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Showing posts from February, 2007

Apologies to Tim McGraw

Maybe now I’ve conquered all my adolescent fears
And I’ll do it better in my next thirty years
Yeah...so...I conquered the adolescent fears and now the big scary adult ones are my problem. I wonder how long it will take me to conquer those. Thirty years? Crap.
My next thirty years I’m gonna settle all the scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more

heh...cry a LOT less and laugh a LOT more.
Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear
Figure out just what I’m doing here
In my next thirty years What AM I doing here? I thought I had at least some of it figured out and now I have NO idea again. Is it going to take me thirty more years to figure it out all over again? The thought just makes me tired. I wouldn't even know where to begin, anyway.
My next thirty years will be the best years of my life
Raise a little family and hang out with my wife (crickets chirping)
Spend precious moments with the ones that I hold dear
Make up for lost time here ,In my next thir…

No control

First show ever watched on the new huge TV?

Bob the Builder.

Yeah...I think I've completely lost control of everything.

Ice Cream good for fertility?

Now this is some good research!

It puts life in perspective

MIAMI - The big man slumped his shoulders, lowered his head and spoke in emotionally hushed tones.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas has been going through the roughest time in his life over the last two weeks, moments he revealed before his return to the Cavaliers on Sunday after being away for two weeks to deal with personal matters.

Ilgauskas said that after the Cavs hosted the Lakers on Feb. 11, his wife, Jennifer, went into premature labor, was taken to the emergency room and hospitalized. She delivered stillborn twins, a boy and a girl, three days later.

The event devastated Ilgauskas and his family, who had been eagerly awaiting the birth. Ilgauskas, who met Jennifer when he was a rookie in 1996 and married her in September 2004 in Hawaii, spent his time away from the team trying to heal.

``I just had to take some time for myself and for her, just to take care of things and be together,'' he said. ``I know it is a long process, but we are taking it one day at a time. Obviously, I've n…

If I ruled the world...

~You would have someone to take care of your financial things for one year after having a stillborn baby.

I seriously have screwed up our checkbook ($3.10 left...eek!). AND I missed a payment on a credit card (which results in finance charges putting us over our limit). This is SO not me. I'm the one that ALWAYS has it together. I am apparently incapable of dealing with reality.

I guess I can add this to my wishlist list of:
~A birth certificate for your stillborn baby.
~Professional quality portraits of your baby.
~Financial assistance so you could take a proper leave after having a stillborn baby.
~Counseling offered to you after having a stillborn baby (that you don't have to argue with an insurance company for or about).
~Personal funeral shoppers to assist with the "details" after you have a stillborn baby.

Seriously...I know it sounds grotesque...but each one of these things would have helped me SO much in the last two years. Maybe somewhere in this list is my idea for…

Shake it off

Well, that last bit was just a little self-indulgent. Thank goodness for my friends, a mighty cry and some peanut M&Ms. OK...so the peanut M&Ms aren't the BEST thing for this situation (considering I would have to literally take up residence at the M&M factory in order for it to even keep pace with the grief), but they sure were yummy.

Another good thing...Monday night sitcoms. For the average person, Mondays are difficult. Coming off of a leisurely Sunday of rest and relaxation and I'm expected to be up to speed right out of the gate? Uh...sorry. I drag myself through Mondays. And with the help of some very funny television on Monday nights (I use them as my motivation to actually make it through Monday at work), and some overly peppy music on my way to work, I usually hit my stride Tuesday morning. Now, if I could just convince my clients to leave me alone, it would be a perfect work day.

The anger is still there. I just find ways to compartmentalize my emotions s…

Thank you Cynthia

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On a day when I was feeling very alone and angry, this little surprise gift arrived in the mail.

It says, "the heart REMEMBERS all"

My heart remembers...

That you took the time to send such a beautiful gift to me...there are no words. That you took the time to make it so personal...

Thank you so much.

US News and World Report Online

Seriously...who do they have writing these headlines? Cause this one is freaking hilarious...

Afternoon Buzz: A dismissed juror and an offending Jesus documentary

Only in America can we so artfully put Scooter Libby and Jesus Christ in the same headline.

Anger revisited?

