Sacred Silence – Journal Entry #7

BookSacredSilence

Journal Entry #7

September 10th, 2013

Twenty- seven days. Twenty-seven gut wrenching, soul stirring days since I gave birth and said goodbye in the same moment. What I felt, what I feel, I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. The hurt is hard. Harder than I ever expected.

I lost my father when I was fourteen to lung cancer. He didn’t even smoke, but he died a liberating death of a disease that tore my world apart at the seams.

When I say “liberating”, I mean it as such. When the Oncologist told my daddy that he had stage 4 lung cancer, he smiled. My daddy smiled at the doctor who had handed him a death sentence. He didn’t cry, ask for chemotherapy treatment, or vow to fight, he simply smiled and said aloud, “I’m ready when the Lord’s ready to take me. Life has been kind to me. It’s been VERY kind to me.” He nodded, leaning back in his chair, the rest of my family stunned as the eyes of his little girls and that of wife’s filled with tears of terror.

Three and half months later, my father died at home. My mother, my sisters, and myself surrounding his bed at a quarter after three that cold December morning, hands holding his, stroking his cheek as his final breath left his lungs. He had been unresponsive for nearly a week, hospice coming by the house several times a day to administer pain medication to keep him comfortable, but for a week I watched my father die. I watched his body fail, his spirit diminish, and as a young girl who was just learning how to cope with what the teenage years were like, I had to stand up and be strong. To be a woman of faith, when I felt like faith had failed me. My daddy faced death without an ounce of fear. I had to learn to do the same. I wanted to be like my daddy.

Now I’ve faced death again years later. Yet the loss of life is so very different this time. The taste in my mouth is one of  bitterness. My only son, the one I prayed for, longed for, taken away before he ever had a chance to experience the beauty of life.

Today I wrestle with what my daddy faced. Facing death without an ounce of fear. I’m fearful. Afraid to move forward without Zach. Afraid to live a happy life with the debilitating sorrow that fills me from head to toe.

I’m afraid for my marriage. Miles and I have distanced ourselves from one another. I miss my husband. Who we were a month ago. Time heals all wounds. This is what I hear, and what I’m trying to believe. In time, we’ll find one another again. I believe that. I have to believe that.

I quit my job today. My boss understood as well as my co-workers. Sometimes life demands a change, and where I stand now, I need to find change. I can’t return to the place where my nightmare as a mother began. Find that strange, weird, or cowardly, but I know what my heart needs. It needs change. It needs change for Zach’s memory.

I carry on. Today I planted a lavender bush in the backyard by our porch. I have always loved lavender. It smells amazing. It’s beautiful. It reminds me of my son. I can see him, smell him, touch him here. Little by little, I search for any remanent of hope. Little by little, I uncover it.

..Alana

Copyright 2013

Written and owned by Valerie King at http://www.valeriekingbooks.com

 

Sacred Silence ~ Journal Entry #6

BookSacredSilence

 

Journal Entry #6

September 5th, 2013

Three weeks. I hate this. I hate the way I feel, how I look, and the burden that I carry. This will never get easier. Never.

I spent the better part of today with my best friend Kate. We laughed, carried on and talked about life…the good, the bad and the ugly. Kate is pregnant. Three months along. She’s just beginning to show. That tiny bump; I remember that. The cross between looking bloated and looking pregnant. The time when your hand moves across your belly without even noticing. That’s what motherhood does; changes your motions naturally.

Was it hard being around her? Yes. But it was also helpful to view new life again from another angle. In the eyes of a lifelong friend.

I already know what she’s having. A boy. I can feel it. I told her so. She decided to tread lightly within the subject, but she also offered me a generous gift that I told her she didn’t owe. If she has a son, his middle name will be Zach.

Do you know what that means to this heart of mine? More than I could ever fathom. The life of my son living on through another. The outpouring of love and support as Miles and I tread through unimaginable grief, little things like this only encourage and encompass those words uttered by Nadine at the women’s shelter. “Healing brings hope. And hope helps you heal.”

Kate had handed me hope today. And one day, I would tell her. Today, I wanted to relish it on my own.

After writing this down, maybe “hate” was a strong word to use today. I think I’ll use “hope” instead. I do “hate” this, but I also have “hope” that Zach’s life will forever live on. Healing comes next. I vow to find it.

.. Alana

Copyright 2013

Written and owned by Valerie King at http://www.valeriekingbooks.com

Sacred Silence ~ Journal Entry #5

BookSacredSilence

 

Journal Entry #5

September 3rd, 2013

Miles and I had lunch today at our favorite deli. I felt peaceful and at ease for once until I saw a woman across the aisle from us nursing her newborn son, the back of his head laced with brown fuzz, his tiny hand nuzzled against the bosom of his mother’s breast. He looked just like Zach.

Miles had caught me staring. He turned to look at what had captured my attention. The lunch conversation we had been sharing grew silent. I finished my salad with two final bites, leaving my plate almost half full. Hunger fled.

He reached across the table as I fought back tears, lacing his fingers with mine. The intimacy was nice, but felt unusually strange all at once. My heart hurt in my chest. Literally, it felt painful with every beat.

“This is so damn hard.” That’s what I said above the loud voices of the lunch crowd, and I never cursed. Today, I had to say what I felt. The reality of where I saw myself. There was no other way around it, as we sat alone for another half an hour.

My husband was late for his afternoon meeting. I knew he was, but he sat with me anyway. I think he is finally letting his grief surface. Up until now, he ran from it. Yet as we sat, eyes focused on the grain of the dark wooden table for two, the warmth of his touch radiated his need to finally get close. To understand that our son was truly gone, but we still had each other.

For that, I am grateful.

.. Alana

Copyright 2013

Written and owned by Valerie King at http://www.valeriekingbooks.com

Sacred Silence ~ Journal Entry #4

BookSacredSilence

 

Journal Entry #4

August 29th, 2013

Two weeks. At times it seems so much longer than that. I finally willed myself to open the door of Zach’s nursery today for the first time since losing him.

Miles and I hadn’t done much, as we weren’t expecting him to arrive so soon. His closet was full of diapers, newborn clothes and receiving blankets though. I pulled them out, folding each little cotton suit with pristine care, placing them in a cardboard box. All but one. I kept the very first item I ever bought when I found out I was pregnant. A little tan onsie with a giraffe on the front and the words “I Am Loved” stitched beneath it. He is loved. He will always be loved. I tucked this little suit beneath my tank tops in my dresser drawer. When I needed to feel him, remember, I’d always know that it was there.

The rest of the items I took to a women’s shelter downtown after lunch, handing them over to a beautiful young woman, with smiling brown eyes and braided hair with olive skin that reminded me of my youth.

“This is so generous of you! Everything is brand new. And the diapers…we need these badly. Thank you.”

I nodded, unable to answer as the tears started to build. She reached over and touched my hand, my eyes rising to hers. She seemed to understand my story without a word ever uttered. I could see it swimming in those almond shaped eyes of hers. Apparently I hadn’t been the first mother to step foot inside these four walls with a box of “new”, and heart of “loss”.

She finally spoke. Nadine was her name. I’ll never forget it. “Healing brings hope. And hope helps you heal. Peace to you, love.”

I offered her a warm smile. She accepted.

As I sip on a cup of tea, that giraffe onsie in my lap, and a pen in my hand, I am doing my best to find hope. For I realize that I gave a speck of it today to Nadine without even realizing I had done so. And in return, she had given it back.

.. Alana

Copyright 2013

Written and owned by Valerie King at http://www.valeriekingbooks.com

 

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