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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.

new additions

“And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” Genesis 9:1

Josh and I are coming up to a crossroads on our journey. A fork in the road if you will. Highway 96 goes into Baby City. Highway 54 goes to Adoption Town. And Highway 99 goes to Continuance.

Logan is six and a half months old this week. I imagine he is a beautiful soul. If he is anything like his big brother, I can see him with little ringlet curls gathered at the nape of his neck. Wispy and blonde. Giggling and laughing with his grandparents while looking down on us with overwhelming pride. I don’t imagine him sitting upon Jesus lap, but rather running alongside him playing. Down here, he sits upon my dresser surrounded by things that are important to us in regards to Logan. His bedroom, no longer holds the significance it once did. It used to be my place to go to see Logan. It was a sanctuary. His funeral flowers still sit in the corner, although wilted and long without life now. The Pack N Play still perched against the wall, but no longer set up for an infant. It’s still Logan’s room, as Wyatt so very well noted on a sheet of paper taped to the wall outside his room ❤ From the moment I set this room up shortly after Logan’s death, I left the door open. Instead of this room becoming an addition to the house, it became a part of the house. Everyone was allowed to go in. Leaving the door open gave permission to make Logan apart of our everyday lives. Not just the sad parts.

We have friends, whose little boy just turned one. We’ve been apart of his life since he was born. Through my troubles in my pregnancy, this little boy still came to our home. He was the only little boy who came to see Logan at the hospital. In my mind, they will forever be friends. Even though Hudson will not remember Logan, I will remember. His mother and father will remember. And I will always remember Hudson as Logan’s friend. They were best buds and didn’t even know it. This little boy, has just a beautiful sweet heart. There is this instant connection between him and me, and him and my husband. I’ve loved this little boy since he was in his momma’s belly. And while babies have not been an issue for me since Logan’s passing, they have been for Josh. And this little boy, this one year old child, has been healing my husbands heart. A one year old. Can you believe that? What power does this little child hold? Would you believe it if I told you his power was from God? I whole heartedly believe children are innocents from God. This little boy, God is using him to heal my husband. One of Josh’s “homework” tasks from our therapist was to hold a baby, and guess which one came right to him? Hudson. Just when Josh thought he couldn’t hold Hudson any longer, he followed Josh into the house. He was not going to escape this little child. Fast forward to last weekend — our friends went on a date night, and Hudson spent from about 5pm-1am with us. Enough time to get do a nightly routine with him. To feel what it would’ve been like had Logan still been here. We went on a walk around the neighborhood. We ate dinner and watched a movie. I listened to Wyatt telling Hudson what he could and couldn’t touch in his bedroom, which ironically was music to my ears, I couldn’t help but to smile. We watched him roam around our house like he belonged here. Giggling, smiling, stumbling over himself and teaching me how unprepared my house is for a toddler. When it came time for bed, we placed him in Logan’s room. I didn’t think twice about it. It seemed only natural to place him in the nursery to sleep. He fussed and squealed. Understanding that this was his first night in our house, it was a different environment from his home and he was surely a little unsure and scared, I picked him up and rocked him in Logan’s chair. After placing him back in the Pack N Play, I sat there and rocked in the chair. Watching him; looking at the stars splayed out across the ceiling; listening to the lullaby music being drowned out by Hudson’s “I’m not going to bed” squeals. And as I sat there, taking in all these different sensors, I kept thinking, this is what it could’ve been like. This is what I want it to be like.

Now don’t get me wrong, I by no means am angry that Logan is not here anymore. Yes, I would love to have my child growing up with me. But I am happy he is in Heaven. The only thing that makes me sad is how I had to watch Logan fade away while he was here on earth. That was very painful, and still is to this day. But nothing literally brings me greater joy than knowing he is playing in Heaven. I know that sounds so odd, but once you come to peace with something and you fully understand the grander purpose of life, it’s so simple. I won’t be here on earth for ever. This is just a temporary life I’ve been given. I hope to do great things with it. But I will inevitably be going to Heaven to spend eternity. And guess who is there waiting for me, untainted? I will never be able to give my children a better life than the one Logan is enjoying right now.

