Dr. Suess

"And will you succeed? Yes indeed! Yes indeed! Ninety Eight and Three Quarters guarenteed!"

Saturday, August 21, 2010


So, after years of walling off and going numb the week of Jessica's birthday, a few years ago, with the death of my friends daughter, I knew it was time to mourn her and at the same time learn to celebrate the brief time she was a part of my life.

Last year, my friend went with me to pick out a bracelet with Jessica's initials and date of birth on it.

This year, I wondered what I'd do and decided to blog first thing in the morning, then release a balloon before class that evening.

I got up, I posted the tribute and then, as I do, I posted a link to twitter that I blogged.

I got immediate feedback ... twitters, direct messages, face book private messages and emails ... all saying "you've touched my heart " "you told my story" "I lost a daughter" "I lost a son"

Suddenly, yesterday, it seemed that my grief was shared ...and there is truth that says that a grief shared is a grief lessened.

I've been learning the truth of the idea that as I tell you my story, I heal, you heal. As you tell me your story, you heal, I heal. It is in the sharing of the stories that healing takes place.

On my way to get the balloon I thought of KylieBug (my friends daughter) I thought of those on Twitter and FB that had messaged me. I thought of the few others that I've known that have lost a child. So I got a balloon for Jessica, and one for Dr. Snit's child, and one for Kyle, and 1 for the person who DM'd me that she'd lost twin sons, and Dr. Gunter's son, and one for my niece who we never got to meet ...and one for the twitter friend who had 3 miscarriages and 3 failed adoptions ...

I took pictures of the individual balloons, and shared them ... and I tied them to a post so they could be seen together ... then, I let the group fly ... and I saw all our babies hearts together. I knew then, that I wasn't alone ...and neither was Jessica.

I have been amazed, humbled and encouraged by the outpouring of love that has come from this.

I'm grateful that others shared their stories with me, I'm grateful that they allowed me to experience this and I'm grateful they shared with me in this day!

For the babies we all loved and still hold close in our hearts, there will always be a bit of sadness,m sometimes a lot of sadness ...but all of us ..now know that we, and our babies, are not alone.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I See You In My Dreams

It was a Tuesday Morning, August 16, 1988 and I had an OBGYN appt. They would be doing an ultra sound that day. *IF* we were lucky, we'd find out the gender.

I went off to my appt, waited to be called back, and they put that gel on my belly. The baby had lots of movement and the doctor squealed in delight when the baby decided that it would, in fact, reveal that it was more than just an 'it'.

I'd always dreamed of little girls. Bows in the hair, frilly dresses, Mary Jane shoes, or sharp white patent leather that goes clickity click click with Mamma's heels but at twice the speed.

I'd dreamed of girl scout camp outs with my daughter. I dreamed of throwing her her first slumber party. I dreamed of that first boy talk ...and the second and the third. I dreamed of dressing her up for the prom, I dreamed ...

The toddler girl dressing up in mamma's clothes, and lipstick smeared across the face. The pretty little plaid dress with black patent leathers for that first day of school.
Easter Bonnets and Easter dresses.

Baking cookies on a rainy day ...
This ...was my dream of parenting.

Quiet nights cuddled up reading Ramona the Pest, or Pippi Longstockings, sharing things like The Little House on the Prairie ..both books and TV.

Dressing her up for her prom ... watching her go off to college ... helping her plan her wedding and watching her dance her first dance as a married woman ...
These were the things I dreamed about when I thought of parenting.

I sat there with my mind like a whirling dervish and the doctor asked me if I had a preference. With tears in my eyes, I said "I'm terrible, but I WANT A GIRL"
She asked me if we'd had names picked out. "For a girl yes, we'd not agreed on the boy."

She smiled "Meet Jessica Eagler. Miss Jessica, we'll get to hold you in about 20 weeks"

I was 20 weeks along and my dreams of being a mother were coming true.
The doctor said she had a few concerns but didn't want me to worry. Take it easy, I could still work, but don't lift too much and don't do the walking in addition to working ... it was take my walks or work ..but not both in one day. Nothing heavier than a gallon of milk.

I went to work Thursday night at 10 pm. I reminded my co workers no bus tubs, but if I could help them to make up for it let me know.

The bar run had just finished. It was funny, There was less hitting on me now that I was showing, but the tips had almost doubled. I sat down to take a break, and evidently went white as a ghost. I told my boss I needed to go home ... NOW.
He let me go only I didn't go home, I drove myself to the hospital. They never asked about my marital status, they didn't ask if my parents were around, or family around .... did I have a friend they could call.

I was an invisible single, teenage pregnant teen as far as they were concerned, what was happening did not matter. I over heard the nurse say "We've got a late miscarriage happening. A teenager, here alone. "
The doctor came in and I said "I heard the nurse, I am NOT a teenager ... I was born in 1964 and am 23 years old. I'm married and was so when I got pregnant"

The doctor just said we have your age as 16 ... whoever wrote that is wrong! I actually, in the middle of a miscarriage had to pull of my drivers license.

At that point, a new nurse came in. This time, they took a history, a full history. Before they could complete it, I felt a sharp pain and doubled over and there was a gush that I'd not expected, but it sent the medical team into high gear. I've never asked if it was blood or amniotic fluid.

They gave me something in my IV, I assume it was versed. As I drifted off, I heard "Damn! this was a planned pregnancy, not a teenage mom!"

I woke up a few hours later. A doctor, nicer than the ones that I'd first dealt with came and sat down next to me. They told me that since I was 20 weeks along, the state would require a funeral, so to 'save me that' they put 19 1/2 weeks on the paper work. That difference made the difference between a miscarriage and a still birth. The problem had been an unusual one. My body was not built to have a baby, it essentially had smothered this baby and had not given it enough room to grow. They explained it to me in terms that I could not understand, using words I'd never heard before ..and I was still coming of what I assume to be versed. What I did hear and understand was "you will never be able to carry a baby to full term."

Not once during all this time had they offered to call anyone for me. I finally asked them to call my husband, then remembered we had no phone. So they called my mom. By the time she got there, I was standing outside the hospital, waiting.
No Jessica
No dreams
No hopes
No baby.

That was 22 years ago today. My heart still wonders about Jessica.
Would she have my mousy brown hair or Don's dark curly. Would she be musical and drama oriented like me, or a math geek like Don? Would she have been popular, would she have struggled. What was my Jessica meant to be.

It took me a long time to get to the point where I didn't just zone out and let this week pass without consciousness. Last year, was the first time I celebrated her place in my life and heart.
This year, I wanted to honor her by telling her story. Recently it has been told to me that stories heal ... telling our stories heal ourselves and they heal others

Jessica Dawn Eagler ... you are forever loved.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Today's Thoughts

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.
Dinah Craik