Our Little Warrior Owen

This blog is dedicated to our little sunshine angel Owen. We named him Owen because it means little warrior and we knew he would have to be with two older brothers. He was our little sunshine and his heart stopped beating unexpectedly on his 5 month birthday. We are devastated by the loss of our little guy. Hopefully, this blog will give readers a sense of what a beautiful spirit he was, how he completed our family and will help to keep his memory alive. We hope this gives light into our grieving process and can help other families that suffer a similar tragic loss.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The guilt, oh the guilt

Dear Owen,

We just returned from a long trip away for the holidays.  Unfortunately before we left things were crazy and we never managed to make it to your resting place to decorate for Christmas.  This broke my heart.  How can I not dedicate an hour or two to get a little tree like we did last year and decorate it?  I feel so guilty and I am so sorry.  Please know you were with us every moment of this holiday season and I know you were celebrating Jesus' birthday in the best place possible. I have to remind myself so the guilt doesn't eat me up.  Please please forgive me.  I know life has been crazy for us with your little sister, my work etc.  but it's no excuse. 

Traveling out of state for the holidays was really tough. I missed not visiting your resting place on Christmas.  We lit your candle and had it lit all day, reminding us all that you were there with us.  It was so hard to take the cousin picture in front of the tree with only 5 cousins in the photo.  You should have been there with us.  Every moment felt incomplete and I was constantly reminded that there was a big gap.  Connor and Liam play so well with their two older cousins.  Reilly was always left out though because she is so much younger.  I couldn't help but think you and her would be best buds and would gang up on the older ones.  She has such a personality and I wish I got the chance to know yours better.  I wish I had the chance to see you grab and stare at the Christmas tree lights for hours on end in pure awe of their beauty.  I wish I had the chance to see you meet Santa for the first time as Reilly did this year...wondering what hides behind the big white beard?  I wish I had the chance to see you now, a roaring 22 month old, sticking your fingers in Liam's 4th birthday cake and liking them in delight. All of these big milestones that bring so much joy to our family now also bring so much pain and wonder.  Why?  Why did God take you from us?  I was not ready to say goodbye.

Speaking of not being ready to say goodbye, our trip out of town was made longer because of an unexpected loss.  Your great uncle Larry passed away suddenly 3 days before Christmas.  Though he had cancer, he had been doing very well.  Unfortunately he came down with pneumonia and though they thought it was being treated, he suddenly passed away, leaving most of the family no time to say goodbye.  He was a great uncle to your father and I know he misses him dearly.  Not being able to say goodbye is such a hard thing to deal with.  Though, I often wonder if I had time to say goodbye to you would it have been any easier?  I know friends who have lost their children to cancer and that breaks my heart thinking of knowing that you are going to loose your child.  I don't know if I could say which one is easier.  I feel like I am still suffering from PTSD since I found you lifeless and am still in shock telling myself you are really gone.  Sometimes I feel like one morning I am finally going to wake up from this nightmare and you will be right next to me, telling me you have been there all the time.  I know you are still with me, you will always be with me.  I hope you were able to greet your great uncle Larry as he joined you in God's resting place and I hope he is able to bring you comfort and love. 

Please help your father and I in looking after your two older brothers.  The poor little guys have had to go to three funerals of loved ones in just over a year.  I hate the fact that I know they have had to walk up and see their loved ones bodies in a casket.  I can't imagine all the questions that go on in their heads.  I hate that they do not have the sense of security I had as a young child.  I didn't have to experience the death of a loved one up close and personal until I lost your great grandmother in middle school.  At least by then, I was able to process it all. I feel guilty that I can't protect your brothers and I couldn't protect you.  I have to remind myself though that God is protecting us all and maybe one day we will all know why life works out the way it does.

Sweet bear, I hope you had the merriest of Christmases up in heaven and I hope you have the happiest of new years.  We are laying low tonight because as you know, your sister has been very sick.  Up with coughing and fevers for 5 nights now.  I know you have been there with us in the darkest hours of exhaustion.  Thinking of you reminds me to appreciate even these tough times because you never know when your time with a loved one will end. 

I vow to start 2014 without the guilt and vow to dedicate more time to starting your foundation and helping other families grieving from the loss of a child.  You are my angel sweet bear and I love you more than you ever know. As the days pass I feel like I am forgetting your sweet smile.  I look at the pictures of you all around our house and wonder if it was a dream that you were actually here with us.  I wish this wasn't the case.  I wish you were here to cuddle, hold and love in flesh and blood but for now, until we meet again, I will have to hold your sweet memories in my heart and take a deep breath and breathe in knowing you are always with me.

I hold you in my heart since I can't hold you like this anymore. I carry your heart with me.  I carry it in my heart.
Happy new year Owen.  My sweet sweet boy.

Love,
Your one and only mom


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Miss you!!!!

Dear Owen,

I am in a funk I can't get out of.  Maybe it's the holidays.  Maybe it's seeing everyone so happy with their families around.  I just want my family with four kids whole.  Just once.  This sucks.  May you be celebrating Jesus' birthday in good presence. 

Love you and miss you more than ever.

Love,
Your one and only mom 


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Run to remember YOU

Dear Owen,

I have never been more proud of your father and you.  Your father for running the NYC marathon in your honor, raising over $5K for SIDS research.  You, for looking over him while he ran 26.2 miles, beside him the entire way, and while he recently experienced what he thought was a heart attack, again beside him the entire time.

I still can not watch your dad's fundraising video without crying...

Run to Remember video for Owen

Your dad's fundraising page with the CJ SIDS Foundation

Your dad felt great the entire marathon and I know it was because you were with him the whole way.  Thanks to all of you who donated to such a great cause.  Hopefully one day we know why SIDS happens and how we can PREVENT it because now, there is NO way to prevent it, only to reduce the risks.  There has actually been some recent research that was released in regards to abnormalities in the brain stem of SIDS babies.

Article on Boston Children's new SIDS study

A special thanks to those of you who joined us on race day in NYC.  It was a cold busy day but your support of Jim, Owen and all babies lost to SIDS was much appreciated.


I am so proud to be married to your dad, someone who devotes his life to his family.  He was like a machine running and I know that was because of you.  It's so hard to continue to live life without you here physically but it is events like this that we do to continue living in your honor that make it all bearable.  I could barely hold back the tears the entire day.

