2020 was a crazy year…..

Oh my goodness, I didn’t realize how long it was since I have made a post. The last post I made was for Drew’s birthday. Life just seemed to go in warp speed for our family all of last year. It’s been a wild ride.

March of 2020 the world went topsy turvy and we all had to stay home because of Covid 19. Schools were rushed to be attended online, tele-working started, and hanging with friends was non-existent. We thought we would all just be home for a few weeks and life would go on as normal. That was not the case. We’ve been at this for 9 months and it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.

This was the year that Motherhood took on many more roles than it had ever had to do. We, mothers, had to become tech gurus and help the kids with remote learning and there were lots of hiccups in the begining. We had to learn how to keep our kids busy and active without the use of the sports and activities we were used to taking them to. If you were lucky in being able to work from home you needed to learn how to telework with every single person in your house home with you. Mothers around the world and country became teachers, coaches, counselors, tech support, and playdates. Not to mention the duties of outside work if you are juggling that also. We had/have more duties on our plate than we ever had. It’s a struggle to keep up with all the demands that have been asked of us. We have being doing all these things while we can’t take them to the park or any of the other activities that we are used to letting them do.

However, it wasn’t just life at home that changed. We had to learn to be happy with the ones around us. We finally had those moments when life slowed down and we were thrown for a loop. I myself, was used to being super busy. Taking the kids here, going there, planning this and then the pandemic hit and all that came to a standstill. For many months I felt like I should be doing something. I didn’t quite know what to do with all the time at home. It wasn’t like I was on vacation, I still needed to do all the things that needed to be done but I had to do it from home. We needed to figure out how to get groceries and neccesities without making too many trips to the store.

Smiles From Drew suffered without being able to go out and do events. Nonprofits like Smiles that help kids participate in activities just came to a standstill. If kids weren’t allowed to do activities than there was no need for us. No baseball, football, cheer, dance…..the list goes on. I had no idea what to do with the organization I worked so hard for. Which I will talk about in another post.

2020 did have some amazing things happen. Our new son came to live with us in July and because of the quarantine we were all home to help him get settled. The slower life of lock down made it possible for me to be able to be there and support not only him but the rest of the kids also. We are able to work through some his trauma without having to deal with peer pressure and outside influences.

I know 2020 was hard but hopefully you can find those small moments that have made it better. Hold on to those for when the going gets tough. And here’s to the start of 2021.

25 years old……

When I was 25 I had been married, had kids, and divorced. I had already put alot of life in those 25 years. To be honest, I’m not sure what 25 looks like for most people. I wonder this as tomorrow is Drew’s 25th birthday. 25 seems like such a big number. Most experts say the brain is fully developed at 25. Which means full adulthood starts at 25.

At 25, you might be done with college. Maybe you’re thinking of getting married and starting a family. You might be looking at buying a house…your first “new” car. At 25 you may actually be the “reasonable adult”. All these milestones hopefully happens when you turn 25. But what happens when your life stopped at 20 and none of that will happen.

I remember the day Drew was born. Some days it feels like it was yesterday. He came into this world in his sweet old time. He came out screaming, like we had just broke his poor little heart by taking him out of his nice warm home. Drew lived life with gusto and so much love. His ability to love was so massive. When he loved you he loved you fiercely and with everything he had. But he also could feel so wounded if that love and compassion wasn’t reciprocated.

Drew was my first child, he made me a Mom. I became a better person with him in my life. I think most parents can agree that when you become a parent you want to be the best you can be so that you can teach your children. You want to be the best you can be so your children can be proud of you. There are so many things being Drew’s mom taught me. It taught me to know when you needed to go the hospital for stitches or you could superglue the cut. It taught me that there were time you needed to get out of your head and just “make a game” of life. It taught me that I can love deeply, worry constantly, and have such great sorrow.

If I had known what heartbreak was in our future, I would still choose Drew to be my boy. I would keep all the great moments we had. I would keep all the not so great moments. So as the dawn approaches on this day, Drew’s birthday, I think of my wonderful boy. I love you more than words can say. I wish life had different plans for you but I will always celebrate you. Thank you Drew for choosing me to be your Mom and thank you for being mine.

Happy Birthday my sweet boy. I love you to infinity and beyond!

Balance and 5…….

Today is January 1, 2020. To others that haven’t been touched by loss it’s a start to new year, new hopes and happy beginnings. To parents that have lost a child it’s one more year that you didn’t have your child with you. This year is a pretty significant year for us, not only is it a new decade that Drew isn’t in but 2020 will be 5 years that he has been gone. Gosh, 5 years sounds so long, but it feels so short.

Last year I chose a word for the new year in the hopes that when my mind was swirling I could use it as a mantra of sorts. I decided to do the same thing for this year, my word for 2020 is BALANCE. Finding balance in my life with work, kids, marriage, self-care and Smiles From Drew. Making sure that I can be all to everyone that needs me including myself. I tend to go all in on something and it doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for other things. That is how I have been working Smiles the last few years.

This past week I’ve been thinking of what Balance will mean to me and how to handle that with such a pivotal year in grief. That thought then got me on the track of the number 5 and what does it mean…so that got me on Google to find out. So here is what I found:

Five as an angel number means balance. The website suggests to put your life in balance because you are always in motion and need to slow down. It means keeping a balance between the material things and the spiritual realm.

https://angelnumbersmeaning.com/angel-number-5-meaning-and-symbolism/

I thought this was super interesting as this past week every time I reflected on the word balance the number 5 came with it. That is when I started searching to find the meaning of 5.

So end this rambling of mine, just remember there might be reasons as to why certain words or numbers come to your mind. You just need to be open to hear them.

Say Their Name Podcast….

It wasn’t long after I lost Drew that I knew that having an outlet to be able to get all the words out of my head was what I wanted to do. That is when I decided to start this blog. I wrote more in the beginning because I had more swirling thoughts. I did the posts more for me than anything else but my hope was always that if one person read them they would know they weren’t alone.

A few months ago I started listening to podcasts on my way to work. I first found The Kindness podcast. The podcast interviews all types of people that are trying to make difference in the world by spreading kindness in one way or another. I started searching for other podcasts that I found interesting. I started listening to the Grief Out Loud podcast and the What’s Your Grief podcast. I loved listening to the episodes since they discussed topics of grief and I somehow did not feel quite so alone in my feelings and thoughts.

I decided to email The Kindness podcast to tell them my story about Drew and Smiles from Drew and she emailed me back! Nicole Philips is the host and she wanted to interview me! I was so excited and nervous. We scheduled the interview and they called and I got the chance to talk about Drew and Smiles, it was wonderful. That is when I got the idea that I can start a podcast interviewing parents telling us about their children that have gone on before us. Give them a space to talk about them, talk about their life before, and talk about their life after.

Like any endeavor I have started since Drew died I just jump right in. If I don’t know how to do it, I just keep figuring it out. I’ve been researching microphones, software, and how to post podcasts. I had an idea in my head and just went for it. I’m so close to start interviewing other parents and getting the podcasts live.

I will be changing the name of this site that I blog on, the name of this website will be www.say-their-name.com. I will still be writing blog posts about Drew but I will also post the episodes of the podcast on here also. I sure hope you can join me on this adventure and we can hear all the great stories from parents that have lost children, giving parents a chance to Say Their Name.