Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shop for a Cause

As part of my half marathon in just 22 days (UGH!!), I have made it a goal to raise $1600 for the Trisomy 18 Foundation to honor Alex and hopefully be able to help other families dealing with a Trisomy 18 diagnosis. I have raised about $800 thus far, so I am half way there! I decided on $1600 as may goal as part of my "It was a Sweet Sixteen", as I was 16 weeks pregnant when we lost Alex. I have been training for 16 weeks for my half marathon and thus $1600 would be another symbol of my bitter sweet journey of healing. I feel like I have learned so much about myself and others throughout this ordeal and I hope that my words and my goals will help someone else smile through there sorrow and know that you can make a difference!

With that said, I am hosting a fundraiser at aMuse Toys –Fells Point Location
1623 Thames Street on Tuesday, October 27 from 6-8 p.m aMuse will donate 20% of in store purchases (6-8pm), 15% (all day) of online purchases made at
(use code “Trisomy” at checkout).

I hope you will join me. I plan to buy a few toys for Elena and I can only hope that Alex will be smiling down on October 27 knowing that I am doing this for him, to show how much he will always mean to me. His short life was not in vain, his legacy is that he has shown me that I can do all that is in my power to help other families and hopefully through awareness and fundraising, one day Trisomy 18 will not be a diagnosis that any family will have to know.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Eternal Love

This weeks blog is especially difficult for me. I have been having a very tough week and I have been thinking about what I would write for about 3 days now. Where do I begin?

For those of you that don't know me, my nephew, Jason, passed away in July 2007, after injuries sustained from a fatal car accident. He would be turning 21 this coming Saturday, October 17, 2009. My family and I will be celebrating Jason's life on Saturday and while remembering him does bring us peace, it is hard to believe that his life was so short, he will never know my children, he will never have children of his own and he will never grow old with the rest of us.

In addition, tomorrow, October 15, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I attended an event at GBMC this past Sunday to memorialize all babies born too soon and it was really uplifting and heart wrenching at the same time. Each family received a candle to create a "wave of light" tomorrow around the world. We are each asked to light a candle at 7pm in all time zones, all over the world. If everyone lights a candle at 7 pm and keeps it burning for at least one hour, there will be a continuous "wave of light" over the entire world on October 15th. The candle burns in memory of our loving babies, born too soon but loved forever.

Since losing Alex, I have made it a goal to create a necklace design in his memory. I wanted to create something that was symbolic to me but could also be a universal symbol for anyone wishing to support my cause. I know right away that the name of the necklace would be "Eternal Love". Because no matter what your motivation for purchasing this necklace, "eternal love" is a powerful phrase for every aspect of your life. To me, "eternal love" proves that even though I will never be able to hold my baby, my love for him will last a lifetime. And even though I will be celebrating my nephew's birthday without him, he is always in my heart.

The "Eternal Love" Necklace will be available as early as tomorrow on my etsy website, , as it is very important for me to showcase this necklace on October 15th. A will be donating $10 from the sale of each necklace back to both Trisomy 18 Foundation and Donate Life. My nephew donated his organs through Donate Life and it is the official charity of the Richmond Marathon and Half Marathon.

Today is one month til race day!! I am getting nervous for the 13.1 mile distance but I know that Alex and Jason will give me the strength to run, walk or crawl to the finish line. My goal of completing this half marathon in memory of Alex and Jason is only part of the journey...I plan to run with love in my heart and I hope to inspire others to turn sadness into motivation, death into is too short to sit around and do nothing, we must live it and challenge ourselves to always be better!

"True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations; it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Strength of Motherhood

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us, when adversity takes the place of prosperity, when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us...still she will cling to us, and endeavor by her kind preceps and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness and cause peace to return to our hearts."
-Washington Irving

As I talk to more and more mothers about the fate of my Alex, I am always meeting such amazing and strong women that share a common bond..strength. Motherhood changes a person, for the better, and whether you have the joy of knowing your child for a lifetime, 19 years, 4 years or only in the womb, you are a stronger more courageous person for being a mom.

I have been amazed how many women have reached out to me and shared their stories of miscarriage, stillbirth or child's death with me in the hopes that I will understand the pain that I feel is not alone, I am not the first women to endure such pain and I will not be the last. Being a woman is a emotional roller coaster, one that I will gladly ride again and again.

I recently ran into a mom whom I have met through my business and she shared with me that she miscarried at 10 weeks with her second child. She now has 3 perfect, adorable boys and she said that while having another baby will never replace the despair in your heart, holding the next baby in your arms is the greatest sense of hope and strength. She also explained that she thinks we (as women) are so incredibly brave, because no matter how painful having to loss an infant feels, as a woman, you just know that you want to try again, and even though you know it will be difficult and emotional..the joy of motherhood is worth it!

I also have been amazed by the strength of many women I know that have dealt with a difficult diagnosis for their child. A friend from high school has kept me in the loop as her son had his first stroke 4 years ago, when he was just an infant. She is so brave, and I asked her if I could share some of her words through my blog:

"Tomorrow will be 4 years since Ashton suffered from his stroke. Four years ago it was impossible to imagine that we/he would be where we are today. This has been a great year for us!!
As always, Ashton is an amazing boy. He is soo brave and has shown that braveness and strength this year during his many echos, his MRI, 3 Emergency room visits and the everyday struggles that he as a 4 year old with motor and health problems faces. He has done excellent with the beginning of school!! He has separated well and has not cried once!! He has 2 amazing teachers that he loves!! He sang a song by himself in church Sunday evening a couple of weeks ago! He says that Grandmom Jordan (who is in heaven) talks to him every morning and says that she loves him and prays for him everyday! He stops and kneels in prayer spontaneously when needed. He is also the BEST big brother ever. He loves Jonah sooo very much and wants to be with him all the time. Jonahs first words will be "I love you" as Ashton tells him that countless times a day.
We thank God for the wonderful 4 years he has given us with Ashton and look forward to everyday that we have to celebrate his life!! Thank you all for the prayers and encouraging words that make each day a little easier!!"

I hope that my mom knows how much she has meant to me and that her strength has given me now and always. My mom actually sent me a quote when we found out about Alex's diagnosis and that is a quote that I know is so true for my life:

'To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.' When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate on this sentence... 'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.'