About Me

My photo
Kirkland, Washington, United States
I am a child of God. I am a follower of Jesus. I am a wife, momma, daughter, sister and friend. I love good conversation and hearty laughter. A good cup of coffee is always appreciated. Most of all, I desire to bring others into an experience with Jesus. One that will shape their lives and rock their souls for Him. Geoff is my best friend and amazing husband. Parker is my handsome boy who lives in Heaven. Norah is my bright star and bringer of joy. Tori is my overcomer and peaceful warrior. I live to show Jesus' love to each person He places in my path. I pray this blog strengthens you, comforts you and encourages you and that it MOST OF ALL causes you to want to get to know Jesus in a deeper level.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Feeling Crummy Is Never Fun

Today's been a weird day...

I woke up this morning feeling like crap. My nose was plugged solid and my head was so congested I thought it would explode. I did not want to get out of bed, but I knew I needed to go to work. Geoff was feeling just as crummy and if he could go to work then so could I. So I slowly got out of bed and ready for the day.

Today's been one of "those days". Those days that just sneak up on you out of nowhere. One of those days where you just can't seem to shake off the yucky feelings of sadness. Maybe it's because I'm sick, or maybe...maybe it's just because.

I miss Parker today. I miss my baby. I miss feeling him kicking inside me. I miss seeing his face. I miss feeling the reassuring hiccups and jabs. I miss Parker. I miss holding him for that little while in the hospital.

And I'm sad. I'm sad that I don't have Parker today. I'm sad that I won't see him when I go home. I'm sad that I won't be able to scoop him up out of his crib and love on him. I'm sad that I can't show him off to all my friends and family. I'm sad that my Parker isn't with me. Today's been a hard day.

Maybe it is this yucky cold. Maybe I'm feeling blue because I can't breathe out of my nose. Maybe I'm blue because I haven't gotten a good nights sleep in the past few days because I've been coughing every five minutes. Maybe I'm blue because my laugh sounds like the laugh of a person who's been smoking 10 packs a day for 80 years. Who knows, but I'm blue today. I wish I could just think happy thoughts and not be upset anymore, but that's just not realistic. I just need to ride the wave of emotion.

I know that I can choose to be happy. I know that I can read scripture and be comforted, or listen to my Selah CD and feel better. It's just that I will always miss my Parker. I will always have part of my heart that will be stained blue.

Part of me thinks that if we have another baby that I will feel "all better," but I know that that can't be a fix-all. I need to grieve the loss of my boy and today is one of those crappy days. One of those days that I simply have to live through in order to move on to the next day. Today is one of those days where, once it's done, I'll feel strong again. I'll feel strong again because I've fought the battle of this day which makes me stronger for tomorrow.

God is near, I know this to be completely true. I feel his Holy Spirit sitting beside me, walking through this with me. Geoff brought up something that I want everyone to hear.

When speaking with Dr. Christopher he was asked when he felt nearest (is that a word...it is now) to the Holy Spirit? Geoff sat and thought for a while and said he couldn't think of one time and he was bothered by that. However, when he was recounting the story to me it dawned on him that the reason why he couldn't think of one time is because there hasn't been a moment where we haven't felt the Holy Spirit. Knowing that makes today a little easier. Realizing that as I sit here feeling sorry for myself, the Holy Spirit is sitting right beside me, comforting me. Knowing and realizing that God is cheering me on and wanting me to have a good day comforts me.

I'll make it through today...with God's help. I may even make it through today with no tears, either way, I'll make it through. I'll get through today and be a little stronger. I'll be a little stronger for the next hard day and as I make it through today I'll be one step closer to a new normal. One step closer to our future. One step closer to wanting to be pregnant again. One step closer to being...happily me.

2 Corinthians 12:9
"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

Feeling weak today God, I need your strength.

Praise the Lord.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Love Family

Today has been a good day, except that I have been really sick, but other than that, it's been a good day.

This weekend, Geoff and I ran away to be with my family. We left right after I got off work on Thursday, grabbed dinner at Arby's and headed out. It was almost 7pm.

I hate taking this trip in the dark. It is the longest loneliest trip in the pitch dark. You have no idea where the sky ends and the horizon begins. I found myself being comforted by semis and the taillights of passing cars. I hate driving to Washington in the dark.

As we drove, I could not help but find my mind drifting towards thoughts of Parker. I was consumed with thoughts of, if he had lived we probably wouldn't be taking this trip. However, if we had decided to bring him, he would have been loved on all over. In fact, I found myself smiling as I thought about how mom and Aunt Claudia would have passed him back and forth between the two of them.

At a little before midnight we pulled up to mom and dad's house. They were standing in their doorway waiting for us as we parked the car.

It never fails, every time I go home to my parent's I feel like I'm a little girl again. I love it! I can't really put my finger on why or what provokes this feeling, but it just happens. I love it!

We unloaded our stuff, and got settled in. On our trip, we brought with us Parker's hand mold that we were giving to my parents. It had traveled the 300+ mile trip, safely tucked into it’s own little compartment. I gently took it out of the compartment and brought it inside. My parents, both, gasped at it’s beauty. My mom cupped her hands around it’s base and quietly took it to it’s resting place. I followed closely behind, as if, in a way, making sure it arrived safely.

She opened the door to the secretary and nestled it in amongst the precious china. What a perfectly beautiful spot. Mom and I stood there for a moment, beholding the sweet beauty of his precious little hand. We talked about how perfect it turned out and then stood quietly for a little while more. We then embraced and headed back to the living room. We chatted with mom and dad for a bit and then headed off to bed. This was one of the few nights that I didn’t have to take Tylenol PM to sleep.

The next morning I awoke at about 7:45am. Dad was awake, making breakfast for mom who was getting ready for work. I stumbled out into the kitchen, grabbed a mug and poured myself some coffee. Dad asked me how I slept, I told him fine. We then talked about the day ahead. Mom ate her breakfast and then headed off to work. Geoff got up around 8:30, grabbed some coffee while we talked with dad for a while. After breakfast, and about an hour of talking, dad headed off to work. Geoff and I started getting ready for the day.
At 11:00am Geoff and I met dad at his office, made color copies of Parker’s scrapbook for mom, and then headed out to Subway to grab lunch for mom.

After lunch dad took Geoff and I to his favorite coffee shop in downtown Yakima called North Town Coffee. We sipped on our lattes and talked. Dad asked us about our first support group meeting, which then lead to a very touch subject for me…how Idaho “handles” stillbirth and late term miscarriage.

Truthfully, this topic is a whole other blog post, but I have been provoked. I have been provoked because I have heard enough stories and have become so upset that I have decided something needs to change. I’m making this a mission (this is what my dad, Geoff and I talked about). I want to see how I can convince Idaho to acknowledge that Parker was born. Then, once I conquer Idaho, I’ll get to work making it a nation wide law…(small goals, baby steps)

We sat and discussed how I could get that started. Dad gave me some awesome ideas. I plan to get right on that very soon.

After coffee, Dad went back to work, Geoff and I shopped for birthday presents for Annie and Robby. At about 5:30pm we headed off to Robby and Keri’s house. I could not wait to get to my beloved Seattle and see my sweet nieces.

I love being around family. There is something truly therapeutic about being around people who know you better then anyone else. I also love how I can simply unwind and be myself with them. I don’t have to worry at all about what I say or how I act. It’s great. I love being with family.

We arrived at Robby and Keri’s house around 8:00pm. Keri, Annie and Kate greeted us at the door. Brad and Sarah arrived shortly after we did. We all convened downstairs in their family room. We talked, laughed and reconnected. Then, we went upstairs and had mom open her presents (her birthday was October 15th). We then sat around some more, talking and laughing. I love being with family. Around 10:00pm mom and dad headed to Aunt Claudia’s house, Brad and Sarah headed to grandma Neeley’s house and Geoff and I settled in at Robby and Keri’s. Keri got Kate and Annie ready for bed (I tried to help), while Geoff and Robby played video games. I laid in bed with Kate and read to her and then started dozing off.

At about 7:45 the next morning I woke up to the thundering sound of Tanner and Barclay (Robby and Keri’s yellow labs) running through the house to go outside. I went upstairs to find my brother working on breakfast while Keri corralled the girls. I sat at kitchen table, sipped my latte and talked with my brother.

I love my siblings. Ever since Parker died, my siblings have proven to be so wonderful. I know it’s something to be expected to have family close by at times like this, but I am still blown away that they came as fast as they did and stayed as long as they did. I love my siblings Robby and Sarah (and their spouses). I love that they cared and still care so much. I love my big brother Robby and my big sister Sarah.

Robby and I talked about a lot of stuff, but mainly about his friend who had recently experienced a loss and about Parker. Keri joined in the conversation after a while. I shared with them about how our support group meeting went and how much I cherish that resource. We also talked about when I get pregnant again and then talked about some of my frustrations with how Idaho handles stillbirths. It was a great conversation. Before we knew it, it was almost 9:30am and people would be arriving soon. I hurried, woke Geoff up and started getting ready for the day. Mom, dad, Brad, Sarah, Aunt Claudia, Uncle Tim, Amy, Grandma Neeley and Uncle Steve all arrived around 11:00 to help celebrate Annie’s first birthday.

Before the party started, I had an opportunity to bring out Parker’s scrapbook that my sister-in-law Ashley so lovingly made. I also talked about Parker’s bench that we bought for the corner where Parker’s tree is. I passed the scrapbook around and showed photos of the bench. It was great, but a part of me felt like I needed to be careful to not overshadow Annie’s birthday. So eventually, after about a half hour or so, I took the scrapbook and the photos of the bench and put them away. Annie opened her presents. She got such cute stuff, mainly clothes. It was a great birthday.

