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d day

It’s been a year and today marks the day Logan joined his grandparents in Heaven. Today also marks the day that married my best friend 11 years ago. Some might think the two days colliding are tragic. I would disagree. When Logan was dying and it looked like he might pass on our anniversary, I hated to think what every year would bring for us. Something significant with Logan happened around important dates. We found out there was something wrong with Logan the week of Josh’s birthday. We had one of our first Kansas City scans the week of Thanksgiving. The week of Christmas we finally got confirmation that Logan would die and we couldn’t do anything about it. The week before my birthday I started having contractions and was terrified I’d deliver him early. Two days after my birthday Logan was born. And today, our anniversary, sweet Logan passed away.

After Logan died, the first 24 hours come and gone, I realized that Logan passing away today was incredible. God followed us on this journey and so many times I saw his handiwork. I began to look at today as a significant choice. Logan may not have known what today was when he died. But I know God did. He died on a day that represents love, trust, strength, perseverance and choice. The similarities between our day of love and Logan’s day of passing are quite beautiful.

Love- Josh and I love each other and Logan only knew love while he was here. Love from everyone who met him. Which is no surprise since his big brother attracts the same attention from everyone he meets.

Trust- A relationship has to have trust for a couple reasons. You have to trust your partner that you are about to spend the rest of your life with. And you have to trust your partner to keep you upright as you journey through life. God trusted us with Logan’s life. He knew before we ever became pregnant with Logan that we would do right by him. He trusted us to love and take care of Logan. Logan trusted us because he was never given a reason not to.

Strength- If you have been married for any length of time, you understand the strength it takes to wake up each morning after a fight and not beat your man (JK!). No, seriously it takes strength in a marriage to put the other before you. When we were pregnant there was many times that Josh was emotionally unavailable to me, his journey with Logan was effecting him different than me. And I had to find the strength everyday to not get upset with him, when everything was screaming inside me to hate him for not being what I needed. When Logan was here, Josh made the sacrifice of letting me hold Logan 95% of the time. Even though he wanted so badly to hold and cherish his son, he knew that Logan was thriving on my chest, that he was most comfortable there. That my friends takes an incredible amount of strength! To know that your time with your child is limited yet you sacrifice what you need for what he needs. And Logan had some of the most inspiring strength; he lived for 14 days when Dr’s said hours, maybe a few days.

Perseverance- It takes perseverance to continue a relationship. When shit gets hard and you want to quit, you have to push through because it matters. You have to have drive and initiative. You can never stop persevering. When we got married we knew there would be tough times, and boy have there been. But we kept going because we wanted to be together. Logan could have died at anytime during those 14 days. He kept going until his body could no longer sustain him.

And finally Choice- When you get married you make an active choice to love, honor and cherish your partner. You choose everyday to stay with your spouse. You choose everyday to love them. Everything in your relationship comes down to choice. Logan chose to fight. He was going to die in the OR. But when they brought him back to momma, he choose to live. He choose to fight. He choose to stay with us.

I thought today would be hard like his birthday, but I don’t feel the weighted cloud above me like I did two weeks ago. I’ve been thinking of this day since his birthday. Each day I woke up and looked at the “On This Day’ on Facebook. I’d see Logan’s pictures from last year and oddly I would get a little hitch in my throat from excitement and think he’s still alive! He’s got x amount of days left. Every day I did this. I’ve been focusing on this dates arrival. So much so that when I woke up this morning, I did not register that it was our anniversary. I only recognized it as the day Logan died. Last night Josh had asked about going to eat together today since we both took today off. And I just kind of thought that was odd. Why would he want to go eat? It didn’t feel like he was implying we’d just shoot the breeze but more so that he were celebrating something. Which is very odd for Josh when it comes to Logan. He’s usually on the other end of wanting to just hide out on the notable days. So imagine my surprise when I woke up and looked at “On This Day” and realized it was my anniversary 🙂

My point is, so much attention and energy was spent worrying about what this day would be. It’s here and it feels just like any other day. Even though its our anniversary, it doesn’t hold the same significance it did last year. But every holiday since we found out about Logan’s condition has been that way. Everyday just seems like…well… everyday. Perhaps that’s what we are left with now. A tainted reality. Our reality is definitely different from the average person now and will always be.