I thought I knew what the anger phase of grief looked like. I thought I knew what it felt like. I realize now that I didn't have a clue. There is this raw and primal feeling gnawing at me all the time now. Like I could punch the nearest person....throw my phone at the wall...clear my desk with one swoop of my arm...scream, "Are you SERIOUS?" at anyone who bothers me with their pointless drivel.

When I first lost Alex, I remember emailing with a woman who had lost her child about how one day she just lost it and ripped apart her kitchen...dishes AND cupboards. That's how I feel. Like I could demolish a room all with my bare hands.

I almost gave the meat man at the grocery store the what-for yesterday. Sam and I were shopping and as we were leaving the meat department, he approached me with a package of hamburger that had an obvious adult finger puncture through the plastic wrap and into the meat. He said, "I'm not saying he did it (pointing at the package), but…
A defendant was on trial for murder. There was strong evidence indicating guilt, but there was no corpse. In the defense's closing statement the lawyer, knowing that his client would probably be convicted, resorted to a trick. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a surprise for you all," the lawyer said as he looked at his watch. "Within one minute, the person presumed dead in this case will walk into this courtroom."

He looked toward the courtroom door. The jurors, somewhat stunned, all looked on eagerly. A minute passed. Nothing happened.

Finally the lawyer said, "Actually, I made up the previous statement. But you all looked on with anticipation. I, therefore, put it to you that you have a reasonable doubt in this case as to whether anyone was killed, and I insist that you return a verdict of not guilty."

The jury, clearly confused, retired to deliberate. A few minutes later, the jury returned and pronounced a verdict of guilty.

"But how?&…

Even commercials are different now

Commercial: "Nothing changes you like having a baby."

Steve: "Or being beaten to death."

Minor crisis (aka man crisis)

The television we just bought is broken. After weeks of listening to him whine about the living room not being finished so he couldn't hook it up, I finally broke down and told Steve I would let him place it in a temporary place until the living room is ready. Upon opening the box, however, we discovered the glass is suffering major internal cracks (the surface is still smooth but you can see the cracked glass on the inside). If anybody needs us, we'll be at the store returning the stupid thing.

Oh...and did I mention that I woke up this morning with a very sore back? No idea what I did to it.

I don't know...I'm beginning to think delivery service for a television that big should be required.

Update: Much to Steve's disappointment, the store did not have a replacement tv available and he will have to wait a few days to get one from another location. My back thanks whatever power was responsible for this turn of events. :o)

so little

The pages sit on my printer waiting to be slid quietly into envelopes marked "DO NOT BEND" and mailed off to places all over the world.

It seems so little.
Just pieces of paper.
Until you turn them over and read them...

Alessandra P

Ryane S

Emily Lauren S

Leah Renee B

Caleb Nathaniel C

Gabriella

Joshua James K

A birthday and vital statistics.
Names of parents who will never again hold their dreams.

Commemorative birth certificates.
Recognition of Life certificates.
Just pieces of paper.

So little to help heal broken hearts.
Little papers to recognize their little babies gone too soon.

How can things so little be so important?

I have a problem

I am absolutely obsessed with going back and labeling all my posts into neat little categories.

Control freak much?

Happy Friday!

Less coffee + more water = more sleep and fewer nightmares.

The sun is shining and I'm about to go deposit my paycheck.

Clarification

From yesterday's post/comments...I appreciate discussion.

But I think I didn't state my point very well.

This is not a NEW research conclusion. Being poor leads to poor medical care. There are similar statistics on treatment of cancer and terminal illnesses. I get it. It's a damn shame, but I do see possible solutions on the horizon.

Why is it that every "study" of stillbirth seems based on the premise of acceptable loss? You and you and you...you lost your babies to medical neglect. You and you and you...we have no idea why you lost your babies. Neither one is acceptable to me. And they are both the result of medical research being subject to capitalism.

Why isn't stillbirth studied in the same way as cancer or parkinsons or alzheimers? I understand the need to eliminate social causes for stillbirth...I do. I think it is an embarassment to our humanity that someone should suffer because they lack dollars. And numbers are nice so you can get a big picture and se…

Stillbirth study

The number of stillborn children in the United States declined steadily between 1990 and 2003, a government study found, but teenagers, black women, unmarried mothers, and those carrying three or more fetuses have an elevated risk.

