Monday, March 31, 2008

An Early Morning Wish

One year ago today, my son came into the world. I can't give him presents or a cake, but I can say . . .Happy Birthday, Sawyer. We love you and miss you so much.

You can light a candle for Sawyer at his memorial site.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Just Something Funny

You know the Johnny Cash song "A Boy Named Sue?" Well, Jim read the other day that it was written by Shel Silverstein. I looked it up, and it's true! It was inspired by his friend, Jean Shepherd, who wrote and narrated the movie "A Christmas Story" and other humourous works. He thought his name sounded feminine, hence the song. Just a bit of trivia for you!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Okay, here's the final blog I promised, with another one to come after Sawyer's birthday on Monday.

I just finished reading "Beautiful Boy" by David Sheff. From his biography on his website:

"Along with The New York Times Magazine, Sheff, a contributing editor to Playboy, has also written for The New York Times, Wired, Fortune, Rolling Stone, Outside, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Esquire and Observer Magazine in England, Foreign Literature in Russia, and Playboy (Shueisha) in Japan. He has conducted seminal interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, nuclear physicist Ted Taylor, Congressman Barney Frank, Steve Jobs, Ansel Adams, Thomas Friedman, the founders of Google, Tom Hanks, Betty Friedan, Keith Haring, Jack Nicholson, Carl Sagan, Larry Ellison, Salman Rushdie, and others. He also wrote an award-winning documentary about John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and a radio special about Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, both for National Public Radio, and wrote and edited Heart Play: Unfinished Dialogue, which won a Grammy Award nomination for Best Spoken Word Recording of 1984." He also wrote a great book about the videogame industry called "Game Over."

This book is about his son Nic's addiction to crystal meth. I was going to try to write a book review, but I really just want to encourage you all to read it. It's one of the most honest, heartbreaking, and in the end, hopeful books I've ever read. Someone on amazon, amidst the rave reviews, gave it a lower rating because they wanted father and son to pen the book together, in order to give "both sides of the story." Nic Sheff did write his book, called "Tweak." However, I really feel that this is David's story alone, the story of his relationship with his son, and how he and the rest of their family dealt with this addiction. I have heard many addict's stories, but I haven't read a good book by someone who loves an addict. I would strongly recommend this book to all--not just people who have dealt with addiction or loving someone with addiction, but any parent.

The real beauty of this book is that I felt I was living vicariously through David. His concerns became my concerns; his joys, my joys. It takes a powerful writer to make hisor her reader feel so closely knit into the story. I felt like David, Karen, Nic, Jasper, and Daisy were my family, and I wanted to trust Nic, and I wanted to comfort Jasper and Daisy, and on and on.

The funny part is that the book ends at the present. There is no further to go. This story is still being written. Yet I wanted more! I wanted to know how it ends . . .even though logically I know it isn't over yet. I wanted to be able to see into the future and know how this all turns out.
The book lived with me and lives in me still. It's definitely a must-read!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

As promised, here is blog #2. The boys celebrated their second Easter this year--Brian's second in Heaven, Sawyer's first. We were lucky enough to have him with us last year for Easter.

Jim and I chose some wooden eggs and egg-cups from Hobby Lobby, along with 2 little rings that Jim found sitting side by side, all on their own. We never saw any others in the store, so it seemed to be a sign!

Jim painted the eggs with the boys' names on them, and then a design on the back of each--a butterfly for Brian and a sailboat for Sawyer. He painted the cups to look like grass on Brian's and the sea on Sawyer's. I think they look perfect! Their daddy did a great job!

We went out to the cemetary during the evening and put the easter eggs and rings by the boys' headstone. We miss them so much, but it's nice to be able to at least do something to remember them on special holidays.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sawyer Flies

As Sawyer’s first birthday approaches, I figured it was time to tell you about the painting my friend, Nichole, made for us.

Nichole is a very, very gifted artist. You can learn more about her at her website. She’s also a crazy lady who loves teaching high school so much that she continues to do it, even though she wouldn’t have to. She inspires young people every day to express themselves creatively. I have always loved her work. In fact, my friend Jami and I were talking one day about how much we would LOVE to have one of her paintings, and only a couple of days later (just before Christmas) she came into the center, where her sons attend, and presented me with a gift.