Towards the end of the presents, I found myself getting upset. What was happening? Why was I getting upset? I went into the kitchen to try to retreat from the birthday. I started loading my plate with food. My mom approached me and asked if I was OK. I couldn’t look at her. I quietly said, “Um…I think I will be.” As soon as I began to talk the tears welled and I couldn’t fight back the emotion. I walked over to the furthest corner of Robby and Keri’s kitchen and tried to burry my sadness there. I cried. I cried for Parker. I cried for his first birthday that we would never ever celebrate with him here on this earth. I cried. I cried because I had a baby and didn’t have him here with me in the physical sense. I cried.

My mom hugged me, as did Keri. They both asked if this was too much for me, and I immediately told them no. I wanted to be at my nieces first birthday. I wanted to help them celebrate. I didn’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, certainly not my nieces. I dried my tears and tried to compose myself. My Aunt Claudia gave me a hug and I was OK. Then my brother walked in, squeezed me and didn’t let go for a while. I love my big brother. He squeezed me and asked if I was upset because of the Parker’s Root Beer that they purchased at Safeway. I laughed a little and told him no, that there was no real reason why I was crying, this kind of thing just creeps up from time to time. I finally composed myself when Geoff walked in. I saw that he was upset too. We talked quietly, for a bit, in the kitchen. I could tell my family wanted to give us space, but at the same time stay close. They handled it perfectly.

Eventually, Geoff and I started to feel better. He went downstairs and finished his battle with Robby, I stayed upstairs, cuddled my sweet niece Annie and rocked her to sleep. At around 2:00 or so in the afternoon, mom Aunt Claudia, Amy, Keri, Sarah, Kate and I all piled into Aunt Claudia’s van and headed off to Nordstrom’s Rack.

We laughed and talked over each other the entire ride there. It was a loud good time, classic loud Copple fun. I love my family. Whenever we get together it’s just loudness and mayhem, but organized loudness and mayhem…sometimes. Any member of my extended family could easily describe how that van ride was without even being in the car. As I sit here writing this, I can still hear the noise from that ride and Kate’s sweet “excuse me…excuse me everyone,” such a fun trip.

We shopped for a couple of hours, grabbed coffee at a local bakery and then headed back to Robby and Keri’s around 4:30. We all gathered at Robby and Keri’s, ate chili, talked some more, said our goodbyes and then headed our separate ways.

Before headed back to the highway to drive home to Yakima, mom and dad wanted to make a pit stop at Grandma Neeley’s house. We visited with Grandma for a while, looked at old family photos and then headed back to Yakima.

We pulled up to mom and dad’s house at about 11:00pm. Mom, Geoff and I sat in the living room and talked until 1:00am. We talked about Parker and how the day turned out being harder then we thought it would be. We also talked about Christmas. Mom suggested that we take the money we would have spent on Parker and use it to help a child or family in need. That’s what we have decided to do. We are going to find a child or a family in need and help make their Christmas special through the loss of our son Parker. I cannot wait. I think it’s an excellent idea.

The next day was Sunday. We worshiped with my parents at their church, went out to lunch at Olive Garden and then said our goodbyes. We left Yakima at about 4:30pm and got home to Idaho around 9:30pm.

It was a great GREAT weekend.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Little Tidbits

I just wanted to share some things that have happened in our lives lately. Things that I like to think of as bright spots. Some of you have already heard some of these funny/embarrassing/sweet moments, but I thought I could share them with everyone on the worldwide web :) So here goes...


This story is a cute story from one of Geoff's third graders

Geoff went back to work a week after Parker was born. The principal of the school had sent out a letter to all the parents telling them about what had happened with Parker and asking them to share with their children. This was to avoid any awkward questions from children. Anyway, when Geoff arrived at school the kids hugged him and told him they were sorry. It was really sweet. Geoff appreciated every hug. One child's sentiments stood out. A third grader approached him, patted his back and said, "Tough luck buddy."

Geoff's initial reaction was irritation; however, when he came home that night and recounted the story to my mom and I, we all three busted up laughing. It has become a catchy phrase with Geoff and I. Now, whenever we're feeling frustrated with anything, we simply pat the other on the back and say, "Tough luck buddy".


When we found out Parker's heart had stopped we called my mom who then called all my siblings. Keri and Robby came as fast as they could and brought with them my 11 month old niece Annie and my 3 year old niece Kate. This story occurred one morning while I was putting my makeup on and getting ready for the day.

Kate: "Aunt Rachel, when is Parker coming back?"
Me: "Well...Parker won't be coming back Kate."
Kate: "How come?"
Me: "Because he's in heaven and he really likes it there, because it's a really nice place."
Kate: (shrugs her shoulders) "Oh, I've never been."


This story occurred just recently following my doctors appointment yesterday.

I walked into WalMart yesterday (sorry dad) to pick up a few things for the house and some goodies too. While I was there I realized that I needed to pick up some Tucks pads and hemorrhoid cream (I am not ashamed, it's a common thing that occurs during delivery). Anyway, while I was heading towards the register I saw Grady, his friend Jay and Jay's girlfriend walking into WalMart. Grady saw me right away. I thought, "Oh crap". I quickly covered up my hemorrhoid cream and Tucks pads as best I could.

Grady, Jay and his girlfriend walked up and started talking to me. I felt my face turning a bright shade of red and sweat beginning to bead up on my forehead. I was so mortified. I think I may have even said something about "You don't want to see what I'm buying." Which of course is like telling someone "DON'T LOOK!" What does that do? It simply peaks their interest.

So I held my arm over my items in an attempt to not attract attention. Jay asked if we were having a party and I said no (must have been the two bags of Brach's pumpkin candies). Then Grady must have asked what I was buying, so I told him, in a whisper, "hemorrhoid creme". He then asked what that was for and I said, in a whisper, "I have hemorrhoids!" To which he replied, "Oh, I didn't need to know that."

I stood there for a while, trying to make small talk, and finally said, "Whelp, it's been real." I turned and ran toward the nearest register and made my purchase.


I love life.


Don't Forget...

Yesterday (Monday the 20th) and today have been good days.

Yesterday Geoff and I went to our first SHARE of Idaho meeting. SHARE of Idaho is a support group for parents who have lost babies due to Miscarriage, Stillbirth, SIDS or early infant loss. There are also parents who have had to make the difficult decision of whether or not to save the mom or the baby (a very difficult decision I am sure).

The meetings are held at the Women's Life center near St. Luke's in Boise. It's a beautiful old house (probably built in the 20's or 30's). We sit in the living room and share the stories of our losses. Some of the women there have had years to grieve their loss. One woman's son would be 4 years old this year. Other woman's daughter would be 11 this year. While other's have had very recent losses. Geoff and I have only been grieving our loss of Parker for five weeks, while another woman lost her daughter in June.

Each of our losses are different. One woman lost her baby due to underdeveloped lungs and therefore could not survive on his how outside the uterus. Another woman lost her daughter due to an underdeveloped brain that didn't allow her to live outside the uterus either. Another woman had experienced several miscarriages (each prior to 8 weeks) after trying to get pregnant for decades. Myself and one other woman had had stillborn babies. With all of these differences we have one thing in common, we never want to forget.

We come to that support group to help each other grieve and to find a safe place to talk about our babies. That is something, aside from our losses, that we all have in common. We need a place where we can meet with other moms and dads and discuss our healing. A place where we can vent freely about frustrations we are having. A place where we can freely share our fears and concerns. A place where people will listen because they know exactly what your saying.

They (the facilitator and other women who have been attending this group for a while) said that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. That there is no time line. That the way we grieve is different from person to person. After hearing that I found that it was totally OK to have bad days or hard moments. I also discovered that it is totally OK to have good days and times when I don't feel depressed.

I am so thankful for this support group. It was a serious blessing to go there last night.


One of the many blessings that came out of this support group is how receptive they were of Geoff. He came with me last night, and turned out being the only guy there. Each and every one of those women made him feel welcome.

All too often the dads are forgotten. All too often the dads are looked over. All too often the dad's grief is completely ignored. This usually is subconsciously done by those around us. They don't realize that Geoff is grieving just as deeply as I am. They don't realize that his pain is as great as mine. They don't realize that he misses his son just as much as I miss him.

A lot of people tend to believe that because he didn't carry Parker for 8 1/2 months that he doesn't hurt as bad. That is wrong. Some people may think that to talk to Geoff about how he's feeling might make him feel more uncomfortable. That is wrong.

Don't forget the dads.

I say this with feelings of anger and frustration welling up inside me. I want to fill this blog with CAPS LOCK ON AND !!!!! EVERYWHERE! I am frustrated at how the dads are looked over.

The dads hurt just as bad as the moms. They cry for their children just as much as the moms do. They miss their children just as deeply. Their pain is just as great.

Remember the dads

Ask the dads how they're doing.

Reach out the dads.

To let them know that you are thinking about him, or remembering him in your prayers means so much. To let them know that you are willing to listen to them, means so much. To let the dads know that you haven't forgotten about them means SO much. To validate that they have lost a child too, means so much.

Dads hurt too.

Dads grieve too.

Dads have lost too.

Geoff lost his son, Parker Geofferson too.

Don't forget the dads...

...because they haven't forgotten.


Pray for the moms.

Pray for the dads.

Pray for the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Pray for each member of the family touched by this loss because they all are greiving too.

And don't ever forget...


Monday, October 20, 2008

Birthdays and a Bench

This weekend was a great weekend, PRAISE THE LORD!

