Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Angels are hard to find....

This probably one of the hardest posts I am ever going to write...

Shortly before Christmas I received a letter from my high school informing me that a classmate had just lost her infant son. Needless to say, this is such a tragic event and it is always difficult to express your condolences to someone, especially for something that is just too difficult to imagine or understand.

Sadly, I understand what Lisa is going through all too well. Thirteen years ago in June, I lost my first son. To make a long story short, Joey had a post urethral valve obstruction, which basically caused his bladder and kidneys to disintegrate in utero because he could not pass urine. If detected early, this problem can be fixed, but unfortunately, we had no indication that anything was wrong and because I did not have an ultrasound after 14 weeks, nothing was detected.

It is something I hope no one has to go through, but sadly many do. I am writing this post because I love to keep my son's memory alive and also I hope that my story helps someone who really needs to feel that they are not alone.

When I heard the sad news of my friend, I was taken back to the time just after Joey passed away (which, by the way, I remember little of---probably a combination of my coping mechanism and medication.)

I do remember how hopeless everything seemed and the anger I felt toward God. Because of this, I am reaching out to her (and sharing this with my readers) because if it helps one person, it is worth it.

Luckily, I have a tremendous support system and survived. My sweet daughter , Cara, was born a year later and probably brought me out of one of the deepest depressions. I am so thankful to have my three children and my little angel who I know watches over them.

I knew that I wanted to make Lisa a card and include a poem that we actually used on my son's mass card. This poem really touched me and I hope that Lisa gets some comfort from it as well. Here are the words in case you cannot read them on the card:

Little Angels

When God calls little children
to dwell with Him above
We mortals sometimes question
the wisdom of His love.
For no heartache compares with
the death of one small child
who does so much to make our world
seem wonderful and mild.
Perhaps God tires of calling
the aged to His fold,
so He pics a rosebud
before it can grow old.
God knows how much we need them,
and so He takes but few
to make the land of Heaven
more beautiful to view.
Believing this is difficult
still somehow we must try.
The saddest word mankind knows
will always be “Goodbye.”
So when a little child departs,
we who are left behind
must realize God loves children
Angels are hard to find.

I printed off the poem on vellum and then adhered the vellum to vanilla cardstock that I stamped with flowers from Stampin' Up! Garden Silhouettes. I applied the adhesive at the corners (because it will show through). Then, I ran gold cardstock through my cuttlebug with the textile folder and used my SU corner punches to create decorative corners which hide the tape.

The background was also embossed with the textile pattern.

This card was very simple but took awhile for me to figure out how to get the poem on there. Sometimes the more simple the design, the more difficult it is for me to make.

I hope that Lisa is comforted by so many loved ones right now.

I am signing off with one of the few photos I have of my son. Joey was transported to another hospital after birth to see if they could save him. After we received news that his internal organs were too damaged, we removed care. I am so grateful that a few of my family members were able to travel to that hospital to be with him when they removed him from the machines. This is a photo of my brother holding our Angel.



Off to hug my kids.

66 comments:

Alli Miles said...

The waterworks are on. I cried throughout your post Carolyn. Children are truly miracles...I can hardly imagine what you went through but am happy that you are there to support your friend and to share your story with us. Btw, your son really is an angel...look at the gift he is giving others every day!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. My step-sister had a baby who died of a similar problem that your son had. She too went on to have another healthy son. I myself lost my baby daughter at 15 days old two years ago to a congenital heart defect. I try everyday to do something that helps me remember her brief but important life. I am pregnant again and am anxiously awaiting having a new baby around (not until June though). {{{Hugs}}} to you and your friend.
Geny aka Mommy Geny on SCS

stephanie said...

Carolyn,
Thank you for sharing your story. I too lost my son Logan, only a year and half ago. There is no greater grief for a parent than to loose a child. I was fortunate to have my son for 15 years. A friend from my high school sent this poem to me on the first anniversary of my sons death, and I read it daily.

Always Remembered

I know I am still with you
in your prayers, your thoughts, your heart.

And though you cannot see me,
I will always be a part
of life's sweet celebrations
in those times when you reflect
on how, though things are different,
through our love, we still connect.

We'll see each other someday
when our spirits all are free,
until then, I am with you
because you remember me.

I hope your friend will find peace and comfort in those that support her.

Stephanie

Elizebeth said...

