Technical Difficulties: Our Recent Challenge

technicalWe’d like to apologize for the recent gap in our posts! We have been dealing with some nagging technical difficulties within our blog. Please note that there are still links on the homepage and menu buttons that will only open if you right-click and choose to open in a new tab. We are working to restore the left-click functionality.

Thank you for your patience as we get back to 100%!

When You are Surrounded by Clouds: Look Up

We recently had more than 3 weeks of constant rain in my area. Every day was a dreary repeat of the day before- gray, rainy and cloudy. The dull and heavy weather that surrounded me on the outside was starting to make me feel gray on the inside. We recently had more than 3 weeks of constant rain in my area. Every day was a dreary repeat of the day before- gray, rainy and cloudy. The dull and heavy weather that surrounded me on the outside was starting to make me feel gray on the inside.

I was excited for a break from the rain- a business trip to Florida, the “Sunshine State.” Only to find that the forecast there was…3 full days of rain.

As we sat on the tarmac, waiting for take off, drizzle pelted the airplane dropping down from the perpetually gray skies. I half-heartedly watched the water slide across my window as the plane accelerated and lifted off the runway. Until we broke above the rain clouds and something wonderful happened – the sun appeared. Bright, bold, gleaming in every direction across billowing white clouds. We were suddenly surrounded by the clear blue skies and brilliant light of the heavens.

Just moments before we had been wrapped in gloom and now we were smiling at the warm glow of the distant skies. I instantly felt more optimistic and peaceful as I took in the light I had so been missing. It was sad when we reached our destination and began to descend- back into the rainy gray. It was pouring down as we taxied to the gate.

But now I knew that above all of the gloom and doom was infinite beauty. Just beyond what I could see, was the exactly what I had been waiting and hoping for. It was a great reminder for life. When you are surrounded by the clouds, look up to the heavens and know that just beyond us, the sun always shines.

sun_above_clouds

When Your Sky is Dark Keep Looking Up

see-the-stars-1502227Last night was the arrival of the Perseid meteor shower. I am always intrigued by space and the heavens, so I stood out in my front yard at 11pm last night, hoping to see something special.  As soon as I picked a spot away from the porch lights I saw a blazing  “shooting star” directly in front of me. It was big and shimmering- bright and slightly orange falling across my neighborhood sky. It was so exciting that I immediately wanted to see another one. I stood in the yard for almost an hour, spotting some small streaks and momentary bursts of white trailing shimmer, but nothing like the beautiful burst I had seen in the beginning.

After going back inside, the lure of seeing another meteor like the first one took me back outside. As I stood gazing at the sky, now getting a crook in my neck, I had a strange thought. The amazing star I saw streaking across the sky when I first came outside reminded me of my first pregnancy. It was joyful and mesmerizing- a new experience that was exciting and big. Until it ended. Until I found weeks and months after it all began that my baby’s heart never started beating. My incredibly beautiful star had gone out. The shimmer was gone.

I waited to try again, prolonging the possibility of that 2nd shimmering star.  Anxious, afraid, unknowing. And when I finally did become pregnant again, the star wasn’t as bright as the first one. Fear creeped in and my blazing light was a smaller streak now. But I still had hope.

When I stood in the yard for the 2nd time last night, not one streak appeared. I didn’t want to give up to easily- I really wanted to see one more. Finally, I decided I had to go in- my eyelids were giving out- it was well after midnight now. As I slowly worked my way back to the front door one more star trailed above my head with a white shimmer. I smiled. It was just like the hope I had to try one more time…wait a little longer…have some faith. And just like the final star that streaked above as I was giving up, my healthy baby girl arrived- shiny and perfect. And it was even more unbelievable another star appeared and my 2nd baby girl brightened our world.

Last night was such a great reminder that we all need hope. Whether you are waiting to see a shooting star or to find love, or to stop hurting or to have a baby. We have to keep our hope alive, so remember to look up.

Mark Zuckerberg Shares Pain of Miscarriages on Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg  Shares Pain of Miscarriage

Mark Zuckerberg Shares Pain of Miscarriage

Using Facebook to share the joys of life is common in our “virtual” world. What is not so common is an honest post that shares your pain. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook creator and founder, did just that recently when he announced the joy of his wife’s pregnancy and then shared the pain of the couple’s multiple miscarriages.

See the story: Mark Zuckerberg Shares Pain of Miscarriage

 

 

 

The Last Laugh: Remembering Joan Rivers

Remembering Joan Rivers

Remembering Joan Rivers

My Mom always told me that deaths happen in three’s…as odd as that sounds, it always seems to ring true. Recently, we lost three iconic celebrities: first the tragic death of Robin Williams, then the loss of screen legend Lauren Bacall and this week, comedy and fashion diva Joan Rivers was laid to rest.