There are about 1 million fetal deaths each year in the United States, most happening when there is no chance of survival, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. Stillbirths are deaths that occur after 20 weeks of the standard 40-week gestation period.

There were slightly more than six stillbirths for every 1,000 pregnancies past 20 weeks in 2003, a drop of about 1.4 percent each year since 1990, the CDC study found.

Little is known about the causes of fetal death. Several factors may increase the risk, including smoking during pregnancy, obesity, uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, infections and problems with the placenta, the researchers said.

Black women experienced 11.56 stillbirths for every 1,000 pregnancies, more than twice the…

Crochet hook advice

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Any crocheters out there?

Have you ever tried SOFTtouch crochet hooks? Do they really feel as nice as they advertise?

Have you ever tried handcarved wooden crochet hooks? I don't really like plastic, so I'm wondering if I will have the same aversion to wooden ones?

OK...off to stitch some more...

Hey honey...!!!

How do you like the new look for the blog?

I love you!

hmmm...not sure

During our usual, "I love you," repartee this morning, I said, "I love you five," and Sam didn't answer with, "I love you Route 66." I said, "I SAID, I love you five," and Sam replied with, "I KNOW...I HEARD YOU."
I forgot my breakfast, so I ate M&Ms.
I forgot my sweetener, so I drank my coffee with real sugar.
I forgot my decongestant and I have a headache.
I deleted some bookmarks from my internet browser and have already gotten more done at work in one morning than I have in WEEKS.
My girl scout cookies are downstairs waiting for me to pay for them.
I have packages to mail and I'm not sure I have the money to mail them today.
I really have to balance the checkbook.
Got an email that the Coleco Head-to-Head football game I bought on ebay for my husband appears to be lost in the mail. The guy refunded my money, which is nice, but I really wanted that game (to give to Steve, yeah, that's why).
I'm planning to pick something…

Stop

I wrote a post. Filled with anger and profanity. And then I took a breath.

Here is the gist of it...

Stop.
Stop telling me how God is the answer.
Stop telling me how God loves me.
Just stop.

A friend in loss summarized the feeling succinctly in a comment a while back. "the idea of a god who could have spared my son but chose not to is so horrible that i'd rather believe there's no god than one so hateful"

I take no comfort in the idea of some great "plan." None. Our children are DEAD. We were cheated out of a million little memories that probably mean nothing to you unless you know you are missing them. We were cheated out of the dream of what our family could be...now...and forever. We were given a taste...and then had the dream unceremoniously ripped from our grasp. I have no words to describe for you the unbearable cruelty of that. And I think, given the propensity to say things like, "Despair is despair," that you, and people like you, will NEVER…

I can't write

I'm not sleeping well because I'm having nightmares. I have no idea what has set them off, but they are horrible, awful, nightmares that wake me up and won't let me fall back asleep. I am, therefore, a royal bitch to live with right now. Of course, my husband has been too afraid of me to ask what's wrong (and I can't say as I blame him...I could very well peel the skin off his face with my fire-breath if he looks at me the wrong way). There must be something brewing in the morass of crap in my brain...I just can't seem to access it during my waking hours at the moment.

Anyway...even if I COULD find my words, I don't think I could write anything as eloquent as this entry at Mommy Needs Coffee.

What am I doing?!?!

Why is it I take my day off to "catch up" on housework? Seriously, what is it that compels me to do that extra load of laundry when I would much rather be doing anything but? OK, OK, OK, so it's fear that motivates me...I do NOT want to have to go to work commando tomorrow. But really...how important IS underwear anyway?

As I was loading the dishwasher this morning, the laundry already loaded and humming along, I caught sight of Sam in the living room, happily munching on his pretzels while he quietly watched me bustling about. Suddenly it hit me, "I don't even WANT to do this stuff. Why am I not doing something with Sam? Why are we not taking a nap all snuggled up together?"

So I made a resolution for today. Today, only half the laundry is going to get done...and Sam and I are going to watch some Thomas the Tank Engine and then take a nap. I hope everyone does something they WANT to do today.

Train seats are grouped in fours

So we got to share our "group" with the mom of four boys (they sat across the aisle with their dad).

The baby was about as old as Travis should be right now...dressed in a baby blue sleeper and as cute as a button.

Yeah. So. Fun.

