Friday, May 27, 2011

A weeks end

It's Friday.  I think when you are a parent of young children Fridays are not quite what they once were.  In a way they are better.  The girls had a half day today and so they were all smiles when I picked them up from school.  We headed to Old Navy and they each bought a new bathing suit... a much happier experience when you are seven and nine instead of a post-baby thirty four.  The rest of our day was pretty mellow.  The girls deep cleaned their bathroom yesterday and in return were able to pick their dinner.  They picked marinated steak and mushrooms... fine by us.  So last night we had hamburgers and tonight we had steak.  It was awesome.  I even topped it off with a rare glass of wine.  I had to precariously taste it first since the bottle had been open since before Easter.  It tasted good enough.  However I am an extreme lightweight these days.  The girls were full of giggles tonight and we all had some good laughs.  Little Max even got a bath in the kitchen sink.  He loves that.
Max is ten months old today!

Jerry was sitting in his chair messing on his computer.  This scene is a magnet for the girls.  They proceeded to jump, fling, climb on Jerry and his poor chair.  It cracks me up.  I could be sitting on the couch, almost entirely empty and they would rather gather on the chair.

  The girls thought Jerry looked cold and decided that their princess pony blanket was the right thing to cover him with.  It must have been good luck... the Mariners won tonight and are at 500.
Max's almost toothless grin.  He has one bottom tooth that has finally popped through and another on it's way.

Time is just flying by.  Today Max is already ten months. (And his month-day present was being diagnosed with a double ear infection at the doctor's this morning.)  I can't believe it!  If feels like just  yesterday that I was pregnant with him.  It's funny, on Thursday Jerry, Brayden and I went to Chambers Bay to the dog park and I was able to run a little.  Last year at this time I could hardly get across the room.  And now little Max is close to a year.  I think having a baby both quickens and slows your life.  I used to count the days until my next trip or big event, but now I savor each day.  I look for what made that particular day special or sweet.  Like Monday, Max and I went to Seattle to Capitol Hill to meet an elderly friend.  Her name is Margarette, she is in her eighties and a friend of Jerry's parents.  I wasn't quite sure what we would talk about or what it would be like meeting a complete stranger and spending the day with her, but Max and I headed up to see her anyway.  (Max was a champ in the car, sleeping the whole way up and back)  I am glad we did.  We had a wonderful visit.  She has had a long, full interesting life and had a lot to say.  We walked to lunch and introduced Max to Butternut squash soup.  Capitol hill is a very quaint area with old historic homes, Margarette's home was built in 1908.  I learned after our date that new friends can come in the most un-canny ways. 

The girls and I walked home from school on Tuesday.  Our walks through the woods are one of our favorite things to do.  Right now the forest is so plush and green.  Just gorgeous.  Everything is in bloom and there are even several different flowers that decorate the forest floor and it smells as wonderful as it looks.  I love these walks.  We talk about everything... school, life, dreams.  It doesn't matter... we aren't in a hurry and everyone is smiling, these are the little things that make each day special. 


A Wild Day

Preface:  This took me almost all week to finish...
Oh happy day for the kiddos!  Wild Waves is open and they pretty much had the park to themselves on Sunday.  The weather was supposed to be crummy so the people stayed away and we have season passes so we went with no pressure to stay all day.  However we got lucky and out came the sun and the smiles.  Jerry and I hardly rode any rides and instead enjoyed watching the kids ride almost everything in the park, several times.  One of the rides I did ride was the Timberhawk, one of their roller-coasters.  I sat behind Saxton and Brayden.  Poor Sage is not a fan of roller-coasters or anything where her stomach really drops.  Instead she likes the whirly-make-you-sick-to-your-stomach rides.  Go figure.  Anyway, they loved it!  Brayden is only 46 1/2 inches, 47 1/2 with his shoes on so just short of the 48 inch mark, but some rides let him on anyway.  One ride said they count hair and they told us if we spiked his hair then he could ride.  So after a little sunblock spike action on he went.  And went and they ended up going five times in a row, I got off after three, my old lady stomach can't hack the abuse like it used to. 

Saxton was the teacher and Brayden was the student.  They rode everything they could.  Saxton even rode the Tomahawk by herself because they didn't let Brayden on.  Last year Saxton was the one who was just 48 inches by the hair of her head and she has no fear!  She'll ride ANYTHING!  With her hands up and smiling the whole way.  What a woman.  Well this year she has a co-pilot in Brayden and all that is going to stop him is the evil measuring pole.  Sage had fun as well.  She likes to watch them ride and found out that she gets the biggest helpings of cotton candy while they are taking their turn on the rides. 