The interesting thing about the the period just before Logan’s birthday and the few days that followed was that it left us with a feeling of deja vu. When I found out Logan wasn’t going to survive, I returned all my nursery items and literally bought out every memorabilia item I could find. I packed a tub full of these items to go to the hospital. I packed our bags, prepared meals to freeze and got all the final preparations I needed. While preparing for Logan’s birthday, I felt as if I had been catapulted back a year. I was no longer preparing for his birthday but for his arrival. I felt the weight of what was coming. I was preparing for an important moment. His arrival and his departure kind of tangled together for me this year. As I prepared for his birthday, it was a mix of preparing for his arrival and the few days before his funeral. When preparing for his funeral I ran a bunch of errands for two days with this expectation that everything had to be perfect. I had that same expectation for Logan’s birthday.

At his birthday party, I was every bit the host as I was at his viewing. My being mirrored that day. I was a proud momma. I was excited to share Logan with everyone. We watched the slideshow and birth video. Instead this time I didn’t have Logan in my arms. But Logan (Logan Bear) was still the center of attention. And I had his small life displayed out on a table for everyone to see. I felt a sense of relief. The moment had come. But unfortunately, the moment came and went very quickly, as most parties do.

Wyatt went home with my mom after the party, so we had that evening to ourselves. When we arrived home, to an empty house, the remnants of party preparations scattered around my living room. We carried Logan’s things in to his bedroom, just as we did a year ago after his funeral. We cleaned up the dishes from the party. We read the letters that guests had written, much like the cards we’d read after the funeral. As we sat around the house, we couldn’t help but feel like we were leaving in a few days for ‘vacation.’ After Logan’s funeral last year, we left the city for a few days to be alone and grieve. Like his birthday, we came home from the funeral to an empty house. With remnants of his care taking scattered around the living room. Breast milk, saline, qtips, diapers, wipes, medication, blankets. We were alone. I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced deja vu before, but it is very eerie.

I remember feeling the weight of emptiness both a year ago and now. Like something was missing. The feeling didn’t go away until a week ago. Today I have an overwhelming feeling to go buy my son something. What? I don’t know. There really isn’t anything to go buy him. I get those inclinations periodically. I think because I don’t get to provide for him like I do Wyatt, it pours into a pot until the pot can hold no more and the sensation becomes overwhelming.

Today will be just like any other day. Instead of diving head first into a rabbit hole, I’m going to spend the day enjoying my husbands company. Remembering the things I love about my son. And when Wyatt gets home, we will decorate Logan’s bush with the rocks that were painted by friends and family on his birthday.

logan’s one

I have waited a very long time, almost a year to be exact, to put into words how I feel when I look at this picture. Every time I do, the emotions become uncontrollable. Thus I have avoided sitting long enough to begin.

First off, I can never thank our photographer (T. Marie Photography) enough for the precious gift of her pictures. She captured moments we will never get again. She captured moments I cannot remember. My worst fear, aside from Logan dying of course, was not remembering Logan because of the medications. These photos are bittersweet for me; as I look back I realize how much I don’t remember, but I will forever be thankful that I have them documented and I look forward to Josh telling me about them well into our old age. Tiffany captured moments, like this one, that are so powerful.

When I watch our birth video, which Tiffany also created, I break down every time we get to this moment. After Logan was taken from my womb, everyone kept telling me he wasn’t breathing right. The expectation was that he might die in the OR. It wasn’t until Logan was dying in my arms that I understood how powerful this moment, so perfectly captured, was.

There is this technical term called agonal breathing. When you go through the dying process, your breathing changes in many different ways. In Logan’s time home he would stop breathing. He would gasp for air. But the agonal breathing at that moment was oddly comforting for me. Without counting the emotional, mental and physical roller coaster of my pregnancy, those 14 days of Logan’s life were the most exhausting time I have ever and will ever go through. If you have ever been through the process with someone dying, you know the on edge tension you have at every single moment waiting for them to die. I spent 14 days like this. That’s another story though.

Agonal breathing – for Logan he would breath in and sort of coo his exhale and then he wouldn’t breathe again for several seconds or minutes, we weren’t counting because we knew this was it, what we had been waiting for. But his coo was the sweetest noise we had ever heard him make. And it was peaceful.

We waited until the funeral to watch our birth video, probably not the best idea. When we got to the scene from the OR where they were giving him oxygen, his breathing mimicked the agonal breathing. I flashed back to the day he died. I realized just how close we came to losing him in the OR. He was exhibiting the dying breathe. But you know what followed that moment? This beautiful picture! They placed Logan on my chest so I could have time with him before he died. But instead that little booger felt mom, smelt mom and decided to live! His change in breathing over the next 2-3 days amazed the doctor. They believe Logan lived so long because I kept him on my chest, skin to skin for 98% of his life.

