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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Little Bit of Everything

It's amazing how much there still is to process even after almost 9 months. It seems it's been forever since we held her, but we still think of her all day long. Grief is a strange thing. I thought that it would steal my joy... thankfully it hasn't. It has brought sadness, but has not taken the joy.

I've been in a Mom's group at Hospice Savannah for the last few weeks. It's for moms who've lost young children. Last week, the facilitator asked me what Catie was like. Moms and dads out there, have you ever tried to describe your child, their whole being? It's hard to sum up in a few sentences. I tried my best, because let's be honest, opportunities to talk about Catie are so valuable to us. I talked about her sense of humor and her mischievous streak. I told about how she never dreaded going to the hospital even though she knew what it meant. I talked about how we managed to have fun in the hospital and at the clinic. I tried to convey that even though she was on chemo for more than 3/4 of her life, she really did live well. I told the story about her getting sick while I was in the shower one morning, hitting the jellybean bucket, and holding it till I got out. I told the story about her teasing her GaGa that day by not giving her a kiss and then turning and grinning at me to let me in on the joke. I felt like I didn't do her justice, but I knew I captured her at least a bit b/c the facilitator said, "I've heard you talk about wanting to live full b/c that's what you learned from Catie and I didn't really understand because she was so young. But now, after hearing you talk about her, I know what you mean."

Living full... that might have to be the theme of the rest of our lives. I don't do at as well as Catie did, but I'm sure as heck going to do my best. Living full doesn't mean that life is free of frustrations and sadness or that it's all sunshine and roses. It's living full in spite of what troubles might come your way. I can't do it every day, but I want to do it more each day.

That said, the missing doesn't go away. There are times that gaping hole is more obvious. It never goes away, but there are times it's just more in our face. For me, the change of season is one of those times. I love the start of fall or spring, but I've noticed that I miss Catie more then. I don't know if it's because it makes me think of the things we'd be doing if she were here, or if it's just the whole bittersweet thing. It's a time that I love, so it's sweet, but she's not here. I wonder if that will ease a bit when Izzy is older and able to do the things that we so enjoyed with Catie. I'm certainly not rushing Izzy to grow up... she can take her own sweet time, but we do miss that 4 year old interaction... I wonder too if 4 will always be a favorite age for us.

Speaking of fun ages, Izzy is at such a fun (and exhausting) age right now. In 10 days she started crawling, pulled up, and said, "DaDa" (on purpose, not just babbling). She is such a happy (and feisty) baby. She keeps us laughing and on our toes. Here are some pics from the last couple of weeks.

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Izzy and Natalie -- Please, just let me touch her!!

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See, that's all I wanted.

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I just love this picture.

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This picture cracks me up!! She was having way too much fun in with her sweet potatoes!


The Nanny said...

I can't believe how much she looks like her daddy. What a cutie she is!

sara said...

Izzy is so cute. She cracks me up.


addie&daniel said...

I want to hear the jelly bean story, I dont think Ive heard that one...

amy said...

Love the izzy and natalie pics..she seems very funny!

Stacey, Jefferson City MO said...

I love coming here b/c you always make me think and make me realize what "life" is really about or maybe Catie is making me do that. How could such a little person have so much wisdom and insight into life? Maybe that was her mission; maybe she was put here to show us "big" people how to live life and be the best we could be. Amazing.

Izzy is adorable. I too love the sweet potato picture. Life is good when you can squish and smeer sweet potatoes.

Thanks for your lovely entries and your reminders to "live life".

Martha said...

Dear dear Jenny,
Oh, how you continue to inspire me. I'm so thankful you continue to have opportunities to talk about our sweet Catie Bug!! And I am so pleased that you find joy in life as well. You have set such an example for others and I admire your strength and faith.
The pictures of Izzy are TOO cute. I especially like the one where she finally got to touch Natalie. My second favorite is the one of her in her jeans. I love babies in jeans!! She's so precious and I know you are enjoying every minute with her (even though she doesn't stay still and sleeps very little). Thank you for continuing to share your life with us (a bunch of strangers who have fallen in love with your family).
Have a wonderful week.

Anonymous said...

You have certainly captured those baby blues

Sharon said...

Thank you so much for continuing to share your Catie...and the lessons that SHE taught US by living the life that she did. I continue to keep your family in my prayers as you face each new day.


BP said...

Thank you for sharing this today. I enjoyed the pictures of Izzy as always too!

Leeann said...

Aw, I love that picture of her on her belly too! She is just the prettiest little thing. I have a weakness for bald baby heads!


Mary Evans said... do not know me, but I know about you and your little Catie. I work with Dennis Branch and he has shared your story with me and I have seen many pictures of your sweet little Catie. I too, lost a child 3 years ago. My Jeffrey was 26 and the joy of my life. As you described Catie in the little ways that meant so much to you, I could relate, even though Jeff was so much older. He lived his life to the fullest; he did not have a mean bone in his body; he was loved by every one that knew him. When my husband spoke at Jeff's funeral, I feel like he summed up everything when he said, "it is not about the man I was; it's about the man I became the day I lost my son. Jeff meant so much to so many people and it did our hearts so much good to hear what they had to say about him. I love what your blog says...."we just keep swimming no matter what and we search for the joy in each day. That's what Jeff's passing did for us. Sometimes we feel like we're swimming upstream, but we just keep on. You're right, the missing will never go away, but more importantly, neither will the love. The reason I was looking at your blog, by the way, is that I was showing Dennis a picture of my granddaughter, Annabelle, and he thought he was looking at a picture of Izzy! And you know what....he was right! It's amazing.
Mary Evans