Monday, June 16, 2008

Lots More Brain Barf....this is gunna take a while....it's more like a flu!

Hi there.....it's Karen (I have to say that because I do not have my own identity on this blogger thing....it's either "Fahmer" or "Baby Jacob" so I go under "Fahmer" since Jacob was the only one who knew his password to blog!)

One thing I fear, is that people will take what they feel a grieving mother should be doing or saying and analyze my life to fit this cookie cutter feeling they have. A grieving mother should be on meds, could be starving herself, could be sleeping all the time, could be depressed, could be withdrawn from the world, could be in deep depressing thought all the time, etc. Now, many of you will read this list and say that I am exaggerating but many have this thought what my actions are an indication of. I have heard many of them, although subtle and just out of concern.....I do not have to explain my every action but just to show you how crazy things can get, allow me to rebuttal some of these concerns that have been very subtly expressed......I have always been a sleepy person, I can sleep at a drop of a dime anywhere anytime....I ALWAYS have been able to (if you know me at all, you know this about me)....so the fact that I sleep in is just because I can; the fact that I take a nap is just because I can; I sit still, I fall asleep....even if it right after sleeping for 12 hours!...I love to sleep! I have two active boys and a busy husband who have so many things under control since I spent the last 4 1/2 months taking care of a baby and now that my baby job is over, they still have everything under control and that means I see more opportunity to sleep. Anyone would sleep more after being up for 4 1/2 months! Weight loss....You could turn this into the next article on the front page of the paper OR you can take into consideration the fact that I sat on my butt with a baby in my arms for 4 1/2 months blogging?!?! Now that I am up and going and I no longer have gallons of milk hanging from my chest, I look a bit thinner than I did 2 weeks ago. So, all the stereotypes and such.......THROW IT OUT THE WINDOW! Can these things become a sin in my life and become a stumbling block....sure...Satan is at work. But I just want to point out that not everything that is happening is an indication that I am dealing with things in an adverse way. I know it is love and support that is coming from people who do not live with me..... just take note. Ok, end of note :)

Today was a crazy weather day. I know not everything in life is a representation or parallel to real life but today, it seemed as though the weather paralleled life. It was a stormy rainy night and then a beautiful morning. Then it stormed again. Then the sun was out. Then the sun was out but it was raining without a cloud in the sky. Then it thundered and rained like crazy. Then the sun beamed. Then it stormed and hailed for like 10 minutes. Then there was a beautiful sunset. Then it was night and stormed more. Life. Sunshine, storms, rain, unexpected hail, all jammed into one day just a few moments for each expression.

"It was a stormy rainy night and then a beautiful morning": long trials that you don't understand until you are through them and you can see the Son shine after.
"Then it stormed again": you've been through it before so you strap on your helmet and learn what you need to knowing God is faithful.
"Then the sun was out": mission accomplished. Lesson learned.
"Then the sun was out but it was raining without a cloud in the sky": although things are ok in life, you are hit with these thoughts and fears in your mind. Satan's attacks.
"Then it thundered and rained like crazy": it's real. It actually happened to you....what could have never happened to you, is actually happening.
"Then the sun beamed": you embrace it and actually enjoy it and wouldn't change it.
"Then it stormed and hailed for like 10 minutes": something so rare, that usually only lasts moments, lasted for longer than anyone predicted.
"Then there was a beautiful sunset": gracefully and beautifully, the Son shines through and shows His magnificence.
"Then it was night and stormed more": you are left with empty arms knowing the Son is there all along, it is just you that is not seeing Him on the other side of the earth.
Life.

Just some thoughts.

In the midst of the crazy weather, both Joshua & Jonathan had beautiful thoughts of their Baby Brother with Jesus. Yesterday, as the gray clouds covered the sky, Joshua said it was like Jacob and Jesus were shadowing us with their hands and he said he saw a really big hand and Jacob's little hand. Today, during all the storms Jonathan said, "Will Jesus and Jacob play bowling forever?"....bowling being the thunder cracking. I love that they think of Jacob up in heaven well and active and enjoying life along side the Savior of the World. They are not sad for their Baby Brother. I love that they can talk about him and verbalize their thoughts of him. They miss him, but they do not weep for him.