When I think about what I want in life, as we are going through our daily routines, I always see a child with us. In what form, I’m not sure yet. Which is why Josh and I are at a crossroads in our life.

We agreed that once Logan turned 6 months old, we would have “the talk”. Baby or no baby? Try or not try again? We would love to have a child of our own. To watch my belly grow and move. The baby shower and the joys of buying new little things. The ultrasounds and smells of a newborn.

We recently went on a trip to NOLA. A gracious trip given to us by some amazing people. A trip that I believe God planned to use to prepare my heart.

For years after Wyatt was born, I have occasionally brought up the idea of adopting another child. I have such guilt about bringing another life into this dying world. But I could save the life of a child already living here. I’ve been in the system before, every child needs love. While we were in NOLA, I was struck by the level of poverty that was all around me. The children on Bourbon Street performing to collect money while their parents stood on the sidelines with their attention glued to their phones. And my heart ached. I thought about Logan, and what I had given him. Love. How he would never have to understand this kind of life. How all he knew was love. And I became angry with these parents. Tough times call for tough measures, but how tough are they if you have this fully equipped smart phone? I wanted to take every single one of those children and smother them in hugs and love. To take them around town in a different light instead of one that only makes money.

On our drive home (it was 14 hours so we got loads of time to talk) I brought up adoption once again. I have my reserves about it, I know what I don’t want for our family. Josh has his reserves as well. But we agreed to meet with some sweet friends of ours who recently finiazlied their adoptions (plural!) after fostering for a little over a year. They shared with us the struggles they went through, but the reward you get in return is worth the work. You provide a child with a stable loving home. Instead of them being tossed around. It doesn’t scare me. If anything the idea makes my heart swell. I have loads of love to give. I love my friends children as if they were my own. I think of the beautiful things it would teach my son. The joy he could have with a sibling old enough to play with him. The understanding that we love people, no matter where they come from. To teach him to love others even if they weren’t born into our family. To teach him to spread and share his love. I mean the reward is never ending.

Highway 99 to Continuance… well this Highway holds a beautiful paradise as well. Josh and I got married young, 19 and 20 to be exact. We found out we were pregnant 6 months llater. We never got to grow up, our mature in our marriage before starting a family. That took a blundering toll on our marriage, on our individual selves and in a sense on our parenting. We have overcome amazing obstacles. The enemy was there at every turn trying to demolish our marriage. And while he never succeeded in his demolition he definitely took us down. We have spent the last many years focusing on being parents and maturing into our individual selves. Continuance would be just that. To continue our lives without any new editions. To continue to help Wyatt grow into a Godly young man and once he goes off to college to start enjoying our life together, just Josh and me. To be young, fun and hip grandparents who spoil the heck out of our grandchildren. To be the grandparents we have often want for Wyatt to have.

Each Highway leads to a beautiful place. A place of happiness and sorrow. For every journey in life comes with both. Our church family recently lost an 11 year old girl to a drowning accident. And while I don’t know the family at all, my heart aches for them. To lose a child at any age is devastating. It is the most devastating thing you will ever go through as an individual. I’m disgusted by the media’s frequent segments and the outpouring of negative and parent shaming comments from people around our community. It is a true testament to show they have not been through just distress. This week at church our sermon was over Finding Joy in Tragedy. A part of me wished they could have covered that when we lost Logan, but we would have never heard it, since we took a break from our church for awhile. But I loved that he was teaching from Job. Which happens to be the independent Bible study Josh and I are currently doing together — Suffering and Sovereignty. From what I understand this family was well known in the church and many people were effected by the situation. As he was explaining how his week had played out, and how he was beside this family as they found the body and went the funeral home. His emotions he felt as this family was planning the funeral. It all resonated with me. I got very emotional. But then he began to read Job. And I remembered what an amazing thing death can be. While it means the end for us here on earth, it means eternity in Heaven. Everyone dies, there is no escaping death. But I’ve learned that’s how you view death that can make or break you. If you allow death to be final, it will break you. But if you allow death to be temporary, it will take you places you never knew existed. This little girl, while tragic her death is, is soaring in Heaven right now. She is comforting her parents as Logan does us. She is full of knowledge and understanding and peace about life, death and Heaven. While it is still hard for us here, we can take  comfort in knowing the peaceful side of death.