I am so sorry for your loss, I cant imagine. But you are a wonderful person for not only comforting those you know, but helping those you dont. Joey is a precious name and he's a beautiful baby.

Sherrie said...

Now I need to excuse myself from some "ugly" crys, good thing hubby isn't home....My sister lost her baby to SIDS at 2 months of age and I watched her grieve and ache on so many levels. You created a beautiful card with a touching poem. Thank you for your vulnerability, tough to do. I'm sure you will have encouraged many.

Misti said...

Mostly I am speechless. I can't even imagine how you must have felt. Thanks for sharing your story, it just brings us all together and makes us stronger people! Hopefully I can use this to encourage a friend! God Bless You and your friend!

Dawn Easton said...

Oh my goodness, I have tears streaming down my face as I sit here. I'm happy that you told your story to us and I'm sure it will help many others. I can only imagine what you went through. Losing a child has to one of the hardest things that life throws at us. When Chloe was born, I had two bags of water, amoungst other signs as well, the doctor told me that I was probably pregnant with twins but lost the first one almost immediately. I didn't think much of it at the time as I had a new bundle of joy to keep me occupied. Now I think about the, what could have been, all the time. We never had another child, not from lack of trying ;) So Chloe is an only child.
I'm sure your precious angel is looking down on all of you.
It's nice that you can be there for your friend. The card you made is lovely!
Big hugs to you!

Rae said...

Carolyn, I greatly admire your honesty and your strength and your willingness to help others despite the heartache you suffer(ed).
Two years after I was born, my mom had a baby (David) who only lived for three weeks, but three years later I got another baby brother, named Joe.
Sending you great big hugs ~ rae

Melanie said...

I can't express how sorry I am to hear this. Just crying imagining it,a mother's worst nightmare, coming true. I'm so glad to know you have three healthy children to smother with love and your beautiful spirit, and Joey's memory brings you joy. This life is short, heaven is forever. Hugs to you!!!

Rita said...

Thank you for sharing such a private heartache with us. I can't imagine the pain you must have felt back then, but God sent you 3 beautiful children to love & cherish, to help sooth your pain. What a beautiful card! By the way Creative Memories sells Frosted Splits that you can use on Velum, just go over it lightly with your bone & the adhesive disappears, I luv this stuff, it works GREAT!

Jackie said...

Thank you for sharing that and for reaching out to help someone else as well. I cannot even imagine how that feels, you are very courageous and compassionate and Joey was a beautiful baby! You will see him again one day.

A said...

I lost a child in a different way, I never met my son or daughter. I had a miscarriage. Your story brought back all those memories and heartaches. Thank you, because sometimes we forget and need help remembering. I get busy watching my 3 beautiful, healthy children and take for granted what I have.
The poem is beautiful. It reminds us that God has His reasons for allowing things to happen.

Wife2TJ said...

I am so sorry that she is having to deal with this and that you have had to deal with this. It is something no one should have to go through. Two months ago I had a miscarriage but it was early on. I could not imagine losing a baby after they were already born, or even later in pregnancy. No one should have to know how that feels. The poem is just wonderful and the way that you have presented it is absolutely beautiful. I am sure she will treasure that forever.

Julie Campbell said...

Carolyn - thank you for your post and for sharing your heart. Being a pediatric nurse, I've seen heartache like this too many times. I know it's going to mean a lot to your classmate to receive this card from you --- the one person who really knows what she's going through. Thank you for posting the poem. I want to keep it because I know one day it might bring comfort to someone else.

Jacque (SCS: Petals) said...

Angels are hard to find...and how much richer we are for having known them. Thank you for sharing Joey with us.

Julie Brooks said...

What a great friend and support system you will be for her. Your son is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story and opening your heart to us!! It was so touching.

Leslie Knox said...

I am crying as I type! Thank youI for sharing this with us. Although the comfort is small during the grieving, I have heard that all children are here for a reason, and that sweetest ones rejoice in Heaven the soonest.
Maybe Your son's and your friends baby's purpose is to remind us how precious a child of God is.

I have my own miracle beside me. My son was born prematurely 14 years ago after I had been told I could never have children. Each day with him is very precious. I cannot even to begin to imagine the pain that both of you have felt.

My thought and prayers go out to you and to your friend.
Beautiful card which I am sure will
be much appreciated.

I am going to go hug my son while I listen to him say "AAAWWW Mom.!

HUgs and prayers to you!

Jennie Skaggs said...