How powerful of a mom moment to realize that he wanted to stay when he came close to his mother. It is truly a hard thing to watch. Not because it’s sad, but because it brings me so much happiness and well I guess it does bring me sadness. Sadness because he’s not here. Sadness because 14 days was all I got. But happiness because not only did my body sustain him for 9 months, but I got to sustain him for 14 more days. Happiness because he got to spend time with his family. He got to hear us talk to him, read to him, play with him. He got to spend time with his brother and his grandparents.  Happiness because my warmth and my instinct as a mother gave him love. Happiness because I am proud to be his mother. Happiness because he wanted me.

I can no longer remember what it feels like to hold him. I can’t feel his weight. I can’t feel his warmth. I can’t remember his smell. He is 1 year old today, and yet I can’t imagine a 1 year old running around this house.

In honor of Logan’s first birthday, we have chosen to have a celebration by having a birthday party. No limitations were placed. We will have lots of foods and too many sweets. While Logan can’t be there, Logan Bear will be representing him well, in his fancy new outfit I bought for the party. We will have a photo booth set up for everyone to take pictures with the Birthday Boy (Logan Bear). We will have a station for everyone to paint a rock varying shades of blue; these will later be placed around our bush we planted for Logan last year. We will also have a station for people to write letters to Logan and/or the family. My hope with the letters is I get to hear how Logan touched their lives. These are my favorite stories to hear. His slideshow will play and his birth video too. And at the end, we will show the world how much Logan is loved by sending balloons his way.

I have spent the last couple of weeks buying and creating things. Yesterday I began preparing for the party, and I was hit with deja vu. When I began preparing for Logan’s arrival, I returned the majority of the baby items I had purchased and exchanged them for any memorable item the stores carried. I mean I bought everything they had. I remember filling the storage tub full of his stuff for the hospital. Packing our bags. Loading the car. Which I repeated yesterday; as I bought all the food from the store, I carried them it, I organized all the party stuff, I loaded the same storage tub full of his stuff for the party and I loaded my car.

I remember the day after Logan died. I felt this pressure and this duty to make sure his funeral was perfect. What else could I do for my son? I wasn’t going to get a lifetime of spoiling him and doing things for him, so I wanted this last thing that I COULD do, to be absolutely perfect. Most people will tell you his funeral was beautifully perfect. Knowing me, I’m sure you can assume that I disagree. And you’d be correct. I can name a few things I wish would’ve been done differently, but when in the moment you miss details. And that’s okay. Yesterday as I was organizing all the party stuff, I felt the same pressure and duty arise. I was ‘talking’ on the phone with Josh. And by talking I mean, I had a bluetooth headset in and he listening while I frantically babbled, stressed and a few times lost my mind while pacing back and forth through the house trying to get things together.

There has been this pressure building for the past few weeks. A bubble I’ve been pushing back down. You know when you go to the pool in the summer, and you play with a noodle? You sit on it, perhaps do fancy tricks to keep it under the water? Then all of a sudden you lose control and it starts to come to the surface and you know you’re going down, slight panic arises as you know you’re about to be overtaken by the water? That is my bubble. It took me down last week at work. My noodle would not remain under the water. It would not hold my weight, no matter how many times I pushed it back down, it would coil back up. Thankfully by the time I had to be present with a patient I had that baby superglued to my butt.

“Our relationship to our loved one influences how we grieve. When you lose a parent you lose your past; when you lose a spouse you lose your present; when you lose a child you lose your future.”

I didn’t think today would be hard. But I’ve already cried once this morning, and Josh a few more times. Looking forward to this day over the last year I thought it would be a happy day, a day to celebrate his birth, but now that it’s here, it feels more sad than anything. A day in which we would celebrate his arrival into this world and his growth each year, has now turned into a day in which we no longer can celebrate his growth each year. While he may grow in numbers, he won’t grow. We won’t be able to celebrate everything he’s accomplished each year. I had not expected this.

“Laugh as we always laughed. Play, smile, think of me. Let my name be ever the household word that is always was.”

My hope is tomorrow will be the celebration we need. To celebrate the life he did have. The accomplishments he did this year. Because he did accomplish a lot. He survived in my womb until birth, when we first were told he may not make it to term. He survived the first 48 hours, when they thought his breathing would take him. He survived 14 days. I always humor myself that my children like me best. Logan wanted mom, whenever he was away from my chest, his breathing and demeanor would change. But when he was with mom, he was peaceful. And Wyatt is a momma’s boy hands down. My mom jokes about how he will live in my basement until he’s 30 because he loves me so much. But my point is, while Logan won’t have any accomplishments next year, or the year after that, and so on, this year, he survived. This year he told everyone he would go when it was his time. This year he changed our lives. This year he helped us become better people. This year we have much to celebrate because this little boy is loved and known by so many because in 14 days he was this incredible testimony.