The tears continued a week later when your dad woke me up at 5am saying he thought he was having a heart attack.  I was so out of it and didn't believe what I had heard.  I told him to lay down and breathe and he did but then felt like he had to use the bathroom.  Unfortunately on the way into the bathroom, he collapsed and passed out, hitting his mouth on the tub during his fall.  Seeing the blood and half his teeth missing, I called 911 and your dad was taken by ambulance to the same hospital you were born in and the same hospital we took you to when we found you in your crib, sleeping like a true angel.  After a full day of monitoring, thank God and YOU, they didn't think your dad had a heart attack or a stroke.   He has a few follow ups to do but after a good deal of dental work, they think it was a combination of exhaustion, dehydration and anxiety that caused the pain in his chest and the fainting episode.

During this time that your dad thought he may be having a heart attack I really believe he thought he may be joining you in heaven.  I have never seen him so scared but I kept reminding him that whatever happened, we would be ok, he would be ok.  If it was his time to join you in heaven, he would be in the arms of God and finally hold you again in his arms. 

I guess God still feels that your dad has a job to do here on earth.  I guess we all do until we join you in heaven.  Thank you and thank God he is still with us and it was nothing serious other than a wake up call that we all need.  We need to take care of ourselves, mentally and physically, while we are still here on earth.  As painful as it is to grieve for you, we need to do it so it doesn't build up inside.

Thank you for giving me more time with your dad and protecting him every step of the way for he has many more steps to give for you, the rest of our family and many many more people on this earth before his time to join you in heaven comes.

I feel your presence in the nursery at home and I know your dad feels it all the time.  I know you are here with us protecting us, especially your dad and your baby sister.  Reilly reached a huge milestone this week.  She turned 5 months, 1 day old.  Thank you for watching over her, every second of every day.  I know she knows you and I sense your soul in her.


I love you more than you will ever know and miss you every second of every day.  Tomorrow your oldest brother turns 6.  How I wish you would be there at 21 months of age, smashing the cake in his face and running around crazy on a sugar high of cake and ice cream.

Love,
Your one and only Mom

Saturday, November 16, 2013

She lives!

Dear Owen,

I can't help but quote a good baby loss friend.  She lives!

Happy 5 month birthday Reilly!

Thanks for looking over her last night Owen.

Love you more than ever.

Love,
Your one and only mom


Friday, October 25, 2013

Year 2: CJ Strides for Babies

Dear Owen,

I can't believe this has been our second year walking in your honor outside of NYC for SIDS.  This year we were joined by your heaven buddy Noah's family.  We all walked in your honor.  We are so thankful for the friends and family that came to walk in your honor and donated to the CJ Foundation in your honor.  Special shout out to my friend Alyson who I haven't seen since COLLEGE who came to walk with us. Alyson it was so great to see you and I was so touched by your presence.

Owen, I hope you and Noah are playing baseball in heaven or at least rolling a ball back and forth to each other.  I can't believe you have been gone over a year and I am sure I will say that EVERY day until we meet again. You are my first thought in the morning and my last thought before I go to sleep at night.  I always blow a kiss to your picture and one to you in heaven before I close my eyes after I put your brothers and sister to sleep.

Next weekend your Daddy is running the NYC in your honor.  Please be with him every step of the way as I know it will be a tough day for him and all of us as we remember your sweet sweet spirit.  I know the sun will shine on all of us.



We all love and miss you so much. 

Love,
Your one and only mom

Back to the grind

Dear Owen,

So I did it.  I went back to work.  With Liam and Connor, I didn't go back to work or school until they were over 8 months old.  I was planning on staying home with you and your brothers instead of going to work.  All that changed when you went to be with Jesus on your 5 month birthday.  Reilly is a little over 4 months old.  I figured I should go back now so I am not sitting and waiting until the day she turns 5 months, 1 day - older than you lived here with us on earth.  It makes me sick to think you only lived with us for 5 months.  I have to remind myself that you are still part of us, just in a different way.

I can't get over how much Reilly looks like you, especially in the bath.  Here you are fighting off Connor's splashes.  I am getting sad because we are redoing our bathrooms and no longer will we have the tubs you bathed in :(

I have pictures of you up in my new office.  My old company relocated so I came to another company in the same industry in our same town.  I am working with one of my old coworkers but the rest of them are new.  Needless to say, I have been asked many times this week "how many kids do you have?" or people have some to my office and asked about the pictures in it.  A lot of them have asked if I have two boys and a girl because they see the pictures of you and your brothers and assume that is Reilly too since they also see pictures of her.  I have told all of them no, I have three boys and one girl but my youngest boy passed away.  It has been so difficult.  This is our new story and I so wish it wasn't.  I wish I could say, yes, I have 4 kids - 5, 3, 1 and 4 months and smile with pure joy.  Instead I cringe inside and silently weep that you are no longer with us.

We decided to hire a nanny instead of putting Reilly in daycare.  At least that is all working out great.  Our nanny is so loving to all of our children and she also knew you Owen so I know you are still a daily part of all of our lives.

I will forever have a picture of you in my office, in my wallet, on my phone, in my heart and you will forever be my youngest boy.  You earned your wings way to early but I guess that is proof that you are a pure angel. 

I love you more than words could ever say.  No day gets easier.  To all the other grieving parents out there, I hate to tell you that but it's true.  It just changes as time passes but unfortunately my heart will never heal.  Thanks to all the other grieving mothers, family and friends that get me through each day.

Love you to heaven and back.

Love,
Your one and only mom

Here you are laying next to your Dad who was passed out.  Lazy Dad :)




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Worst breakdown in a year

Dear Owen,

Well, it happened.  I had the worst breakdown I have had in a year today, as I was bathing your little sister.  I literally couldn't move and the tears were rolling off my face onto hers like bath water.

After celebrating her baptism this weekend and then doing a SIDS walk in your honor on Sunday, it was more than I could handle.  Today is also National Infant Loss day and you were on my mind all day.  I guess that is no different than any other day.  Wow, I am so hurt and my heart just aches.  I know my life is so full as I have four beautiful children, a house, a family etc but I am just sad that one of my beautiful children is in the hands of God. 

Owen, you really are an angel and I know you are looking out for us and I know I will see you again one day.

Love you to heaven and back.  Tonight we all lit a candle in your and other's infants honors and sat as a family and remembered your kind spirit.  I can't wait to hold you again one day.

Love,
Your one and only Mom

Liam and Reilly hanging out.  Liam misses you like no tomorrow. He has cried for you every day for the past week.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Let it be

Dear Owen,

Did you ever know let it be was written by Paul McCartney about his mom who died when he was 14?  Well when Paul was struggling in life he had a dream that his mom visited him and told him to let it be.  Life would be ok.  Well it turned out to be after.  He met Linda, settled down etc.  Let it be.  Can I do that?

I sure don't feel like life will be ok right now.  Every day and every moment has been a struggle lately.  As much as reilly and your older brothers are a joy, my heart aches all the time.  All the time.  I have to tell myself to let it be.  I know you are with me and I have to trust in god.