The pastor said something yesterday that stuck with me — God does not do sinful things to us for he is not sinful. But instead God allows sinful things to happen to us because sin entered this world. He allows them to happen to mature us. He allows tragedy to happen to us so that we can help others through their tragedy like he helped us. Listening to this young girls death I have the understanding that I cannot protect my children from death. If tragedy should strike my home again, I remind myself what the winning goal is: Heaven. How we get there may not be peaceful or beautiful, but as long as we get there, that is all that matters. Logan’s life was not a tragedy in my mind. But instead a beautiful journey with a huge legacy. He left me with knowledge and the strength to grow in who my God is. He left me with a heart full of love, hope and servanthood. I want to help others that perhaps might travel our Highway or one similar. I volunteer with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS) for this specific reason.

Highway 96, 54, 99 — whichever one God sends us down, we are more prepared today, then we were yesterday.

girlie boy

“There is something wrong with your baby’s head…”

I remember the day we learned there was something wrong with our baby. It was a Monday. We just had our 20 week ultrasound the week before. At 18 weeks, our OB did an ultrasound for Wyatt to see the baby, since he was already out of school. We were told we were having a girl. I remember the laughter that followed the Dr out of the room. He told us to wait to decorate our nursery until we had our official 20 week ultrasound. Wyatt’s face was lit up with pure excitement when the Dr handed him his very own copy of his baby ‘sister.’ We came home and of course decorated the nursery in pink. We planned a super cute and cheesy announcement photo. We wanted a girl; it was pure bliss.

My sister began to plan our baby shower. This was going to be THE baby experience, as this was going to be our last pregnancy. My friend and I were literally 3 weeks apart in our pregnancy. And she too was having a girl. We began to plan their futures together as best friends. She would do their hair and I would attempt to teach them about makeup.

At our 20 week ultrasound, the technician asked if we would like her to confirm the gender, and of course we said sure. As she swept over the baby’s legs, there was an extra body part that wasn’t supposed to be there. I immediately felt my skin begin to tingle. Surely that didn’t really mean what I knew it to mean. Little girl Cook, turned out to be little boy Cook. I tried to hide my disappointment. Josh adamantly repeated he was happy with either gender as long as the baby was healthy. Wyatt was even more excited because now he was going to have a brother. I walked out of the office shook up and a little bewildered.

I took the gender revelation very hard. In my mind, I had already planned this little girl’s future. She was an actual human being in my mind and in my heart. When I found out we were having a boy, I felt this loathing feeling towards this imposter in my womb. I felt like my little girl had just died, and this little boy was to blame. I felt like they were two completely different people, when in fact they were the same baby. But I had difficulty wrapping my head around that realization. And to make matters worse, my friends baby shower was that weekend. I thought about her opening her little girl gifts and being excited, as she should be. And I began to feel overwhelmed and emotional and began to cry. I cried because I wanted a girl. I cried because I knew I wouldn’t be able to watch her open her girlie gifts; that was supposed to be my journey. I knew I would cry at her shower. I didn’t want to become a spectacle. I didn’t want to be that friend. They had their own journey they were walking with their pregnancy. This was their first child. I didn’t want to take away from their joy. I apologized to her and headed to my mom’s house in Kansas City. The more miles I put between Wichita and myself, the lighter I felt.

