Friday, January 27, 2012

Grace


Grace: the ability to be thankful.

When we first lost Isla and left the hospital empty handed, the thing that got me through the days that followed was Grace.  In fact, the ability to be thankful was my saving grace. In an effort to find comfort from my grief, I was constantly reminded of things I should be thankful for. It is sort of ironic how that happened. During a time of such sadness and grief, the only place to find comfort was to look for things that made me happy…that made me get out of bed in the morning and that made me feel like I wasn’t going to drown in my own sorrow. 
I have this cut out and posted on the wall of my cubicle at work. In fact, I found this on Pinterest and  printed it out before I even lost Isla. I have always felt strongly that the way to make a bad situation better is to look for the good and find some positive attributes. But never did I realize it was going to have such an impact on my life and help me survive an unspeakable tragedy.

It seems like losing Isla and being out of work on maternity leave quickly turned into the holidays … and the end of the year from October on all sort of blurred together. That was broken up by the fresh start of a new year and the return to “normal”. But there isn’t a day that goes by that I do not think of Isla. In fact, I can look down at my arm and see her name whenever I want J (more on that later). I feel like I have gotten back to my normal routine of life…yet I will never be the same. There is a hole in my heart and I am always thinking about things I “should” be doing right now. I suppose I will feel like that for the rest of my life…when Isla should be turning 1…when she should be starting kindergarten…getting her license…graduating from high school and on and on. However, on the days I feel down, I look for grace….and I usually find it. In the loving and unconditional support of Todd and the sweet loving innocence of Emma. I try to focus on the good things in life and the simple pleasures that make me smile.  

I challenge everyone who is reading this to stop right now and think of 1 thing you are grateful for. I hope it makes you smile! 

~Katy

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2011 Wrap-up

As 2011 came to an end, part of me wanted to say “good riddance” and “thank God that awful year is over”. The truth is… the year was not all that bad. For most of it, I was blissfully ignorant of what was to come in September.

In the beginning it was shaping up to be one of my favorite years...like 1984 (Todd always makes fun of my love for the 80’s and my childhood reminiscing…and he always jokes that 1984 was one of my best years. I totally think he is right!) Other years that rank are 2004, the year we got married and 2007, the year Emma was born.  

Most of 2011 was great. In January we had a rare and fun winter snow/ice storm that had us home-bound for 3 days. Not to mention, Isla was created during this month!  February brought us our positive pregnancy test and the fun anticipation of expecting a new baby, which really set the tone for the rest of the year…lots to look forward to and plan for. In March we celebrated Emma’s 4th birthday with a fun pizza party. May kicked off our Summer with a really nice vacation to Destin, FL. The rest of the summer was spent just trying to survive the Atlanta heat in my pregnant condition! August dragged more than usual this year and when September finally arrived I felt as though I was finally turning a corner and could see the finish line to meeting Isla. This is where I am going to fast forward through the bad part of 2011. You all know the story. And in my effort to focus on the positive, I will say this…a bad situation showed me the good in the world…and in my life. In an immediate need for comfort upon finding out I lost my precious baby girl, I thanked my lucky stars for the precious little girl waiting at home for me. And I was so fortunate for the support system I had…Todd, my sisters, Dad and Joye, Todd’s Mom and Dad, my friends and co-workers all made sure I knew that they were there for me. Even facebook….bridged the miles that distanced me from family & friends as people checked in with me constantly to ensure I was “hanging in there”….even people (friends) I wouldn’t be in touch with if it weren’t for facebook.

As the year came to a close, I was met with happiness as we began our celebration of the holidays. For the first time ever, my entire family came to Atlanta to celebrate Thanksgiving. My 2 sisters, Amy and Megan, their husbands, Kevin and Greg, their kids, Nick, Lexi, Michael, Ryan and Christian and my Dad and Joye. I love cooking and hosting gatherings and don’t have the opportunity to do so all that much since my family is far away…and our condo is kind of small! But it all worked out well and there was plenty of room for all of us. We kicked off the Christmas season at Stone Mountain Park before everyone went home. My family being all together was just the thing my heart needed to continue to heal. Hopefully it won’t be as long as it was before we all get together again.

And then Christmas was upon us. A bittersweet year for sure. When we brought out our Christmas d├ęcor, it hurt my heart not to hang the stocking Todd’s Mom knit for Isla. I made a special ornament for our tree with Isla’s footprints, which will be there year after year, hung with love and remembrance. Christmas was a mix of solitude and joy for us. It is hard not to feel the joy of the season when you have a 4 year old…and we tried to embrace every joyful moment and the magic of the season through our daughter’s eyes. She had her most magical Christmas yet…since, at 4 years old….does it get any more magical??

I will admit that I had a little bit of the “sads” as I closed out the year, but I definitely have hope in my heart for good things to come in 2012. Stay tuned!

Happy New Year to all…..