Five Things — aka Mind Dump

So heeeere’s the thing: My brain is a swirly twirly mess.

If you don’t mind, I am going to use this space to do a little mind-dump. Ready? Go.
ONE
Easter happened. I feel like that really describes it. It HAPPENED. I kiiind of feel like it happened TO me, but really for most of the day I was enjoying myself! We went to church the night before with my family, which was nice, and then convinced/forced my Dad to try Thai food for the first time. He was quite apprehensive, as most old people are {HA! Just kidding Dad!}, but then he really wound up liking it. Crispy duck is delicious.

On the day itself, we met up with Glenn’s fam at Sea World which was super fun. Keith-as-I-live-and-breathe and I shared chicken nachos. They were surprisingly delicious. We watched the best brass band ever.

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We ended the day with a visit to CLevel – a restaurant with awesome atmosphere and views – and all of a sudden Easter slapped me in the face. I was tired. I was sunburned. I was dehydrated. I was hungry. My head started to hurt. All I could think about was how my baby is in the ground, and I can never see him again. It’s too sad, really. Most days are somewhat manageable, but some days the reality hits, and I become so, so sad.
TWO
We are officially members of an infant loss support group. I’m not gonna lie, I never thought we would join {or enjoy!} a support group. I’m all for therapy, but GROUP therapy seems a little weird. I imagined a room filled with “those” people, led by someone with frizzy hair and glasses at the end of his or her nose, their sad eyes peering over the frames. I imagined bizarre questions being asked. Fake intimacy trouncing around from story to story, couple to couple. I am happy to report :: I imagined wrong.

We totally like our infant loss support group!!

We, obviously, wish we and everyone else in the group never had to be in this group to begin with… BUT our specific group is led by our awesome grief counselor at The Elizabeth Hospice, and there is another couple in the group who we really enjoy! Strangely enough, their little girl who died shares Branch’s birthday! It’s nice to have people who are different from us but have gone through something so similar… even having our babies born on the same day!

We have only gone to the group twice now, and enjoyed both times. The first was kind of what I would imagine most first-meetings at groups are, where you introduce yourselves and share a bit about the child you lost, and then there are several topics that come up and Paula, our grief counselor and new best friend, facilitates the conversation. The second time we went we did a craft, which sounds super cheesy but was actually really cool. We made frames and discussed the just-around-the-cornerness of Mother’s Day. I actually am not dreading Mother’s Day, but I am leaning toward not doing any of the “usual” things on the day itself. Last year on Mother’s Day Glenn and I told his family I was pregnant. Eeek. Not sure if I’m ready to see the TimeHop photos pop up for that one…  Again I say eeeeek!

Nevertheless, I am a mother, and I have a great mother AND a great mother-in-law so I am hoping to celebrate them in a unique way this year… just maybe not on Sunday the 11th. Ha!
THREE
People are nice. Not all people. Not all the time. But overall, there are lots of nice people out there.

A friend of mine from high school, who has been so sweet to follow our journey, knew we would be at a party together on Saturday and brought us a card and gift. Ridiculously thoughtful!!

One of my girlfriends sends me texts, all the time, asking how my heart is — asking about my grief — asking what my “internal weather” is. And here’s the thing : she MEANS it. She really does want to know! Even the yucky, tragic, never-going-away-until-Jesus-comes-back stuff — she willingly asks me to share my heart with her.

My mentor meets with me on a super regular basis. When I fear I am becoming needy, or that I am not worth her time, she speaks kindness and truth to my soul. She tells me it is an honor to walk with me. She guides me into calmness and prayer :: places where God can reveal Himself to me in such personal and loving ways. She validates my pain, and tells me I am seen.

My beloved friend since the 3rd grade called up two of my best gals and organized a high tea date, in honor of Mother’s Day. In honor of me. It is so kind and generous and thoughtful, I could barely get “thanks” out when she mentioned it.

My Mom sends me encouraging letters every month, to be opened on the 3rd, and they always make me cry.  This month she even sent a pretty scarf! Just because! I look forward to my letters and the reminder that our families are walking this road with us, and missing Branch themselves.

I do not deserve any of these nice things, but I am so grateful for them. And for all of you.
FOUR
The first Lionheart Half Marathon and 5K has officially been completed. WE. DID. IT.

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If you follow me, or any of our friends here in San Diego, on social media, your feed was probably overrun with pictures of our cute shirts, and inspirational photos of Team Lionheart running and walking and cheering! It was such, such, such a great day! Wow! Things could not have gone better, and I felt such a flood of support it was nuts! Branch, you are one loved little boy!
FIVE
My hair can now legitimately be put in a ponytail. What’s up.

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Thanks for sticking with me through it all! Mind Dump Complete.

~Kristin