While in Kansas City, I received love and support from my family. They helped me return the girl decor and replace it with boys. I returned home exhausted and unloaded my new decor into the baby’s room. I really wanted to set it all up, but there was this slight uneasy feeling. I thought, if this turns out to be a girl, I am not taking all this down again. If something goes wrong, I’m not taking this all down. So I left it unopened in the center of the room and shut the door.

Later that afternoon, my OB called. I had just crawled into bed for a little nap. My office was closed that Monday, so I was spending the day at home with my boys. I remember the first words I heard, “Your ultrasound, blah, blah, blah…” I smirked to myself, because I thought he was calling to personally apologize for the gender mishap. I thought, what a nice guy. But then he kept talking, and things started to register. “There is something on the back of your baby’s head. On the ultrasound, there is something wrong.” My heart immediately fell into my stomach. He kept talking. I couldn’t speak. The only word I could form, “Okay.”

“Encephalitis…. brain…..fluid…… hole…..”

“Okay.”

“We need you to come in, blah.. blah… blah..”

“Okay.”

“We recommend an amnio and a visit with a specialist tomorrow…. blah… blah.. blah..”

“Okay.”

“Do you have any questions?”

“No.”

My whole body was shaking. I knew if I spoke anything other than okay, I would totally lose it. I hung the phone up, hollered for Josh. I was shaking and started crying. We told Wyatt to go to his room. I was sitting on the side of the bed, and in between body wracking sobs I finally managed to tell Josh there was something wrong with the baby. How could this be happening? I sobbed for what seemed like hours. I curled up in a ball on the bed and just let the tears flow. Josh called his job and took the night off. We weren’t sure what this meant.

After an hour, I had calmed down. The shock had worn off, and I grabbed my laptop and did what they always tell you not to do, research. I researched every nook and cranny of the internet on encephalitis. But everything I came across made absolutely no sense. The causes for it were impossible for me. So I began to think the Dr was mistaken. After all, they had screwed up with Wyatt as a baby, and if I had continued to listen to those Dr’s back then, Wyatt would have died. I began to think, this will all be cleared up when I go in for my next ultrasound.

We went in the next day, apprehensive but in good spirits, until my OB started talking again. This time, baby Cook’s diagnosis became more clearer. We asked questions, and I cried silent tears. He was so gentle and kept positive. He took his time talking with us and we never felt rushed. We had hope. We had hope this would be minor. We had hope baby Cook would live a normal life. That this was just a blip on our radar.

Josh drove me back to my office, and as I walked in the girl at the front desk saw my tear stained face and tried asking me what was wrong. I simply shook my head at her, pierced my face and waved my hand no. My boss stepped out of the operatory room and I just lost it trying to tell him what was wrong with my baby. He hugged me and told me to go home. Our patient, overhearing our conversion, came over and gave me a deep hug and said she would pray for us.

This was just the beginning of this long road. But what I can remember to this day, was the support, encouragement and honest to goodness love that people poured into us.

friends

“Some friends play at friendship, but a true friend sticks closer than ones nearest kin.” -Proverbs 18:24

For much of our marriage, I have confided in Josh many times how I have felt like I don’t have any close friends. No on that I felt loved and supported by. No one that I could express my darkness and lightness to. It was a very isolated feeling. I’ve prayed for years about it. I would put myself out there and join different organizations, activities, groups, etc; trying to find this group I know was waiting for me.

I have been through a lot of heart ache with friendships in my life. I’m a giver, and I attract takers. I believe relationships need to be maintained at 50/50. And as life fluctuates, so does that percentage. Sometimes you’re down and you can only give 40%, it then becomes your friends duty to step up that 60%. And vice versa. Nobody is at 50% all the time. That’s life, it gives you curve balls.