Miscellaneous thoughts

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Valentine's Day...sucked. And then Sam sat down next to me with his little kid heart-shaped box of chocolates and says, "Mommy, you can have some of my chocolate since you don't have any."

I swear I did NOT put him up to it.
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Good songs...
Find Out Who Your Friends Are...Tracy Lawrence
Anyway...Martina McBride
Moments...Emerson Drive (but listen to the song before you watch the video)
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My "monthly visitor" was six days late and I had a bit of a freak out. She's here now and I'm good again.
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This is unforgivable. However, a policy of euthanizing after a mere 72 hours is barbaric. Why are people so prone to a ride on the pendulum from one extreme to another???
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I think I'm irritable. I want to tell people to shut the hell up already. Seriously. Bitch and moan somewhere else, will ya? I don't wanna hear …

Thanks Rach!

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After a crappy day, I collected three days worth of mail and found this pretty little gift from Rachel.

And here's what was inside. It made me giggle. I will wear them tomorrow and giggle even more. You're the best!

Thanks so much!

If you live in a glass house...

Today I went off on a rampage about poor customer service and people who are "idiots."

A bank whose online service said payments made before 4pm would post the same day...forgetting to include a notice that that policy only applies during weekdays.

An electric company who waived a bill in November, failed to get an accurate reading on our meter, and re-billed us for the same (waived) electricity in January.

But then...

Then, I went to the bank to pay my mortgage...that I apparently already scheduled to be paid through my online bill pay. I about had a heart attack when I handed the teller the check and she informed me there wasn't enough money in the account to cover it (because it had already been subtracted). Talk about embarassing.

Then, I tried to pay for my carseat order with the credit card that has our home improvement charges on it and, therefore, not enough of an available limit to pay for said carseat (until the bank sends us the remainder of our loan and we pay a c…

Dear sis...

Please answer your $@#&! email.

Thank you.

Love,
Your sister

Charlie Brown humor for this Valentine's Day

Sally: I just want to thank him for the valentine.

Linus: I never sent her a valentine!

Sally: Don't you know sarcasm when you hear it?

Sam: Did you hear what she said, Mommy, don't you know sam-carrots when you hear it?!?! (hysterical laughter)

Quiet is good

Quiet is good...though not necessarily interesting to write or read about. I have sufficiently recovered from my post-birthday cake-induced sugar coma to come up with absolutely nothing to write about. And it is good.

The house: The contractor installed the trim upstairs yesterday, though I did not get a picture of it just yet. As soon as I touch up the paint, the second floor addition will be officially DONE! (8-10 week project my ass) Now we have work to do on the stairwell and the new and improved living room...and then the workers can get the heck out of my house! (Is it so much to ask, since they are there during the day, that they let the old dog out, instead of letting him poop on my living room floor? geez! Though, if you ask Steve, the even more annoying thing about their presence in our house is the collection of Market District coffee cups lined up on every available flat surface. We have a construction dumpster, for pete's sake. Is it SO hard to throw your trash away? …

Anyone have $200,000???

This is so cool!

The floor is done!

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My arms are aching, my legs are throbbing, my left pinky finger is purple (note to self...remove finger before laying flooring down next to a wall), my ass hurts, and I am just plain tuckered out. I am too fat and old to be installing laminate flooring. All that stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down...it's just hard work!

When is President's Day? I would love a day off.

A new knitting project?

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Not sure what this says about me and my friends, but my friend suggested this should be my next knitting project. Thanks M! Now stop drinking woman...you have children!

Courtesy: Strange But Trewe

Who are you?

In response to Rachel's question...

What makes me me? What I think...what I believe...what I feel.

I am too opinionated for my own good.
I believe in magic and I have hope for the future.
I have a definite sense of right and wrong.
I find joy in the laughter of other people.
I love animals and flowers and making things with my own two hands.
I am uncomfortable in most social situations.
I worry about mental illness.
I have unhealthy eating habits.
I believe animals and children are blameless.
I am learning how to accept those things I cannot change.
I am stubborn to a fault.
When I love, I love completely and without reservation.
I have a serious temper.
I am impatient and often unable to say I'm sorry (even when I am sorry).
I believe in taking care of other people, whether they are to blame for their own misfortunes or not.
I like having answers to my questions.
I do not like the unknown.
I'm not sure I believe in God.
I feel that my sons are my greatest joy and my greatest heartbreak.
I bel…

Birthday flowers

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From Samuel (who picked them out himself)

From Steve
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Free to a good home

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I knitted this scarf with Paton's Divine in Denim Storm. It makes me itchy (10.5% wool...I should have read the label). It's not "perfect," so I won't be offended if nobody claims it. But I figured I might as well offer it up here instead of just stuffing it in a closet somewhere to be eaten by moths. Anybody want it?