Your photo was just featured in Parent magazines November 2013 edition about SIDS.  I'm extrmely angry at the article but I loved seeing your smiling face. We did everything to prevent Sids and you still died.  I wish the article focused on how we don't know why SIDS happens and those sleep ways help reduce the risk but some babies like you die even if you do everything right.  We need fundraising to figure out why perfectly healthy babies just stop breathing.

Let it be.  I just have to do that now.  Let it be.


Parents magazine spread

Your rainbow sister is helping me on a daily basis


Love you to heaven and back.

Love,
Your one and only Mom


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Worst night ever

Dear Owen,

So I've been up most of the night with your sister. Not sure what's wrong.  combination of gas, swaddling and unswaddling, moving her to the pack and play from the bassinet etc.  Probably a combo of stuff. I'm exhausted needless to say.

As I sit here rocking her at 4:30am I started to think to myself "worst night ever" because I haven't gotten more than 30 minutes of uninterrupted sleep.  As soon as I said that in my mind I corrected myself.  There is no way this was the worst night ever. I have already lived through the worst night ever.  The night you became an angel.

That night still haunts me.  I try and remember the great times we had, the 152 days of smiles and laughs but a lot of the time my memories are clouded by my worst night ever.  I hope in time the memories of my worst night ever will erode and my memories of your chubby legs and adorable smile will surface again.

It's amazing the perspective I have grained since losing you Owen.  I'm so exhausted and know I have a day full of caring for your siblings ahead of me but I sit here for the tenth time tonight rocking your sister and thanking god for giving me one more day with her.

I wish I had one more day with you.  Even just one more minute as Liam would say.

Miss you more than ever.

Love,
Your one and only mom

Your siblings miss you more than you will ever know! Xoxoxoxo

Friday, September 6, 2013

OB3 and OB4

Dear Owen,

Ever since we learned we were expecting your biggest brother Connor and we knew it was a viable pregnancy we called him OB1. It was kinda for our last name O'Brien and him being the first born but it was also for Obi-Wan kanobi.  After Connor was born and we learned we were pregnant with your big brother Liam, we called him OB2.  Made sense to then call you OB3 when I was pregnant with you.  Finally your baby sister was called OB4.  

Well, the last few weeks I have felt you and OB4/Reilly close to each other.  I have made multiple trips to the yardley post office and it is there that I see the first memorial brick for you.  Every time I go to he post office I stop by your brick and cry.  


I feel guilt seeing your brick when I have Reilly with me.  Please know she's not a replacement.  I would give my life to have you here with us.  I have no doubt that you and Reilly have met.  She looks so much like you, especially when she's in the bath and her crazy hair is matted down.  She loves the bath just like you.


We also recently spent an afternoon at your grave planting fall flowers.  As soon as we got to your grave it started to thunder.  I knew it was you saying hi.  We were there with your newborn cousin who is three weeks younger than reilly.  Reilly was so calm the whole time we were there.  I felt like she was at peace having her three brothers near.  


Owen I miss you more than I could ever express.  Now that Reilly is smiling and laughing I'm reminded of you and your sweet spirit.  I love her so much but every day is still filled with sadness because you, her partner in crime, is not her physically.  I know you were part of blessing us with our rainbow child and I thank you for that.  


I love you to heaven and back.  I hope to see you in my dreams tonight.

Love,
Your one and only mom

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I have 4 kids

Dear Owen,



Ever since you went to be with God the dreaded question of "how many kids do you have" haunts me.  I almost always say 4 since Reilly has arrived because you are my son, even if you are in heaven  now.  Though I know it weirds people out and they don't know what to say when they her that I have a son that died of SIDS.  Occasionally if I am not up for it I will just nod and say I have three but almost always I say 4.  I hate the comments I get now about finally getting my girl and how lucky I am.  If people only knew.

I was so touched to receive today a beautiful necklace with all four of my Children's names on it from a dear friend.  I wept looking at all of your names.  You are a foursome.  I know you are with us Owen even if it is only in spirit.  I see you in Reilly.  When we bath her and her wild hair is matted down, she looks just like you.  Connor and Liam talk about how cute Reilly is but when they say it, they always say she is so cute "just like Owen". 

Tonight as I was putting Liam to bed he noticed the new necklace.  He immediately commented on his name (what 3 year old isn't that self centered!). After that he noticed Connors name since he sees it all the time and idolizes his older brother.  After that he noticed your name and just started crying.  He ran to your picture in their room and kissed it and blew a kiss to you in heaven.  Then he remembered he didn't kiss Reilly goodnight since she was already asleep when he got home.  He ran to her bedside and blew her a kiss.

What I wouldnt give for you to be in your room physically so Liam could blow you a kiss in your crib.  I miss your sweet sweet smile.  Your contagious laugh.  I miss my three sons being together.  I just plain fat miss you.  The way you rolled around and flashed that smile knowing I was so proud of you.  The way you admired your older brothers and just stated at them with pure content. 

You will always be one of my four Children and Liam will never be a middle child alone.  He's the older middle child.

I love you more than you will ever know and I can't wait to see you in heaven.  I am no longer afraid of dying.  When my time comes I will close my eyes and smile for I know you will greet me at heavens gates.

Love,
Your one and only Mom

Here's your little sis missing you. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A year and answers - finally


Dear Owen,

So it's been a year.  I meant to try and write closer to the actual date of July 12, 2013 but the past few days and weeks have been more than difficult.  

July 11 and 12 this year were so difficult to say the least.  I kept reliving everything I did with you on the 11th.  It was miserable.  I could barely breathe.  I felt so guilty holding Reilly remembering holding you last year.  I would give my own life to have you back.  

We had talked about going to the beach on the 12th because you loved it and we had so many fond memories of going with you.  Unfortunately it turned out to be a rainy day.  Heaven was crying.  We went to NYC instead and attended a mass that was said in your honor.  Hearing your name read was surreal.  Owen Michael O'Brien.  Really?!? My son is dead!?!? How did this all happen.

I cried in church as I fed your sister.  I felt your presence though.  We then had lunch and I just cried and cried.  We sat in almost 4 hours of insane traffic and rain getting home.  You know how much I hate traffic so that just added to the pain of the day.  We got back so late we couldn't go to visit your gravesite plus it was pouring rain.

We watched your video and it was so painful.  I couldn't hold your sister during it because I felt I needed to devote all of my attention to you.  You are still my son and I still have to mother you even though your body is no longer with us.  I feel bad cuz since your sister arrived I haven't had as much time for you and ok sorry.  It pains me.  Watching your video was so hard.  It reminded me of how real, how alive and how happy you and I were.  Connor cried with us and then proceeded to channel his pain by drawing pictures of you and him and writing your name and how much he loved you.