Notice the people behind the kiddos. :)

Little Max just hung out, fell asleep on dad and then slept in his stroller for two hours.  When he woke up he enjoyed watching his older siblings fly around.  He did get to go on his first ride, a 100 plus year old Carousel.  He smiled the whole time.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Yesterday was big for me.  I didn't realize it until I was in the moment and the emotions were almost hitting me in the face.  Sage, my nine year old, is going on fifty.  Ever since she was born, just minutes old, she has been staring  into my soul, peering  into my inner most thoughts. Now she voices them. She is so perceptive, sometimes to a fault.  When my ex and I were going through our issues she was the little soldier, lawyer, judge standing up for what she believed was right and wrong.  When I was going through my darkest hour I had these four little lights who lit my way, Sage, at just seven was quite the light.
Her teachers must have seen this too because they recommended that she be tested for a program called Quest.  It is for students who are highly capable.  I have never been one of those parents who have the "honor student" bumper stickers on my car, (and I am NOT knocking those that do), but I am proud of my kids.  Anyway, her teacher came to me and asked if she could be tested, that she had recommended her and done her part, I had to do mine and fill out an application.  I did, but didn't think a lot about it at first.  But then I realized that while it was important to me, it was probably more important to Sage. 

When the information came in the mail stating that she had been approved for the tests she read it to me, Jerry and posted it on the refrigerator.  (Never mind I had already read it myself.)  She continued to talk and fret about it for days.  Jerry and I finally sat her down and reminded her that all she could do was her best, and that it was a huge compliment to just make it this far.  She calmed down.  I bought her a special lunchable for the testing day and made sure she had a good night sleep and  big breakfast. Sage took it further by getting dressed up and even wearing her fancy shoes.  I wanted to just eat her up.

After dropping off Saxton, Sage and I headed to the testing school.  I had Max and puppy with me and we all walked her up to the school.  I left the puppy outside and Max and I walked her in.  There were several other students waiting in the office, but Sage wasn't nervous.  She held her lunchbox, book her paperwork with confidence.  I kissed her and then kissed her again, wished her luck and walked out.  But it was when I looked back that it hit me.  My little girl was getting ready to do a big thing.  She was taking a chance to have an extra opportunity at education, but she was also taking a chance at being rejected, and I was so proud.  As I walked back to my car I got teary eyed, I oozed mom love.

When I picked her up she was optimistic.  She told me about how she listened and followed directions.  She recited a poem she had written using descriptive words to describe summer, for example the bon-fires we have in our backyard.  I am blanking at the moment at her words and she sleeping so I can't ask her, but they were amazing and colorful and again, I was so proud.  She had tried her best.  She had taken a chance and ran with it.  Well done Sage. 

The funny thing is, on the way home I said to her, maybe you will score your first goal tomorrow.  I don't know how the subject came up, but I remember saying that.  Well, today, she did it!  She scored her first goal.  It wasn't quick, she had to dribble wait, dodge, dribble and the whole while I was screaming her name, and soon so were others and then she did it, she scored!  I was so excited, and again came the tears.  My little deep-souled Sage was getting a return from her investment and the universe was paying her back.  Sage isn't a simple child or always an easy one, but you can't help but cheer for her.  Life hasn't always been kind to her, yet she puts on her best dress and shoes and tries anyway.  Well done Sage, well done.

Sage on her ninth birthday.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A day in the life...

Written Tuesday the 17th...
I just came downstairs from putting Max to bed.  I was sitting with him in his room having just topped him off, he was now laying, sleeping with his head on my shoulder.  It was one of those moments you want to take a picture of and remember it forever.  He had been crying off and on so I went back in his room to check on him and he was standing in his crib sleeping!  He was waking a bit, crying and falling back to sleep standing!  So I gathered him up and had a "moment" with him.

My mom loves to say, "we're having a moment," and I had a moment.  This prompted me to reflect on my day, my moments and all that I have done.  Life has been so crazy these last few years.  The months are just flying by and now I am knocking on the door of Max's first birthday.  I can't believe it.  Days are so full that they fly by in a blur.  So in honor of all the stay at home moms who are questioned, "what do you do all day?"  Here is what I did today.