Yesterday, October 19th, marked Parker's due date. Yesterday, several people were worried how Geoff and I would be doing. Geoff and I didn't even know how yesterday would go. Thank the Lord, it went really well.

Saturday we went to the Farmer's Market and bought a bench for his memorial corner. It's beautiful. It's made from old barn boards. So perfect. It's 4 1/2 feet long and fits perfectly underneath his October Glory tree. Every single leaf on his tree has turned a dark crimson red. It's gorgeous. It's almost as if it happened overnight. So now, Parker's corner is complete. I'll be taking pictures soon and sharing them with everyone.

Off and on, on Saturday, Geoff and I talked about Parker and our subsequent children (subsequent children are those you have after having a stillborn baby). We discussed how we would introduce Parker's little brother or sister to him. How we would bring out his scrapbook on his birthday and share the pictures with them. It's strange to think of how we will remember him on his birthday. It's strange to think about because it's simply one more thing that I have to get used to, introducing our subsequent children to a brother they will never meet here on this earth.


On Friday we had Mark and Vanessa over to watch the BSU/Hawaii game and celebrate Mark's birthday. Towards the end of the evening Vanessa and I went into Parker's room. I wanted to show her his memory box. We opened the lid and knelt on the floor beside it. I wasn't sure if I should pull everything out or if we should simply pull out what we wanted to see.

Gradually, as we knelt there, we ended up pulling out his ultrasound picture album and flipping through that. While we were looking at his ultrasounds I had mentioned that I was scared to get pregnant again. She reassured me (as have my parents and my husband) that it's totally normal to be scared. She said it's like getting in a car accident (keep reading). When you get in a car accident, the first thing you are scared to do is get back in the car. The more you do, the easier it gets. Then, it's hard to drive down the street your accident was on. Again, the more you do, the easier it gets. She then suggested surrounding myself with women who have had stillborn babies and then gone on to have subsequent children. She said the more I'm around these women, the more excited I will become about being pregnant again. Just like being in the car accident, the more I drive, the easier it will be. The more I drive down that street, the easier it will get. The more I surround myself with people who have seen the other side of this grief, the easier it will be to imagine Geoff and I on the other side.

In all honesty, we want to have more children. I want to be pregnant again. We want to start as soon as possible. BUT at the same time we want to wait. We want to heal. We want to grieve completely. So we will wait. We will surround ourselves with women who have healthy children since their loss. We will become more hopeful, and then we will start trying again.


2 Corinthians 12:9

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Tribute to My Geoff

Today has been a good day. PRAISE THE LORD! Two good days in a row, that hasn't happened in a while.


I felt it was due time that I wrote a tribute to my Geoff. To let the world (or at least everyone who reads this blog) know just how much I love him.

Geoff and I met during our freshman year of college. We were part of the same worship band, had several mutual friends and were in the same freshman seminar class. After several days of flirting, chatting over AIM and just being around each other we started dating. I have several wonderful memories from those days. My favorite is when Geoff and I went on one of our first dates (before we become "official"...I love that term) .

Geoff asked if I wanted to go on a drive with him and, of course, I said yes. We jumped in his truck and left campus. We were headed toward Lake Lowell, but some how, he got lost. He began to panic, just a little. He kept asking me if I was scared and I said no. Even though I told him I wasn't scared, he did his best to sound like he knew where he was going. The number of houses on the road became less and less as the clock ticked closer and closer to midnight...curfew for NNU freshman. Eventually, I saw a highway sign that read Nampa - 5 miles. We followed the sign and made our way back into Nampa. It was on this drive that I learned how Geoff truly felt about me. He told me that he was intimdated by my beauty. I love that memory. I remind him of it as often as possible.

Another fun memory is of another one of our first dates. This was truly, the first date we ever went on together. I had been thinking about Geoff quite a lot leading up to this. I had been talking to my roommate Tauni about Geoff non-stop. Finally, she told me that I needed to call him, but I didn't have his number. It was then that I remembered that Geoff's roommate, Forets, had given his number to the entire 2nd floor. So I ran downstairs to the 2nd floor, and hollered that I needed Forest Fisks number. Several girls handed me the slip of paper that had his number on it. I grabbed one and ran back upstairs to my dorm room. I picked up the phone and dialed his number. Geoff answered and I stalled then blurted out that I had cabin fever and needed to get out of the dorm. He agreed to meet me outside Ford Hall in 10 minutes. After hanging up I quickly changed into a cute little outfit, spruced up my hair and makeup and ran downstairs to meet Geoff. We walked around campus and talked about everything, even the number of kids we wanted to have. It was great.

After about an hour of walking around campus, we decided that we were hungry and headed off to McDonald's. We shared a six piece chicken nuggets meal (that I ate most of) and talked some more. I remember him asking me if I liked to eat, and I said "OH yeah!" He asked me, excitedly, "Do you like steaks and buffets?!" and I responded, "Of course!" We then talked about what it was like being Pastor's kids. It was great. I didn't want to leave, but curfew was edging close and McDonald's was starting to close. We headed back to campus and decided that we didn't want the evening to end. So he ran into his dorm room, grabbed a back of crunchy M & M's that his mom had sent him and came back out to the truck. We sat, ate M & M's and talked so more all the way until 11:58. I ran to Ford and he ran into Culver. We got on our computers and talked on AIM into the wee hours of the morning. What a great date.

On September 26th we "became official" as the NNU community puts it. Almost a year later, on my 20th birthday we were engaged.

He took me out to dinner at Macaroni Grill and then took me to his parent's house. There we ate my favorite dessert, Peanut Butter Pie that he made for me and drank sparkling white grape juice on a blanket spread out in his parents side yard. It was then that he had me open my present from him. It was in a beautiful bag, with a white box that held a black velvet ring case. My heart was beating so hard that I thought it would jump right out of my chest. I don't remember what he said. All I remember was that he told me he loved me more than anything and wanted to spend the rest of his life with. He took my ring and slipped it on my finger. We cried and hugged and I just kept saying yes. It was one of the best days of my life!

On June 5th of 2004 Geoff and I got married at Yakima New Hope church of the Nazarene. Our dad's officiated, our siblings were our bridesmaids and groomsmen (except for my friend Amy and Geoff's old roommate Forest). It was a real family affair and a WONDERFUL day! My favorite memory from our wedding is when Geoff surprised me with a song. It's a Steven Curtis Chapman song I Will Be Here. I cried and so did Geoff. Then, when he was done, I looked at our dad's and whispered, "can I kiss him?" To which my dad replied, "we're trying to hold that off for as long as possible." Everyone laughed. That day was the best day of my life.

I love my Geoff. Through our 4 1/2, nearly 5 years of marriage, I have grown more and more in love with him. We have grown closer and closer as a couple should. He is my best friend. My only lover. My knight in shining armor. He is my prine.

These past few weeks since Parker's death, I have realized how much of a blessing Geoff is to me. He has been so incredibly strong, and yet, he has shown me his vulnerable side as well. I am forever thankful for him. He knows how to hold me when I need to be held. He knows how to make me laugh when I need to laugh. He knows how to love me when all I need is his love. He is my Bambino.

I love my Geoffrey


As I was working on this blog, I googled I Will Be Here and was blown away by how applicable the lyrics are to our life these days. Here are the lyrics...

Tomorrow mornin' if you wake up

And the sun does not appear

I...I will be here

If in the dark we lose sight of love

Hold my hand and have no fear

'Cause I...I will be here

I will be here...

When you feel like bein' quiet

When you need to speak your mindI will listen

And I will be here

When the laughter turns to cryin'

Through the winnin' and losin' and tryin'

We'll be together

'Cause I will be here

Tomorrow mornin' if you wake up

And the future is unclear

I...I'll be here

Just as sure as seasons are made for change

Our lifetimes are made for years

I...I will be here

I will be here....

You can cry on my shoulder

When the mirror tells us we're older

I will hold you

And I will be here

To watch you grow in beauty

And tell you all the things you are to me

I will be here

I will be true

To the promise I have made

To you and to the

One who gave you to me

I...I will be here

And just as sure as seasons are made for change

Our lifetimes are made for years

'Cause I...I will be here....

We'll be together

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Today is a good day.

I have felt good all day. I woke up feeling good. Got ready for the day feeling good. Drove to work feeling good. Laughed with my coworker, so hard I thought I'd pee my pants. It's been a good day. And guess what, today Parker would be a month old. Today is a good day.

You're probably wondering why I'm having such a good day, on the day that marks my son's 1 month birthday? Well here's why. I rejoice because a month ago today I met my son. I held him. Kissed him. Loved him. One month ago today I saw his sweet little face for the first time. One month ago today I got to feel what it was like to become a mom. One month ago today I met my son and it was good. Those are beautiful memories.

I thank God for that day, September 15th. I thank God that I was able to see him. Hug him. Kiss him. Love him. I thank God for being able to meet my son Parker Geofferson.


Today is also national awareness day for lost babies. This day, around our nation and the world, women will light candles at 7:00pm in remembrance of their babies that they have lost due to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or early infant loss. Today I remember and celebrate Parker. Today I will light my candle and say a prayer for all the families that have lost a baby.

On Angie Smith's blog (audreycaroline.blogspot.com) she had women leave comments that had lost a baby. There were over 1200 comments left on her blog. I was amazed at how many women had experienced a loss of some kind during pregnancy. Most of the comments were from women who had experienced a miscarriage. Did you know that 1 out of 5 pregnancies will not end in a live birth! That's not a very comforting statistic, but it goes to show how many families are touched by this. That means that 20% of women will experience a loss, whether a miscarriage or stillbirth.

So today, I will celebrate Parker and I will celebrate the lives that have been lost. I will pray for them and for their families. Today I will light my candle.