A few weeks after the 12th we finally got a firm answer in regards to your autopsy. The medical examiner had said you passed away from aortic coarctation but that didn't make sense since you had been screened by a cardiologist.  Well after having many many experts review your case, they have ruled that the medical examiner was wrong and there is no clear cause of death so it's a clear case of SIDS.  I'm glad in a sense to know that a doctor didn't miss a diagnosis that could have saved you but I'm sad because I don't have someone to blame. Having someone to blame allowed me to channel my anger and pain at someone.  I just wish we all knew why SIDS happened.  Jim was relieved with this news but honestly now I'm just so scared for Reilly since there isn't a clear cause of SIDS.  We did everything to prevent SIDS with you but you still died.

Sorry it has taken me so long to write.  My heart is with you every second of every day.  Wish you were walking here now.  Miss you more than ever my sweet angel.

Love,
Your one and only mom


Thursday, July 11, 2013

A not so little rainbow

Dear Owen,

I've been meaning to write you for awhile but I've been super busy lately.  I'm sorry.  As you know your little SISTER arrived on Father's Day.  What a gift.  Thank you.
 
Reilly Ann 


 
Born Sunday June 16th, 2013 at 9:20pm
Daddy's first girl arrived on Father's Day
9 lbs 14 oz
22.5 inches
Our biggest baby yet! 

We selected Reilly because it means valiant/courageous and Ann because it means gracious.  Reilly is Jim's grandmother's maiden name and Ann is the middle name of Carla, both grandmothers and influential aunts on both sides of our family.

Let me tell you Owen, I know you were with us when Reilly was born.  I had a total emotional breakdown half way through labor.  I completely lost it and just balled balled balled for you.  Thank goodness my midwife Aimee was there and totally understood what we were goin through.  She was so supportive.  She reminded me that you were there with us and I felt your presence.  You looked after both Reilly and I.  Thank you for being there and helping your sister to arrive safely.  
 
It is understood that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of any storm. When a RAINBOW appears, it does not mean that the storm never happened or that we are not still dealing with its aftermath. It means that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover, but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.
 
We are so filled with joy but its been a struggle too these last three weeks.  Owen, we miss you more than ever.  The dynamics of our family have changed.  No longer can we say the boys, we have to say the kids.  You should be here to enjoy your sister.  It's been a struggle to take family photos because there is the constant reminder that our family isn't complete.  You should be here walking around, sharing in this joy with us.  Having a baby around reminds me so much of my time with you.  It's all so fresh.  God I miss you.  Having Reilly has put me into a new stage of grief.  

I wish I would have wrote sooner and I'm sorry.  Today marks the anniversary of my last day with you.  I can't believe it's been a year. What I would give to go back a year from today and never ever put you down to bed.  

I love you more than you ever know.  

Love,
Your one and only mom


Your little sister...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Owen sending his love

Dear Owen,

I've been looking for a sign that you are up there getting ready to celebrate the birth of your little brother or sister, our rainbow baby.

Thank you for sending this sign tonight.  We are now ready to welcome your sibling now that we know we have your blessing.

We love you more than ever.

Love,
Your one and only Mom

Monday, June 10, 2013

The countdown is on

Dear Owen,

So the countdown is officially on for the arrival of your little brother or sister.  It is so scary to say the least.  He/she is officially due June 21 but for a couple reasons, the midwives have offered to induce at 39 weeks which would be this Friday, June 14th.  Unfortunately the one midwife we have only met once and didn't really jive with, is on call Friday the 14th and Monday the 17th.  Therefore, I think we are going to wait until the 18th and induce then unless OB4 decides to join the family sooner.  He/she is already part of the family though. 

I know you will be watching over our family as we enter this new chapter as you always are but this life changing event just makes us miss you even more.  You should be here on earth to greet your little sibling.  I see the amazing bond that Liam and Connor have with each other and you and OB4 should be the younger set of siblings.  You should be plotting with OB4 in a few years on how you will overtake your older siblings to watch a kids show or break down their tent or legos. 

We are fortunate to have some good families that have gone on to have other children after loosing a child to rely on for advice and support.  That has helped a lot and given us faith we can mend this storm. 

We have officially rearranged your room and we now call it Owen and the baby's room.  We have incorporated all 4 of our children in the room which is nice.  I hope I find peace as I rock and feed OB4 in your room and know you are with us. 

Connor misses you so much.  Now that we have all the baby gear out (thanks to a lot of new stuff loaned to us from friends) he talks about you a lot.  He says you were the cutest baby ever and no baby will ever be cuter or happier than you.  I sometimes worry that he may hold a little bit of contempt towards OB4 because he was and is so protective over you.  He really wants the baby to look just like you.  I think he is at the age, 5.5, when he is really starting to grasp death but I don't think that changes the fact that he wants you back and misses your smiling face. 

Your brothers just returned from a week away in Hilton Head with my family.  Your father and I missed them so much while they were gone.  The first two days were so hard because the house was so quiet.  Though, we learned to appreciate the silence and get some things done that had been on our to do list for sometime.  The say they flew back, my heart was so overjoyed to see them again.  Though, my heart also broke.  I wish that I could see you again, that after almost 11 months, I could see your smiling face again and hold your chubby body.  Unfortunately I can't.

We all miss you, more than ever.  You have taught us so much, during your time here with us on earth and now during your time in heaven.  I am amazed at how much your brothers know about heaven, god and love through you.  You have taught me not to fear death and have taught me to appreciate every moment.  You will be with us in spirit the day your sibling arrives into this world.  I have to learn to accept that I will now have to share my love with 4 children, instead of just 3, but it doesn't mean I will love you any less.  I remember thinking on the day Liam was born that I couldn't imagine loving a child as much as I loved Connor but it happened and my love just grew as I loved both Connor and Liam.  The same thing happened when we learned we were expecting you and on the day you were born.  The same thing will happen sometime in the next week and a half, your father and I love for our children will grow. 

Your brothers on the way to Hilton Head.
 
Love you more than you will ever know.  You are about to be a big brother, just like Connor and Liam are already to you.  Even though you will not meet OB4 until he/she joins you in heaven, I know OB4 will know all about you and love you just as much as we all do.
 
Love,
 
Your one and only Mom


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

10 months and Mother's Day

Dear Owen,

It just so happened that Mother's Day fell on the 12th of May this year.  This day also marked the day that you have been with God for 10 months, twice as long as you were here with us on earth.  It has taken me a few weeks to sit down and write about that day.  It was tough. 