So the past few days have been crazy. I have lots on my mind (you couldn't tell could ya?). Saturday was 2 weeks since Jacob's passing AND it was the 14th, his 5 month birthday. Could I find a reason to be sad everyday? Yep. But I don't want to be that way....it just was a hard day. I missed him so much. I sniffed his little outfit that still has his smell on it, I looked over the blog and tried to enjoy "his" writings. I missed him. All these days before had such little significance before Jacob:
Mondays were just the beginning of a busy week; now they remind me of birthdays.
Saturdays were a day of hanging out as a family; now they mark a day of passing.
The 14th was just the 14th (except for September which is Joshua's birthday); now it is a monthly milestone marker.
Jacob has changed the way I think about every day. I pray for the Summons family more specifically on the 14ths because their baby girl not only was born that day (the very same day as Jacob), but she died that very same day. Thank you Jacob, for making me more aware of the needs of other families and allowing me to see that everyday has it's own significance.

Sunday was Father's Day. I was at a loss. I stink at these hallmark holidays anyways, but now, how in the world do you tell a Daddy of 3 boys "Happy Father's day" when there are only 2 boys there to give him hugs and kisses and cards and breakfast in bed?!??! I tried hard but, man was it tough. I am so glad he went and got that tattoo a few days before....it was something new and exciting and all that it stands for.....it helped.

After a family member passes, there are some random things to get used to that you don't think about preparing yourself for....signing cards from your family or taking a "family" photo. What a sad reminder of a loss. Here I am trying to sign a card from our family and everything in me wants to have Jacob's name at the end but who signs cards with dead people's names?!?!?! And family pictures?!?!? There will never again be a complete picture of our family. The suggestion of it makes me scream inside....what can I put in the picture to symbolize that missing family member.

So, to the many who ask "How are you doing?" Well, I have no idea. I am doing well. Processing. Readjusting. Believing God's plan is so big for Jacob and I am just trying to be used by God in the biggest way possible. I refuse to let Jacob's death lead people to believe it had a adverse effect on anyone. It was a beautiful life and now I need to find my niche of communicating his life to others. I know it is about God and his goodness and His Son Jesus Christ. It's just that Jacob made God so much easier to talk about. When I had Jacob with me, everywhere I went, everyone would come to me and ask questions ....he radiated God's love and people would see this different beautiful baby and I could share with them the amazing goodness of the Lord. Now, I no longer carry the physical "amazing tool of God" in my arms. I have to find a way to radiate God's love so that others come up to me and ask questions about what is different about my life that they see beaming from my empty arms. I want to share. I want to tell his story. I want others to believe and be saved. I want Jacob's life to impact eternity. I want to be a tool. I will find it. I am changed and I will show it....in time.

I am soooooo encouraged to read some of the comments of how our story has changed people's lives. There are some comments that you all have not been able to read because the commenter asked for us to keep it private. Reason for this is because of some of the personal content they did not want the world to see. We have respected their wishes but I would like to share the themes as they come up so that it may be of encouragement to you as well. A mother commented about how she aborted her trisomy 18 baby a while back and recently found herself online searching trisomy 18. She came across our blog and after reading about Jacob and seeing his full life, she saw the life that was ended in her womb. Although saddened, this woman was humbled enough to change her way of thinking. It will not bring back that baby but it may save others. How can that not be an encouragement. What is done, is done. Now go and sin no more. Wow. Thank you Lord for using Jacob. You allowed me to carry him, birth him, love him and share him to change the world. Thank you. It is stories like these that just reinforce my thoughts of how perfect Jacob was made.....he was made perfectly to reach others who could relate in some way. There were no mistakes and there is nothing about that Baby Boy I would change.....because if I did, his impact would be less than what God has planned.

Next thought: I am going to Atlanta with now 7 other moms who have lost babies. I don't know how many times I've said it, but it has come out of my mouth a ton of times, "I have no idea what I would say to me" meaning that I have no idea what I would say to a mom who's baby just passed away. Now, I am headed to Atlanta to face 7 of them! I am soooo looking forward to it, but I feel so out of it. They have all been part of this whole blogger thing way before me and it seems they know more about each other and even me than I do them.....it is silly thinking, but it's thinking.

