Monday, July 27, 2009


This morning we had a visit from the contractor who is doing some repairs on our house. Yes, since Peyton died, our house has inexplicably fallen apart. At first I thought it was God's way of trying to distract us from the hell that we were going through. The first major problem, a flooded basement and burst pipe, was discovered as we were trying to rush out of the house to be at Peyton's side for an extremely serious surgery. This was the surgery that revealed the deep set fungal infection that chemo had allowed to inhabit our child's nose, the same infection that ultimately ended her life. That infection was like watching the battle between good and evil played out before our eyes. In that battle, evil won. Someday I may write about it, about the horror and pain that came with that infection, but for now I am still traumatized at the thought of it, and it is just too painful and fresh to share. A hundred years will pass, and I don't think that pain will ever leave. I used to think that people died of Cancer. I now know the truth, they die of chemo.

We bought our house six months after our wedding, a 4 bedroom colonial that we were going to fill quickly with children, and spent the first two years here in newlywed/homeowner bliss, having to do hardly any repairs. Now, since Peyton's passing in October, we have dealt with unblocking a water tank, replacing the guts of our furnace, repairing the water acid neutralizer, repairing our water heater, replacing a well pump, repairing cracking ceilings, replacing a gutter that a sheet of ice ripped off the back of our house, replacing our garage doors and openers after one nearly caught fire, and now, the creme de la creme, having to rebuild our screen porch, a porch that raised no red flags during our home inspection just three years ago, and has suddenly been deemed "unusable and on the verge of collapse" by the local building inspector. This all brings me back to the contractor and the comment he made to me this morning, and the day before that, and the week before that, and the month before that. In fact, this man, a lucky father of two, has felt the need to make the same comment to me in some manner every single time he has seen me for the last month or so.

"Is that the baby?" The contractor asked, pointing to the Thank You cards from Peyton's funeral with her picture on it.
"Yes, that's Peyton."
"What a sweet angel."
"Yes she was."
"No, yes she is. And how lucky you are."
"Not many people are so lucky to have their baby looking down on them from heaven."
"I mean, you are luckier than me, I don't know my guardian angel."
"I have to get going-"

Lucky? Lucky? How can someone look into the exhausted eyes of a broken woman; a woman who stands in her empty, childless house; a woman who was on the receiving end of one in fifty million odds; a woman who birthed and buried her child in the span of a month, and call her lucky? "Are you serious?" I wanted to scream. No, I would not call that lucky.


  1. I'll cry with you.. when your ready. I'll take your hand..a soft squeeze to let you know your not alone.

    And he will hold you when you are weak, Carry you when you have no strength to go on.

    I may not know you..yet through your words, I do.

    Remember you have a friend miles and miles away.

    And God will never leave you in your struggles.


    You say: 'It's impossible'

    God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)

    You say: 'I'm too tired'

    God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)

    You say: 'Nobody really loves me'

    God says: I love you (John 3:1 6 & John 3:34 )

    You say: 'I can't go on'

    God says: My grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

    You say: 'I can't figure things out'

    God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5- 6)

    You say: 'I can't do it'

    God says: You can do all things ( Phil ippians 4:13)

    You say: 'I'm not able'

    God says: I am able (II Corinthians 9:8)

    You say: 'It's not worth it'

    God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28 )

    You say: 'I can't forgive my self'

    God says: I Forgive you (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

    You say: 'I can't manage'

    God says: I will supply all your needs ( Phil ippians 4:19)

    You say: 'I'm afraid'

    God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7)

    You say: 'I'm always worried and frustrated'

    God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)

    You say: 'I'm not smart enough'

    God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)

    You say: 'I feel all alone'

    God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)

    The first sentence is pretty powerful!

  2. Tami, Thank you for your kind words.

  3. I just want to share this story with you!


  5. Some people don't know what they're saying, especially when they try to bring light to a situation. I once had someone say "I don't know what to say" to me. That was perfectly acceptable-- sometimes there are just no words that can soothe.

    I would say how I felt the next time I saw him. Sometimes people need to know that we don't feel so lucky and that maybe certain subjects are too painful to talk about, right now. There's no need to feel bad about being honest.

  6. I'm with Deb. It would have been perfectly acceptable if he had said "I don't know what to say" rather than words that make a person feel worse.
    (((((hugs)))) to you.

  7. I won't call you 'lucky' but can I call you strong and brave?

  8. It is a very sensitive subject that no one knows how to handle. I myself, who has lost a child, at times trying to post comments find it hard because I am left speechless. Trying to find the right comforting words are hard. So sorry.

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  10. Well these messages make me feel lucky. So lucky to receive such support and understanding. Thank you.

  11. Veronica, thank you. I have never done that so I will have to see if I can figure it out :)

  12. You are strong and brave, definitely. All I can offer is an "I'm sorry" and "I know a hit-man..."


  13. Now that I see the world through the eyes of a mother who has lost a child, almost all those cliche comments seem SO inappropriate and are not comforting to those on the receiving end. I know that dying babies make people uncomfortable. I used to be feel very awkward when I was faced with the need to reply to someone who had lost a child. I truly don't think anyone understands the depth of losing a child until they have to live it themselves.
    I very much understand the horror of watching your child undergo medical interventions, and all the pain that accompanies them. I know.... If I think about it for more than a few seconds, I get sucked into this trance-like state, replaying it all over in my head and scrutinizing every little detail. I always wonder if there was something more we could've done for her, but I always fear that she would've had to experience more pain. There's no "win" in this situation.

  14. Hi once a mother. Just sending you support from another mother who's walked in your footsteps. You are not alone.

  15. That is wrong on so many levels. Maybe you should say something to him? I'm not sure what else to say...but I think I would have exploded.

  16. That is just so wrong. I'm sorry that people say the wrong things.

  17. It is so easy to feel alone, but then I get messages like these and know that there are others walking this path with me. Thank you.

  18. It does feel like the most alone, separated from humanity journey. How odd to feel so alone yet joined by so many to a similar pain?

  19. Ok, what I really want to say (excuse my French in advance) is, "What an A-hole!" Sorry everyone, that's just how I feel about it. I'm sure he wasn't trying to hurt you, but "Lucky"??? Come on! I actually said to a friend that I should consider myself lucky, lucky I survived my ordeal (I almost died during the birth of my 2nd stillborn twin), lucky my toddler wasn't left motherless, lucky to have my beautiful boy. She is the only one who was honest with me, avoided cliches, and said, "No, you're not lucky. You're not lucky at all." I did appreciate someone (who hasn't been in this awful position of losing a child) actually validating my feelings, rather than "looking at the positive" or looking to the uncertain future as if they had a crystal ball. Prayers for you and your beautiful little girl.