I’m repeatedly telling people, I will always remember those who walked this journey with me, and those who exited the road. This journey is by no means easy for anyone. I have strangers who hear our story and weep in front of me. It is a grief that many parents can relate to, even if you haven’t lost a child. You might have come close to loss, you might be that parent who stresses about the horror of this world and imagine the things that could happen to your child. Whatever it may be, if the people who don’t know me are willing to carry a burden they have no connection to, why then can’t my close friends?

This is a thought that has plagued me for months. During the remainder of my pregnancy and the days/months following. I think back to the efforts I made on my part to maintain these relationships with my friends, even with everything I was going through. I wanted my friends to know I was apart of their lives even through my pain and sorrow. Several of my friends have young children, and I did my best to try and help them not feel uncomfortable around me. My key point here, is that I tried. I constantly tried. I put my journey aside, and tried to keep the goal of, my friends are important and my life isn’t the only life that mattered. These people mattered to me, and I wanted to make sure they knew it.

Despite my efforts, not every friendship stayed. Some got off the highway. For fear, uncertainty, pain, etc. Everyone had their reasons I’m sure, they always do. Am I bitter about it? Of course. Am I angry, heck yeah. Do I understand it, well… to an extent. Unless you have walked this journey, you truly do not know what to say to a person. Sometimes the things you think, come out so so stupid. I know I’m being blantanly honest. But it’s a truth everyone needs to hear. Sometimes what you say, does not help. It’s so dumb all I can do is look at you like a deer in headlights. I understand that people don’t fully understand. I get that people didn’t know what to say, so they chose not to say anything at all, because they didn’t want to hurt or offend. I understand that the pain I was going through was too unbearable for them. But, we didn’t have to always talk about Logan. I do have another child live and well, I have a husband, work, life etc still going on in addition to Logan’s journey. A quick, “hello” text would suffice. Come sit with me and watch a movie. I could’ve used a friend when taking Logan’s nursery down and returning it. That was a very hard day for me. It’s truly the simple things that these friends could have done.

“I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrows.” -Jeremiah 31:13

There has definitely been a lot of mourning. But, there has been a lot of comfort and true joy since Logan has passed. This beautiful child has left such a legacy. In 14 days, he has changed me as a woman, a mother, a friend, and a christian. I have been blessed through this whole journey in one way or another.

I have made friends along this journey, with other loss moms. With varying stories of loss. Some with similarities to mine, and others not. But loss nonetheless. While these other friendships exited my highway, new ones joined in. They don’t mind my cross country journey. They aren’t here for the short run across the city. They’re here for the long haul across the country. Visiting every nook and cranny this highway has to offer. I have read in many support books how this is a common trait in a loss journey. So I try not to take offense, even though it does hurt.

Last night I attended a meeting for an organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS).They provide pictures at no cost for families after loss. They are a non-profit organization. These pictures most don’t understand, but they are they only memories we get to keep. You look at the pictures of your newborn periodically through the years as he gets older, reminiscing. These will be the only photos we get to reminisce on. I did not utilize their services, as I wanted the whole birth photography experience with Logan. I didn’t want to miss one second of his life. But I know at least one of the photographers for the organization, and she is a beautiful creature with an honest soul.

I carpooled with a loss friend of mine because there were going to be a lot of people at this meeting and we wanted to save space on parking. The presence didn’t feel awkward at all. We’ve only known each other since our boys have died, but it felt like we’ve known each other a lot longer. There were no walls to break down. When we got there I saw several faces I recognized, either from Bridget’s Cradles work nights, other loss moms, or people who have followed my journey. We sat up front, well because there was a couch lol and nobody else sat there. But I didn’t feel uncomfortable. If anything it felt like I spend loads of time there, when in reality I’ve only been in Tiff’s studio once. Another loss mom friend of mine sat next to me. Most people don’t know me as Brandy. I introduce myself and I’m just any ole person. But when I say I’m Logan’s mom, it always surprises me how many people know who I am. Boy does this kid have a legacy. And it makes me SO proud.