All these thoughts, no solutions....and that is ok. When I think, I "brain barf" as explained before and I do not expect solutions...I just vent....Jason is a problem solver and he is at work so he has no idea I am posting this jumbled mess!!!...there is no denying that this is a jumbled mess so all you bloggers who always comment that "it's not a mess" and "it made sense".....THERE IS NO WAY you're commenting that this time!

Thanks for being there and "holding my hair back."

23 comments:

Susie said...

Oh Karen, where do I start? When you said, "I don't know how I feel", I nearly fell off my chair. I said that a hundred and ten times! I still feel like that some days, because there's so much hurt and joy intermingled that it's difficult to decide where I'm at. I understand completely that you've never felt more under scrutiny than you are now in your grief. Part of me wants my baby tummy gone, because it's a constant reminder that I was pregnant, but some of me wants it to stay, because it's a tangible reminder of Joshua. Stretch marks and all. But I feel that if I stay blobby, people will think I'm wallowing, or eating too much, drowning my sorrow in food. But if I lose weight or get fit, do I look as though I feel nothing, or I'm not eating anymore. I was at a conference over the weekend and felt obligated to eat when I didn't want to because others were watching me, and I knew what they were thinking!
If I cry in church will people only see me as the woman in grief, or if I don't cry, will people think I'm devoid of feeling? And it's all wrapped up in what people think - but oh well. If only I was strong enough and confident enough to not care what people thought, right?
People kept telling me, grieve how you want, do what you need to do. And at the end of the day it seemed silly that everyone said it, but it's true - you know, if you've gotta be crazy crazy happy to get through the day, whatever. I can't cry a lot. It's like I have a block in that department, so I find mindless things to do. Some people clean - oh if only right? Some people have to visit their baby every day - like Chrissy visits Eva. I couldn't do that. But... it's all about the one-day-at-a-time do-whatever-gets-you-through-the-day
stuff.

I think you and I would be good friends if we were close by. Sounds like you and I think a lot alike judging by your verbal flu. I like reading your verbal flu. Others will say it, but it's good to see honesty. Especially since I keep hearing I do it - It's nice to see someone else diarrhea-ing in blogland. :) Xo. Praying for and thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

Go ahead and sign Jacob's name to a card...go ahead and use a family picture of all 5 of you for your Christmas card...You will always be the mother of 3 beautiful boys...Celebrate those miracles. And continue brain barfing it you want! I pray for your family all the time and want you to know that Jacob touched my life...the strength that you, your husband, Joshua and Jonathan have are testimony to the mighty God we serve. The weakness in you is a testimony to the mighty God we serve.
Thank you for sharing your lives with everyone!

Jenny said...

Karen, I think of you all the time, every day, so many times during the day and wonder how you are. I welcome your "barfing" anytime!!!
Isn't it incredible how one tiny little boy can do so much? I'm amazed by that everytime I see Jacob's precious face. My oldest son, Jack, had a choroid plexus cyst when I went for my 20wk ultrasound (I sent you guys a ? about that when you said we could ask ?'s)...anyway, we had to wait 7 weeks to know for sure and during that time we visited about 100 sites discussing how it could possibly be a sign of T18. I look at Jack now and am reminded how we could have been in your shoes. I can only look back and pray that I would have been as incredible of a witness as you. You, your family...okay especially your precious lil' Jacob are changing so many of us. We are grateful and so appreciative of your willingness to share. You barf all you want...you have lots of people wanting to help you clean it up! Love and prayers, Jenny

Janet Hamrick said...

Karen my heart goes out to you. I wish I could make it all better. Since I have never been through what you are experiencing there is no way of know just how deep you heart so I pray for you everyday. Hopefully your trip to Atlanta will be helpful.
Love ya lots
Janet H.

Kristen said...

Well, I thought that it made sense, and I always appreciate hearing what you're thinking. Hugs and prayers.

Destini said...

Just get it all out, we will continue to hold your hair and rub your back... :) We will continue to tell you that you will get better. God will continue to be your strength and through it all, God will be glorified and Jacob's life and death will mean something. When I think of you I think about Paul talking about not wasting your suffering. God has the amazing ability to take our sufferings and turn them to praise. I am so thankful that you are walking with the Lord.

Kristy said...

My cousin was born 3 months premature, doctors said she would never make it out of the hospital. Then at 3 they thought she would only make it a short time, it was not until she was 11 that she passed away. She was the most amazing inspiration to me. While her physical disabilities kept her from a "normal" life you could see how big her heart was when she smiled. Its amazing how God works.

