounce of humility and a christian heart. It was just as if AJ died all over again as that dagger entered my heart and I was left alone to bleed to death.

All the progress that I have made to this point seems gone. I can't sleep, I feel like throwing up all the time, I can't quit crying, I have that hopeless empty feeling and constant thoughts of "what am I supposed to do now?" She is not loosing sleep...she is not crying...she is too busy making it all about her. What about me? MY baby died. MY heart is broken. MY world is devastated because of her words all over again.

It is 5:18 in the morning. In 10 minutes it will be exactly 10 weeks ago that I held my baby for the first time and was told that it would be the last. I don't know what to do...I don't know where to go... I just don't know.... the numbness has set back can anyone be so cruel?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7

Back at work

The night before I returned I was devastated. I cried and cried at the thought of having to go and socialize. Return to the chaos. I laid down thinking Eli was already asleep and he heard my cry. He ran his fingers through my hair repeatedly saying, "I love you mommy, why are you sad? Do you miss your baby angel mommy, you miss AJ? I'm so sorry mommy." He was so sweet and so pure, the honesty of his words touched me so deeply. I fell asleep somewhere in prayer around 2:30.

Eli was awake at 5:30 in the morning - that NEVER happens. We are usually lucky to drag him out of bed at 10:00 in the morning. He returned to running his fingers through my hair and say "I love you mommy. It's wake time mommy." I woke up to a peace that only God could place in my soul. As I started getting ready to leave, I fell apart!

Day one was HARD!! Getting there and in the building was the hardest part. Everyone so loving and supportive - Except HR. My one source of frustration this entire time has been getting letters, emails and messages from HR. In the grief process - my anger was directed at that. I just kept thinking - LEAVE ME ALONE...!!!

Monday - upon my return, in an attempt to understand what was done with my time, my anger and frustration was a monster in my day. On the phone with someone from HR - with little mental capacity to even be at work - I was barked at and snapped at and broken down to complete devastation again. This person was talking so fast, so short and curt with no compassion at all - I just wanted to go home never to return for fear of dealing with people that don't get it. This person knows me, I thought to myself, knows my baby could they act this way? How could they be so cold and cruel? Just because I am physically here doesn't mean I am "here".

I left feeling defeated and broken. All of the kindness shown by my coworkers will be the only thing that brings me back every day.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


I have to return to work on Monday...I am not ready.

At home I can limit my social interaction. I don't have to talk if I don't want to. I don't have to open the door if I don't want to. I don't have to go anywhere if I don't want to. I can choose who and when to see - when I'm ready to see them.

But I have to go back to work and I'm scared. The Amber that no more. The confident, outgoing, outspoken, OCD Amber - is now quiet, broken and hurting. What if all I can do is cry? What if I say the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time? I am not strong enough to be strong for anyone else. I can't remember to do simple things, how am I supposed to be able to run an office and be the problem solver? What if people don't trust me to do my duties or ignore me and the fact I had AJ? What if????

So many people tell me that they admire my strength and faith. I am not is Christ giving me the strength to get through each moment of each day. He carries me through each emotion and each moment.

I know that He will be guiding me through my days back at work. Lord, give me strength when I have none. Restore my light, my confidence, my focus. Guide others when approaching me, give them words of peace and hearts of help and understanding.

AJ - we miss you so much. Our hearts physically ache and so do our arms to hold you. Shine bright my little star so that we may see you through the clouds at night. We love you always!!