I was up by 6:30 am.  Max is up at least a few times during the night to nurse, but has been up for good by 6:30 the last week and a half or so.  In a way this is good.  It gives me plenty of time to get up and get my day going before the other kids wake up.  So I hopped out of bed and put Max to play on the floor.  I turned on CNN and ironed Jerry's shirt.  (For those of you who read my previous post about how I am frugal... well I am, so I am now ironing instead of having Jerry spend money on dry-cleaning.)  Next was setting up the coffee pot and getting Max in his highchair to eat some Rice Krispies while I went out in the yard and shoveled compost into our yard waste bin and pick up dog poop.  They yard waste truck only comes every Tuesday so I wanted to get it full.  We are working on our backyard and have a lot of yard waste :) 

After I finished up outside I came in to wrangle three kids into eating cereal, overseeing Saxton feed Max apple-sauce, finishing feeding Max the applesauce.  Get the dog in her cage, getting all Max and I's swimming stuff, getting all four kids in the car and getting the girls to school by 8:21 am.  ON TIME!  Next Brayden's school.  Well after waiting for the traffic sign people to decide to let me go through the construction.  After dropping him off I headed to the YMCA for Max's swimming class.  I had an extra 15 minutes so I did the elliptical and watched these "older" guys play a serious game of Pickle ball (I think that is what it's called.)  Max had fallen asleep on the way... and woke up smiling, I guess I looked funny moving my arms and legs back and forth.

Swimming was good.  Max loves it!  He even went under water again.  I am so proud of him.  This is his fourth session and I love it as well.  It is our little set-aside-time.  After we are done we take a shower, get dressed and then I sit and nurse him.  Sometimes he passes out right then, but for sure in the car.  Then we headed home where I was greeted by my neighbor wondering if we needed a shed.  We do.... so both of us were happy.  I put Max in bed and thought I would have a good hour and a half before he woke up... but about thirty minutes later he was up... still hungry. 

So I wrote this on Tuesday night... it is now Wednesday... night.

I started thinking... they probably don't want to know EVERYTHING I did.  The rest of my day, yesterday was filled with Lots of laundry, a visit to the grocery, cleaning, laundry, homework, a call to the girls grandpa Kenny, a skype call to Papa and grandma for Papa's birthday and some dinner :)

Today was just as busy... what I realized is that I would bore the hell out of people if I wrote all that I did in a day because it is a lot of little things with maybe a few big ones.  For example, Brayden, Max, the puppy and I went to Chamber's Bay to go to the dog park and walk the loop.  It is a bit of bear with a set of steep hills to walk down, (I walk backwards a lot of the times down the hills because of my pathetic knees) and another set to walk up.  Jerry got me a jogging/bike stroller for mother's day and that is a lot lighter, but still a workout pushing it up the hills.  Brayden did really good... he even got a sprinkler reward for his efforts near the end of our walk. 

This afternoon, like every Wednesday we had gymnastics and swimming for the girls and Brayden.  Today is also half day Wednesday so I had all four of them home hanging out with me.  Fun!

Tonight Jerry put Max to sleep.  He does this bouncing thing with his knee and sometimes it is the perfect way to lull him to sleep.  This freed me up to clean the downstairs bathroom.  It is amazing how having a free uninterrupted moment to clean windows, do the dishes and clean a toilet is a treat when you are a mom (or dad).  :)

My treat for the day was when I was putting the girls to bed SaxtonSaxton's birthday this year.  Just typing that makes me so sad.  I am dreading that day coming around and knowing I won't be there.  It makes me cry.  She was born early so her birth and first hours were scary and on top of that the fact that I couldn't be with her those first few days very much because she was on breathing machines and hooked up to so much equipment, I swore that I wouldn't be without her on her "birthday" ever again and I am broken hearted about breaking that promise.  Unfortunately I either gave that up or gave up seeing Savannah and Sam all together.  What would you choose? 

This is Saxton last year on her birthday.  She had just flown in from Colorado and we came to the hospital to see her new baby brother, that is what she wanted to do for her birthday... we did go to dinner after.  She is a doll baby and I love her and her brothers and sisters so much it hurts.

On that note, I am going to say goodnight...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A soccer mom's day.

