Sunday, March 30, 2008


Happy Birthday little Mater!!
We hope you have a wonderful birthday with Jesus and your friends. Watch for our balloons today! We love you so very much and are so proud of you!!!! You are a blessing in our lives and a daily reminder of how Great God is. We miss you terribly, but someday, we will all be reunited!!
We love you SO SO much!!!
Mommy, Daddy & Eli

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Deep Breath....

It's about 11:30 on March 29th...we were leaving for the hospital right about now to bring home our baby boy. Contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart. Eli was with Granny sleeping innocently. It was a rainy night. We were so excited...our bliss was about to be revoked. Our hearts broken. Our faith tested. Our psyche challenged. Our lives changed forever.

A year later I don't feel like much has been accomplished in the past 12 months. But I know better. I don't know how we have gotten up each day 'acted the part' God assigned to us. But we have. I don't know what our lives would be like if AJ was here. But that's ok?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

In a heartbeat

A year ago was the last time I heard AJ's heart beating. It sounded like galloping horses - it was the most beautiful sound. I remember Dr. Peters specifically stopping to marvel at the sound.

I believe that AJ's heart stopped beating and his spirit left my body sometime in the early morning hours of March 27th. I woke up just not feeling right - went to the bathroom, but nothing too abnormal. I just never felt the same again - and I never will.

Friday, March 21, 2008

1 year ago

Me - 9 months prego - awaiting little AJ's arrival.

One year ago this morning was AJ's first and only baby shower. Other showers was being planned for after he was born. My work family threw a beautiful shower with awesome food - what they are best known for. It was a God thing that I was able to get all of my thank you cards done for them before he was born, otherwise, I don't know that I would have ever been able to do them. (I still haven't been able to do the thank you cards for the funeral and things everyone did for us after he died.)
I just thought I would share a few pictures of this wonderful memory.

Granny, Mommy and Aunt June

Mommy & Ms. Jane (Work mom!)

AJ's "I love my Big Brother" bib...

Mommy & Tio Franko (Eli & AJ's Tio, My work dad)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Do you believe?

Over the past year I have seen "AJ" everywhere. We watch Fox news every morning. Right after AJ died, a new news reporter named Adrian joined the morning news. I have seen "AJ" as the name of businesses, on the rear window of cars driving down the street, the designated number on semi-truck passing us by, the name of the sales clerk at JC Penny's, as the name of the boy with his dad at Gamestop as we bought our first Wii game with Eli, yesterday on the court TV show while I ate lunch and then this morning on the bottom of the perfectly white bag that our breakfast came in, I looked up to see the initials AJ.

I firmly believe that those things are not simple coincidences or that I notice them only because he is all I can think of, but rather that it's God's will placing those reminders in our path. If I was not in that exact place at that exact moment, I would never see those reminders. I would not be blessed by such a seemingly insignificant thing to anyone else, but to me it's a reminder of my sweet baby boy and what is missing in our lives.

Yesterday we got a "Happy 1st Birthday" party planning guide from Toys R Us. It hurt so bad to be 'in my face' that he is not here to plan a party for. Sometimes when we get mail like that it doesn't bother me, others I just want to call and yell at someone for not knowing that our baby died and why are they sending us stuff. 100% of the time, despite the knee jerk reaction, file 13 is where it all ends up.

I believe in signs. God driven signs that guide us, remind us, encourage us. I believe in the higher power that has great plans for us. I you believe?

Today's verse: Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord have never forsaken those who seek you. ~~ Psalm 9:10

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Ignorance of Bliss

The old saying is "Ignorance is bliss", but is it?

We go through life trying to be happy and fulfilled. However, in our quest to be "blissful", do we turn our backs to the true harsh realities of life? Over the last 11 months, I have slowed down and noticed things that I would have never taken time to notice before. Simple things - a bird singing, a squirrel hiding his acorns for the winter, the imperfection of a perfect falling snowflake. I have also learned how to watch people, see the hurt in their eyes, the joy in their smiles and the pain in their loneliness.

Bliss simply masks the ignorance of everyday life. I'm certain that in my travels in life, I had heard that babies die - but I didn't stop to give value to that idea. I was aware of SIDS - but it didn't affect me or anyone I knew so I chose to be ignorant about the subject and continue on my path of bliss. Sure the abstract thoughts were filed in my mind, but they were not real to me.

Are we - as humans - wired to be ignorant? In my opinion - No. God has equipped us with the ability to learn, teach and minister. The simple fact is that we choose to be ignorant about subjects that scare us - such as death, poverty, disease, abuse and the unknown. Very few people would intervene if they saw a starving man on the street, a woman dying of a contagious disease or a case of domestic violence across the street. Instead most would choose to be ignorant in their bliss.

Babies die. If you didn't know it before, know it now. Viruses, birth defects, cancer, SIDS, in utero cord accidents and for no known reasons - babies die. The families affected by the loss of a child - at any age - never quit hurting. The intensity lightens, the frequency of 'breakdowns' increases - but the ache in your soul never goes away.

I can remember saying to my mom a few weeks before AJ was born - referring to my Aunt and Uncle who's son was killed by a drunk driver a few weeks after we found out we were pregnant - I can't imagine their pain. I questioned how do they even get up in the morning knowing that Joe isn't here? I had no idea we would first hand share their pain just a few weeks later.

I miss being ignorant to life around me. I sometimes wish I could return to the world in which I didn't notice everything, think about everything and ache on a daily basis. I know that God doesn't intend for me to live my life ignorant - that is why He has given us this responsibility. His full intention is for us to come out of the ignorance of bliss and give something back to this world. Right now - giving back is simply continuing to breathe on a daily basis. But I believe that someday soon - giving back will take on a whole new meaning.