We woke up and went to church.  I felt your presence.  They acknowledged all the mothers attending.  As I stood up with the other mothers, Connor and Liam looked up at me with such fondness.  They asked why I was standing and I said because they want to honor all mothers.  They hugged me and said they loved me.  I wanted to cry.  As much as their hugs and words made me so happy, I felt so empty as a mother.  I felt your presence but in a greedy way, I wanted you here with me.   You were here with me last mother's day but this year you were in the presence of Jesus' mother.  I also felt like a failure.  A mother's job is to love, protect and watch her children grow into adulthood.  I know there is nothing I could have done to save you because it was in God's hands but I still felt like a failure.  As I stood there, I also thought about your little brother/sister OB4.  I made a promise right there and then to be the best mother to him/her that I could be.  I will eventually figure out how to mother 3 children here on earth and 1 in heaven but I have no where mastered it just yet.

This is a picture of the 4 of us at the tree we planted for you at Church.


Liam being a ham at brunch looking at himself in the mirror
After church, we went to brunch which was nice.  We then picked out flowers for your grave site and went there to take out the little tree that had been there all winter and plant flowers.  I never realized what a sad day Mother's Day is for so many other people.  The cemetery was packed.  So many people there grieving the loss of their own mother and there were a few other grieving mother's missing their children.  We planted a sunflower in your honor as well as some other yellow flowers.  We planted the same flowers on our front steps so we think of you every time we leave the house.  We took the tree that had been at your grave site and planted it in the front yard too.  I like having the tree there so when we play outside, there is something that reminds me of your grave site.

Today, 16 days later, I sit here in your room and cry.  The boys are away with my family at our annual family trip to Hilton Head so your father and I have had some time to get some things done around the house.  I spent yesterday rearranging your room and trying to make it feel like a little bit of a new nursery for OB4.  We didn't paint the walls, we just rearranged the furniture and changed the things on the wall. The centerpiece is now a large sun mosaic that Connor made with his class at school that says You are my sunshine.  It reminds me of you.  The room is now really a nursery for you, your brothers and your unborn sibling.  I have all of the birth announcements up that your Nano made for each of you.  I have a shelf for each of you with your name trains on it, name blocks and a photo.  Your shelf also has the hand and foot imprints we made the last time we held your body.  As much as it hurt to sit in this room for the past 10 months, I am starting to feel comfort in there.  We did get a new chair because I couldn't bear to sit in the chair I last rocked you in.  We gave that chair to your aunt who is also expecting a baby soon.  It's nice that she can rock your cousin in the same chair I rocked you and your brothers in and also that your aunt rocked your cousins in.  I now feel like the room really represents all of my children.  We painted the fan blades yellow so it also looks like there is a sun on the ceiling and there are cloud decals on the blue walls.  I feel at times like I am in heaven with you and I look at the many things that remind me of you. 

 
 
It's so odd to be here in the house without you or your brothers.  It is so QUIET.  Normally I would be loving the peace and quiet but now it just reminds me of how much we have lost.  Though, I have to remind myself of all that I still have and  all that I have learned.  Since you passed away I have learned to cherish every moment.  Liam had to go to the hospital last week to undergo a procedure which required him to be put under.  That freaked me out so much just the thought of seeing him so still.  Though, the night before and the morning of, I spent so much time just chatting with him, appreciating his silliness.  Normally I don't think I would have done that.  I am trying to appreciate everything and remind myself that life can change in an actual SECOND.  I just wish the SECOND our lives changed forever could be scraped from the books and you would still be here with us.

Thank you for making me a mother for the 3rd time and a mother to 3 boys.  You have forever changed my life and you are forever part of my life. 

Please look after me and your little brother/sister as we prepare for his/her arrival in a few short weeks.  I know you will be there with us and I know OB4 is so lucky to have you as a sibling.

I love you more than you will ever know. 

Love,
Your one and only Mom


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Little kicker

Dear Owen,

So I was just looking at these photos of you from our last trip to the beach with you last summer...

 
 
 
Needless to say YOU LOVED THE BEACH!  Just like your Momma!  You, unlike your brothers, didn't cry the first time I put your feet in the ocean.  We were in Hilton Head and as soon as I put your feet in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time, you immediately started to kick your feet and laugh with joy.  You loved it!  You had a smile on your face the entire time!  I hate to tell you once again that I am sad but I just started BAWLING here at my desk thinking of you laying there on the towel, kicking your feet in utter joy and happiness.  Your legs use to go CRAZY every time you were laying around and your brothers were jumping around beside you.  You would giggle like crazy and kick your feet in pure excitement.  It almost looked like you were trying to run around with them.  I guess now that you are in Heaven I can think about you running around with them when I see a butterfly chase them in the backyard or the breeze blow by their jerseys as they run around the soccer field.

I am crying because I realize that your new baby sibling is going to probably kick his or her feet in total joy, the same way you did but it won't be you.  I know I will love your little brother or sister just as much as I love you and your older brothers but I will always miss seeing the joy on your face and in your big beautiful brown eyes when you kicked your feet with joy.  I think that was one of the hardest things about seeing your body after your soul went to be with God was not seeing your beautiful brown eyes light up with joy and your legs kicking with delight.  You were my little kicker, both in and outside the womb!  Your little sibling is not nearly the kicker that you once were.

What I would give to see you now, 1 year 2 months old, running around with those little chubby legs.  You had a little birth mark on your left leg that I always rubbed when I fed and rocked you.  It really stood out on your beautifully chubby legs.  You can see it in the photo below.  I still cant' believe how big you were for a 4 month old in these pictures - WOW!  I guess all your kicking wore you out this day because you passed out as we took a walk in the stroller on the beach.  All that fresh air and excitement with the sounds of the rolling waves! 

 
As your auntie Katie W would say, may you be resting like this in paradise.  Paradise has always been the beach to me so now as the weather gets warmer and I prep to head to the Outer Banks of NC with my friends this weekend, I will always think of you when I am at the beach (not that I don't think about you all the time already!!!!!!!!!).  I know you will be there with me in spirit and I will try and remember the kicks of joy as I take in all the beauty and joy that the beach offers.
 
I love you to Heaven and back my little kicker.
 
Love,
Your one and only Mom
 
 


Friday, April 12, 2013

2 months

Dear Owen,

A year ago today you turned 2 months old.  A year ago I snapped the pictures below from your 2 month photo shoot.  Not our best monthly photo shoot because I was trying to shoot without a flash on a not so sunny day.  I thought I was going to have many many months, years, decades to take photos of you.  Your hair was classic and I love how in the last photo you look like you might punch me since I had taken so many pictures :)

 
 


9 months ago today your heart took it's last beat in your father's arms.