I will be knitting a new scarf with Lion Brand Microspun in black. If it itches it will be appearing here as well. Stay tuned.

tee hee...this makes me giggle

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REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao (JAPAN)

Eyes on the prize

Much of what inspires me to write is found in my interactions with other people. I am amazed at the complexity of every individual person that I know. I sometimes wonder about the people I will never meet...the person I brush past in the courthouse, the cashier at the grocery store, the person driving the other way on a snowy road...what are their lives like? are they happy? I like to know what makes people tick.

For the last two years now, I have been literally inundated with a variety of opinions on religion...God...the meaning of life. While there have been many topics that I have analyzed over and over in my mind (and on this blog), there has been one that I have neglected. Heaven. I have taken for granted that there is a heaven because everyone seems to reinforce the idea without question. Whether it is hope for something better or faith that it is there because a book tells them, almost everyone I know has shared the same fundamental belief that heaven exists. I have never questi…

Let me count the ways...

Me: I love you.

Sam: I love you too.

Me: I love you three.

Sam: I love you four.

Me: I love you five.

Sam: I love you sixty.

Me: I love you to the moon and back.

Sam: I love you Route 66.

Anita Creamer: Stillbirth: A hidden hurt

Story

I LOVE this part...

More than we like to think, pregnancies can go very, very wrong. One in 115 American pregnancies ends in stillbirth, which is defined as fetal death past 20 weeks' gestation.

That's 26,000 stillbirths a year or one every 20 minutes. In contrast, sudden infant death syndrome claims about 2,500 children in this country every year.

SIDS organizations, to put it bluntly, have a better marketing strategy.

"I thought stillbirth was something from the 1920s and 1930s," says Harris. "You don't even know that it still happens."

A better marketing strategy...interesting...

A Way to Honor Life

I like this essay on grief.

Thanks for sending it to me S.
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November 3, 2006
(taken with a camera phone)

A Super Bowl jingle is my theme song

I didn't really understand the premise of the ad for Coca Cola. But the simple song (about 20 seconds in) sticks with me.

"You're gonna be remembered for the things that you say and do...You give a little love and it all comes back to you..."

I suppose I'm healing, because I'm starting to see things about myself in a more objective way. I'm generally feeling less raw (though I do still have those days). And I'm finally starting to feel like I can do something for someone else again. Most importantly, I'm less desperate to find God in all of this. I do not have time or energy to try to make sense of repetitive mantras that provide no answers but tell me what I need to believe to save my soul.

My dogs are happy to see me when I get home at night...and I'm willing to bet they have never contemplated the meaning of life. They live and they love and they are happy...not because they have found any sort of inner enlightenment...they just ARE. Maybe it…

Welcome to the world Lauren Gabrielle!!!

Congratulations to Julie and her whole family! I am so thrilled for you! May you enjoy a lifetime of happiness.

A service announcement...

I know this is not the "official" recognition that many people seek when they lose their babies...but I wanted to make note of a project that is near and dear to my heart that can help (even if just a little bit).

The Memories of Mariam Project (The MOM Project) provide free Commemorative Birth Certificates and free Recognition of Life Certificates (for where there is no "birth").

I personally volunteer my time to create these certificates (as well as the free mother's bracelets), and I can say that they are nice quality because all of us volunteers know the importance of these memorial items.

If you would like something to commemorate your lost little one(s), please visit our store, place an order, and drop me a comment or an email to let me know you've requested something and I will be sure to give you my personal attention.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming...

Dear Abby

Time for me to weigh in on the Dear Abby column...