Today is my mom's birthday. She'll be....well I won't tell :) She'll be a year older, we'll say that :)

I'm so thankful for my mom. She's the best mom a girl could ask for. She calls and checks on me quite frequently these days. I'm thankful for that.

Last night she called and I cried on the phone with her. She sat and listened to me tell her all about my hard day. Then, after Geoff and I got back from dinner she called again. This time Geoff was able to complain on the phone with her, and she listened. Then I got on the phone and she told me all about her TERRIBLY FUN suprise birthday party and then she listened to me complain some more. I love how she allows Geoff and I to be total "Debbie Downers". She's the best mom in the world (HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM...if you're reading this).

For the past few days I've been shopping for a birthday card. One that will say the right thing. I don't want one that will make her cry, I seem to find TONS of those. I want one that say just the right thing in just the right way. So...since I can't seem to find it at hallmark (shocking) then I'll have to make one myself. I'll work on that today, I'm usually late sending cards anyways (my brother's birthday was October 6th and I still haven't sent him his card...and if mom's reading this, she'll probably call me and tell I need to send him one, or she'll tell me that I can just wait until Annie's first birthday party...love you mom :) ).


Today's been a good day.

Filled with good laughter,

Good conversation,

Good memories,

A birthday for mom,

And my God close by.

Happy Birthday MOM!

Happy One Month Birthday Parker!!


(both alive with us and those angels in heaven)


2 Corinthians 12:9

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Am So Weak, but Praise God! For He is So Strong!

Today has been hard...

I can't tell you why. I can't reason it out. I just can't explain it at all. There is no reason. It wasn't one thing that caused it. It wasn't one thing that triggered it. It just has been a hard day today. I woke up and felt exhausted. I got ready for the day and was weak. I came to work and wanted to go home. Today's been hard.

I started reading through my old blogs. Kind of a mistake, kind of therapeutic. I was proud of myself to see what I had worked through, but also was overwhelmed with memories of those awful days. Tears welled up in my eyes and were swallowed away. Hard feelings, hard thoughts.

I searched the internet for facts on stillbirth. I was encouraged that, well that there are websites out there to help women face subsequent pregnancies following a stillbirth. I was overwhelmed by some not so comforting websites. Stupid internet.

The past few days I have been consumed, overcome, with the urge to load myself with encouraging facts that tell me that I can have another baby that will live. However, I am terrified still. I am terrified that I'll loose the next baby. I'm terrified that I will never know what it's like to bring a baby home from the hospital. I am terrified that Geoff and I will never know that joy. I'm terrifiedl, so I pray.

I pray and I remind myself that God is bigger then my fears. God is bigger then my anxieties. God will walk with me. God will be right beside me through this grief and throughout the next "subsequent" pregnancy.

I have been asking God to bring back the excitement and desire to be pregnant. I have been asking God to give me joy regarding pregnancy. I have been asking God to calm my heart and mind. God has heard me.

Friday was when all these anxieties reared their ugly heads. I had googled "subsequent Pregnancy after a loss" and was sent to this woman's blog. I should never have read her blog. It was filled with tons of scary statistics that I can't bring myself to repeat. I simply wrote them down and plan on discussing them with my doctor. I vow to never read another stupid blog from some random woman again...


Tonight, on my drive home from work, my body ached and my heart was heavy. Like I said earlier, today had been a hard day.

I called Geoff to tell him that I would be home late because, yet again, traffic was awful in little old Idaho.

I hate being stuck in traffic, but I do take that opportunity to put in my Selah CD and blast it!! I sing the songs at the top of my lungs..."THROUGH IT ALL, THROUGH IT ALL, I'VE LEARNED TO TRUST IN JESUS, I'VE LEARNED TO TRUST IN GOD! THROUGH IT ALL, THROUGH IT ALL, I'VE LEARNED TO DEPEND UPON HIS WORD!" Such good therapy. I sometimes even open my sunroof so that I can share the good messages of these songs with those stuck in traffic with me.

While I'm on the phone with Geoff I tell him that I've had a rough day. I tell him why I'm feeling so blue today. One of our members had a baby this morning...lucky them... He responds by saying, "Well, hurry home so you can have a great evening with me." I smile. He's so good for me. He warms my heart.

I don't want to be around babies right now. I feel like they're everywhere. I feel like I can't get away from pregnant women and newborns. I want to move away to some far off island where there are no pregnant women and there are no babies. I'll live there until I'm ready to face reality. Yeah right, that will never happen, because that place doesn't exist.

I cry and tell him that I'll hurry home as fast as this stupid traffic jam allows. I tell him I love him and I hang up.


It is at this moment that I am reminded of all those wonderful verses. I am reminded of all those encouraging words the Lord pointed out to me on Sunday. I am also reminded of our very favorite verse, the verse that has helped us more than any other during this time...


So I sing. So I pray. I sing and I pray for God's comfort. I sing and I pray for God's healing power. I sing and I pray for God's strength. I sing and I pray for God's glory. I sing and I pray because God hears me and God will answer me.

God is so good.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Word of the Lord Speaks CLEAR!

Today has been a blessed day, thank you Lord.

I'm sitting here, at home, in my living room. Geoff and Grady are playing video games, yelling at each other (cracks me up). The smell of mulled cider and pumpkin spice are so comforting. Opie is almost passed out on the floor. I'm cuddled up on the couch, underneath my brown fleece blanket, thinking about my day.

The past two Sundays I have kind of dreaded going to church. I dread it because I don't know what it will be like. I don't know how people will behave, what they will say, how I'll feel, etc. I just dread the unknown of being around people. This is something new for me. Usually, prior to loosing Parker, I loved being at church. I loved teaching our young adults Sunday school class. I loved meeting up with friends and talking about their week. Now, I sit in the second row, while Geoff does sound check and pray that no one talks to me. Then, during Sunday school, the past two Sundays, I've escaped to McDonald's, or today, I escaped to Flying M. I dread going to church. Today; however, I'm so glad I was there.

As I was sitting, listening to Geoff practicing for morning worship, I opened up my Bible to Psalms. I found several wonderful verses to work on memorizing, but then I came upon a whole chapter that really spoke to me. It was Psalms 20:1 - 8 , here is what it says...
"May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests. Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm."
I got so excited when I read this passage of scripture. My heart was filled. God is so good. I needed to hear every bit of this passage of scripture. I feel like this is the prayer of my heart.
As I was sitting there, in my second row pew, I came upon another bit of scripture that really blessed me. This passage of scripture is also found in the Psalms. It's Psalms 18:28 - 33, it says...
"You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights."
Again, I was completely blown away by how blessed and filled my heart was. I didn't want to stop reading, but before I knew it, it was time for the service to start.
Our services start with the singing of two hymns. I don't remember the name of the first hymn, I just remember seeing the scripture that the hymn was taken from, it was Isaiah 40:29. So I quickly turned to that scripture in my Bible. When I opened it up and started reading, I found that Isaiah 40:28 - 31 were yet again just what I needed to read. Here is what they say...
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
As I'm rewriting these scriptures (and consequently rereading them) it dawns on me that they all have a central theme...strength. God is so good.
Shortly after singing the hymns, Mark got up and read from Isaiah. I honestly don't remember the passage of scripture that he read from. What I do remember was getting distracted by a portion of scripture that I had underlined a while back, it's found in Isaiah 41:9 & 10, they say...
"I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Are you understanding why Sunday was such a blessed day. This isn't the last bit of scripture that I "accidentally" ran across today...there's more.
The next bit of scripture I found after reading further into Isaiah chapter 41 was Isaiah chapter 41 verses 13 and 14. They say...
"For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, 'Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I myself will help you.' declares the Lord."
Just when I think I couldn't be blessed anymore, just when I think God had shown me all he needed to show and tell me all he needed to say for that moment, the sermon began.
It's amazing how God works. Mark's sermon was taken from the book of Ruth regarding Naomi and Ruth. I learned a lot. I learned that Naomi had experienced great lost like Geoff and I had, and then some. I also learned that she had become incredibly bitter as a result. This is where I will slightly digress...
Loosing our son Parker has been hard, but we have never, ever thought to blame God. On Friday Geoff and I went out to coffee and talked. It was a great time. We were there from about 8:30 to close. It was wonderful. While we were drinking out coffee and talking about getting away, I told him about how I have never, not once, been mad at God. He agreed. He then brought up something that happened at the hospital that accurately shows how God's peace immediately came over us.
Dr. Rudeen came in and performed an ultra sound. It was there when he stopped over Parker's heart and told us that all four chambers of Parker's heart weren't moving. I turned immediately to Geoff and grabbed him and held tight. The whole short short while that we hugged, I cried and said over and over "this isn't happening, this can't be happening, this isn't happening." Then we let go of each other, and in our dark hospital room, I told him (and Geoff reminded me of this) "It'll be OK. We can have more babies, or we can adopt. It'll be OK." And we were calm. We felt wrapped up in God's arms and we were calmed by the Holy Spirit. When Geoff and I were recounting this moment we were pleasantly reminded of why we were never angry with God.
We were never angry with God because to turn from God now would mean death for us. To turn from God would mean to turn from His goodness and grace that he showered on us that awful Sunday night four weeks ago.
Mark's sermon was all about how sad and bitter Naomi was. How her bitterness was brought on by blaming God. How tragic. How sad. One thing that I find myself saying under my breath when people say they are sorry is don't be. Don't be sorry for me. Don't be sorry for Geoff. We were blessed with 8 1/2 wonderful months with Parker. We were blessed by God's calming presence those 2 1/2 days we were in the hospital. We have continued to be blessed by the presence of His Holy Spirit. Every day God shows his blessings, be they big or small. Every day I feel God's loving arms around me. I have never felt so near to God as I have these past 4 weeks.
So don't feel bad for us. Don't be sorry for us. We are blessed by God's grace and goodness.
So while I listened to Mark's sermon about sad, bitter Naomi, I was blessed to know that I had made the right choice to, as Mark put it, not "blame God's hand, but hold on tight to it". I am blessed and not bitter because I did not choose to attack God, like Naomi did, for my loss. I did not choose to turn my back on Him or walk away from Him. I am blessed and not bitter because I have found in a new and wonderful relationship with God.
So I praise God today for being with me at church and perking my ears to hear what I needed to. I praise God today for showing me scripture that is so COMPLETELY encouraging. I praise God today for speaking through Mark's sermon and encouraging me there as well. God is good. GOD IS SO GOOD! PRAISE THE LORD!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

To My Dear Friend

Yesterday was a rough day, but yesterday evening was a blessing.

