Seems like a forever ago. At the time, and while we were spinning through all of it, we thought we would never recover. For sure we were thinking we’d never forget. Of course we’re not forgetting, but I didn’t think it would feel as distant as it does now.
When I started writing this blog it was mainly to make myself laugh. It wasn’t with the intention of keeping a running record of my kids upbringing. Well, turns out it’s good for that too. A nice diary for my kids where the can read about each other and themselves and how they entered the world.
Anne Marie & Linda Claire’s entrance was no more important that Frank’s, but it was a bit more stressful and of course sorrowful. Burying Linda Claire days after she was born was absolutely the most shocking and saddest thing I have ever experienced. With Anne Marie still fighting it out in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU, there wasn’t much time to absorb the body blow of losing our daughter. She needed us and I can tell you without hesitation we needed her.
I say all that because at times it seems Frank gets pushed to the back burner a bit. The irony is it was watching Frank and his sister run around today that sparked this post. Anne Marie is now the same age Frank was when she came home from the NICU. Those five months leading up to her homecoming was tough on him. His mommy was in the hospital for a long time, the sisters he was expecting didn’t come home, and his old man was not sleeping, thus I was more grumpy than what might be considered normal.
I wasn’t really sure what he was picking up on if anything at all. But the day we came home from a hospital visit to see his mommy finally clued me into the stress he was carrying. He took himself to bed for a nap at 3:30. That wasn’t new. He had been doing that since he could walk. But he slept through dinner and right on through the night, through breakfast the next day and finally woke up at 10:00am. He was still just two at the time but he was clearly picking up on what was happening.
Seeing 3 year old Anne Marie today gave us a little insight on how almost 3 year old Frank may have be processing the whole deal. That conversation invariably led to a walk down NICU memory lane. Which then put us on How the hell did we survive that avenue. A lot of it is still somewhat of a blur for Tracy, and me too I guess. I managed to keep writing in those days; mostly updates for friends and family. So we have a good running record of what was going on which helps fill in the foggy blanks.
You can start here: Second Heartbeat? and just read your way forward to get the full story. But if you don’t have 40 hours of free time to commit you can just keep scrolling here.
It’s July 2015 and three years ago this month we brought Frank’s sister home to him. So we celebrate and remember how we got from there to here. Since I’ve babbled enough and pictures tell a much better story than I ever could, here is a little pictorial history for you.
Of course now she’s a berserk 3 year old; flooding bathrooms so she can swim, play-doughing the carpet, and climbing the outside of the stair banisters.
We’re loving (sort of) every second of it.
For such a sad, bittersweet story, you make it all sound beautiful.
Thanks Chef. I learned quickly I had to find the beauty or I’d be mired in the sorrow.
Absolutely. But easier said than done, I imagine.
Lots of love in this post. I missed some of Anne Marie’s entry but have caught up. God blessed us all with your two girls, this life experience, and your ability to share it.
Thanks Chief. It’s been fun and therapeutic at the same time.
Flooding the tub so she can have an indoor swimming pool…I like how Anne Marie thinks.
Also, this is a very sweet entry 🙂
Haha, no Kate, she wasn’t flooding the tub. She stopped up the sink to fill the entire room with water. She just about succeeded but once the water got to her ankle height it started to run out under the door.