I tell you this all because after her passing her mother decided that a beautiful Angel stamp was how she would sign her cards for every occasion. Each family member's name and the beautiful angel head as a reminder of the angel that touched our life.

Maybe you can find something that will be a symbol for Jacob. I hope this helps.

Cindy said...

Yes, my dear friend, it's seems a jumbled mess, however, it is called grieving!
You have so many thoughts and feelings that you held within you while you had Jacob in your arms being the best mom ever! It's just the time now to allow them to come out. It's ok and it's good.
Don't ever apologize for grieving.
I held my grief for more than 10 years and it is not good.
You are doing exactly what YOU need to do. We all grieve differently so be yourself.
I will continue to pray for you and your family.
Things will never be 'the same' but really - would you want them to be?
You are changed forevermore.
God's blessings sent your way.
Cindy ~ Phoenix

Laurie said...

Hey Karen,

What a BEAUTIFUL post!!! (It almost wasn't messy and almost made sense):)
I can't lie, it sure made sense to me, especially how the weather parallels life. Both are orchestrated by God, our Creator. I love that you are sleeping. After 139 days minus 34 minutes, you need all that you can get and your family was being prepared for this time. Jacob taught me to see what a piece of heaven on earth really looks like, it changed me. I am such a fan of this little guy, even now. His weight in this world is HUGE. Size doesn't matter here.:)I love the hearts of Joshua and Jonathan, so pure and trusting. They "get it" and at such a young age, they are blessed. And I can tell you that the "fragrance" of Jacob is all over you Karen and inside you. God is using it so much to further Jacob's ministry. Such a PERFECT little boy. I am covering your Atlanta weekend with the girls in prayer from here in California.
I can only imagine the blessings in store for you all!!!! A true Sisterhood In Spirit. (SIS) Keep writing and Brain Barfing Karen, it is so refreshing and full of hope.

Love and Hugs, Laurie in Ca.

Jessica mommy to Alex/ RTS said...

It is good to hear from you, and your words are filled with encouragement, and always inspire me to be better at this. My road is different, and you encourage me with your words to do better, to be better at this.
Thanks Jacob, and Karen.

The VW's said...

Keep on brain barfing! We'll try to be there for you and hold your hair back too! It's good for you to get these feelings out and it's great for others to hear what you have to say! Your family has taught so many valuable lessons through Jacob and I know his teachings have only begun!

Prayers continue for your family! May God bless you with comfort, strength and the knowledge of His awesome purpose for your family!

Tiffany said...

I haven't lost a child. But I have lost a niece. And family pictures....they include her by holding a 8x10 picture of her in a frame. I don't think that helps...but its an idea.

I pray for your family daily.

Amy V, Chesterfield, SC said...

Huge Hugs and lots of prayer!

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you and your family. It took great energy to share Jacobs story with all of us. It entertained and educated us. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing us to get to know your family. I hope you will continue to update us, I sure look forward to it! Marcia R

Anonymous said...

I will be here to help hold your hair back.. thinking and praying every day..
Love,
Randi Lee Booth

Dolly said...

Hey Karen...you're an honest, human, and extraordinarily loving mother. What you have shared is perfect in it's "barfiness." It's you...no one can judge your actions, time in bed, or loss of a few pounds. It always seems like we want to "dignose" a problem nowadays...instead of allowing ourselves to experience life in the fullness God intends, good, bad, or otherwise.

God knew He could TRUST YOU with Jacob, He knew you were the ONE to give this tiny gift of life to. God loves you through all of what that entails...and I know He's so proud of you for being up to the challenge.

Everyone who wonders how you are doing...you're doing EXACTLY as God wants you to be doing! There is no arguement to that!

Mike/Cristal/Bella/Jordan said...

Karen,
I never ever stop thinking about you or your family. You have such an amazing family. I hope that you will continue to "brain barf" as we all are glad to be able to "hold your hair back". You sure have a lot of people praying and rooting for you and your family. Unlike most that read your blog, I do live nearby (in Amherst) and would love to be able to help you in any way possible. Just say the word and I'm there!

Cristal
(Jordan and Bella's mom)

John & Staci said...

