Friday, December 4, 2009

Virtual Hugs

Teens are a unique breed of human. Most anyone who has spent significant time raising them would agree. As much as they love Mom & Dad, they usually have a hard time showing it, let alone saying it. They much prefer to give an eye roll over a hug. When given a gentle kiss on the cheek from Mom, they recoil as if her lips are a branding iron. Eldest Weasel actually jokes "It buuurrrnnnsss". However, they do indeed love and show it when they choose to.

We are now into the Christmas Season. I used to love it all. The lights, colors and shimmering paper always filled my heart with joy and the spirit of Christmas. A few years ago, Christmas changed for me. I could not bear to see the lights, hear the carols or stand the sight of the decorations. I could not muster the energy to celebrate anything and begrudged the world around me that did. I went through the motions for the sake of my children so as not to spoil their enjoyment, but my heart wasn't in it.

Christmas Present, 7 years later, is bittersweet for me. I can celebrate and enjoy. I can decorate and admire. I can shop and be excited about the treasures that I have found, but it is now always tinged by a sadness and longing. I will laugh, but I will also cry.

The other day while baking some favorite holiday treats the Christmas tunes were playing, while the Weasels sang, danced and 'helped' me in the kitchen. I love times like this, for the memories we are making, but then something stopped me in my tracks. Out of the speakers came "All I Want for Christmas is You" sung by Mariah Carey. This is a great song that I always loved, but that now will bring me instant tears.

For the only thing that I really want (and don't have) for Christmas and always, I cannot have. The only thing missing from my life is the laughter and hugs, from a would have been, 7-year-old girl who I can only visit at the cemetery, whose name is etched in cold marble, planted in icy ground as the only statement to the world that she had ever existed or mattered.

As the song began, my sweetest, eye-rolling, smart-mouthed teen, Eldest Weasel, spotting the pain in my expression, hugged me tight and we began to dance. I held her with all of my might in gratitude for being able to, as tears streamed down my face in heartache and sorrow for her little sister whom I long to hold, but never will again, in this life anyway.

Her love and unspoken understanding of what I was feeling meant so much and gave me the ability to continue with the tasks at hand in the kitchen. It also reminded me of an organization made of up individuals who have had a child's death touch their lives, SIDS of Illinois. These are the people who carried us through that first Christmas, birthday, Mother's day and subsequent ones, with an understanding of our pain. They are the people who acted as a crutch when we were not able to walk this road on our own. This organization that not only works to support bereaved families, but fights to save babies lives, through education for parents, providing safe sleep material goods for families unable to afford them (such as cribs and sleep sacks), but also to train first responders on how to deal with newly bereft parents, while still performing their duties, in order to prevent living nightmares such as Mr. Weasel and I experienced.

In this season of giving, if you are so inclined to give me a hug, I asked that you do so virtually, by way of donation to SIDS of Illinois. It doesn't matter if it's $1, $5, or $500. Donate in memory of Claire Weasel (she is the featured remembrance baby of the month - go check out her beautiful picture) via phone ((1-800-432-SIDS (7437)) or Paypal directly on their site. You can also tweet, Digg, stumble or otherwise promote this post. Every dollar donated can mean another baby's life saved or a lifeline for a family who will need to survive their first Christmas without their child in their arms.

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38 comments:

Melisa with one S said...

You already know I love this post. And I love how you and Mr. Weasel actively pay it forward with SIDS of Illinois. I know they helped you immensely, and your commitment to help other families who have had the most devastating kind of loss like you have is practically superhuman.

Slightly off topic: I love that you gave readers this little peek at Eldest Weasel's "real" self. She is a great young lady.

PJ Mullen said...

This is a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing. Eldest really stepped up when her mom needed her most. And thank you for providing the information on how to donate to SIDS of Illinois. There was a little left in our holiday budget and I couldn't think of a better place to use it.

Vodka Mom said...

that touched me.

You are an amazing woman- and an amazing mother.

Dad Unmasked said...

Wow. What an incredible post. I didn't plan on tearing up this early in the morning, but I thank you for sharing this.

Tom said...

Sometimes those teens show their true colors, as eldest did. Then you know you're doing okay by them.

Blessings to you and yours this Christmas, and plaudits for bringing good to the lives of others with your support of SIDS of Illinois.

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing. Thinking of you and Claire and I am going to hug my weasels a little tighter, tonight.

WeaselMomma said...

@ Melisa ~ I credit SIDS of IL for saving our sanity and carrying us through those dark days of grief. Passing it on is our way of honoring Claire's life and making her death not be in vein.

@ PJ ~ I can't thank you enough. Thanks for setting a great example.

@ Vodka Mom ~ All I can be is me.

@ Dad Unmasked ~ Didn't mean to make you cry, just pull your heartstrings to prompt donations to a great organization. I hope it worked.

@ Tom ~ Eldest is a wonderful smart aleck, eye rolling teen and a great person. I only wish I could take the credit, she is just wonderful all on her own.

@ Liz ~ Hold and hug them every chance you get. You never know what tomorrow brings.

andrea said...

i have no words so i'll just give a hug to you and all your weasels!

Tara R. said...

Your courage and compassion are amazing. Eldest Weasel is obviously following admirably in your footsteps.

john cave osborne said...

you tweeted yesterday that today's post would show your "diverse skillz," and i couldn't wait to read. literally put you down on my to-do list.

it showed so much more than your diverse skillz. it showed your vulnerability, but even more than that, it showed your heart and why part of it will always ache.

WM, that was truly beautiful. i will RT this immediately. thank you SO much for writing that. you're FANTASTIC. you really are! God bless you and the entire weasel world! jco

Charlie on the PA Turnpike said...

f u cn rd ths thn u knw I cn lv psts.