Thanks to all of you who continue to think of us on the 12th of the month.  Your thoughts on this day mean so much to us and make us feel just a little less alone.  Thank you, we love you all.

I miss you like crazy.  This week has been really hard.  Your dad has been in Scotland for work so it's been pretty tiring.  I know you know this already because you had a part in it but with me being 30 weeks pregnant, it's even harder when your dad travels.

For those of you out there that don't know already, we are excited to announce we are expecting baby #4.  OB4 is due June 21, 2013.  Just over 2 months from now.  That day just happens to be the summer solstice which literally means "sun stands still".  Owen, we know you had a part in blessing our family with a little sibling for you and your brothers and we are so thankful for that but it doesn't make this journey any less hard or painful.  You, our little sunshine, for sure helped in creating your little brother or sister.  With the losses we experienced before your brother Connor, we decided to put the decision to have another child in God's hands and we were once again blessed.  We didn't tell people we were expecting your little brother or sister until I was close to 18 weeks because we couldn't talk about it without crying.  Though, just the fact that OB4 is due on the first day of summer, on a day where the 'sun stands still', brought comfort to us.  OB4 in NO way will EVER replace you sweet Owen.  Though, we know, just like any baby, OB4 will bring joy to our family.  Owen, as our 3rd boy, you brought more joy into our family than your father and I could ever imagine. You taught your oldest brother to be a big helper and caregiver.  It was so much different watching Connor interact with you since he was 4 then how he interacted with Liam when he was born since Connor was only 2 then.  You taught Liam to BE an older brother.  Liam was SO excited to finally be an older brother.  You taught Liam what it was like to be a middle sibling, something I can totally relate to being the middle child.  You will now teach OB4 what it will be like to be a compassionate person and you yourself, though you live in heaven, will be an older brother and a middle child just like me.  I know it will pain me every time I look at photos to come of Connor, Liam and OB4 knowing you are missing.  I will never be blessed to have JUST ONE photo of my 4 children together.  That pains me to no extent but I am comforted to know that ONE day, we will all be able to rejoice together in heaven and I know you will be a part of our lives forever, even if you can't be in our photos.

Wednesday night this week we had our first thunderstorm of the season.  We had been over a friend's house for dinner.  The sky was very dark when we left just before bedtime.  On the drive home, I saw the lightning in the distance and I just lost it.  I was crying so hard that Connor started freaking out asking me what was wrong.  I tried to remind your brothers of how many crazy storms happened last summer after your journey to heaven.  This is a photo of the storm caught by a friend in Yardley:


Last summer we saw it as a sign of you telling us you were in heaven and you were ok.  Last summer we would just sit under the cover of the garage and stare out at the pouring rain and lightening as we thought of you, our little warrior, up in heaven.  It's these little things that make all the crazy feelings I felt those first few weeks last July come flooding back.  I could barely get your brothers up the stairs and into the shower I was so overcome with sorrow and pain.  The sound of the rain and thunder reminded me of the pain I feel in my heart every day.  My tears fell like rain and your brothers sensed my pain.  Liam was scared of the thunder in a way I had never seen before.  I laid on the floor of their room until they fell asleep that night, trying to comfort them in any way I could. 

Well, here's to you Owen.  Happy 14 month birthday in heaven.  Your brothers put grapes on the cupcakes I brought home for them this past weekend after I had a girls weekend with my best high school friends.  They thought the grapes would make the cupcakes more healthy.  I guess in theory they were right :)  We never stop celebrating your life.  You blessed us with more laughs and smiles than I could ever imagine and I am sure you are doing the same for everyone in heaven now.

 

You are top of mind like always today and everyday.  Now that spring has really started to show, it reminds me of all the walks we went on last year.  Spring came much earlier last year than it did this year.  I kinda feel like the seasons are grieving with us.

I love you more than ever.

Love,
Your one and only Mom

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

SIDS Fundraiser for March Madness - Brackets 4 Life

Dear Owen,

I was fortunate to come across a fundraiser to raise money for SIDS research.  As you know, we are college basketball fans and your daddy and I also went to Duke for grad school.  Your daddy and you watched the NCAA tournament last year together.  Your daddy loved to watch games with you sitting on his lap.  You were such a cuddle bug!

A current Duke student created Brackets 4 Life to raise money for SIDS research by creating a march maddness bracket.  This Duke student lost his 5 month old brother 17 years ago.  I have connected with his mother and she has given me hope that one day Owen, I will be able to remember your sweet smile and smile myself.  Hopefully her son Christopher and you are bonding in Heaven!

Anyone interested in helping out a cause near and dear to our hearts and our sweet Owen, please participate...

https://www.facebook.com/#!/brackets4life

https://www.brackets4life.com/

For the best experience they suggest using Safari, Firefox, or Chrome.

Maybe one day we will find out why SIDS happens and prevent any other family from experiencing the pain we go through every day.

Miss you more than I could ever express Owen but things like this show me that good can come out of an unthinkable situation.

Love,
Your one and only Mom

Monday, March 18, 2013

Verbalizing Infant Loss

Dear Owen,

Last night I woke up to the sounds of your dad sobbing in his sleep.  It frightened me because it sounded like the cries I heard for months after you first left us for Heaven.  I immediately asked him if he was ok and he just said he had to go into your room and write in his journal.  It was so upsetting to hear those cries in the middle of the night and I was brought back immediately to the stabbing pain we felt the first weeks and months after you passed.  It is not that we don't feel that way now, I guess we have learned to control it now.  Unfortunately we can't control our dreams.

I came across this article on infant loss and I thought it really depicted how we feel.  Honestly, how no one else can feel the pain we feel.  Not that I want someone too but I think that is why we have leant so heavily on other families that have experienced such profound loss.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/the-heartache-of-infant-loss-131289299.html

The writer sums it up perfectly. 

Infant loss is more than an empty cradle. It's a life sentence.

Owen, a day has not gone by that I haven't cried for you or ached to see your smiling face. 

I miss you more than words could ever express.

Love,
Your One and Only Mom

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Simple sounds

Dear Owen,

I hope you are enjoying have your great grandmother in heaven with you now.  As you know, your daddy's grandmother passed away on February 24.  She was 97 so I think it was her time to go but it is sad regardless.  Going to her funeral was very tough for me and the rest of the family.  It brought back a lot of memories of your memorial mass.  The songs, the songs, the songs.  Your daddy was a pallbearer so he was on the other side of the church but I saw him cry so hard when the entrance song was Here I am Lord.  I cried along with him.  All of the songs during the mass reminded me of you.  I was thankful that I was on Liam patrol so I had to focus on keeping him quiet instead of being so sad.  I felt your spirit as I always do.