Karen,
I know it's easier said than done (especially when someone else is saying it) but don't let what others think dictate how you grieve. If you feel happy one day and overcome by sadness the next then too bad what other people think. God and Jacob are with you as you laugh or cry, eat or don't, sleep or don't. Your family is there with you as well. Those of us in blogland can "listen" as best we can and pray for you and clean up the "brain barf".

I know you said you need to find your niche to tell Jacob's story. Have you thought about writing a book? You and your husband could write it together. I just think that you both express your feelings so well in writing that it may be a great way to reach so many people and tell them how God chose Jacob and your family to do His work.
Praying for you still in SC,
Staci

triciadee said...

You know what else is messy? A child's painting or drawing made for Mom or Dad on their birthday. Or on Mother's/Father's day. But as a parent you would look on that gift and say it was perfect, just the way it is, because it came from the heart.

Come to think of it... think of the prayers that we jumble up when talking to God. When compared to the amazing speakers, writers, philosphers, and theologians out there who pray to God in beautifully articulated thoughts, our prayers must sound ridiculously messy! And God does NOT care. They are beautiful. Please keep posting, even when it feels messy. God uses messy people too.

Tricia, from Alberta, Canada.

(I have been reading and praying for months, but this is my first comment.)

Corie said...

Karen I can totally understand the feelings of being somewhat "judged" on the whole grieving thing. Grief itself takes so much out of you and then to have the pressure that others may think you are doing it differently then you should. This journey has stretched me so much. Reminding myself daily to please the Lord is what we are called to do even while in much sorrow. Wish all the other stuff didn't come into our minds so much...somehow it does and it gets overwhelming. I am glad you feel free to share your raw emotions and feelings in a very public venue. I know it helps many, including myself. Just reassurance that I may not be a freak after all!!! Just kidding. Never did realize how hard it would be to loose a child. I don't think you can every really be prepared. This is when you see Gods amazing grace and mercy poured out each and every moment of the day. Enjoy your weekend with the girls. I know you will find much comfort in contecting with others who understand and will not comment on how you are handling it all. Praying for you and will continue to.

Anonymous said...

Did you know that you can take Jacob's hand or footprint to the stamp place in Tonawanda and they can make a stamp out of it. I think on Erie Av. That way it would be like he is still signing it because it will be him.

Amanda and Heaven Leigh

Anonymous said...

I came across Jacob's site just a few short days before he became an Angel. I am amazed at your Brain Barf as you call it. I loved your statement about Jacob being God's tool. He touched my heart so in the few days I knew him. I loved his writing! Thank you for sharing your heart and insight as a grieving mother. So many of us don't know what to say and we truly try to be kind but don't fully understand how something we say can affect another. I am so sorry for your loss but am so touched that you are able to say that you would not change a thing about Jacob because he lived the life God ordained for him. He is one very fortunate little boy to have a family who loved him so much. I continue to pray for you and your family. God Bless you. Kris from Sunnyside, WA

Anonymous said...

Karen,

I found your blog this afternoon and have started at the beginning and read every post. It is now 2 a.m., I am exhausted, my eyes are swollen and I can hardly see, but I felt the need to encourage you. Only God can comfort you, but Jacob lives. He lives in you. He lives in Jason. And he lives in your boys. The next time you have a family photo, he will be there shining down on you, and in each of your hearts.

We all spend too much time worrying about what others think. I read a book by Karen Kingsbury awhile back about people with downs syndrome. In this book, she spoke about how "normal people" are so hung up in superficial things and have so much strife and worry and anger, but those whom the world has deemed "disabled", live freely and happily and fully. She goes on to say that it sure would be funny if when we all got to heaven, the reverse was true...and the "normal" people were truly the disabled.

Your son has touched more people in his short life than most "normal" people do in 80 years! This is amazing! This is the awe inspiring power of my God! And because of your hard work and effort and dedication to telling his story through this blog, he will continue to touch many lives even in death. For what Satan meant for harm, God can use for good. While you may not maintain it on a daily basis, and you amy not be able to have him in your arms to provoke conversation, many will stumble upon this as I have, and the story begins anew!

You sign that baby's name to every card you ever send for the rest of your life, so he continues to be a constant reminder of God's handiwork! For he has forever touched the lives of your family and your friends!