I am thankful for friends. Friends who let you talk through your feelings. Friends who are honest with you about their feelings. Friends who won't let you pull away, but who allow you space. Friends who give you a second chance. Friends who sit at Flying M, and let you "throw-up" every emotion and feeling you've had over the last three (nearly four) weeks. I am thankful for my dear friend Kara.

Yesterday, as many of you may have read, I lashed out in anger, unfairly. I plastered it on my blog and attacked in a cowardly way, my dear friend Kara. Yesterday afternoon I cried because I knew that it would hurt Kara. I cried because I was angry. I cried because I was a mess of unpleasant emotions. I knew that her rejoicing over her healthy baby Minor may be overshadowed by my anger. This was not fair. I needed to make it right. So we went to coffee. We didn't get much time together, but the time we had, was for me (and I hope for her), very healing. I needed to meet my dear friend Kara for coffee. I needed to be around her again and to open myself up.

I miss talking and laughing with her. I miss coffee dates like the one we had yesterday evening. I miss griping to her about stupid things like...well she knows ;). I don't want to push Kara away simply because she's pregnant, that's not fair (for me or her)! I am realizing that I need people like Kara around me. I need to be able to get past my "issues" with pregnant women. She's going to help me through this, I know it. She's going to help me feel normal around people again, especially women who are pregnant.

God has blessed me with friends like Kara. God has blessed me with people who may not fully understand why I lashed out, but who are willing to listen and learn. I am thankful for my dear friend Kara. I rejoice with her regarding the health of her baby Minor. I love my dear friend Kara, and I realized how much I need to have her around right now.

Please now, Kara, how dear you are to me. Love you friend :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Blue That Glimmers

Today I'm blue with glimpses of happiness.

I'm not so angry anymore, now I'm just trying to process and figure out how to heal. I am trying to figure out how to move on from the anger that I felt earlier. There is no one to blame, except...well, no one. I don't blame my friends, I won't blame God and I don't blame myself. The feeling of anger was just one of those emotions that bubbled up over words. Over a simple phrase that was written not out of malice, but was simply written.

This is one of those emotions, and instances, that are hard to explain. I hated hearing this, so I hate that I say it now, but until you have walked the path that I tread...no, I won't even say that. This is just simply one of those emotions and instances that are simply hard to explain. I can try. I can try to "wax eloquent" about it, but the message might not get across effectively. I can try and explain, in the simplest of ways by using "like or as", but that won't get the message across effectively either. All I can say is, bare with me. Grit your teeth and bare with me or ask me to clarify, and I will try.

I have always said that I want to be an "open book". That I want people to feel like they can approach me regarding my grief and the loss of my son Parker. I still hold tight to that. I still want to be an open book. I still want people to feel free to approach me regarding my journey along this path toward healing and a new normal.

I'm not sure if you all realize this, but your comments, whether posted on here or on my facebook page, keep me going. They give me the energy, encouragement and hope to keep on...keepin on. I am thrilled when I open my email and see that a new comment has been posted. I become elated when I open my facebook to see that I have messages in my inbox or messages on my wall telling me to keep up the good work! I need those. I thrive on them. I live off of them. **Would you believe that my love language is words of encouragement?** Those are vital to me these days. They are what help me hold my head up. Really, I feel as though each and every one of you, who access this blog and read it, are walking the journey with me. I feel as though Geoff and I are the guy on the bicycle, in that really long race, and you all are riding, a little behind, in the pace car (if that's what they call, but you get my drift). You are cheering us on while we fight this battle.

So as we journey, together, along this rough road, this pot-hole filled path, there will be good days. Days where I feel so high. Days where the view from the mountaintop is breathtaking. Days where I will feel God right beside me. But then there will be days, like today, where I'll feel lost in the deepest depths. Days where the quicksand is heavy and hard to climb out of.

I hope the good days will come more than the bad, but I know that I have little control over that. What I have control over is how I make it through those bad days. I have control over drawing near to God. I have control over giving God control. That's what I worked on today and that's what I continue to work on.

So bare with me. I'll get through this. Geoff and I will get through this together, with God. It will be good, in the end (wherever and whenever the end is). Please continue to pray for us, think about us and encourage us. We need it like never before. PRAISE GOD, GOD IS SO GOOD!

Feeling Weak, Knowing God is Strong

Yesterday was a great day. Today has been a little rough.

I'm a little angry today. I'm a little angry because of something someone said. I know they didn't mean anything. I understand that they probably didn't think one bit about me and my situation. But I'm pissed. I'm mad.

It was my own fault. I should have read the subject line and stopped there, but no, I had to read the email and then the response email. I should have just ignored them both. I should have just deleted both, maybe even labeled both as junk. I read them though, and they made me mad. They made me really mad.

I decided to remove myself from those emails. I decided to avoid reading anything else that would make me mad. I hate feeling this way. I understand it's apart of the grieving process, but I don't like it.

I don't like being mad at my friends. I know they didn't think about how that may hurt me. It still hurts. I need to be separate from them for a while. Eventually I'll be able to be around them. Eventually I'll be able to read emails like the one that pissed me off. Eventually I'll be able to hear people praising God for saving their babies and not get mad...eventually.

But for now I'm angry. For now I'm wallowing a little in my misery. For now I just don't want to hear that. For now I just need to be away from them and separate from all that. For now I just need to be near to God. For now I need to ask for His strength and encouragement.

So I'm sitting here, mad and telling God all about it so that eventually, some day, I'll be able to be around that again...eventually, not now.

Please God, draw near, hold me tight. I'm hearing those words of encouragement, that are helping even now 2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

I need you today God, really bad...really bad.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Wisdom of Panda Express

Today has been a blessed BLESSED day...so far.

This morning I posted a short blog about my favorite verse, the verse that has helped Geoff and I so much during this time (2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me" This verse is also on Parker's headstone). In that same blog, I posted the lyrics to one of my favorite Selah songs, You are My Hiding Place. This song, for me, puts into words exactly how I feel these days.

After writing that blog, I decided that I wanted to write a thank you note to Selah, letting them know how much of an encouragement their songs have been for me. When I arrived at their website, Selahonline.com, I saw they had a blog posted. I read through their blog and then stopped dead in my tracks. I could not believe what I had just read. Here it is, "We’ve had some time off, I’m sure most of our fans know the season that Todd and Angie (his wife) have been through this year, as well as Nicol and Greg (her husband) with the loss of their beautiful, precious babies, and God has been so good through all of it." I had to read this several times before grasping what I was understanding. I then went on to read the rest of the blog and saw that they had links to Todd & Angie's blog as well as Nicol & Greg's blog. I immediately went to Todd and Angie's blog first (here's the link: www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com). After reading a few of Angie's blogs I then went to Nicol and Greg's blog (here's the link: www.thelukesponbergfoundation.blogspot.com).

I am so in awe of how God works. His ways are truly mysterious until He sees fit to show us, or until we open our eyes to see. I am blown away by how good God is. I find it pretty awesome that the CD that has helped me the most through this hard time, has two people in their group who have felt the same pain that Geoff and I are feeling now.

I cannot tell you how encouraging it is to see other women and men of God handling such major losses as the loss of a child. I cannot tell you how encouraging it is to know that there are other's out there who are walking a similar journey as Geoff and I are. To see them walking this journey so close to God is the biggest encouragement of all.

Something else that sort of blew me away today was the "fortune" I received in my Panda Express fortune cookie. I love reading these little "fortunes" because they can sometimes be hysterical. However, every now and then I'll get one that hits so profoundly close to home that I cannot help but believe that there may have been some "divine intervention". Here is what my fortune said, "Your road to glory will be rocky, but fulfilling." ...

Sometimes God confuses me. Sometimes I find myself getting frustrated with God. But then there are times, that have happened quite a lot lately, where God totally blows me away. First it was with finding out about Todd and Nicol from Selah. Finding out that the group that has ministered so much to me, is walking the path that I walk. Then to read my fortune and hear God speak directly to me through my Panda Express fortune cookie...I find myself saying, once again, God is good...GOD IS SO GOOD!

Just Some Quick Encouragement

Yesterday, Tuesday, was a great day! I had Blazen Burgers (AWESOME food) and a Dairy Queen cookie dough blizzard! What a GREAT GREAT DAY!! :)

I really wanted to share with everyone the verse that has truly helped Geoff and I through this time, it's 2 Corinthians 12:9. It has helped remind us that God's grace is sufficient for us and that his strength comes through in our times of weakness.