“Only we who have been washed in the blood of the lamb can both weep and laugh at the same time, and with hearts that are breaking in pieces scattered all over the floor, say with sincerity and honesty that it is well with my soul.”- Gary J. Oliver

So Happy Birthday little buddy, we love you infinite and back 💙

beyond christmas

As a family, I think we both had anxiety as we anticipated this past Christmas. Being our first one without Logan, without our families, just the three of us, we didn’t know how it would go. I think we worried that it was be a depressive cry fest, full of heightened emotions and unrealistic perceptions. I had held pretty strong through Thanksgiving, although I will admit neither holiday felt like the special occasion they’ve always held in my heart. After Thanksgiving passed though, and we began putting things up for Christmas, I started to realize how much Christmas was going to bother me.

Wyatt I and usually put up the Christmas decorations, it’s not really Josh’s thing. He sits back chatting with us while watching us do what we enjoy. It was in that moment that I realized, Logan won’t do this with us, not just this year, but every year. I wouldn’t get to teach him how to separate out the ornaments that are populating one corner of the tree that he so proudly placed all by himself. I won’t get to lay around in front of the tree, with all the house lights off, and just the Christmas tree lights illuminating our faces and the temperature it brings to our souls.

My grandmother, being the wonderful and understanding woman that she is, saw my vision for new stockings this year. We wanted to start new traditions this year, and stockings was #1 on the list. Even though I knew Logan wouldn’t be here, I knew he needed a stocking. My grandmother made us stockings, that were everything I wanted and more. They held meaning because she fabricated them. And it made her apart of this Christmas even though she wasn’t here. But as we placed the stockings by the tree, I sat there alone in silence, looking at the stockings. It was in that moment, that I realized Christmas morning, Logan’s stocking would be the only one left hanging. It would be empty. Alone on the wall, while the family stockings would be full by the tree. Wyatt wouldn’t get an opportunity to help his brother open presents and play with his toys. Logan would not get to be apart of any of our usual traditions.

We tried to have new traditions this year, and while some worked, being alone only echoed even louder that something was missing. I didn’t get to tell Logan the Christmas Story. We took his bear to Christmas Eve service, but Logan wasn’t there. He’ll never get to go on stage and listen to the Christmas Story. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year, and this year was a hard one to swallow.

Since Christmas has passed, it seems that I’m still emotionally heightened. I think I blocked or avoided a lot of what I was feeling over Christmas break. Josh tried to talk to me about it once and I started crying and refused to talk about it anymore. I often wonder if that’s not part of my coping mechanism. Have I been doing this for the past 10 months? Have I only been partially dealing? Or is this just the ‘wave’ everytime talks about? The ripple in the surface that shows the rabbit hole lingering down below? The rabbit hole full of all the emotions, turmoil and pain that swirl in a dark pit.

In the past week, I have found myself longing for Logan much stronger than usual. And everytime I feel it come on, I force myself to think of something different. It’s like the door continues to open, but I refuse to walk in.  I don’t usually think about what Logan would be like today, but lately, I do. I see other children his age and begin to wonder what he would be doing right now. What would he look like? Would he talking? Would he be walking? Crawling? Giving me headaches? I just miss him so much.

I can vividly think back to his time here at home. I remember how he smelled, how his warm skin felt against my body. I could feel every bone in his body. I can feel his peacefulness. I can see his face; his eyes far away and his sudden chest movements as his rhythmic breathing changed as he died in my arms. As traumatizing, exhausting, mentally/emotionally/physically draining those 14 days were, I would give anything to do it all over again, just to be able to hold Logan. To love on him some more.

thanksgiving 🦃

I did not know how hard this photo would be to take.

With broken family ties, the holidays have been a source of unease in the recent years. I grew up surrounded by family members on the holidays. With each passing year the voices have quieted to just us. And I realized how much I needed the noise this year.

We chose to avoid family drama this year; with us trying to figure out how to maneuver the holidays without Logan we didn’t think we were emotionally or mentally prepared to deal. The very thought of being surrounded by the different personalities that encompass our families gave us anxiety. A very nice lady donated a Thanksgiving Dinner to us, we rented a nice pile of movies and planned to camp in our basement. Sounded like a nice plan and for the most part it was.

Josh worked Wednesday so Thanksgiving morning when I woke up, I was alone as Wyatt was still asleep. I thought, I’ll drink a nice cup of coffee, eat some donuts, hang out on the couch, get some me time. I settled in downstairs and decided to catch up on some of my shows. It just so happened the latest episode of This Is Us featured a storyline of miscarriage. And while I didn’t have a miscarriage, it still struck a cord. It seemed like every show I attempted to watch would bring me to tears. I felt alone and my heart and my arms felt empty. Something was missing. Something I couldn’t fix.