I realized last night, that for the first time, I really felt like I have a good group of Godly women, who love, support and understand me. Who truly care about me. Accept me for my darkness as well as my lightness. I could tell them my about my deepest rabbit hole and would not be met with judgement. But love. Comfort. Encouragement. I left that meeting feeling whole. Logan did that for me. If Logan did not travel the journey he had, I would probably have never met these women. And if I had, we wouldn’t have the same experience and knowledge that we do. What a beautiful gift my son has given me.

healing

Do you know what you are praying for?

We started going to a new church a few weekend ago, and one of the sermons was on praying for healing. Which obviously peaked my intrust seeing as I prayed for months for God to heal Logan. What I took away from the sermon was that you have to dive deep into what you are praying for. I prayed for months for healing for Logan, I wanted him to not suffer. I prayed that if God should take him, that he make it quick. But what was I really praying for? To be honest, on the surface I was praying for Logan to stay with me. I wanted his encephalocele gone, or at least operable to where he could have a satisfying life. But in my heart, I was praying for his healing. Complete healing. And God answered that prayer. Logan is healed, in Heaven prancing around with joy. He knows only happiness. He won’t suffer, just as I asked God. He is perfectly healed, just like I asked God. It may not have been the obvious answer I was looking for, but is nonetheless, the answer I asked for.

Today a friend sent me a text message, God had laid me heavy on her heart, and she’d been praying for me. At the time, I reflected back on the day I’d had thus far. We had chosen to skip morning church and go to the evening service instead. Josh was pushing for morning, but I felt completely uninterested and really felt convicted to go to the evening service. The day had been pretty uneventful. Nothing obvious popped into my head, so I told her thank you and just let it sit there. Tonight at service, appeared to be as any service would run, until this young man (I think he was about 13) started singing a solo. It took me a second to catch it, the music was a little different, and to be honest, I wasn’t giving it my full attention at the moment. But as soon as I realized what it was, my heart started pacing. I could feel my chest lifting rather quickly as my breathing deepened. I tried holding my breath to calm myself down. And then it just came, in waves. Racking my head, my heart, my soul. I pinched my eyes with my fingers to try and stop the tears, but I could still hear, every word he spoke. With my eyes pinched shut, the room shifted back to the mortuary 4 months ago. I could feel everyone’s presence around me. I sat there and listened to this young boy sing, and remembered Logan; remembered my pain; remembered my ache with God. As the song came to a close, I released my fingers from my eyes and wiped the tears. I looked over and saw Wyatt broken on my lap, much like at Logan’s funeral. I was listening now God. My friend’s earlier text suddenly made perfect sense to me.

Recently I confided in a few of my girlfriends that I was feeling at a loss connecting with Jesus in prayer. I go to church, I restrain myself from joining in with the praise and worship songs. But I truly listen to the sermon and take in what I’m being taught. I started a Bible study with a group of women. But each devotional day after reading through that days lesson, I would skip the prayer section. I felt like I was making progress by doing the study itself. But I was still struggling talking with God. I’ve never had that problem before.

When I think about talking with God, it feels awkward. Quite honestly, the best way I know to describe it is like that really close friend you have, that you quit talking to for a really long time. Then one day, they popped back into your life, and you have no clue what to say to them. The ease of conversation is no longer there. The comfort in knowing you can say whatever you want is no longer there. And things just get awkward fast. That is me and God right now. I think about praying all the time. Occasionally on a few tense moments I’ve had, I was quick to prayer without even realizing I had just relied on God. I know one day we will talk as friends again, and I look forward to it. Until then I find peace in remembering God knows my every thought, concern, happiness, sadness, etc. What I can’t intentionally say to Him, He already knows.

