Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Network

I have become part of a a very special network of women that welcomes all new comers with tears in their eyes. Moms that have lost their children. We are almost a secret society that most people don't even know exist until they have a sudden loss.

We don't always know what to say to each other and we can't take the pain away but we try to support each other. We listen with an ear of understanding. I know 3 women personally that have traveled this road before me. It is wonderful how they can support me so easily. One of those special mom's will look at me from across the room and we have a moment of understanding. It only takes a split second and I realize that I'm not alone. She knows how hard this is and even though I have a smile on my face, there is so much more in my heart.

I am also getting to know several other moms and one dad through their wonderful blog's. I feel like I have become friends with them. I have a level of understanding for their emotional roller coaster ride. I am able to gain some comfort in knowing that I am not alone and I am normal. There are times that I don't even know if what I'm feeling is normal then one of them will post something on their blog and I will think, "yes! I feel that way as well!".

I met another mother a couple of days ago. She lost her daughter about 6 weeks before I lost Timothy. Because of complications during labor she was not able to bring her lovely baby home. As we were together I realized that I have no idea what to say to her. You would think that since we are walking this road together that I would know all the right things to say, but I don't. I understand that everyone travels this road differently. Emotions vary widely and they can change quickly. Some people want to talk about it and some don't.

I realize that this must be how it feel to be around me. People don't want to make me sad or upset and they don't know what to say or how to act when they are around me. I would like to share some thoughts that might make being around me a little easier.

First, I love to talk about Timothy. I love to share my special moments and treasured memories. I like to compare birth stories and discuss the little things like his weight and his cute little squeaks.

I love to hear how he has impacted your life. Since I won't get to see him grow up and watch him have an impact in this world it is a nice way for me to feel that his life has meaning. Of course I already know how special he is and what a wonderful impact he has made in my heart!

I like knowing that he is not forgotten. even a quick little mention of him in a conversation will allow me know that he is remembered and cherished.

I don't always like to talk about my emotions. His life and his death are very different to me. I find joy in his life but sorrow in his death. Most of the time, I like to try to focus on his life and only go deep into the pit when I am by myself, with my husband or very close friends.

I don't mind if someone asks me if I want a hug or if I want to talk about Timothy. There are times that I will gladly share and times that I will honestly decline. I always feel loved in those moments.

It is easier for me if people try not to make statements about Timothy's life. I would rather have them ask a question instead. An example: "You must be happy to have had time with him," is an okay thing to say to me but I would prefer "Are you happy with the time that you had with him?". It allows me to be more honest about how I'm feeling. It gives me power to say "Yes, I am thankful that I had time with him but it wasn't enough!! " I know that I should be grateful for the time I was given but there are times that I'm NOT...I wanted more!

I don't want anyone to be afraid to be around me. Normally I am not easily upset and I don't cry at the drop of a hat. I love that everyone has been so wonderful, kind, caring, and supportive.

-I would love to hear if Timothy has had an impact on your life. If he has, or if you have spent time in prayer for him, I would love to have you post a quick comment on this post. It would mean so much to us...


Mrs. Mother said...

I also believe that women who have lost a baby are part of a secret society, one that no one ever wants to join. I wish I could have had a few minutes with my Jenna, but I wasn't able to.

The Finnestad Family said...

Timothy has not only changed/impacted my life and my perspective on life, but I have watched as the lives of my children and my husband have been changed as well.

We all love Timothy dearly. Abby is proud to display your family picture on her 3rd grade binder...Josiah talks about Timothy frequently (as you know) and while James is more quiet about it, he is confident that he will get to see Timothy in heaven. Aliya, well....she's still too little to understand, but you know just how much she loves her Mrs. Currey and your entire family!

As for Jimmy, he loves and respects you more than you can know. For me - what an honor it was to get to hold him, to witness the miracle of his birth and first breath. Our family has forever been changed by your precious son. Thank you!

Stephanie said...

Thank you Jen. Your kindness to explain how to approach you and what things you appreciate is amazing.

Timothy brought me and Mikayla together in a way that will never be forgotten. We got to grieve together in a way that you don't necessarily want, but treasure.

Greg and I also have the utmost respect for the parents that you and Kevin are. We love you guys. Although we can't imagine all that your road entails, we are confident that God is giving you the grace to travel it.

