Monday, May 23, 2011

Last week's happy list

i've been so busy and emotionally exhausted the last few weeks, i've had little time to update my blog the way i would like. i'm always astounded at how quickly the waves of grief can come, most of the time with no warning whatsoever. friday, D and i were in a craft store, enjoying each other's company, and then mariah carey's song "one sweet day" started playing over the stereo. that is actually the 1 song that i had been actively avoiding since Julius passed away because i knew it would be a huge trigger, and there it was. it paralyzed me. i didn't know what to do - walk out of the store, stick my fingers in my ears and yell "lalala" until the song was over. so i just froze, and panicked, and begged D to help me, and he did. he pulled out his ipod and put on a completely trigger-free rap song, and all was moderately tolerable in my world again (eventually). 7 months out and the pain is still as fresh. but again last week there were a few things that brought me some happiness:

1. More Fundraising. another dear friend of mine had a yard sale on saturday and donated 100% of the proceeds to Julius' memorial fund at CJ Foundation. she raised and donated $300. her donation this weekend has put us over the halfway mark to our goal of $5k in 2011.

2. Garden decorations. while at previously mentioned craft store, i picked up a few decorations for Juju's garden - a froggy and butterfly. when i saw them i knew i had to get them. they were perfect for him.

3. A chance to remember him. i had been working closely with a clergy member at my church since Julius passed away to see what we could do to reach out to babyloss families in the parish and in the community. i started off trying to see if i could organize a support group there, but that didn't really work out. and even though the group didn't take shape the way we hoped, we still planned to put together a couple of events throughout the year to honor and remember all those precious babies that left this world too soon. the first of those events - a remembrance mass - happened last week. thursday night a beautiful mass was said in honor of all the babies that were lost during pregnancy/birth/infancy, and it makes me so proud to know that i had a part in making that happen. no, the church wasn't packed; no, it wasn't standing room only. but i could tell from looking at the faces of the people that did go that they were so moved by the gesture. i know i was. at the end of the mass each family went up and lit a candle with their baby's name on it and placed it on the table. it was so symbolic and meaningful. and it was so beautiful to see all the families that went up together to recognize those they had lost.

4. Mail. last week i got a few touching pieces of mail. my mother sent a small gift and card for Julius for his birthday. natasha sent the cutest card with his name on it and a magnet. deanna sent me the star she made for Juju that she displayed at her River's Run & Ride Rally event. and i got a notification that a friend had a butterfly released for Julius at our local botanical gardens. the same thing we did for rebecca's daughter, Lily, which i believe got to her by mail the day Juju passed away.

from natasha
5. Birthday plans. i continue to think of things to do to celebrate Juju's life on his birthday. i've decided that in addition to working in his garden, i will also make him a cake and attempt to decorate it like his urn {i have some heart-shaped baking pans}. i will also be having KFC for dinner that day {which is what i had after i gave birth to him}, donating to his memorial funds at CJ Foundation and First Candle, and releasing balloons in his honor at 3:52 pm {the time he was born}. i went to party city this past week and picked up a small helium tank for the occasion. yep, i plan to do it big. there's just no other choice for a boy as special as Juju. o, and i'm not sure if i mentioned it last time, but i contacted the local newspaper and plan for them to run a special memorial birthday ad on that day. i've already seen the proof, and i think it's going to be really special. ♥


Tiffany said...

Tiffany, It sounds like you have been doing so many things in Juju's memory. I know he is smiling and beaming with pride, and he surely knows what a great mommy he has.
I know this week will be awful. To have a first birthday, without a birthday boy, is wrong. But what the day represents is life's greatest miracle. It was the day you finally got to hold him in your arms. And that is definitely worth celebrating- definitely do it up big! We will be thinking of you this week and will of course be celebrating the birthday boy in one week!

Deanna said...

definitely do it big. his birthday is a day to celebrate whether he is here physically or not. I agree that him not being here is wrong, but it sounds like you have an amazing day planned. it will no doubt will be filled with emotion, but you will be able hold the memories of his first birthday in your heart, with him. you have been doing wonderful things in his memory, and he knows how much you continue to love him each and every moment of every day. we will be holding you close in thought and prayer in the next week and will also be celebrating a sweet little boy that is dearly missed. I know that River will be celebrating with Julius & I imagine they are going to have the BEST cake we could ever imagine! :) ((hugs))

Natasha said...

I love that your lists are Monday lists :) And I love that you are doing all those great things for his birthday! KFC for dinner- LOVE! Heart Shaped birthday cake- LOVE & YUM! Working in his garden (which is already so cute by the way)- AWESOME! Releasing balloons for him- PERFECT! Memorial Birthday ad- LOVE!

I say do it ALL the way big for Julius! Such a special little boy- he deserves it!

I will have to come up with something extra special to do for him in Texas! I know my little Aiden will be hanging out with him and sharing some excellent birthday fun!

Sending you lots of love my friend!


elena said...

Completely understandable, that song gets me every time. *hugs*


Cute garden decor. I agree do his birthday big...we did, our babies deserve it!! ((hugs))

Brooke said...

I love to hear all the things you're doing in memory of Julius and I think the mass that you described sounds absolutely beautiful. I wish I could have been there.

Team Carter Jay said...

Just wanted to let you know that Julius is simply adorable!! It was so nice to "meet" you today. Thanks for the awesome chat!

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