Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

 Hiya Tuesday Tea Timers!

I have found it hard to know what to write about today. My friend EH has been blogging her experience after the death of her baby Alexander Scott in July. I thanked her just the other day for her writing. EH is a wonderful poetic writer who is able to put things into words that I did not seem to know what to do with originally. I wanted to remain optimistic and seem hopeful. I am an optimistic person and I am hopeful.

However hard I may try to mask the continuation of grief over the death of my Kaia Gene, there are days that emotions run heavy. It is hard to imagine that I could have a daughter that it is anywhere between 1 1/2 months old to 6 1/2 months old. It is hard to imagine all of the belongings that I would be using right now to clothe her, feed her. and bathe her. It is hard to imagine the restless nights many and most young parents experience.

These pieces are not our reality. Kaia Gene did not live beyond one day. If you follow my blog or know my story you know that she came incredibly prematurely. And there's no reason that any of that happened as it did. So I have hope. I choose to celebrate life. This has been a choice I have made since I was a young girl. I celebrate the life of Kaia Gene, Heather, Alexander Scott, and of the many other infant deaths I have heard about since Kaia's death. Yes it is overwhelming to know how many people are grieving the death of an infant. 

It is also joyously overwhelming to know how many people are celebrating a recent announcement of pregnancies & healthy births. One colleague recently announced her pregnancy with twins and then another with her second pregnancy. I also celebrate the many babies that were born within a month before Kaia's original due date or just shortly there after. I celebrate the many babies that will be born, from close lifelong friends, in the next month or two.

Yes, some days are heavier than others. Optimism and hope always win out for me. However this has been a great lesson in showing myself grace and accepting that, and hoping for, grace from those I work and live with in community. For more insight on this journey be sure to check out ErinHaligowski.WordPress.com.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

 Hello Tuesday Tea Time friends!

This last week has been a very wet week for much of the country. While there was flooding in Louisiana, up north we have had very intermittent hard fast and then slow and light rain falls.

I just brought home my wellies from work yesterday. You know it is some serious rain when I bring out my wellies. However like I said sometimes it was slow and light rain. These rains are not so intimidating and seem to be all right to head out into. They seem so appealing that even my sweet puppy dog doesn't mind going out into these rains.

Not only once, but twice did MG and myself head out into these light slow rains for a short walk. The first walk, as I opened the door and realized it was raining, I thought to myself "Shoot! My coat is at work and so is the dogs." There was not much I could do about that in the moment and so we went on out into the rain. Naturally when we were standing at the other end of our building and just across the street, the rain started to become heavier and more frequent. Thankfully Z had gone into work that day and he could bring our coats home. I was fairly equipped for the rain the rest of the week.The second time I found myself stuck in the rain it was by pure choice that I did not wear my rain jacket.

There's something refreshing about a walk in the light rain and sometimes even in the heavy rain. Both times I stopped briefly to stand up straight and turn my face upward toward the sky to catch rain as if it were snow. Thankfully it was not snow yet. Both times I gave thanks for the rain and the refreshing moment provided by Mother Earth. 

Finding ways to be refreshed with Tuesday Tea Time!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Good morning Tuesday Tea Timers! Today I bring you a unique piece of Britta Gene Art for the rest of the month.

One week before traveling to IN for Kaia's burial service Britta Gene & family were in MI. While at lunch & deciding the rest of the afternoon activities, the family had decided to get matching tattoos. Like a good sister, Britta Gene leaned over with a spark in her eye & asked, 'wanna get a tattoo?!'

I had been toying around with another tattoo for quite some time & despite what people say, not because they are addicting. For a long time I thought I wanted the Diaconal cross, but was never satisfied with simply that. Then I had been playing around with the idea of the ; (semicolon) tattoos that represent mental health awareness & a reminder to pause, to breath, & take one step at a time. While I didn't have enough time to decide where to add the ; to my already small heart design (by Britta Gene), I may save up to have it added eventually.

The heart tattoo is to honor Grandy. Britta Gene's Grandy was a lovely woman with a heart for others & a wonderful deep belly laugh. I can still hear her laugh when I stop & listen. It was after Grandy's death that Britta Gene started seeing hearts all over her daily ins & outs. This taught many of us to look for heart finds. Just yesterday I saw a heart find in the healing of my skin where I burned myself. Seriously, heart finds EVERYWHERE!

My forever heart find is with Kaia Gene, who taught me a new thing or two about love. The heart artwork is buried with Kaia Gene in her urn vault. My heart tattoo is a touch less glamorous (it doesn't sparkle) & a daily reminder to just love. Love & look for love & be love & do love because love is love is love is love is.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

As the IN August sun set over the farm, I knew in my heart that everything was alright. We had just finished celebrating the memorial service for Kaia Gene. Surrounded by family & friends we acknowledged that there was nothing right or easy about what we were doing, but we know that Kaia Gene has been redeemed and called by God.

This past Friday we buried Kaia Gene next to my cousin Heather. Heather was stillborn 48 years ago and never had been given a memorial where her mother, my aunt, could be present. I shared at the memorial service, for both Kaia and Heather, that there is nothing easy about the stories that surround the death of a child, but that it is easy to honor the memories of these dead children simply by hearing their stories. It is important to provide space in life for us to feel uncomfortable about real life events, such as the death of a child, & to share this space together.

Friday night we shared that space together. That space in which we share life's hardships and uncomfortable places is holy space. Though I was woken up the night after Kaia was born with the verses of Job running through my head, I know just as Job knew, that still we are to give praise to God because we are alive to do so.

Today I give my praise to God for new opportunities, new relationships, and the undying love God continues to show us through God's people & creation. As the IN August sun set over the farm, I knew in my heart, my head, & my very being, that everything was all right.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Happy August everyone!

I'm honored to be back to guest blog for Juls. The last time I was here it was the dead of fall, my favorite time of year. Now I'm just crossing my fingers that the Virginia heat wave gives us a break sooner rather than later.

My previous post spoke of self care, even amidst busy life seasons. Over the last 6 months I've been growing my professional life but also dedicating time to things I am passionate about on a personal level.

I recently launched This Is Infertility, a way to honor my and my husband's journey through infertility. The stories have flooded in and I'm grateful to have a moment in time to read the voices of others and hear their perspective. While they may be small glimpses into their journey, I'm reminded of the power of dialogue, and storytelling, and hard truths.

"Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable." -David Ausburger

As I go through my days, I try to remember to allow others to be heard. To embrace their truths, their journey, and their hardships. Sometimes that means quietly listening, sometimes it means offering a hug, and even sometimes it means just simply validating their truth with your words.

I find that as I become more intentional in how I listen, others are more willing to open up. And in turn, understanding of the different journeys we experience flourishes.

How can you make sure someone is heard today?

(and therefore loved.)

Oh! And my tea recommendation this week? A classic Earl Grey with a pinch of sugar with a side of a lemon wedge.