Saturday, December 31, 2016

The second Baby Morgan has arrived!

Here we are again - announcing another new baby. Bailey Lee Anne is here! She's sweet and cute and basically everything a baby should be. Avie arrived on the 17th of the month, and Bailey arrived on the 18th - the symmetry makes me happy. Plus her initials spell BLAM which is just fun.

She beat her big sister - labour was only 2 days start to finish, rather than 4 and the pushing time was also cut in half - woot. She arrived early Sunday morning, December 18th, at 6:30am. Paul got to deliver her, as he did with Avie, and that always adds to a very special moment.

She is named Bailey, because we like it. It seems to mean an outer or inner wall in a castle or court. Very deep meaning, this one. Her first middle name is Lee - for my Grandma Lee (short for Lena), my sister (Jenna Lee) and my Aunt (Sandra Lee). Turns out Lee also has a very spiritual meaning; it means "the sheltered side; the side away from the wind; shelter from wind or weather." Her second middle name is Anne (for my Aunt, Lesley Anne) and it turns out a few of my or Paul's cousins have Anne in their names as well. The Anne has an E because of Anne of Green Gables - how could I not? This meaning is a bit deeper at least, "Favour or grace. God has favoured me."

This whole second kid thing is both better and easier, but also harder. Thankfully we have had much family around to help. We had my Aunt here the week up until her birth to help me with Avie and to cook for us - and then we had Paul's mom here from my first day of labour until the 26th. She cleaned my closets and cupboards, got up with Avie each morning and cared for her so we could sleep when Bailey slept and eat when Bailey ate. The first day without help was the 26th - we realized with a shock to our system that we would have to be with Bailey in the night AND Avie in the morning. What? Actual, full, parenting? Ok. Thankfully Avie is doing this new thing where she sleeps until 5am or 6am one morning, and 8:30am the next morning. So the early mornings Paul gets up with her (since I'm up with Bailey in the night), and the mornings she sleeps in, we all sleep. So that's good. Lots of love and cuddles and hugs in general, and lots of crying and diaper changes and kid wrangling. 

And lastly, a sneak peak of our newborn / family photo shoot with Paraphrase Photos. I snapped this while Laura worked - she is, as always, a fabulous photographer. She makes us all comfortable and captures beautiful moments.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

When grief continues

Fall 2013

Often I've written about my family's journey with Alzheimer's. My mom has had this disease since roughly 2003; though it's really been affecting us in real ways since about 2009. You can read more about my mom and this journey hereherehereherehere, here and here. I've been the writer in the family, but I got that ability from somewhere and as I read a recent email from my Dad, I realized he was who I got that gift from! He'd written an email about another level of grief that he was working through this week, and with his permission, I'd like to share what he had to say. 

Christmas 2015

Well, today was one for the books. It caught me off guard. About 1.5 years ago, I cleaned out all of Robin's clothes...ones that didn't hold any particular memories for us. I thought I had rounded the corner on this grief contraire.  Yesterday I decided that today was going to be a Sally-Ann day and recycle Robin's remaining clothes. 

I opened her closet and immediately saw the dress that her step-Mom bought her just before Jenna was married. Robin wore that to countless choir performances...I choked up with sadness. I couldn't do it.  So I went to the drawers with all her remaining tops. More sadness! There were 'achievement' tops like the 900th exercise  session T-shirt at Curves and the T-shirts from when she put on Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat . Countless tops representing so many memorable trips together. There were celebration tops, many special holiday tops, special event tops and tops that just looked so great on Robin...never again to be worn. More sadness. But I kept going. Then the underwear drawer with the 'special' ones - ones that Robin chose especially for us. More sadness. 

I finally worked up the courage to go back to the closet. The mother-of-the-bride dress, one of the first two Yofi creation dresses I bought Robin in Victoria before we were married, the two "quintessentially Robin" purple & dark red overcoats that she always wore in the winter and the white Christmas overly-decorated vest. Too many memories of our precious marriage were heading off for someone else to enjoy but with none of the heart associations. 

But I did what I needed to do...they will now belong to someone else. I couldn't keep them for fear I'd have to go through what I'm feeling now, again. I don't want to go through this again. I hope it was right to take them away. 

After I dropped them off I came home to have a snooze in my recliner but all I could do was lay back, remember and weep. So I decided that I'd walk to Granville Island...a happy place for me. That's where I am now, writing this difficult message and the tears continue to flow. When will it ever end? 

But these aren't wasted tears...Jesus is remembering all of them; and weeps with me. Grief lessons flood before me giving me solace, hope, gratitude to Daddy for being with me always and continually reminding of what He's doing in and through me because of the grief...and I continue to Praise Him. I'm reminded over & over again that he's chosen me to walk this road with Jesus to bring honour, & glory to Him and I'm honoured to do so. So please pray for me/us. I can't tell you what to pray because I don't know...but the Holy Spirit does. 

I am so thankful for a Dad that can share his emotions - that isn't afraid to tell his daughters where his heart is hurting, and wants to share that, to draw us all closer as a family. Pray for us - Saturday is my Mom's 63rd birthday - we didn't think she'd be alive for that number and in many ways, it feels like she isn't truly alive for it. This tension of grief and waiting is so hard to process. 


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