I asked my friends for their prayers. What I got in return was not just prayers but love, support, encouragement and understanding. How blessed I am to have found such amazing people in such undesirable circumstances. After this evenings service, I sent my friend a text message, explaining that I finally understood her text. She made a good point, it only seems fitting that God would use music to break down my wall in his house. To allow him to penetrate into my heart and my soul where I am most weak. To show me each time he enters, how loved I am. And no matter how low I may go in my rabbit hole from time to time, I am still saved. I am still precious. I am still a child of God. I am still going to see him some day. And I am still going to see Logan one day.

nashville

This past weekend I went on a girls trip with my aunt to Nashville, TN. The first girls trip since Logan’s passing. Just like my business trip to FL last month, I found myself very anxious again to leave my house. Almost cancelling the trip at one point, until my husband pointed out something that in hindsight seems very obvious. He said trips seem to be a reset button for me.

I have always been a little mean and crabby when Mother Nature visits my home. The boys in my household just know when ‘shark week’ (as my husband so lovingly puts it haha) approaches, you just kinda sit back and watch mom from a distance. But since Logan has died, these visits have transformed into self loathing and depression. I find myself spending at least one day in bed crying sporadically about my mangled post-baby body. About our unplanned future. About missing Logan. About the type of mom I am. You name it, I can cry about it. Sometimes, I just cry for not apparent reason. All the while, J lays next to me, listening and sprinkling encouragement in hopes to suffocate the rest out. My most recent visit just happened to be right before my Nashville trip. So when my husband heard my plan to back out, he strongly encouraged me to go.

The day I left was Wyatt’s 9th birthday. I had a hard time with this day, because I’ve always tried to do something super special on Wyatt’s birthday, and leaving town on his day really didn’t sit well with me. I almost thought about leaving the next day so not to disappoint him. We spent the day together and I tried my very best to make it special as always. We took Logan Bear everywhere with us. It was only natural that he be apart of this day, and Wyatt wouldn’t have it any other way. I dropped him off with friends and said my farewells. He didn’t seem at all bothered by the fact that I was leaving town. I think part of me was holding onto him because I knew the anxiety that awaited me once I hit the road. I walked back to my car with a tight chest. With Logan safely buckled into Wyatt’s carseat, we set off on our journey.

Once I arrived in KC, I met up with a close friend. As I was sitting inside at her kitchen table, I suddenly realized I left Logan in the car. I tried to push the panic that was beginning to arise inside of me, off to the side. He’s just a bear right? We left for dinner and took Logan with us, as he was still in the car. Once we returned back to her house, I once again realized I left him in the car yet again. I began to feel super guilty. Was I one of those parents who left their children in the car? Did he feel betrayed or let down because I didn’t think enough of him to remember to bring him in the house? Up until this point, I have never forgotten Logan anywhere. I hurried out to the car and snuggled him. As I began to calm down, I reminded myself that Logan bear was not Logan. That he was a representation of my sweet boy. Something for me to grasp until Logan can fill my arms one day. That if Logan indeed was here, I would never forget him. I’ve never been THAT mom.

Logan slept with me every night we were gone. While we ventured out during the day, I set him on top of the suitcase, watching over our room. And also kind of hoping the hotel staff thought he was one of those nanny cams hehe

This trip, was a stitch in the healing fabric I’m creating. I went on adventures. I didn’t always have a plan, which is so unlike me. I like schedules and plans and structure. I felt joy, down to my soul. I didn’t feel guilty one bit about enjoying my life. I have no big revelations for this trip. Usually I learn something each time I make a big step on this road. But this trip nothing sticks out. I felt comfort knowing when I got back to the hotel Logan bear would be waiting for me. However, when my aunt asked to hold him, I did have some slight anxiety watching her. All the while I felt like I was holding my breath, quietly begging for her to be finished so I could have him back. Many people get to see Logan bear, but not many get to touch or hold him.

I’m thankful God has blessed me with a husband who my inner workings. Who sees when I need a little shove. I have returned home, feeling fresh, full of love, and my soul feels at peace.