This morning, as I was driving into work, it dawned on me that Selah has a song (on that wonderful CD Hiding Place) that articulates this beautifully. The song is called You Are My Hiding Place

You are my hiding place
You always fill my heart
With songs of deliverance
Whenever I am afraid
I will trust in You

I will trust in You
Let the weak say
I am strong
In the strength of the Lord
I am telling you, go out, buy this CD IMMEDIATELY. Whatever you're going through. Whatever trials are laying in your lap, this CD reminds you SO MUCH of how GREAT God is. How BIG God is and how GOOD God is.
Every time I need encouragement, every time I need to be reminded of God's goodness, I just pop this CD in and worship God. Praise the Lord...PRAISE THE LORD!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What An Evening It Was

Yesterday was another good day, praise the Lord!

Yesterday, Monday, I woke up feeling so good. I could tell that the Lord was near, right beside me. I had gone to bed the night before, reading this wonderful book for parents grieving the loss of their baby. The book helped so much. **I'll have to post one of the prayers that this book had in it.** I read it cover to cover before I fell asleep (mind you it was less than an inch thick). I could tell that book had truly helped, because I was feeling so good the next morning. I got ready for the day, drank my coffee and headed off to work.

On my lunch break I called this woman named Stephanie. She had reached out to Geoff and I following the death of our son. She had also lost her daughter just a few days before her daughter's due date. She had sent us this lovely letter that I've read over and over again. In the letter she left her phone number and told me to call her when I was ready to talk. So yesterday, on my lunch break, I called her and left a message. I told her that I was ready to talk about Parker. I was also ready to meet someone, outside of my family, who truly knew what I was going through.

I got home Monday night and asked Geoff if anyone had called for me. No one had.

Geoff and I ate dinner and watched TV (we watched Chuck, I love that show!). After dinner I logged on to our laptop and checked my email. Earlier in the day I had sent a feedback email to the woman that made my necklace.

For those of you who aren't aware, Geoff purchased a beautiful necklace for my birthday on this website called Etsy, from a seller named SimaG. The necklace is a silver chain that has a pearl on it as well as two silver rectangle tags. Each of the silver tags has a name on it. One has Geoff's name and the other has Parker's name. When I was pregnant I decided that I wanted to get this necklace so that, when I went back to work after having Parker, I would have my boys close to my heart. Geoff ordered the necklace on the 9th of September. It arrived in our mailbox on the 13th of September. I was dying to open the package (I knew what it was), but Geoff told me I had to wait until my birthday. Sunday the 14th was when we went into the hospital. Monday morning, the 15th, Geoff had to run to the house to feed Opie. Before leaving the hospital, he asked if there was anything I wanted, all I wanted was that necklace. He came back to the hospital, with the necklace. I put it on and wore it through the entire labor and delivery of Parker. I haven't taken it off since.

So yesterday I went to SimaG's profile and left her a message. I briefly explained what had happened. I told her that ever since Parker's death, this necklace has taken on new meaning. It has become a cherished memorial, a precious keepsake. I wanted to thank her for creating this beautiful piece of jewelry.

That night, as I was checking my email I noticed that SimaG had replied. I was floored by what she wrote. She started the email off by telling me that she had been thinking about us a lot lately. She then went on to say that she was very sorry and that she was sending us "a big hug and a big kiss". Her email went on to say that she had four kids, two girls (16 and 13) and two boys (4 and 2) and that the reason for the large age gap was that she too had lost a little baby the same way we had. My jaw dropped, I elbowed Geoff and told him to read the email. We sat there together on the couch and read the rest of SimaG's email. We both were in shock! What a small world. What a tragic, small world and yet, how beautiful! All I could think, after reading her email, was that God is so good! She ended the email by telling me that there is hope and faith. I felt so encouraged by her email, even though I could sense some sadness in it, it was still, such an encouraging email.

After sitting there, staring at it for a while and reading it again, I was jolted back to reality by the phone ringing. I ran to our bedroom and answered the phone, it was Stephanie, who I had called earlier in the day. I was so thrilled to hear from her. We talked for what seemed like forever. She told me about her daughter who had died just days before her due date. I told her a little about Parker and we decided to meet up for coffee, this week. I cannot wait!

After getting off the phone with Stephanie, I immediately called my mom and told her everything that had just transpired that evening.

I praise the Lord for gifts like that. I praise the Lord for bringing people, like Stephanie, into my life. I praise the Lord for emails like the one I received from SimaG. Both woman were once total strangers, but now I feel like both will become trusted confidantes. I praise the Lord for his many MANY blessings!! What an evening! GOD IS SO GOOD!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Parker's Hands & Tough Emotions

Saturday was a good day, had some rough spots, but for the most part it was a good day.

I got up Saturday morning bright and early at 9:00am. Geoff and I wanted to get an early start on this particular day. We wanted to get to the farmer's market in time to check out a bench for Parker's memorial corner. So I got up slowly, made some coffee and turned on my Bill Evan's CD. I grabbed our laptop, lit my mulled cider candle and sat on the couch and checked my email. I was doing just grand. It was a nice overcast morning, kinda chilly outside, but so warm and cozy inside. It was a beautiful, autumn, Saturday morning. As I was checking my email I asked the Lord to be near to Geoff and I. To help give us strength and to help us have a good Saturday.

I woke Geoff up at 9:30am. He came out into the living room, made himself a little breakfast, and we slowly got ready for the day. At about 11:00am we headed out for the day. So much for getting an "early" start.

We made our way around to a couple stops we needed to before heading to downtown Nampa. We finally arrived at the farmer's market at about 11:45. We went straight to this man's booth who makes benches out of old barn boards. We checked out what he had and asked if he could make a custom piece. We got his business card and went on our way (I'll be calling to place our custom order today. I'm so excited).

After the farmer's market we ran a few more errands, ate lunch at Costco and headed to Meridian. We were headed to Hand Made Memories to pick up Parker's ceramic hand molds. We had three of them made, one for Mark and Vanessa, one for my mom and dad and one for Geoff and I. I was so excited to see his little hand. At the hospital, I was so intent on seeing his face that I failed to look at the rest of him. I don't regret that, but I was really looking forward to finally getting to see his hand.

We arrived at Hand Made Memories after driving through the ran, thunder and lightning. I was starting to tremble with nerves. We knocked on the door of their house. We went in and waited. Then they came. I looked in the box and there they were, three beautiful molds of his tiny right hand. The molds of the hands sat on wood plaques with gold plates that read "Parker Geofferson Harmon, September 15, 2008". Geoff and my mother-in-law Vanessa had been telling me how much his hands looked like mine, and sure enough they did. He had long long fingers just like his mommy. We would have definitely made him play the piano and MOST definitely I would have strongly encouraged him to play basketball. His hands were beautiful. We took the three hands, said our "thank yous" and went on our way.

When we got in the car I touched one of the hands. I could not stop rubbing his little hand. The way the hands were shaped I could tuck my thumb inside and it looked like he was holding my thumb. I began to cry. I missed him dearly during that moment. My heart ached to hold him, to feel his sweet little body in my arms and touch his face again. I missed my Parker dearly at that moment. I rubbed his hands the whole way back to Nampa.

We went straight to Geoff's parent's house to deliver one of Parker's hands to them. We went inside and talked about how perfect the molds turned out. Every wrinkle was there, every nail was perfectly outlined. I mean, they were perfect in every way, just like he was. Geoff and I left shortly after that and went home. When we got home I went to his nursery and put our hand on his shelf and the other one (the one for my mom) on his changing table. I was so thrilled that we had those. They are like precious, priceless gold to me. I will cherish them forever!

Saturday night we rented a movie, vegged out a little and then went to bed thoroughly exhausted.

The next day was Sunday. We went to church, Geoff led worship once again and I know he felt so good being back in that position. After the service I purposefully made myself open up to some of our young adult friends. It's been really hard for me, lately, to want to be open with them. They have done nothing wrong, but I just find it hard to be myself around them. So I purposefully made an effort to do my best to be myself with them.

Ryan approached me and asked if Geoff and I would be attending Bible study this Wednesday. I abruptly answered, "No." I think that caught him off guard, and I felt bad about that. It's just too soon still. It's probably going to be a long while before I feel comfortable being at Bible study and game night with the young adults. It will probably be a while before I feel comfortable going to any events.

I then saw Jess approach and asked if I could hold Ella. She handed her over to me. I held her for a little while. The entire time Ella just grinned. It was so fun holding a baby again. I was really proud of myself too! I was able to hold Ella and not feel sad. It was wonderful. I told Geoff about it later and he said that I was brave. I think it's still hard for Geoff to hold any babies. I can't wait until he feels comfortable with that again, but I know he needs his time.

This weekend was a great weekend. We had a few bumps along the road, but for the most part it was a great weekend. Sunday night I put together Parker's memory box, cried a little when I held the blanket he was wrapped up it, but rejoiced that I was able to get that done. While my parents were still in town we had purchased this beautiful wooden box to hold Parker's memorial items in. Its gorgeous, and with all of his stuff in there, it look so wonderfully full.

This weekend was truly a great weekend. I am so thankful for how God has continued to bless our lives and help us continue along this road. Healing is good, feeling normal is getting easier. Life is moving along and God is right there beside us. PRAISE GOD!

The Story of Stupid "Deb"

Friday was a pretty good day at work, all except for one stupid member. I simply need to vent about this.