At the wake the night before, your brothers didn't seem very interested in going up to the casket to say good bye to your great grandmother so I didn't push it.  Then, before we were leaving from the back of the room, Connor said to me "Hey Mom, there is a picture of Owen by my great grandmother.".  Sure enough I look up and someone had placed the mass card from your memorial mass in her casket.  I could not believe Connor noticed it from so far away.  He wanted to go up and look at it and did briefly.  I prayed while I was up there with him and asked Cecile to look after you in heaven until I join you one day.  This is the first person that had met you here on earth that is now with you in heaven.  I know your daddy and your uncle Matt spoke with her before she passed away and asked her to look after you.  I hope she is with you now, laughing and giggling away.

So I am sitting here right now, working from home because I have a massive cold.  I am trying to keep the office healthy since we are so busy.  Anyways, for the first time in months I hear someone mowing their lawn.  Again, the simple sound of a lawnmower just made me cry and yearn to have you here.  You were my spring baby.  We spent so many days walking around the neighborhoods, taking in the fresh air and sounds of spring.  We saw so many lawn services come and take care of people's lawns.  The sound reminds me that the time of year you were here last year is upon us.  We spent so many days outside, just you and me.  Remember the days I would put you in your exersauser or bouncy seat in the shade while I worked on the garden?  We would just enjoy the sunshine and sounds of spring.  The birds, the planes, the insects etc. I know Easter is approaching and you were with us last year for Easter.  I somehow thought this time of year would bring joy but instead I just miss you more.  I miss last year when I dressed my three boys up in their green St. Patrick's day shirts and took pictures of you all on the couch in the living room.  I am afraid to take a picture of your brothers this year without you.  I am afraid to face Easter without you.  I saw that the Lower Bucks St. Patrick's day parade is happening in two weekends.  I don't think I can bring myself to go.  Last year all 5 of us went to the parade.  Remember - it was SOOO cold out.  You slept most of the time in your stroller and then I carried you across my chest to keep you even warmer after you woke up. 

Last night as I was putting your brothers to bed, Liam grabbed hold of my phone and started to look at videos.  He found the video of you laughing with me on it that I took just a few days before your journey to heaven.  He played it over and over again.  I hope one day I can look at that video and not cry like I did last night.  Liam was SO happy looking at that video.  He just kept saying "Owen and Mommy laughing.  I miss Owen".  Owen, like I say to you every night, I don't even have the words to express how much I miss you.  Liam noticed how much I was crying and gave me one of his big bear hugs.  Then, as he was going to sleep, he came back into your daddy and I's bedroom and gave me "Owen's lovey".  This is the lovey your Nano and PopPop gave you when you were born.  Unfortunately you never got the chance to use it because I didn't give you lovies in your crib since you weren't old enough.  It has a baseball on it with a little blanket.  Since the day you went to heaven, Liam has become completely attached to your lovey.  As Liam handed me "Owen's lovey" he said "Mom, I think you should sleep with Owen's lovey tonight".  What a sweetheart.  I could NOT believe he let go of it.  He obviously saw how much I missed you and since that is his connection to you, he shared it with me to feel close to you.  I slept with that and your OWEN blanket next to me all night.

I can still hear your laugh when I sit her and think about it.  I hope that never fades.

I love you and miss you more than words could ever share.

Love,
Your one and only Mom



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Owen's 1st Annual Balloon Launch - Sunshine for Owen

Dear Owen,

Did you just love all the balloons all your loved one's sent to you in heaven for your first birthday?  Thanks to your auntie Katie for organizing the First Annual Sunshine for Owen balloon launch on February 12, 2013.  I know you met Katie when you were just over a week old.  I am so thankful she was able to meet you. 

Thanks to all of you across the country that sent balloons to Owen in heaven.  We were all SO touched by your love and support.  It really meant a lot.  It warmed our hearts on a day where we just felt so empty.  Thank you thank you thank you.

Here are pictures from the event:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/activity/ctkienq7g5nsm2mp9hgtq2r9eo4#events/activity/ctkienq7g5nsm2mp9hgtq2r9eo4

Sunshine for Owen:
http://sunshineforowen.blogspot.com/

Thanks to all of you who sent us cards, flowers and other reminders of our angel in heaven.  It was so nice to feel so much love and support on one of the hardest days we have faced since Owen went to be with God. 

Owen, Connor and Liam really enjoyed sending balloons to you in heaven on your birthday.  It was very windy on your birthday at the cemetary but we managed to send a few balloons up your way!  Their loving daycare that knew you so well also sent balloons up to you after Connor and Liam returned to school.  We were so touched that they had the whole daycare participate in this event to remember your sunshine soul.  Finally, over the weekend we sent up lanterns with some other family in town.


 



We are now down at Disney celebrating your life and getting away for a bit.  It is amazing how much Liam misses you.  Out of nowhere today he mentioned things you would have liked.  While we were swimming, he pointed to the other pool and said you would have loved that pool because it was so big.  When we were eating cookies after dinner, Connor and Liam both said you would have loved chocolate chip and would have eaten so many cookies!  Though Connor was quick to point out that your mouth was pretty small so it would have taken you a lot of bites :) While we were on a ride at Disney today and Liam said he wanted to give the Pirates a hug, he then told me he wanted to give you a hug.

What I wouldn't give to give you a hug today, or any day.  One last hug.  One last kiss.  I miss you more than I can ever express but I know you feel my love and the love of all that love you up in heaven.

Until we meet again face to face.

I love you to heaven and back.

Love,

Your one and only Mom

 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wherever you are, my love will find you

Dear Owen,

Happy 1st Birthday.  Oh how we ALL missed you today.  Though, we honored you ALL day long. We felt your love and presence which was very comforting.  We woke up to a beautiful sunrise and the sun was shining all day.  We made pancakes and your brothers blew out candles for you.  Then we made strawberry lemonade cupcakes for you since they thought you would have liked them.  I love the way their little minds work!  Since Connor likes Vanilla and Liam likes Chocolate, they thought it would totally make sense that you would like Strawberry!  Then we took off to the city and went to the zoo.  It was empy which was nice so we didn't have to deal with people everywhere.  I was constantly reminded of the time I took you and your brothers there.  Liam picked out a little elephant to take home since elephants remind them of you since your "wawa/lovey" was an elephant.  Connor picked out a little keychain with your name on it.  Your dad got a little elephant statue that he left at your grave.  After we left the zoo, we then had a beautiful yummy lunch at Sabrina's Cafe. 

