Tuesday, July 7, 2015

2nd Annual Ready... Set... Glo! 5k/1 mile walk

The second annual Carys Rainn Memorial Ready...Set... Glo! 5k was held Friday, June 26th. With those who preregistered and those who registered Friday night, we had a total of 198 participants. It was quite a few less than last year, but with the severe weather we had, we're pretty pleased with the turnout.

Speaking of severe weather, this is the text I received while doing the 1 mile walk in the torrential downpour that was happening. 

Needless to say, we were all soaked, but somehow it was still a good time. A walk/run in the rain in memory of our Carys Rainn.

"I sure am thinking of Carys," Pax had commented when I was explaining what it meant that it was a memorial 5k. We were all thinking of Carys.

Paxton was thrilled to be up past his bedtime, to be the first stroller across the line (for the walk- but according to him, he won the race), and to get to help passing out water with his sweet cousin Mason.

All in all, there were some factors of the evening that weren't ideal, but it was still a success. Everything we do through the foundation helps raise awareness and opens the door for grieving parents to talk about their little ones in Heaven. What a privilege we have!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"I am four!!" and A Rainbow for Each Year

How on earth have four years passed?

Paxton has been very excited to be turning four and no longer considered a toddler according to age cut-offs at the library's story time. "I'm four. (pause) I'm four!!"

I think of my girl often, but these days, there are generally much fewer tears, and more anticipation of Heaven. I didn't expect this year to hit me hard.

Even so, I have had my moments. Last night, it seemed like a video played in my head on repeat of the night before the twins were born and all the raw emotion I've shared about in other blog posts. Paxton even picked up the frame with the picture of us holding him and his sister in the NICU and was commenting on it- he never does that. 

There have been reminders everywhere I look. Other little girls her age, the yellow Easter dress at the front of the store a while back, every milestone Paxton reaches... I miss my girl. I miss getting to experience all those milestones with her too. 

At the same time, even though I miss her and tears fall- I'm genuinely okay. I long for Heaven, but I have peace and grace for the moment. 

I took the boys to story time at the library, and the whole time we were out today, I watched the sky. It's been so rainy, and the sun kept peeking out, so I thought I'd have to see a rainbow at some point... but I didn't. I stopped at the cemetery coming back into town and smiled as tears came to my eyes seeing all the little purple and yellow flowers again. They'd made me smile when we chose the plot for Carys, and I remember picking a few to take with me. 

It was only a brief visit. Aaron called while I was there, not knowing I'd stopped. I appreciated hearing his voice on the other end.

As I was about to turn onto the main road to leave the cemetery, a few raindrops hit the window. Then, my phone rang. It was a local florist asking if I would be home for a delivery.  After I hung up, I saw the time and realized that I'd been at the cemetery at 3:34- Carys' official time of.... entry into Heaven. :)
 When the delivery arrived, my dear friend Kelly (Andrew's mom, from Andrew's Angels!) had sent a balloon and puppy to Paxton and these pretty yellow flowers in memory of Carys. Paxton fell asleep snuggled up with Gus, his new puppy (which quickly joined the litter of puppies that have already taken up residence in his bed).

When I signed into facebook, I noticed the trending topics and that a QUADRUPLE RAINBOW had been sighted in Long Island.

Pretty incredible, right? Quadruple Rainbow?? I didn't even know that was a thing! Two friends shared the link on my page.

 (and notice that another friend shared the link about our foundation's 2nd annual 5k and it showed up in the news feed right below)

The point of all of this play-by-play post is that God knows what we need when we need it. The pain of loss has really stung this year, but throughout the whole day, I have had friends and family sending me messages, commenting on my facebook wall, etc., acknowledging the birth of BOTH of my babies. I'm sure all of the baby loss moms will especially understand how appreciated and validating that is. I'm not the only one who remembers her. She really was here and really did make an impact.

Even more, though, today is a reminder that God meets our needs, whether physical, spiritual, or emotional. He knew our hearts and arms are aching, and He sent loved ones our way to remind us that our grief matters, even four years later.

***God always has a loving plan. For more information about what is going on through The Carys Rainn Foundation, Inc., visit www.carysrainn.org and be sure to sign up for our mailing list so you know when we make new announcements!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

3 Lbs and 1 Word

3 lbs

When I was still pregnant with the twins, I purchased a couple of little sound recorders to go in teddy bears. I recorded Paxton and Carys' heartbeats at one of our appointments and recorded Carys' onto one of the recorders. I'd intended to put it in a Teddy Bear and just hadn't found the right bear and the time to do it. Today, I did. 

In some of my old things a few months ago, I'd found a cute little teddy bear that was just the right size. Almost exactly the same length as Carys. I dressed the bear in a too-big outfit that had been purchased for Carys and it affectionately became known as "The Carys Bear." It even made an appearance in recent family photos and photos of the boys.

After trying a couple different methods last night and today, I was able to weight the bear so it weighs right at 3 lbs - Carys' birthweight. 

It's so strange how good that 3 lbs feels to hold. Maybe it's just been the season. The anniversaries of diagnosis were in December and this time of year brings back some very difficult emotions. I've been missing Carys more than "normal." At church last Sunday, I watched as Paxton ran and played with a little girl his age and laughed to myself about how cute they looked playing together. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, it hit me that he doesn't have that with his sister. 

While I know that it is pointless to dwell on the what-if's, there are some moments that hit me out of the blue and just about bring me to my knees. That was one. I had to leave the room for a while to pull myself together. 

Grief is funny like that. There I was, feeling happy, peaceful, and enjoying the moment when the intense, familiar feelings of grief ambushed me. Ambushed. Quite the appropriate word for it. I still feel happy, and still have peace, but I've had more of those moments than normal over the past month or so, leading to progress on "The Carys Bear." 

I'd have thought that holding her weight would have prompted an ambush, but instead, it makes me smile. It feels good. As strange as that may sound. Hearing her heartbeat is comforting. It's been nearly 4 years, but she was here, and I am so grateful for that. She most definitely was here.


1 Word

It is always comforting to me to create things. I've been thoroughly enjoying crafting Christmas gifts, items for etsy, things for Paxton (the little clay Olaf for his "frozen" tree was one of my recent favorites)... and the Carys bear. 

I think there's something to that! God is a very creative being. He also created us in His own image. Wouldn't that mean that we each have some creativity inside of us? For some, it may be art, others music, or writing. Some cook, and some generate ideas. I truly believe everyone has the innate desire to create something, even if they have difficulty finding their niche. 

With that said, the word "Create" is my one word for the year. Last year, it was anticipate, and it was fitting for the year. 

What is your one word for 2015?