I was sitting at my desk, when this member walked in, we'll call her Deb. Deb opened the door to the credit union and yelled, "You're still here!" I looked up, smiled and said, "Um...yep." She then approached my desk and said, "So when are you having this baby?!" Now, for those of you who haven't seen me since having Parker, I think I've bounced back rather nicely. For pete's sake I'm able to fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans only 2 1/2 weeks after having Parker. My tummy is pretty flat again too and only a little loose skin remains. So I'd say I'm looking pretty good! Anyway, I looked at her to see if she was trying to be funny. After realizing that she was serious I took a deep breath and gently said, "Well, I actually had my son 2 1/2 weeks ago." Her eyes widened, her cheeks turned red (rightfully so) and she said, "Oh!" She then looked at my tummy, her eyes widened even more and said, "Oh my gosh!" I then went on to gently say, "We had to deliver him five weeks early because his heart had stopped." She said nothing. For some reason I felt the need to tell her that he was big and so stinkin cute. She took this to mean that he made it, to which I responded, "Actually he did not make it. His funeral was Thursday the 18th." Deb's eyes started to turn red, they filled with tears. She got very quiet. I thought our conversation was over. So I started to process her transaction. Pretty soon she started talking again and what she said blew me away.

Deb started to tell me about a woman she knew who lost 4 babies. As Deb put it, "I knew a woman who lost 4 babies that way. And oh, she wanted babies so bad. She really wanted to be a mommy. Poor thing. And my mother lost two babies that way too and it nearly killed her." I could not believe what I was hearing. How dare she think it's OK to tell me all of this. How dare she think that I want to hear what she's saying! I couldn't believe it. My jaw dropped. I just stared at her. I didn't know what to say. In fact, I can't even remember what I said. I'm pretty sure I said something like "wow" or "oh my word". I was shocked. I was shocked, I was speechless, and I was ANGRY!

I finally finished her transaction and sent her on her way. When she left I waited a few seconds, then turned to my co-worker Linnea and said, "OH...MY...GOSH! Did you hear what she said!?" Linnea immediately started apologizing. She said, "I'm so sorry Rachel. I thought we told everyone, but she just doesn't come in very often." I reassured Linnea that it was not her fault, that woman was simply an idiot. Some people just need to be slapped, and she was one of them. I went to the break room, took a moment to calm down and then finished my day at work.

When I got home that night I told Geoff about what happened. He said that I should have just been brutal with Deb. He suggested that I lean in and say, "He died, OK!" He felt that would have made her feel like the jackass that she was. That made me laugh. He's so good to me.

I understand that not everyone knows what to say to someone who has lost a loved one, especially a baby. I understand that some people try very hard to be comforting and fail miserably. I get all that, but how on earth could Deb have honestly felt that telling me about a woman who lost four babies would be COMFORTING!

Here's something that we can all learn from Deb's stupidity. Do not ever tell a grieving parent, especially someone who has just lost a baby, about someone who's lost several babies. THAT DOES NOT HELP! Lord bless "Deb" the idiot.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Music...so good for the soul.

A simple blog.

I want to start off by saying thank you to everyone. I have been somewhat silent these past 2 1/2 weeks regarding my thanks to everyone. I think I just needed time. Geoff and I were so overwhelmed with how much love has been pouring in. We are overwhelmed by all the love and support from all of our family (immediate and extended) as well as our church family (those at Lakeview, New Hope, Tucson Central and other's sprinkled all over the Nazarene Church). Geoff and I have also been so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from our work family (my coworkers at the credit union as well as Geoff's coworkers at River Valley). The Lord has truly blessed us with wonderful people in every part of our lives. So to all of you I say (and I know that Geoff echos my sentiments) THANK YOU! You all are so WONDERFUL and we are blessed to know each and every one of you.

I have to extend one special thank you. I was blessed and truly moved when my mom and dad shared this with us. A small church, of roughly 25 members in Union Gap, WA, Union Gap Church of the Nazarene, wanted to take a love offering for us after hearing about the death of our son Parker. This is a church, made up of people that Geoff and I have never met, and never spoken with. A church that wanted to give simply because. Geoff and I will be forever thankful and blessed by people like those who attend Union Gap Nazarene.

Now, I have to continue by sharing what has helped me heal and grow during these past 2 1/2 weeks. Parker's birthday is September 15th, two days after, was my birthday. On Wednesday, the 17th of September, my family took me out to the Olive Garden for my birthday. Following dinner we went over to Mark and Vanessa's house for Ice Cream cake, it was there that we opened presents.

I received several wonderful gifts from all of my family members; however, the one gift that I absolutely cherish, the one gift that has helped in my healing, was the CD that Geoff gave me. It's Selah's Hiding Place. This CD is full of wonderful worship songs that seem to provide the words for how I am feeling during this time in my life. I just wanted to share the lyrics to one of the songs that has really helped me these past few days and weeks to cope with Parker's death.

The song is called Part The Waters/I Need Thee Every Hour. Every time this song comes on I find myself feeling so cleansed by the Holy Spirit. Here are the lyrics.

When I think I'm going under, part the waters, Lord
When I feel the waves around me, calm the sea
When I cry for help, oh hear me
Lord and hold out Your hand
Touch my life
Still the raging storm in me

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford

I need Thee, O I need Thee
Every hour I need Thee
O bless me now, my Savior
I come to Thee

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain
Come quickly and abide, or life is vain

Such an amazing song. This is exactly how I feel every day. Every morning I ask the Lord for strength. Every morning, as I drive to work, I play this song at least twice and sing it at the top of my lungs, as a way to pray for God to be near. It is just a wonderful CD. I always feel so blessed and rejuvenated after listening to these wonderful worship songs. PRAISE THE LORD!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Minor Victories and BSU

Yesterday was a great day.

The morning of the first of October started off a little rough for me. I woke up with Geoff and started getting ready for the day. I was feeling a little blue, not really sure why, but decided to persevere. I really didn't want to go to work. I didn't want to get out of bed, but I knew I needed to. I needed to continue trying to be normal and get back into the world of the living. So I got in the shower and asked the Lord for his strength, as I do every morning. I said goodbye to Geoff as he headed off to work, poured myself a cup of coffee and ate my muffin. Bill Evans was playing in the background as I had my breakfast. I decided, yet again, to walk into Parker's nursery.

I stood there in the doorway, as I had in the mornings past, and looked around his room. I went up to the crib, where all of his memorial items are sitting. I looked around at the items that we had in the crib. The letter that Stefanie wrote to Parker. The angel picture that the funeral home had made for Parker and the lovely frame my parents had purchased for us. This frame was purchased after we had found out that we were having a boy back in June. I think my dad was the most excited, personally. I'll never forget that day.

We all (and when I say we all I mean, mom, dad, Vanessa, Geoff, myself and Dr. Rudeen) all huddled into the ultrasound room. We waited patiently as Parker's heartbeat whooshed in the background. I was crossing my fingers for a boy as was Geoff. We all waited, holding our breath as Dr. Rudeen stopped over a grainy portion of Parker's body. He calmly said, "And here's the penis." There was a collective, "WHAT!?" We all leaned in to take a closer look at the image on the screen. Dr. Rudeen froze the image. Sure enough, there it was, his cute little penis (it seemed to glow...seriously). I was ecstatic! My dad high fived Geoff and my mom hugged him as did Vanessa. We were all so excited. Geoff high fived me and kissed my cheek. We were having the boy we both wanted. After the ultrasound was over, and our wallets were loaded down with pictures, we headed out to dinner. Mom and dad took us to Cracker Barrel. Geoff and I called all of our family members. I remember my brother's reaction, "A boy huh, whelp, here's Keri" :) . We were thrilled. After dinner, mom and dad went to Target and bought two shirts (a Hawaiian print one for him to wear with my dad, and a polo one to match with Geoff) and a pair of khaki shorts. It was a great day. What a great memory.

That same day, mom and dad bought us this beautiful frame at Baby's R Us to house one of the 3-D ultrasound pictures in. On the frame there was this beautiful quote about how Geoff and I were waiting patiently to meet our little man. It said that we were waiting and praying that he would grow strong and healthy. It was a beautiful frame. I remember crying when dad handed it to me. It was the sweetest gift. I cherished that frame. I used to come into Parker's room when I was pregnant, pick up the frame, and hug it. I loved that frame.

Yesterday, as I was looking at the memorial items in the crib, I saw that frame. I read what was on the frame and began to get misty eyed. I smiled and touched the picture, thinking about how wonderful that day was when we got to see our little man for the first time. I quickly pulled my hand away, dabbed my eye and continued to look around the crib. I then came across Parker's little lock of hair that the hospital had given us. My mom had washed it while she was staying with us. I reached over and instinctively touched the hair. As soon as my hand made contact with the hair, I lost it. I began to cry. I quickly grabbed my cup of coffee and left the room. I sat in the bathroom, drying my tears and taking deep breath after deep breath. I touched up my makeup, grabbed my lunch, purse and coffee, said goodbye to Opie and headed out to my car.

When I got in the CRV I turned on my Selah CD. I worshipped God all the way to work. I praised his name. I cried out to him for strength. I sat at his feet and was comforted. I cleansed my soul with tears. I was blessed.

The second day at work was a little harder than the first, for some odd reason. I think it was because I really didn't want to be there. I wanted to be home, in bed, feeling sorry for myself. I wanted to mope around the house. I wanted to be depressed. I didn't want to paint on a fake smile for our members. I didn't to want to endure awkward glances from people who knew about what Geoff and I had been through. I just wanted to be alone. And yet I didn't want to be alone. I was a mess, an emotional wreck.

I stared at my cell phone, hearing my mom saying "call me anytime you need to." I reached for my cell phone, picked it up, dialed her number and laid my finger over the call button, but I never pressed it. I decided that I wouldn't call my mom. Don't ask me why, I just couldn't bring myself to reaching out. I guess, part of me, subconsciously, wanted to be miserable.

