Friday, May 15, 2015

Nine

Our precious Peyton would have been nine years old today.  I am sharing some images from each May of her life:

May 2006 - newborn

May 2007 - 1st birthday


May 2008 - 2nd birthday

May 2009 - 3rd birthday

May 2010 - 4th birthday

May 2011 - 5th birthday

May 2012 - 6th birthday

May 3, 2013 - This is one of the last photographs of Peyton before she passed away the following day. In this picture, she was 12 days shy of her 7th birthday.

Happy Birthday in Heaven, Sweet P.


February 2013 - Truly one of the last best pictures I have of sweet Peyton. She was wearing mommy's glasses and was full of smiles and giggles.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Second Anniversary

Today we remember our precious Peyton on the second anniversary of her passing.

It seems so surreal that it has been two years. One year was hard to fathom, but two??  I honestly don't know where this past year has gone. It has flown by. Two years has passed yet I remember vividly the events leading up to this day in 2013. It was yesterday. It was a lifetime ago.

I re-read the post I shared on the first anniversary and considered where we were then versus where we are now. One might make the assumption that being a year further removed from the loss would make things easier, but I have to say that this past year has been far more difficult for me than the first year. I had heard that the second year can be harder. I wasn't sure about that when I first heard that, but for me it has proven to be true. I don't know if it's the fact that I'm not in the fog, haze, and disbelief over her loss; things that maybe sheltered me from feeling the entire impact of loss during the first year. I'm not sure.

The level of depression I felt during this second year was far greater than during the first. Of course, being in the second year, I felt like I had to not be depressed; to not show it in public. I felt like I was obligated to get back to what everyone else went back to in the days and weeks after losing Peyton - a "normal" life. Intense depression will keep you from what is considered "normal". I don't think life would be "normal" even if the depression hadn't settled in like it did.

I am doing much better now. It's an uphill climb out of depression - and it is not easy. I am far better than I was those many months ago. It's three steps forward, two steps back sometimes. But most days are better now. Much better! Not a day goes by without remembering Peyton, and that's a good thing. She'll always be a part of our family.

I will say that in the midst of this year, I have restored an important relationship which really needed restoring. I am so beyond grateful for that. It has brought much peace to me.

Just like last year, the past 40 days have been spent reliving the days that I spent with Peyton in the hospital. I so vividly remember how the events unfolded. I look back in thanks for the time that I got to spend with Peyton in her last weeks. I am thankful for so many things - the exceptional team of doctors and nurses who worked so hard to help her; the friends who helped us both at home with Moira and with us at the hospital; new friends that came into our lives because they wanted to do something; family who were able to be with us both before and after Peyton passed; our church family who stepped in like nothing I've ever seen before and carried us through such a difficult time.  While I can recount the events of those days, I've tried to put more focus on the things to be thankful for and on how I saw God's hand in the entire situation.

Moira is doing much better this year. She misses Peyton greatly. She loves her sister something fierce. We've been blessed with such an exceptional guidance counsellor at her school who has made herself available to Moira to talk to. She also invited Moira this year to participate in a brand new program offered after school - a support group for kids in the school who have been through a loss. I think this was such a valuable opportunity for Moira. I have no idea who was in the program or anything that was discussed - and that's how it was designed. All I know is that it seemed to be very beneficial to her, and that is such a blessing to us.

We recently learned that one of Peyton's home nurses passed away a couple months ago. She was the last home nurse to work with Peyton. She was with us in the ER the day we went in for the last time. We had no idea that that was going to be it. I did get the chance to have lunch with the nurse one day sometime in the past year or so. I had no idea that that was that last time I'd ever see her again. She was an exceptional nurse and a wonderful lady. She is greatly missed.

As we try to learn what "normal" looks like for our family, my prayer has been that God reveals to us what our "next" will be. I've been praying fervently for this for over a year. I have felt strongly that there is something, but have no clue what it's supposed to look like. I continue to pray for wisdom and discernment in this area for our family. I know God has a plan and a purpose for us and we wait expectantly that He will lead us to exactly what that purpose is.

Many thanks to everyone who has continued to hold us in prayer, especially at this time of year. We truly appreciate you.

If you have a particular memory of Peyton you'd like to share in the comments, I would love to hear from you.  Thank you so much!

You can take a look back at her Tribute HERE.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  {Romans 8:28, NIV}


May 18, 2006 {3 days old}

October 2013 {17 months old}

Peyton and Daddy - May 3, 2013

Peyton and Moira - May 3, 2013

Peyton and Mommy - May 3, 2013


February 20, 2013 - laughs and smiles while wearing Mommy's glasses

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Eight

Sweet Peyton would have been eight years old today.  I am sharing some images from each May of her life:

2006 - newborn

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013 - one of the last pictures taken of her, less than 24 hours before she passed away

Happy Birthday in Heaven, Sweet P.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

First Anniversary

One year ago today, at 6:12 am, Peyton went to be with the Lord.

I type those words, and I cannot even believe that it has been an entire year since she passed away.  Twelve months.  365 days.  An entire calendar has been flipped through.  It just doesn't seem possible.  We've been through every "first" - her first birthday in heaven came just 11 days after she passed.  As I write this, my emotions are every bit as raw as if it was just yesterday and not an entire year ago.

This past week has been quite difficult.  I've referred back to this blog several times over the past several days, re-reading bits of that 40 day hospital stay which would end in Peyton's passing.  I have been reflecting on where we were at "this time last year" on several occasions.  Ron and I celebrated our 14th anniversary this week, but it's just so different now as we were in a very difficult place at this time last year.  We were facing decisions and meeting with an entire medical team to discuss how to proceed.  While I have no doubt in my mind that we made our decisions with all the love, respect, and dignity that was due Peyton, you simply cannot imagine the pain and heartbreak that goes along with those unless you have been in that position.

I think, for the most part, the three of us - Ron, Moira, and myself - are doing alright.  We all have our "days".  Moira frequently talks about how she wishes Peyton didn't have to die.  Just the other day, she was saying again that she wishes Peyton didn't have to die so close to her birthday.  Moira is as aware of what the month of May brings as we are.  A year out, I can say that we have experienced some joy in life again, but the loss is still very fresh in our minds.  There is, and always will be, a large piece of our lives missing.  Yes, we carry Peyton in our hearts, but her physical presence is so deeply missed.

We have so appreciated the prayers and support we have been given over the past year - more than a year, really.  Our heartfelt thanks, once again, to all of the people who rallied around us during Peyton's hospital stay and after her passing.  God used so many people in so many ways to support us and lift us up - and He still does.  You just cannot possibly know how much your gestures have meant to us.  I know things will become easier as time goes on.  Life won't ever be the same as it once was, but it will get easier.

We are still just so grateful to all the people who cared for Peyton.  There are so many people who were involved in her care and we will always remember them.

If you have a particular memory of Peyton you'd like to share in the comments, I would love to hear from you.  Thank you so much!

You can take a look back at her Tribute HERE.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  {Romans 8:28, NIV}


May 18, 2006 {3 days old}

October 2013 {17 months old}

Peyton and Daddy - May 3, 2013

Peyton and Moira - May 3, 2013

Peyton and Mommy - May 3, 2013


February 20, 2013 - laughs and smiles while wearing Mommy's glasses