About Me

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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.

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.



Curt said...

I think it's awesome that you guys can make that trip without much planning. 5 hour drives are not that bad at all! Thanks for the update, you guys still have a special place in my heart...

Anonymous said...

The Christmas thing is a great idea! Adam and I buy one toy for every child we have lost and then donate it to toys for tots or someplace like that, sometimes there is a local organization.

I am not sure about Kansas's laws on stillbirth, whether they recognize the death or not, but I think that every state should. We don't plan on living in Kansas forever, but while we are here I will check into that. Let me know what you are going to do for ID and maybe I can implament the same thing here if they don't acknowledge the death.

You are a brave and wonderful woman, and God is using you to do powerful things. I know that the days are long and the nights harder, but hang in there. There will be many "first" to celebrate with your own little one.

xoxo, Cynthia

Claudia said...

Oh Rachel, you are so right your mom and I would have passed him back and forth and I would have had to fight with Amy ( my Amy ) to let me hold him. On Saturday I even thought about that and I thought how I would have nuzzled into his little neck and kissed him in my favorite spot to kiss babies. I missed him. I was so thankful that I could look at his memory book and I can't wait to see the mold of his hand. I love you Rachel. I love Parker!! Kisses to Geoff.

Sima Gilady said...

Dear Rachel,

This morning I was searching for my website at google.
I was looking for a giveaway that I am taking part of.

I was so happy to find your blog -
You are so sweet and I know that everything will be good soon - you will see!
I want to tell you that I have been thinking about you and your husband for a long time and your story touched my family and me.
I am sending you guys one more hug and kiss.
please stay in touch...I would love to hear from you.


Bob Russell said...

Rachel, Mom and I just finished reading your latest blog entries. I had fallen a "little" behind. Your story of our family is wonderful. Your mom and I both found ourselves laughing and crying with you as you wrote. We are glad you love your family. I want to remind you that you, too, are loved. Keep writing, keep healing... God is GOOD! love, Dad and Mom