Joan’s “in your face” and candid style both electrified and offended. She hit life head on, no matter the circumstances or people involved. Her honest approach to her many plastic surgeries became fodder for some of her best humor. It seems that she applied the same direct nature to her own death. While some may find this odd or even shocking, I find it refreshing.

Since Joan found no topic to be “off limits,” it came as no surprise to me that she had left behind final wishes for her funeral. It was also no surprise that she desired a grand affair complete with Broadway tunes, fellow celebs, and laughter. And her daughter Melissa made sure she had just that, as bagpipes played her final song and a throng of fans gathered on Fifth Avenue, dressed in their best, to honor the fashion diva.

In a society where we struggle with issues of daily life, they all pale in comparison to our issues with death. Joan accepted that death would one day find her, and she had no problem leaving behind instructions for her final wishes. In fact, she wanted to be sure that her funeral was a star-studded celebration rather than a tear-filled, mournful occasion.

I can only hope that we learn a thing or two from Joan as we consider our own dates with destiny. And more importantly, that we know where we are headed when we get there.

Am I a Mother? Tips for Handling Mother’s Day After Miscarriage

 
Are you spending this Mother’s Day wondering if you are, in fact, a mother? 900,000-1 million women in the U.S. alone face this question every year after suffering pregnancy loss.
 
“For women who experience a miscarriage during their first pregnancy, the question of motherhood is an even greater one,” says Lisa Church of HopeXchange, a company dedicated to the support of women and their families facing pregnancy loss.
 
Mother’s Day is the most difficult holiday a woman must face after pregnancy loss. A time that was supposed to be a celebration of a new life and a new motherhood becomes a time of sadness and grief. Church’s book, Hope is Like the Sun: Finding Hope and Healing After Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death, encourages women to use the holiday to remember their babies, rather than making it a dreaded event to endure each year. “Nothing will lesson the pain of Mother’s Day, but with some planning you can make sure the day has meaning for you,” says Church. Here are some tips from the book that can help:
 
You Are a Mother.
 
The best gift you can give yourself on Mother’s Day is the acknowledgment that you are a mother. You may not have a baby to hold in your arms, but you do have one in your heart.
 
Let Your Family Know What You Need.
 
If you feel uncomfortable being recognized as a mother at a banquet or other function, substitute an activity you would feel good about. If you would rather not receive or wear a flower, then wear an item that helps you to connect with your baby, such as a piece of jewelry that includes the baby’s birthstone.
 
Remember Your Baby.
 
Mother’s Day can be a great time for a husband and wife to talk about their baby and what the baby meant to them. Take a walk, have a quiet dinner, or just set aside some time to remember your baby together.
 
Decide Ahead of Time.
 
The way you chose to spend Mother’s Day should be your decision- and one you make ahead of time. Setting time aside to remember and talk about your baby will make you “feel” more like a mom on the very day designed to do that. Church also reminds women that their spouses may experience similar feelings on Father’s Day, “so be sure to ask how he would like to spend the day.”
 
We run this article each year to help grieving Moms handle Mother’s Day.

Handling the Holidays

Holidays and special events are normally a time of joy and celebration, however they can become a painful reminder of your loss. Seeing family members, making decisions, and attending the holiday activities you usually enjoy can take on a different outlook after the loss of a child.

If you begin feeling sadness during the holidays or a special occasion, think about why you are feeling that way; process those feelings and accept them.  It is a perfectly normal reaction to your grief. Taking this step ahead of time may help you to avoid some uncomfortable moments in public.     
 
 
Should I Go?
   
Ask yourself if you are ready to attend family gatherings or parties. This will give you the opportunity to let someone know your decision in advance. Knowing that you would have planned to share your new baby at these celebrations could make them difficult and even tearful for you. Give yourself the option to gracefully bow out of the activity. Asking yourself these questions before a special event may help:
 
  • Can I handle this? Is this something I would enjoy? If so, it could be a good way to lift your spirits.
  • What does my spouse think? Will it cause problems if I do not attend?
  • Would the holiday or special event be the same if I don’t attend? Deciding not to attend a Christmas play will not take away from the holiday season; however deciding not to attend Thanksgiving dinner will certainly change the Thanksgiving holiday.
Thinking through these questions ahead of time can help you arrive at a decision that is right for you, and one that will not negatively impact your spouse or your family.
 
The above is an excerpt from the book Hope is Like the Sun.