Monthly Archives: March 2012

Irish Eyes Are Smiling

I love EVERY photo I have of our Sweet Baby Girl.  They are now on the top of our most treasured belongings.  Many of them are on display in our home.  A LOT of them, actually, but I can’t bring myself to remove any of her remaining presence from our home.  Somedays and nights, I just stare at Her Beautiful Face, and fill myself with her memory.  This is not hard to do as I am thinking about her on a pretty constant basis.  Trying, trying to find a way to dull the ache.  I guess when I just look at her photos I can be with my Precious Memories of Madeline and that Ohhh TOO short of time she graced our lives with her Sweetness.

Irish Eyes Are Smiling

As a friend said, “She filled your lives with wonder.”  Yes………that is an excellent way to put it.  It fills one withWONDERto go from “Why me? why me?  God, what am I going to do, and feeling sad that your baby is going to have Down Syndrome to, a feeling of ABSOLUTE, UNCONDITIONAL, LOVE AND AWE as to how WE have such a Precious, Precious, Sweet Baby Girl and at time the Awe and Wonder to look into her eyes and the feeling and wonder of, “I think I am staring into the face of God.”  I think she has wisdom of all the Angels and Saints with the gaze in her lovely eyes.

So….I wanted to share the above and following photos of Madeline.  I remember this day as clear a tape playing in my mind.  These photos were taken on a Wednesday, obviously before St. Patrick’s Day.  I know it was a Wednesday because we had no nursing care on this day and it was her and I, left to our own devices.  Wonderful stay at home bonding time, as with her trach, I was not able to drive alone in the car with her.  It was a blessing, actually, to have quiet time at home with her.

Irish Princess

As I was saying……………..On this day, I dressed her in all her St. Patty’s day finery that Grandma O’C sent.  Complete with HUGE bow and all and we had a photo session.  These are only 3 of out 25 pictures I took that day.  She is in all types of all over the place positions.  At this time, due to all of her hospital time, she was still not able to sit on her own, but, of course, that did not deter me.  I held Little Body between my feet, would lean back as far as possible, and start snapping until gravity got the best of her.  One thing I love about this day is she was getting VERY annoyed with me but in True Baby Girl style she SMILED away.

Thank you Sweet Baby Girl for leaving Mommy such a Sweet and Precious Memory for St. Patty’s Day.  You were and are one SASSY LASSY.  Kisses please?

Reading, Writing………and History!

So……Johnny has been studying Colonial times and the Revolutionary War.  His mind is a steel trap when it comes to this.  Anything involving weapons, fighting, he’s in.  He also has his own tools to remember………fancy they are not…………….effecitve……… why yes.  For example, why didn’t America want to be ruled by the British King?  According to Johnny…………”Cause he was a BIG JERK!”  Now, I ask you, whatHISTORY SCHOLARis going to argue with Johnny about that.

Last week, Johnny got his test back on the Revolutionary War.      A PLUS………………That boy knew his stuff.

Flash forward TWO DAYS………………..bummer news……………he had to read an article on George Washington and answer about 5 questions.  Grade = Correct, have signed by your parents and return for a……….can hardly type it…………..C.  Well………in all fairness, I think Mommy was the only one bummed.  (It’s good to be Johnny, good tephlon coating on that boy).

Me:  Johnny, What happened here?

Johnny:  I don’t know, I think her teacher messed up and forgot the right answers.  (Students everywhere should pay him homage for this response)  Pointing to an incorrect answer, “George Washington DID help in the French and Indian War.”

Me:  Yes, BUT, the question was What TWO WARS did he fight in?


Me:  Johhny, THAT was ONE War!

Johnny:  (Getting really annoyed) NOOO!  IT WAS TWO, THE TEACHER WAS…………………WRONG!!!!!!!

Me (very calm):  It was TWO.

Johnny:  Yeah!  Well………Then they should have called it the FRENCH, SLASH, INDIAN WAR! (French/Indian).

Aaaahhhhhhh……….Perhaps my new title………….”History According to John.”