Hi,

I am so sorry to hear about both your friends and your pain. I don't think there is anything harder than that to deal with. I have a couple of angels of my own and they are always with you. Give your kids extra hugs. ttyl, Jennie

Amy said...

Oh this brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful poem...they are little angels that God needs with him. Thanks for sharing!

Donna said...

{{hugs}} thanks for sharing, I have tears just reading. I do not have children myself but know others who have lost children: my mom had a stillborn boy as her and my dad tried for 11 years for a baby. shortly after, they raised my oldest sister who was given up by their alcoholic friend not capable of caring for her. My mom was pregnant within months & had my middle sister, I followed 4 years later. I couldn't help but grieve the older brother I grew up without but was so blessed to have 2 great older sisters and looking at us, you'd never guess the oldest is not blood (my mom used to tease that maybe she was my dad's & he had cheated with this friend) of course I don't really think so.

Debbi said...

Carolyn, What a beautiful poem. You will be a great support for her. I think losing a child at any age is soo hard. We lost my sister (24, her husband (22) and their 4 day old son to a car accident a few years ago. Even though we know they are in heaven, my parents still have a very hard time with them being gone, especially during the holidays. Thank you for sharing your story and being there for your friend.

Gina K. said...

Carolyn,
I am so sorry.
{{{{HUGS}}}

Julie Koerber said...

What a blessing your friend has in you. I am sure that your words and comfort will be a big part of her healing. I haven't lost a child, but when I lost my Dad, the hand made cards and notes were ones I looked back on quite frequently to get me through the tough times and help me to feel that others cared. What a tender heart you have!

Whoopsie Daisy! said...

Saying goodbye and letting go... something I can not begin to imagine having to do with my 2 little boys. What a gift you have given us by sharing your story and poem with everyone. Thank you. And your classmate will appreciate your beautiful card. I am so sorry you had to say goodbye to Joey so soon. ((hugs)) Jane

Anonymous said...

Carolyn oh my goodness... This made me cry as I am sure you know. DH asked me what was wrong. Big hugs.... Stac Twinshappy

Belas Creating Place said...

Just to let you know that someone who doesn't know you cares. I am a blogger too and I create. I wanted to send my deepest sympathies to you and your family.

God watch over you in this very difficult time....Bela

Teresa said...

I am so sorry to hear about your Friend and also your loss too. I dont know how it feels to loose a child, I know how it feels not to ba able to see a grandchild that you took care of for 7 months and not see since. My Aunt lost her son 10 yrs ago he was 17 and she has had a hard time with it. I have lost several relatives while I was young it is hard no matter what. But a child would be the hardest. Hugs to you both and thanks for sharing

Tammy said...

Thanks for sharing that, Cammie! What precious angels!

Anonymous said...

wow. you are very strong. very sweet, and very kind. the card is beautiful, the simplicity perfect. your little man needed to go to heaven 1st, so he could be gatekeeper for all the future angels.
jan

Amy said...

What an amazing story Carolyn, thank you so much for sharing a piece of your life with us. The card is a beautiful tribute to those special angels watching over all of us.

Hugs,
Amy

Christina Fischer said...

Carolyn,

I don't know what to say except what a beautiful post -- thank you for sharing your story with us. I know you've touched many people. I had a miscarriage almost 9 years ago, and those memories are still difficult. I can't imagine how hard it was to lose your son. Your card and your support will be priceless to your classmate.

Big hugs, Christina

Shel9999 said...

Oh my goodness...how terribly sad. I'm so sorry for what you and now your friend are going through...something I simply cannot imagine. The poem is beautiful, so very touching. I'm certain your friend will love your beautiful card. Thanks so much for sharing. Hugs to you and your friend.

Anonymous said...

Cammie, your story will touch many and maybe help others. I know you are a stronger person now and may God always bless you. You are truly a wonderful person and I admire you so much. I am so amazed at your talent and creativity. May 2008 bless you w/many blessings!

Pinky

ReneeK said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing this heartwrenching story. I never had the opportunity to become a parent (God had other plans for me, to be a very good aunt to three beautiful children who are now, thankfully, adults). I think the card you made for Lisa is absolutely gorgeous and I'm sure it is something she will treasure forever.

dpkennedy said...

I can hardly see through my tears. I can't imagine the pain of losing a child. Thank you for sharing your touching story and wonderful card. My heart goes out to your friend.