Once Josh got home and Wyatt got up, things weren’t so gloomy anymore. We had our Thanksgiving dinner, watched movies and setup a couple of our Christmas trees. We even ventured to put up lights on the outside of our house! We brought Logan Bear out, propped him up in a chair to watch us. And while the day progressed effortlessly, there was this underlying ‘something is not right’ feeling. The house felt too quiet. There wasn’t the normal unhealthy spread of food littering the kitchen. No little boy to treat with the yummy spread.

With the lack of extended family involvement, we’ve decided to start our own new traditions for the holidays. With that in mind, we went to a christmas tree farm with the idea of cutting down our own tree, seeing Santa, picking out special ornaments for the kids (Wyatt and Logan) and just enjoying family time. It started out well enough, Wyatt rode the little train and we took family pictures. Wyatt picked out a cardinal bird as his ornament and I picked out small flannel boots for Logan. While waiting in line to see Santa, I realized we had left Logan Bear at home. I began to feel uneasy and guilty. I told Josh we couldn’t take a picture of Wyatt with Santa without Logan. Not only did I feel like we couldn’t, I simply refused to, I did not want to. Logan needed to be here for this. I felt guilty for leaving him at home. Josh ran home while we waited in line. When our turn came up, Wyatt crawled onto Santa’s lap as I quietly said, “We lost our son earlier this year, may I please sit him on your lap?” To which he replied, “Of course.” As I stepped back I began to cry. It was a moment Logan was supposed to be apart of. He would be 9 months old yesterday. I don’t know what it was about that moment that popped the cork. As Wyatt climbed down and I reached for Logan, Santa laid his hand on mine and with a nod said, “Bless you.” As we walked away I couldn’t stop crying, which of course alerted Wyatt to my predicament. I simply explained to him that I was missing Logan and I wished he could have been here to experience this with us. For the remainder of the day Wyatt kept Logan bear by his side.

Later that day we went shopping for a few of Wyatt’s christmas gifts. As I walked past the aisles filled with the baby and toddler toys and the rows of baby clothes I just felt taken aback. I won’t ever get to buy Logan a Christmas gift. I won’t get to watch him slobberly chew on his wrapping paper. I won’t ever get to see his face light up with excitement over the toy he’d been asking for all year. I won’t ever get to sit him on Santa’s lap. I won’t ever get to fill his stocking.

In a way I am thankful family wasn’t here. I didn’t have to pretend to be interested or ignore the jabs for drama. But at the same time, the whole holiday felt unnatural. I think I would’ve welcomed conversation. I wanted to feel the overwhelming love that family brings at the holidays. I feel like Josh and I are inadequate to give Wyatt that overwhelming feeling of love. A part of this family is missing. It will always be missing. We will never be full. So I’m left with the ever looming question, are we enough for Wyatt? Losing Logan has left me feeling inadequate. Unable to reach my full potential because part of me is gone. Many times today I have wanted to cry. I haven’t felt this much sadness, helplessness and loneliness in a long time.

We have a hard 4 months ahead of us. We hesitantly walked through Thanksgiving. We have Christmas next, which I’m thinking I will really struggle through. Logan’s 1st birthday is in February and his death anniversary is in March, same day as our anniversary. Please keep us in your prayers. Neither one of us wants to admit the struggle bus we’re on. Instead we both keep pushing it back down, telling ourselves we are doing okay. I miss him. I don’t think I say it often enough. I really miss Logan. I’m always telling people that Logan is in a wonderful place, which he is. I tell people how blessed I am to have gotten the time I did with Logan, which I am. I tell people how he has changed my life and encouraged me to start my foundation, which he has. But none of those amazing things change the simple fact that I miss my son. No matter what face I wear day to day, underneath all that strength, is a little voice in the corner crying for her son.

first family

Yesterday I served my first family from my foundation L💙ve From Logan. It was beautiful and equally sad. To be acknowledged on the back of the families funeral program was very touching. I can’t tell you how powerful that feels.

I was first contacted by this family last weekend. I won’t go into details about their circumstances out of respect for their family. I spent the majority of this week fretting over this family. I spent all day Friday running errands trying to collect the items people were lending us and purchasing the rest. The family hadn’t given us much direction, and that made me even more anxious. There was pressure to serve them successfully. To do right by their little family and not offend them. I purchased their photo album for them praying it was okay and to my relief the mom loved it.