Coming soon……………..Johnny was just assigned a research paper.  Looooorrrddd and Tutor Help Me!  He chose Robert E. Lee.  Sooooo………..stand by People…………….The South MIGHT rise again……………Well………..That is, if Johnny has anything to say about it….

Sweet 16, Baby Girl

Bathing BeautyToday is March 2, 2012.  I am really struggling to pull through this day.  Our  Sweet Madeline left us on November 2, 2010.  She has been gone 16 months.   Precious Baby Girl was 16 months old when God called her home.  It is crushing my heart to think that she has been gone from our Life as long as she was with us.

There is ABSOLUTELY no sense of fairness or justice when your sweet Baby is snatched from your life,  The hours I have spent agognizing over what I could’ve done to save her.  What if……What if…….plays in my head like a reel to reel film.  That is usually followed by “if only”………….  I know this won’t “help anything” or “bring her back” but I guess it is a coping skill of some sort.  I am a Mommy, wasn’t that my JOB to take care of My Sweet Girl and keep her safe?  Why couldn’t I do it………….. why?

Madeline had a trach.  She got it when she was Four Months Old.  Before we were allowed to bring her home, we were required to do some “medical training” to care for her.  We learned how to change a trach, hook up her oxygen, suction her airway, use an ambu bag and perform CPR on a baby with a trach.  We PASSED with flying colors.  We were deemed “able” to care for her.  Having these skills were  our “ticket” to keeping her with us.  In all the training they tell us how THIS will save your child’s life.  You never let yourself think this TRAINING won’t be enough.  You aren’t told sometimes this IS NOT enough.  Maybe they did tell us……….but I COULDN’T listen.  People would say to us, “Oh, I couldn’t do that.”  To which I would think, “Well, I have no choice, so HELL YEAH, I’m going to “do that”. 

I am left feeling stunned that  no one prepared us that there could come a time………… when all this TRAINING means NOTHING……. and right before your eyes, our Baby Girl will take her last breath, and you will stroke her beautiful, golden hair and kiss her SWEET FACE one last time, and call out her name, Madeline, Madeline, and beg her to come back. Please come back! MADELINE, PLEASE COME BACK.

And after all this training and LOVING CARE I can’t describe the ABSOLUTE soul crushing experience of being pulled from my last minutes with My Precious Madeline to be  “questioned” about her unattended death (meaning, not in a Doctor’s presence).  Moving past this memory might take the rest of my lifetime.  I wanted to throttle that “Detective”.  “Caring” for her was my 24 hour job, and I did it with more love and care than I could ever explain.  But see, Detective, I can’t explain WHAT happened…………..cause I was not prepared for THE DAY when MY BEST, would not be GOOD ENOUGH.   Because within one second of losing her, I knew the pain of her absence was going to be too much to bear.  Looking back on these 16 months without her, I know my first instinct was correct, because it is hard to remember what we did the first 14 years of our Married Life without this PRECIOUS CHILD.  And as the days turn into months, it is hard to fathom how we will continue to endure “Life” without Our Madeline.

There are days you can hardly breathe the pain of the loss is just too great.  March 2, 2012,  has been ONE OF THOSE DAYS.

This morning I went into her room and tried to breathe in her SWEETNESS.  Trying to feel her.  I picked up one of the programs from her Memorial Mass.  Although I will NEVER forget those days…….they play like slideshows in my mind…… I still have to say much of it is a blur.

I opened the program and looked at the First Scripture Reading.  I found words that describe Madelines Sweet 16 months and possibly some meaning:

From the Book of Wisdom

“The just ones, though they die early, shall be at rest.  For the age that is honorable comes not with the passing of time, nor can it be measured in terms of years.  Rather, understanding is the crown for people, and an unsullied life, attainment of old age.  Having become perfect in a short while, they reached the fullness of a long career; for they were pleasing to the Lord, therefore, God sped them out of the midst of wickedness.

See, for 16 months I knew I saw a quiet wisdom in her eyes and was sure I must be looking at the face of God…………….. for she was perfect in our eyes.

You are loved Precious Baby Girl, you are loved and adored, and you were and are……………….GOD’S PERFECT CREATION.