So far 2011 has started out uneventful (I hope I didn't just jinx myself and yes I know we are only two days in) and I'm loving that! We finished 2009 off with many uncertainties with my dad's health, he was diagnosed with colon cancer two days before Christmas (is now cancer free), and you all know how the rest of the year turned out with us. As with the beginning of most New Year's I am looking at this one as a fresh slate. Not one that will wipe our son away from our lives, but one that will allow us to learn more from him and what it truly means to be a better person and parent. What happened with Everett changed us as people, friends, and parents. We will never be the same people we were before he died and we will never be able to change that. If someone out in public asks me how many children I have (usually because they see Lilli with me), I always tell them two, one here on earth and one in Heaven. Sometimes this response freaks people out and I really don't care. He is our son, a whole, beautiful, real person who spent a brief period of time on earth inside me and he counts. He truly counts. Just because he didn't take a breath of air doesn't make him any less human or make the loss any more bearable. And sometimes this response connects you to a total stranger who experienced something similar and you find yourself swapping stories about the children you are missing. Loosing a baby happens so much more often than most people realize or talk about.
I have been working so hard at trying to figure out a way to channel my grief into something good and positive because for anyone who knows and has experienced deep grief, it can very easily turn the other direction into something destructive, something that eats away at you and who you used to be. That is the ugly side of it. That is the side people don't like to talk about. I have had my moments of ugliness through this process and I'm sure they are not the last of those moments (and I would like to thank those of you who sat by me through those periods even if it was just on the phone). I have had so much anger over what happened to our little boy and how avoidable the whole situation should have been, especially in the age of technology. I have been angered over feeling helpless and victimized by what happened, and those who know me are well aware these are not feelings I will ever be comfortable with. I am the person who has spent my entire career empowering and educating others (mainly women) so I often ask myself, how could this have happened? Why is there no accountability for what happened? Those are the things that have eaten at me the most during this process and also the things for which I am learning to let go.
I am tired of being angry, it's really quite exhausting carrying all of that around even just part of the time. I am focusing my year on changing for the better. The grief will still be there, it will never go away completely but hopefully will dull with time. I plan to focus my time this year on continuing to be a better mom to our darling Lilli, obtaining new fitness goals (we just joined the Y :)), and of course pulling the run 4 Everett together in time for its debut in August, with a lot of help from some friends along the way. I am truly very excited about this race as it's such a great way for us to memorialize our son, raise money for an awesome organization, and get the information out there that will help other families in our position. This is how I plan to channel my grief into something positive. It's going to take a lot of hard work, but I know I can do it. If an employment opportunity happens to come up during the year, I'm open to that as well! Lets go 2011, show me what an awesome year you are going to be!!!