Cindy Haffner said...

Cammie the tears are rolling down my face, I am so sorry for your loss, how heartbreaking.

I lost my first baby when I was 4 months, and was told I may not have any children, but was blessed with 3 healthy wonderful kids.

Big hugs to Baby joey in heaven and your precious 3 at home.

Bless you.

Hugs Cindy

Heather's Haven said...

Bless your heart Carolyn. May you be the salve that comforts many a hurt to all those who read this entry. What a gift of wisdom you've been imparted. God is using you thru your experience, for no pain comes without a purpose to Him. Bless you all.

Carole (TruCarMa) said...

Oh, Carolyn. My heart both hurts for you and your friend, and is gladdened that she has someone who can reach out and let her know she's not alone in going through what must surely be one of the most painful experiences a person can endure. Your story of Joey so proves that we all have our trials and have gone through things others wouldn't be able to imagine, thus it's so important to be kind because you never know what another is dealing with at a given time.

I have a couple of angels of my own that I never had the opportunity to meet. There are a couple of ornaments on my Christmas tree that memorialize them for me; one given to me by a friend at the time, and another I bought so the first would have company. No one but me -- not even DH -- knows what they represent. For some reason, that annual ritual is a comfort to me.

Huge hugs to you, my dear, dear friend.

Michelle said...

Carolyn, thanks for sharing your story with us. Through my tears I am thanking God for your strength and kindness. Your friend is so lucky to have you. God bless you both.

Your card is beautiful, and so is your son. You WILL see him again someday.

{{{HUGS}}}

tyrymom29 said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story .Im so sorry for your loss I cant imagine ..Sending you Hugs for being so strong to share this with us >..Thank you

Erin K said...

Bless your heart, and your friend's too.

hugs,
e

scrapbit said...

I usually just browse your blog through my rss reader but I have to post today. Thank you for sharing. That must have been very hard and I can't imagine what that would be like. I'm glad that the feeling of lost, although not replaceable, have lessen by your three other children. Children are blessings from above.

I love the card you created. Very beautiful!

Amy Sheffer said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I lost a baby due to miscarriage a year and a half ago. As deep as that pain was, in my mind it can only be a fraction of the pain of losing a baby after birth. My heart goes out to both you and your friend. I pray that you will be a blessing to her and help bring her peace and comfort. Your story, and the stories of each who has commented here today, have deeply touched me. I eagerly await a day when I will be reunited with my little one that was taken too soon.

Deborah aka debzi 333 said...

Cammie,

I am so sorry for your loss, and for your friends.. It is truly heartbreaking beyond what one can imagine to lose a baby or have a stillbirth. I lost a little boy that we named Joel - a still birth - 5 years ago. It took me a couple of years to get over that depression. I am so sorry for your loss, and your friends.

hugs.. Deborah

Chris Scrappin and Stampin in Texas said...

Thanks for sharing your story. Children are such blessings. I know this poem will touch her and so many other hearts. My mother lost 2 children and someone told her God never gives you more than you can handle...but that is heard to hear. I know your angel is watching over you and your other children. Thanks for sharing. Chris

liannallama said...

oh, how precious and sweet this card is. I know it will comfort your friend. (((HUGS))) to you both!

Rosella said...

What a great poem. I too have a little angel in heaven. Her name is Rachel. I lost her when I was 7 months pregnant. I had preeclampsia (high blood pressure) and she did not survive. I am so looking forward to meeting her when I get to heaven!
Thank you for sharing your story!

Charmaine (CharmWarm on SCS) said...

Oh my goodness, Carolyn! I read this through tears. . .how wonderful of you to share this story! I'm sure it wasn't easy to share and I cannot even imagine going through it. God Bless You!

Stacy said...

You are a strong and couragous woman to share your story with all of us. I am trying to type through my tears. I have three beautiful children and could not imagine my lift without them. I do not personally know your pain but I came very close when my daughter was born 6 weeks early and her lungs were not ready. We came very close to losing her three days after she was born and I know how I was then and I do not want to know how it feels to actually lose a child. I thank God everyday for letting me keep my daughter. My heart aches for you and the woman who just lost her son. I am so sorry. Take care and hug those kids everyday. Stacy

Kelly's Artistic Journaling said...