I used to cringe when I saw a mini-van with a soccer ball bumper sticker on the back.  I can't exactly tell you why, I just didn't want to be her.  Now I am.  I am a soccer mom!  I cart my girls and sometimes Brayden back and forth to practice and games.  I load up my stroller with gear, water bottles and maybe a chair.  I don't drive a mini-van but my flex is close.  I scream-cheer just like my mom did and run along the girls with Max in my pouch and coach them.  (Unless I am breast-feeding, then I am sitting, but even then I still cheer.) 

Today I was able to see all three of their games.  It is pretty cool to see the girls improvement.  Sage was staying in her position longer and Saxton is learning to dribble better.  This is Saxton's first season ever, and only Sage's second season, but her first outside.  Brayden however is a pro, and a little superstar.  He has been playing for several seasons now and is very good.  They often have to take him out or move him to defense just to let someone else score, I think he had four or five goals in just one half today.

The hard part was last week when the girls had two games at the same time.  When I first found out that I would have to choose one or the other I became emotional.  I had thought that they would be playing at the same field, but Sage plays off of the YMCA campus.  I called Jerry and told him my predicament.  He could tell I was upset, he calmed me down and said he would go to Sage's game because it was close to his work (he works on Saturdays).  Melissa, Brayden's mom helped out by bringing Sage back to me at the YMCA where I was with Brayden, Saxton and Max waiting for Soccer pictures.  It was a little humorous thinking that my boyfriend's ex-girlfriend was picking up my daughter, but it worked.  We all get along which is better for everyone, for example, today, Jerry, Melissa, her mom, niece, Melissa's boyfriend and his daughter and I all watched Brayden's game. 

Last weekend was mother's day.  I had a happy one.  First, on Saturday, Jerry took me out for a date.  This was a real treat and the first time we left Max with our sitter Kate.  We went to an adult only restaurant on the water and had an awesome dinner.  We actually talked like adults and watched the sun set.  Then we went dancing.  It was a blast.  There is this bar in Tacoma called the Swiss that a band by the name of KRY plays every Saturday night.  The best part was we were not the oldest couple there, not by a long shot.  In fact a lot of the people there were our age.  There were a few 50 something creepers, but otherwise a great group.  They played music we knew and loved and we danced our hearts out!  It was a perfect date night.

Sunday, mother's day, escaped one person, Max.  He didn't know mom wanted to sleep in and woke up smiling a little before seven.  Brayden had been dropped off around 6 am and Sage and Saxton were up late so there was a hint of crankiness in the house, but Jerry continued to remind them that it was MOM'S DAY! In fact I think my card from the kids said it best, (front)"Mother's Day is a chance for us to treat you like a Queen!" (inside) "A Queen with Really lazy subjects who don't listen very well."  We tried to go to breakfast but the lines were really long and it was pouring outside.  so we   We had plans to go to Emerald Downs Race Course to watch the horses and we didn't have a lot of time to eat, so we settled for Starbucks and Jack in the Box.. 

That was another funny thing, we came up with several ideas of what to do and I asked the kids what they wanted to do (my original thought was go to the beach like last year, but it was supposed to be colder and rain so we had to improvise)... Jerry said it's mom's day and my choice, but I said if the kids are happy, then I will be happy, so off to the races we went and it was a great day.  The sun came out and stayed out all day.  The kids, especially Sage loved seeing the horses, the activities and all the treats.  I won my first race and Jerry did really well hitting a tri-fecta.  Max was a sweetie as usual and even was able to pet his first horse. 

One interesting thing happened while we were there.  Jerry had to leave for a short while to bring Brayden

Speaking of which, one month from today, June 14th, Savannah and Sam come for five weeks!   YEAH!!!  I am so excited and get teary eyed just thinking about it.  I can't wait to rub Sam's head and watch how Savannah smiles when she talks.  I imagine her face every time I talk to her on the phone and I can hear her laugh.  I can't wait to tuck them into bed and kiss them good-night.  I can't wait to be their full time mom again.  My counselor and I talk about what it is like to be away from them and I tell her it is like a part of my body is missing, a huge part of my heart.  I am not sure what the future holds, but for now I can only hope that our time together is wonderful.  The girls, Brayden and Max are also so excited to see them... speaking of Max...