The past several weeks I have been pretty emotional when it comes to everyday things with Logan. Things that have not bothered my in many months. Tac on the frequent panic attacks that have progressively gotten worse. As you can imagine there was a lot of hype around this funeral. It was our very first one for my foundation. We literally just launched a week and a half ago. It was sink or swim time. And it was the first funeral I’d been to since losing Logan. Friends and family gathered around me with concerns of how I was handling it all. And to be quite honest, I don’t think I really knew how I was handling it all. I’m a task oriented person, and this was a task I was given. To serve God through serving this family. And I wasn’t going to let either one of them down.

On Friday, one of my stops was to Babies R Us, which I have not been to since I returned all of Logan’s things before he was born. I found myself at the corner of Anna and Maple at the stoplight. Many of you know, it’s the entrance into the Towne West Mall. As I sat there, in the middle of a panic attack, I was staring at the trees that lined the entrance. You know, the kind of bored gaze you do when you aren’t really looking at something, you’re just zoning out? Yeah that. The longer I gazed at these trees, I slowly started to see shape to the first one. I quietly thought that kinda looks like a heart, huh that’s cool. The seconds ticked by, and with more effort and hype I thought, ‘That looks like a heart!’ And I immediately thought of Logan, and as I did, I heard ‘Mom, you got this.’ and it was with this smirky kind of tone. And in a matter of probably 2 minutes at the stoplight, I had gotten a shove from God through my sweet Logan to keep pressing forward. It was what I needed to hear to know that what I was doing would glorify God and bless this family in a deep rooted time of need.

Saturday morning I woke up, made myself go to the gym thinking it would help destress my exhausted panic driven mind and body. It didn’t. I came home and scrambled to get ready to attend the burial of their precious baby. As I stood there applying my makeup, my husband and I were discussing his grandfather who happens to be buried in the same cemetery, and how we hadn’t been there since his funeral almost 3 years ago. He made an innocent comment about something that I can’t even remember, but it hit my panic button and triggered the tear canals. I had been fighting the overwhelming nag to cry the past few days and I was determined not to be broken. Not on this day. This day was not about me.

As I got in my car and began driving through my subdivision, I could feel that nag again. I shut my radio off and very strongly had an out loud conversation with God on my way to the cemetery. I told him in quite a bossy voice, that today was not about me, and that I would not cry. And that I needed him to shoulder that for me. That he would give me the strength to push through, to be strong for them. For him to put the focus on them. He didn’t fully apply what I had bossingly asked for. During their cemetery service, I stood in the back while my volunteer photographer took pictures. I listened to their pastor give his speech. The honest sincere pain in his voice and the evidence in his eyes. My heart cracked a little. When the grounds keeper came to lay their sweet boy to rest, I was caught off guard in the manner in which they do it. Once again, out of respect for the family I won’t go into details. But this, this order, split my heart open enough to let the wretched tears out. I was taken back for a moment when I had to leave Logan. Each time I left him at the funeral home was hard. I could feel the pain of leaving him there in the cemetery, and he wasn’t my son. Afterwards, I assured them, that would be the hardest part of the day.

There was a moment in the cemetery, as I listened to the Pastor and I looked around at the family, that I felt pure innocent joy. It was such an easy yet hard feeling to have. In such a time of grief, here I felt joy, even in the midst of my grief being dredged up. The only way I know to explain it, is that it was God telling me, well done. I call it pure and innocent because it wasn’t joy for myself, but joy for the simple fact that I had done something in Logan’s memory for the love of God. I had sacrificed myself to serve this family to praise God. To share the love and comfort God had given me during my difficult time with Logan. I was dumbfounded; how could you have joy and grief at the same time. I’ve learned many times over the last 8 months, that these two, however different they are, go hand in hand. Kind of like ice cream and birthday cake, cookies and milk, or whatever your vice is.

The funeral went beautifully. I always thought I could write pretty decent. But this momma could write! The service and their commitment to God were very beautiful.

I was blessed to have two photographers volunteer their talents for this funeral. Several people lended supplies to help with decorations. Two of the people on my team helped me setup, one stayed through the whole service to serve where needed and helped me pack up. I got to spend a little quiet time with the mom, discussing grief. Several times today I have played back our conversation and thought of so much I could have said to her. Knowing that I cannot change yesterday, I pray that I gave her what she needed, and if she feels the need, that she will know that I am here to help in anyway I can.