As soon as I looked at the painting, I started crying. I couldn’t believe how amazing it was. It instantly moved me, for it captured our son Sawyer’s spirit and his passing from this earth in such a perfect, poignant way.

Nichole knew that we had played the song "Blackbird" for Sawyer before he passed away. She was also at his funeral, where we had a slide show, the end of which was set to that song. So this inspired her to create "Sawyer Flies."

Unbelievably, she was nervous about giving it to us. She told a friend that she almost didn’t do it, because she was so afraid that we might not like it. I cannot fathom what would possess her to think that. We would have loved the painting no matter what, even if it was only a tenth as wonderful as it is. BUT . . .and when you see it, I am sure you will agree . . .how someone with that amount of talent could ever doubt herself is beyond me.

I have started a dozen different letters to Nichole to try to thank her for this gift. I have yet to finish one. I can’t seem to find the words to say what is in my heart. Not only did she care about Jim and I enough to offer us a piece of her artwork as a gift, but she also loves our son, and has acknowledged and memorialized him in an absolutely incredible way. I can’t thank her enough for the piece of her heart that has become a piece of ours. It is hanging in the main entry of our apartment, and every day, as I walk by, I look at it and remember Sawyer. The painting expresses so brilliantly my feelings . . ."You were only waiting for this moment to arise." Sawyer was set free to fly through the pain and into endless beauty.

This is my way of saying thank you to Nichole. Nichole, I hope you read this. If you do, please know how much I love you and value your friendship. You have been a source of comfort, inspiration, and peace to me throughout this ordeal. I have met someone through you, as well . . .your sister, Amy, who has become a dear friend and another person I can count on to understand my pain, sorrow, and confusion. I am so lucky to have you both in my life. I honestly don’t know where I would be without Jim and friends like you to help carry this burden, and yes, even to make it lighter. You continue to amaze me with your compassion and generosity. I will never be able to say thank you enough, but I will at least try . . .so thank you.

And, as a p.s. . .I have tears running down my face, yet I still wanted to point out that Simon Cowell, who criticized "Blackbird," called Lee Greenwood a "brilliant writer" and "I’m Proud to be an American" a "brilliant song." Touché, Simon. Touché.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Okay. I have about 3 blogs to write. I need to catch up. I know this. However, I have the day off today and I’m going to spend it with Jim, who also has the day off! Yay! A non-weekend day off together is very rare!

Anyway, here is a preview of my 3 blogs, for anyone who is interested. I will be writing them over the next couple of days.

1.) The piece of artwork my friend, Nichole, made for Jim and I. It is called "Sawyer Flies" and was inspired by him and the song we played at his funeral (and for him when he was alive), "Blackbird" by the Beatles. It’s really amazing, and I have intended to write this blog for months, but haven’t been able to find the right words. I decided that the "right words" aren’t as important as the telling.

Incidentally, I’m really mad at Simon Cowell for calling the song "cheesy" and saying, "You had the entire Beatles catalog to choose from, and you chose a song about a Blackbird." Well, Simon, who obviously hasn’t listened to much Beatles music, has also missed out on one of the best songs in the world. It is very special to me, Jim, and our boys, and we feel it tells Sawyer’s story perfectly.

2. Easter and what we made for the boys, including pictures.

3. My thoughts about one of the best books I have read in a long, long time. It’s called "Beautiful Boy" by David Sheff (he interviewed John and Yoko) and it’s about his son’s addiction to crystal meth.

Also, next Monday is Sawyer’s birthday, so I will be blogging about how we celebrated and my thoughts on his first year in Heaven.

Take care!


Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.

Blackbird fly blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird fly blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

Monday, March 17, 2008

2 years ago today, I found out I was pregnant for the first time. Last year, my second son was here for Easter. And still, we miss them terribly, and always will. It is a grief that never ceases.

On My First Son
by Ben Jonson

Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy ;
My sin was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy.
Seven years thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
Oh, could I lose all father now ! For why
Will man lament the state he should envy?
To have so soon 'scaped world's and flesh's rage,
And if no other misery, yet age !
Rest in soft peace, and, asked, say, Here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry.
For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such
As what he loves may never like too much.