Max is getting so big.  He is trying to get up on his knees and hands and attempt to crawl, he is sitting up really well and pulling himself up to standing in his crib.  He is babbling and making all kinds of new noises.  Last week he learned to say da-da.  In fact on Mother's Day it was is phrase of choice.  He had already been saying uhhmmmm and now also says something closer to mommm so I was okay adding the da to his vo-cab because I'll admit he is still a bit of a momma's boy.  For example, Jerry was joking last night about how hard he was craning his neck to find me in the kitchen.  We were watching the show, "The Voice," on TV and he said how Max would pick just one voice, mine. ;)  Sage says it is just my dinners that he loves... I think it is more than that.  It's the fact that I am with him 24-7 and that I just can't stand to hear him cry... probably why I still feed him in the middle of the night and then 3 am...

In fact he's chattering now, le3
and helping me type, so I better put him for a rest...

ta tas for now...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dear Savannah

Dear Savannah,

Today you became a teenager and I became a mom of one.  It is hard for me to believe.  I laid awake last night and early this morning thinking about what I would write to you.  How do you really explain how much you love your child?  It is nearly impossible sweet girl.  I guess I can only start from the beginning.

I remember the day I found out about you.  It was just a few days after my 21st birthday.  It was raining that day and I took a break from work to go and take a pregnancy test.  When it came out positive I was so shocked I got lost on the way back to work, even though I had driven that route a hundred times.  But what I remember most about that drive was the awesome realization that you existed. You were only just a speck just beginning to grow, but I loved you from that moment. 

The day you were born my life truly changed.  I had never felt such love for anything before in my life.  You were beautiful and wonderful.  I was scared and nervous, but in awe at what a miracle you were.  One thing I remember about being a brand new mom was that I could not stand it if you cried.  I would try and do anything to make you happy.  I used to dance with you to Dave Matthews.  During your bath time I would turn off the lights, light candles and sing to you.  Then I would give you baby massages.  I used to push you in the stroller to the store to prevent having to put you in the car... you were not a fan.  I remember once on the way home from Target you started screaming, you were hungry.  So I sat in the middle of the median breastfeeding you, traffic all around, not caring because you were happy.  Another time, when you were just three weeks old, I was driving home from a Cubs game and you were very upset.  I could hardly drive, I was so sad because you were crying so hard.  Then I reached behind my seat and found your hand.  Your little fingers found mine and you were quiet.  I stayed like that for the rest of the way home, it didn't matter that my arm went tingly and then numb, you were content and I wasn't willing to risk making you upset by letting go.

When you were little we went everywhere together, you even went to work with me.  When you were just four weeks old we were full time nannys.  You came along as I drove kids to their horse lessons or to the mall.  You hung out with me as I did dishes and cleaned their house.  When we moved from Chicago to Indiana you continued to come with me as I babysat.  I loved that I could take you along.  I nursed you and you would not touch a bottle, in fact you would clamp your mouth shut, so it was a blessing that I could keep you close. 

If I went out with my friends for dinner, along you came.  Your dad worked as a bar tender at night so I was on my own a lot, and I used to joke that you were my date.  You were much like you are now, full of smiles and laughs.  One of my favorite memories was when you and I were driving by ourselves in my old pick-up.  There was no back seat, so your car seat was right next to me.  The song, "Girls just wanna have fun" came on and I began belting out the words.  You were the best audience, smiling, giggling and bouncing in your seat.  You are still my song partner, I still love belting out the words while driving along, the difference is now you can sing along with me.

When your first birthday came around it really hit me, I was a mom.  As I decorated the garage with balloons and set up tables and chairs I felt so happy, I was the luckiest mom in the world.  Here was this beautiful creature and she was all mine.  The best part was when your birthday cake was put in front of you.  At first you studied it, then lightly touched it and then slowly started attacking it.  I laughed so hard I cried.  Everyone was watching, laughing, taking pictures of you.  All of your grandparents were there, aunts and uncles and friends.  They were all loving you.  Celebrating you. 

I know this year was a little different.  A little quieter maybe.  But one thing has not changed, and that is how very much I love you.  You have grown into this spirited, funny, bright, intelligent, beautiful young lady.  In a way we have grown up, gone through a lot together and I am so grateful that I have had with you by my side, even if sometimes it is only in spirit.  Our love knows no boundaries.  No matter how many miles are between us, we are locked together, forever in our hearts.  My love will never end, and as our book says, wherever you are, my love will find you. 

I Love you my sweet, baby girl. 