Oh Carolyn. That was so touching. My heart goes out to you and your family for your loss of Joey and also for your friends loss of her infant. That poem... where did you find it? It was amazing. Something so difficult to understand but God has a reason for everything. He is truly a good God full of grace and mercy and as He comforted you during your loss I am certain He will comfort your friend Lisa. Blessings to you, blessings to Lisa.
Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer Buck said...

Thank you for sharing you story with us, Cammie. I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. It is such a good thing your friend has you to lean on as I don't think I can think of anything harder than losing a child. I am off to hug my children as well.

Jailbird said...

oh this is so heartbreaking, I don't know what to say. We lost twins that were connected and did not live. I love the poem. The card is beautiful.

Ashley Bowen said...

OMG! I cried all the way through this post. My Gosh... it truly puts what is important in life in to perspective. I know that Joey is in heaven watching over your beautiful family. May God grant you and your friend with Peace eternally.
Love you!
Ash~

hemidemisemiquaver said...

Oh Cammie,
I am so sorry. I think many of us know friends and loved ones who have lost a precious child, and it is all too difficult to understand. We may never understand, but Jesus always has His plan, and His plan is greater than the depths of our understanding. Our time on earth is less than a speck of dust compared to our time of eternity with God in Heaven. That is a true blessing. Your card is beautiful and so is your picture of Joey.

Jarie said...

Carolyn,

Thanks for sharing your story with us. I can't imagine what you went through when you lost Joey and what your friend is going through now. I hope you found comfort in telling your story and that your friend finds comfort in your card and your support.

Your card is just beautiful. TFS.

Janet

Kim said...

Carolyn, I am so sorry, I didn't know. My heart hurts for both you and your friend, I am so sad that you both have had to endure that kind of loss.

Dawn K. said...

I sent this to one of my very good friends who lost her daughter at birth from preemie complications. she was a twin and her brother made it through some tough months, but is doing wonderful and just turned a year old! I know that she feels sad and happy every time she looks at him. she sent me an email thanking me for sharing your post with her. she loved the poem especially. thank you for sharing that with all of us annoymus readers. you are truly wonderful for opening up your heart here.

Maria said...

Carolyn, your post just brought me to tears. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss you had and what your friend is now going through. That poem is amazing and you are right he is looking out after you and your family.

Julie Masse said...

Amazing . . thanks for sharing a piece of you. I can only imagine, having 4 beautiful gifts myself, what it would be like to lose one. I did suffered a miscarriage which is only a small glimpse of your pain. I'm sure your reaching out will have a great impact!

Patty W said...

God Bless you !

Your little boy is an Angel... too short of time here on earth but I just know God must of had grand plans for him and needed him back.

My heartfelt thoughts....

Lauren (mytime) said...

Thanks-I am BALLING my eyes out.
I hope to never know that pain, but am praying of your friend, and everyone else sho has lost a child at ANY age. I am so sorry you went through that, but am glad you dont remember.

Your poem is beautiful.

Robin said...

Cammie,

It's a sad thing to lose a baby, no matter if it's before or after the baby is born. Your story about Joey touched my heart and made me remember with much sadness the little one I lost in May 1989.

I lost my baby due to a tubular pregnancy. I never knew if it was a boy or girl so I wasn't able to give the child a name. When I think about the child, I think of it as "My Baby," so I guess that's it's name. :-)

Debbie Olson said...

Oh, Cammie. . . What to say? I lost a baby early on before my precious son was born, so I understand a bit of your pain. I can't imagine the grief if it had been full term like your precious son. Someone dear to me has has two miscarriages this past year and is now expecting again. I pray for her and baby every day. . . May God continue to comfort you and your friend!

Stephanie said...

wow, what a moving post...i have goosebumps from reading it. i'm so sorry you went through all that. the poem and card are beautiful and i know your friend will appreciate it. God bless.

Laurie Schmidlin said...

Oh Cammie! I can hardly see the screen through my tears! How my heart just aches for you (and your friend)!! I have lost three of my babies due to miscarriages...wich is hard...but nothing like what you went through. The poem you shared is just beautiful...and I'm sure it will be a comfort to your friend. Big hugs, Laurie

Lee (LuvLee on SCS) said...

OMGosh Cammie! I didn't find your blog until more recently, so had never read this...........I'm just reminded of what an amazing and caring lady you are!!! To share such a deep and personal sad time to reach out to others is just an awesome testimony to who you are!! May you always keep Joey close to your heart and feel his love!!!! Big Hugs!!!!!