(My silly attempt at humor should not be construed as anything remotely disparraging at your fine post; it's merely a lighthearted way of seeing if you're still having troubles with comments)

Loukia said...

This post made me literally cry at work. I am so so so very sorry for your loss, in fact, I am not even sure I knew the full story. My heart breaks for you. You are surrounded by a loving and wonderful family, and I do hope you have a nice Christmas with lovely memories.

BusyDad said...

What a testament to the beauty of your family. If I had to sum up true family, I'd point to this post.

Heather said...

I love you more than you know, for you are such an inspiration when the days are dark. You have touched many, and I will make sure I share this post wherever I go.

xo

NukeDad said...

You've obviously taught her well. This post demonstrates exactly what family is all about: being there for each other. Well done, WeaselMomma

WeaselMomma said...

@ Andrea ~ I hope you do that virtually. It saves babies lives.

@ Tara ~ She is definitely her own person, and wonderful.

@ JCO ~ Thank You.

@ Charlie ~ Yup, it works.

@ Loukia ~ Don't go making your mascara run at work. Just letting you know about this very worthy cause and how it helps real people.

@ BusyDad ~ That is one heck of a compliment, thank you.

@ Heather ~ Thank You.

@ NukeDad ~ I only wish I could take the credit, but then I would have to take responsibility for her smart mouth and eye rolling too.

McMommy said...

Tears are streaming down my face. Love you WeaselMomma!! xoxo

Tenakim said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, but glad that you had SIDS of Illinois to help you. You are getting many virtual hugs... I hope the pain subsides a little more with each passing year for you.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Oh my, I can't even imagine what you have been through. I tear up at the thought of being away from my son for a couple of days.

So sorry to hear and my thoughts will include you and your family this holiday season.

Juggling Eric said...

Note to self.. Do not read WoW's blogs during working hours. People will wonder why I have red eyes while processing claims.

Prayers from my family to yours, my friend.

Mocha Dad said...

Wow! This post made my eyes water. I'm in awe of your family's strength. I will keep you in my prayers always.

Sarcastic Mom (aka Lotus) said...

Oh, my aching heart and wet eyes. Beautifully written. The expression of love and understanding from your eldest is a blessing. Off to add my donation. We don't have much, but I am moved, and I believe in giving to worthwhile causes.

Merry Christmas to you and your Weasels.

WeaselMomma said...

@ McMommy ~ Thank you. It's all for a good cause.

@ Tenakim ~ It's a great organization that has been serving for over 40 years and is in danger of closing due to lack of funds. They carried us through this and I have to help give back. The whole in my heart will never close, but will grow smaller every day.

@ James ~ Thank you.

@ Eric ~ I hope that I make you laugh 98% of the time, the other 2% are posts like this.

@ MochaDad ~ You don't know how much that means, but pray for and keep in mind the families that this has happened to recently and the babies who may be at risk.

@ Sarcastic Mom ~ Thank you. It means so much and does so much for so many. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Terry said...

First you tag me in a meme, and now you brought tears to my eyes....ahhhh....I hear you loud and clear. The other day my oldest asked how old my little Nathan would be (he was stillborn) and my gosh...he'd be 9!! What I wouldn't give to torture his little self with mommy kisses and everlasting hugs!
Thank you for sharing! You're awesome!

Oscar said...

My heart goes out to you. I knew what was coming as I read the post. It's not easy. And you will never forget - Don't want to forget. Time won't heal it. Peace within yourself will be hard to attain. But you will survive. Since the anniversary of her and the post sideboad I had displayed, I still kept that in my prayers and will continue to.

Enjoy the season with those surviving and let that happiness and those memories breed amongst the other Weasels.

Been there....

Joanie M said...

Your Eldest Weasel is a very special girl. She knew just what to do to help both of you.

Your story was lovely and heart-breaking.

Steve @ MyBoys3 said...

So sorry to hear that you went through that but thank you for sharing your heart so it can help others. Hope that you'll find a way to enjoy the Christmas season and all of the joy that it still can bring.

BellaDaddy said...

Speechless...wiping eyes...wallet opening....

All our VERY best of memories for you and yours this holiday season!

Luv Ya!

Charlie on the PA Turnpike said...

just so you know: I dropped a check in the mail this morning.

Eternally Distracted said...

Kids are amazing at giving all the love in the world when it is most needed...I hope this holiday season is filled with love and happiness.

terri said...

This post brought me to tears, but I know I can't even begin to understand the heartache you feel at times.

Eldest obviously knew just what you needed and gave you the support you needed when you needed it most. What a great kid!

Michelle said...

You made me cry again (this is the third time tonight - what's wrong with me?). I'll offer you a hug -- and one for Claire, too. SIDS of Illinois is such a great organization, and I'm glad they were there for you when you needed it. I just wish you, and so many others, didn't have need of their services.

Bad Momma said...

Hugs to you & your family. Nice to see that Eldest has a warm heart beneath her cold teenage exterior.
Kids will surprise you with their capacity for compassion & understanding when you least expect it.

thecheekofgod said...

Wow.

Being new around these parts, there are things I didn't know before reading this. We all have a story, and this one is beautiful . . .

Otter Thomas said...

Sorry I am so late getting here. I certainly want to send love from our family to yours.

Laura said...

Hugs & Love coming your way. I'm a bit behind on my reading, but you helped put my evening into perspective. Thank you.

Sue said...

Way to go Eldest Weasel. Isn't it amazing when they just "get it"?

Great for you to help support this group still after 7 years. I hope it gives you some peace of mind that you are helping many others.

Mrs4444 said...

This made me cry-I love Eldest Weasel for that. See, she IS thinking of you this week...

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