Love, Mom

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Letting go

Letting go is never easy.  I have thought about that a lot over the last few days.  Today I felt it in a more hands on way and was prompted to write this entry.  On Tuesday and Thursday mornings I have Max's Shrimp swimming class at the YMCA.  I love it.  I remember watching the moms and dads with their babies when I was pregnant and thinking about how fun that would be, and now it is us in the pool.  Max loves it.  He gets excited as soon as I put on his swimmer.  It is a small amount of time that is set aside for just him and I (and sometimes daddy.)  I hold him as we sing songs and he kicks splashes and even goes under water.  But today I had to let go.  Literally.  The teacher said it was drafting day and that she would pass the babies back and forth and we would let them go, if we felt comfortable, for just a few seconds.  I was so nervous, but I knew Max was ready and would be fine.  I could feel myself get anxious and as he floated un-attended for those few seconds I felt such a surge of panic and awe.  My baby was swimming, on his own!  And he was fine.  I hugged him and we all clapped and he smiled.  I had let go and we were all still okay. 

Letting go is hard.  Two days ago the US rid the universe of an evil man.  I could almost hear the sigh of relief that went out over our country and the world.  He was gone.  Now it was time for healing and letting go.  I did not lose any loved ones on 911, but I still felt pain, sadness and fear.  I believe that everyone did, no matter where you lived or who you were.  I was pregnant with Sage on September 11th 2001 and I think that made the day more emotional.  We had just moved to New Mexico and were living with my parents until our apartment was ready.  I remember sitting by myself on the end of my mom's bed crying as I watched the buildings fall.  Savannah came in the room and asked what was wrong, I told her that I was very sad and that some bad people had done a bad thing. 

My mom and I had wanted to do something, anything to help.  So we made up dozens of red, white and blue ribbon bunches and stood on the corner handing them out to cars.  As we interacted with complete strangers and heard honks of support we felt proud of how our country was joining together, almost joining hands in an invisible fashion to show that we will not back down.  We will instead come back stronger.  But in order to do that we had to let go of the fear, hate and sadness we felt.

Another negative that was a result of that day was a fear of Muslims.  This is ridiculous and allows evil to win.  In May of 2002 I started working at a shop in Old Town Albuquerque.  Some of my neighbors were from the Middle East.  Some were Muslim and they were wonderful.  As my friendship with them grew, I quickly let go of any misconceptions I may have had. They watched out for me and fed me. They became my friends. When I was pregnant with Saxton they checked in on me and made sure I was safe when I worked after dark.  (I always worked alone in my store.)  I felt as if I had been given a gift of understanding and knowledge.  (This continued during my studies of Africa, Islam and Muslims at Colorado State University.) 

I can't begin to understand the grief that those who have lost loved ones in 911 or the aftermath have felt.  I would never preach to them and tell them how to deal with such a tragedy.  But I do know how hard it is to let go.  When my marriage died I felt pain, frustration and disappointment.  I had lost my faith in relationships, in happily ever after.  I had to make some very hard decisions which caused a lot of heartache. I had to let all that go. 

Something strange also occurred to me on Sunday.  In April 2009 I went to see ground zero.  It was a bittersweet feeling.  You could see the rebuilding happening over what was once a grave.  Just across the street is a church.  I went in, paid my respects and said a prayer.  Then I found this necklace that was a replica of the two beams that had fallen from the World Trade Center to form a cross.  I bought it, tied it around my neck and didn't take that necklace off for two years.  I wore it to Africa, during my separation and divorce, during Max's birth.  Its significance meant something to me, brought me strength.  Then, a few weeks ago, it finally fell off.  I was showering with Max after swimming and he was pulling on it, which he liked to do. Anyway, the twine finally gave, the cross slipped slipped off and I caught it in my hand and for a moment I was sad.  That cross had been a security blanket of sorts.  I constantly touched it, said prayers while holding it, and had rubbed holy water on it many times.  (I even sent my best friend Lauri to that same church to get the same necklace, in hopes that it might ease her pain after losing her baby girl.)  And now it had let go.  And as I said, I thought of that cross on Sunday.  I told Jerry it was funny that it fell off right around the same time that evil had been killed.  I guess it had done it's job.  

Now I am not saying that I won't put the cross back on.  (Right now I am wearing my St. Justin pendent that my sister Kathleen has the duplicate of.)  However, I feel like it was a sign that it was okay to let go and in return, I would find inner strength, faith and trust.  In addition, I can only pray that those who also need these things, will also find them.
Max while still in the hospital.  It was our last night and I was staying with him in a room by ourselves.  I was so nervous and scared that something might go wrong.  I remember praying a lot that night.  Here is a picture of the cross and my St. Justin necklace.