I’ve learned a few things in the past couple of days. God gives us different paths. I know several mothers who have lost children. Some similar and some very different. But we travel a different road, sometimes that road joins together, kind of how 96 converges with 235, but then they separate again, 235 to I35 North or 235 to 254 or 235 to I35 South. We join for a short time, and then our journey takes us elsewhere until we meet again. I believe that us loss moms have a common unity, but that our journeys are different. I know that if I needed to call any of these women and talk, I could. Even if I have only met them in person once, and talked to them twice over the phone. I know our conversation can be as deep as I want or need it to be. There is a barrier that is forever taken down because of what we’ve been through. With that said, I’ve learned that I will most likely face families who will do things very different from what I think is right, but it’s not what I think that’s important. My job is to serve these families in a Christ-like manner.

I think my panic attacks may have subsided, at least for today. Oh wait, just kidding, here comes one now.  My emotion is still there, fighting to break the surface. I continually hammer it back down thinking it will just give up. I know the longer I push it down, the bigger and harder it will break through. Like a volcano that spends years bubbling under the surface just to break through with tremendous force.

l💙ve from logan

After I lost Logan, I met several women who had lost a child of their own within a pretty close time frame of my loss. Many times I would find myself more concerned with their well being than my own. I knew pretty quickly that I wanted to help other loss families. Just a week or so after Logan passed, I remember attending a Bridget’s Cradles work night. I knew a face or two there, and my sista came alongside me for support. It was an easy evening, and it allowed me to talk about Logan without the avoiding glances of sadness from others.

Fast forward a few months and I joined Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS); I’m currently volunteering under two teams – Event Coordinator and Hospital Liaison. At the informational meeting it was brought up that there was thoughts of helping these families decorate their memorials. AgapeCare Cradle already helps families with funerals, but perhaps take it a step further. Immediately I felt a tug and I knew I would be jumping on that journey fast. So the Event team initially took up the “idea” and I brought it to one of the members of AgapeCare Cradle.

I knew one of the ladies well, as she had walked alongside my family and supported us at the end of our pregnancy through Logan’s passing. But as I sat there waiting to ask what I knew I needed to, I felt so much anxiety. This organization was their baby, and I in no way wanted to step on their toes or offend them. I simply wanted to help in anyway I could. Amazingly enough, they had been praying for another direction! With her blessing and guidance, we began brainstorming.

We had taken pictures of items and scripted paragraphs, but once I sat down to make the brochure, I realized I didn’t know what we would call ourselves. We were helping AgapeCare, but we weren’t AgapeCare. Asking the other 2 ladies helping me on this project, someone mentioned using Logan’s name. Honestly, I had thought about it for a brief second and decided against it. This after all isn’t all about me and Logan. This is about helping others. With persistence and validation that Logan was indeed the driving force behind my initiative in all this, I reached out to Agape to make sure they were okay with this. I was encouraged to use Logan’s name from them as well, believing that it is God calling me.

I never intended for an organization to be created out of my drive to serve others. But here I am, in the works for building a nonprofit organization in Logan’s memory, to serve God and his people. I have felt God moving through this entire road trip. Consistently at peace with no pressure for success. Just simply knowing what will be, will be. Until the other day, after speaking with a friend, I felt the overwhelming pressure begin to seep in. I was uneasy and began to doubt my purpose in this journey. I sat for a couple hours pondering my sinking stomach. Finally coming to the understanding that Satan was trying to get a stronghold on my heart. He was planting seeds of doubt. Up until now this had just been a planning process, but that day, things were finally becoming real and moving forward.

So for those of you who don’t already know, I am starting a nonprofit organization named L💙ve From Logan. A new friend of mine gave me the idea. It’s a play on words. As we prepared for Logan to arrive, we had L💙ve For Logan. And now as he has passed and his love is continuing to spread, we will use L💙ve From Logan. We will help families plan their funeral/memorial/celebration. We will lend/give them the supplies/decorations they’d like to use. We will offer to decorate for them, assist them, or simply allow them to do it themselves. We are here to cater to their needs. To make this one task on their surprise plate a little easier. To take the weight off their shoulders. To give them validation that they can plan whatever they want to memorialize/celebrate their child. But ultimately, serve them in whatever way we can.

I can remember vividly back to my planning process. In a way, we were lucky; we had time to plan Logan’s funeral. Or perhaps, I’m just a little odd. About a month before Logan was born, I told Josh that we needed to plan an outline for a funeral. A Plan B if you will. The odds for Logan living were very slim. But we didn’t know for sure. But I had this feeling that once he passed, we wouldn’t be in any shape to plan a funeral. I wanted to honor my baby. So we sat down and listened to I don’t know how many songs before we picked the ones we  wanted. I sat for a solid week looking at other families funeral programs trying to decide what I wanted in mine. Once Logan passed, the task of putting the finishing touches on his funeral was a drive I needed. It kept my mind off the fact my son had just died in my arms only hours earlier. I’m a doer, so projects are my thing and I strive off them. His funeral was no different. I made several changes to our plans after Logan had died. Some things that I felt revolted by before he died, transformed into the norm. We never would have done a funeral had it not been for AgapeCare Cradle. They provided the means to afford it. Being me, I decorated it, on my own. I wanted to be in control of every detail; set up and tear down. It was one of the only things I had control over. But what that funeral meant to me; the validation, the celebration of his incredible life, the opportunity to show off my beautiful baby to those who love us, and to share the only things we had for him – this is the reason I’m starting L💙ve From Logan.