My birthday will be nine months since losing Travis...almost a year and nine months after losing Alex. I have few precious pictures of both of them. After all this time, there are still days I look at the photos of my own children and all I see is dead. And quite honestly, it's a difficult thing NOT to see. They ARE dead. I really can't fault someone else for being a bit horrified by that. I'm their mother and I am horrified by it (if I'm quite honest about it, I am horrified by it A LOT of the time).

I think that just because I have dead children I do not have the right to tell the rest of the world to go to hell. I do not have the right to force my pain on other people. I mean, I COULD, but I don't think I have some special pass to do so. Forcing my pain on others only makes me bitter and angry...and that is not a tribute to my children that I want to create.

And yes, I'm fully aware of the imbalance this create…

Monday morning humor

My friend and coworker sent this to me...

Woman sees a picture of Jesus in kitchen cabinet

SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP - - A Erickson Drive woman planned to remodel her kitchen, but she suddenly changed her mind when an apparent image of Jesus appeared in her lower cabinet door.

To read the rest of the story, go to StarBeacon.com

The sender says:
I bet you're sure glad this didn't happen to you before the remodeling! (I can hear you now- "quick Steve! Hand me the #@%$ paint brush!")

Having public shrines can be such a big responsibility.

I need motivation

5pm and not one plank of flooring has been laid.

It has been a lovely day...but I need to get moving. Where is that crowbar to pry my butt out of this chair?

Saturday update

Watched Armageddon on Encore this morning and cried. I LOVE that movie.

Watched the noon news and freaked out. The mother-in-law is fine...the tornado missed her part of the neighborhood. It's probably not a good sign that we didn't even know this had happened until a day later. Guess we should watch the news more often.

We went out for a "day of fun" and it did not devolve into one of us screaming at the others...well...except for that brief tantrum of Sam's where we couldn't figure out what the hell was his problem (but that's pretty routine for us on any day).

I bought yarn to finish a friend's baby blanket. I also bought a couple sweaters for my little Blue girl and a few bones for the other freaks (aka dogs).

Steve bought a HUGE television. (insert wifely eye roll and shoulder shrug here)

It is currently 10 degrees (-8 with the wind chill) outside. We went for ice cream. You can't beat a Coldstone Creamery coupon...anytime of the year. But I thin…

Home Improvement Fun

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Too sensitive?

I got an email today that was supposed to be funny.

It had all kinds of goofy pictures of boys doing stupid or funny things. It was followed by one of those lists...
Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.
Super glue is forever.

I know the majority of the email was funny.

But it started with, "----For those who have sons & those of us who are happy that we don't."

I want to cry.

Am I being too sensitive?

Since I'm talking stillbirth already today

Synova Healthcare’s Non-Invasive Fetal Monitor Kicks In 1st February 2007 Synova Healthcare says that Synova Pre-Natal Healthcare., a wholly owned subsidiary, and development partner BioPad. have successfully produced the initial set of antepartum fetal-movement monitors for use in their first "in-home" clinical trial. The device is designed to provide a non-invasive means of monitoring fetal movement during the last trimester of pregnancy. Unlike ultrasonic instruments, this non-invasive fetal monitor does not expose either the pregnant mother or her fetus to radiant energy. Clinical data supporting the value of antepartum fetal movement monitoring is both compelling and growing. Reduced fetal movement has been associated with a variety of tragic and preventable outcomes including stillbirth. Reports of fetal movement declining in advance of a cessation in fetal heart-sounds and fetal death illustrate the value of fetal movement monitoring . The monitoring of fet…

Around every corner

Today I woke up to find a dear friend (D) is pregnant with her fifth child. I am happy for her (even if she is a bit nervous...her youngest turns one...tomorrow? I can hardly believe that!).

I sent my congratulations, but then I was off to do a quick search for ANYTHING to read online that is NOT about babies, pregnancy, trying to conceive, or loss (my bookmarks are pitiful, let me tell you). Self defense mechanisms are beautiful things sometimes.

I logged onto SheKnows (where I moderate the Loss Support forum) intending to spend some time surfing around in all those other forums that I haven't previously explored. "Just for Fun" sounded good. Or "Chit Chat."

And then I saw the post.

A woman named Jen...Due in January...daughter stillborn at 41 weeks.

It breaks my heart. I do not know this woman, but from her writing I see that she seems strong in her Christian faith and I hope that will be a comfort to her. I know the grief is a formidable opponent for even the str…