And mostly, I rejoice in Timothy's life. I smile everytime I see his beautiful picture. He was a precious gift to us all.

The Wagner's said...

I so agree- Timothy's life story has changed our family forever as well, in so many amazing ways. It's been such a privilege for us to have been allowed to be part of your lives.

The Williams Five said...

Jen, it has been an amazing journey to be able to go through even from up here. To be able to watch Timothy grow through the ultrasounds was a wonderful experience. He was so beautiful in those pictures. But to be able to see the pictures of him after his birth...those will never be forgotten. He was such a beautiful baby. He has touched my heart as deeply as my own children did when they were born. I can honestly say that he is the only baby besides my own that I have felt such a deep feeling for. I love all my friends children, but Timothy is different. I am so thankful that you have shared your tears, laughter, joy, pain, and your own growth that Timothy brought to you and that you shared Timothy with us all!

La Kris said...


At times I feel so far away from life in Washington, from my friends and family and from life as I know...

Having the opportunity to read your blog... to hear your stories, your thoughts, what is going on in your life has been a great support to me.

Although I am in Argentina, I feel in some way that I walked this road with you... I wish I could have met Timothy in person, but he is in my heart.. his pictures are engraved in my mind. He is so blessed to have such a wonderful and loving family... and I am blessed to be able to call you my friends.

I can´t wait to be able to talk to you in person.. to hug you... and to share life with you all... but you have reminded me of the importance of living each moment to the fullest... of enjoying every second even if one is in the middle of a trial and you don´t understand what God is trying to teach you. And most importantly... of enjoying the people who are walking this road of life with you.

I love you! (As well as Kevin and each one of your four lovely children!!!)

The Earnhardt Family said...

How he's impacted our lives, that list can go on and on!

He’s shown us that time is precious, live it with meaning and purpose. Lean on God, He can and WILL embrace you and guide you and catch you.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked down on my sleeping baby and have been brought to tears in joy and sorrow; joy that I have this precious little baby, and sorrow that you no longer get to watch your baby sleep.

I’ve also experienced countless times of being at my end with my SCREAMING baby, but suddenly brought to a halt at the mere thought that you only got a mere 3 hours with baby Timothy, and would give anything to have him screaming in your loving arms. Again, followed with tears of thanksgiving…(and inevitably chocolate as well)…

You’re entire family has shown us how to be REAL, to not be trapped by fear of what others may think, but rather be open and honest in your feelings. To let others rally around you, to cry on others, to take them up on their offers for help or a listening ear, to allow others to grieve with you. You and Kevin have showed how husbands and wives can be there for each other, whether in words or actions, allowing the other to take a break, or making the other laugh when desperately needed.

You and Karen have been a true testament of what a deep friendship should look like. To be there for each other, to listen to each other, to sit silently, to cry with each other, to laugh, to take much-needed breaks, to join in song…or to silently cry when the words of the song are just too full of meaning at that particular moment.

I honestly could go on and on…is there a character limit? ;-) Your entire family (Jen’s mother included!) has been such an inspiration to us all, and has given us all a new look and meaning at the how’s, why’s, when’s, who’s, and what’s of life. Baby Timothy has been a great blessing to us all!!! THANK YOU!

Michelle said...

Thank you once again, Jennifer, for sharing your heart. I hope you know that you all have been and continue to be in my prayers!

Laura said...

So beautiful...a club nobody ever wants to join but one that we would never want to get out of once we have held our baby in our arms.

Timothy is beautiful....

Diana said...

Like the song says- THIS is what it is like to be HELD!
What a blessing you are to me.
May His light continue to shine on you and your beautiful family, and may you have peace, true peace that Timothy is with His Father.


Jessica said...

Jen, I have never met you or your husband, but I came across your blog and I couldn't stop reading it. Although I do not have children of my own, reading about your journey through Timothy's life and death has brought tears to my eyes. You and your entire family are in my thoughts and prayers. Timothy's short life showed me that no matter what, a parent's love and devotion is the most important thing to a child. I feel that God blessed you, and everyone who has read your blog, by bringing Timothy into the world. God bless you and your family as you continue your journey with Timothy in your hearts.