I am in the process of creating a website. I have bought the domain name. I have asked a dear friend to be on my board of directors. And I have a long list of people/things I need to do. I’m not asking for money, as many of you have helped tremendously raise money for us while we were pregnant and shortly after Logan’s death. Instead, I am seeking individuals with skills they would like to donate to help get this organization out the gate.

And as always, I ask that you make a spot on your prayer list for us. For everyone involved in this journey. For guidance. For obedience. For patience.

job 34

Josh and I have been doing a Bible Study together (this is a first for us!) over Suffering and Sovereignty, which covers Job, Lamentations and Ecclesiastes. Currently we are in the book of Job. Job has been a blessing for so many continuous reasons. When I first began this study, I was doing it with a few of my loss mom friends. But as I read the first couple of chapters, I immediately thought, J needs to read this! Everything he has been struggling with, it’s written right here in the Word. There is not better instruction manual than this.

For months now Josh has continually asked me how I am managing life the way that I am. In my mind, it’s been simple: I am not in control. There is nothing I can do that will give me the power of control. Everything I have and everything I am is in God’s hands. He chooses to allow or deny. I do not believe I was being punished when Logan died. I know that I am a good person, and that I do my best to live by God’s standards. God chose to let this happen to us. I have what I believe are answers to that all famous question; “why?” But I also know that God has bigger plans for allowing this loss in our lives and ultimately other’s lives. But Josh still struggles with this. He is still looking for answers. And in turn I continually remind him to think of all the blessings that have come to our lives since Logan has died. To think of the positive outcomes. I have said many times before, that this feels like the most blessed season of my life, even with the loss of Logan. My connection with God isn’t always as clear. Sometimes our Wifi is buffering and I lose that connection for a brief second, even though it often times feels like forever. But I notice when the connection goes down. I feel the lag in every fiber of my being and the see the distortion everywhere I look. Losing Logan has redefined my relationship with God. It has taken this perfectly square relationship and transformed it into this messy, unsymmetrical, somewhat semblance of a circle. The beginning and the end meet for continuous circulation, but what lies in the middle gets all tangled. I have found new layers of our relationship together. I’m by no means an expert when it comes to God. I can’t quote you inspirational scripture at the drop of hat. I don’t like to publicly pray. I can’t give you stories from the Bible without researching them first. But I can tell you how the holy spirit has filled my heart. I can tell you how I’ve witnessed the Holy Spirit in presence at church. I can tell you how he’s transforming my marriage, my husband, my son, my life.

Josh calls me as he gets on the road, and I read to him our Bible chapter and the study that goes along with it. Today, happens to be Job 34, which is appropriately titled : Getting What We Don’t Deserve. In summary of what she writes, she basically states how Job’s friends view life in a “checkbook theology” where you deposit good things in your accounts and when you do bad things you get withdrawals and God punishes you based on your credits or debits. This theology is obviously not conducive to who we know God to be. She goes on to discuss how we are all undeserving. That we aren’t graded on a curve. No matter how vile or virtuous you are, you will always land on one side. There is no middle ground. She goes on to suggest that when we begin to focus on our pain to instead list all the things in life you are blessed with, but don’t deserve. Instead of asking why bad things happen to us, we can ask why good things happen to us and praise God even for the little blessings.

What I find significant about this chapter, is the spot on comparison to what I have been telling Josh for months now after Logan’s passing. What I know about Job from growing up in the church was simply that his children died and he lost everything. I have never read Job. I had no idea that this gem was within the Bible. It was just something that God had spoken to me during my pregnancy with Logan. And I chose to continue my pregnancy knowing I would have to say goodbye to my son after he was born, by being thankful for what blessings I did have. I got to spend 9 months feeling his life moving around in my belly. To feel him get excited when his brother  talked to him. To see his beautiful face pink with life after my c-section. To bring him home for a few days. I could make pages of the blessings I see and continue to see. Instead of focusing on the fact that Logan is no longer here, I chose to focus on what God continues to bless my life with. How amazing that God placed this Bible study in our hands, to walk right into this chapter. That’s not a coincidence. That was God doing his work behind the scenes.