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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Missing my son Sam

Me, 7 months pregnant with Sam, December 2001. Emma is 2 in this photo.

Some recent events have brought Sam to mind lately, and I have been missing him and grieving. A partner at the law firm where I work was killed in a car accident over the weekend. He was 49 and left a wife and two kids under 10. Earlier this Summer a friend when I was in college died of cancer after a long battle, also leaving two kids under 10 and a husband. A friend is also 8 months pregnant with her second child. She has a lovely daughter who is 5 and who is terrific! Emma and she get along really well, and Emma loves playing big sister to her. Babies usually make me think of Sam, but I think it's the combination of the two deaths and also the fact that Emma is away from home at sleep-over camp for 4 weeks. I am always more contemplative when Emma's away -- it just reminds me that she's growing up so fast and that time is precious. The house is empty of kids and I just can't help thinking about what it might be like if Sam was still with us. He would be 8 and about to start 3rd grade at Primrose Hill Elementary. Our lives would be so very different.

We had a grief counselor visit at work on Monday. He spoke briefly at the staff meeting we had upon hearing about the death of our co-worker. I thought that I would probably have heard everything he had to say already because I experienced the death of a close c0-worker in October 2002. She died in her early 30s after being sick with cancer for just 3 weeks or so. We had a grief counselor speak then. Maybe the guy on Monday had the same things to say, but I was just ready to hear them in a new way. After all in October 2002 the loss of Sam was only 8 months old. Anyway, this counselor spoke about the phases of grief and how eventually we will visit with our grief and that these visits will be less and less frequent. We won't necessarily know when the visits are going to happen. I have found this to be very true. Part of me thinks it's odd to be still visiting with it now, 8 years later, but the good cry I had yesterday was extremely cathartic and I should probably let those feelings out more often. After all the counselor also said that we never get over a loss, we just integrate it into our lives and move on.

Please don't misunderstand me here. I love my husband and my daughter Emma, my friends and family. I love and appreciate them all and I know that I have a great life, but that doesn't lessen my yearning for my son who cannot be with us on this earth. There, I said it. It's very hard for me to say that "out loud"

For anyone reading this who does not know who Sam is. He is my son who was stillborn on February 14, 2002 at 38 weeks, just a week before my C-section was scheduled.

Thanks for listening and letting me share.
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dropping Emma at Chimney Corners Camp

Emma, finally got a top bunk! She's in cabin Victory Chimes in the Junior Unit.
Family shot outside Emma's cabin. Is it just me, or does she look a whole lot more grown up than she did when we lieft her for the first time in 2008? Or even last year! Even her counselors from last year commented that she looked much taller and more grown-up.
You can see Emma's cabin in the background of this shot. It's right by a little gathering spot. Here's Emma and Jim having a last father daughter moment.
We saw this sign as we were leaving. It's on the library and game room cabin. We'd just taken a peak inside -- I'd been in, but Jim hadn't see it. There were several old books in there he wanted to borrow, including the biography of Samuel Elliot Morrison. Of course they have lots of other books too -- ones that girls Emma's age and older might want to read. I assured him he could borrow the book and it most likely would not be missed -- I could return in at Mom's weekend.

Jim and I spent our first empty nest evening watching a couple of Tudor's episodes that were so "heavy" that we are now watching an episode of "Coupling" to decompress.

Best to you all!
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dropping off Emma at ECC camp

On Sunday afternoon, we dropped Emma off for a week of sleep-away camp at the Episcopal Conference Center in Pascoag, RI.  We set up her bunk and Teddy got comfortable for his week at camp. I got Emma to pose for a photo by her bunk -- she sort of rolled her eyes when I asked!
This year Emma's friend Ally and Katie (who also go to church with us at St John's Episcopal church) are also going to the sleep-away camp.  Ally arrived about the same time we did so I got a photo of them together while we were waiting in line. I also managed to get this super one of Jim and Emma together. Leaving Emma at camp is sort of "old hat" for us as it's the third Summer, but I still miss her and miss talking to her on a daily basis.  Still, I know she's having a great time and it's perfect for her because she loves constant activity and being with lots of people. We pick her up on Friday evening and then we will spend Saturday doing laundry and packing for her next sleep-away camp.  She heads of to 4 weeks at Chimney Corners Camp on Sunday!

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another new layout using Ali Edwards' new templates #digiscrap

I love Ali's new rounded corner templates.  They make it so easy to put together a great looking page.  I wanted to highlight this photo so there's no journaling on this page other than the Bible quotation that sums up how I felt about the day the photo was taken -- as well as two small tags with the name of the person in the photo, my niece Amelia and the date.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My latest digitial scrapbooking layouts #digiscrap

I took lots of photos in Stone Harbor where we just vacationed with my Mom, and my sister and her family. I've been enjoying the last creating layouts with these photos and remembering the fun we had at the beach.

I have included the full products lists and designer credits on my Designer Digitals online gallery.  

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Friday, July 9, 2010

On the Boardwalk

Most of these photos are pretty self explanatory.  We all went to the Boardwalk in Wildwood, NJ last evening and rode rides and enjoyed a delicious dinner at a new place called Joe's Fish Co.  Jim and I had a white pizza with roasted garlic, caramelized onions and shrimp. Mia tried and ate cheese pizza for the first time, and Emma was brave enough to go on the big upside down coaster. Jim, Emma and I rode the Ferris Wheel and I took some photos from the top.  Very fun, and great views especially at twilight. 

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Mini 4th of July Parade on the Nuns Beach

At the end of the video (about 36 seconds in you will se Gavin, Morgan, Emma, and Mia.

Fourth of July in Stone Harbor

Another great day at the beach. It was hotter and a bit humid, but still really nice. The water felt terrific and really cooled you off. The photo above is of the kids: Nikolas, Emma, and Amelia in their patriotic clothing. We went out for Springers Ice Cream about 3 ish after being at the beach.
This one is Emma on the "Nuns Beach". You can see everyone gathered for the Nuns sing-a-long.
The Nuns got the lifeguards waving the flag, to lead the kids down the beach singing patriotic songs. They handed out small flags to all the kids and there was someone painting faces too. When the kids got back we all sang several songs and said the pledge of allegiance. The Nuns assured us that our trops in Afghanistan and elsewhere could hear our songs and prayers because they would be carried across the Atlantic and into the Mediterranea and then on to the Gulf.
These are three of the Nuns all dressed up for the Fourth og July! As I type this Uncle Ron is cooking hamburgers and hotdogs in preparation for our dinner -- it's even nice enough to eat on the porch -- not too windy or too hot! God Bless America!
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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Best Beach Day Ever?

Today was one of the most fantastic beach days I have ever experienced.  There was no humidity, it was hot, but not too hot, sunny, and the water was clear (no seaweed, jelly fish, etc..) and refreshing but not too cold (at least not for me).  My sister and her family arrived this morning just after 9am so we all hung out, had lunch and then headed to the beach.  Mia and Nik wanted to dig a hole and fill it with water so that's what you see in the two of the  photos. They both also enjoyed playing in the sand. Nik is really into batman so he was using shells or whatever to play pretend batman.

My friend Wendy and her family arrived on the beach later and came to say hello.  (They are rented a house a couple of blocks away this week) Gavin and Emma both wanted to boogie board but were too shy to ask each other, even though they have known each other since they were babies -- granted they only see each other once a year, but still.  I guess that's what happens when you are 11 and almost 11!  Their Mom's organized them and then Uncle David walked down to the boogie board beach with them -- I walked down later with Mia and Nik to visit and managed to get a photo of Emma and Gavin on their boogie boards -- apparently they managed to talk to each other eventually.
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