Friday, October 14, 2011

1 year

a year has passed since i last held my baby boy. the ticker on the side has gone from counting time in months to years. it makes me sick to my stomach to see that. to realize that that much time has actually passed. it's just not right.

the few days leading up to the 12th were absolutely terrible. my heart fought hard to make time to stop, but to no avail. the 10th was a holiday from work for me, and i had planned to take off on the 12th, but at the last minute i decided to take the 11th off too. i just didn't think i would be able to concentrate if i went to work.

since D was also off on the 10th, we just spent the day together at home. on the 11th i went to a local pottery painting studio and spent some time there painting some pieces in honor of my boy.

a froggy {i know his eyes are weird, but in my defense i was distracted by the woman who walked in with her 1 yr old son planning for his 1st birthday}
my awareness ribbon

then i swung over to the local newspaper to get some copies of the paper since his memorial ad that we placed for him was in it.

his memorial ad
i stopped by ben & jerry's binge on some ice cream, because it was that sort of day. and then after D got off of work, we went bowling.

he comes with us bowling. unfortunately i sucked.
i didn't sleep well that night as the anticipation of the next day took over my thoughts. i woke up on the 12th with tears in my eyes and a very heavy heart. and after i wrote my letter to Julius, i got up and got myself dressed {a huge accomplishment in my eyes and worth mentioning}, and went to see what D was doing in the office so we could start our day. we loosely planned to spend that day together at the zoo in nashville. we wanted to do something that we would have done with Juju if he were still here with us. we wanted that day, though painful, to be about his life and honoring him. so after making breakfast, we headed on the road up to n'ville.

since there was a ton of traffic due to an accident, it took us a  little longer than usual to get up there. and by the time we arrived, it was almost lunch time and we were starving. we decided to grab something to eat close to the zoo. and with the help of urbanspoon, we discovered that there was a {highly rated} cuban restaurant close by. being half-cuban and originally from s. fla i was so excited to find this restaurant. i haven't had cuban food in a few yrs {since i was last home visiting my family}. so we stopped, and as soon as we walked in, the song "here comes the sun" by the beatles came on in the restaurant {i blogged about the importance of that song, and the beatles some months ago}. so when i heard it, i just knew that Juju was with us. we had an amazing meal {even D thoroughly enjoyed the meal and gave me credit for picking the restaurant, which he never does}.

after eating we headed over to the zoo. as soon as we got out of the car, i began 2nd guessing my decision to go to the zoo. i mean, i know that it's a family place, but i guess i didn't realize the amount of babies that would be there. it seemed like every single person had a stroller. D asked me several times on the walk up to the admission booth if i wanted to just abandon the idea, and go watch a movie instead. and i was pretty close to taking him up on his offer. but i decided that for Juju i would suck it up, and follow through. i'm not sure why, but i just really felt like we needed to do this. and honestly, i'm so glad that i did.

the amount of kids in the zoo was really suffocating at first. but D did such of good job of distracting me. we really spent the whole time being silly, and talking about Julius and what he would be doing if he were there, and just all the memories we made with him. it was a fun time. after the zoo we went and had an early dinner at another restaurant i wanted to try {i really wish we had gone back to the cuban restaurant}, and then headed home where we did a small impromptu balloon release. i'm so glad that D and i spent the day together this way. 
my "i can't believe i really have to send balloons up to my little man" face

going up to him

then yesterday i got the opportunity to honor my baby boy and spread awareness about SIDS in another unique way, but that will have to remain a secret for now. :) 

i want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who thought of us, said a prayer for us, sent me messages and emails. i was so overwhelmed not only by sorrow that my baby boy was no longer with us, but also by the intense love that everyone showed us. there is no way we could have had such a peaceful day without it. and not only that, but i'm so proud to say that we made our fundraising goal! we planned to raise $5k for Julius' memorial fund at CJ Foundation in 2011 for SIDS awareness and research. and because of everyone and their generosity, we not only met that goal, but we have exceeded it!! thank you all who contributed, or even considered contributing. it means so much to have you help us remember and honor our son's precious, amazing life in this way!

though i'm generally not comforted by poems that are even remotely "optimistic" or poems that have a positive spin on them because i'm still so angry about Julius not being here with us. i received a card from the wonderful people at CJ Foundation the day before Juju's angelversary with part of a poem in it that really stuck with me. and after receiving all of the love and support that we did on his angel day, i know why...

"The tide recedes but leaves behind bright seashells on the sand, the sun goes down but gentle warmth still lingers on the land. The music stops and yet it echoes on in sweet refrain...for every joy that passes, something beautiful remains." - MD Hughes


Kelly said...

Sounds like a beautiful day to honor your beautiful boy. I love the awareness ribbon you made. So many hugs to you.

Becky said...

I love that you put a peice in the paper about him:) That was definitely a sign in that Cuban restaurant from Julius. And glad the day went well.

MELISSA said...

I love that you were able to find some moments of peace poking through on that difficult day. I am also happy Julius found clear ways of sending you and D signs of his presence.

My New Normal said...

Sending love!

LauraJane said...

I am immensely proud of you. I actually came to check out the ticker a few times and was BEAMING when I saw the numbers roll over $5k. :) What a wonderful angelversary gift. :)

I love the pieces you painted and the newspaper announcement, so much.

Natasha said...

You are such an amazing mama. You should be so proud of yourself for all you did to remember Julius.

SOOO excited that you guys made it over the $5,000 mark! What a great accomplishment :)

Love you and love Juju.....I know he was with you guys this week as he is always ♥

Caroline said...

sounds like a beautiful day to honor a beautiful person. <3

Tiffany said...

Tiffany, I'm so proud of you for honoring Juju in such a perfect way. I know it must have been so hard to go to the zoo and be around all the kids. I don't think I could do something like that- I plan to not leave the house on the 24th. You are such a great Mommy, and I know Juju was looking down on you thinking the same exact thing.
Your pottery looks awesome! Hope you share a picture after it's been fired! BTW- who plans anything for a one year old's bday party that involves pottery?!
Love you girl!

Caroline said...

Forever thinking of you {{{Hugs}}}

What a wonderful Mommy you are & Yay for going over the mark.

<3 Juju <3

MrsH said...

I love how you go on living, and honouring Julius all along. And I especially love the newspaper poem, did you compose it? Well done, so full of strength!

Ashley said...

Thinking of you and hoping that you are doing alright, such a hard milestone to past ((Hugs))

Brooke said...

Tiffany, I was without internet access yesterday, but you and Julius were on my mind and in my heart. I'm so sorry it's been so long without him. He's just the cutest thing ever, and your love for him is a beautiful thing to witness. I think that's exactly what that poem means when it says "for every joy that passes, something beautiful remains." I wish Julius was here with you still. His life was a real gift.

cainml said...

I can't believe it's been a year. Again, my heart goes out to you.

Monique said...

Remembering your Julius. I wish he were here with you. Sending love.

For Talya said...

I dreamed of you and Julius a few nights ago -- I have been thinking of you often lately, knowing that his angelversary is this month, and thinking of your boy's sweet and beautiful soul. He is and had and has such love, and that will always be his legacy. I never met this beautiful boy; I may never meet his mama, but I know this, also: I will never forget either one of you. You, D, and J are in my thoughts and prayers. love, Adina said...

Have been thinking of you with all my heart over the past week... sorry for my slow commenting via blogging - love to you and Julius always xoxo

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