At 12:00, I went to the break room with my lunch, cell phone and book in hand. I sat down and dialed Geoff's number. It rang three times and then his voicemail picked up. I left a message and hung up. Five minutes later I dialed him again, and again it rang three times, but I didn't leave a message. I hung up and tossed my phone into my purse. I was upset. I felt alone. I was blue, dark blue. I grabbed my book, and choked down my pizza. All of a sudden Geoff called. My heart was warmed. It felt good to hear his voice. It felt good to talk to him and have him reassure me that it was OK that I was feeling blue. I needed my Geoff. After talking for a little while I felt rejuvenated. I finished my lunch, and the first chapter of my book.

The rest of the day at work, went a little easier. I am blessed with two co-workers who help to keep me laughing. They allow life to go on. They allow me to talk about Parker when I need to, but they also allow me to be normal like I need to. Coming to work has become such a blessing and a wonderful way to slowly become reconnected to life.

At about 3:30, Geoff called to let me know that he may have tickets to the BSU game. I was kinda thrilled, kinda not. For some reason I was feeling selfish. I wanted nothing to do with people that evening. I wanted to be home, like a hermit, and shut the world out. I didn't want to go out with a bunch of people. I didn't tell Geoff any of this. I simply said, "Oh fun! That sounds like fun." I told him to let me know if he was able to get the tickets. About a half hour later he called and told me that he was headed to pick up the tickets and that Grady and a friend would be joining us. I was still kind of excited, not really. However, the more I talked about it, the more I thought about going to a college football game, the more excited I got. By 6:00 I was so excited to be going out. It's amazing how fast my emotions seem to change these days. One moment I was dreading going to the game, and the next it was the only thing I could think about.

Geoff, Grady and his friend Jay arrived at the credit union at 6:07. I changed my clothes and jumped in the car with the guys. I was so excited. We drove to BSU and searched forever for the best parking spot. At about 6:15 we found a spot about 10 miles away from BSU (not literally, but that's certainly what it felt like). After hiking for all eternity, we arrived at our seats. I was so thrilled to be there, sitting with my Geoff, in the twilight of a beautiful, warm autumn evening, watching live football.

The game was nearing it's end, BSU was up 38 to LaTech's 3. It was 9:30pm on a work night, so we decided to head home. The entire evening was so much fun. We laughed with Grady and Jay and cheered for the Broncos. We ate nachos and a pretzel and shared a coke. It was so much fun. I was so glad I went. Geoff and I spent the entire evening sitting together and just being. Every now and then we would talk about Parker. I would usually be the one to bring him up, but it was OK. It was just a truly wonderful evening that felt so good and so normal.

As we were walking back to the car, trying to not to get hit by the vehicles driving by, Jay asked if I really had just had a baby. I told him that I had, about 2 1/2 weeks ago. He asked if we had a boy or a girl, I told him we had a little boy. Geoff was walking with me as Jay and I were talking. Geoff interjected that Parker hadn't made it. Jay said, "Oh, really?". I told him that Parker's heart had stopped a few days before he was born. Jay said he was sorry and I told him, "don't be." Geoff then told Jay that he was a big boy and we talked a little bit about Parker. After a while I heard Grady say, in a hushed whisper, "Jay I told you about that remember!?" Then Jay said, "No you didn't!" Grady replied with, "Yeah, I did. Remember, I said that my brother's son died." "Yeah, but you have a lot of brothers!" Jay said. Then Grady said, "Yeah, but this is the brother who's baby died!" And Jay said, "OH! Sorry!" They made me laugh. It felt really good to answer Jay's questions about Parker. It wasn't awkward at all. In fact, I appreciated his curiosity.

We finally made it to the car, got in and headed home. We dropped the guys off at their cars, and got home at about 10:45. We got in our pj's and vegged for a bit to wind down.

It had been such a wonderful evening. I loved being able to be normal with Grady, Jay and Geoff. It was so fun to sit with my husband, laugh at Grady and Jay, cheer on the broncos and eat junk. What a fun evening. BSU games are great therapy.

As Geoff and I continue on this journey toward healing and a new normal, we will have mornings that will be hard. We'll have little things that will make us think about our Parker. We'll have moments where we feel horribly blue, but then we'll have evenings like Wednesday evening. Times that Geoff and I call minor victories. Each day brings us one step further along the healing process. Each day brings us one step further along our path to a new normal. Each day brings us new minor victories. I praise God for it all...everything. AMEN!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Will Rejoice!

Yesterday was my first day back at work and it was a pretty good day because I was able to tell people about Parker.

I woke up yesterday morning, not really wanting to be awake. I hit the snooze three different times. Then finally, after Geoff woke up, I reluctantly pushed myself out of bed. Geoff kept asking me how I was doing and feeling. I kept telling him I was just fine, I don't think he really believed me. I could tell he was worried.

At about 7:40, Geoff left the house and headed to work. I finished getting ready. After putting on my makeup, doing my hair and getting dressed, I looked at the clock and saw that I had time to spare!! That never happens! I was so excited! I went into the kitchen, poured myself a cup of coffee and heated up my chocolate costco muffin. I stood in the kitchen, drank my coffee and ate my yummy muffin while listening to Bill Evans. I thought about Parker. Prayed for Geoff and I and prayed for our day ahead. I then took my coffee and walked to Parker's nursery.

I turned on the light, stood in the doorway and looked around his sweet little room. I thought about the times that I would sit in the rocking chair, rub my belly and tell him how excited we were to meet him. Every time I think about Parker these days, the thoughts are quickly followed up with reminding myself that we can have more children. So as I stood there I began to smile at the fact that I knew, some day, the crib would be filled. It would be filled with a beautiful, chubby little baby boy or girl that would have mine and Geoff's features. I can't wait! All of a sudden, I looked at the clock and saw that I needed to head off to work.

I arrived at the credit union at 9:15, walked in, said good morning and went straight to my desk. I sat down, and realized that I was doing really good. My cell phone rang an hour later, it was Geoff. He was wondering if I was doing OK. I told him everything was fine and that I was doing better than I thought. He asked how everyone was treating me. I told him how wonderful Linnea and Tina were. He was relieved to hear that I was OK.

Later that day, a member came in and walked up to my desk. He leaned in, and whispered to me that he heard about what had happened and that he was sorry. He then went on to say that lately he had heard more and more about people who had also had stillborn children. He said that he knew it was something that people really didn't want to talk about. I then stopped him and said that I love talking about my son. I love telling people about how beautiful Parker was and how chubby he was. I told him that to not talk about my son would mean that he had died in vain. I went on to inform him that several states don't even acknowledge Parker's birth, because they don't give birth certificates to stillborns (Idaho is one of those states), that's another reason why I love to talk about Parker.

People have to understand that, with Geoff and I, we are open books. We want you to ask about Parker. We want you to inquire about his birth and what it was like. We want to be able to tell everyone about his short beautiful life. It brings us joy and helps keep his memory stay alive. To not have people ask, to not talk about him, to not remember him hurts more. It hurts more to be left alone, it hurts more to have people dodge the issue. It hurts the most to have people, who you know knew you were pregnant, to behave as if nothing happened. That hurts more than remembering him and talking about him.

My son's birth will not be "swept under the rug". It will not become a sore subject. Parker Geofferson will never be forgotten.

It is getting easier and easier to fondly think of him. It's getting easier to remember his sweet face. It's getting more warm and comforting for me to think about how it felt to hold him. I love those memories. If I don't remember those things, they will die. I need to think about him and talk about him. It's a necessity for me.

A few days ago I went to lunch with my mom and my mother-in-law (my two moms as I like to call them :)) We ate lunch, talked about various subjects and laughed. We had a great time. Towards the end of lunch I brought up Parker. We talked about his birth. Laughed about my two moms holding up my legs. We laughed about some of things that happened during the delivery (bm's and my embarassment of them, ya da ya da). It was a great conversation. We also talked about how stinkin cute Parker was!! I told them that Geoff said most newborns look kind of alien to him, but that Parker was already such a cute kid! We laughed about how, the one question that Geoff asked, the one thing that he had to know, was how big Parker's testicles were (his exact words to Carrie, our nurse, were "I just have to know, did he have big testicles?"). That still cracks me up. It felt so good to talk about all of that. It felt so good to remember and laugh about those days in the hospital. That to me shows we are healing.

God allows us to rejoice in the midst of sorrow. He helps us find the silver lining. He helps us laugh and remember fondly. That to me is how God shows his strength in my weakness. That is how God helps me get through each day. That is how God helps me talk to people, who assume I just want to forget, and tell them that I will never forget.

And so, as we continue along our path toward healing and a new normal, I rejoice. I rejoice in the memory of my Parker. I rejoice in the memory of his birth and beautiful little life. I rejoice in telling others about him and how stinkin adorable he was. I will forever rejoice with God concerning Parker's life, because without him there is no rejoicing. PRAISE GOD!


I just have to add one more thing. This morning, I needed a little boost, a little pick me up, so I turn on my Selah CD and listened to this song, I Bless Your Name. It helped so much to remind me how it helps to remember to praise God even in the tough times when we feel chained down. That when we praise Him, when we rejoice in His presence and in the beauty of who He is, our chains of pain and suffering break away and we are freed. PRAISE GOD!

Here are the lyrics

In prisoner's chains
With bleeding stipes
Paul and Silas prayed that night
And in their pain began to sing
Their chains were loosed
And they were freed
I bless Your Name
I bless Your Name
I give You honor, give You praise
You are the Life, the Truth, the Way
I bless Your Name
I bless Your Name

Some midnight hour
If you should find
You're in a prison in your mind
Reach out and praise
Defy those chains
And they will fall
In Jesus' Name

We bless Your Name
We bless Your Name
We give You honor, give You praise
You are the Life, the Truth, the Way
We bless Your Name
We bless Your Name