Up until this point I felt a sense of peace and love.  I knew your soul was with us and we smiled a lot and remembered you so fondly.  Since you were born at 4:01pm, we decided to head to the cemetary around this time so we could officially since your happy birthday song, blow out candles and release your balloons at this time.  The second I walked down to your grave, I lost it and haven't gained it back since. 

Your brothers were so excited to release the balloons to you in heaven.  They talked a lot about how the balloons had to travel all the way through space to get to you.  Only you know about that journey to heaven.  After singing Happy Birthday to you all day long, we "officially" sang happy birthday to you at 4:01pm.  I couldn't even get the words out.  I miss you so much.  I wish you were here to sit in your high chair and discover frosting and cake for the first time.  We could barely light the candles because the wind kept blowing them out.  We knew this was you taking your stab at blowing out your own 1st birthday candles. 

After our traditional birthday dinner of pizza and fruit, we decided as a family to watch the video your tante Michelle made for us of your all but too short life.  I hadn't watched it in so long.  I think I was protecting myself because every time I watch it, I am reminded of how much I love you, how much I miss you and how much I ache to hold and kiss you again.  This time was even more difficult than ever.  Connor, your oldest brother, cried the entire time.  This is one of the few times I have seen him cry for you.  He was uncontrolable and wouldn't let go of me.  This was so insanely diffficult for your Daddy and I.  it broke my heart to know how much pain he is in and will go through for the rest of his life.  It also broke my heart knowing that you died and I couldn't protect you.  It's so hard to see your children suffer and not be able to take the pain away.  I just kept telling him we will be ok and that you, Owen, were still with us.  It is such a hard concept for a 5 year old to process. Liam cried a little bit but he was also so happy to see you on the big TV and kept waving to you and singing along to the songs.  Connor just kept asking why you died and sweet Owen, I wish we had an answer for him.  We are still working through all of that.  We all held each other and wept as we remembered your sweet soul and all the great times we had with you. 


You have taught us so much in your short but sweet life and we continue to learn from you every day.  Your birth out of the 3 I have been through was definitely the most painful.  It was completely natural and it was crazy hard but it was WORTH it.  I remember thinking right after you were born on 2/12 last year that that was the worst pain I will have ever been through in my life.  I guess I was wrong.  The emotional pain I am in now is much worse.  The only thing that brings me comfort is knowing I will see you again.  I know you are with us and I find peace in that.  You are a part of me that I will never forget.  There is never going to be a day that I don't think of you, pray for you, speak to you. 

I feel like grieving a child is a life sentence. I hate that I tell you this and make you know that I am so sad but I am.  Yes, I go through the daily motions, work, errands etc.  but I really feel like I am never really there.  I am always partially disconnected, just to survive.  I watch crappy TV just to escape this reality that is my life, the rest of my life.  I know I have SO much to be joyful for but I feel like I am living two different lives.  I am so overwhelmed that every year I will have to celebrate your birthday without you.  How will I survive this?  The only answer I can come up with is with God's love and support, the love and support of friends and family and YOUR LOVE and SWEET SMILE.  I have to believe one day, whether it be tomorrow or 70 years from now, I WILL celebrate a birthday in your presence in heaven.  Please help guide me as I navigate this world of a grieving parent for the rest of my life.

As I sit here with your candle burning and your brothers asleep upstairs, I am reading the book I bought for you for your 1st birthday.  I know it is a book that most parents probably buy their children when they grow up and leave the house but I find it perfect for our situation too.  My love will find you whever you are and I know your love will find me, wherever I am.

May your eternal birthday celebration in heaven be a party with the angels.

Wherever You Are, my love will find you
by Nancy Tillman

I wanted you more
than you ever will know,
so I sent love to follow
wherever you go.

It's high as you wish it.  It's quick as an elf.
You'll never outgrow it...it stretches itself!

So climb any mountain...
climb up to the sky!
My love will find you.
My love can fly!

Make a big splash! Go out on a limb!
My love will find you.  My love can swim!

It never gets lost, never fades, never ends...

if you're working...

or playing...

or sitting with friends.

You can dance till your dizzy...

paint till you're blue...

There's no place, not one,
that my love can't find you.

And if someday you're lonely,
or someday you're sad,
or you strike out in baseball,
or think you've been bad...

just life up your face, feel the wind in your hair.
That's me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.

In the green of the grass...in the smell of
the sea...in the clouds floating by...
at the top of a tree...in the sound
crickets make at the end of the day...

"You are loved.  You are loved.  You are
loved," they all say. 

My love is so high, and wide and
so deep, it's always right there, even
when you're asleep.

So hold your head high
and don't be afraid
to march to the front
of your own parade.

If you're still my small babe
or you're all the way grown,
my promise to you
is you're never alone.

You are my angel, my darling,
my star...and my love will find you,
wherever you are.

Happy Birthday Sweet Angel.

Love,
Your one and only Mom

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Owen Michael O'Brien Memorial Fund

For all of those who have been asking, we set up a memorial fund for Owen on his 1st birthday. We are working to raise funds to establish a park here in Yardley on the Delaware River to honor all children lost too soon. We want to create a sanctuary where all grieving families can feel comfort in knowing their children are not forgotten and are ever so loved.

Owen Michael O'Brien Memorial Fund
c/o First Federal of Bucks County
PO BOX 32
Bristol, PA 19007-9893

Happy 1st birthday my sweet angel.



Monday, February 11, 2013

Weather Forecast for your 1st Birthday: Plentiful sunshine

Dear Owen,

How do you do it?!?  I just looked on my phone for the forecast for tomorrow because your Daddy, Connor, Liam and I are going to take the day off to celebrate your birthday.  After a weekend of snow and a very foggy and dreary day today, the forecast tomorrow calls for "Plentiful sunshine". 



We are so blessed to call you our sunshine and know you will be with us in spirit tomorrow, as you always are.  Your brothers are so excited to make your sunshine cupcakes.  We just wish you were here to smash it on your face.

We love you more than ever.

Happy early 1st birthday my sweet bear.  You truly are my sunshine, my only sunshine.

Love,
Your One and Only Mom

Friday, January 25, 2013

I can only hope

Dear Owen,

I hope this happens to all of us missing you so much here on earth...

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross

You are one of the most beautiful people I have ever known and I can't wait to see you again.

May your strength guide all of us in the coming weeks as we prepare to celebrate your first birthday.

I love you more than you will ever know.

As it snowed tonight I thought of the night I went into labor with you. Your tante Thea and I walked around the neighborhood in the snow and I thought about what you would look like, who you would resemble most. Tonight I just looked at the snow and thought about how much you would have loved running around the driveway throwing snow at your brothers and tackling them in the snow. The snow was beautiful, just like you.

Love,
Your one and only mom